fitness and nutrition

Behavior

Oddly enough, I said at the end of my 12 weeks of posting on fitness and nutrition that I would take a break from posting weekly. Shocker, here I am again!

It almost seemed like I needed to take a break mentally but then I realized I was in a routine. I modified my behavior to include writing/blogging into my week for 12 weeks. What an irony? But then again it’s no different than establishing a fitness or nutrition routine.

You have to commit to your goals, set a plan of action and then follow through. When you do all that you are essentially creating a routine, a habit, and ultimately your behavior is modified.

So here I am blogging again and it’s just Monday. The start of the week. I have a hefty to-do list today but thankfully I started my day at 6:30am surrounded by people who make me feel strong and confident. I start most days this way at the gym, my box or home away from home.

I also get to exchange communications with my nutrition coach on Mondays which is always amazing in itself. It’s a positive and reflective interaction that provides an outside look at my eating habits from the previous week. It lets me realign and adjust where needed for the upcoming week. The lessons I learn here can be applied to other areas of my life making this coaching experience extremely valuable. For this encouragement I will give a shout out to my coach, the wonderful Jodi Bainbridge of Stronger U. #sherocks

If you think about what I wrote above about feeling strong at the gym, I mirror that by being strong in nutrition and it’s almost comical that the company I chose to work with on nutrition is called Stronger U. Odd but interesting little tidbit. If you have been looking for change I would encourage anyone to check out this program. It is pretty unique and I don’t get paid for any endorsements, This is honest. Stronger U is life changing for many and I don’t have to inflate that, I can see it through testimonials. #strongeru

What I think I rediscovered over the Thanksgiving break is that progress isn’t immediate. It happens over time. It’s a moving target. Whether you are focusing on weight changes, nutrition changes, or business changes they happen over time.

When you get a new job you are not the best employee on day one you have potential, and if you work hard and master your role you become an asset to your organization. If you start your own business venture you don’t become an overnight hit, it takes time. If you go to school to get a degree, you graduate in time. Why because it’s a process and not everyone have the same timeline or the same path. That is what makes us all special.

Today’s post is for those who watch the clock or desire instant gratification in every aspect of life. Take a breath, enjoy the ride to whatever destination you are heading to. You may meet cool people, learn new things, and grow as a person along the way. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. The journey is unique to you and it’s one that others can’t take away from you.

Another fun fact about me: I used a countdown clock to reach a specific goal recently. It was a countdown clock that was started over 1.5 years ago. This clock told me if I hustled and worked hard and chipped away for the duration I would accomplish big things. I set benchmarks along the way to give me celebration points. Mini-milestones that I shook my head at each time saying “I did it, I really did.” This clock was a gift from a dear friend but provided lots of encouragement as I plugged away at my goal(s). The hashtag #rearview symbolized letting go of the old and embracing the new. As I near the end of the countdown I figured I would share this tool with you in case it influences others to try this method.

As for me, once it runs out I will reset the clock. Most likely for three years this time while I catalog and chart a new path for myself. I will just need a new hashtag for the new duration. #namemyhashtagpeople Drop me a note and you can be part of my next story!

As I recap the rear view (not my butt, people) of my fitness journey, I am approaching the three-year mark of committing to a regular fitness regimen. I didn’t start at CrossFit on day one but I found a passion in CrossFit about 8 months into my journey when I embraced change. Along the way I hit milestones and created new goals to attain. My body is being sculpted over time as is my mind and my can do attitude. I’m embracing new tools along the way that are new parts of my personal maintenance plan. Remember the past or rear view doesn’t dictate your journey or your happiness, rather it’s part of your story. The memories, the lessons learned, the pictures taken, the people you meet along the way all play an pivotal role in your journey. Embrace YOUR path.

Until next time. And when will next time be? I am not sure as I am not watching the clock right now. I’m looking ahead to see what is on the horizon for me as 2019 approaches…

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Going the Extra Mile

It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.”  But what does it really mean?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days.  I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving.  There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it.  So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters.  My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.

Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.

Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half.  (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point.  I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal.  What to do?

Enter the Assault bike.

And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.

To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required.  What is expected.  The minimum.  As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.

There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile.  Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition.  Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.

How can I go the extra mile?

-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)

-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.

-Check in with family and friends more often

-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive

-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout

-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges

-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources

I am not going to lie.  There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations.  But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me.  Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion.  Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.

So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.

fitness and nutrition, Uncategorized

KT’s Week 12: Weekends are Not for the Weak at Heart

This week I was going to talk about booty gains but decided to push that to another week because I just wasn’t feeling the post after I started it.

Why wasn’t I feeling it? Because I had a craptastic weekend. I had worked my ass off all week to hit my numbers and Friday night came. I was in a situation where there was no water available. Sounds so simple and I will learn to keep extra water in my car but yeah I was in an environment that didn’t have water and I was thirsty. Not a good position late in the day when you already planned your day of macros. Juice and soda doesn’t normally fit in my macros. Did I mention who doesn’t offer water at a concession stand? Fail #1.

Update: I had another busy weekend before I posted this blog and to let you know I learned but failed again! I packed my extra water this time when I hit the road and some good snacks and then left it in my car. I guess the take away is practice makes perfect. Two Fridays in a row I struggled with hydration on the move with last minute plans.

Move on to Saturday and the conflict of eating out and having to guess on some numbers at a restaurant. It’s just not the same as home and measurements. This can cause a ton of stress if you are really focused on working your plan. Yes I fall into this category! Missed opportunity #2. #lackofplanning

Update: spontaneous decisions get me all the time! Yup, I went to breakfast and planned and used a good portion of my macros but in a healthy way. Somebody picked up my table’s tab as a random act of kindness. Double yeah on the morning. Then I was off to adventure unexpectedly the rest of the day. Guess what? I left my water in my car again. #epicfailagain but I did have access to a convenience store so crisis was averted. Managed to eat some Chick-fil-a nuggets on the move for some protein and fat. But again, not the same as home. Big takeaway on this post is I still have a ton of work to do on the weekends so I don’t kill all my progress from the week.

Then, fast forward to Sunday and my kid makes breakfast for the family that included cinnamon buns, bacon, toast, eggs, all of which are high in fat. If I would choose one of these as a treat I could, but not all at once, in the same day, in the same meal. Ugh on so many emotions at one meal and how not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, this type of eating can make you lazy the rest of the day! #realworldchallenges #foodprobs

Update: I am posting this now before I have to admit another failure, bump in the road, struggle or excuse.

As I sigh, this post is about how to eat or choose healthy when your environmental conditions may challenge you or throw you curve balls. This is life and it’s a delicate balance. If I was a weight lifting competitor in training would others understand my need to eat clean? Would my friends think I am less neurotic? I don’t have the answers but I will tell you it’s a struggle. Don’t offer me desserts. Don’t give me chocolate. Don’t tempt me. Support me.

For instance, if somebody offers you a gummy bear that can blow your carb numbers, just say no. If somebody offers you a cocktail, just say no. If you will feel guilty later, it is not a good choice. It’s more likely that you will have to decline a sweet of some kind because I can’t remember the last time somebody said “Hey Karen, do you want 4 ounces of chicken or shrimp?” It’s pretty random and funny when you think about it. Same goes for vegans. How many people don’t get that lifestyle? Ignorance is all around us.

Also, many will say let’s go to McDonald’s, grab a pizza, or grab a coffee or a sugar-infused drink vs. let’s go and drink green smoothies. Just learning to maneuver life’s challenges each day and each week is full of emotions and why many gain weight back after making progress. Hoping that I don’t fall into that same slump and why I have my goals set over time so that if I struggle at any one point I can readjust as needed to conquer my long term goals. Fab at 50 is the master plan and you all have a front row seat in my journey.

Every weekend is more challenging than the weekdays. More time on the go. More family or friend events. More socializing. Just more chances to make bad choices. During the week I am more routine and regimented, making macro mastering so much easier.

In the coming weeks I am rededicating myself to following my plan of nutrition while stepping up my fitness regimen to prepare for the approaching holidays and temptations because I know I am not perfect and will opt for that cheesecake at some point. Kickstarting a burner program post workout and stepping up my macro game is on my agenda. I added #saturdaysprints yesterday but only because the weather was cooperating.

I am also spending time thinking about Thanksgiving. Need to get my workout in that day and need to plan an activity after the food festivities. Thanksgiving is lots of food so it’s important to include healthy options. Time to get cracking on a healthy menu. I will also be focusing on some random acts of kindness around Thanksgiving. I hope this post inspires you to give your time or something to somebody in need.

In closing, when I started this fitness/nutrition blog series I committed to a weekly update, but then extended my nutrition coach time to 6 months instead of the original 12 weeks. I get bored easily so I probably won’t write each week moving forward but I will catch you up on my progress here and there over the next several weeks. Stay tuned on this topic but jump on over to some of the other areas the Chicks write about. You might find a nugget of information you like elsewhere on the blog site. And who knows? Maybe my hitting pause will motivate my co-author Beth to share some more of her amazing stories on here.

Chick 1 and Chick 2 are always cooking stuff up (aka working on writing). Just stay tuned for whatever strikes our fancy to write about as we prepare to release our next book.

Remember to have fun in your day. Smiles are contagious and good for the soul. I hope my silly pics along the way give you some giggles.

Happy holidays to all in advance and remember to plan and prepare for temptations. Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings me.  I may even have a goals blog for 2019, if I dare to be different. Maybe those abs I asked Santa for will let me start the year with a half of two pack, if that is even possible!

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 10 or Weak 10?

It’s been a 10-week roller coaster ride already? Where does the time go?

As I rolled into week 10, I was exhausted from travel yet pumped for my competition. Adreneline won out for sure on Saturday morning but weakness set in by Sunday. Thank goodness for rest days.

Week 10 was a hot mess for me. I ate well and worked out consistently Monday through Wednesday, then I hit the road for a trip and packed and planned for eating healthy when I had access to my hotel stash.

Enter conference food. Breakfast was meh but lunches were high on carbs as far as choices go…well, high for carbs based on my eating plan. Then, flip to dinner and that’s a dine-on-your-own type of deal, but then you have peer pressure to try the local spots in groups. Enter butter, desserts, extra fat, more fat, extra calories that serve no purpose, and so on.

Fast forward to the scale. It is just not my friend today. Well, is it the scale’s fault or my lack of will power? Whatever the reason, the scale is up by week’s end. I am not a happy camper!

So much reflecting to do. Would have, could have. Should have. But yup, that time has come and gone and just as night turns into day I need to reset and move on. New day. New challenges await. New outlook. Reset. Repeat.

I shopped for groceries and everything fell into the clean eating category. Threw down the “no eating out” message to the fam for the week. See, anything is possible if you adjust your mindset.

On the flip side of the scale debacle, we didn’t finish first nor last in the competition. We finished about middle of the road. We didn’t quit and we endured some hard workouts. We pushed through soreness and we ate lots of bacon which always makes me happy.

We appeared to be one of the more vintage looking teams and that made us smile. Our sparkle-N-snatch shirts were a hit. We met some cute puppies looking to get adopted and we met some amazing people in between heats. Overall, it was an amazing experience.

Boom, there it is! Thunder I tell ya. My buddy Jim inked me as part of his #inktober illustration series. What an honor and privilege and it was just what I needed to reset my mind. A vantage point of me from another that I don’t see daily. A portrait of a strong and healthy badass chick. Yup, that’s me folks. Welcome to my world. Enjoy the glimpse into my world that I share in this blog. It’s only one tiny piece of me but one that is important for me to share.

Some may knock my motivational ways but others embrace it. Whatever category you fall into it’s okay with me. It takes all types to make up the world and I know I am an acquired taste. You might not have had enough of a taste of me to see how I sparkle in this world. Thank you, Jimmy. You put a smile on my face and you are incredibly talented. People please check out his art on instagram @jimgleeson. Of course, I am a little biased since he illustrated my first three books!

Midweek moves on to Halloween and how a little fun can improve your mindset. Wednesday Wisdom is don’t forget to have fun. Check out my Halloween pic from the start of this post. I am wearing my 13-year-old’s uniform so big score for Mom right there and boom! my 5am makeup was on point. Hope you all had some fun this week but didn’t eat too much candy. I skipped the Kit Kats, the Rolos, the dark chocolate, etc. I didn’t miss it.

I’m back to the grind of macro management as we approach the holidays and my travel demands increase on the work front. Discipline, dedication and consistency are the name of the game for me.

More trials and tribulations of KT to come. Keep following along and see where I end up next.

Adios for now.

featured, fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 9: Competition Time

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, I journal about events, adventures and my fit life chronicles. Boring to some yet entertaining to others.

For those of you who find my entries entertaining, you should note I am super competitive. I am competitive in sports, in business, and just about everything in life. It’s okay for others to win, but I compete to win whatever I set out to do for me. I may play the same game, compete in the same workout, or bid the same job, but I compete for me and that is a differentiator.

My goals may be different than yours. You may win the tennis match but my goal might have been to improve my serve or win a volley. I am still competing and I am still a winner but at my own inner game. I will never tell my goals to most as they are what I battle for internally. The internal game fuels my soul, but others don’t partake in that.

This week I am competing in a partner CrossFit event. In the spotlight of some sort. Seeking attention as some would say. Mid-life crisis to others and those who can’t endure will cast hate. I don’t expect to win my division but I expect to compete and put up my best performance in the assigned movements while being a good partner for my teammate. I will cheer her on when she needs it and I will strategize with her on movements, transitions, and working towards our strengths. I will wipe sweat, fuel my body, and push my limits mentally and physically for the duration of the event.

I will feel the rush of adrenaline. I will smile from ear to ear. I will show others that I can conquer what I set my mind to. I will celebrate my friendship with a friend I met at our box 2 years ago. A friend who is competing with me for the third time. She thinks we are craZy but she will sign up for another soon. I just know it!

And what brings her back for more? It has to be the team name. We are Sparkle and Snatch, the dynamic duo for this event. Last competition, Team Hot Mess. The 40-something chicks with sass and smarts. Full-time day jobs but a hunger to live life full of fitness and fun.

The big obstacle this week for me is physical health. Can I compete? Can I push through mentally and physically? Why the change in tone in my writing? I suffered a random injury this week. A calf pull – not during my tennis match, but after. I celebrated too early or had too much fun and *boom* I pulled my muscle skipping off the court. Who does that? This girl. It was a significant pull. One that left me limping to my car and tapped out for the rest of the tennis tournament.

This injury means rest, ice, recovery, some muscle scraping, taping, and some patience to see if I can bounce back to perform the required movements in the competition. If you think about it, your calf is vital to functions such as walking, running, jumping and so on. And of course the competition calls for those type of movements. #realworldproblems

What a crappy Monday! My coach took away more carbs…sigh. And of course she keeps that protein number up there in the sky where I have difficulty reaching it.

New week new digits:

115 carbs
57 fat
130 protein

Ah, trying new things to get to that dreaded protein number. Bacon? Yes, more bacon please. A side of protein chips compliments of Quest. At least they crunch like a regular chip.

While I focus on stepping up my protein game this week I am also focusing on not being in my feelings about my injury. A minor setback, yet a humbling experience. I’m still working out, just scaling some movements. I particularly made friends with the Ski Erg this week. It allowed me to work my upper body without engaging my calf. And I actually liked it. One of my gym buddies pushed me to do some GHDs and of course there was no excuse not to put in core work.

Nutrition this week is preparing my body for the competition that I am hopeful to attend. That’s all folks. Next update is next week. Don’t eat too many bon bons waiting for the next post.

#Sparkle-N-Snatch October 2018. Praying for the ability to compete. This is my goal at this point: to compete. That is my inner challenge that I don’t normally share. Will I overcome my obstacles?

Next competition is set for December 2018. Squad competition: Team is named All Jacked Up. Can’t wait to share that jacked up story with you and hopefully I won’t be injured. #athleteprobs