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Building Your Dreams Is No Cakewalk: A Check-In from the Captain

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My quarter life crisis hit me hard.  I’m not an especially patient person in general, but the necessity for me to stop living singularly off of the high from applause and a few hundred dollars a week…or worse yet: being an out of work actor trapped in the concrete-jungle-that-is-Manhattan feeling worthless, untalented, oftentimes cold, and exhausted helping stay-at-home mothers in Manhattan raise their children…hit me like brazen, crazy Miley Cyrus astride her giant wrecking ball:

quarterlife

 

So I decided to do something about it.  Towards the end of tour, I signed up for an Entrepreneurship class at the New School in New York and I registered to study for my personal training cert.  Well, fast forward five months and a lot of cramming, and I got my certification.

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And I took my Entrepreneurship course.  I had a truly inspiring professor and a sizable fire under my you-know-what and I built a beautiful app for my project. I wrote the business model/business plan/financial projections/wireframes/design guide/slide deck pitch. I learned a ton.  I pitched it to ex Google techies and the program manager for the Harvard School of Business Angel Investor Network.  They told me they thought it was a great idea and would sell and scale beautifully.

kinekt

But then my cofounder (of the app) bailed on me because, well, entrepreneurship is decidedly unglamorous and freaking hard at the start, and so I was left alone with a gorgeous idea and a ton of hard work and no means of building the app myself.  Until I find my business partner–a technical cofounder with whom I’d entrust my intellectual property, business, and a stupid amount of time–I’m a lone wolf, baby.  The plan is to fund the development of the app myself (outsource the initial development…then hopefully early adopters would use it, give me feedback, and I could either pivot and build version 2 or pitch it to some fancy investors or attempt to get into an accelerator program…and in the meantime locate my cofounder.  See how foolishly complicated this is?)  So until I have the capital to fund my app (hint: it won’t be for awhile), Kinekt is on hold and I must forge on with other dreams.

pause

Remember when I got that personal training certification?  Well, with Kinekt on temporary hold, I determined it was time to put that certification to use. I travel often, I’ve taken a zillion fitness classes all over New York–heck, all over the nation–and I love teaching.  And I’m certified! So, I thought: build a program that can be followed online by clients the world over!  Make it affordable!  Make it something you would want to do!  Make it something that is a joy and therefore does not feel like work!

And so I did.  I mean, you’re here on the Captain Kat Fitness website, aren’t you?

That lightbulb moment materialized in late October.  50+ women participated in the 2 beta/trial rounds of the Better Body Challenge and the amount I’ve learned about running this thing and shaping it into the program I want is stupendous.  January has been my first paid challenge and I have 10 clients–a perfectly respectable start.  And it’s joy, but it is work.  Boy, is it work.  And I’ve had theater gigs and “day jobs” throughout all of this.  So in a typical day: wake up early, breakfast, gym, rehearse/play pretend from 10-6(ish), come home, blast through as much of the podcasts/online classes/social media marketing/website issues/tending to clients/creating content/updating workouts/fixing membership issues/prepping for the coming month as possible, pass out.  Repeat.

IT IS EXHILARATING!!!!! IT IS CREATIVELY FULFILLING!  IT FEEDS MY SOUL!  MY CLIENTS ARE AMAZING!  IT’S LIKE 10 DREAM JOBS IN ONE! I ENJOY THE WORK!

It is also exhausting. And unless I build faster and get more clients, it–and I–will drown.

adulting

But I’m determined not to let that happen. To my beautiful friends with side projects and entrepreneurial endeavors, to those working their way out of a 9 to 5 or trying to afford the actor life, I genuinely wish you the best of luck.  The last nine months have been some of the most trying, frustrating, exhilarating, rewarding of my life so far.  I hope what I’m building will succeed.  I need it, I believe in it, and I love it.  So I’ll keep on keepin’ on, hustle until I can’t hustle anymore, and try to keep my foolishly optimistic big-dreamer mindset screwed on until these dreams–or some semblance of them–become a reality.

xoxo,

Captain Kat

15 Ways to Motivate Hump Day!

15 ways to kick start your hump-day!

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  1. Close your eyes, and visualize yourself reaching your goals.
  2. Try something new today.
  3. Take a walk in a park, and let nature reset your mind.
  4. Make a to-do list. You’ll feel encouraged as you cross off items.
  5. Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation could be making you less motivated.
  6. Eat right. Treating your body well will put you in a better place mentally.
  7. Fake it till you make it. Act like you’re motivated, and it’ll become a reality in time.
  8. Start exercising, and you’ll feel like yourself
  9. Take a small step. You don’t have to immediately immerse yourself in the project and see it until completion right away. Just make baby steps, and take it one day at a time.
  10. Wake yourself up from your slump with a cold shower.
  11. Have a reward system, so you’ll have something to look forward to.
  12. Get the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. Once you’re done with the most challenging projects, you’ll be able to tackle the others with ease.
  13. Prepare early so you’re not in a rush. When you’re late all the time or feel rushed, this may stress you out and kill your motivation.
  14. Push yourself. Realize that getting things done means giving yourself a little push sometimes.
  15. Make motivating yourself into a habit. Read The Power of Habit to help you learn how to form habits. **guys, this book is so empowering and I recommend it to all of you.

Get to it, beautiful humans.

xoxo,
Captain Kat


source: PopSugar Smart Living
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New Year, Better You

What the heck is this New year, New You business about?

I’m interested in a New Year, and a Better You.  We don’t get to re-invent ourselves every year–that isn’t sustainable.  We get to improve, learn from past mistakes, get wiser, and do better.  So, Captain Kat is promoting the #newyearbetteryou and I’m so excited to have this new batch of challengers along for the journey.

The Challenge has 3 basic components:

  1. Daily Emails:  These are for you, but they’re not mandatory.  The emails are mind snacks that are meant to start your day with some health-consciousness, a time to prioritize yourself and your health, and occasional downright silliness.  These are just an extra treat for you.  Sometimes they’re recipes, sometimes they’re pep talks, sometimes they’re just check-ins.  Use as you please.
  2. CaptainKatFitness.com: This is home to your weekly workout calendars.  My at home-worker-outers, I DO reccommend you have at least one set of weights at home (5-8 lbs min.), a mat if that’s helpful for you, and an optional resistance band.  Amazon is a fantastic resource, but if you want specific recs on equipment, please email me and I’m happy to chat with you.
  3. The Facebook Group: I can’t overemphasize how useful a tool this group can be to your health and happiness.  It is a judgement-free, 100% safe space.  Gratuitous gym selfies are encouraged.  Food pictures are encouraged.  Recipe sharing and Pinterest shares are encouraged.  Even if “facebook oversharing” isn’t your norm, know that this little group is 100% private and is only as vibrant and as strong as you’re willing to commit to it.  Also, it’s moderated 24/7 by a personal trainer (…moi!) who truly cares about your success in this journey.  Use it.

Ready to commit to a better you today?  Click above at “Tell Me More” –> “Register” to get this party started.

So thrilled to share this challenge with you all.  LET’S DO THIS.

xoxo,
Captain Kat

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Transformation Tuesday: On Loving Your Body and Leaving Shame

This is one of the scariest and most vulnerable things I’ve ever done.  I never thought I’d share these photos–much less post them to the world wide web, but I know what I want to say is important enough to merit any embarrassment or shame it may cause.

#transformation #transformationtuesday

#transformationtuesday

#transformationtuesday

I took the photos on the left just as I hit a breaking point–a point where I knew I needed change and a sense of control.  This before/after has obvious physical changes, but the most drastic changes between the Kat on the left at Kat on the right aren’t strictly visual.

 

My body image issues stemmed from a lack of understanding of how to fuel my body, a competitive environment, dance, my own perfectionist tendencies, an inability to control emotional eating, a sense of powerlessness and lack of athleticism, and–frankly?–from small, seemingly insignificant comments that are made to girls growing up by all kinds of people that I guarantee don’t think about when they say them.  And I also guarantee that any woman reading this knows exactly what I mean and has had these comments made to her at one point or another. (Boys, I’m aware that you get it too–just the other way around: size = masculinity.  And that’s not any less damaging, I know.)

 

I struggled with body image issues and eating disorders for nearly a decade–beginning around age 12 until I was 21 years old.  This happens to so many girls and affects them long after they become women.  I was a slave to the scale, to what I put in my body, to beating myself up every time I looked in the mirror.  I felt less-than, insecure, and miserable; it is every bit a mental disease as it is physical.  I yo-yod back and forth about 20lbs–which, for someone who is 5’5″, is a lot.  The photos on the left were taken shortly before I graduated from college, when I knew I had to make a definitive change and find a different solution because–honestly–it felt like I was killing myself.  Or–at the very least–living a half-life.

 

I did not enjoy the practice of working out even once I made the change, but I was desperate.  Habits hurt.  Habits are hard to form. I kept going to the gym and I began voraciously reading anything I could find online about health and fitness–fueling your body, building muscles, building performance.  I’m a creator, an entrepreneur, an achiever.  I began to find excitement in increased endurance, the drop of pounds on the scale, the ease with which I began to fit into cute clothing.  I began to enjoy the challenge.  Most importantly–I was enamored of the sense of control I was finding.  My body and I had been at odds with each other for as long as I could remember, and for once we were working in tandem.  I was learning how to fuel it, how to stave off spikes and crashes, how to mold it into something that achieved performance.  I felt like I had cracked some code that I never could unlock before.  I had the tools, the road map, the answers, and could break it down to a science.  Fitness became demystified.

 

That was 5 years ago.  I’ve been described as religious regarding fitness–this is not a deeply inaccurate description.  I believe in joyful physical fitness.  I believe it should be accessible to everyone.  I believe everyone deserves this sense of control, of achievement, of pride in their body.  Does my weight still fluctuate?  Sure.  Do I still have insecure moments?  Absolutely.  But they don’t crush me, and I know how to fix them.  And I genuinely feel pride in the body I have built.  I love my body, and it feels like the most beautiful blessing in the world.

 

This is why I am a personal trainer.  This is why we must inspire confidence and courage in one another.  This is why I must build what I am building.

 

Let’s be kinder to ourselves and to our girls.  Let’s establish a healthy dialogue about what it really is to be strong, healthy, and beautiful.  Let’s change ourselves, and–in turn–change the conversation.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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Looking for resources for disordered eating and positive body image?  I highly recommend the following:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
www.webiteback.com
www.eatingdisorderhope.com
nedic.ca
Celebrities Promoting Positive Body Image:
Jennifer Lawrence
Amy Schumer
Kate Winslet
Amanda Trusty
Rihanna

Have another resource?  Another favorite positive-body-image role model?  Interested in sharing your #postivebodyimage #transformationtuesday? Email kat@kinektfitness.com or share using the toolbar to the left.

Interested in Captain Kat’s Better Body Challenge?  Visit here.

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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