Join Katie of Katie K Active at Bldg. 7 Yoga! Browse our inclusive active wear collection sizes Small to 3X. Sip some wine and have a snack break with us! Special discount for attendees! Bldg. 7 Yoga is located at 220 N Park Rd, Bldg 7, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610. See you there!
Join us for an exclusive trunk show. Katie K Activewear will be available at z.bella boutique for 3 days only! July 10-12th!
Z.Bella Boutique 1903 Cayuga Street, Suite 101, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562
We are excited to share a brand with you designed with the belief that all women should have the opportunity to look good and feel good about themselves no matter what the activity in which they were participating.
Katie K Active offers tops, bottoms and everything in between ideal for your active lifestyle in sizes Small to 3X!
Please bring a Yoga Mat
R.S.V.P. on the Z Bella Facebook Event Page
How Men & Women Exercise Differently
Men and women are different in many ways. But do we also have an opposed approach to working out? Although I can find many exceptions, I find the following generalities to be pretty true. Men and women seem to approach fitness and their healthy lifestyle in different ways:
The Why: I think both sexes are interested in the physical benefits of working out. But it does seem that men are far more interested in building muscle and strength. Where a woman may start out on a new healthy routine in order to look better in front of the mirror or fit into her clothes, but ends up enjoying seeing her strength and abilities increase.
The Ask: Women are more likely to seek advice and are more likely to hire a trainer. They tend to be easily coachable and are willing to listen to the advice of these experts. Men seem to naturally feel more comfortable in a gym or workout scenario. They may occasionally seek advice, but are less coachable.The
What: It seems any gym class is made up of nearly 100 percent women. Women enjoy the social aspect an exercise class provides. While you occasionally find men in a class, they seem to be more interested in getting a workout done outside of the studio. I think the exception to this is spin and crossfit. For gyms like crossfit, I think it is fun for both sexes because of the camaraderie of a group that helps support and push you.
How Much: Men seem to get in longer workouts and spend more time at the gym. But that doesn’t mean they are any more intense or effective. Women feel more pressed for time, but they find ways to make working out a priority.
- Variety: Men tend to stick to a few standard routines: running, weight lifting and crossfit-type classes. Women are usually more open to trying new classes or workouts. It seems women want a variety of ways to exercise, where men are happy with their routines.
Overall, we can both learn from the opposite sex. Often, men tend to push themselves harder and will grab that heavier weight or see if they can do one more rep. Although I know plenty of competitive women, I can see this being pretty true as a general statement. Men can teach women to push themselves and work harder than the think they can. On the other hand, women seem to really enjoy fitness and make it a social experience. Women seem to be more willing to diversify their workout and their routine, such as by taking a weekly spin class, yoga class, boot camp and TRX. Therefore, women teach men working out can be fun and to expand their exercise horizons.
This article appears in the June 2015 issue of Berks County Living
Toni Reece: Hi there. This is Toni Reece, and welcome to the Get Inspired! Project for Berks County Living magazine. Today I have Katie Kozloff-Banks with me. Hi, Katie.
Katie Kozloff-Banks: Hi. How are you?
Toni: I’m great! How are you doing today?
Toni: Good. So, Katie, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Katie: I have the activewear line called Katie K Active. We are an inclusive brand of premium activewear. What that means is we are activewear that spans the size range, small to 3X.
Toni: Okay. Where do we find you?
Katie: You can find us online at katiekactive.com and around in different stores across the country.
Toni: Great. Thank you for showing up for the Get Inspired! Project.
Katie: Yes, thanks for having me.
Toni: Let’s go into the Project. What does inspiration mean to you?
Katie: I was thinking about this. There’s so many different ways to think about inspiration – people that motivate me or make me think differently about my life and want to do more. I think my family inspires me, my friends inspire me with what they’re doing, and all around you everywhere.
Toni: So when you feel inspired, you’re motivated.
Katie: Yes, very much so.
Toni: What does that feel like?
Katie: It’s kind of a rush. I love looking at different things that will inspire me. I think if you go through phases and you start to think, “I need some inspiration,” I’ll just start looking around and take into account what my friends or family are doing. I start thinking, “Wow! They’re doing all this with their life. I want to do some more.” Then I buckle down again.
Toni: Okay, so when you might be in a slump you’ll look around and say, “Okay, I like that. That’s pretty cool. Now I’m moved to action.” Right?
Katie: Yes. I think even when you’re feeling inspired and motivated, it just kind of snowballs. I think when you try to take a look back and see, “Oh my gosh, what have I accomplished?” that just pushes you. It’s all good to have that level.
Toni: I like when you said that inspiration feels like a rush.
Toni: That’s a cool feeling, you know?
Toni: Is that that “pit in your stomach” feeling?
Toni: Yes. Where it’s like, “Ooh! There it was!”
Katie: Yes, exactly.
Toni: I get it. So when you get that, how do you put that into practice here in Berks County?
Katie: To get inspired, I was going through maybe like a slump, and I felt like I wanted to take advantage of the different pieces that Berks County has to offer that could inspire me. I joined the Lean In group through …
Toni: Women to Women?
Katie: Yes. Women to Women. I’m part of the Incubator. I think that really helps. I just started to network with different people. Being a woman, I’ve tried to connect with women who I find inspiring, and then I’ve met with them for lunch or breakfast just to hear their story and talk to them. I think connecting and networking with people, everybody is inspiring in their own way.
Toni: They are. A couple things I just want to touch on that you had mentioned is that you knew you were in a slump, and you needed to feel that rush. By joining different networking groups and talking to people, you felt reenergized?
Katie: Yes, very much so. I think you go through a slump and maybe you need a little direction. I found mentoring groups through GRYP (Greater Reading Young Professionals). The Lean In circle was awesome. It’s been cool.
Toni: Then once you became reenergized again, what did you do? How did you put that inspiration into practice?
Katie: I go home and I make a list of everything; kind of brain dump and start working backwards and thinking, “Okay, this is everything I want to do. How am I going to make it happen? How am I going to break it down into different pieces?”
Then I start figuring it out, whatever that goal is or thing that’s now got me inspired and, “Now I want to do this.” I break it down and figure out how I’m going to attack that.
Toni: Do you have a specific example that was just recent?
Katie: I think probably the big one was I felt I needed to have a mentor and advisor group. It took some time, but that’s what brought me to the Incubator, and that has been so helpful. Working and meeting with different people in Berks County who said, “You should go check out the Incubator.” They are helping me do the goal setting, so that’s accomplished that goal where I felt very much like I needed some kind of guidance, and now I feel like I have plenty of people. I have this great network of people that depending on what business issue or life problem is, I have a specific person for each piece, which is awesome.
Toni: Oh wow – so now you can get a rush from several people!
Katie: Yes. If I’m feeling down about manufacturing, I have this. I think it’s also great to compartmentalize it, but then I can say, “This is where I need help,” and go to that person.
Toni: This is an interesting way to look at getting inspired. It helps you with your business knowing how you get inspired. You took that action, went out and networked, so that you can purposefully be inspired.
Toni: I love that.
Toni: Who in Berks County inspires you?
Katie: I feel like there are so many people. The people that I have met with recently are Steve Fritz through GRYP mentoring. He’s been very inspiring to me. Julia Kline – I met with her, and she’s very inspiring. Sally Weaver I’ve met with. All these people, and then there’s people now at the Incubator like June. She’s been really inspiring and helpful. I think it’s just having people who can advise me. My husband – he’s doing his third Iron Man in three years.
Toni: Wow – oh my gosh!
Katie: Inspiring and crazy. I think even just friends. I think when you start talking to your different friends and you see what everybody is doing; everybody is busy, but everybody is doing really great things. I think that’s cool. For as busy as everybody is, they’re all doing really neat, cool things with their lives. I think that’s always inspiring, talking to people.
Toni: Is that your common denominator on people who inspire you in Berks County? People who are doing really cool things?
Katie: Yes. It’s cool things, but they’re not just say sitting and letting life live them. They’re living life, not just letting it go by. That’s inspiring to me – somebody who wants to do something, whatever that means – being the best mom or being the best person on a board or something like that. I think it’s great to see when people are doing something with their life.
Toni: Yes. So what do you want your legacy to be?
Katie: I think with the activewear, I’d really like to have the inclusiveness. Right now, so much of the clothing industry is very divided between plus size and straight size. It doesn’t really seem to make sense. I think everybody wants to fit in and be trendy and fashion-forward regardless of whether it’s activewear or regular clothing. I think we’re a unique brand with our inclusive end of everything, that we offer everything in each size and each style.
I think that’s our legacy, is giving women the confidence to be who they are. For us, that means giving women the confidence to live a healthy, active, life, and that they should have access to feel the best about themselves and live a healthy, active life regardless of their size.
Toni: Wow – what a legacy for your company to leave for women! That’s fantastic. Katie, thank you so much for showing up to the Get Inspired! Project. Best of luck to you.
Katie: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Toni: Take care.
It can be difficult as the weather gets colder and winter approaches to continue being your fabulous, fashionable self. Staying warm this winter, does not mean your fashion sense has to go out the window too. While sweats are certainly a comfortable and often affordable option, they aren’t always the best option. I have listed 5 tips that I believe with still keep you warm and fashionable in the winter.
Layer, layers, layers. They might be my best tip for you as layers allow us keep warm without having to resort to bulky sweaters. You can even work your summer wardrobe into the mix by layering tanks with your winter ensemble such as cardigans and lighter sweaters. Leggings are also not only extremely stylish but they will keep you incredibly warm.
2. Hats, gloves, + scarves
Luckily, the fashion industry has helped us out a bit in this department by making these necessities more fashionable then ever. Beanies are a favorite of mine but there are those days when I can’t risk a head full of static, or I decide to wear my hair up, in these cases I resort to earmuffs, which are actually quite fun to wear. Scarves of course are the ultimate accessory- no matter who you are. Invest in one- invest in several. The chunkier the scarf, the warmer you’ll stay.
3. Statement Coat
The winter is almost always going to require a coat, and yes a pea coat is classic but if you don’t want to look like everyone else you come across, invest in a statement jacket. Chances are many items in your winter wardrobe are pretty drab so a colorful, somewhat loud coat will really brighten you up.
4. Statement Sweaters
Well, you won’t be wearing your coat everywhere you go. Winter can be very long and dull, help give people something to talk about that doesn’t involve all the snow we’re getting or how badly they wish summer was here. Having a few statement sweaters will set you apart and keep the winter blues far from you and probably those around you too.
Those boots are made for making winter bearable, and are the ultimate accessory- not to mention totally practical. I recommend basic black and brown, but don’t be afraid to go out of the box by adding some contrast. There are many boot styles out there, you should pick what works best for you. Not all boots are made for activity but you can certainly still find fashionable ones that are.
Wishing you all a warm, safe and fashionable winter season!
I was so excited to hear about the panel discussion “Fashion Without Limits: Changing the Face of Fashion”. As an inclusive brand, catering to women sizes 2 to 3X, we know all too well the frustrations of the plus woman. The panel hit on so many points that we at Katie K Active agree with!
- Full figured women crave fashionable clothes, just as much as the straight size women! Just because a woman is a size 12 of higher, doesn’t mean she wants to hide her body or not enjoy the current trends. She is a fashionable and stylish woman who wants to have the same great wardrobe options as the straight size women.
- There are not enough designers and retailers addressing the needs of full figured women. Fashionable and stylish clothing for women size 12 and above is difficult to find. Retailers don’t seem to want to include the full figured women in their offering, especially in their physical locations. Designers seem to be less interested in making product that seems less glamorous. We know it takes more effort to design for the fuller figure, but the market is there and demanding great clothing. Things do seem to be moving in the right direction recently, but we have much further to go.
- It’s a mistake to not want to market to the plus size customer. The plus size market is a $17.7 billion dollar industry, 37% of U.S. women wear at least 1 plus size item, and 68% of the U.S. female population is size 12 and above. The opportunity to serve the most underserved fashion category in the fashion industry is huge. By not offering plus size products, you’re telling her she is unimportant.
- The plus size market is not only an age issue. It’s the millennials and boomers who mostly comprise this category, not just the older woman. The common mistake is that plus size clothing is designed for the very mature woman in mind. She is young, hip, and trendy. She cares about being stylish and fashion forward.
- Plus clothing shouldn’t only be offered online. There is something to shopping, trying clothes on and having the instant gratification of taking your purchase with you. Online shopping means you have to wait, pay shipping, and hope the item looks and fits well. Women want to be able to shop in physical retail locations in addition to online stores.
We feel so passionately about treating the plus size woman as an equal and important customer that we launched Katie K Active as a fully inclusive activewear brand. Every style is offered in every color in every size. Through the use of our Double Fit Technology, we ensure the proper fit across the size range.
Katie K Active is proud to be an inclusive brand. We think its important not to separate the plus woman and put her off to the side. Katie K Active embraces women and their desire to have activewear that blends style, quality and performance so they can confidently live a healthy, active life.
As a local business owner, I constantly think about how I can support other local businesses. I have a few favorites that I definitely use to help me personally, and for my company.
- Chamber of Commerce – Women2Women: I have enjoyed being a member of Women2Women. The organization hosts monthly events that I’ve participated in, which have been great for personal and career development. I also participated in their Lean In circle. Through it, I not only met a great group of women, but I learned and thought about things I never would have before. It was an experience that has proven to be invaluable.
- Jump Start Incubator – I wrote a BCL article (now on my blog) about why I think the incubator is fabulous! It’s a great place for anyone looking to take his or her business idea to the next level. Through mentorship, guidance and getting a built-in team, it’s a great way to launch your business idea.
- Jersey Ink – I have been using Jersey Ink for about three years now. I met the mother and daughter team, Sue and Christina, through a friend of mine. They have been a wonderful help to my business. I use them for promotional products, but love their willingness to work with me on anything. They put up with me when I give short deadlines. Jersey Ink has also been able to design items from concept to product. I love their excitement and desire to work with local businesses. They want to make sure I get the best product at a great price that meets my needs.
- Bell Tower – I have loved the Bell Tower boutique for years. But the reason I love it goes beyond the clothing they offer. Samara and Dara are great stylists! I have visited before different meetings, not knowing what to wear or how to put myself together. They’ve helped select the perfect outfit, so I could feel confident and ready to rock my meeting. Samara and Dara know and understand my style and always choose great items. They have helped me create a wardrobe so that I can just grab and go. I’m prepared for any event. I never have to think about what I’m going to wear, because I know I’m going to feel confident and look great!
- A Running Start – I was introduced to A Running Start a few years ago when I moved back to Reading. Sorita, the owner, has a friendly and knowledgeable team ready to help. I visited looking to find running shoes and they were very thorough, which I really appreciated since I was dealing with bunion issues. Now that I’ve had surgery, they’ve been equally as helpful getting me back in to the swing of things. I found a pair of running shoes that helped me not hate running! Their friendly staff, weekly runs and sponsored events definitely bring the community together to live healthy, active lives!
- Corpsfitness – Along the line of fitness, I’ve loved having a place like Corpsfitness at my disposal. Chris Kaag has developed a great workout program and provides a great experience, all the while developing a sense of community. I know that when I go to a class, I’m greeted by smiling faces, all welcoming, even though we are about to be put through a tough workout! There’s a social piece to Corpsfitness that I’ve really enjoyed. Everyone is there to work out together, but also to connect. It’s a great place for when I need to release some stress.
- Café Bold – I work from home or the incubator for the most part, but sometimes I need something different. I love stopping in at Café Bold for a change of scenery. It’s a lovely place to meet with people and with off street parking in the back, it’s super easy. They have great food, so I definitely don’t mind scheduling a lunch meeting there.
With these places in mind, take a few minutes to reflect on those local businesses that help with your everyday. Consider sharing your favorites and frequenting them over the holiday season with friends and family. One thing I’ve learned is the importance of small business and local organizations and the hardworking people that are keeping them going.
This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Berks County Living
5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports
It’s that time of year again, filled with holiday sweets and cocktails. Did you know that the average American gains about five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? Below are some tips to help you avoid gaining those extra pounds this holiday season.
- Moderate Alcohol Intake: Remember that glass of wine or beer contains calories. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram which means when you grab a cocktail you’re not only consuming calories from the mix but from the alcohol as well. A long island ice tea contains about 543 calories, a 12 ounce beer contains about 150 and four ounces of wine contains about 100 calories. Alternate your drinks with water to cut back on calories and fill you up so you are less likely to overeat.
- Balance Your Meals: Filling your plate with sweets will leave you with a sugar rush and your body will miss out on key nutrients. Make sure to fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and protein. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs and keep you satisfied making it less likely to overindulge on the dessert.
- Eat Regularly: Many people choose to skip lunch so they can overeat at the dinner party, causing them to overeat at the party. Make sure to eat a light healthy snack before heading out to. Try a low fat yogurt, fresh fruit or a small bowl of whole- grain cereal with skim milk.
- Think Portion Sizes: Desserts can be part o f a healthful diet when enjoyed in moderation. One serving of pumpkin pie is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie. Imagine making an L shape with your thumb and index finger that is about the size of one slice. Share dessert with a friend and don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating.
- Keep Moving: The holidays are the worst time of year to abandon your exercise routine. Exercise not only helps avoid weight gain but it is a great way to release stress. Write down your exercise plan at the beginning of the week to help you stay on track.
– Kathryn Szklany, MA, RD, LDN, CNSC Registered Dietitian and FIT Professional, Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh
Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie Kozloff
There are so many great ways to create your own effective workout. Drop exercises
in to the following formulas, and you are ready go!
Tabata: This is 20 second intervals of activity with 10 seconds of rest. Use a timer
(an app can easily be downloaded). Set it for 20 secs work 10 secs rest, for 8 rounds
or 4 minutes. Do one exercise through the cycle, rest and then move on to another.
For example, do squats through the 4 minute cycle and then do pushups as the
exercise in your next 4 minute round. Pick 5 or 6 exercises and you have an intense,
quick, yet effective 20-24 min workout!
AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): With this formula, you will set a time limit
and complete as many rounds of your workout as possible. Pick 3 to 5 exercises and
the number of reps to complete in a certain amount of time. An example AMRAP
could be to see how many rounds you can get in of: 12 lunges (per side), 7 pushups,
5 reverse crunches in 20min.
Jack Webb: In this format, you complete a few exercises through a sequential number
series. 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps of each exercise and so on until you hit you
a goal number, for example 10 reps of each exercise. And then you work you way back down,10, 9, 8 etc to 1. Pick 2 or 3 exercises to complete the series.
No matter where you are, you can use these formulas to create a great workout. Use
body weight only exercises or mix in free weights. You can do resistance band
exercises, kettle bells or a medicine ball to change it up. Do these workouts at a park
and use a bench for steps ups or pushups. Or use a bar for pull-ups. The options for
exercises are endless. Adjust the workouts when you have more time from 10 minutes to 20 or 30 by adding another round or two.
If someone (my husband or parent) gave me a fitness related gift, it may make me second-guess his or her intention. I’d wonder: Are they saying I’m overweight? Do they want me to be more active? If so, why?
Then I take a minute and think about it. Is his or her intention to mean, or are they trying to support me? Have I been talking about trying out new classes or workout routines? Have I shared my desires to become more fit and active, and to shed some weight? Was I complaining about my workout gear not fitting well or being old, dingy and stretched out? Maybe they’re actually trying to do something nice for me. Could they be supporting my health and fitness goals by helping me achieve them?
I think this is a common thought process when it comes to fitness related gifts – and a big reason why people shy away from it. A husband could get his wife a treadmill after hearing her complain about how she doesn’t enjoy running in the cold weather and the snow. She gets the gift and thinks, “Does my husband think I’m fat?” Really, he was trying to give her a thoughtful gift so she could continue enjoying her workouts, even in bad weather. He knows how much she enjoys being active and that being healthy and fit is important to her. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative, rather, a positive. He was supporting her desire to be active and healthy.
To that end, here are some great fitness gift ideas as we near the holiday season:
- Gym Membership – A traditional gym gives access to multiple activities: a weight training area, a cardio area and one or two studios. You can do a little bit of everything all under one roof. It is a great gift for someone just getting started or someone looking to try something new. I know I love spin class, but I like to try other classes like Zumba, too. I enjoy strength training, but sometimes it’s fun to take a total body conditioning class to switch things up.
- Punch Card – In additional to the tradition gyms, there are a variety of “studio gyms.” These usually come with a higher monthly fee, but also offer punch cards to participate in classes as you wish. Pilates and yoga studios are like this, as are many cross fit-type gyms. A punch card is a great gift for someone who enjoys these activities or wants to try them out. They can participate when they want or try something new without committing to a monthly fee.
- Personal Training – Since having a personal trainer is definitely more of a splurge, this can be a great gift. Getting a trainer is a great way to kick-start any fitness goal with the help of a professional. He or she can give you nutritional input as well. Maybe a loved one has been complaining that he or she feels stuck or in a rut, or that they don’t know what they’re doing. A trainer will help teach him or her new fitness ideas and work with them to accomplish their goal.
- Equipment – depending on who you’re buying for, there are a ton of equipment options that make great gifts. Maybe the person you’re buying for has been talking about a treadmill or stationary bike. Or he or she has a few free weights but would really like to create a workout space in their house. Free weights, kettle bells, bosu, a stability ball and/or a bench would all be great additions to any home gym.
- New Workout Clothes – A new item or outfit creates excitement! Everyone wants to use their new clothes and when it’s activewear, that means a little extra motivation to get that workout in. A new workout can even create inspiration to start that fitness goal or give a push to keep going. Having the right gear for an activity helps to be able to accomplish a goal. It’s amazing how an outfit can change your outlook and get you excited to be active.
I understand giving a fitness-related gift can be tricky. But giving the gift of fitness is truly a wonderful gesture. You’re saying, “I support your goals and I want to help you achieve them.” Just be tactful with your delivery. If you’re worried about the recipient’s reaction, you can remind him or her how they’ve been talking about wanting the equipment or to try out that new gym or class. See, you were paying attention.
This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Berks County Living.
As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, most of us begin to hear ‘the call of the pumpkin.’ From our lattes to our pastries, we are perfectly happy to have this tasty (and healthy) treat in EVERYTHING. Here is a simple and healthier version of pumpkin pie syrup that you can add to just about anything.
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
- Simmer the sugar in the water until it dissolves, stir frequently
- Add the spice and puree to the pot and continue to simmer for about ten minutes
It’s that simple.
Now add about 2 oz. of your syrup to two shots of espresso and 8 oz. of the milk of your choosing and you have a yummy pumpkin pie latte. No espresso machine, no problem. You can add 1oz. of the syrup to 6 oz. of drip coffee and 2oz. of milk. Experiment and find a pumpkin pie coffee beverage that works for you.
You can also add the syrup to:
Oatmeal, cream cheese to top your morning bagel, hot or cold tea, vodka (a one to one ratio) and whatever else you think would be made better with a little shot of pumpkin goodness. Don’t worry, we won’t judge!
Want more pumpkin? Check out this article called 100 ways to cook a pumpkin.
Recently I was contact by Leah, after she discovered Katie K Active. She was so excited to find our inclusive brand and loved that we promote health at every size. I looked her up and immediately knew she had her own inspirational story to tell. Read Leah’s empowering #DefineBrave journey:
I am 35 and a mum to a 2 1/2 year old Miss named Sachi. I have struggled with my weight since I was very young and remember seeing my first dietician at around the age of 4. I began what I now know was disordered eating at around the age of 7 years and subsequently suffered from binge-eating disorder up until around 2 years ago.
Shortly after my daughter Sachi was born I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. I felt stiff, old, and questioned what sort of mum I was going to be for this beautiful little child. Despite all of the causes for this condition, I could not escape the notion that it had come from a lifetime of excess weight on young joints. I knew that the only way I could get quality of life and be able to play with my daughter was to get moving. Having been that person who paid 3 different gym memberships at once and used none, I decided that if I was going to do this, it had to be for life and it had to be my way. I knew my background with food meant that I could not diet, so I simply started moving every day. First it was walking, then I taught myself to run up and down the side of our house and yard whilst my daughter slept.
Once I felt confident, I hit the pavement and just started running and walking intervals. One day something just clicked and I promised myself that whatever happened I would not stop running – I was no longer that person who gave up. I ran 6.0km pushing Sachi in her jogging trailer through these crazy winds and up a long, gradual hill, and although it bloody hurt after, I knew that the ‘old Leah’ who gave up when things got tough no longer existed.
Running has always been a dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who just ‘goes out for a run.’ Completing a triathlon had always been a dream too that I had never expressed just due to the sheer absurdity if the concept of ME doing it, but I knew the game had changed and if I could run, then what was stopping me now? What I have since discovered is that nothing stops us except the limits we place on ourselves. We really, truly are capable of anything we put our mind to, you just have to be willing to work hard along the way. Know that it’s going to hurt but know that it’s going to be worth it.
After my first triathlon I was hooked, so I joined a specialist training squad and decided to get my own qualifications in fitness. I felt really passionate about becoming a trainer because I know that for some people weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in vs. calories out. I believe that many people require a ‘big picture’ approach to their health and well being and this approach is the difference between a trainer who works you hard and a trainer who helps you change your life.
In June this year I ticked another goal off my list and finished my first half marathon. A week later I fell pregnant with my second child and despite the old hack of morning sickness, thanks to my life change I am experiencing a whole different pregnancy. During my first pregnancy I stopped weighing myself at 140kg – and sadly I have weighed this at other times without being pregnant. Now, four months into this one I am 92kg, which means I am no longer classed an ‘at risk’ pregnancy. To me this is ultimate pay-off for all of my hard work. Yes it’s great to go for a size 22-24 to 12-14, but better health and well being is my big ‘win’.
If I could sum up my greatest tips to better health it would be these:
1) Think ‘sustainable’: good health and fitness is a life long journey, so every time you are tempted to try a certain diet or exercise regime ask yourself ‘am I going to be able to do this for the rest of my life?’
2) Do today what you can do tomorrow – Don’t work so hard one day that you can’t do anything for the rest of the week. Find something you enjoy and just do it.
3) Observe your food habits and don’t fight them – imagine you’re following yourself around like a science experiment and observe your behaviours. Ask yourself why you have suddenly arrived at the pantry? Are you really hungry? Or are you stressed, bored, or happy?
4) Learn about nutrition and then think about the energy value you are getting out of your food choices – for example, if you have an option of white bread or grain bread, think about what is going to give you better energy – you’ll soon realise that if you choose the white bread you may as well eat a piece of cardboard ;)
5) Be prepared – carry fruit or nuts with you and try not to put yourself in a situation where you are hungry and don’t have any healthy options. Eat before you go out if need be and always carry water on you.
6) Never ever fear someone judging you for having a go – by getting up, getting out and having a go you will be surprised by the amount of people you will be inspiring!
Follow Leah here on instagram for inspiration and motivation!
Have your own #DefineBrave story to share? Email Blogs@KatieKActive.com for a chance to be featured!
Leah was recently featured in an article by Born to Reign Athletics about plus size sponsored athletes.