Nutrition: The most important thing that you aren’t doing.

The human body is a machine.  It is designed to do amazing things, but it needs the right fuel to be able to accomplish that. From getting up in the morning, working out to having coffee, all these activities need the right fuel to be able to happen.  Once your body is fed correctly, it will work for you in ways you never imagined.  For me, the realization of how important nutrition was came when I could spend hours running the trail or in the gym and I would see very little change in my body no matter how hard I worked. I was not feeding it correctly.

Nutrition is one of the least understood things when it comes to how we treat our bodies and it is one of the most important. According to the CDC, more than one third or 34% of American adults are considered obese. So, if you are confused about nutrition, you are not alone. Everyone has some idea as to what the perfect “diet plan” is, but the problem is that “diet plans” don’t work. In order to start to see results and to continue to see results you have to find a healthy way of eating and stick to it. Forever.

Holy Cow, does that sound scary! When my nutritionist first told me that I thought, “Who the hell can make a commitment like that, it sounds so hard?” Then I realized that once you start eating in a way that your body likes and is good for it, it’s not as hard as it sounds. The hardest part was the almost withdrawal-like symptoms that started when I gave up sugar, processed foods, salt and fried foods.

So what did I do to lose 100lbs in a year? I followed a combination Paleo, Clean Eating, and the Zone diets. Do I actually think that the Paleo diet mimics exactly what a caveman eats? No, and that’s good because I am not a caveman. When I actually looked at what all those diets allowed you to eat and what they didn’t, it really made sense to me. Each of them stressed copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Each of them stressed lean meats and healthy fats. Each of them eliminated sugar, processed foods, excess salt, certain types of carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. The more research that I did, the more I came to realize that all the processed foods, sugary foods and bad carbohydrates were empty calories designed to cause me to crave them. There was almost no nutritional value to them. So why did I put them inside my body? I also came to realize that so many of them had ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce and that made me uneasy. Why would I put so many chemicals inside my body, especially when I don’t know what they do?

So I made myself some rules to follow.

1. No Processed Foods


If it was not naturally occurring or if it had anything on its labels that I couldn’t immediately identify then I was not going to eat it.  That meant I would have to read labels and be very careful about what I bought at the grocery store.

2.  No Sugar

I stopped eating white and brown sugar, and would only get my “sweets” from fruits and occasionally local honey.

3. Limit Carbohydrates.

That meant no breads, no grains and no white potatoes and I limited my carbohydrate intake to the occasional sweet potato and carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables.

4. Eat lots of Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

This meant finding new ways to prepare vegetables and fruits so that they were exciting and fun to eat. Which turned out to be very fun and easy.



5. Eat Lean Protein

This one was simple. Eat lean meats like chicken, fish, eggs, beef, pork and anything animal really. The one thing I made sure of was that they were hormone free. That cost a bit more, but to me it was worth it. It is completely acceptable to not spend the extra money if you don’t have too.

6. Eat Healthy Fats

That meant I would use grass fed butter, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, and some nuts.

Easy, right? Well, there is something missing. Portion control. Portion control is not stressed in the Paleo Diet, but it is in the Zone and Clean Eating programs. I feel that portion control is one of the biggest things when it comes to weight loss, and it’s not just about how much you eat, but what you eat in each meal.

7. Portion Control

I ate 3 meals and 2 snacks every day, spaced about 3-4 hours apart. Every meal and snack I made sure was 40% good carbohydrates, 30% fat and 30% lean protein. When determining how much of any one thing I should eat, I looked to my hands. The palm of my hand, including the thickness, was the amount of protein I ate. My two hands cupped together was the amount of good carbohydrates I ate. My top knuckle of my finger up or my thumb was the amount of fat that I ate. I ate this at every single meal and snack.

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The above rules are the ones that I tried to follow religiously. I was not always good at it. My motto was, “as long as you are good 95% of the time, you can afford to slip up 5% of the time”. A slip didn’t mean it was the end and I didn’t let it spiral me into endless nights of pizza and beer. I have the very occasional glass of wine or beer with friends and I don’t freak out if for one night I can’t 100% follow my plan. As long as I can do it most of the time it all works out.

The diet is one of the most important parts of losing weight. It will dictate how much energy you have and when it is healthy it will make you feel like a million bucks. The downside is, if you can call it a downside, once you stop putting crap into your body you will not crave it, and if you eat it, it will not taste good. I will occasionally have a bit of pizza or some Chinese food and it makes me sick. I instantly know that it is bad for me and I do not want it.

The books that I read that helped me along were:

Clean Eating, by Tosca Reno,

It Starts with Food, Discover the Whole30 and change your life in unexpected ways, by Melissa Hartwig

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and Whole Foods Lifestyle, By Diane Sanfilippo, Bill Staley, Robb Wolf 

So give it a shot, you never know, it may work for you.  If you don’t think what I did will work for you, then I encourage you to look into nutrition on your own.  Talk to a nutritionist, talk to a doctor.  Find a plan that works for you, because nutrition is vitally important to a healthy body, mind and is a huge step towards changing your life.




Can Social Networking help me lose weight?

If you had asked me that question a year ago I would have rolled my eyes, huffed “Ya, right!” and tried to change the subject. In fact, social networking is a large part of the success that I have had over the last year. It started so simply that I really didn’t know at the time that I was creating an online community of support and encouragement.

Social Media and Weightloss         For years, a myriad of weight-loss programs have promoted group meetings or online discussion boards, but those were never appealing. The thought of going to a meeting, sitting among strangers under fluorescent lights in a room filled with the smell of old coffee was not something that appealed to me. The online discussion boards were not much better. Usually they were just a list of topics and most of the comments were over a year old or “Working from home changed my life” advertisements. As a result I often felt alone in this struggle.

Then as I walking into the gym one day, I posted on Facebook, “Going to the gym”. I got a few “likes” and it felt pretty good. As I was leaving I posted “not sure if I killed it at the gym today or if it killed me, stay tuned”. I thought that was funny and so did my friends.  What I wasn’t expecting was that I got a few comments that said things like, “you go girl!” or “you can do it!” Now as cliché as those phrases seem, at the time they were the kick in the pants that I needed to get me excited to go back to the gym.

I didn’t stop at Facebook. I downloaded the “Couch to 5k” and “Map my Run” apps on my phone. Every time I would complete a workout, the application would post my accomplishments on Facebook or Google+. Soon I found out that several of friends had begun the same running programs and we were posting encouraging words, recipes and workout techniques on each other’s Facebook pages.

So what is it about social networking that is so helpful?

Community & Support:

Social networking allows the individual to create their own community of friends and family to support their endeavor. Websites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to create community pages or group pages where you can post words of encouragement, recipes, accomplishments and goals.

Goal Accountability:

Posting any goals you may have on social networking sites allows you to record them and to get support on the way to reaching them. If you post that you are going to build up to running 3 miles in 3 weeks, you can get support every step of the way from friends and family. When you finally achieve your goal you will be more inclined to set another one.


If you follow health related blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or even just the “health & fitness” section of Pinterest, you can get a myriad of ideas for recipes, workouts, and inspirational thoughts for those days when you don’t want to leave to couch.

I found that using social networking and media sites has helped me immensely in staying on track and keeping me motivated. Do I think that it is the only way to achieve that? No. What I do think is that if you are able to build a personal, supportive community that will build you up as you go along on this journey, then you are building a solid foundation to keep going long-term.



Kate 2010  VS  Kate 2014

Kate 2010 VS Kate 2014


There comes a point in every person’s life when they reach a crossroads.  A time in which they realize that something has to change in order for them to be happy.  Some people choose to change jobs, some people change friends, and some people choose to change themselves.  Just over a year ago I was at such a crossroads.  I was tipping the scales at 290lbs, I was tired all the time and I wanted nothing more than to fall face first into a pint of ice cream every night.  Now, you may be asking yourself, “Oh, man is this another blog about some crazy woman’s weight loss journey?”  Not entirely.

A few years ago, you would have been right. I would have taken up the self-righteous banner of fitness and healthy eating and plotted my course straight down the nearest person’s throat. Although I have always been a heavy person, I have had moments and spurts where I work out like crazy, lose around 40lbs and I think that I am a fitness and nutrition guru. But it never lasts for longer than three months and then I find myself waist deep in a Chinese food buffet or getting re-acquainted with the pizza delivery guy. So, what makes this any

different from the last 20 years of yoyo diets and failures?

Good question. The answer is simple, I changed my approach and it is working. Just over a year ago I was miserable. So I started a running routine, changed my diet to a clean and semi-Paleo style diet, and started to share my tiny successes on Facebook. A status like “ran a whole mile today and didn’t die”, would get dozens of likes and even more supportive comments. Those encouraging words from my friends was what kept me motivated and gave me the courage to sign up and train for my first 5k. I then got an app from my phone that posted my training log every time I ran, and I soon found that some of my friends decided to start running too. I began to get personal messages from people telling me that I was their inspiration that if I could do it then so could they. Well, now people were watching and noticing, so I certainly couldn’t let them down. I soon realized that it was that community of friends that kept me running past my traditional three month quitting period. I ran all summer, through a heat wave and in the muggy and rainy weather. I completed two 5k’s and fall was coming fast. Over the summer and into the fall I had lost 73lbs, I nearly fell over when I weighed myself. I was so excited, I posted that information on every social media app that I had. I got congratulations and words of excitement from everyone I knew.  I kept running.

Then things started to slow down. The weight wasn’t coming off as quickly and while I had lost a tremendous amount of body fat, my body didn’t look like it had changed. I had only gone down 2 pants sizes and I started to feel the slide into pizza coming. Then I found Crossfit.

It was an innocuous little storefront in a tiny strip mall filled with auto repair stores and a Subway sub shop. That sub shop, by the way, would become a daily test of will power and a source of torture in the coming months. I started in November of 2013, and I fell in love (with Crossfit not subway). I took an offered nutrition class as well as daily trainer led work outs of the day, or WODS. I started to post about my tiny victories on social media again and in the first 8 weeks I lost 8lbs and over 10 inches from my waist.   I went from a size 22 to a size 14. So, that’s a great story but what does it all mean?

It means that I finally realize how to be successful in changing myself. I finally realize how important a supportive community is to that success. And it means that I want to build a place that is comfortable, where anyone can get support, advice and tips on how to achieve their goals in creating a healthy lifestyle and a happier life. I was able to get this far with the help of some of my friends and it is my sincerest hope to be able to do the same for someone else.

So, welcome to my blog. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.