May 21, 2013

Let's Get Healthy, Yo!

By Katelyn
Introduced by Amy 

Katelyn is the wife of a guy I knew while we both did church missionary work in Missouri.  After our missions, I met his lovely fiance, Katelyn, at a party.  Then a crazy fluke, I sat next to her at a Messiah sing-a-long last Christmas, (OH my goodness, people, she has a GORGEOUS voice.  I was blown away!) and we've been friends ever since!  (Check out our little boys clobbering each other on a playdate.)  She's so genuinely kind and fun to talk to.  I'm so glad she agreed to write a post on health habits, because she's so down-to-earth; I knew she'd give us REAL advice, that REAL women can live by.  Cause, seriously--who wants to spend an hour and a half at the gym everyday?!  NOT me.  

So, enjoy this read, then--let's get to it! :)  

Hey, I'm Katelyn and this is my son, Peter.
May has arrived and you know what that means? Yes... blossoms and flowers and warm walks to the park and pulling out your old summer clothes with hopes that they still fit and yadayadayada.  It also means dead New Year’s resolutions.  Like so dead... dead on January 5th dead.  You know what I'm talking about.  That pile of books you vowed to read, collecting dust, and every so often you swear you can hear it sneeze a lonely, illiterate sneeze.  And what about that gym membership?  Lost in the bottom of your diaper bag with it's fingers crossed every time you dig down searching for a spare binky.  It is feeling abused.  Let's be real, New Year's resolutions are great and all but their life-spans tend to be shorter than a dragonfly's... which turns out to be 24 hours although I'm not totally convinced.  Don't you think we should reevaluate these short lived resolutions (let's call them goals actually) and give ourselves a break if we haven't quite done the impossible like we promised we would do on New Year's day?  I think we should.  I think we should talk about some of the most common resolutions made by us unhealthy humans (cough Americans cough) and make them do-able goals.  Let's accomplish something huge without having to actually do something huge.

Have I caught your attention?  Because I can almost guarantee one of your goals is the one that I have in mind.  Yep. It's that goal.  The goal that says you can't eat sugar ever again.  It's the goal that says you have to lose 75 pounds by June.  Guess what people... these goals are hard!  And I believe that you can do hard things… but I also believe in efficiency.  Trying to get healthy by totally restricting your sugar intake or trying to lose the weight equivalent to your right leg is not efficient.  Making small goals to become more responsible with your sugar intake as well as gradually losing extra weight is definitely much more efficient.  Now your goals may be different than the two mentioned but really this applies to any behavior change you would like to make.  Let's review, making small stepping stone goals so you can do huge things=very good.  Very good and very do-able.  That is how we are going to accomplish something huge without actually doing something huge.

Why small stepping stone goals?  First off because we are human and that is how humans are meant to work.  Also because many of us are moms, some of us work full time, we have multiple community and church responsibilities, and the list goes on!  Not to mention the menial activities that fill our days.  Pretty much we just don't have time to drop everything and focus on one huge, barely do-able goal.  Do we have time for little bite-size goals?  You know it, Jack!

So let's do it.  Let's get healthy.  Let's throw those over-sized-stretchy-pants goals out the window and start with a new slate.  Let's talk to ourselves about what we really want and what we can do to get there, one step at a time.

Let's do it.

Alright are you in??  Oh good, I'm so glad!  You won't regret it, I promise. (:

How do I know what I want? 

For the most part, many of us "know" what we want.  We want a smaller pant size, smaller scale reading, smaller waist measurement, smaller calorie intake, you name it.  Although "smaller" seems to be the key problem word here... it's actually the fixation on numbers that is the issue.  I know you've heard this before... but it's true, the numbers do not matter and you will always be beautiful.  Seriously, just accept it.  As much as we know our bodies we can't totally understand our metabolism and natural healthy state so don't discourage yourself with outrageous goals fixated on the numbers.  For example, let's say I weigh 157 lbs.  I would love to weigh 130 lbs but my body just wasn't built to be 130 lbs.  I have broad shoulders and broad hips... so unless I flatten out like a piece of New York style pizza, light on the cheese of course, I'm not going to ever weigh 130 lbs.  So seriously though, don't stress over the numbers, you will lose inches, you will lose pounds, you will drop pant sizes, and your body will settle into it's most healthy natural state if you are doing your best to focus on making healthy decisions.  So what do you really want??

What should and shouldn't my goals look like? 

Like I mentioned (more like hammered into your brain) before... they need to be small!  A goal like "I will run a marathon next month" is not small.  A goal like "two times this week I will wake up at 6:30 and run 1 mile" is so much better!  For those of you not in need of exercise help... how about your nutrition?  What?  I can't understand what you're saying through that piece of chocolate cake.  (yummm please share!!) How about a goal like "instead of two cookies for my afternoon snack I'll have one cookie and an apple."  See where I'm going with this?  Small steps.  Then once you feel comfortable with those goals you can upgrade to running 2 miles three times a week.  Or likewise having a cheese stick with your apple instead of a cookie.  Pace yourself.  Small steps.  Success.  Yeah!

What should I avoid? 

Two words: fad diets.  They lead to major weight fluctuation and you don't need them.  Seriously, put down your weight loss sprinkles, roll out of the wrap, take off your exercise simulator and get healthy the right way.  These fad diets are pretty much anything advertised in the media minus (now there's an awesome website you should check out for getting-healthy help).  Please PLEASE don't fall for the fad diets!  They are going to try really hard to snatch you with all sorts of advertising tricks... my least favorite is promising that you'll be down 8-10 pounds in the first few days.  Listen, losing weight takes time... like half a pound to 2 pounds a week if you're over weight and really working hard.  So don't fall for it!  This weight that they're talking about is called water weight... water keeps the body alive.  You don't want to lose 10 lbs of it over the weekend.  That's called the flu.

How do I achieve these goals? 

Patience.  Lots of patience.  And persistence.  Getting healthy is not going to happen overnight as much as we'd like it to.  Getting healthy takes months, even years to really understand.  Just like any other good-for-you-goal... it takes time.  There are going to be road blocks, road bricks, and road why-the-heck-is-this-so-hard-today moments.  For example, as soon as I felt like I was getting healthy and understanding my body (2 years into my program/interships focused on health and fitness) my husband and I got pregnant.  We were thrilled!  But I had to learn an entire different way of being healthy... and for two people!  Then the baby came and I got to learn how to be healthy while breastfeeding and in 3-ish more months when my little guy stops nursing I'll get to re-install all of the things that I learned before I got pregnant.  So hang in there and understand that getting healthy is never flawless, you have to struggle to get better at it.  Luckily, once you have the basics down and you know what it feels like to be in good health it is fairly easy to adjust to your different life situations.  Speaking of life situations, everyone's is different so don't compare yourself to your more- or less-successful neighbor.  Everything that I am sharing with you is based from my own life situations as well as from the experiences of individuals I have coached through my undergraduate career... not to mention the material taught to me by some pretty neat-o professors.   Anyway... keep that in mind and just be ready to be flexible.  You can do this!

Once successful how do I maintain my new healthy habits? 

This is the tricky part.  Obviously you want to be healthy because you’ve been making goals for years that have addressed different aspects of health.  The trick is somehow keeping that motivation around longer than January 5th.  Remember why you want to get fit.  Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids?  Are you trying to avoid a certain health issue that a close friend or family member is unfortunately experiencing because of their bad health habits?  Do you want to fit into those jeans from years ago and look dang good while doing it?

Remember what motivated you to get healthy in the first place and stick with it.  Stick with it through the good days and the bad… because there will be both but I know you can do it!  I know that with practice we can all be healthy and fit and really respect these awesome bodies of ours that are so neat.  Seriously, think about all of the mind blowing things our bodies can do… why would we not want them in tip-top shape?? 

Isn't she cool? :)  I love her wisdom, especially about making realistic goals!  

So, what about you, ladies?  What are your health goals?  How do you stay motivated to have healthy habits?  If you blow it (for me, every holiday I become a carb-binging pshyco...) how do you get yourself back on track?  We'd love to hear from you!


  1. I love this post!! So great!! I find that the healthier I get the easier it is to maintain. The other day my mom brought over Krispy Kreme donuts and after one I felt like I was going to die!! Now I don't want to touch another donut again!! ;) I'm so grateful my body has gotten to that point and I know it's because of my baby step goals!! Thanks for the post again!! It's awesome!!

    1. Thanks Lauren! Keep up the great work! (: Your body is going to be especially happy with you in a few decades for establishing healthy habits.

  2. Very helpful post! I suck at new year I never make them. Haha! I just make smaller goals throughout the year. Yes! SMALL goals are the best ones. My husband and I just made the goal to eat healthier. So, we are starting out small. We are trying to eat two really healthy meals a day, and the third meal can just be some regular home cookin'. We didn't totally cut out treats because let's be honest, that diet would be over in one day. However, we did reduce our sweets intake.

    1. That's awesome, Sarah! I totally encourage keeping sweets around. It usually takes a lot of practice moderating your sweets intake... 'cause sometimes treats can taste pretty delicious (and we just want more!!)... but it's absolutely do-able. I have seen that putting a "number/size" on your intake is very helpful. So one cookie/small piece of ___. It's all we end up needing anyway if we just pay attention to the treat while we are eating it and actually focus on it's yummy flavors and textures. After that we can put the treats away, say "that really was delicious!", and be satisfied. You should read "French Women Don't Get Fat," it explains this concept of paying attention to the food we eat really well... I love it!

  3. I loved it!! Great tips! You write really well, too - I laughed right out loud when you said "You dont want to lose 10 pounds in one weekend. Thats the flu." :)

    1. Thanks Maddie! I just write exactly how the words show up in my brain... with some edits of course. (: I hope your healthy lifestyle endeavors are going well!


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