Before success, there will be struggle. There will be things that make us uncomfortable, physically and emotionally. While I'm working out, I know that is especially true. The things that come easy to us are fun to do, but true fulfillment, or transformation comes right after the struggle.
5 years ago Mike Dixon (our expert Primal Coach), was 65 pounds heavier, and suffered from various health issues. Nothing motivated him. I (his wife), had just opened a fitness studio, and couldn't inspire him. We both knew it ultimately needed to come from within. He would yo-yo on different diets or workouts, but nothing lit a fire under him for good.
He ate a lot of processed food and loved a good Coors Lite. Chronic heartburn and indigestion had him popping zantac like it was candy. The acid reflux was so bad that he was getting sick in the bathroom during lunch meetings with potential clients (he is in sales). He also suffered from headaches often, and had borderline high blood pressure and cholesterol.
The day he hit rock bottom was when the doctor told him he could have esophageal cancer, (because the acid reflux had been such a chronic issue). Luckily it was not cancer. However, at that point he made a choice. Instead of continuing to put a bandaid on the issue with meds, he chose to change his lifestyle and heal his body.
Within days of giving up processed food and grains, his headaches and reflux were gone. Within a couple of weeks, his blood pressure and cholesterol were lower.
He became passionate about eating and moving the way our bodies were intended. He read and studied about it daily. He started coming to Primal regularly, and later became a coach. He knew so many, male and female alike, who struggle with real change, and were seeking the inspiration to get there. He knew he could relate, and aspired to show them the steps to get there.
Sure, there are weeks now that he may not "feel like" working out, or choosing real food over processed. But, he does it anyway. For 5 years he has "SHOWN UP" to workout 5 days a week. He still studies, researches and creates unique classes each week (no 2 are ever the same). In the afternoons, while the studio is quiet and empty, he attacks his creation with everything he has, living it, and perfecting it before the class arrives, and he leads them in their own transformation.
A couple times a week, he may not make the best choices in what he eats, or chooses to sit on the couch, but, he lives by the 80/20 rule, and it works.
Some results came immediately, and he was stoked about the success. Instead of settling with the initial change, and remaining there, it fueled him to work a little harder each day, to find each level of success. He found how small steps ultimately climb mountains. He continues to change his workouts, trying new movements, increasing his intensity, and bringing a little more each and every day. In the past year, he has lost 15 more pounds.
He is busy.
He runs 2 businesses ...well, assists one of them ;)
He gets tired.
He doesn't always feel like it,
BUT HE ALWAYS SHOWS UP.
It takes 21 days to make a habit. If you keep "showing up", NO MATTER WHAT, you've created a habit. Then, CONSTANTLY showing up, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year is where the real transformation happens. That's when your life changes for good. That's when you can enjoy each level of success in what you're capable of.
To be honest, when his interest in a holistic lifestyle began, I never believed it would stick. But, I am incredibly proud, and so stoked that it did! Not only for himself, but the small life that watches and mimics her daddy every day!
One thing that most people don't know about me, is I never took a strength class until about 6 years ago. Granted, I have been a fitness instructor for 9, but I only stuck to cardio because it was the only thing (I thought) I was good at. Before I opened my own space I would see the body pump, and bootcamps at the gyms I worked at, but was completely intimidated by them. People carrying weights, knocking out pushups, burpees, and squats, terrified me! I thought everyone in the class were super strong experts, doing advanced exercises.
I could never physically last through a class.
People would gawk at me.
I would bulk up.
I wouldn't enjoy it.
I AM NOT PHYSICALLY STRONG.
After a couple of years, I created Boga (a mat class combining ballet and yoga), which is actually wonderful for toning, with mobility and flexibility infused together. I did it because, being a dancer, and spending many years training at the ballet barre, that was where I felt comfortable.
Once I opened my own space, I hired others to teach the strength classes, but knew I needed to practice what I preached. So, I swallowed my pride, and got vulnerable in Primal, in front of everyone I was supposed to be "superman" to. Truth be told, it was challenging at first, but I DID survive. I recognized if it were easy, there would be no reward. However, I WAS stronger than I thought I was in some areas! Surprisingly, many people in the class had the same challenges I did, so we bonded in that experience. There were ways to tailor each exercise to be something I could do. I was an example to the tribe, putting myself out there to try new things, even if I felt like I was making a fool of myself. And, instead of being intimidating, the strongest people in the class, became an encouragement, and showed us what was possible.
Now, I teach Primal and Karve, and exhilarate in the atmosphere! There is something that you get from strength training that not only shifts your physical self, but also your confidence and mindset. You feel physically stronger as you walk out of class. You stand taller, and take on your day with renewed vigor!
As far as "bulking up," there were times I thought that was happening. However, when I was honest with myself, I found wasn't watching my portion control. I was strengthening the muscle under the fat. Whenever I eat the amount I should, I become lean again. The truth is, muscle burns 3 times more calories at rest than fat. Cardio burns a big amount of calories in a short period of time, but muscle is what increases your metabolic rate, so you are burning more calories even while sitting at your desk or sleeping.
The best thing about Primal, is it's functional body weight and mobility training. Instead of working a single muscle group with a lot of weight, it's incorporating full body movements, the way our body was designed. It improves balance (which we all take for granted), and range of motion. Typically, the fuller your movement, the more you benefit from the exercise. So, the moves not only tone and sculpt, but create LONGEVITY, and a better quality of life. We all want to be able to move, run, jump, crawl and sweat as long as we live!
I have had less injuries (only ONE in 5 years), since incorporating in consistent strength and mobility training to my schedule. Muscle actually relieves pressure off of our joints, and flexibility keeps us from pulling something when we make those full, quick movements.
And, being stronger, has made me even better at what I was already good at, CARDIO!
My #kādistripped advice for the day, is what areas of fitness do you feel like you are NOT ______ (strong, limber, fit, quick). Quit telling yourself that you are NOT. Believe in what you are. Just because you haven't tried it, or done it often, doesn't mean after a few goes at it, you won't BE that. STRIP YOURSELF OF WHO YOU ARE NOT, IN ORDER TO BE WHO YOU TRULY ARE. Think about who in your life you would impact if you did, including yourself....
I am PHYSICALLY STRONG.
Hello, I am Katie.
Share your #kādistripped stories. Use the hashtag for a chance to win the book of the month, "The Longevity Book" by Cameron Diaz.
When we come up with the themes each month, the hope is that it not only resonates in class and fitness, but beyond the four walls of the studio, into everyday life. When you share how the theme has impacted your life, there is no greater reward for us. We are a tribe of people, all with unique stories, bodies, and situations, but a common core, to be our best selves... Here's the story one tribe member shared today:
Facebook reminded me that I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis seven years ago today. I feel like this is the impetus I needed to write a little something for #kadistripped. There’s been something simmering since Katie first mentioned the theme this month.
When a diagnosis of chronic, incurable disease is slapped on you, it becomes a label. The label can lie to you about who you are because of disease. Over the years, I’ve found myself allowing a variety of labels to stick to me like a name tag at networking event.
Hello, I’m Sick
I have had a long journey with coming to terms with the disfunction within my body. My emotions have run the gamete from depressed and sulking to rebellious and reckless. Spiritually, I’ve experienced peace, submission, indignation and even anger. My approach to treatment has ranged from taking all the meds to taking no meds at all. I’ve modified my diet— first in extreme ways that weren’t sustainable for the long haul, and then I found the foods that cause issues and eliminated those few. Physically, I’ve been everything from bed-ridden to a burned-out runner with wrecked knees to being in the best shape of my life here recently. There was a time when I even let this disease determine my dreams. I let it limit what I thought I was capable of. I saw my capacity in every area of life through the lens of RA.
No more. I have stripped myself of the labels that come with the diagnosis. Even though I started my fitness journey still wearing so many of the negative labels, reaching new goals physically has shown me that I can put on whatever labels I choose. And that RA doesn’t have to have anything to do with the matter.
Today, seven years after being diagnosed, I can say,
Hello, I’m Healthy
...In the game
...Full of hope
...Dreaming big dreams
Even though I still hit bumps in the road, and have days when I feel sorry for myself, I’m determined to overcome every obstacle. At 36 I’ve never been in better shape or felt better in my entire life. Thanks to the encouragement, accountability, love and support I receive at Kadi Fit, along with an ever-increasing understanding of God’s Power at work in and through me, I now see no limit to what I can do. Not just physically, either. My capacity (and yours) is constantly expanding. I refuse to let an insurance code determine what I can and can’t do. So this May, seven years later, I’m stripping off the negative labels associated with RA.
Hello, I’m Tia.
My word for the year is LEARN.
Some days I feel like I am still a ditzy college girl stuck in a 33 year-old entrepreneur's body. Don't get me wrong, I will seek fun, move, and live lightheartedly until the day I die. But, I had came to the big realization, that in order to better myself in all the facets of my life: business, fitness, spirituality, serving on the board with the Kilgoris Project, I need a lot more knowledge. Growth isn't possible if I continue on the way I'd been living. I want to make more informed decisions, and have deep, intellectual, inspiring conversations that enrich my life.
Reading more is one way to get there. However, true learning is in the doing.
My first experience in Kenya, in 2014, was extraordinary. However, there was such an overwhelming amount of things to absorb, that I knew I had barely scratched the surface.
Prior to the first trip I began serving on the Board of Directors with the Kilgoris Project. Honestly, I have sucked as a board member. Especially in the beginning, I was incredibly intimidated by the super intellectuals, and felt like my lack of experience in the culture inhibited my ability to make informed decisions, when it came time to vote on things. There are many many layers to it all, numerous: schools, staff members, sustainability projects, etc. that I can hardly keep up.
I wanted to give up, and even tried quitting. But, I stuck it out. I joined a committee, where I could work with a small group, digging in deeper to the education portion of it. It's definitely helped, but I knew what I really needed, was to go on trip #2.
In the time leading up to my departure, I started doubting my decision. Why am I going again? I have a business to run, and a family to look after. Ain't nobody got time for that!
But, I realized I wasn't failing my members, or family, by going. The experiences I would have would make me a better wife, mom, and business owner. By living each moment while I was away, with a purpose, whether it was impacting a child, mother, or myself, it was well worth EVERY sacrifice.
Having specific projects that our team was researching, meant that I could finally feel like I was contributing value as a board member.
Most of all, was the BIG PICTURE is this:
I don't want to get to the end of this life only having read in a book, or seen on TV, the beauty that this world has to offer. We can look at pictures, or read about culture, but you can't smell the air, or dance with tribe. To hug someone you've never met, who doesn't speak your language, or have the same skin color, with a big smile on their face, enriches the soul like no other. To recognize that we all laugh, cry, and find pleasure in the same things, whether we have $2 to our name, or $2 million, is something you know exists, but to see it in person, transforms your soul. There are innumerable things the text books and websites don't tell us. Like that children in Kenya, or other developing nations, aren't all sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Most often, they have more joy than any kid we know! Sure, they have basic needs that aren't being met, that will rip your heart to shreds as you witness it. The reality of that, and sadness of it is true. Offering a hand in educating them in a sustainable way, is something we can do. And, on top of it, the growth found in ourselves, just by living and breathing the culture, connecting with them, and loving each other in the process, is something you can't begin to understand without going and experiencing for yourself. Period.
And, let's face it, we are all spoiled rotten. There was A LOT of sacrifice in being comfortable. The mattress was less than par, we got stuck in the mud several times, there were some crappy meals, the flight was LONG, and for an entire week we didn't see a white face, other than those on our team. But, a huge amount of personal growth is through discomfort, and learning from it. Learning about patience, or shifting the perspective and recognizing that we have it far better than most, totally helps us appreciate the simple things. Let's face it, we ALL need a reality check in that. That is where our culture's poverty lies.
I am revising my bucket list. At the end of this life, I want to have experienced the world first hand. I want to connect with people in a completely vulnerable way. I want to see, feel, smell, do, and get uncomfortable. I want to fail time and again, in order to succeed at this life. Because, the only way I would really fail, would be to never try at all.
The most rewarding part of the trip, for me, was to see the school building (a place to "learn"), that kādi funded, with my own eyes. I was able to hear the gracious words from the parents who's children now have a promising future. And, most importantly, to spend time with extended family, on the other side of the world, and know that it's fully cherished on both ends. I have a really embarrassing ugly-cry picture to show how emotional it was. If you ask me nicely, I just might share it with you. But, it would have been better for you to see it in person. ;)
Keep the Passion,
(Amazing Photo Cred: Allison Keel)