I am (not) strong

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

tribe member stripped

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
...Broken
...Sidelined
...Incapable
...Limited
...Hopeless
...Hurting

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
...Whole
...In the game
...Capable
...Limitless
...Full of hope
...Healed
…Strong
…Getting stronger
...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.

 

 

LEARNING IS IN DOING

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, 
Katie

(Amazing Photo Cred: Allison Keel) 

 

FUEL YOUR FITNESS

BY MONICA GUTIERREZ

Feed your body what it needs and it will respond in ways you never imagined. Whether you’re looking for a physical or mental change, or need deeper healing, learning to truly nourish your body with love and food is critical. I know first hand how food can positively affect you, and its fascinating. 

I have always tried to be mindful of what I eat, and whether or not it is “healthy”. With the exception of my lean-and-mean egg sandwich, I didn’t really know how to cook, so I tried to make good choices at restaurants. The thought of cooking intimidated me. I often felt overwhelmed by the number of ingredients, seemingly advanced cooking techniques, and felt it took forever to get the meal on the table. In the early days, as I was just getting started, it definitely took a bit longer to prepare a simple grilled chicken and often went for the prepared option from the store. As I learned later, cooking and meal preparation gets faster and faster the more you do it and the intimidation quickly vanishes. 

In 2011, when I met my husband Carlos, and moved to Indianapolis, I decided to go after a dream of becoming a professional cheerleader. Carlos encouraged me from the beginning to go for it. I prepared for months, and learned more about fitness and nutrition during the process. Carlos introduced me to eating clean, and cooking all of my food (which seemed completely crazy to me). I started to notice that I couldn’t get the results I wanted from crazy workouts alone. My physique really started to transform when I finally realized that my success relied on a balance of mental, nutritional and physical changes. I needed to eat whole, real ingredients, and prepare them myself so I could keep track of my progress. It was important to avoid hidden sugars and artificial ingredients that didn’t serve my body. I started with simple meals, and soon it became my lifestyle. I felt the best I ever had then. Increased energy and confidence were the only side effects. With Carlos’ help, guidance from a dear friend, and a lot of hard work, I was happy to make the team. I was able to give 100% of my energy to long practices and intense workouts because of the food choices I was making. 

After my season with the Colts, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina with a new appreciation and excitement for health and nutrition. I began teaching kardio dance at kādi, and continued my work as a registered nurse. My passion kept growing as I continued to read, and learn about nutrition and fitness on my own. I couldn’t keep all the amazing things I was learning to myself, so decided to get certified as a health coach.  I wanted to help open peoples’ eyes, the way my eyes were opened, to how the value good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle adds to their life. 

Now, I enjoy cooking and love the challenge of new recipes. No matter your health goals, cooking, whole foods, and a mindful approach to nutrition and fitness should be a part of your journey. 

Show your body love by what you put inside.

JOIN MONICA AND CARLOS THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, AT NOON, AS THEY SPEAK MORE IN DEPTH ABOUT "FUELING YOUR FITNESS." (Free for members, or $10 for non-members)

FEED YOUR BODY LOVE

For most of us, male or female, loving our body is a constant struggle. It's not until we start seeing results, that we begin to feel proud of it. And, even then, it's never perfect enough for us. We don't look in the mirror and see our attributes, all we can seem to focus on, are our flaws. We magnify them and carry them with us everywhere we go. The minute we see someone, we feel like they notice them: the few pounds we put on this week, the way our thighs touch, stomach hangs over our pants, or blemish that popped up on our face.
Food is a battle in itself, and a reflection of how we feel about our body. On "good days" we practice better portion control, or only eat what we consider "healthy" (which aren't always as healthy as we think). Some of us feel like we are in better control of our life, if we can control the amount of calories we consume each day. Or, maybe days we are less motivated, we sabotage ourselves, using food like drugs; out of boredom, or some sort of emotional fulfillment.
Everywhere we turn, we are lured by the next detox/quick fix/fat burner (what they can sell to make money off of you). They may work in the short-term, but what about the damage we are doing, and years taken off of our lives by these products and the man made chemicals put in them?
You've probably heard this before, but everything your body needs, was put on this earth for you to enjoy, and savor. By consuming WHOLE, REAL food, we are able to: heal, prevent sickness and disease, change our skin's complexion, and YES even, to change our entire physique (because we all want to LOOK as good as we feel)!
Knowledge is power. SO, if you know the vitamins and nutrients in your food, how it affects your body, what it can do for it, you have the power to transform from the inside out. If you know which foods:

-Give you lasting energy
-Keep you fuller longer
-Contain anti-aging power
-Restore muscle
-Keep your gut healthy
-Are ideal for pre/post workout
-Transform your physique

...you will make healthy decisions for your body, because you love your body! And, instead of abusing it with too little nutrition, or sabotaging it with fake, processed chemicals, that lead to sickness and disease, you are changing your body's actual physical makeup, with things found on this earth. Then, you will only LOVE it more and more!

In the month of February, we have LOVEly local experts stopping by to share some nutrition knowledge. Check out our events page, and mark your calendar!