3 Tips to Persevere in Fitness and in Life

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I wanted to start my day with a positive thought of gratitude and purchased the Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself – without the Self-Helpy-Ness! .  This was a great way for me to provoke a positive internal conversation.   The recent decision in transitioning to intuitive eating (discussed in the 3rd EP of Episode of “In My Skin”) was perfectly supported by the first card.   As I soaked in the message of this card, I thought about my past accomplishments and the meaning of perseverance.

Three tips that I’ve followed to persevere in Fitness and in Life!

Stay Optimistic

It can be extremely difficult to stay optimistic at times.  If fact, it can feel nearly impossible to not want to throw in the towel and give up and there is nothing wrong with that.  But it is important to circle back to the goal, get back on your positive path and keep pushing forward.  This could be spending the time to yourself and journaling, going for a walk on your favorite trail or talking with your biggest cheerleader to help you put things into perspective.  Either way,  you may end a day in a bad mood  but find a way that works for you to start the new day funky fresh dressed to impress and ready to party!

Embrace the “Fails”

In a moment of “failure” or what we consider to be a failure, we assume that this is the end all be all, but it’s not.  It’s not a fail, it’s a setback.  A setback isn’t there to ruin yourself esteem and give you the opportunity to beat yourself up.  A setback creates the opportunity to  analyze your plan, reassess your goals and create a different plan.  After you get over the disappointment of your setback, find the lesson and use it to propel you forward.

Stop and Smell the Roses

It’s extremely easy to get caught up in your setbacks and the plan.  Everything about this can consume you and you are determined to make shit happen! And while this is great, don’t forget to stop and smell and the roses!  Take a look around you and celebrate all the small victories you have accomplished.  Reflect back to when you first started on the fitness journey and compare that to where you are now. Are you 10lbs lighter? Are you curling 20lbs instead of the 10bs you started with?  Have you cut back on the sugar?  You may not be where you want to be but these are major milestones to celebrate.  So while you focus on the path to success, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses no matter how small they are!

“It seems you’re on a massive journey right now…the mountain you are climbing is huge and formidable, but so is your ability to climb it.”

Complain all you want, get back on your path and find those moments where you can enjoy the ride. The path won’t always be bumpy but you won’t know that if you quit. So Persevere my friends, you’re almost there!

If you liked this article, check out You Don’t Get to Quit and 4 Ways To Stay Motivated When the Scale Stops Moving.

Don’t forget to check back every Wednesday for a new episode of my YouTube Series, “In Your Skin”.

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Yam Protein Muffins

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Calories 113 | 14g Protein | 12g Carbohydrates | 1g Fat

Makes 12 Muffins (1 Muffin Per Serving)

The original recipe came from The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy (Second Edition)(The Build Healthy Muscle Series).   The original muffin called for Sweet Potatoes and chocolate or vanilla protein powder.*  I changed it up a bit and it came out great, but I know you won’t be disappointed however you make it!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees
  2. In a blender or food processor, add all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Lightly coat a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray and pour in the mixture.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked.  The top will be golden and the toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.  Let them sit before removing from the pan.

Enjoy!

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“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We often hear that quote in a relationship with other people, but how about with ourselves?

We’re all hard on ourselves and we set these expectations of ourselves that tend to lead us to failure and disappointment.  I don’t believe in thinking small. In fact, the only way I believe you can achieve your best is by setting high goals.  However, sometimes we can’t reach those goals due to factors beyond our control.  Sometimes we can reach those goals but the time frame is unrealistic.

In moments like these, it’scomparison is thief of joy ok to fail and to be disappointed.  It’s ok to want this high goal and to keep working at it, but it’s not ok to compare yourself to this person you have in your head that would have reached that goal if she was different.   So you didn’t succeed?  Get the fuck up and keep trying.

The person you have in your head that “could” have done it, isn’t the person you really are today.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be and it doesn’t mean you won’t be, it just means this isn’t reality. Stop dwelling on your imagination and use the energy that is beating yourself up and convert it into something to push you forward.

Think Big. Be Determined. Work Hard. Be Disappointed. Feel Unsatisfied & Keep Fuckin’ Going!

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Transitioning Life: Personal Trainer to a “Civilian”

Transitioning from the daily life of a Personal Trainer to a “civilian” has been quite comfortable. Almost too comfortable; I never realized what it was like to be on the other end of the trainer/client relationship.

There was a time I worked a regular 9-5, hated my job, always ate take out and punished myself with long runs.  When I first started working out it was for my first bikini show. With about 2 months left of my employement, I quit my job and stayed unemployed for about a year.  At this time I was spending my days doing what I love the most; blogging and show prep.  Then after my show, I got my NASM Certification and began working as a trainer.  I never had this real adjustment period of learning how to live this active lifestyle and work in an office.

Now don’t let it confuse you, just because you work as a Personal Trainer it doesn’t mean you get paid to work out.  I spent many days sleeping 5 hours, barely eating and forcing myself through a workout.  My workouts were still important to me so I always made the time no matter how busy my day was.

Immediately after my second show, I started working at a desk.  This time I enjoyed what I did, the people I worked with and a lot of people in the office were fitness minded, unlike my previous office job experience.  This made it easier to socially transition but just because we are a fitness company it didn’t take away the junk food office environment.  I started my employment there standing at my desk at least 6 hours a day and sticking to all of my prepped food. Seeing all the free delicious food around didn’t phase me because I always knew it would be there tomorrow.  My only “struggle” at this time was trying to get in my 10,000 steps. I use to get 14,000 as a Trainer and now I’m barely breaking 4k, but that was able to be resolved with some after work cardio.

Slowly but surely, I began to sat just a little bit more and I snacked just a little bit more ending up taking over my day. The food was there so I ate it; my chair was there so I sat.  Cardio stopped being a concern and caffeine ended up being an all day thing. The gym was the one thing that never changed because this life was too important to for me to ever give up. To be honest, I was thankful for my personal time back so no matter how tired I felt, I still went. I could finally work out for me again!

I realized changing your unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy one can be difficult and life would be much easier if you could take all the temptations away distracting you into being naturally healthy.  But since that isn’t the case that means you’ll have to work and it will be hard.  I suggest starting with one major goal; sure, you can pick a handful of things you want to change like going to the gym three times a week, missing the afternoon snack of office cookies and standing half your day at your desk, but just pick one to focus on.  Work on the others but give yourself credit if you fail at it.

I’ve been putting all my energy into cutting the caffeine but cutting my sugar is in the back of my head. I give myself a break if I decide to eat the M&Ms as long as I’m on point with my caffeine.  Once I am confident with that then I’ll move on the next goal.  Focusing on the one major goal has given me the chance to build my confidence back up and with every day that goes by it gets easier and I feel better.  I definitely got a dose of the office reality but it’s ok.  I’ll get my routine back.

 

How did you transition your life into a healthier one?  Share your experience in the comment box below!

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Caffeine Detox: It Made Me Do It | caffeine detox, adrenal fatigue

Let me start this off by saying that there was once a time in my life that I never had caffeine because I didn’t like coffee.  Then I discovered creamy, sugary, coffee creamer and we fell in love.  I’ve gone back and forth between going months without coffee to cut my sugar and never suffered the withdrawals of caffeine.  Drinking coffee in the morning became my morning ritual and it just felt good to hold that hot cup in the morning.  Since coffee never gave me that boost of energy I would even drink it at night to fulfill my sweet tooth craving.  Yea, weird right?

Then I started my job at Life Time Fitness and my entire lifestyle change. I went through periods of barely eating because I didn’t have time or the money to keep up with my regular diet and supplements, my schedule constantly changed from either an early morning shift to the late night crew, working weekends that weren’t planned, having random months without a day off and constantly worrying about making the paycheck to pay my bills #TheGlamorousLifeOfATrainer.  I was progressively getting more tired as each month went by and now my morning workouts were no longer effective for the boost in energy and I started relying on energy drinks to get me through the day.

caffeine detoxTowards the end of my employment, I decided that it was time to do something for myself again no matter how challenging it may be and that was to compete for my second show. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t going to help my energy situation but I needed this for my soul. I needed to focus all my free time on me and this was my way of doing it.  So now on top of my crazy schedule, I’ve added in harder workouts and the physical stress of putting my body through a demanding weightloss regimen. It was probably stupid timing but I would do it all over again.

Naturally, as you get closer to the show, your energy drops. Between the lower carbs and the caloric deficiency, there is just no way that you aren’t going to experience fatigue which is why show prep can be so hard.  So what do you do? Up the caffeine, take fat burners, consume anything that could possibly give you a boost. FYI I did take fat burners for about 3 weeks and had to stop. This was my second time and whatever is in them blurs my vision almost like my eyes are jittery, noooo thank you!  Anything that messes with my eyes I stop.  And I know I said coffee didn’t give me that boost in energy but at this point, I will willing to drink anything to help me with even the slightest boost to get through my long hours of work.

The show is over and now I start my new desk job. My entire lifestyle changed for the better but I was now really feeling the consequence of show prep and the high-stress job I had for almost two years. I was drained; I could barely get through the day without consuming an energy drink and the only way I could manage in the gym was taking a pre-workout.  My weekends were shot and I bummed around napping in between because I could never get the energy I needed to want to do anything fun (not to mention the post show funk I was conquering through).

It wasn’t until recently that I decided I need to stop with this caffeine dependency. Caffeinated was literally in my system from 7am till my work out at 6pm; I was a caffeinated mess.   The path I was heading towards was not going to be a good one and I knew I needed to make a change before I continue to damage my body and fall into adrenal failure. Thank god for the timing of my mini vacation to Florida, where I lounged around and only had a 1/2 cup of a coffee day just because I didn’t have the taste to finish the rest.  I didn’t need to have energy drinks because I was partially distracted with family and we didn’t do anything terribly exerting.  I came home to an unanticipated highly stressed week where I didn’t have time to take care of my responsibilities, go to the gym and sleep in my own bed for more than two nights. Stressed?! My body was beyond stressed and felt like a zombie my entire way through. Strangely enough, I didn’t have a desire for coffee or energy drinks. Well, I didn’t have an appetite at all and barely ate for a week, but I was using that to my advantage when it came to my coffee detox.

I’m 4 days of no caffeine and 2 weeks in on my adrenal supplements. I can’t say I notice an extreme difference in my energy levels yet, but that will come with time.  My skin has begun to clear up and I notice a difference in my digestive system. It is not surprising that I have a sensitivity to caffeine and  I feel confident in saying that I’m on my way to conquering this one monstrosity of a habit and preparing to tackle my next; SUGAR! 

Have you ever cut caffeine? Share your experience in the comment box below!

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Where do I begin?

I love competing. I love everything about the struggle of prep and it always seems impossible when I am doing it, which makes it so rewarding to get on stage.  As much as I knew what I must do post show and as much as I thought I was mentally prepared, I really wasn’t.

I can’t really explain where it all began and it doesn’t even matter at this point, but my body filling out and the scale go up really played a toll on my mind.  It is hard to explain, but your eyes literally play tricks on you.  You get so use to seeing your body shrink dramatically week after week.  You know this is just for the show.  You know this isn’t maintainable and that it will all come to an end but 5 extra pounds on the body looks like 20 in your mind.  Week after week, pound after pound, I was mentally freaking out feeling like a failure. I should be able to maintain this. Everyone else does, right? I kept going back and forth with my logical, reasonable thoughts to irrational post show competitor thoughts. It was a roller coaster of mental self-talk that took me months to get out of.  

I know some people reading this would wonder why the hell would I want to do that again? It’s “so unhealthy”.  Sure, you can definitely argue putting myself through that mental torture isn’t the best thing to do, but what you don’t understand is I see it as a challenge and a chance for growth.  It’s an opportunity to prove to myself that I can beat these stupid thoughts, that I will not go back to the old Kristine, and that after all these years of self work and understanding I have the ability to get out of these slumps faster than ever before.  And honestly, I’m proud. Sure, it sucked. For months, it sucked and in the moment I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t feel just as good with my body 20lbs heavier than I was on stage, but I got through it and now I am here.

So what now?

I still plan to compete and I plan to do it slower and smarter next time.  I learned a lot of about myself and my body the last prep which I plan to use to the next one.  I am currently 17lbs heavier than I was on stage and I know quite a bit of that is fat, but there is nothing I can do it about it now other than embrace it.  I am finally at balance with my diet and am slowly reversing my calories out; I am currently eating about 1750 calories and hope to get it up to as close to 2000 before I cut again.  I’m lifting heavy and I love it!  I’m doing the hatch squat program (I also added in bench and press) with an extra glutes and shoulder day and hit the other body parts in between.  I am doing NO cardio which I am currently loving and I am definitely in no rush to start that back up again!  As much as I would love to be leaner and see a smaller waistline, I am 100% on board with building up my strength and increasing my muscle.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had thoughts of maybe doing a mini cut but then I remember, “YOU’RE ASS WON’T GROW IF YOU DO THAT!” so I eat and lift like my life depends on it.

I feel good, really good and I feel like my old self again. I pay attention to the scale less and admire my physique more which is exactly how it should be!  I’m looking forward to the future and seeing all the gains.  Gains, Gains, Gains!

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