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The Surprising Benefits of Beach Running

Sometimes, a girl just needs some sunshine.img_1264Well, to be perfectly honest: for this girl, that’s pretty much all the time. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from Texas, I was born in the summer, or my freckles are just hungry for sunlight, but I am enamored of warm weather and sunshine. I know this partially has to do with the fact that I need at least an hour of outdoor activity to function at my best. Humans aren’t meant to stay indoors all the time! Spending time in parks, going for long walks, and…running (ding ding ding!) are my favorite outdoor activities.

I have not always enjoyed running. In fact, I used to hate it. I’m vertically challenged (read: short) and my little legs have to work extra hard to get farther distances. Middle school and high school gym class were my worst nightmare; an athletic child I was not.

Then: I got a job working in Japan. As a singer. A country western singer. Belting up and down stairs and running around the theater like a mad woman. Having been a dancer for most of my life, this felt like a gargantuan feat; I needed breath control. I’ve known singers over the years who have belted entire scores while running on the treadmill to prepare for more athletic roles, so I followed suit. I had done Couch to 5K the summer prior (on recommendation; then I ran a 5K and didn’t totally hate it) so I wasn’t starting from scratch, but I was still VERY new to running.

Kat in a former life, belting country western songs at Tokyo Disneyland.

Kat in a former life, belting country western songs at Tokyo Disneyland.

Running became training for the show, but also a means of getting to know my new neighborhood in Tokyo. I ran along the seawall of the Pacific Ocean, to the grocery store (and walked back, obviously), and throughout the streets of Tokyo. Running became interesting, meditative, and once my muscles had adjusted to the movement, I started to crave it. I have a hard time staying present, and running forces you to stay in the moment. It’s explorative. It’s adventuring. It’s a built-in me-party with awesome health benefits. Suddenly and bizarrely: I began to love it.

Fast forward through a 10K and half marathon later, and I got a job on a tour. I was living life on a bus (hours and hours a day) and desperately needed to move my body. Lunch break? Go for a run. Early morning bus call? Run before we leave. I ran in dozens of states, in all kinds of weather. Now, it’s safe to say: I love running.

But nowhere do I love running more than on the beach. After tour, the job had a sit-down (stayed put) in Florida. I began running barefoot on the beach. This sounds like a breezy cliché. It is definitely a cliché, but let me assure you: it is not a breeze. Beach running is HARD.

 

BUT It is joyous and an excellent workout because:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Water
  3. Did you know your body exercises on average 1.6X harder on a beach run than a standard run on pavement or a treadmill?
  4. You’re doing resistance training as well as cardiovascular training.
  5. You’re using a whole new set of stabilizing muscles to anchor your ankles and feet as you run on uneven surface.
  6. Free pedicure
  7. Jumping in the ocean after a workout? I mean: come on.
  8. Did I mention sunshine?
Sweaty Katharine looking at the wrong camera, per usual.

Beach run blissed out sweaty Katharine looking at the wrong camera, per usual.

Basically, it’s great bang for your buck. If you find yourself near a beach (winter escape, anyone?) in the coming weeks, lather up your SPF 70, grab your sturdiest swim top (the one I’m wearing here is specifically for water sports and it’s amazing!), take off your shoes, and hit the beach! You may not run your normal speed, but I promise it’s worth the extra effort.

I love how many Challengers have come to love running over the past year–truly, it’s amazing. I’m such an advocate of the meditative and cardiovascular benefits. Here’s one more running challenge to add to the list 🙂

Have a beautiful weekend, Challengers! Cheers from Cancun!

Captain Kat

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In Praise of the Attainable

Attainable results don’t get enough love. In 2016, we remain positively drunk on unattainable beauty, unattainable physiques. Can’t we move on? From the Shmardashians, the Barbie bodies, the Housewives?

barbie

I’m not just bored by it, I’m down right annoyed. Frustrated. Far beyond ‘over it.’ This ‘beauty’ is bought. It’s artificial. And these women–in all likelihood–aren’t healthy, as in inside out, physically at their best.

But who cares? For most of the world, it’s unattainable. And isn’t that what makes it so attractive?

Food and fitness and body image are so deeply intertwined with feelings of self-worth, control, confidence, and emotion. And when you don’t see or believe in other viable solutions, the instinct is to starve yourself, or go nuts in the gym and restrict your diet, or do a juice cleanse, or drink mostly protein shakes for a few days/weeks/months, only to yo-yo back (in all likelihood) to a worse place than you were before.

I’ve watched friends and colleagues do all of these things. Heck, I did these things. And it crushed my spirit and weakened my body–and my will. I either had total control or absolutely no control whatsoever; moderation didn’t exist. Why is there such a lack of education about all of this? I’m sure it’s altered drastically in the last 10 years, but guys…the food pyramid? My health classes growing up? They were such a joke. My teachers meant well, I’m sure, and in fact they probably didn’t have the extent of wellness knowledge that’s available today, but so much time was wasted that could have addressed rampant eating disorder issues in my school. But what alternative did we know of when we had chicken fingers or the world’s least palatable lettuce for lunch, artificially constructed women on TV, and our bodies were morphing from gangly girl bodies into woman bodies? Fitness buffs seemed too bulky and Ninja-Turtley for my idea of a dream physique. So, restriction was the name of the game. It was miserable.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to go nuts in the gym one week and feel hopeless when you don’t see results the next. Physical fitness and wellness aren’t quick fixes–they are life-long journeys, like bettering your mind or aspiring to a new phase of your career or practicing the piano. Nurturing and treating and listening to and motivating your body are practices that should be attended to throughout your life.  The good news? Once you establish healthful habits, it’s much harder to break them than keep them–truly. They become no-brainers. And better yet: you have the knowledge to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Over the past 6 months, my Challengers have messaged me pictures of improved physiques, clothes that once fit now being too large, new muscles they never had previously. My favorite messages to receive? “Kat, I had a cheat meal last night, but I didn’t feel out of control and I’m not beating myself up about it today.” Do you know how epic this is? This is the secret sauce. This is the ultimate triumph on the journey to reconciling your aspirations, your own self worth, and your body.

My Challengers aren’t wrecking their bodies or restricting copious amounts and varieties of food. They’re learning. They’re pushing themselves daily. They’re committing to their bodies, their well-being, their self worth, their time, their quality of life.

Captain Kat Fitness is a culmination of what I’ve learned from

a) recovering from 10 years of eating disorders

b) recovering from a lack of confidence and sense of control

c) crawling out of that black hole and voraciously reading and learning and researching everything about nutrition and physical fitness

d) cautiously, then excitedly, then passionately discovering my strength in the gym

e) falling in love with running and outdoor exercise (went from a Couch to 5K program to running a half marathon)

f) maintaining the physique I wanted and continuing to improve it over a span of 5 years

g) pursuing my personal training certification

h) creating and constantly re-creating and updating the Better Body Challenge to share what I’ve learned (nutritionally, physically, wellness-wise) and what has enabled a sense of control, excitement and passion, and confidence in my life.

kat

I believe in this stuff at my core. I am a full-blown wellness evangelist and all I want is to break as many women from the imprisonment of their own self-deprication into confidence and strength. It’s why I became a personal trainer, why I sent out 200 daily motivational emails over the past 6.5 months to my challengers, why I’m happy to answer any and all questions at any time, why I accept and believe in any client regardless of age or physical ability. I recognize that goals look different for each of you, and I’ve done my best to promote that in CKF. Maybe the Better Body Challenge isn’t your jam, and that’s cool. But if you might indulge me for just a second of genuinely-felt woowoo goodness: where do you stand with your confidence, self satisfaction? Are you giving yourself at least 30 minutes a day that are strictly your own–where you’re doing something just for you? For your well being and sanity? To improve your quality of life? If the BBC isn’t for you or you’ve already found your solution, that’s rockin’. If not, make sure you’re giving yourself permission to get a little selfish for at least a few minutes every day. Be good to you, your body, and your life, lady. After all, it’s the only one you’ve got.

 

Dump the unattainable. Pursue the attainable.

xoxo,

Captain Kat

 


Captain Kat is the creator of the Better Body Challenge, a monthly fitness program with 20 minute video workouts for in home or at-gym workouts, daily motivational emails, a private Facebook community, nutritional guides, and 24/7 access to a personal trainer (Captain Kat). For any questions, email kat@kinektfitness.com To register, click the link above or visit www.captainkatfitness.com/register

CKF = Attainable, Sustainable Results

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A Letter to My March Challengers (And sneak peek for everyone else)

MARCHBETTER BODY

My beautiful, stunning challengers:

WELCOME TO THE MARCH BETTER BODY CHALLENGE!  I am so excited about this fresh new group of ladies committed to bettering their bodies over the next (at least) 30 days.  (NOTE: This email is much longer than the normal daily emails, but is the ONE email you MUST read before we begin.

Here’s what the Better Body Challenge IS about:

1. SUSTAINABLE CHANGE.  First and foremost, we’re going to make sure you’re endowed with the tools and education you need to make sustainable change in your life.  Why do diets fail? Because you’re overhauling your diet for a temporary period of time and are willing to go to extreme lengths to get there. Will you lose a couple pounds? Probably. Will you keep it off for good? Unlikely. This group is for eliminating every possible obstacle that keeps you from achieving health and happiness physically—that means getting more sleep, drinking more water, educating yourself about what nutrients go into your body, and how to use your body maximally when you work out.  This is literally about improving your quality of life.  Will it take some brainpower? Yep. Will it take some patience? Yes. Will it take some hard work at the gym (or working out at home)? Yes. But you get ONE body and we want to make sure you give it the love it deserves so that, in turn, it can give you the BEST quality of life.

2. JUDGEMENT FREE.  The Facebook group is your greatest weapon.  These ladies are the best workout buddies you could have, because you can post on the wall anytime and ask me a question (Please, please, please share to the GROUP so that everyone has the benefit of learning from the response), share a recipe you’re trying for the first time, a shameless gym selfie, a gym checkin—whatever will inspire you to keep going.  USE us. We are in this together, and it is totally judgement free.  Along these lines: you will notice we have a wide array of challengers in here.  Some of these ladies are CRAZY FIT ALREADY and we love them and some of these ladies are newer to the fitness journey or returning to the fitness journey and we LOVE you too!  Everyone is running their own race and has their own goals, and we can all support one another in our separate endeavors.

3. KINDNESS.  Please, please, please be kind to yourself.  Remember how I said this isn’t just some fad diet?  If you have a rough day, it’s not just okay—it’s human.  We *all* have them.  Please be kind and patient with yourself. This doesn’t give you a free pass not to TRY, but it does mean you should hop back on that back wagon without self-loathing if you slip.

Components of the Challenge:

1. You will receive daily emails from me (except on Saturdays, which are your designated rest day).  Though I reiterate some of the same topics month-to-month, the material is new every. single. month.  This is not required reading, but it is meant to start your day in a mindful, intentional, healthy place in terms of physical fitness and nutrition.  They will arrive to your inbox every morning at 7AM EST.  If you miss one, nbd. They’re just an additional tool if you find starting your day with a knowledge nugget, a training story, a fitness hack, a recipe, or a stupid gym meme puts you in a rockin’ place.

2. The month-at-a-glance calendar is up on the website (www.captainkatfitness.com/march) If you need to swap some days around, plan in advance. As I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase thrown around in the fitness community: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I post the weekly breakdown of workouts in advance on the website (and typically will give you a heads up on the Facebook page).

3. The Facebook Group: turn on your notifications. We don’t post incessantly, and any and all updates arrive on that page in real time.  This is where your workout buddies are.  This is where support is key.  This is where I can answer any and all questions.  This is where recipes are shared.  Get into it.  Lastly, THIS is where the video workout quick-thrus live.  I’ll post a quick video of the daily workouts for your viewing pleasure 🙂

What You Need for the Challenge:

1. At Home Worker Outers: dumbbells (if you can get one lighter set and one heavier set, that’s ideal.)  If you want to up your game with a jump rope for cardio day, a resistance band for strength training and stretching, and a yoga mat you are welcome to get these as add-ons but they are not necessary.  If you want recs on specific brands, I’m happy to give them. Just email me at kat@kinektfitness.com or message me on Facebook.

2. Find your Nutrition Plan: the workouts and one-on-one support of the program are the biggest components of the program, but these guides provide a fair amount of info and two solid guides for navigating your nutrition over the next month.  Californians is geared towards clean eating and curbing sugar, New Yorkers is for those who like to track macros and are wanting to supplement protein-wise.

3. ENTHUSIASM.  For real, it plays a huge role.  Have faith in yourself and this process, and you will be shocked by how much you can accomplish.

LASTLY:  Tomorrow is PREP DAY.  You do NOT need to stress about tomorrow.  It is the day to figure out your Nutrition Type, introduce yourself to the group on the Facebook page, take a look at the workouts for the week and get your ducks in a row.

THANK YOU FOR BEARING WITH THIS EMAIL.  If you got to the end, please respond with a “got it!” so that I know you’re receiving the emails and got all the info 🙂

You are STARS and I can’t wait to get this March Party started.

xoxo,

an abnormally verbose Captain Kat

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I’M LIKE CHUMBAWUMBA, BABY (Two steps forward, One Step Back)

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Hello, from the slump.  The rut.  The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad semi-inexplicably lackluster day.  The woe-is-me semi-unfounded home of the blues.  I hate these days.  I find them to be a waste of time (usually).  Although: as I age, I find that these slumpy days have their merits.

 

WHAT DO I WANT?

 

WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARDS BUILDING/ACHIEVING?

 

WHAT IMPACT CAN I HAVE ON THE WORLD AROUND ME?

 

Self centered?  Yeah, sure, a little.  I’m a millennial, I haven’t been an independent adult long enough to be sick of it yet, and I have an insatiable hunger for…well, almost everything.  For success, for learning, for food, for stretching the limits of my body, for contributing to something, for building things, for discovering, for putting myself in positions that terrify me.  But you know what I enjoy most? Sharing the journey/experience. I don’t want to just build something for myself–I want to build tools that will better the collective experience and the individual lives of those in it. I know that sounds like a load of you-know-what, but it isn’t.  I want that.

 

You know how people will say “it takes 10 years to become an overnight success”? No? Okay, well trust me: it’s a thing. I don’t have insane delusions of grandeur, but there are increasingly specific goals I’ve set for myself and these projects in the past year and I feel like I’m on a lifelong Wipeout game where hilariously dumb obstacles keep knocking me off my feet and starting the whole process again…or at least a few steps behind where I/the projects used to be.

 

All of this ambiguous metaphorical talk goes to say that I’m not satisfied or content with where I am right now.  I’m not happy with myself physically (yeah, I know. possibly the kiss of death for a personal trainer to admit that on her own fitness website?…I’m human, too!) or career-wise.  I’m working so hard to improve these things, but…it takes time.  So I’m practicing patience the best I can and forging ahead.

 

The best result of these hum-drum moments, I find, is that they usually become catalysts for change…or like a superboost in a video game. Unhappy? Unsatisfied? Disappointed? Cool. Fan that flame, baby. Work harder. Work better. Work faster. I’m like ChumbaWumba, baby. I get knocked down BUT I GET UP AGAIN.

 

As a bit of accountability, here’s where I stand and here’s what March is (working towards) changing:

  1. My body: living out of a hotel and doing a decidedly un-physical show during the winter time has been difficult. Spending many, many hours trying to build businesses on my laptop has been difficult. Hilariously and depressingly ironic to lose some physique while you build a fitness business, but it’s a real thing. So here’s what’s up: I am 100% all-in with you challengers in March.  I have ambitious fat loss goals I’m pursuing this month.  I have strength training goals I’m pursuing this month. I’m going to give you all some one-up challenges for a little extra boost, if you’re really wanting to get into the nitty gritty of fat loss and muscle gain.  Let’s do this.
  2. CaptainKatFitness: I am as in love with this project as I was 4 months ago.  Change (namely sustainable change) takes time–we know this.  So I don’t have hundreds of members.  So I’m not making a profit. It’s okay. We are building something, you and me. And it is so, so special. And I have no doubt that it’s worth the time and energy. I freaking love you guys. And, shameless plug, if you want to help even more with the building of this passion project, get a friend on board.  They can literally pay a dollar for a full month next month.  Or $5 if they want to forgo a frappuccino next month.  Trust me: the effects of the Better Body Challenge will be better and last longer than that $5 coffee.  www.captainkatfitness.com/register (or just click ‘register’ above)
  3. Kinekt, the App: My first fitness baby, Kinekt, is still living in limbo and effectively has been since late summer. Kat’s going to need some more capital to fund the development.  But I still believe in it, love it, and (in time) will produce it.  The work is there, and maybe someday a Kickstarter or Crowdfund of some kind will help launch it out of limbo, but for now…this one’s waiting on the sidelines.
  4. Unannounced Project That I love But Can’t Announce Yet: I’m so stoked about this one. It’s bubbling and brewing and going to be so neat and wonderful. It needs a lot of love and work before I can officially share it with you all, but ladies (and gents–oh HEY dudes! this project is for you, too!) I really think it’s going to be awesome (AND FREE) and well worth the effort and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

So what have we learned in this little check in? Big projects are freaking hard work. Hard work takes time. Starting a new career is challenging and exhausting. Building that career is even moreso. But are these projects still worth the time, effort, and money? Absolutely. I believe in them…and I hope you will, too.  And thanks for following (and supporting) the journey.  It means the world.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat


 

If you have some spare change to contribute towards the journey and help keep CKF running (or even want to contribute to Kinekt), there’s a button below.  If now’s not the time, no problem.  Happy to have you along for the journey and thanks for reading.


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So Many Dreams, So Little Patience

2am, any early morning between October and May of 2007-2008.  Tuthill performance hall, Rhodes College.  18 year old Kat sneaking into the performance hall with the code she’d memorized, playing piano and belting full-voice for hours and hours with printed sheet music.  Incessant stalking of musical theater idols.  Slow-burning dissatisfaction that she–I–wasn’t in school to pursue theater, but lack of gumption to do something about it.

 

The catalyst for actually pursuing theater came the summer following freshman year.  I knew I wasn’t challenged or happy where I was, but didn’t know how to get out of it or where to go.  Thanks to the happenstance of a mentor-friend’s advice, my mother’s patience, and some glorified community theater, a new (very scary) plan was forged: leave Rhodes, attend community college for a year, and audition for a couple theater schools.

 

It was a huge leap of faith, but it worked out (mercifully).  I spent the bulk of college performing in the Dallas area while finishing my theater degree and started traveling with theater gigs the fall after graduation across the country, to Tokyo, Japan, on a boat, to Alaska, to Canada, to New York, on a tour, out, and back again.

 

I continue to love performing, but the love is well-worn, and as I approach the big 3-0 (okay, in 3.5 years, but still) I recognize the same feeling I had almost a decade ago: a need for a great, big, impossible challenge, a different set of muscles and brainpower to challenge and stretch and grow, a need to achieve something totally new.

 

Personal training certification had long been a goal, but the problem-solving, creatively bent facet of my make craves an adjacent challenge.  So I’m building Captain Kat.  I’m building the Better Body Challenge.  I built an app that’s living in limbo until I can afford to develop it.  I have a brand new project in the works (again, all under this same umbrella).  The underlying big-scary that I’m seeking?  Class.  School.  Technical Skills.  The confidence and know-how to build something I’m proud of and challenges me and scares me in the fun, healthy way.  A community to support these endeavors.  Though theater was technically only a viable career in my world beginning midway through college, there were so many steps and stumbles on the way to fairly consistent gig-work.  Piano lessons since 6, dance lessons since 3, choir my whole life, a couple high school musicals, a year of community college, 2 years of theater school BFA, a sizable handful of community theater shows, regional theater as a local actor, and then getting out and doing the big-and-scary.  I have a giant network of theatrical friends and mentors.  I love this world.  I know this world.

 

I built my app 6 months ago, I built Captain Kat four months ago.  The number of friends I have in the entrepreneurial/technical world are mostly only acquaintances, and I can count them on one hand.  Starting something completely new is overwhelming.  But I remember feeling overwhelmed by the processes of the theater world–how to make friends, how to network, how the union worked, where to take voice lessons, where to take dance lessons, when to move to New York, how to audition, where to audition.  All of this is second nature to me now.  I don’t even think about it.  And–difficult though it may be–I have to remember that while I build up this second (hopefully–dare I say it?) career.  I’m as excited and inspired and terrified as I was with theater.  Do I have the aptitude?  The gumption?  A big enough brain?  The persistence?  The drive?

 

 

….I think so?

 

Do I need to relocate?  How do I build a community?  Where do I find mentors?  What classes do I take?  I can only hope I find answers to these questions sooner rather than later, and hustle and try and fail and succeed and persevere until it all becomes real.

 

So many dreams, so little patience.

 

Thanks for following the journey.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City

The first day back in Manhattan after a sizable stint away is typically a hilarious wakeup call.  My Ninja-Turtle shell of New-Yorker-disposition is nowhere in sight, and reality deals revelations swiftly and certainly throughout the day.

 

get-prepared-for-winter-in-nyc-2

The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City (after some time away)

  1. Snow stays white for about 4-5 hours.  After that, it’s a mud-slush-porridge of trash, melting snow, dirt, and…various unpleasant miscellany that best goes unmentioned.
  2. You can get almost any service in the world done or buy anything you want or access anything you want within about 20 minutes.  It is empowering and it is glorious and it’s so deliciously dangerous and expensive.
  3. Smiling is an invitation.  Careful.
  4. The happiest people in New York are tourists.
  5. Speaking of tourists: winter is for the die-hards, summer is for the tourists.  A woman in the nail salon dubbed me her best friend for about 10 minutes and we jointly lamented the sludge snow and difficulty of life in New York in the winter.  As Darwinian as the city can be is as tribal as it can be.  New Yorkers gotta stick together, man.
  6. What constitutes as suitably warm clothing in a driving-city is not warm enough for walking around in New York.  Overprepare.
  7. All shoes are not created equal.
  8. Never forget your chargers.
  9. Never forget your umbrella.
  10. All coffee shops are not created equal.  Though there are a handful of diamond-in-the-rough coffee shops that contain the precious trifecta of ample seating room, wifi, and dependable bathrooms (the coffee is secondary, though a few coffee shops have this, too–looking at you, FIKA, Taszo, Joe’s at Columbia University), the most dependable of coffee shops is sadly Starbucks.  The UWS Joe Coffee may have delicious espresso, but their tables are laughably small and there’s nary an open wifi signal in sight.
  11. Central Park is beautiful year-round.  It’s more comfortable at certain times of the year, but unless it’s super swampy or blizzard-ed over, there are few better places to take a walk in the world.
  12. The best way to experience New York is knowing you are going to have to leave soon.  When I’m trapped on this island without an end date, the day in-day out of dayjobbing and hustling dream-pursuing and avoiding eye contact and avoiding puddles and walking your legs off gets unbelievably tiresome.  But here I am, for 36 hours, brimming with joy and excitement and dreams and plans like the stupid naive optimistic Kat who arrived here over 2 years ago.  When your time to allow the magic the city offers is limited, it helps you realize how precious it actually is.
  13. It is the greatest city in the world.  I SAID IT.  I wouldn’t say it if I were living here right now…I don’t think.  I have had the roughest back and forth of affection with this silly place.  It’s mostly been a matter of reconciling expectation with reality.  In a few ways, this city has been a brutal slap-in-the-face and, frankly, a disappointment.  In so many other ways, it’s exceeded my wildest expectations and allowed me to pursue projects I never would have elsewhere.  The opportunities are limited.  The opportunities are limitless.

 

Hope you’re all having a beautiful start to February–I sure am.  Here’s to new opportunities.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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The Super Mario Brothers of Fitness Programs

I invite you to think of the Better Body Challenge as an Accelerator towards achieving sustainable change–and, in turn, your better body–every single day.  Do I want you to only do my workouts while you’re a Challenger?  Only if that’s what you want!  Do you have a favorite dance, yoga, zumba, bodypump, kettlebell, jillian michaels, fitness blender class that you LOVE?  DO IT.  Do you want me to prescribe your workout schedule every day?  No problem.  It works either way; The whole point of this program is to eliminate obstacles in the way of your fitness goals.  There are so many ways to get there, so we’re going to find out what works and is fun for you.

 

Let’s talk about this in N64 terms.  You’re Mario.

mario

You are a) ADORABLE b) eager to change.  Fortunately, with Captain Kat’s Better Body Challenge (henceforth referred to as “CKBBC”) you have ample tools in your arsenal.

First, you have your “why.”  On day 1 of the Challenge, I invite my challengers to post a selfie introducing themselves to the group and sharing their “why.”  To watch a very smart man explain the psychology of “why,” click this.  Otherwise, take my word for it and read on.  “Wanting to be healthy” or “wanting to be skinny” ARE NOT SPECIFIC WHYS.  When you are tired, sore, and lacking enthusiasm to workout before work in the AM, these whys will not pull you through.  “I want to make my ex pissed at how fabulous I look,”  “I want to have arms like Michelle Obama,” and “I want visible abs in a bikini” are excellent “whys.”

unnamed

Remember these fierce little dudes?  These are your power ups.  When you’ve powered up and a baddie knocks you down, you stay up because you had extra powers.  That’s what your “why” does.

 

Secondly, you have a map.

Mario_World_world_map_(assembled_by_Piken)

Some days you don’t want to go to yoga class.  Some days you walk into the gym and think “I don’t even know where to begin.  Treadmill, I guess..?”  Some days you want to work out at home.  CKBBC eliminates the excuses and–even better–the wasted time so that you can maximize your workout time.  Thanks to a daily workout schedule (that you can move around as needed), workout videos to explain each movement, and constant access to Captain Kat, you don’t ever need to feel lost or bored at the gym.

Speaking of the Captain–she is/I serve as THIS:

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Ask a question, tell me your troubles, stress out to me about foods, celebrate your suggestions, AND I GIVE YOU COINS!!!

…just kidding.  I don’t give you coins. But I do give you knowledge bombs, a high five, a kick in the pants when necessary.  I give you a daily pep talk every morning at 7am eastern time to start your day with some body mindfulness and positivity.  I share recipes, workout hacks, and my favorite athletic wear.  I’ve been known to give challengers quest bars just for their feedback on the program.  I am your biggest cheerleader.  I want you to succeed.  Sure–it’s my business.  When you succeed, it means the service works.  But more importantly, I legitimately care about your experience.  Fun fact: I’m still in the phase of this business where I am losing money and a TON of time to run it.  I’m not doing this for the big bucks; It’s a passion project.  Let’s achieve the body of your dreams–okurr?

TOOL #4: THE COMMUNITY

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You know that pal who will, you know, occasionally take class or go to the gym with you?  And some day you’ll feel kinda inspired to go but you bail when your buddy doesn’t join you.  BYE FELICIA.  CKBBC has a whole GANG of ladies ready to support you.  Post that stress on the facebook page and you’ll get likes, comments, AND BETTER YET real live people caring about your success.  I cannot impress the importance of this factor of the program enough.  The private facebook community is GIANT.

REALISM: SMALL SUCCESSES ACHIEVE BIG WINS

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You have to achieve levels to win the world.  There’s a lot of flag-jumping to be done before you get the big wins.  This is real life.  You know what isn’t real life?  Violently restricting your diet for a small period of time, dehydrating yourself, hurting your joints overdoing it at the gym.  We want sustainable change.  We want something you will be excited to do.  We want to see accelerated, real, sustainable results.  We want ALL da flags and ALL da castles.

BOTTOM LINE:  This program makes it as easy as humanly possible to commit to your health.  Obstacles are removed, rewards are in store.  Don’t stand in the way of yourself, and I guarantee you will find success and results in the Challenge.

I’m so gosh darn excited to start February I could burst.  Today is the LAST day to register, so if you’ve been waiting–this is the final opportunity.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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The Beauty of Taking Class: When Others Know Best

Yesterday was a doozy of a day. For a control freak hellbent on success, optimism, and achievement, I’m at a temporary (I hope) phase of life where there is more-than-normal outside of my control.  So I have buried myself in my work on Captain Kat–which has brought me genuine joy along with some equally genuine stress–and thoughts of the future.

 

And I’ve completely forgotten how to live in the now.

 

My boyfriend is kind of a genius.  Beyond the fact that he’s about to officially publish his first book (and has others on the way), he puts his phone on airplane mode when we’re together.  And it’s not just when we’re doing long distance.  And it’s not just when we’re on a date.  Unless we’re having a specific “work date” where we simultaneously work on our projects in the same space and allow phones, he doesn’t even look at his.  Which–for a 26 year old in 2016–is pretty amazing.  I’m certainly not as diligent as he is about this, but I’ve improved. And in turn: we’ve improved.

Right now I’m so concerned with what is next–and frankly a bit dissatisfied with where I am now–that I’m escaping into every mobile/web device/youtube vortex/work escape imaginable before I allow a minute to take inventory of my mental state, my physical state, and just be calm.

 

So, today I landed at the gym pretty tired and slightly uninspired to workout.  I worked out twice yesterday because frustration, because eating naughty things that gave me energy that I needed to burn, because cabin fever, and today: I am unsurprisingly tired.  So I put my stuff in the locker and wandered into the sauna for some glorious, sweat drippy magic, and walked into the gym and found myself in a BodyFlow class.

 

I’m kind of a class snob.  I’ve taken a lot of classes all over the nation–heck, all over the world–and you know what I’ve learned?  Much like the inexplicably entertaining astronomy class you had to take for a science credit with a particularly charismatic professor or the should-have-been-awesome theater class taught by a lazy professor–the teacher makes or breaks the class.  Corinna at Gold’s Gym Fredericksburg is a total boss.  First of all: she’s ripped.  Second of all: she’s a smart lady who teaches a killer class.

 

BodyFlow, as it turns out, is a combo of Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi–just what the doctor ordered today.  The whole class is set to music, involves a super groovy tai-chi based warmup (that is a true warmup–in that it settles you in for the class, gives you a nice thorough stretch, and eases your muscles into activity) and then 7-8 tracks of music taking you through sun salutations, balance activity, strength activity, and stretching.  And then: stillness.  My favorite least favorite.  As one who struggles to rest on vacation, it takes someone else instructing me to be still before I’ll actually do it.  And it is such a practice.

 

My favorite things about class in general:

  1. It’s disciplined.  It’s a practice.  There’s measurable improvement–or not.
  2. You have no choice but to be present.  You’ll fall over if you aren’t.
  3. It’s a physical-mental pairing.  It’s the two working in tandem, when so often I find mine work in opposition of one another.
  4. It’s give and take.  It’s allowing someone to teach you.  It’s being vulnerable.  It’s putting forth effort.
  5. If it’s a good one: there’s almost a story to it.  There’s rising action, climax, denoument, and a coda for stillness.

 

At any rate, if you come across an opportunity to take a BodyFlow class, I highly recommend it.  It’s such a gift of a presence check-in.  Get into it.

 

As always, be good to you today, challengers.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

 

 

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Captain Kat is a personal trainer based in New York City and the founder of the Better Body Challenge.  LesMills didn’t pay for or ask Captain Kat to review BodyFlow–she just loved the class so much that she had to write about it!  The beauty of Captain Kat Fitness and the Better Body Challenge is that they can work in tandem with just about any fitness class or product.  The whole point is simply to be active and eliminate obstacles in the way of daily achieving a better body!  Want Kat to try out your class or product?  Shoot her a line at kat@kinektfitness.com

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When is it okay to CHEAT?

A challenger messaged me such a beautiful question today. Where do CHEAT DAYS come into play here?

Storytime. You all know my day-gig is acting. Well, yesterday we had a rather rocky tech rehearsal that stretched super late at night. I came home to the hotel and some folks wanted to hang. I was *ravenous* and instead of my typical late night go to–a protein brownie (because it’s immediate, so tasty, and filling, and…protein!!)–I told myself I could curtail my snack eating(their snacks) whilst hanging with my cast. I 100% failed. I absolutely overate, and to make things worse, I ate things I absolutely *Never* eat–chips on chips on chips. I don’t even LIKE chips that much!!! This is an example of a TERRIBLE cheat. It wasn’t worth the calories or pain, it wasn’t mindful or planned, and it gave me a rough night of sleep and a giant bellyache.

Challenger Jillian (unaware of this) messaged me this morning and shared that she had some ice cream (at the Ben and Jerry’s factory, no less!) and another treat and was nervous about any damage this had done. Eating Ben and Jerrys AT the Ben and Jerry’s factory? YES YES YES perfect reason to have a cheat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my mantra is *SUSTAINABLE CHANGE.* I do not want you or expect you to give up ice cream for the rest of your life!! This is not a 6 week starve yourself and yo-yo back to your weight afterwards diet. This is not a juice “cleanse” ie sugar overload. This is not dehydrating you to make you feel skinnier. This is meant to create sustainable habits that you can realistically carry throughout your life but that will BETTER your health and 100% lead to physical results in the meantime.

Make sense?

You’re all rockstars. Everyone hanging in there? Fill me in. And don’t eat the chips.

xoxo,
Captain Kat