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Captain Kat’s Manifesto

I believe in finding joy and energy in fitness.  I believe promoting access to that joy and energy to everyone.

 

I believe in eating delicious, nutritious food.  I believe in sharing that knowledge with everyone.

 

For me, this joy wasn’t innate; I had to discover it.

 

10 years ago, food and fitness were evil dictators reigning over my mental health, my social life, and subsequently my physical health.  I was starving myself, I was the least athletic human (people who meet me now do not believe this until they watch me attempt to do something like…oh, catch a frisbee), so I was a slave to the elliptical and calorie-counters.  5 years ago, an intentional shift occurred in my life; I hit a breaking point and chose to educate myself in incremental baby steps about how eating the right foods could make me happier and feel better (and it didn’t just need to be endless amounts of chicken breast and broccoli) and introduce myself to new areas of the gym outside of the elliptical and new areas of fitness outside of a gym.  In the last 5 years, this flirtation I began with nutritious food and joy in fitness has blossomed into a full blown love affair.  I am hopelessly smitten with sweat.  I freaking love colorful, crunchy, sweet, savory, delectable food.  Good food and fitness give you energy.  I’ve been described as a “born-again foodie” and “ready for cardio at a moment’s notice.”  I’ve been nicknamed “Captain Kat” for my tendency to make most free moments in my day an invitation to sweat or hike or eat somewhere new–and I always invite company.  Do I think every human needs to live with this level of fitness fervor to live life to the fullest?  Not necessarily.  But I want as many humans to share in the joy and education of food and fitness as humanly possible because it has increased my day-to-day happiness, my social life (I have buddies who I met running a half marathon; fitness teacher pals; running buddies; accountability buddies–my friends, it is a powerful social connection), and I also feel capable and strong.  Beautiful, even.

 

Because when it comes down to it, besides likely increasing the length and quality of your life, it simply feels fantastic to treat your body well.  To try new things.  To do things you didn’t know you were capable of doing.  To surprise yourself.  To taste the delicious.  To fight and succeed.

 

So, now we have a problem.  I am enamored of the following:

  1. Yoga
  2. Pilates
  3. High Intensity Interval Training
  4. Bodyweight Training
  5. Running
  6. Dance Class
  7. Martial Arts based Workouts
  8. Barre Class
  9. Nutricious, delicious foods in all its iterations

 

I travel frequently for work, I’m rarely stationary, and I don’t have surplus wealth or time.  I have about 12 different fitness and nutrition apps downloaded on my phone right now to function as a substitute gym/studio as I travel.  I’m grateful for what they do, but you know what? They aren’t enough.  They are functional.

 

I did not fight a decade-long body image/fitnophobia/sugarfreenonfatlattenowhipplease battle only to lose my newfound joy of fitness only because I’m busy and not super wealthy.

 

So then I thought:  What if there were a fitness community for the busy, non-independently-wealthy humans?  The ones who wanted to maintain the joy of a class or trainer or workout buddy but didn’t have enough time or weren’t always stationary?  The ones who are maybe still in the transition from finding fitness a chore to finding fitness a joy?

 

I am not a programmer nor an MBA.  I am a person who wants to share her joy and make it accessible to others.

 

Let’s put the joy back into fitness.  Let’s make treating our bodies well something we want to do–something fun.  Let’s promise to make ourselves a priority for 30 days.  That’s not a long time–it is 100% attainable.  So let’s get to it, shall we?

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

 

 

, Post-Turkey Day Wrap-Up (Managing the Holiday Indulgence in the Fitness World)

So: How did the big day go?

I will begrudgingly admit that I 100% indulged more than I planned.  I moderated, but with that much food available, even “moderating” is excessive.  Know what I mean?  I’m hauling my booty to the gym this AM to pay off some sins.

It’s such a challenge not to tie in foods with emotions or big events.  Food–like music or Christmas movies–are all part of the “magic”.  Unfortunately, watching Christmas movies or listening to holiday music genres to excess don’t physically harm us.  Sugarbombing and carb-bombing our systems can.

“BUT IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! GIVE ME A BREAK!”

I know, I know.  I’m just trying to look out for you.  Wouldn’t it be amazing not to have to make ALL your New Years Resolutions about health and fitness?  It certainly doesn’t do you any harm to do so, but wouldn’t it be glorious if it weren’t even a necessity?  If youdidn’t feel guilty after your foodfest (or carbfest or winefest) from Thanksgiving until January 1st?

Chances are: stuffing yourself is a feeling you associate with these holidays.  My recommendation?  (Because goodness knows holiday parties abound for the next 6 weeks) –Taste your faves, then let them go.  Truly.  If they aren’t even your favorite (really THINK about it–you don’t HAVE to try everything) then just abstain 100%.  If you NEED to feel full at the holidays, consume copious amounts of water (I’m serious–it’s a miraculous trick and does you nothing but good) and while the rest of your family and friends are bellyaching all night, your level of comfort goes back to normal in 15-30 minutes.  And please, please, please try to remember to get some genuine nutrition in your bodies on these days.  If all you eat is sugar, it will take FOREVER for you to feel full because your body will not register that you’ve eaten anything of substance.  (Hint: you haven’t.)  Turkey is fine.  Greens are great.  Butter smothered veggies are admittedly not the best–but will do in a pinch.  Make the meals you AREN’T with your family significant and packed with nutritional value.  That way–when you get your big meal–you taste the faves but aren’t RAVENOUS for food that isn’t even really food at all.

Make sense?

I KNOW it’s hard and I KNOW we are all so deeply emotionally bound to our food and our traditions.  I just don’t believe you have to sacrifice your health or management of it over the holidays.

ONE LAST CAVEAT:

If indeed you went overboard yesterday, the correct response is NOT to stop eating today.  This boomerang behavior will ruin you over the holiday season (and in life.)  Don’t beat yourself up, remember this feeling (even write it down somewhere–I’m serious–and identify how you got here and what you can do about it next time), and re-commit to your body today.  Take a gym trip, grocery shop for all the veggies and (non-brown-sugar-casserole-style) sweet potatoes and lean meats (or seitan/tofu/meat alternatives.)

As always, you are *welcomed* to share your experience in the group or email me personally.

xoxo,
Captain Kat

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Fitness bullies? No, thank you.

I recently had the bizarre experience of taking a physical fitness class that made me CRY. I love physical fitness and I love pushing my body and taking care of it, but in my mind, bullying is never the most effective means of pushing a client. I get that this is the norm in the world of competitive athletics, but that class was just every middle school PE nightmare rolled into 60 minutes. Working your body should be both challenging AND a joy. Not just taxing and defeating and hard on your joints. And not about someone repeatedly shouting to you that you’re not good enough. Our inner demons already take care of that.

The dance teachers I learned the most from and loved the most growing up? The ones I remember? They were the ones who pushed, but also inspired joy and made the last run exhilarating. Not the ones who bullied.

The school teachers I learned the most from and loved the most? The ones I remain friends with in my adult life? Nurturing, supportive, challenging–in a healthy way. The ones who expected more because they believed you were capable of more. Not the ones who bullied.

Now I’m not saying I need a drink-the-koolaid trainer who gets sentimental and holds my hand in class (cause that end of the spectrum is a giant–and oftentimes ineffective–turn-off, too), but there’s gotta be a happy medium for boundary-pushing training with measurable success, zero bullying and minimal coddling. And one that inspires some joy and makes you feel EMPOWERED, not belittled.

PHEW! I did not expect that from a gym class, but there it is. On continues the quest to peddle my dreams of accessible, inspirational, healthy physical fitness to the masses.

Signing off–
Captain Kat