My Weight Gain Panic, AND I KNOW BETTER!

For YEARS, I have been coaching and motivating people all day, every day regarding weight loss, muscle gain and owning their body.  I am a wellness coach, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and corporate coach.  I have too many clients to count and I see the beauty in all of them!  YET, a couple of days ago after a weight gain panic attack, I became my own client!

I have been powerlifting for about a year and a half, with a more serious focus and dedication to the sport since last February, and an even more serious focus over the past month.  I am 2 weeks away from being in-season for my very first competition in June at the age of 52.  Prior to powerlifting, my average weight was 132 on my 5′ 6″ frame.  My comfort zone.  As I started to lift heavier weight, that number went to a steady 134 and remained that way, give or take a pound or two for about a year.   Somewhere around early January I noticed that my clothes were getting tighter.  Hmmm.  I was aware but was ok, sort of . . . my pants were tight but still fit.  I did not weigh myself.

Two days ago, it happened.   I put on a pair of shorts that I hadn’t worn in a while, but were a normal go to.  They were way too small!  Like, I can’t wear them small.  HOLY SH*T! For the first time in my adult life (aside from 5 prego’s and babies, that’s a different story), I was growing out of my clothes.  I was asked by my coach to step on the scale.   I wouldn’t do it.  He got mad and told me it’s just a number, in this sport you need to be strong, it’s not about aesthetics.   But I am a woman that loves to look good in my clothes, rock a dress and get in my jeans without issue.  My head was getting in the way.  I wasn’t looking at my body or seeing strenght, I was focused on the shorts!

The next morning, I stepped on the scale and there it was. I was 141.  I saw that number and felt like I had gained 20 pounds.  I was in new territory.  I have not changed my eating habits.  I am still regimented with my food with some fun on the weekends, but not crazy.  Not even someone else’s normal.  That’s when I became my own client.  Kathi!  You are working hard.  My trainer side said, check your body fat.  I did.  It had gone down and I have actually gained 6 pounds of muscle since I last measured.  Six is a lot on a woman, since the average muscle gain is half a pound a month.  I started to calm myself.  Then I thought about what my coach would say if I stayed in this place for more then a few hours, let alone days.  He would tell me the sport is not for me.  Oh NO, I cannot hear that!  I started to get over myself.  I don’t want to lose my gains.  Muscle gain is what I am going for and I know what to do to lean out a little without losing muscle.  I took control and made a plan.  I am going to weigh in every week, ironically just like I have all my weight loss clients do!  I did an intermittent fast today, on my off day, to give my body a break.  I am both the coach and the client!  I will tell myself that I’ve got this.  I will not panic over the number.  I will do the work to drop a few so I am more comfortable, but cannot deprive myself  because my body needs the nutrients to build more strength.  Cut some useless carbs, sure.  Get more sleep.  Drink less wine.  Check.

The lying hamstring curl is not burning like it used to.  I am getting in the reps on the leg extension without dying.  I am getting stronger.  My friends are noticing the change in my body and have been commenting that I have a realy booty now, which I apparently didn’t when they met me, lol.  I had a moment, well more like a day.  I panicked when I saw the number.  Then I pulled myself out of the hole.  Being a baby about it won’t do anything.   My mind and body are my choice.  I choose action.  I will do what I need to do and find the balance and will do it with a healthy mindset.  Woos’s don’t lift heavy weights!   Take that scale!

See you in great shape!
Your Iron Beauty Coach,

Kathi Sottosanti

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WHEN ELECTRIC BLUE TIGHTS AND A PINK THONG OVER IT WAS HOT!

The 80’s.  When I knew everything, lol!
When it comes to food, growing up the 80’s might as well have been the dark ages. Who knew back then?  There was little to no nutritional information on the backs of packages, only misleading special labeling.  You want to go on a diet?  Easy.  Drink Tab and order iceberg lettuce salads with your favorite dressing.  Mine was French.  I had no idea there were 73 calories in one tablespoon and 7 grams of fat. I probably had 10 tablespoons!  730 calories and 70 grams of fat just in the dressing.  Some diet that was. It’s ok, I drank Tab. I worked at a country club and will never forget how the women would specifically make sure that their salad was “iceberg lettuce” only!  Yes M’am. Nothing but the best for those ladies! Iceberg salad and a couple of martinis for lunch.  Got it!  And I never gave anyone dirty water for their tea (but my sister did).

Then came the fat free craze.  Awesome, we could eat bagels and pretzels and carbs like crazy because they were low in fat!  The packages said “low fat” food.  Misleading labels were everywhere drawing us in.  I ate nothing of nutritional value, and I fully believed I was on the cutting edge of the greatest idea.  I was a nutrition junkie, reading everything.  Magazine articles, books, whatever I could get my hands on.  Not only was I eating well, I did about three hours of aerobics a day. No worries, it was only 7 days a week!  I loved those electric blue leggings with the pink thong over it!  Yeah, that was hot! Oh and the leg warmers.  I remember eating low fat for about two weeks, no good fat, no protein.  I mean why would I eat fat?  Fat made you fat! Fat was the devil.  I knew everything.  I had a couple of drinks at a friends house and passed out cold, as in fainted!  I had no real nutrition in me, but hey, it was all low fat, as per the experts.   I knew everything.

The 90’s
The most historic event of all times.  Yes, you guessed it, nutrition labels were mandated by the FDA.  OMG we could actually see the nutritional value in our food?  Genius.  What a gift.  Now I would know everything.  This was just the beginning of our learning process.  Can you imagine what you would do without nutrition labels? Now it was time to count calories.  That is how we would learned to live.  We would not eat fat yet because it was still to high in cal, still the devil.  I went on Weight Watchers after each kid.  Weight Watchers was based solely on fiber rich foods.  Fiber rich meant lower points.  Protein was ok, fat nope.  Still learning.  If there were too many calories, stay away!  Little did we know we were staying away from the greatest fuel for our bodies.  Healthy fats.  Oh there was so much to learn.

FAST FORWARD to 2016.  Night and day.  Black and white.  Sun and moon.  Holy cow have we come a long way.  I can’t even write it in this blog because it’s that big.  But there will be more to come.  I have a picture on my desk of myself with my 5 kids.  I think it’s cute but people sit and say, “that’s you?”  They can’t see it.  I see me but they look at me now and say you look so much younger.  Really?  I look younger now then 7 years ago? Ok, I’ll take it.  I believe it’s the food.  I believe in fact it’s protein.  Stay tuned. That will be my next subject.

For now I say be grateful for one thing.  Thongs are now on the inside of our pants!  Amen.

See you in great shape,
Your Iron Beauty Coach

Kathi Sottosanti
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IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK PHYSICALLY, IT’S THE MIND THAT MATTERS!

Everyone on the planet Earth is a unique individual.  Everyone has a unique body type, mental type and spiritual type.  Some will thank God they are much bigger than their physical body because their minds soar.  Some will be grateful to hold on to a physical body when they can’t control other aspects of life.   Not everyone is interested in taking their PHYSICAL BODY to a place of ripped abs and tight glutes.  We get that.  In fact 98% of the population is not going to be at that level simply because they have absolutely have no interest in doing so.  Many will want more, but won’t know how to get to that next level.   For some, their PHYSICAL BODY is carrying extra weight, but the WHOLE BODY is complete.  Or maybe the PHYSICAL BODY is awesome, but the MIND BODY is suffering.  And maybe, just maybe you have it all!  Even when you have it all, how long do you have it?  This is real life and life is full of surprises both good and bad.  Curve balls are everywhere and I see them as tests to see how well we respond and get back to life as we know it.

As trainers, we have to have the sense to magically combine the forces of what YOU want for you, with the potential we see in you and meet you in the middle.  That doesn’t mean I can tell you what I want your PHYSICAL BODY to look like, that would be my vision, not yours.  Could you imagine if we all envisioned one body as the perfect body?  We all be after that one man, or that one woman, physically.  Meanwhile the world is filled with couples who love each other and think they’re partners are perfectly beautiful because of who they are, and they are all so very different!

Since this is real life, we all have amazing things to celebrate and be grateful for, and other real life issues that range from difficult to impossible to work through.  We will use different tools to manage.  Some of us will eat cake, some will drink alcohol, some will hit the gym, barely move but be happy to have their happy place, others will hit the weights hard and let off steam.

As a white girl growing up in the 70’s, I did my best with Tab, Trim Soup and iceberg lettuce salads to be as skinny as possible, no curves, no bells, no whistles.  I wanted to look like models in magazines.  While my sisters in other cultures were working hard NOT to lose there curves.  That’s what their men loved about them!  Now I am doing my best with squats to make up for lost time lol!  One woman’s goal of reaching a hot 180 pounds is the same as another woman’s goal of reaching a hot 130.  Totally different bodies, minds, goals and looks.  Each reflecting the beauty of that woman’s WHOLE BODY as it has a mind and soul behind the scenes.

So what do we do?  We meet your MIND BODY first.  We learn your story.  Then we figure out how to best get your PHYSICAL BODY, MIND BODY and SPIRITUAL BODY in balance so that we can help you achieve WHOLE BODY happiness.

See you in great shape!

Your Iron Beauty Coach,
Kathi Sottosanti
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