Why I Believe in Functional Fitness

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NEVER SAY NEVER

Contrary to popular belief, I am not superwoman… I’m soooo far from it.

I AM Katie Pink extraordinaire though… that works for me. It’s taken me a long time to figure that out. My path has had many avenues and many dead ends, paths that were laid out for me, and paths I foraged own my own. I’ve grown from all of it. What I’ve learned is that I need to keep FUNCTIONING at my most extraordinary. I don’t like the alternative.

Life is HARD. Life is always full of stressors. Life is about how we learn to navigate the challenges. I deal with a bad hip and short leg, Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, asthma, irritable bowel, and a few other diagnoses. I’ve lived with pain all my life. Having strong muscles to support my body equates to less pain. When I workout, I feel strong. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. I am better able to “function”.

As a child athlete, I’d always been in decent shape. I didn’t realize all those years of soccer, gymnastics, skating, tennis, biking, hockey, etc. were actually like pain medicine. When I stopped doing all of those activities, the pain increased, I didn’t know why. I was young and didn’t think about how my body worked. I didn’t think about the everyday function of my body. I didn’t think that all those activities were keeping my muscles strong and “functioning”.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at 25, just weeks before starting nursing school. I was told to decrease my stress and exercise more. HAHAHA. That was an oxymoron knowing what the demands of nursing school were going to be. I didn’t workout, but I did work, as a waitress, the physical demands of the job helped to keep me strong in some ways but sure didn’t help that back pain. I was functioning, but barely.

I’ve learned a bit since that initial Fibro diagnosis. I’ve struggled with my pain, my sleep, my stomach, my hip, my anxiety, my ADHD, and that little voice in my head that doesn’t always believe in me (she’s not nice). I made sacrifices. I missed opportunities with loved ones. I missed opportunities to learn. I missed opportunities to enjoy my life… because I wasn’t functioning.

I’ve learned that the secret to dealing with chronic disease is maintaining “function”.

So, my goal is “functional fitness”… What does that mean? It means keeping my body functioning the best it can with all the stressors that life brings. Life is not going to stop and allow me to regroup and take breaks, it just keeps on happening. If I’m not happening with it, I’m losing. When I’m losing, I’m not functioning at my best. See the circle there?

So, what do I do? Strength training, core training, yoga, pilates, workouts that keep my body functioning. When I say functioning, I mean, full range of motion in my joints, no pain (or very little), a digestive system that absorbs nutrition and eliminates toxins, a sleep schedule that doesn’t leave me tossing and turning at night, a life that I can enjoy with the people that I love. That isn’t the way it’s always been, and it’s not fun to not function.

Non-functional means pain. Non-functional means sleepless nights. Non-functional means exhausting days. Non-functioning means missing important events and milestones. Non-functioning to me… means not living. It’s depressing and demoralizing, and I didn’t like it. That’s why I speak out about my health and how I’ve started to save myself.

In saving myself, I’ve saved my marriage and my family. In saving myself, I’ve also learned how to make my family healthier and happier. I’ve learned how to help them avoid chronic illness and disease, or at least how to make it more “functional” and that’s not easy.

Today, I wanted to share all this with you. The ones that believe in me. I want you to believe in you too. I’m an example of what you can be. I’m also willing to help you figure out the secrets I needed to figure out. I share a lot of those secrets in my health and wellness articles.  I also share a lot as a Health Coach because I enjoy helping people feel better. It helps me believe there is hope in the world. If I can help one person feel better, I can help two. And, one by one, we can make our world a happier and healthier and more functional place. That works for me, and I think it just might work for you too.

Enjoy the Journey, Friends… that’s what it’s all about!

exceed your limits

 

How I Saved My Fibro with My Shakeo

Hi! If you’ve found this post, you are probably wondering what Fibromyalgia is, and then you’re going to wonder what Shakeology is, or you already are? So, let’s start there.

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder. fibromyalgia-cycleIt involves multiple systems with the primary symptoms being pain, sleep problems, and irritable bowel syndrome. The root of these symptoms seem to lie in the nutritional issues and sleep issues. Other symptoms include irritable bladder, migraines, restless legs syndrome, impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud’s Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.

IMG_2538Shakeology is a nutritional supplement that has globally sourced superfood ingredients like Proteins and Fiber that help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system. Adaptogen Herbs help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion.

Now that you have that knowledge, let me tell you how I believe the nutritional difference with Shakeology helped my Fibro…

I’ve had Fibromyalgia most of my life. I will be Continue reading

How My Superfoods Help Me

Hi! If you’ve found this post, you are probably wondering what Fibromyalgia is, and why I say “superfoods” have helped me.

First, let me tell you about Fibro…

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder. fibromyalgia-cycleIt involves multiple systems with the primary symptoms being pain, sleep problems, and irritable bowel syndrome. The root of these symptoms seem to lie in the nutritional issues and sleep issues. Other symptoms include irritable bladder, migraines, restless legs syndrome, impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud’s Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.

IMG_2538Shakeology is a nutritional supplement that has globally sourced superfood ingredients like Proteins and Fiber that help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system. Adaptogen Herbs help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion.

Now that you have that knowledge, let me tell you how I believe the nutritional difference with Shakeology helped my Fibro…

I’ve had Fibromyalgia most of my life. I will be Continue reading

What’s Your Excuse?? Reality Maybe?

Here’s my list of excuses:

  • Congenital Hip Dysplasiaaf8119baa06da42794553e2c664e150c
  • Asthma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • My Kids, time I want to spend with them, and the time they just need me
  • Work
  • Taxiing my kids to/from wherever it is they have to be….
  • Care for my family, aka paying bills, cleaning, pet care, permission slips, troubleshooting printers (and f’n routers every couple months, like right now, ugh), school plays, guitar lessons, horseback riding, groceries that. are. always. gone.!!
  • Then, of course, something unexpected throws the whole game plan off….. Like today’s migraine… UGH!

Excuse vs. Reality? Reality really is what it comes down to when you think about it. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, we’re usually our own worst enemy. Let me ask you… Continue reading

Had NO IDEA I could Hammer & Chisel that last 10 Away

HAMMER & CHISEL 8 WEEK WORKOUT PROGRAM IS COMPLETE!!

WHOOP! WHOOP!!

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See the “Believe” in the background… That’s the Universe speaking!

Y’all read about my weight struggles in How the Hell Did That Happen… But, The Master’s Hammer & Chisel is how I finally lost that last 10 pounds. Yup, a home based workout program, all by myself, ha, not… the online accountability group I was part of made ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!! Who knew?

I knew the last 10 pounds had to go, but I wasn’t sure how that was actually going to happen. I am 44 , have 2 kids, hubby, work, and all the other stuff that goes along with life. The first part of my weight struggle was hellacious, then I figured out the yeast intolerance, Thank the Gods! I got rid of the majority of the weight in 6 months, but since then, I haven’t been as strict with myself. I’ve been trying to Enjoy the Journey! I knew it needed to go (the weight, not the enjoying part), but wasn’t sure how.

Then, I saw the Hammer & Chisel Test group my cousin Nikki was running. The Master’s Hammer and Chisel is a Beachbody program that launched in December 2015. I have always liked weight training, I hate I’m not a fan of cardio. So, when I saw this program, I knew I had to try it. Why not, looked fun, and I hadn’t been working out regularly for way too long (I’m talking months). The occasional walk or bike ride or Sun Salutation wasn’t quite doing the job. I needed to tone up, and this was the Universe throwing an opportunity right at me. OK! Got it. Email Nikki. Get the program. And that was a little over 8 weeks ago. The rest is history!

For those of you that struggle, I totally get it. You can look at my picture and say to yourself, nope, never going to happen for me, I’m too far gone…. NO. YOU. ARE. NOT. I honestly thought the same thing. I was heavier than I had been when I was pregnant with my kids, I gained over 40 pounds in each pregnancy, and lost it, and I was 10 years older. BUT, staying the same was not acceptable.

I was so happy that I figure out my weight challenge, but I didn’t think it was realistic of me to expect that I could get rid of it all when I was over 40. I mean, look at our society, everyone struggles with their weight. It’s an epidemic, why did I think my struggle was going to be any easier? I didn’t. It was discouraging, even after I learned of the yeast allergy and took off over 30 pounds. I plateaued for a year, and that was ok, kinda, well not really, but I’ve moved past it.

NEVER SETTLE FOR GOOD ENOUGH

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When Sagi says Flex, You Flex!

NEVER GIVE IN

Our society just accepts that we are all going to be a little “fluffy” as we age. I personally am NOT GOING TO ACCEPT THAT! NOPE! Never did follow a crowd. I truly believe the weight epidemic has to do with what we allow to be “safe” in our food supply. I just don’t understand why people think it’s a good idea to eat things made from chemicals- if you eat sugar free, you probably eat chemicals. Ever had food dye, um, made from petroleum oil (Yes, that thick nasty kind). There are so many foods that are just inflammatory foods to our system. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!! If you eat things your body can’t process well… well, how is your body going to react? Hum? It’s not going to function well, more details here. (Sorry, jumped on the wrong soap box for a sec. Back to H&C…)

So, when Nikki was offering a test group of the new Hammer & Chisel workout program that was low-impact and weight training based, I wanted in, Big Time! I think this group was really for BB coaches, but she let me in (love that girl), and I’m so grateful. Not only did I love it, I lost that last 10 pounds and then some, and feel better than I have in years! (Oh, and now I’m one of those Beachbody coaches too. 😉 )

Well, a picture speaks a thousand words, so let’s just go to the pics…

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I love the workout routine that I have created. Being in the accountability group made me more motivated from the very beginning. It was SO MOTIVATING for the duration though, I’ve never had that kind of support, and I’ve been working out for decades. I was inspired to do my workout so I could post and chat about it with my H&C Test buddies that were doing the same. We were all (mostly) on the same schedule, but at our own home, on our own time, dealing with our own life. We all checked in each day to see how the others were doing, to give support and motivation, to complain about a workout, to post a sweaty pic, or complain about missing a workout because the kids ruined our schedule. It was really encouraging to be surrounded by so much positive!

I guess you want the final results, huh? Here ya go…

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Week 1, 3, 5, 8… WHO IS THAT? #goalscrushed #feelsfantastic

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8 Wks: -14# (photo shot of my notes wasn’t updated, oops) & -15.625″ WHAAAAT?!? I suck a thigh measuring…and, yes, my legs are different sizes. :-/

I’m learning the best way to enjoy this journey is to share it with others. It is encouraging, inspiring, and truly makes the world we live in a better place.

Please share a smile, share a kind word, a hug, just share positivity… It matters!

Until next time, Enjoy the Journey!

*If you want to know more about my H&C journey or want to know more about H&C, please comment below and I’ll be in touch, or email me.

**Every individual journey, success and challenge is different. You have to be the change you want to see.

 

How the hell did that happen? 50 pounds later…

Growing up as an athlete, weight was not a problem… until my teen years. I stayed fit multiple ways; there was soccer, gymnastics, swimming, roller skating and ice skating, field hockey, tennis, weight training and the list goes on. As an adult, I controlled my weight by eating healthy, walking, weight training, waitressing, bartending, nursing, biking, swimming, pilates, yoga. I even taught pilates for a year when Drew Elizabeth was a baby. Best shape I’ve ever been in, and I was 35 and had 2 kids! I love pilates and thought I’d do it forever, but then I started my graduate program, and my exercise habits went to Hell, but it was a slow slide.

I was over 40 when my weight was creeping up, quickly, and I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong… I gained 30 pounds in 8 months! It all started just after my brother’s wedding in April 2012. My goal has been to get back into that dress.

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April 2012, 40 years old and feeling good (before the gain).

So, when I hopped on the scale at the Y in January, I thought it was broken. I know that sounds like a joke, but, I really did. I went to my friend’s house. I told her I needed to use her scale, because I didn’t own one and the one at the Y had to be broken. I came back down the stairs stunned.

The scale wasn’t broken.

I gained 30 pounds in 8 months! WTF!

How the hell did that happen??? 

I had a plan. I joined the 3 month weight loss program at the Y.  I went to kick ass cardio classes at 5:30am, which is almost impossible for me (Fibro is a chronic fatigue disorder), but I did it. I was doing weight training, I was walking. I was working out 6-7 times a week, even won highest attendance in that contest. I lost 4 pounds in 3 months… What. The. Fuck. Excuse my language, there just is NO substitution. I have never had trouble losing weight. It’s never been easy, but I know how to get it done. Well, I thought I did. I was struggling.

Off to the doctors I went, primary doc, endocrine doc, neither of them thought there was a medical problem. Katie was just gaining weight, it happens when women turn 40. WHAT!?! NO! That was not acceptable. But, what was I to do. I kept struggling.

In March 2014, I was heavier than I had been when I was full term pregnant with either of my children. This couldn’t be happening. How was this happening. I was crying almost every day when I got dressed. I didn’t want to get dressed. I was depressed.

I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party and a college roommate’s wedding that month. I was so very happy for them, and I hated how I felt inside and how I looked on the outside.

I hid. These are the only pictures I can find of me at that time.

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Top right, February 2014, before I knew, I was swollen and inflamed. Left and bottom right are about 4 weeks into my purge. You can see my face is a bit less swollen. But, my stomach was so upset in both of these pictures. I can still remember, and it was almost 2 years ago.

I had an epiphany one day reading a Fibro blog, I clicked on a link to yeast allergy because I was somewhat familiar. I was worried I might have some of those symptoms.

O.M.G.!     Did I have some of the symptoms???     I. Had. Every. One. 

Let’s see if I can remember them all…

  • dry skin
  • constipation
  • bloating
  • stomach upset
  • asthma (it got so bad I went back on meds I hadn’t been taking for years!)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • eczema
  • thinning hair
  • yeast infections (yup, those kind of yeast infections!)
  • sleep problems
  • dandruff, with fungal patches on my scalp
  • UTI (never had a UTI except when I was prego)
  • major sugar cravings
  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • the list seems to go on and on…

It. Sucked.

So, what to do? Fortunately, I’ve got this friend… Thank God I have all kinds of knowledgeable friends. Remember, Kathy, the allergy RN from my allergy posts? Yeah, she got a text real quick. Not only did she agree with me, she thought the same thing when she’d seen me the previous week.

So, how do I fix it?!?!?

No biggie, just avoid the following:

  • Sugar
  • Processed, packaged foods
  • Vinegar, anything vinegar based
  • Leftovers past 24-36 hours old, they start to grow organisms, a healthy GI tract can tolerate this, mine could not.
  • Yogurt has a ton of sugar, beware.
  • All berries/grapes and other fruits with the S.minor fungal organism, that white mold that shows up after 5-6 days. Our GI system should be able to break that down, unless it’s inflamed and leaky, like mine was!
  • Breads with yeast (flatbread and crackers would be ok on occasion)
  • Wheat is a cross-contaminant, so I should avoid that too
  • Wine (!)(!problem!)(!ALERT!)(!ALERT!)(!problem!) I had to do all this AND avoid wine… it’s fermented. Oh, champagne is even more fermented. (A girl’s gotta have sip on occasion, so I do enjoy a glass of wine (or 2) here and there!)
  • Alcohol is fermented. (Vodka is distilled!!!)
  • Change your cooking oil to coconut and olive, be sure to buy quality items.
  • Balance your Omega 3 oils with your Omega 6 oils. (Fish oil, tuna, coconut, olive are Omega 3 sources.) I get my coconut oil here.
  • I’m sure there were more, but if you take a look, there isn’t much left.

So, that leaves veggies and meats with no marinade. Fun. It was going to have to be fun. But, I did come up with dinners like this one. This was actually last nights, and it was yummy.

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Chicken with fresh lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, italian spices over baby spinach with peas and sweet potatoes. Now that I’ve changed, I think this is scrumptious. Actually, it was!!

I’ve learned more about cooking with dry spices, and now wouldn’t do anything else.

I’ve learned that I prefer to put my meat on a bed of greens, and don’t really need salad dressing if I have it that way. Good luck finding salad dressing without vinegar or soy. Soy is a huge inflammatory. I avoid it at all cost, along with all the other inflammatory foods.

What I’ve learned in my research over the past few years is that inflammation is the root of most health issues, including obesity. Now that I know that, I look back at the struggles I had in my life with my weight, my fibro, my asthma, my skin, my irritable bowel, my anxiety, and it all makes so much sense. It was all because of food intolerances that I knew nothing about. I know I’m not alone… look at the obesity epidemic in this society.

I encourage anyone that has weight challenges to learn about inflammation and leaky gut syndrome. Knowing this knowledge will change your world.

Besides diet changes, what should you do:

  • Probiotic to help heal the gut; multiple lacto and bifido strains, specifically acidophilus, My family takes 40 billion units minimum and changes brand each month too.
  • Vitamins, I use B-complex, Vit C 1000mg, Vit D 2000-5000 IU each day. Most multis don’t have enough in them unless they are a high dose. In my recent readings, I’m learning more about the CRUCIAL role of Vit D, which is really a hormone, and essential.
  • Purge from the above foods for a minimum of 6-8 weeks, then you can slowly try to reintroduce some things. Still only eat them on occasion. Adding fermented foods back into your diet is helpful for a healthy gut.
  • Exercise, at least 3/x week, but daily activity is important.
  • Find ways to manage your stress, this is crucial! Cortisol changes everything. High cortisol makes is really hard to be healthy in multiple ways.
  • 8 hours sleep should be a minimum. WE HEAL WHEN WE SLEEP!!
  • Change your cookware to avoid non-stick chemicals like teflon. I use solid ceramic Xtrema by Ceramcor.
  • I have found that eating Paleo, or close to Paleo is the way to go for me. I have decreased my grain intake significantly.

Well, there wasn’t a damn thing easy about it. I honestly didn’t think I’d see the day I got back into the dress I wore to my brother’s wedding. But I have, comfortably… pictures the next time I have an event! 😉

This was part of my journey that was and continues to be a real struggle. I wanted to share, because I think there are an awful lot of people out there going through what I went through. You don’t have to.

Of all the chapters I’ve lived, I must say, this was a toughy. I have learned an awful lot from this part of my journey, and now I can share some pretty important health information with others.

I knew I needed to write this post 2 years ago. I hoped my journey would bring me here. I can’t tell you how overwhelmingly happy I am that I am writing and telling you all about it. I hope it helps you.

Nothin’ easy about it! We HAVE TO help each other.

Enjoy the Journey!! 😉

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January 2016, 44 years old, 50 pounds lighter than my max weight. BAM! HELL YEAH!