Three Tips for Staying on Track

I love to share strategies that will help you become a healthier version of yourself! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness; instead, I think it's best to collect different approaches and solutions and try them on so that you can complete your Study of One and find the best tools that suit your life and your current goals.

Here are some of my favorite tools that I use to stay on track:

1. Automate

Automating your life means you’re setting up systems to make healthy choices and avoid unhealthy choices without having to think about it too hard. It makes the choices automatic.

Is willpower subjective per person or do we all have a set amount of willpower per day and then it resets?  I like the second one.  The idea is if you go through the day and are constantly saying, “No. No, I’m not going to eat that” then by the end of the day you can feel worn down and then give into temptation.  But if you can automate a lot of your decisions throughout the day so you don’t have to use your willpower muscle to say no to things, then it allows you to have extra willpower at the end of the day so you don’t give in to temptation because you’re tired.

Here’s an example: I keep my kitchen automated.  I don’t buy things to keep in my kitchen that are going to tempt me.  I mean, I love, LOVE potato chips but I don't buy potato chips because then I would be tempted to eat the whole bag. If I can avoid buying them in the store, then I don’t have to use my willpower muscles later when I’m at home.  When I’m cooking in the kitchen, it’s easy to find a healthy option and it’s difficult to find an unhealthy option because I just don't buy things that will tempt me.  Also, we don’t keep ice cream in the freezer because my husband is magnetized to it!  It’s just another thing that he doesn’t have to use his willpower muscle on.

Another example of automating is if you are trying to create the habit of getting up early to work out, you could lay out your clothes the night before.  Also, set lots of alarms on your phone.  Finally, make the evening before a routine so you have the mindset of getting up early the next day to workout.  Make it easy on yourself! Automate everything you can so you can save your willpower! 

2. Accountability

This has been huge in my love for fitness and business!  I got started in fitness by joining something called an accountability group.  Every night I checked in with my points for the day based on a system that my coach created.  That system transformed my life!  It gave me things to strive for each day that I didn’t even know I was supposed to be striving for.  It taught me a lot about clean eating, and it held me to a different standard than I would have held for myself.  And that’s what I do for my clients as well. I coach them through my programs, and I keep them accountable by requiring a check-in from them each night. The clients that check-in daily have more success than those that don’t. Accountability works!

Another way to be held accountable is to get a workout partner.  I love to meet my friends for early morning workouts. It forces me to get out of bed because I don't want them to be waiting for me at the gym by themselves! If you can connect your goals with another person it is so helpful because then you don’t want to let someone down.  Also, if you can set a time to meet early in the morning, it’s great because then it’s too early to call and cancel.  If it’s in the evening, you have all day to cancel.  And that happens, but if you plan to meet in the morning it is almost too late to cancel.

3. Make a Plan

Having a plan for anything in life makes you more successful.  Having a plan is huge!  So when I go to the weight room, I have a plan.  I don’t just walk around and grab things.  I know exactly what I’m going to do.  I have a plan for my workouts each week.  Usually some time over the weekend I plan the week out, and I do it in a way to balance the different types of workouts I like to do: weight training, mind body, cardio.  Fitness doesn’t just happen.  I have to schedule it.

Also, have a plan for meals each week.  Now, I’m not a good meal prepper.  I’m not the person to make all of the week's meals made on Sunday, but I do have a written plan for what we’re going to eat.  If I don’t do that then I don’t have a good grocery list.  If we don’t have a good grocery list then we end up throwing things together or eating out more.

Another example for having a plan is carb cycling.  I love this program because it gives me a focus for each day.  Is it a low carb day or a high carb day?  If it’s a low carb day, I’m having low carbs and no fruit.  I eat veggies, protein, and high fats.  If it’s a high carb day, I’m going to be scheduling a higher intensity work out, and I know I need to have some healthy carbs in my day like oats, quinoa, rice, or sweet potato with some protein and my veggies.  It gives me something to focus on, and having something to focus on is really helpful.

Automate what you can, find accountability, and make a plan!!  These three tools are vital for success in achieving your health and fitness goals!

Stretch with Me?

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Stretching. Ugh. NOT one of my strong points. Unless I'm teaching a Body Flow class or participating in some sort of yoga, doing light stretching on my own isn't something I remember to do regularly. But I recently developed tendinitis in my hip and it's just not going to get better without regular stretching sessions. I've been seeing a physical therapist for a few months to help me work through my hip injury. She is WONDERFUL and has taught me so much about the importance of stretching, how to stretch, and other pieces of information related to body movement. I want to share some of that information with you!

  • The hip tendinitis on my right side caused my body to favor my left side, which in turn weakened my right side! Working out in front of a mirror could have helped me with this long before I discovered my issue, because I would have been able to see my imbalance in the mirror. I was teaching a lot at the time (NOT in front of a mirror) and didn't see that my form was compromised. Learn from me: use a mirror to check form! I know it can be uncomfortable to stare at yourself in a mirror while exercising, but good form is SO important. It's worth a little discomfort to your ego to make sure that your form is on pointe and you prevent injuries.
  • Small injuries can turn into big injuries without attention. This was another thing I didn't do correctly. I had a nagging soreness in my right hip and assumed it would go away on its own. Well, during that "wait time" I was compensating, thus making the injury worse in the meantime. So listen to your body. If it doesn't feel right after a few days, IB Profin, ice, heat, stretching, etc. you should probably make an appointment to see someone who knows what they're talking about. In the town I live in, sports medicine is free with insurance so you can pop on over anytime you need to check something out :)
  • Ice can do wonders. This is so crazy to me, but honestly guys, 10 minutes of ice a day on an injured muscle can make a huge difference. I am such a baby when it comes to ice (remember how I feel about being cold?!), but the ice really causes any swelling to go down which leads to comfort and full range of motion.
  • When you are injured, it's really important to pull back a bit. This one might SEEM obvious, but it's really something that is quite challenging for the majority of people. We are STUBBORN and when we're used to being active, pulling back is TOUGH. But remember that it's only temporary. And if you don't pull back, your restrictions might become permanent. Think of it as a fun challenge: find exercises you can do without affecting the hurt area of your body. For me, fast-tempo squats (like the ones I do in classes) are no bueno. They just move too quickly for me to sit back and down and hold proper form. Figure out what move or moves are hurting you and omit them from your routine for awhile. Remember, it's likely not a permanent restriction.

Injuries are no fun. But I do feel like my latest injury is serving as a wake-up call for me to be a little more gentle on my body and give it some solid stretching before and after my workouts. My PT is recommending 10 minutes prior and 10 minutes after. This is a lot for someone who typically only stretches in a choreographed stretching class! But I want this body to last me a LONG time, so I'm going to listen to my PT and listen to my body, and give it some love. I hope you do the same!!

Enjoy your Valentine's Day tomorrow!!!

XO,

Katie

New Year's Resolutions: A Guide

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Every year at this time there is A LOT of discussion about New Year's Resolutions, so I thought I'd add my two cents on the subject.

I am a BIG FAN of New Year's resolutions, but not because it's a new year. Because it provides an opportunity to hope and dream and improve ourselves and our lives. I think any chance to do that is...well...AWESOME!  And you may not know this about me, but goal setting is sort of my thing.  I LOVE doing it and have found a few things that make the process and the results more successful. Here are a few tips:

  1. Set the mood. Take yourself on a date to a coffee shop with a new journal or calendar, play some music, and enjoy time with yourself. Or, have an at-home date with your partner to goal set together in front of the fire. Or, well, you get the idea. Just plan some time where you can enjoy your goal setting--make it a "thing."
  2. Break your goals into categories. These are the ones I use: Health, Relationships, Finances, Faith, and Business/Career. Of course you can add or subtract if needed.
  3. For each category, write 2-4 statements in the positive. For example: "I will earn $5,000 per month." Or, "I will spend more one-on-one time with each of my children." Then, next to each of these statements, write some action items that would get you to that goal. These are your metrics. Your metrics are action items that YOU control.
  4. Hang up your goals where you see them regularly. Writing them down is the first way that they become REAL, the second is by seeing them frequently!
  5. Revisit your goals monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and at the end of the year. Make adjustments as needed.
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If one of your New Year's goals is to improve your health and fitness, I'd love to help! Check out my BRAND NEW Family Wellness Program.  This program will help you lose weight, create beautiful muscle tone and definition, and create life-long health habits. We begin on January 9th!  Read more about it here.

Happy New Year, Friends!

XO, Katie

An AWESOME On Demand Solution for Partners!!

I want to share SOLUTIONS with you.  Always.  Sharing things that truly work for me--I want to share those things with YOU!  Remember how we talked last week about the gym vs. home workouts?  And how I said they BOTH deserve a place in your life? Well OMG, the latest announcement from Beachbody just made me feel pretty validated! First, let me say that we've been using BBOD since it began, and are big fans!  But the way it works currently is that there is a base library of programs available as a member.  100's of workouts that can be sorted by your preferences, like time, muscles worked, trainer, and type of workout.  Then, if you PURCHASE a program, it appears in your library as well.  Pretty awesome for traveling, variety, and convenience.
NOW, there is an even better option for LESS money!  You can now get ONE YEAR of BBOD WITH EVERY SINGLE PROGRAM EVER CREATED BY BEACHBODY for just over $5 per month!!  So now you and your spouse, partner, or roommate can have one subscription and work through separate programs!!
Launching on TODAY, you can get one month of Shakeology and 12 months of BBOD UPGRADED for $199!!! ! That's your fitness for the whole year!  What a great investment to make on yourself ️!!!

If you want to take advantage of this great deal, comment below with your email and I will get you set up!

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Home VS Gym Workouts - What do you prefer?

As a group fitness instructor, and also an online health and fitness coach, I have lots of experience with both classes and gyms AND home programs, but let me start by saying that until 3 years ago, I ONLY worked out in the gym.  Like, I could NOT physically exercise at home.  I had zero motivation in my home and enjoyed getting out of my house for my sweat sessions. Once I had THREE children under the age of three, however, it became increasingly difficult to leave the house to exercise, so I decided to try T25.  This is a cardio and strength program that only takes 25 minutes a day, 5 days per week.  And even though I enjoyed the program, I still preferred workouts OUT of my home, and felt that I had more energy and motivation when I wasn't at home.
But over the years, I've added more home programs to my collection.  I've also recruited my husband to join me in our home fitness.  And little by little, I've changed my tune 😃  I actually REALLY enjoy working out at home now, and I never thought I would say that!  But just like everything in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Here are the pros of both:

Gym
Social:
It's a social activity to go to the gym.  If you feel alive when you see and interact with people, going to the gym can be social fuel for you.
Mirrors:
Mirrors are a HUGE benefit to working out at the gym, since most of us don't have mirrors around us while we exercise at home.  The mirrors allow you to evaluate your form and technique, and also provide instant feedback on your progress.
Child watch:
If you find it difficult to exercise with young children at home (who doesn't?), child watch can be a life saver!  It also provides a safe space for the kids to play and burn some energy while you burn yours!!
Higher energy:
I love the energy of the gym.  And when we exercise at a gym, we feed off of that energy.  At home, we have to create our own energy, which is doable but requires a little effort 😃
Home
No travel time:
When you exercise at home, you save A LOT of time in travel time!  And when you're a busy mom, 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there can make a big difference.
No worry about clothes, hair, makeup, etc.:
You can wear whatever you're comfortable in-that old shirt, those mismatched socks, hair crazy.  No one will see you!!  This is especially helpful when you are low on clean laundry
Judgment free:
Even the very friendliest gyms have a little judgment.  Everyone is watching each other, sizing them up, and comparing themselves.  And while this can be motivating, it can also be exhausting.  There's none of this at home.
My hubby can do it with me 😃:
We can't usually get to the gym at the same time due to different schedules, but we ARE home together in the mornings and evenings.  So when we can schedule a sweat session together, we do it!  Because working out with someone is always more fun!
So which is better?  My honest opinion is that both working out at home and at the gym deserve a place in your fitness.  Switching things, up, even where you exercise, are key to preventing plateaus.

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer to workout at the gym or your house? Tell me below in the comments!

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Pro and Cons - Gym vs Home, Whats best for you?

There are several pro and con reasons on why home vs gym workouts work will work the best for you. I tend to do both, so I understand both. Listen to the video and let me know what your thoughts are, share them here or on Facebook.

 

 

Gift Ideas for the Fitness Lovers

I was a guest on Q 96 this morning. We talked all about the perfect gifts for the fitness fanatic in your life. Check out the video below and then comment here or go to Facebook and tell me what your must-have fitness gift is this holiday!  

Tips for the Busy Mom to Get Her Workout in

Busy mom are you struggling to find time to get your workout in? Everyone is busy so it is important to plan when you can squeeze your daily sweat session in your day. Watch the video for tips to build your willpower muscle. Don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

Mom's here's a tip for you!

You want to stay on track with your health and fitness, but, you don't know how or even when to get everything in.  I have a tip for you! Watch the video below and connect with me on Facebook!

Have you ever said these things?

Have you ever said these things?I'm going to challenge 4 common complaints about making a lifestyle change. Oh, and my kids throw a fit in the middle! Connect with me on Facebook!

 

Yoga Program Results

Here are my results from this amazing on-demand 3-week yoga program. All I needed to complete this program was a yoga meat. How amazing is that? Want to learn more about this program? Contact me on  Facebook.

 

What is an Accountability Group?

So, you have heard me talk about accountability groups, but you aren't sure if they are for you? This video explains how accountability groups are for everyone! Want more information? Connect with me on Facebook!

My Results from Insanity Max

Here are my results from the past two months from using Insanity Max -- all the reasons I decided to use this program and how it was beneficial for me! Don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

Why get up at 5 am?

5:00 am is EARRRRRRLY.  It's so dark out.  The bed is so warm.  And it seems that anything I can accomplish that early can surely be done at some point during the day, right?
Yes.  And no.
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I have always preferred the mornings to late nights, but being productive at that hour is rather new to me.  But I am falling in love with it, and I want to share why!  First, though, let me share with you exactly what my morning looks like:

5 am: alarm goes off.  I aim to get up NOW or only allow myself to hit snooze one time.  I put my phone across the room from me so that I actually have to get out of bed to shut it off.

I make my way to the bathroom where my workout clothes are already laid out for me (from the night before).  I use the bathroom, put in my contacts, and get dressed.  Then, I head downstairs and make my Energize.

The time is now 5:15 or so, which gives me 30 minutes to drink Energize (PERFECT) and get a little work done.  I check my inbox, post in my accountability and training groups, and create my day's game plan, if I didn't the previous night.

Warning!!!  This time goes FAST, so enjoy it :)  At 5:40, I pee once more to reduce how much I pee my pants when I jump (#momlife) and head to the basement for my workout.  I'm currently working through Insanity: Max 30 and am loving/hating it ;)  It's HARD.  But it's so quick!!  30 minutes and I'm DONE!!  Once I finish my workout, I head upstairs and if the family is still sleeping, step outside to cool off and make my morning post.  Then, I'm usually greeted by one, two, or three children and Mom Duty is officially ON!!

Okay, that's my schedule.  Now, here's WHY I do it:

1. I can be alone.  

Totally, completely alone.  But not in a lonely way, because I know my family is upstairs sleeping and they will be happy to see me when they wake up, with big hugs and smiles and maybe even some attitude ;)  This time alone is so incredibly rare so I CRAVE it and SAVOR every minute of it.  Moms, you deserve some alone time more than anyone on this planet.  Trust me when I say that waking up early is totally worth the space to think your own thoughts, not be interrupted, and prepare for your day.

2. I get my head in the game.

Once the kids are up, it's go go go for the next 2 hours until we get the oldest on the bus.  And then it's usually go go go some more, as the littles and I run around town together.  This kind of business requires some time to get set up for success!  I make a game plan for the day if I haven't done this the night before.  I check my inbox, so I'm not doing that once they are awake.  I post in my accountability and coach groups if I'm running them.  I drink my Energize, and prepare to PUSH PLAY.

3. I have more energy all day long.  

It's a funny thing, but starting the day EARLY, and with a workout, really does give you more energy.  It's a bit counter-intuitive, because you think you'll be more tired from starting early.  And you might.  At first.  But then, the magic starts working and you noticed that you are more energetic and therefore more productive during the day.  Which is really awesome if you are one of those people who likes to sit down and do nothing once the kids are in bed.  You totally CAN when you knock out a full day of productivity that starts at5:00 am :)
5. I'm happier.
Not only am I benefiting from the alone time to recharge, but also the endorphins pumping through my body.  Even if I don't get ANYTHING ELSE accomplished during the day, I can feel good about having my workout completed.  It's a confidence boost knowing that you started the day with something hard.  That discipline allows you to know that you can do hard things and that hard work pays off :)

September is the new New Year!  It's a time of change, setting new goals, and getting organized!

How about making some time for YOU a priority this fall?  Need help? Let's chat!!
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OMG I Just Ran 3 MILES!!!!

I can't believe it myself! I am the girl who has always hated to run. I would complain about running to the end of the block, be totally winded and cramping, and swear that running just wasn't for me. At one point a few years ago, I ran a 5K and actually really loved it. And I've dreamed about running a half marathon, but it pretty much stopped there. Since then, I've become sort of a group fitness junkie. I've tried 100's of classes, worked out at many fitness centers or studios, and have even become certified to teach three (soon to be 4!) formats. So running wasn't my priority.

But I love to keep things new and interesting, and I'm ready to try something new to push beyond my comfort level.  Enter running :)  Actually, I started thinking about it recently when one of my clients told me, "I hate running but it is the most efficient workout I can do that does the most good." While I don't completely agree, I saw his point and was ready to give it a try again.

And holy moly, was I pleasantly surprised!  All of the HIIT training (Insanity, Grit, T25, 21 Day Fix, Body Pump, etc.) has helped me make HUGE gains in my running.  I haven't run in about a year, and I just ran 3 miles without stopping, and without struggling much.  I'm amazed. I'm actually pumped to do this again-CRAZY!

Here are some adjustments I need to make for my next run:

  • New shoes. Holy blisters!
  • Tighter earbuds.
  • A shirt that says "Will run for wine" or something comparable.
  • A really juicy audio book.
  • One of those wet towels to wear around my neck...is that too much???
  • More bug spray!

If running has been on your list of things you'll "never" do, don't count yourself out yet!  Start building up your cardio endurance through fun classes and interval training.  Sign up for a race to motivate you. Lift weights. Start slow and make adjustments as you need to (see above list).

Need a list or some help knowing where to start?  I can help!

Take Care of Yourself!

This has been a rough winter for my family as far as sicknesses go.  We have a 2, 3, and 5 year old and they are really good at sharing their germs with each other (and us!), and it seems that we just take turns being sick from November-March every year.  It is the season of parenting we're in, and although I know it won't always be this way, I really dislike it! I've had the runny nose, cough, congestion for a few weeks now and it is starting to cramp my style.  I got a sub to teach one of my classes so I could try to rest up and that didn't really help.  I only teach twice this week, and not for a few more days, so I'm giving myself a little more time to feel better!  Next week is a FULL week of classes, so this week is a must for recuperation.

But that is enough of a synopsis of my ill health!  The purpose for today's blog is to give yourself permission to get better if you're not 100%, either.  I was feeling a little down on myself because I have not been in the mood to work out lately and haven't been to some of my favorite classes for awhile due to feeling crappy.  And you know what?  That's TOTALLY okay.  I need to give myself permission to GET WELL and I know some of you need to hear that, too!  You will not undo your progress if you take a week to exercise lightly and less frequently and just RECOVER.

Be good to your body and your body will be good to you!

My Review of the 21 Day Fix Extreme

I started the Extreme version of the 21 Day Fix (21 DFX) in hopes to gain a 6 pack.  It is a vain goal, I realize this.  But I've always wanted one, and I feel like my body is finally at a point where a 6 pack seems like the next step.  My weight is low and my body fat is pretty low, I work out 5-6 times every week and I do tough workouts.  I eat clean 80% of the time and relax 20% of the time.  And STILL, I have no 6 pack.  So I thought that the Extreme program would get me there. Before I started the program, I had some friends tell me, "You are tiny.  You don't need to lose any weight."  They recommended that I just follow clean eating and the containers, but don't figure my containers bracket based on a calorie deficit.  \I thought about that advice, talked to my husband (who agreed) and did that.  On the days when I teach or do a gym workout, I don't do a 21 DFE workout.  I'm not operating on a calorie deficit, and I've definitely had some wine and chocolate (not part of the Extreme program).

So you might say I failed at the 21 DFE.  But I'm not going to call it a #fail.  Just doing the clean eating and containers, plus staying focused with my workouts, I am down 4 pounds and several inches, mostly from my midsection.  My weight is at 105, which is low but very healthy for my short self.

Katie March

And I've come to terms with the fact that I'm just not ready to give up occasional drinks and treats for my beloved 6 pack, which is a big #win for me.  It feels REALLY GOOD to understand myself a little better.  Not to mention that I would need to give up those things for more than just the 21 days to sustain my abs.  I don't want to drop any more weight, and that's what I'd need to do to uncover those abs.

And I realized: I am happy with my body the way it is.  It feels pretty damn amazing to say that.

So my final review of the 21 Day Fix Extreme is that if you are ready to take your fitness to the next level and you are okay with giving up wine and chocolate and some other naughty foods for 21 days--do it!  It's a phenomenal program!  And I LOVE the workouts that come with it.  BUT, if you are looking for a program that has a little more give (including pizza, wine, and chocolate), then the regular Fix will suit you better.  It still requires willpower and dedication, but it's not so, well, EXTREME.

I might try the Extreme again at another time in my life when I'm ready to take my fitness up a few notches.  But I'm just not quite there yet :)