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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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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.