2013: Big Changes & Plans

Hi guys!

Happy 2013! I am so excited for this year. I think it’s going to bring a lot of positive new things into my life.  I actually spent New Year’s Eve sitting in bed happily reading (yes, I’m a nerd) a book by one of my favorite people in the world, a life coach named Martha Beck.  In the book, Beck describes how to identify what you’re meant to do with your life, and how to get there.  This is not an easy process for anyone, especially if admitting what your heart wants to do is different from what society (or your parents, or your peers, etc.) wants you to do.

This process helped me realize a few important things:

1. Although I do want to try living in Washington, DC at some point in my life, now is not the right time.  So instead of doing the internship in DC this semester as I had planned, I am back at law school.  With regard to law school…

2. I signed up for mainly business law classes, realizing that I don’t like the traditional law school courses.  I don’t want to be in a courtroom, I don’t want to write briefs–I don’t even know that I necessarily want to be a lawyer.  This was extremely scary for me to admit to myself, and even scarier to admit to others, but I can’t change what my heart knows.  I’m grateful that a J.D. is a useful, versatile degree that allows people to do all sorts of things.

I signed up for the business classes with the idea that I may start my own business post-law school. I love doing personal training, but I feel that my “calling” in life may be more involved than just physical fitness.  I want to get my life coach certification (via Martha Beck’s online program) and help people “find their way out of hell”, as Beck describes it.  I would like to specialize in helping people sort out their body image issues, especially since I struggled with anorexia for many years.

3.  I am a “Figure girl” at heart.  Although I had a wonderful year competing in the bikini division of the NPC, for 2013, I am following my original dream and training for the Figure division.

My wonderful coaches at Team Bombshell are always honest with me, and they let me know that my body is better suited for bikini (I’m tall with long limbs).  But deep down, I knew I had to switch.  I’ve dreamed about competing in figure for years.  …And I am LOVING the training plan for it!  It involves higher calories (eating 7 times a day!) with less cardio, and my favorite part–heavy weights!  I love the rush I get from lifting as heavy as possible.

The posing onstage is different for Figure.  I’m trying to figure it out!  Here’s a picture of me attempting to flex my back and shoulders for the “front” pose:

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The inevitable question: “Katie, are you going to get HUGE?”  … NO!!!  It drives me nuts when people (usually guys) ask me this.  To prove this to you, below is a picture of 4 professional competitors.  Guess who competes in Bikini and who does Figure? …

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…The furthest left woman (the beautiful Natalie Waples, who is one of the nicest people in the world) is a Figure competitor.  So is the furthest right woman (Candice Lewis).  The two middle women (Yeshaira Robles and Yarelis Gonzales) compete in bikini.  The point is, they ALL look fantastic, and the Figure girls are not “huge”.  Figure is not the same as Bodybuilding.  I will probably step onstage at about 126 lbs (I’m 5 foot 7).  So everybody can RELAX! :-)

My first Figure show will (hopefully) be in June 2013 in New York City.  I am already counting down the weeks (19, if you were wondering…).  I am so grateful to my incredible coach IFBB Figure Pro Gen Strobo for answering all 8 million of my questions and encouraging me to work my butt off.  She is a huge inspiration for me.

I also want to give a shout-out to two new Team Bombshell members:

  • Vanessa L. has been a friend of mine since high school.  I’ve been telling her for months that she’d be a great bikini competitor (she’s a former dancer, so she already has that ever-important stage presence!).  She is going to do amazing this year!
  • Jennifer B. is a law classmate of mine, and she’s been with the team since November.  She’s extremely smart and an incredibly hard worker.  She’s been following her plan 100% and looks amazing.  She is going to rock her first competition in March!

That’s all for now.  Most importantly, send me a Facebook message or comment on this post and tell me about your goals for 2013 (fitness-related or otherwise).  I absolutely love to hear about them, and help you if I can!

The Story of Me and Food

Hi guys!

It’s final exam time so I should be studying, but I wanted to take a break to talk about a topic that plagues just about everybody – your relationship with food.

I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time.  starting around 7th grade when  I began receiving Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail.  This is the ideal woman,” I thought to myself.  I decided to do whatever it took to become rail-thin like the models.   I started running around my neighborhood and tracking calories obsessively.  At my lowest point, I was only consuming about 600 calories per day, neatly written on a food tracking chart.

When I decide I want something, I commit to it one-hundred percent.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  But around age 15-16, my goals were completely unhealthy.  In fact, I don’t even know what I wanted – to look in the mirror and think “I look good”?  Because let me tell you, I never, ever thought that.  

My habits kept becoming more dangerous until I hit a low weight of around 110 lbs at 5-foot seven inches tall.  Finally my parents intervened.   I know it must have been really difficult for them to watch their daughter destroy herself, and even tougher to discuss the topic.  I reluctantly saw a counselor.  This was the point when I became aware of my unhealthy behavior, but my obsession with being skinny didn’t stop.

My fixation on being runway-model-skinny continued throughout the rest of high school and the first couple years of college.

Then, things changed. 

One day while looking through the magazine racks for my usual Shape or Self to look at while plowing through 45 dreadful minutes on the elliptical, I discovered Oxygen magazine.  This magazine was the catalyst that changed my life.  Oxygen emphasizes that strong is beautifulSkinny is unhealthy.  Additionally, it’s not just about what’s outside that counts – the health of your heart, lungs, brain, liver, digestive system, etc. are even more important.

In Oxygen I discovered the world of fitness competitions, where the fittest women in the world step on stage to show the world the product of countless hours spent sculpting their body and eating the cleanest diets possible.  I continue to be amazed by these women and I hope to have a long life in the fitness competition industry.

Today, my relationship with food has changed and improved tremendously.  What I know now:

  • Food is fuel for my intense workouts and for the recovery and growth of my muscles.
  • Food is also medicine – it truly can heal you from the inside out.
  • 8,000 hours of cardio won’t get me an awesome body

I still struggle with some “balance issues” – like having a moderate cheat meal instead of binging on an entire pizza – but I’m doing much better.

What’s your relationship with food?  Is it healthy?  Have you struggled with eating issues?  I would love your feedback on this topic.  Feel free to send me a message on Facebook with your experiences with this topic.  And have a wonderful week!