Resilience: your #1 fitness skill

You have the best exercise equipment, a fabulous workout program, and nutrition guidelines at your fingertips. You feel ready to go, ready to attack your fitness goals with determination.  But the bad news is that’s not necessarily going to determine your success in implementing a nutrition or exercise habit. Whether you’re an olympic athlete, recreational exerciser, figure competitor, or busy student trying to fit in your workouts, you will not succeed if you do not have one thing: resilience.

Why resilience matters

You have the best exercise equipment, a fabulous workout program, and nutrition guidelines at your fingertips. You feel ready to go, ready to attack your fitness goals with determination. But the bad news is that's not necessarily going to determine your success in implementing a nutrition or exercise habit. Whether you're an olympic athlete, recreational exerciser, figure competitor, or busy student trying to fit in your workouts, you will not succeed if you do not have one thing: resilience.

I hate to break it to you, but things aren’t going to be perfect. It’s likely that you’ll stay up too late watching your favorite show, leading you to oversleep, miss your workout, and jack your hunger cues.

It (shit) happens, and your success hinges on your ability to come back to the good habits you’re building.

Before I started focusing on my resilience, I let little things derail me. I became frustrated when I didn’t have the ideal equipment for my workouts or when I only had twenty minutes to train. Resilience has helped me stay more positive and consistent. And remember, consistency leads to results.

Three ways to strengthen your resilience

Focus on the good

Resilience is focusing on the positive whenever possible, instead of getting bogged down in the details.

Did you train for 20 minutes instead of skipping a workout? Count that as a win!

Subbed out a couple exercises because you didn’t have the equipment? Awesome. 

My favorite example?

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Your expectations for a single training session can actually increase the benefits you get from working out.  In other words, thinking positively about what you were able to do can help maximize your results.

Plan!

Help yourself to be more resilient to life’s challenges by creating a plan that supports your willpower. We don’t just skip work meetings because we’re tired. We don’t no-show dinner with friends because we’re stressed about school (well most of the time). But we do this with our workouts? All the time.

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My Three S Formula for Consistency and Motivation will bring awareness to your workout habits and make sure you stay on track, even without motivation.

Utilize both your short and long term memory

When it comes to resilience, you’ve got to maximize both your short and long term memories.

If you’ve slipped up, it’s time to use your short term memory and let that mistake roll off your back. When you wake up the next day, forget you were not acting in line with your goals. Just move on and focus on the next action you can take that supports your goal.

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On the other hand, if you’ve had a little win, HOLD ONTO IT. Focus on that feeling of empowerment and success for as long as you can. This will motivate you to continue!

If you’re looking for help becoming more resilient so you can make positive changes in your life, I’d LOVE to help you create your fit lifestyle.  accountable, check out my upcoming programs. I’d love to work with you!

What’s one fitness or nutrition habit you’re trying to implement?

My moderation journey

Moderation has become quite the buzzword recently. I’ve talked about it, defined the heck out of it, and worked on it as a skill. Truthfully, it’s only been in the last six months that I’ve realized that moderation is the ONLY way I want to live my life anymore.

But if I’m being honest, I definitely have NOT always thought this way. I was one of those people who constantly was praised for her self discipline, which is awesome when it comes to schoolwork, but self-discipline can have some ugly side effects outside of the classroom.

See, where most people hit the wall two weeks into a diet, I broke through it and went ahead at full force. Where most people want a bowl of ice cream two weeks into their diet, I cut more calories for just thinking about it.

 

Moderation has become quite the buzzword recently. I've talked about it, defined the heck out of it, and worked on it as a skill. Truthfully, it's only been in the last six months that I've realized that moderation is the ONLY way I want to live my life anymore. This is my journey to moderation.

For about eleven years, I struggled with a severe eating disorder that took away parts of my childhood, all of my teens, and some of my young adulthood. I restricted my caloric intake excessively and always.  My workout routine was relentless and was my way of burning off every calorie I ate. And when I slipped up? I hated myself. Often, I would look in the mirror or try on clothes and just collapse in tears.

Note my approach to the holidays from about 2004-2015.

Thanksgiving Day: run a 10k, eat extra because I’m hungry and tired, have dessert (and wine once I turned 21 😉 )

Day (or honestly, weeks) after Thanksgiving: count every calorie that goes into my mouth, exercise an hour+ per day, hanging on until the next happy hour excuse to relax

It was miserable. This cycle of indulging followed by severe restriction fueled nothing but disordered eating, over-exercise, and crappy body image, regardless of how thin I became.

Katherine without cellulite

I was constantly searching for a better way to live.

My journey to moderation

After years of restriction, I battled every day to eat more food that would nourish my body and fuel my goals. I’d be lying if I told you it was easy. There were days during my recovery when I cried while eating the extra food.

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Things started to shift in 2014. I found Jill Coleman‘s writings on moderation. Her ideas piqued my interest.  You mean, I don’t have to restrict to see results; I just eat the same way every single day? Cool. I can do that.

And that’s exactly what I tried to do.

My Thanksgiving plate looked like my dinner the night before.

Andrew and my anniversary dinner was nothing out of the ordinary. 

I drank beer (OK, Mike’s Hard Lemonade) or wine most nights. 

Combined with the strength training I recently discovered, I lost body fat, dropping into a pretty lean for me range. I was STOKED.

It wasn’t until mid-2016, I realized something that blew my mind: trying to eat mostly moderately every single day was actually just another way for me to continue restricting myself in the day to day.

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Because I focused so much on eating the same every day, I found myself slipping into old, restrictive patterns.

Social invitations were declined so I could eat the same foods (even if I enjoyed them)

I wanted to indulge on special occasions but made myself stop

Traveling stressed me out (because how could I find my foods)

Since that realization, I KNEW I had to make some changes. I don’t want to be in that restrictive space anymore, so I’ve started testing the waters with some new ideas.  I’ve shifted my approach to be one where moderation is two seemingly opposing concepts.

My #consciousindulgence approach to moderation

  1. Eat in a way that makes you feel like you don’t need to have a cheat day
  2. If you overindulge for whatever reason, remember that it does NOT need to be “cheat day” to indulge OR you don’t need a cheat day to (over) indulge

Again, if I told you it was easy, it would be an utter lie. Those ugly thoughts telling me to eat less, move more, and get smaller still are there; I just don’t listen to them as much.

If I want to indulge a bit more (like when Andrew came and visited), I do.

If I need some chocolate every evening to make me feel satisfied, I eat it.chocolate

I’ve been living this way more and more for the last six months, and it’s made me feel more at peace with food. I also feel more empowered to enjoy my life and the experiences that come with them.

So when I leave for Argentina in a few weeks, you can bet I’m taking my #consciousindulgence approach with me.

My diet and nutrition: five things that changed my perspective

South Beach. Atkins. Ketogenic. Low carb. Vegan. Paleo. Vegetarian. Low fat. Mediterranean. NutriSystem. High carb. Weight watchers points. As you read all of these diet ideas, you probably have lots of thoughts about which are better, best, worst, and total crap.

A person’s diet and nutrition are extremely personal, and so many things inform how we think about what we “should” eat. Magazines, Instagram celebrities, online fitness gurus, our parents, and even our culture tell us how to think about what goes into our mouths.

As a nutrition coach, I talk about food with lots of women. We spend lots of time breaking down her thoughts about food before deciding on an approach, because there’s no such thing as a perfect diet plan–only perfect for you. All these conversations got me thinking, what’s shaped my perspective around nutrition?

So I thought it might be an interesting blog post! Below are five events or milestones in my life that have impacted my nutrition and my overall approach to food. Some are more serious than others but they’ve all impacted me personally.

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Recovering Perfectionist: Why I Aim For “Good Enough”

You’re looking for a new workout to try on YouTube. You find one that looks super fun but it requires equipment you don’t have (who really has a dip station at home), so you keep scrolling.

Or maybe, you see a super fun online bootcamp but you see it requires five workouts a week. You’ve got a full-time job, maybe kids, volunteering, a social life, and a thousand other things to do. You’re not sure you can commit to all those workouts AND modifying your nutrition at the same time, so you click away.

If this sounds like you, my perfectionist friend, we need to talk.

Being a perfectionist does not serve you.

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Five Common Backpacking Mistakes: Lessons Learned Summiting Mt. Adams

About ten days ago, I completed my first backpacking trip. My boyfriend and I, with a couple close friends, embarked on a 12-mile, one night, expedition to summit Mt. Adams, a dormant volcano in Washington with an elevation of 12,272 vertical feet.

This was my first overnight backpacking trip, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. So, as soon as I booked my ticket, I started to do my research. Of course, I turned to Pinterest to learn all I needed to know.

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Why I’m changing up my training

Happy Monday, my friends! I cannot believe the first week of August has already come and gone. In a few days, I’ll be on the west coast, driving through Oregon, on my way to Mt. Adams for my first big backpacking trip. I’m pretty nervous but also so excited to get out there, get away from the craziness of work and the insane heat in Austin.

With the start of a new month, comes the start of a new training phase. Normally I hit the ground running, 3+ lifting days and 2 conditioning workouts per week. This is my sweet spot. I get enough rest to recover, while also making strength gains.

In July, I stuck to my standard schedule but did some extra leg strength sessions, including high volumes of weighted step ups, with the goal of strengthening my legs and hips for climbing lots of hills. I also incorporated more hiking and incline walking with a weight vest to break in my boots and improve my conditioning.

But since the beginning of the month, I’ve taken a step back, dropping my strength training down to twice a week.

August is going to be different.

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Moderation as an Accomplishment

Happy Tuesday, all! We made it through Monday! How was yours? Ours was super mellow. I made some naked (no tortillas) tacos that required absolutely no real ‘cooking’ and tasted this bad boy. OMG. SO. GOOD. Happy to share the recipe if there’s interest!

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I’m also working away on a costume for Juno. Google is having a puppy fashion show on Thursday, and Juno is going as a ladybug. I am NOT crafty, but her outfit is coming along…

 

Today, I would like to return to a previous concept, moderation. I’ve written about it a little bit but would like to share a personal struggle and some actionable tools that may help you.

As with many of us, exercising and movement are big priorities for me. I prioritize my workouts early in the morning and “get my steps in” almost every day. Historically, when I achieve both, a feeling of accomplishment washes over me. When I don’t, anxiety and negative self talk ensue.

Enter last week, 9:59pm. Although I had done a great lifting workout, my work day was full of meetings, evening full of studying (read: a lot of time on my bum), and I still was exhausted. Cue all the feels.

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Recently, I’ve decided that these feelings of inadequacy are BS, and it’s time to start creating that mindset shift. Movement (or lack thereof) is not inherently good or bad, guys; it’s just movement. It’s all in our heads, so we can change the way we think.

How? Actively choose to change your thought pattern and embrace the discomfort zone. Here are a couple strategies I’ve used.

  • Continually modify your goals to set yourself up to succeed. If you are consistently missing your mark, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.
  • Remove all moral connotations or ideas of worth. Regardless of what you did or didn’t do, remind yourself that you woke up worthy and good.
  • Fight back! Do the opposite of what the ‘shoulds’ tell you. In the example above, my mind was telling me, just go walk around the block, you can get to 10k steps. Instead, I grabbed my nighttime snack and went to bed 🙂

I hope these help! <3

Things I’m Loving Friday #2

Hi Friends! Are you ready for the weekend? I definitely am! It’ll be a quiet weekend, just me and Juno.

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In true Friday fashion, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the last week.

Radiance Retreat

For the last few months, I’ve wanted to attend the Radiance Retreat and finally bit the bullet. I cannot wait to meet some of my role models and all the incredible women attendees.

Stitch Fix Denim

I’ve been using Stitch Fix for a little over a year now, and absolutely love it. It’s hard to find a pair of jeans that fit my lower half but they nailed it last month. I’ve been wearing them nonstop. If you haven’t yet checked them out, I recommend you do!!

Synergy Kombucha

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My office very recently started stocking this awesome kombucha brand. I’ve been bringing home a bottle most days and sipping it instead of wine or any other yummy beverage. Honestly, since starting to incorporate kombucha into my life, my digestion and gut health has improved immensely. Check it out!

Paige’s Online Bootcamp

For the last year, I’ve worked on and off with Paige towards my fitness and aesthetic goals, recently joining her personal training group. In less than a month, I’m seeing massive strength gains and LOVE the community of women she’s brought together. She’s launching a new bootcamp (I’ve done two of her bootcamps and LOVE em–notice a theme?!) next month that looks amazing.

Let me know your faves in the comments below!