New Year’s Goals: Why Goal Setting is More Important Than Resolution Setting

500_F_85151987_dPH79TgdkFr176eOkN27nZewSgfLdGP6As we begin the 2nd full week of January we are full swing into the new year. Which means that most likely everyone who set their same epic New Year’s resolutions of losing 10lbs or getting abs are either going hard or stepping back realizing that they actually have no idea how to really make those things happen for sure.

One thing I have seen with New Year’s resolutions is that they tend to be set without any sort of plan, knowledge, or even confidence. They are the things that we want that we make a grand gesture that achieve this year because the last 3 years were just too chaotic. But this year, well this year will be different. We are sure of it. It HAS to be different. We have been wanting to achieve these things for so long now and we ate all our black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. So this year. This year is the year… But lets venture to look at what REALLY makes this year THE YEAR?

Chances are a lot of resolutions were set. All with real gusto. All with actual desire and genuine motivation. But most laking one very key element… The actual ability to follow through. In fact, I will say that I actually haven’t heard a single New Year’s Resolution spoken in years that included someone telling me what they intended to do to accomplish this. And it is for exactly this reason that I do not like New Year’s Resolutions, I do not set New Year’s Resolutions, and I do not advise anyone set New Year’s Resolutions.

I know I know. Blasphemy. But let me explain…

New Year’s Resolutions in our society have such good intention but have begun to take on an almost accepted sense of failure. By January 3rd I saw multiple people make joking status’ and posts on social media about how they “already failed” whatever it was they were intending to do better this year. Things like “Well there goes my healthy eating resolution but that chocolate cake was just too delicious” or “Still haven’t been to the gym, maybe I will start that resolution next month”. These posts are accepted, laughed at, and liked my many because we all almost just assume that everyone who sets resolutions will give up after a little bit of time. I mean am I the only one that finds that to be terrible and horribly discouraging?

We shouldn’t laugh at those that want to better themselves (because we all should always be striving for that). We shouldn’t allow ourselves to fail or give up on the things we want to accomplish because eh everyone is going to anyways. We shouldn’t write off goals and allow our dreams to be thought of as less than what they are by labeling them with this unfortunately tainted term.

This year, I am encouraging everyone to set GOALS not resolutions. Take all the things you want to accomplish, the ways in which you want to better yourself and give them meaning. Allow your dreams and desires to take on some value and make it harder for you to fail at them.

Setting “resolutions” as we have come to know them is almost a way of just giving yourself an out when things get too hard. You are more than that. You deserve more than that. You deserve all your dreams. You deserve to achieve all your goals. Acknowledge that. Believe that. Change how you view your resolutions.

 

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 11.12.34 PMSo what is the difference between setting resolutions and setting goals you ask? When we set our resolutions, as I stated, they tend to be vague and grandiose. They are things that either are not achievable in a way that will promote our continued work or they are things that we honestly have no direction or idea of how to accomplish. Goals on the other hand, or at least well set goals, are specific, manageable, achievable, measurable, and come with a plan. Goals are things that are in sight. They are things that we can actually see ourselves accomplishing in a specific period of time. They come with deadlines. They come with steps. They come with help, knowledge, advice. They come with motivation and optimism. They promote handwork and consistency. They are serious and concrete. They are infinitely more likely to be accomplished.

I, personally, have taken the leap and taken something that has always just remained a dream of mine and this year I have decided to turn it into a goal. It is concrete. I don’t have a deadline yet as that part is a little more complex haha. I have measurable steps. I have support and encouragement. I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish my goal. I am hopeful and motivated. I intend to work my butt off. And I know that for the first time this dream is manageable and this goal WILL be accomplished.

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What is one thing that you have always said or thought you’d want to do that you can turn into a concrete goal this year? 

 

You can achieve anything if you believe in yourself and work hard enough.

For help with goal setting, direction, tools for your health goals, and a free assessment contact me! Its never to let to start! 🙂

 

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Learning Zone: Bacon and Jalapeños Cauliflower Biscuits

Okay so, I am not setting “resolutions” for this year because I don’t believe in them… But there will be more to come on that in a post tomorrow… However, one thing I am doing is making an effort to really “zone” in on my nutrition (teehee … get it? … maybe not… I’ll explain) We started following the zone diet during my Holly Jolly challenge, as some of you may have read about, and if you saw my results post you know that it may a HUGE difference for me in a major way.

Losing 7% body fat and seeing insane results in the gym can really motivate someone to want to keep these eating habits haha.

So we decided that we are going to keep at this whole zone thing. And thanks to the amazing journal my sister got me for Christmas, tracking my blocks and my food will certainly  not be a problem! However, one of the hardest things that we have found is learning how to zone recipes that we find or meals that are made in bulk. Of course we don’t want to give up good recipes just because they are hard to figure out.

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So when I saw this recipe that I knew I HAD to try, I decided that altering recipes to fit our zoning makes a lot more sense then trying to fit make these recipes work as they are. The recipe I came across was for bacon and jalapeño cauliflower based biscuits. I took it and ran… making sure each thing was measured out to create even easy to zone biscuits.

First off, let me just say they were AMAZING. Secondly, the biscuits couldn’t have been more perfect zone wise. The recipe made 10 yummy great sized biscuits. Each biscuit came out to measure a nice 1/2 block of carbs, 1/2 block of protein, and 1 block of fat.

Meaning 2 biscuits fit nicely into my 3 block post-workout meal 😉

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Here is my zone appropriate version of the recipe:

Bacon and Jalapeño Cauliflower Biscuits

  • Servings: 5-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 24oz cauliflower florets (3 3/4 cup once shredded and cooked)
  • 1 jalapeño (finely chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 slices center cut bacon (cooked)
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic (or Garlic Lover’s Flavor God seasoning)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp bacon grease

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a food processor, grind cauliflower until finely shredded.
  3. Heat olive oil in pan and add cauliflower.
  4. Add in seasonings, chopped jalapeño, and grease from cooked bacon. Cook until cauliflower is soft and begins to change color slightly.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer into large bowl.
  6. Add in eggs and coconut flour and mix well.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, scoop even balls of mixture until parchment paper lined baking sheet. This should produce 10 even balls
  8. Bake for 35-40 mins or until browned.
  9. Enjoy one biscuit for 1/2 block of carbs and protein and 1 block of fat.

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Original recipe that I based this off of can be found here: http://www.justjessieb.com/2013/10/cauliflower-biscuits-with-bacon-jalapeno.html

Holly Jolly… The Final Review

Well… Here we are. At the END of this amazing 6 week journey I was so lucky to be able to take with my new Crossfit family. Honestly I have learned so much. Mostly about myself. I have learned what drives me. I have learned the amazing things my body can do. I learned what foods agree with my body and what foods don’t.

I couldn’t be more thankful for this journey. 

I will say that beginning it I wasn’t sure what kind of results I would see. I made jokes about how I “better have abs after this”. But to be honest, I knew that my boyfriend and I ate pretty well (or so I thought) at home so I was nervous it wouldn’t be as drastic of a difference as I thought. Especially after the first 2 weeks when I didn’t see any physical change. I got nervous. I doubted the affect going strict paleo would have on us.

Being someone who has always struggled with body image issues, I chalked it up to the same “I’ll never have that perfect body anyways” frustration. I almost let it get to me… But I didn’t. Thank goodness.

I think a big part of that was my boyfriend. I always talk about the importance of accountability but I think really this is where it plays out the most. When you are self-doubting or unsure, having that person that is along for the journey with you, that person who tells you that you CAN do more and be more, that person you see working their butt off and you just can’t let them down. That helped me. It ignited that spark again. That belief that, he’s right, I can do it. I can be amazing. And I let that push… To amazing results.

I debated sharing these but I think it really tells a story so I am going to share with you my “before” pictures and my very first bod pod reading…

    

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That is where I started. And honestly, I was okay with that person. It’s not the thinnest I’ve been but I was consistently making progress in Crossfit with my mad lifts. I was hitting PR AFTER PR and that was so exciting to me. But I still struggled with other movements; body wheight and gymnastic movements. Movements that having a lower body fat would make it obviously make it easier to do. But would I lose strength? I questioned that too.

Well I can tell you 2 things that happened… Firstly, yes body weight movements became easier. I strung together more pull-ups than I ever thought I could. I finally hit some real grip strict pull-ups 😳 Handstand push-ups were a little easier… Emphasis on a little haha. Even things like burpees, jumping jacks, double unders all felt easier cause my body felt lighter. I even FINALLY did Rx pistos, on both legs. It was almost a weird phenomenon.

Secondly, I lost NO strength. In fact I hit a PR on my deadlift, back swuat, strict press, and clean. 🤗

I was shocked and very pleasantly surprisd. I peer the biggest thank you to my coach through it all as it was his constant encouragement, skill work, and push to start zone diet that got me to where I am now. My boyfriend and I both made amazing progress throughout the 6 weeks and I am excited to continue this nutrition journey and see where it brings us both.

So here are my ending results…

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I decreased 7% body fat. Lost 10 lbs overall… With a 12 lbs fat loss and some lean muscle gain! Making me the lighted the I have EVER BEEN. And the strongest I have ever been.

Truly the most remarkable part about this journey was feeling the difference in myself without really there being THAT much of a difference. Let me explain… Usually it would be assumed with that much of a weight loss there would be a loss of strength. It is commonly accepted I feel like that the lighter you are the more difficult it is to move heavy weight. Well clearly I don’t agree with that. I think that the combination of continuing to lift as I always have a remaining consistent in my workouts while simply adapting my eating in a way that helped me eat to better perform kept me from losing any of my “gains”, as the kids would say 😉 I didn’t go on a low carb diet. I did not eat less. In fact I ate MORE. But I ate the right foods in the right portions for my body. Allowing my body to optimize the digestion and use of carbs for energy rather than for fat storing. But I made sure to eat enough carbs that my body wasn’t attacking the protein and breaking down the muscle in order to sustain itself. It was a way of looking at eat that I have never experienced before and it has truly changed my entire viewpoint on what I put in my body… permanently.

The Holly Jolly holiday challenge was the greatest of successes and I am ready to go full steam ahead.

Up next, conquering the Open!

Happy (Paleo) Holidays: My Infamous “Surprise Them” Truffles

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So it is mid-December. We are exactly half way to Christmas. 😀 I am sure the holiday plans are all starting to unfold. The office parties are coming up. The friendly gatherings. The family nights. If any of you are like my friends and family, most of our gatherings revolve around yummy foods… and wine 😉 … and we usually go about them all pot-luck style. Which means I am in charge of bringing SOMETHING to awe the masses. Somehow I am always get defaulted to dessert… I am not quite sure how that works since I am really much better at making, well, everything else haha. However, a couple years ago, I accidentally whipped up what have be the best paleo dessert recipe OF MAH LYYYYFFFEEEE!

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Let me take you back real quick… It was probably about 3 Christmases ago. We always did a secret Santa thing at my office. It was cute. For the gift exchange people who bring in snacks. So since it wasn’t a full meal kinda deal, of course the default was treats and dessert. I had just started testing my hand at paleo baking. Some things were coming out fabulous, some things mmmmm not so much. It was the first time I had participated in the secret Santa (as it was my 2nd year at the company – the first year I started 2 days before Thanksgiving so my inability to even recall anyone’s name let alone know anything about them kept me out of the whole gift deal haha). So as a first timer, and still fairly new chick, I of course wanted to impressive with my new found healthy lifestyle and way of eating. But how was I gonna find the perfect way to “trick” everyone’s taste buds and show them that this whole paleo thing could be AMAZING and DELICIOUS…

I had toyed around a bit with a banana bread truffle recipe; which ended up coming out great after some tweaking. However, it honestly was just a lot of work for an office party haha – sorry guys – and I wanted something more basic to show them that paleo can also be easy. So I decided to go with a simple chocolate chip cookie dough truffle and OH MY DELICIOUSNESS! They came out amazing. They were kind of a hit too… if I do say so myself haha. They were devoured and people asked me for the recipe. I was so excited to explain to everyone the difference between these treats and regular truffles they may buy that are full of processed junk…. But then I also had to explain to them that yes, almonds are still a fat and yes, there is still chocolate so no, you probably shouldn’t eat them as your lunch hahaha.

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Fast forward a couple years and they have become very well known within my circle of family and friends. When I show up with truffles somewhere, everyone knows what they are and everyone reaches for them before I can get in the door. It is one recipe that I am probably the most proud of (along with my enchilada recipe that my dad still asks for every single day – even while I am living across the country haha). I am proud of these babies not because of the praise that comes from that but because of the fact that when I make them people smile. People are happy and excited to eat them and it, if just for that split second its in their mouth, brings them joy. That is my favorite part of cooking for others. Seeing the happiness beaming from their faces when they are enjoying the things I have made.

The recipe has taken off so much my boyfriend even made his own batch for his family’s Christmas gather a 2 years back but used ground sunflower seeds in place of the almond meal so that he could actually eat them too haha. And now this year, they are making yet another appearance tonight for my boyfriend’s shift party for the holidays. Again, I have done them with sunflower seed and honestly they taste just as spectacular! So without further ado, I share with you my infamous Christmas truffle recipe…

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Mix wet ingredients together.
2. Fold in almond meal and coconut flour gently. DO NOT over mix or it will become too oily.
3. Gently add in chocolate chips as desired.
4. Mold mixture into bite sized balls and place onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
5. Refrigerate balls of cookie dough for about 30 minutes to an hour.
6. While they harden, melt remaining chocolate chips in microwave for about 2 minutes. Mix well until chocolate is smooth.
7. Roll hardened truffle through chocolate until coated and place back onto plate or baking sheet in fridge.

 

What is your favorite go-to holiday recipe? 

Holly Jolly: Week 4 Recap

(Are you guys sick of these yet or what ;P )

 

Honestly, I CANNOT believe that we are done with week 4 already. I was actually thinking about it this morning and I feel like there is a part of me that is gonna miss the challenge when it ends haha. Like there is a part of me that is going to miss having to submit daily journals to my coach every day. I would say that is weird (as most people I have spoken to about the challenge have said they are MORE THAN over it) but I am going to take this blog post to explain to you why I think I am going to miss journaling and what it means…

 

There are two major things that we get from being a part of a challenge of this sort. Not only do we get the obvious things of better eating habits, fat loss, and education. BUT I believe that the biggest factors in a challenge of this sort, if you are really engaged and invested in it, are accountability and reassurance. Those two things drive so much of our life and our daily activities. Why would it be any different in a fitness challenge?

Let’s take a closer look…

If your significant other is indulging in a snack while the two of you are watching your favorite show are you likely to take part in the snacking?

If your entire family is eating healthy dinners, are you going to eat right along with them or are you going to go out of your way to make mac and cheese and order pizza for yourself?

If your co-worker is going to your mutual favorite workout class after a stressful day are you more likely to attend also rather than the wallowing and bitching you had planned for yourself?

If your co-workers are all skipping the gym and heading to happy hour after that shitty staff meeting are you gonna throw in the towel and join them?

All of these are ways that our environment affects us. All of these scenarios offer us the ability to be held accountable for doing the right things for our health or making the decision to compromise our fitness and health goals. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of a Sunday football snack and a good happy hour hahah. But these examples are meant to be taken in the extreme as in these are your regular habits and not the occasional indulgence.

It is much easier for us to live the lifestyle we want to live when we surround ourselves with people who are also invested in that lifestyle. So if you are serious about keeping on track with your fitness goals, having someone close to you keep you accountable is fundamental. Being able to come home and know that if dinner is made already its something healthy that you can have. Having a workout partner or running buddy who will call you out if you miss your scheduled day or forces you to go on days where you would rationalize skipping it just because you cant let them down. That is such a powerful force; more than we realize sometimes.

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Many people fail or give up their goals faster if they do not have a form of accountability. For me this challenge has been extra accountability. I know I can’t let my team down by cheating on our strict paleo diet or skipping my workouts. I also have a sense of not wanting to let my coach down. I want my coach to know that I am working hard and that I am doing my best in this challenge. THAT is the part that has pushed me even harder to get in good extra workouts and to continue to progress over the last 4 weeks and that is where this idea of reassurance comes in.

When kids get a pat on the back, a great job sticker, a gold star, or even just a smile they immediately associate whatever action they did to deserve that with something great. They know with that positive acknowledgment that they should continue to perform those actions. It builds a sense of confidence while fine-tuning positive and productive behaviors. So now as adults, do we lose that? Or is there still a part of our brain that inherently associates those signs with a feeling of positivity and accomplishment? When I have a day where I feel like I ate really well or a week where I kick ass in my workouts and get in all my extra accessory work and mobility and just feel on top of the world (that was this past week if you couldn’t guess haha) and then you get journals back from your coach acknowledging all of that; confirming the great job you felt like you did… Do you think that would push you to keep doing those same actions and continue that same badass fit chick behavior? Well it has definitely done that for me!

As I fine tune little things I need to work on, construct criticism and advice from my coach has been invaluable. But the praise and encouragement is what keeps me working hard. It is that reassurance that something I am doing is right. That I am at least on the right track and the train is rolling full steam ahead. It just makes me want to work even harder and do even better. It has also worked to build up a level of confidence in my ability to be great in this crossfit world; a kind of confidence I didn’t think I could find.

 

So how am I going to MAKE SURE I don’t lose these things when the challenge is over?

Well, one thing is that I am going to make sure I step up and don’t shy away from letting my coach know what I want to work on, what my goals are, and what I need help with. I have always kind of stood in the back and just did what I had to do. Working with my coach on this challenge has opened up a whole new world and has allowed me to build the relationship with my coach where I feel comfortable voicing my needs and desires. Coaches and trainers are there to get you to your goals. Never be afraid to fully voice everything you want and be upfront. As long as you are willing to put in the work it is my guess they will be willing to give you the outline and tools to get there.

Secondly, and the thing that is my holly jolly tip of the week I am going to continue journaling. I want to continue writing down EVERYTHING. My goals, my workouts, my lifts, my meals, my feelings… Anything associated with my fitness journey and goals. Honestly, having to write everything down is one of the best ways to work on that self accountability. When you go to write things down at the end of the day you are forced to stare at your day; to be real with yourself about if you ate right that day, if you worked as hard as you wanted in the gym, or if you fell short in one of those areas. Trust me it will make a world of a difference.

 

There are some kind of crazy thing in the works for week 5 and I cannot wait to tell you guys more about the new things the boyfriend and I are implementing. Until then, keep working hard on your goals and not letting the holidays throw you off track!

 

 

Holly Jolly: Week 3 Recap

I know I know. I am only 4 days behind with this post. 😦 I truly apologize. To be honest, I have been feeling a little bit under the weather ever since Thanksgiving and it has some relevance in my post on this paleo challenge. So shall we get started?

 

For the most part this week was AWESOME! I am feeling amazing overall. I am continuing to see progress in my performance in the gym. My skin is clearing up. I have more energy during the day. I stay fuller longer throughout the day. I can physically feel the muscles in my abdomen (without flexing). I really cannot say enough great things about what this paleo diet and the semi-zoning has done for me. I am very sure that if I go all in on the zone I would see an even bigger difference in my physical appearance. I am thinking that might be an adventure for the new year for sure. For now though, getting used to really being strict on myself in this paleo living has been more than enough and I think that adapting myself and my boyfriend to this lifestyle has not been as hard as we thought but at the same time not quite as easy as maybe we thought either.

So, if I am feeling so darn great then what the hell was up with Thanksgiving huh? Take a guess…

After 2.5 weeks of eating strict paleo. 2.5 weeks of no beer at all. 2.5 weeks of no cheese or dairy of any kind, no breads or grains, no legumes. NO SUGAR. All of these things that my body has not had to digest in 2.5 weeks… Welp, not only did my body need to relearn how to digest them but it had to learn how to digest ALL of them and in a large quantity. HA. Yeah I am sure you can see how that didn’t work out quite so well?

 

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Cheese and crackers and one beer in I was going strong. Add a second beer, and a Not Your Father’s Root Beer at that (aka sugar central), some stuffing, shit gravy from a can, mac and cheese, and green bean casserole, cheesecake… And welp, I was dizzy, nauseous, shaky, and in physical pain. PAIN. My body went into complete shock. It didn’t even know what to do. I mean the only veggie I had was the one kind of veggie I haven’t been allowed to eat in 2.5 weeks. My “epic cheat day” turned into the most miserable food day.

And as if that day itself wasn’t bad enough, it took my body 3 days to get back to normal! I learned very quickly just how great of an impact going strict paleo has on your body. Honestly, it made me never want to go back. Don’t get me wrong, cheat meals are great haha. Pizza is delicious. I love beer. I see nothing bad about that occasional treat and I will continue to allow myself that much in the effort to maintain a healthy relationship with food, rather than develop negative associations with eating or having cravings.

However, going from the person I was and how healthy I truly felt even before this challenge and seeing the difference eating paleo has made has changed me. I also placed value in the idea of the paleo diet and the very back to basics nature of it. Strict paleo though is a whole new ball game and your body WILL feel AAAALLLL THE CHANGES. Even eating pizza Monday night for our cheat meal for this week, I could immediately feel my body just slump. I immediately felt tired. Your body is so incredibly smart and it will adjust. But it functions the way it needs to so when you are putting things in your body that it does not need, you will feel that.

With it being a bit of a hectic week for me, I unfortunately don’t have a great gallery of all the delicious we made last week. But I do want to leave you all with one thought and piece of advice…

 

If you are looking to change anything in your life, whether it be weight loss, fat loss, skin problems, digestive issues, health issues of any sort, lack of energy, or performance problems … I encourage you to do a full elimination diet. For 2 weeks, eliminate all items other than meat, veggies, and minimal fruit. After the 2 weeks, SLOWLY and carefully reintroduce other products back into your diet one by one. For example, start with legumes and only legumes. If all is well, add dairy and only dairy. If its still all good, add minimal healthy whole grains. Give your body a chance to tell you what is going on and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you have any sort of weird feeling from a food product or from a elimination diet that is your body telling you something. Health is an amazing thing and we tend not to know just how fantastic it is ntil we are in the best health of our lives.

Managing Your Time: Making Fitness A Priority

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With the holiday season in full swing, one of things that begins to happen is that the chaos of the holidays can quickly and easily derail our fitness train. It is easy to allow that growing to do list become the thing standing in the way of us following our normal workout routine or squeezing in the run we know we should go on. We begin to rationalize why we cannot possibly find the time to workout today. I mean come on… We have this and that and everything to take care of!

However, the problem with this is that it tends not to be a once or twice thing. For many people, its that first day when you need to cook Thanksgiving dinner and CANNOT POSSIBLY find time to get in a work with the pressure of preparing for the holiday. Then that becomes sacrificing a couple workouts a week for holiday shopping or meeting up with family and friends. And soon you have taken the entire month of December off and you cannot believe you got so off track. 😦 Do not let that be you this year!

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I used to be the one that would rationalize missing one workout, knowing that I would never let it become more than that because honestly I just love crossfit too much to miss it ha. But recently, I have not done that. I have not taken one single day off that wasn’t planned off. In the past probably 4-5 months, every day I had off was structured into my schedule and if something created a problem with my typical workout time, I fit in a workout somewhere else that day. I made a decision that I will let nothing derail my fitness routine. I have far too many goals that I want to reach. Fitness is a priority. It is my “me-time”. It is where my confidence stems. It is my therapy. It is NOT an extra. It is NOT just another thing added to my dreaded “to do list”. So how you ask do you get from one point to another? How do you make that kind of commitment? How can you be sure that life wont get in the way?

Well I am going to share just a few tips that has helped me to plan in my workouts and make sure that I get in everything I need in a day. (Especially considering I have been incorporating two workouts plus 20min of mobility time with my RomWod – if you don’t know what that is you can check out my previous post about it here – into each day for my Holly Jolly challenge) So to help you do the same and make sure that this holiday season and your busy schedule does not get the best of you, here are some foolproof ways to get in exercise time each and every day:

  1. Plan ahead. Schedule your workout time each week the same as you would your job or events. Many of us say we will “run in the morning” or “go to the gym after work”. When we allow ourselves to get caught up in something and all of sudden we are lingering after work or we say “eh I’ll just stop at the store on the way”, we allow ourselves to welcome in distractions, chaos, and excuses. It is helpful to me that we have set times for our crossfit classes. It allows me to have structure. If I am going to the 4:30pm class and I have just enough time to get there then I will go straight from work; dealing with whatever else may pop up when I get done with class at 5:30pm. Even if you workout on your own time, setting a time in advance (and even keeping it at the same time every day or every week) can be super helpful in not making excuses to push it back and then pushing it so far it never gets done.
  2. Use rest days to your advantage! Just like having a set workout time, scheduling your rest days well could change everything. Whether you have one rest day a week or one a month or whatever the case may be, use it to your advantage. If you have an event coming up and you know the likelihood of you working out that day is slim, make that your rest and make a point not to find any other excuses to keep you from your workouts the rest of that week. 54331538e3623_image
  3. Be flexible. So I know we just talked about structure haha but sometimes there really are things that come up which we don’t see far enough in advance. For instance, my Thanksgiving plans caught up to me and with nothing prepared my boyfriend and I decided last night that it truly would be stressful and a struggle if we went to our usual 5:30pm crossfit class tonight. While this was an unplanned pop up, I knew that today was not a planned rest day for me and that I needed to get my workout in to feel good about the day – and about stuffing my face on an all day cheat day tomorrow heehee. So I decided to be smart and be flexible. Instead of waiting to see how the day goes, which is what I almost did, and waiting to see if I can speed through my other responsibilities and make it to the 5:30pm class, I decided to wake up early and go to the 5:30am class. I decided I would get my workout and my romwod in before I had to start my day. This allowed me to still get in what I needed and be able to deal with my to do list for the day without stress or guilt.
  4. Stop wasting time on nonsense. The final and most significant tip I can give you is to really take a look at how you are spending your time. Before signing up for RomWod I never truly realized just how easy it is to take 20mins out of your night to do something good for your body. I never realized how much time I waste. If you are at home over the holidays and you are watching Christmas movies or tv shows or the football (or hockey 😉 ) games, take that couple minutes of commercials and do something. Anything. Hold a plank for the commercial break. Do a wall sit. Do some situps or pushups. Do your yoga while you watch the movie. Walk around the kitchen on your tippy toes while you cook and do 5 squats after every veggies you chop up haha. Honestly, there are so many easy options that can help you incorporate a little bit of fitness into your days. Even those days when you feel like you just have WAY too much to do. Be conscious of your world and be honest with yourself. If you are going to skip a workout don’t just skip it. Plan in your mind how you will make up for it. Pick a different 4 minutes of your day that you can do some tabata exercises. It doesn’t have to extravagant to be work. It just has to be SOMETHING.

 

The holidays are an amazing and magical time. However, they are also a stressful and chaotic time. Make sure you are making that time for yourself throughout these next months when it becomes frustratingly hard to balance everything in life. I believe in you all! 😀

If you are struggling to find quick home workouts or good body weight options please email me for plans or ideas.

 

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So have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Enjoy your time … and earn that feast! 😉

Holly Jolly Recap: Week 2

So here we are again. Another Sunday left reflecting on what the last week of my “Holly Jolly” challenge has brought me… To remind you of where we last left off, I was just starting to experiment with “zoning” my carbs in the effort to eat more food (as instructed by my coach). I had done one day of it and was SHOCKED by the amount of veggies that went into the blocks of carbs a “medium female” was supposed to eat. Now as I said before I knew doing zone was going to be interesting so just how interesting HAS it been for this week? Well I will tell you ;p

After two days of eating the blocks prescribed by the CrossFit Journal to a “medium” female. I decided I didn’t know what a medium female was and I was going to go about figuring this out in a way more specified to me. So I took to the internet of course and I found a reputable site where I could calculate my blocks based on my body fat percentage (which I had tested to start this challenge) and my activity level. To my surprise it came out with exactly what CrossFit Journal had prescribed for me; a block set up of 3-1-3-1-3… 3 blocks at each meal and two 1 block snacks in between. Welp, there ya have it I thought. Someone in the CrossFit world is giggling knowing how weirdly accurate their prescribed block set up is and yet how many people may question it… I am sorry I doubted you CrossFit Journal haha.

This week has presented a lot of ups and downs. Zoning is tough. Making sure I get enough veggies is really a challenge for me if I am going to be honest. I mean…. Did you know that one head of iceberg lettuce is only ONE block. A WHOLE HEAD OF LETTUCE. Is ONE BLOCK. I need to eat THREE at every meal haha… Of course not every veggies is quite so dramatic but it is a great deal more than I am used to eating. And that doesn’t just go to imply that I used to not eat very many veggies but just that I used to not eat much at all really. So getting used to having so much on my plate has been kinda tough. It is a struggle that most people would not think one would have when they are cutting out so much and are on such a strict diet. Which just goes to show that healthy living and traditional dieting do NOT go hand in hand… But more on that in a bit.

So for good balance here are 3 positives and one struggle that I have found throughout this second week 😉 :

Positive #1: I am satisfied all day. I don’t have weird cravings. My stomach is rumbling constantly. I eat 3 block meals and I am good to go. I have not even needed the 1 block snacks. The only “snack” I have been consuming is my post-workout Paleo Protein shake. Otherwise I make it through the day without wanting or needing any extra snacks; which has helped to eliminate that on the road all day snacking struggle I was having week 1.

Positive #2: I have felt amazing at workouts. I had one day where I was sluggish but that happens to us all. Otherwise, I strung together 7 unbroken pull-ups! SEVEN! Thats the most I have ever done. I PR’d my deadlift by 10lbs, my 1 rep max back squat by 5lbs and hit a new pr on my 3 rep max backsquat, as well as my strict press by 15lbs! So yeah… I’d say it was good week gym wise 😉

Positive #3: I feel leaner. I am not sure if there is a noticeable difference to the general public, or people who don’t stare my body in the mirror for 10 mins a day (shame face) hahaha. But I feel my body being lighter; hence the pull-ups. I feel as though I can move better. I also can see the beginning of some ab progress and honestly I can actually feel my muscle in my stomach so much more than before. I am building muscle and losing fat at the same time. I can feel it and it feels AMAZING.

STRUGGLE: The one thing I have experienced this week is night time cravings! Oh no! I have been staying up a little later this week than usual because I have had a lot to do and a lot on my mind so I think that plays a significant role. But I have found that the only time I am really struggling with this diet is when I am up at night and start to get “hungry”. However, I have also found that this will easily pass if I do two things… (Because really these late night cravings are usually just that, cravings. They are not real hungry and so if you appease the hunger monkeys they give you peace)… Which leads me to my two tips for this week.

My two tips taken from week two of the Holly Jolly challenge are:

  1. If you feel like you get late night cravings try these two things before you give in to the chocolate… Have a glass of water. A full glass. Keep it by you whatever you are doing that is keeping you up and sip that. So many times we are thirsty and not hungry. Then, go to bed! Really. Most people don’t get an adequate amount of sleep in the first place and if you find you get your cravings mostly late at night that could be your body’s way of telling you that it needs more time to recover and nourish itself. For every night that I got a craving, I had some water (maybe some chamomile tea) and I laid down. I was usually asleep pretty quickly and then I woke up feeling great! … And not guilty 😉
  2. Up your water intake in general. I have done full posts on this before but one thing I have learned this week as I have increased my carbohydrate intake is that I need to increase my own water intake as well. I have started bringing a cup with me in my car for work. I have found that even if I fill up a gallon of water and tell myself I have to finish it during the day, there is something about all that water or the large container or something that is a barrier for me. However, if I am just constantly refilling a cup, I go through water like CRAZY! When I have enough water in my system, I also stay fuller longer and feel better throughout the day… Not to mention my skin has been looking better and better! Woohoo!

 

I know those tips were a little longer this time haha, as was this whole post, but truly this has been such an amazing learning experience! I am so excited for the next 4 more weeks of this challenge. I can’t be more thankful that my boyfriend wanted to sign up for this and that we bit the bullet together. It has taught me more than I ever expected to learn and I feel, and look, great so far!


 

Unfortunately, our meals were pretty basic this week including a paleo meatloaf, some crockpot chicken wings, crockpot steak, and a paleo version of my Everything Paella; the recipe for which you can find here 🙂 … However, I am thinking about working on putting together a small ebook of some great crockpot tips, recipes, and meal planning ideas. If this is something you’d be interested in please shout! You can leave me a comment below or send an email to getfitwithkait@yahoo.com

The Girl Behind The Fitness

Okay, so I have been lucky enough to be involved in Grow Your Blog, Hop! It has been amazing. The people and blogs I have gotten a chance to read and get to know are all so inspiring! If you are here from the hop, WELCOME 😀 You have already made my day. Feel free to look around and tell me what ya think of the place 😉


 

For those of you reading this who have followed this page or any of my social media channels for a period of time you have heard bits and pieces of my story. I won’t go into the long drawn out version… I can ramble a bit. I apologize in advance. I like to pretend its adorably quirky haha *insert monkey palm face emoji here* 😛 … But I really wanted to do something a little fun to help all of you wonderful readers, old and new, get to know me a little bit better so after a brief overview I am going to give you TEN things you probably did not know about me. 10 things that have impacted my life in great ways but are not something often talked about. So here we go…

Firstly, before we get to the fun stuff, how did Fitness For Real People get its start? Well honestly it all comes from the place within me that has always loved writing and had a passion for helping people and it all sparked when that part of me met the part that fell in love with CrossFit… I struggled a lot in the past with health and fitness in that I only saw eating salads and doing cardio and all I thought about was my weight and being skinny. It was an unhealthy horrible obsession with self-image, and having a terrible one at that. CrossFit sparked my fitness journey and I found myself doing things I never imagined I could do; things I only imagined those elite athletes and “naturally strong” people doing. Hence what created the name. I was becoming fit and I wanted to share this journey with everyone and anyone who happened upon it; anyone that may need to hear it. I wanted REAL PEOPLE like you and I to know that we can conquer and have the things sometimes we think only exist in people other than ourselves. We can be those people. I have grown so much thanks to Crossfit and honestly thanks to this blog. This has kickstarted a whirlwind of amazing that has led me to so many inspiring people and outlets… Such as the awesome people involved in this blog hop. Keep doing what you are doing people. Work hard constantly and never lose sight of those big fitness dreams, even ones that may seem crazy, because they can all be accomplished! Trust me on that.

Now that I am off my soap box hahaha… Are you ready for a few fun things about what makes up this girl typing away on the other side of this? PERFECT! Here we go…

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1. I currently work in the field of mental health with a focus in addictions. In fact, just yesterday I officially got in the mail my certificate licensing me to practice the art of chemical dependency counseling in the state of Texas! (I am still a little emotional haha – what a big fluff) Working with people struggling with their substance use is something that I saw myself doing since I was in high school. I am very passionate about this cause and it is something that I very excited to be able to pursue in a very real way.

2. I have lived in 6 states… yes six… in my mere 25 years of life. As much as this sounds wild to some people, it has honestly been the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for and I wouldn’t change it at all. I have grown so much, experienced entirely different worlds and groups of people, and it has made me the independent woman I am today. So from New York to Georgia to New Jersey to Connecticut (back) to New Jersey to Maryland (back again – theres a theme here haha) to New Jersey and finally now to Texas, which God willing will be the more permanent residency. I have truly loved every place that I have lived. My family is back in New Jersey but Texas became home quicker than I could have ever imagined and I am so grateful to be here in the ATX! *woot woot*

3. My father is my absolute best friend. Other than my boyfriend who gets mentioned from time to time in a post or two, I don’t discuss my family all too much. Unlike many of the amazing women I follow, I do not have a family of my own quite yet so it isn’t something that is really a relevant part of my days to be mentioned. But really if we are talking about me then when must mentioned my father. He is my strongest supporter and biggest cheerleader. He is the reason I am where I am today. He has encouraged me in every way, in everything in my life, but the most in my fitness journey. He is the person I call after I leave the gym on a big PR day. He is the one I send videos to of all my lifts. I would not be have as confident living across the country if it wasn’t for him reassuring me throughout every step I took before and immediately after the move – and still to this day (5 months later).

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4. Once we touch on my father we HAVE to address the other elephant in the room… I am an avid hockey fan. I honestly could give two craps about any other sport and I do not really make any effort or have any desire to watch professional sports. Except the NHL. I am a die-hard New York Rangers fan. That will never change. It is a burden that I have to bear for the rest of my life hahaha. But I have embraced it. I love my hockey nights and I love a good game at Madison Square Garden… And honestly the thing I have missed the most about home is just being in that atmosphere during hockey season. I cannot wait to go back for Christmas and catch a game!

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5. This is almost more of a confession, that is a weird confession but I am saying it because I need to get it out there… I think I am becoming a runner! *shock face* I have forever hated running. I ran track briefly in middle school, my race was the mile, mostly because I honestly was never the most coordinated and I figured I’d test out all sports to see if I can do any. My track years lasted one, two at most, as far as I remember. In college I would attempt the treadmill from time to time or pretend I ran and go for an outdoor run about mmmm once a year haha. Even when I first started Crossfit I would run from time to time just to keep my running decent. I did a Warrior Dash and some fun runs but it wasn’t until I signed up for my first Sprint Tri … and kinda kicked butt … that I started to get into the race vibes. I have been running more, and 5ks at a time rather than just a mile at a time. I ran my first 5miler and placed first in my age group. Now I forced my boyfriend to do a Turkey Day 5k with me. I am honestly kinda giddy about the idea of making running and races a staple in my fitness regime. Its kind of thrilling!

6. I am OBSESSED with Christmas… I feel like this is an appropriate something considering the time of year teehee… But seriously. If you wonder I am absurdly happy and energetic and positive and just feelin like life is grand it is because I am secretly listening to the N’Sync, Justin Bieber, and Michael Buble Christmas albums over and over again all day long… With the addition of the Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Because really there will never be a better version to a 90s kid haha. It is honestly taking all my self-control not to decorate the apartment before Thanksgiving. It is my first Christmas that I get to decorate my own place for and I am ECSTATIC! Though, to be honest, listening to Christmas music while working out in shorts and a tank and it being 70 outside is a little odd… That will take some getting used to.

7. On that note though, I will say that I HAAAATEEEE the cold. I am always cold as it is… Ask my boyfriend haha. My hands are always freezing. I swear my body temperature is just innately 10 degrees lower than the average person’s haha. For that reason I am beyond thankful to be living in a warm state. I will take laying outside sweating my butt off in a bathing suit in 115 degree blazing sun before I want to set foot in one more snowstorm. Ever. So, if you had to guess, that is one area of sports and fitness I will never venture – winter sports… Odd coming from a girl who loves hockey so. What can I say I am quite a trip.

8. I have the oddest iTunes you will ever see in your life. I can probably promise you that. I have a soft spot for artists that probably only my baby sister should be listening to. I also still adore the crazy punk rock bands that made up my entire being throughout all of high school. At the same time, I know basically every single word to every single Eminem song… And I can rap them on beat with him (for the most part haha). The only music I can tolerate when working out is current hip hop/rap music. I need something aggressive and with an absurd beat. What else do you expect me to deadlift 250# to? Come on man. But my car radio is typically set to the country station at most times. Though my good mood music is something in the Bob Marley genre. My running music is basically only house music remixes. And when I am with my dad or feeling fun I crank up my Irish/Celtic tunes…. AND my all time favorite band, hands down, without competition, I have a huge autographed picture over my couch status – THE BEATLES…. I told you. I am an odd duck. ;P

9. I am absolutely 100% that slightly awkward mix of extrovert and introvert… The kind that articles are JUST now starting to right about. Like somehow we are a new breed of person haha. I have the times when I am extremely extroverted and I am freely silly and weird and quirky and I kind of love it. I can be that person in a crowd full of people and not care. Then I have the moments were I can’t even approach one person in the room. Even if it is a room full of people that I vaguely know. Its this awkward balance. If I am completely alone and know NO ONE I have zero cares or if I am with someone close to me I also have zero cares… Like dancing around the aisles of the food store kind of zero cares. But if I am around a bunch of people I only kind of know I tend to clam up. HOWEVER, CrossFit has honestly helped with this ten fold. When I am at the box, regardless of who is there I feel comfortable and like I can be myself. This confidence is slowly leaking into the rest of my life but it is something that really needs a whole lot of work.

10. Which brings me to my last and final point… Thank you for sticking with me through all of this hoopla because honestly this is the biggest one of fall. This is something that I have barely admitted to myself; let alone to others. It is something that is terrifying and exciting and I am completely unsure of. But THIS is me. 100%. Raw ME…. My passion and love for CrossFit and for fitness in general has become a stronger growing fire than I ever thought it would upon beginning it. So much so that truly this is the one thing I think about all the time. The one thing I am the most focused on. The one thing that truly fuels me and excites me day in and day out. Now, I know I said in #1 that I am thrilled to finally be licensed to practice counseling in Texas, but I really don’t know what direction I want to go in for my future. The idea of pursuing health and fitness as a career choice gives me the most amazing chills but I have NO clue the how, who, what, when, wheres of it all. I had someone in a class a few weeks ago ask me if I ever thought about coaching CrossFit. My heart said “every damn day” but my mind said “you aren’t good enough yet”. As I tried to explain this answer to her she looked at me dumbfounded. That left me wondering really what my potential in this field could be ever since and questioning my entire future…

 

So that’s me, the realest and purest parts of me. I am Kaitlyn. I am the “girl behind the fitness”. I am more than this blog but really my heart IS this blog. I am lost sometimes and on such a well-lit path others. I have self-doubt but I am bursting with confidence. I am a conundrum but most of us are. Truly I am just trying each day to be the best version of myself and hoping and praying that I can help ONE person, inspire ONE person, shed some light or provide some tips for ONE person that helps them be the best version of them. If I can do that then Fitness For Real People has accomplished everything I have set out for it to do.

 

Mobilize Your Life

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As “fitspo” and healthy living become more popular on social media we have seen an increase in people try out things maybe they would have never tried before. It is truly inspiring to see the things people can accomplish and the amazing support and encouragement that comes along with that.

One of the things I have been most impressed by is the explosion of yoga themed challenges and posts all over my social media. From beginners to people doing insanely flexible things with their body, there has been a push for people to spend a few minutes of time focusing on the way their body moves and just relaxing in the flow of that. With that comes the talk about mobility for the athlete.

For those of us who aren’t quite the yogi and spend 3/4 of our fitness and workout life doing things other than stretching, we sometimes get lost in this world of mobility. I think it is far too common for lifters, crossfitters, athletes, even runners to go on with their days avoiding, or not even giving a second thought to, the amount of mobility your body needs… no deserves. Now I know this is something I have touched on lightly before as over time I have tried to make an effort to incorporate this more into my fitness life. However, just recently I have really fully embraced probably one of the best things that has happened to my crossfit journey…

Mobility is one of the things that is most important in the way our body functions. From athletic performance, to general daily activities, to holding in tension and stress, to how well we sleep at night. All these things can be affected, and ultimately improved upon, through a focus on mobility.

Just a few weeks ago, two of the coaches at my box really encouraged me to look more into this thing that had been blabbing about for a couple weeks and doing themselves for about a month. My one coach said that in just a month of committing to these 20-45 min mobility videos each day his performance and lifts had done a complete 180. He became incorporating a few moves into our warmups and after about 2 weeks of talking about it I bit the bullet.

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I signed up for my first free week of RomWod. I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into but I knew I had to just give it a shot. I was also afraid that, like other at home and online video things I have tried, I would lose interest after a day or two and just stop doing it. Boy was I wrong!

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I am discussing RomWod here in the effort to discuss truly how important mobility is and what devoting 20 little minutes a day to mobility can do for you. I have not been in touch with anyone from RomWod. No one knows I am writing this and it is not an advertisement for the company. However, it is certainly an encouragement for those of you who may be like me. If you are at all lost in the world of mobility or think you are doing enough for your body with your pre and post workout stretches, I truly urge you to check out RomWod and see what real mobility work is all about and see the difference this makes for you!

I have never held poses and stretches for 4 or 5 minutes before. I never thought that necessary. But doing so produces a whole new feeling in your body that you would never expect. I have fallen in love with the way my body feels every single day. I recovery faster from the grueling crossfit wods I do every day. I sleep better. I feel more awake and refreshed every day. I don’t have persistent soreness. I haven’t struggled from the dreaded inability to walk post leg day. And my performance is certainly increasing; especially in my efficiency in movements. It has been 3 1/2 weeks now and I have only missed one day of mobility. I make sure to plan for that 20 mins… Whether it is an extra 20 of not being on my phone in the morning – like today – or it is muting the tv during the intermission of hockey or halftimes or football games… That RomWod time has become sacred.

The benefits of mobility range from the tippy top of your head to the end of your toes. Your body can physically feel and your mind is so at ease it is incredible. Working deep breathing with passive stretching truly works magic on your nervous system and your musculoskeletal system. So if you need to start with a fun Instagram yoga challenge, do that! Take 5-10 mins a day working on those poses. But please, unlike what I used to do, don’t complete those week or two week long challenges and then stop. Build from that. Let your body feel all the benefits there are to feel! Watch it change your world… personal and fitness.

 

Have any of you recently incorporated more mobility into your fitness routines? What kind of benefits have you found from adding more mobility?