Tag Archives: #healthy

Rock Bottom is worth celebrating

Victories.

If you have ever been in one of my online accountability groups, you know that this is one topic I discuss every single group. It doesn’t matter if it is a small victory…..like choosing water over pop at dinner….or a big victory….like losing ten pounds. You need to embrace all of the little steps that help get you where you want to be. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens every day, little by little.

Today is the two year anniversary of a pretty large victory in my life.

Two years ago today I completed my final workout of T25 and stepped on the scale for my final weigh in. It was a moment that was not only a large victory in my life, but a moment that will always be one of the most defining moments of my life.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how I felt on the morning of November 1st, 2013. Somedays I am simply completing another Shaun T workout and think about how far I’ve come since the days I relied on the modifier. Somedays I am talking to a potential client who feels hopeless and like they can never reach the goals they have for themselves. Somedays I am celebrating with a current challenger about their results. As a coach, it is obvious I get to talk about the programs and the impact they can have on one’s life because helping people get results is what I do. My ability to do so and my belief in what I do is fueled by those feelings that took place two years ago today.

As human beings, it is obvious there are moments (both good and bad) that shape us as people. Moments that help us overcome and triumph, and moments that help ground us when needed. Since today is the anniversary of one of those defining moments, I wanted to take  a minute to share with you the two moments that have completely changed my life and that will forever be the catalyst for what I do.

Defining Moment #1: August 25, 2013

This was the day that Sh*t Got Real in the world of Katie. This was the day that I drove to my parents’ house, asked my mother to take my “before” photos for this silly little online group thing I had decided to do in a last ditch effort to regain control over my health and my life, and put on a bikini that I hadn’t worn in almost two years.

I was humiliated by the process. I was embarrassed and angry at myself that I had dug myself into such a deep, dark hole that putting on a bathing suit made me feel so awful. I missed the days where I could wear all of my beautiful clothes. I missed the days where I liked what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I hated feeling the way I felt.

My mother took the pictures, and I made myself smile even though I was crying on the inside. Then I drove myself home, crying the entire way, and proceeded to get drunk so I wouldn’t be as sad about how the whole picture taking process made me feel. I felt like I would never feel like myself again and could never get back to how I used to be.

How did this miserable moment end up being a moment I classify as one of my defining moments in life?

Easy.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my weigh in to the moment my mother took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the sadness.
The embarrassment.
The anger.
The feeling of defeat.
The questioning of self worth.
The loneliness.
The shame.

I think back to that day and know that I never want to feel that way again. It is a reminder to me of my Rock Bottom.

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Defining Moment #2: November 1, 2013

This was the day that, once again, Sh*t got real in the world of Katie. I had completed the sixty day online challenge group, not missing a single workout in the T25 program. I had modified my meal plan and had incorporated a superfood packed shake into my routine to help with my nutrition. Somehow I had stuck to a promise I made to a complete stranger in the group named Theresa that I would not step on the scale a single day during the challenge. I had completely given up alcohol. And as a result of all of that, on November 1st, 2013 I stepped on a scale to realize I had lost 47. 5 pounds.

I cried like a baby. I instantly took my “after” photos and could not believe the difference.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my final weigh in to the moment my roommate at the time took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the happiness.
The feeling of accomplishment.
The confidence I had gained.
The strength I felt.
The pride.
The rebirth of a mindset and a person.
The thought that this was only the beginning for me.

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Why is this a defining moment for me?

I think back to that day and see it as a constant reminder that I can do absolutely anything I put my mind to. I think back to that day and want EVERY SINGLE PERSON I WORK WITH TO KNOW THAT FEELING. I want every single person to someday look back at their after photos and feel the sense of the accomplishment like I do when I look at mine.

The photos I took on November 1st, 2013 serve as a badge of honor to me. They were the end of an awful time frame in my life and the beginning of the most incredible.

Side by Side Results!

Side by Side Results!

Awhile back a stumbled across a quote by J.K. Rowling that I 100% could relate to, which I have shared below.

I hit rock bottom. It absolutely sucked.

However, that rock bottom became the foundation for my life. I could never be where I am now….personally, professionally, mentally, financially…..had it not been for me hitting rock bottom.

Because of that, I will continue to think of these two defining moments every single day of my life and be thankful they both happened as and when they did.

I’m proud of my failures, and I love them just as much as my triumphs. Both have made me who I am. Both have impacted the way I live my life and the way I hope to help others. And both should serve as a reminder to you that regardless of how bad you think things are or how unhappy you may be with yourself, you ALWAYS have the ability to change.

Here’s to all of our rock bottoms and the amazing things that come from them……..

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

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Squash the stereotype….Italians can survive without pasta!

Little Pop Quiz for Ya….

Q: What is the one food item that is the most difficult to give up when you are trying to eat healthy AND have Italian in your blood?

A: Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Don’t get me wrong….pasta isn’t entirely bad……especially when you eat the proper portions. However, what Italian do you know that actually eats the proper portion of lasagna, spaghetti, etc? I know I struggle with it.

Until Now!!!!

I found a way to disguise vegetables as lasagna!

It was a squash kind of week!

This week I made the most amazing lasagna that allowed me to have a pretty substantial portion. Since I am now obsessed with this recipe (I think I will be making it weekly), I had to share.

                                                      Katie’s Bombdiggity Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

         (I know what you are thinking….spaghetti squash, yeah right. Be openminded. Veggies are good for you!)

What you need:

-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 1/2 cups of Italian turkey or chicken sausage ( I use the Fit and Active brand at Aldi’s)
-1 spaghetti squash (cooked)
-2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (I use a family recipe or the one in the Fixate cookbook)

To cook the squash:

-I place mine on a cookie sheet and bake for about 55 minutes at 400 degrees. I literally do nothing to the squash other than plop it on the cookie sheet.

***Sidenote….Aldi’s presently has squash on sale for about $1.29 each! Stock up!

While squash is cooking:

-Brown the sausage (make sure to remove the casing….what a fun, slimy, gross job) and spray a casserole dish.

Once you remove the squash from the oven, set it to 375 (the temp for baking the lasagna). Cut the squash in half, remove those blasted seeds, and use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”.

Then break out your inner Italian and assemble the lasagna in the casserole dish as follows:

– Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish
-Place spaghetti squash on top of sauce
-Add the sausage (make sure it is drained…no one likes that extra grease)
-Add 1/4 cup sauce, then 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese
-Spread ricotta
-Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella

Bake for about 15 minutes at 375.

So freaking good!

That’s it! Super easy, and it is absolutely delicious! You can change this up if you want…maybe you don’t want the meat; you can go without. Pair it with a nice salad, and your Italian heart can be happy.

21 Day Fixers, one portion of this is equivalent to ONE GREEN, ONE AND A HALF RED, HALF A BLUE, and ONE THIRD OF A PURPLE.

Don’t be a squash snob…..spaghetti squash is so versatile. And with this recipe the Italian in you doesn’t have to feel guilty about lasagna!

Enjoy, my fellow health conscientious Italians!

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Gimme Dat Fix!

If I had a dollar for every time I mentioned “the fix” since its debut, I’d be more loaded than Autumn Calabrese.

I’m not joking.

Why do I talk about this “fix” thing so much?

Easy. I love talking about things that I love and,more importantly, things that have positively impacted my life in some aspect. When I mention this program….that is exactly why. By now most people know my story and how I got involved with the Beachbody community…..I ate too much, drank too much, stopped exercising, yadda yadda. One of the most difficult things I had to face when I started making positive changes in my life was the dreaded kitchen. I had modified my eating habits substantially, but I still struggled with what to eat at times and how much I should/could eat. So many people do. Our minds tell us that we are doing a great job if we are eating a salad….what it doesn’t tell us is that salad is large enough to feed a small village. I was one of these people eating for a village.

When the 21 Day Fix made its debut in February of 2013, I purchased it immediately. Apparently I wasn’t alone in the need for this revolutionary meal planning system; it sold out early the first day. In fact, it sold more the first day than what was projected for that entire week. As with any new program, I was worried it may not be up my alley…after all, not everything is, and that is okay. It’s important to find something that works for you. I was excited to break up (temporarily) with Shaun T and try the workouts Autumn Calabrese had put together for the 21 Day Fix….change is good sometimes…but I was elated to break open those cute little containers and start revamping how I ate.

Building Blocks for Your meals!

Building Blocks for Your meals!

Let’s backtrack for just a second. There is a slim chance that you are reading this and don’t know what the heck I am talking about, so I want to break down for you exactly what this elusive “fix” is. If you are one of those people, let me show you a quick video so you can learn a little more!

Time for some Real Talk.

Yes, that was a 71 year old woman who lost over 45 pounds in that video. Yes, the results shared are amazing. Yes, they totally can happen to you. Since getting the program and running challenge groups with it, I have had challengers lose on average 10-20 pounds during their first 21 day round. Those who have continued using it have seen even great results. I have several individuals who have lost over 50 pounds after several rounds, and I have a pal who has lost 100 pounds after 5 rounds. The challenge group I am currently running has a woman who lost 11 pounds her first week. Talk about amazing. This system works, people. There’s definitely a reason why it is the #1 work out program in the U.S. right now.

Beyond the inches and pounds shed comes something greater…..a lifestyle change. So many people talk about fad diets, and I have heard people question whether or not the 21 Day Fix is one. It’s not. Fad diets involve temporarily solutions. This is not one of those….this is a program that teaches you how to eat right for your body type and how much to eat. It doesn’t mean sacrificing taste..or foods you like…it means eating the right amounts. Does this recipe look boring???

Buffalo Chicken is my Jam!

Buffalo Chicken is my Jam!

Those little containers….they really help. I remember thinking I would be so hungry on this meal plan because some of the containers appear small…..I was so wrong! My entire outlook on what and how I eat has changed thanks to this program, and regardless of what workout program I choose to do, I will always use the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan to keep myself on track.

How many containers a day  you eat is specific to each person!

How many containers a day you eat is specific to each person!

SO WHO IS THIS AUTUMN CHICK?

Autumn Calabrese is a fitness guru and national bikini competitor with celebrity clients that include Rachel Zoe and Brooke Burke. As shared in the bio on her website, “Autumn is a rising star in the fitness community, she’s made a name for herself by helping people lose weight and get fit through simple portion control and consistent exercise.

Autumn holds personal training certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). Her supportive, motivating style has made her a highly sought-after expert among celebrities and the fitness industry.

Building on a foundation of good food choices and exercise habits, Autumn empowers her clients to reach their goals in a healthy, sustainable way. In addition to her celebrity clientele, Autumn is the fitness specialist for ModernMom.com. Her workouts have been featured in C magazine, LA Parent, The Palisadian-Post, and Daily Candy, and on TV shows like Home & Family.”

I’M BRAND NEW TO WORKING OUT……

That’s okay! I think it is perfectly normal to feel a sense of intimidation when you start a new program. I do all the time! The great thing about the 21 Day Fix is that there is a modifier in every workout to help you. What is a modifier, you ask? It is someone completing a less intense version of the moves. You can choose to follow the modifier as long as you need to. When you build up the strength and endurance, you can increase the intensity. And don’t think you won’t be getting a good workout in should you use the modifier….the moves work you, trust me. This is a great program for beginners because of that element.

I’M A WORKOUT JUNKIE THOUGH….

Cool thing about this program is that it is just as great for seasoned workout lovers like myself as it is for someone starting from scratch. You can increase weights for a tougher workout as you feel ready. If you are someone who has graduated from the 21 Day Fix (meaning you completed the entire 21 day program) or have completed numerous rounds and want a change, Autumn launched the Brand Spankin New 21 Day Fix Extreme program in February. So know you are wondering what the difference is between the two…….

Here’s a breakdown of the workouts. Best part: Both are still 30 minutes a week!

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The meal plan is where the biggest changes can be seen. 100% clean, no treats (if you didn’t know, you can have wine and chocolate on the original 21 Day fix plan…yes, I’m serious).

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I DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR ME!

The 21 Day Fix is great for beginners, so if you are starting your journey, I definitely suggest this. The 21 Day Fix Extreme can also be for beginners, but it is a little more challenging. My recommendation is this….

If you struggle with eating and portions, start with the 21 Day Fix. Since the meal plan isn’t as strict, it is a great transition into the world of portion control. Once you graduate from the Fix, then I suggest you more onto Extreme if you are ready for a more dialed in nutrition plan. The workouts are both great and can both be used for beginners…..I just think for many individuals baby steps is a better option initially. If you don’t struggle with meal planning as much, then go with Extreme. 

You can do anything for 21 days. Autumn believes so, and so do I.

Guess what else is exciting!?!?! For the rest of the month if you purchase Shakeology you get the complete 21 Day Fix program or Fix Extreme program for just $10. Shakeology is an essential component of this program because it provides dense nutrition and is a great source of energy! It’s also super versatile….not only can you drink it, but you can make peanut butter cups, protein balls, and delicious, healthy cake (Don’t believe me? Watch this video and be amazed.)

To take advantage of the special and get the original 21 Day Fix program, click here! Or, should be want to go Extreme, you can get the 21 Day Fix Extreme special get your click on HERE.I love that they are on sale…..you know me, I am shoppertunistic.  The best part? You get me as your personal coach for free…which means I am here to support you….motivate you…..help you meal plan…all kinds of great stuff!

Summer will be here soon, which means bikinis and short season will be here soon. This is a great way to get you going in an awesome, positive direction!

I can’t wait to celebrate your success with you! But first, I’m off to enjoy my last red of the night!

Colorful meals are the best!

Colorful meals are the best!

Have more questions about the fix? No problem! Contact me here so I can answer whatever they may be!

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