Team Drew Fitness

 

By Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

I've had tons of emails and texts this week about how to survive the holidays.  The next two weeks are filled with parties and events that center around food and drinks.  Whether you are in the process of losing weight, or maintaining it, or even adding muscle in a clean way, the key will always be balance or moderation.  Don't fall into the restriction trap.  It only leads to overeating and bingeing.  

It's more than ok to enjoy a meal or meals with your family and friends, in fact you absolutely should, simply be smart about it.  I eat freely at the meal of my choice, and make sure to focus on getting in my protein and quality food the rest of the day or prior to that meal.  Its also important to always drink plenty of water (especially when drinking alcohol). 

Another method to use is "pick and choose".  If you really love the cheesy potatoes being served, have a decent serving but then skip the other  starchy carbs, like stuffing or bread that you don't love as much.  Or have the desserts and skip alcohol because you love chocolate more.  Balance your choices with lean protein, veggies, salad, or fruit. 

The important part is not to fall into the "last supper" or the "I messed up, screw it" trains of thought.  The "last supper" meaning eat everything in sight and get back to business next week, or I already messed up, may as well keep going.  Enjoy your meal - which means not stuffing yourself until you are miserable - how is that enjoyable?!  Eat the food you like in moderation and enjoy time with the people you are with.  You'll walk away happy, satisfied with the food you enjoyed but yet not miserable or guilty because you ate everything in the world.  

No matter what you do, remember that one or three meals is not going to make or break your goals. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and stay on track the rest of the time so that you can reach your goals.  In other words, enjoy life and keep the balance ;)  

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!! 

By Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

Lately the comments I've most often heard are "I need to be dedicated like you and cut out sweets" and "How do you stay so disciplined after competing?".  People always tell me they are quitting desserts and carby foods.  I always cringe a little and feel guilty for a second because the truth is I don't see myself as really disciplined and I definitely eat desserts, carby food and drink wine.  The truth is I wouldn't survive otherwise.  I know what happens when I do cut out those things!  I've just learned how to balance my eating in order to maintain my physique.

In the past, during contest preps or diets I didn't eat anything resembling a treat.  At all.  The result of that would be any cheat meal turned into a binge or at the least, an extremely painfully full stomach, serious regrets, negative body image thoughts, and extra hours of cardio.  It's an ugly, vicious cycle that is difficult to break.  It wears on a person's body and their emotions.  These behaviors can easily manifest into an eating disorder, as they did for me.  However, I was lucky enough to find a better way.

Balance is the key!  I probably sound like a broken record but it is the truth.  I manage my sweet tooth by working with it instead of ignoring it.  When you don't restrict yourself, you find your cravings slip away.  I do count macros, and I fit treats in along the way, but I am not afraid to go outside my macros and have what I want once in awhile.  Doing that means I don't overdo it - because I know treats will always be there and I can always have them.  It is a mindset shift. 

My favorite breakfast is a pancake using Met-Rx protein pancake mix, topped with peanut butter, a handful of dark chocolate chips, and fat-free Reddi Wip with a sugar-free hot chocolate that has a scoop of chocolate Gaspari protein powder mixed in and strawberries on the side.  I get my chocolate fix and the sweet taste from fruit.  I truly love this breakfast and it keeps me happy, which means I'm less likely to reach for treats later, since I started my day with one. 

Find ways to fit in the things you really love, and fight restricting them.  I promise you will see positive changes in your behavior, attitude, and your physique.   

Post Show Reflection - by Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

My NPC bikini show was in October and I am so happy for the experience that I had. The outcome wasn’t perfect – in that I didn’t place top 5. We all always want that placing even though the circumstances weren’t right and I knew it. I had upper jaw surgery during my prep which took me out of working out for 3 weeks, and meant I couldn’t eat (chew) my normal food. I started school and had some difficult classes. The stress killed me, and my biggest lesson was that stress is my number one enemy when it comes to dieting.  I really wanted to do the show though - for myself.  Final result aside, what I gained from prepping was so much more valuable. The insight that I do NOT have to suffer to get on stage, or reach any physique goal. You don’t have to drop out all your food and do hours of cardio. It simply isn’t necessary when you take care of your metabolism and your body. The next best thing was no rebound at all. Nine weeks post show, I believe I’ve gained 4 or 5 pounds. And I’m definitely eating plenty of food and I’m doing on average an hour of cardio per WEEK. This is the direct result of taking the time to take care of my body before prepping and not going to extremes like low calories and tons of exercise in prep.  I have also taken care of my mind – that is so important as well. You must be comfortable and happy with yourself before you get onstage.

The message really is that we are all in a rush to get to our goals – I know I want everything now but taking the time to do things right and be in the correct mindset always pays off. And I’ll say it again – you DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER TO PREP FOR A SHOW or get to your fitness goal, whatever it may be.  Value your body and take the time to make it right so that you get lasting and healthy results.  If you need help getting started, we can help. 

By Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

A little over 12 weeks to go until showtime!  Usually this is the point I would begin prepping so it feels good to be already in the mindset and mode of "show prep".  Progess is happening slowly every week and I am happy with that because there are no extremes.  No fasted cardio, no hours of cardio, and no strict fish and veggies diet.  Still eating more than ANY prep of mine EVER.  I also have only been on the scale once since I believe March.  The other big thing for me is that I am keeping BALANCE.  I don't need to plan every single meal and every single minute.  I can be flexible, and to me, that is the biggest victory, to be on the right path, while keeping that balance.

Something I have been hearing and seeing alot of, as well as being guilty of doing myself, is too much comparing.  I'm not talking about comparing myself to or competing with others, although that is just as important NOT to do... but comparing to yourself in a negative way.  I have found myself constantly thinking about where my measurements were in past preps compared to now (years ago, before metabolic damage, before having a baby,etc).  Every prep, regardless of who you are, should be different.  Hopefully, each prep is better because you have rested, built your metabolism, gained some muscle in your offseason.   Different foods, different styles of training, the season/time of the year, your offseason length, your water intake, amount of muscle, and sooo many more factors all play into how your prep (or simply diet) goes.  Now this isn't to say you shouldn't want to "beat yourself" or be better than last time.  Of course you should.  But I'm talking end result.  We shouldn't take too much time worrying because last time you lost more from your waist initially, or this time it seems easier or whatever the case may be.  The important part is having a plan and being able to enjoy your process, not stress through it because you compare every weight or measurement.  Bodies change.  This is something else I'm working on letting go... I'm losing from different places first than I did before.  Who knows if this is better or worse...it is just what it is.  I have a plan, a goal, and I'm confident my end result will be what I want it to be.  

 

By Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

This week things started to feel real for me.  14 weeks is still a long time but I realized I'm really doing this FINALLY!   I am so excited to be working on my new goal and making progress. Again this week, I changed my food plan keeping within my macros to fight boredom and feeling restricted in any way.  This week I was craving burgers so I prepped turkey burgers, adding finely chopped onions, green pepper, olive oil and seasonings to the turkey.  I paired that with sweet potato wedges I cooked in the oven and finished in the broiler.   I've also been making the chocolate coffee protein shakes we posted on IG and FB this week.  I'm definitely happy and satisfied by all my food.  I'm a little hungry but that's normal and I am still eating about 1900 calories.  I'm doing 3 short sessions of HIIT cardio a week so far and getting results.  It's great to be able to keep things minimal and see changes....something I never did before.  More was always more.  But I learned the hard way that MORE cardio, MORE cutting food only ends up hurting you long term.  It's all about balance :)

Whether you are prepping for a show, getting ready for a vacation, or just life, keeping balance will give you long term success.  I tend to be a black and white thinker....I'm either all in or all out so I understand the difficulty most people have with this approach but stepping back and keeping perspective is SOOOO incredibly important.  One meal won't make or break you, just as one missed workout won't either.  You want to give any goal everything you have but remember to be flexible.  I admit this is something I have trouble with and need a little help on.  When I'm wondering if I'm getting crazy/going overboard, I run it by someone else or a friend, to be sure I'm not obsessing about food or diet or exercise.  Alot of competitors lose that sense of flexibility - and that's what has us skipping events with friends and family or scheduling things around our normal meal time so that we are perfectly "on track".  I believe that learning to be flexible is a crucial skill for life in general, but especially fitness goals.  Things are going to come up, life will happen, and you need to be able to roll with it.   That is a small goal of mine for the month of July - do my BEST for my prep, but be flexible and stay in the moment, keeping perspective :)