Memorial day weekend is here and this morning I had my moment of truth. The bathing suit and shorts moment! Nothing fits! All to small. I couldn’t button my shorts. The competition is in 5 days. Put a skirt on!

I took today off.  I haven’t had a day off since? I actually don’t know when. I have been working like crazy for over two years now.  Keeping up with our growing Iron Beauty business, managing social media pages, growing a coaching department at No Body Denied, coaching countless number of people through their weight loss journey to better health with our nutrition products, public speaking, corporate coaching, it goes on, all while raising 5 kids, two whom are graduating this year so the activities are crazy.

The one thing that I have to work around, that many people can’t understand, is my training regimen. I have been working out my whole adult life. I do not function well without it. In fact, I love being on a structured program. I lift weights to manage my real life stress. It keeps me sane. Helps me escape for a little while and mostly because it just feels good.

There were all different phases of training over the years of course, having kids, 4 of them in 5 years, while working in the city until #3 came along. This often meant the treadmill in the basement, with a baby in a bouncy seat sucking on a pacifier, or the double stroller around town or months of wishing I could but didn’t.

I have been lifting weights forever but for the last two years I shifted focus to powerlifting. I said out loud to my friend/coach, “I don’t want to gain weight”. To which he replied, “Then this sport is not for you.” That made me mad, I thought, yes it is and I shut up. I was not thinking right. I had to experience it to understand, as much as I knew how the body has to adapt, I was still thinking I could stay my weight and just get stronger. Nope. When you put that kind of stress on your body, such as lifting heavy loads, your body has to adapt to that stress by adding muscle. My body had to put on weight. Which it did, about 8 pounds. And yes that’s mostly muscle. I work hard motivating so many all winter to stay on path and so many for weight loss. I am now sitting in my car on the way to the beach in a bathing suit with a skirt on that is no bigger than a bandana on me now, but was all I had while flying through the house trying to get ready to leave. My goals are not typical and I have to remember that.

My legs and glutes are bigger. Ok, so deep breath, pause and reflect. The shorts that fit last year could not lift the weight that I can lift today. My body adapted to my sport. I’m not skinny, but I am stronger at 52 than I was at 22, 32, or 42. I guess you’ll be seeing me in skirts this summer! Note to self: I will embrace my body for what it can accomplish. I will look at the size of the bar I am lifting, not the tag in my shorts! I have been training very hard for a reason. That is where my focus will stay!


The Voice of Hunger!
It’s a loud voice that messes with your psyche.  It talks to you and reasons with you, although it’s not the Voice of Reason.  It’s just masquerading as such when you’re hungry!  Feel like you have multiple personalities?  You do!  Don’t you feel different when you’re starving.  You become short with people, less tolerant.  When you’re fueling your body on a regular basis, your mood doesn’t swing like Jekyll and Hyde!  The Voice of Hunger tells you to eat it whatever is in front of you.  Eat it!  You’ll work it off.  Maybe you will.   Or maybe you won’t.  Hunger isn’t Reason, it actually doesn’t care if you work it off, it just wants to eat.  It’s STARVING.  You waited too long and Reason became overpowered by Hunger.  Hunger is one strong dude, but it doesn’t mean that all is lost, Reason still has a fighting chance.  More in a second.

Why is Hunger so powerful?  Because you let it be.  You were irresponsible and waited too long to eat.  You didn’t plan properly.  You didn’t have your food. Yes, it’s your fault!  We’re not living in a third world country where we are actually starving, which is a sin, we live in the land of plenty.  The Voice of Hunger has power because you enabled it to have power. You skipped a meal.  The Voice of Reason is begging you to be prepared, to pack your food for the day, to feed yourself.  When you feel stable you are stable.  Mood is balanced.  Kids are not at risk of being murdered for leaving a dish in the sink (my house) or saying Hey, Mom. DID YOU JUST TALK TO ME?   The Voice of Hunger isn’t a nice voice and doesn’t have an “Inside Voice”.

Ok, so true story.  Last weekend I woke up hungrier than normal.  Typical Saturday is to go out early and get a dozen fresh bagels for the kids.  (although now, two oldest are on meal plans and only eat Ezekiel!).  I had a complete conversation with myself.  Hunger was duking it out with Reason for sure.  Hunger was saying, hmmmm, order a bagel with butter for yourself, it’s ok, you’re benching today and will work it off.  Keep the carbs low later in the day, all will be well.  Then Reason woke up and said, listen up girl, you are in a competition today, do you think that food in the shape of a ZERO, as in nutrients, will keep you fueled for your comp?  Don’t do it.  Reason said make the shake you have every day filled with nutrients.  Well, Reason won.  By the time I got to the bagel store I felt full.  Was happy.  Gave my body what it needed, not what it wanted.  I ended up having a great session.  Thank you Reason.  Listen up.  Do not let Hungry win.  Don’t go without food so long that you enable the battle of the wills.  Eat right and eat smart.  Who will win your Battle of the Voices?  I’m putting my money on Reason.  Don’t disappoint me, duke it out and win!

See You in Great Shape!
Your Iron Beauty Coach,
Kathi Sottosanti



It’s not working and you want to give up!

Let me ask you this, where did you start?  Were you happy when you started your  program? No.  That’s why you started one!  Let’s use weight loss for example.  You’ve lost weight and it stopped working, you’ve plateaued.  You say it stopped working.  Nothing stopped working, your body is still working. It’s a plateau. You are frustrated and want to quit.  Quit what?  Yourself?  It’s HARD! Actually, it’s really hard.  Any kind of change, whether it be weight gain for lean muscle, strength gains or weight loss can be very frustrating at times.  We don’t have all the answers, we don’t know where we’re messing up, we can’t figure out why it’s not working.  It’s so frustrating you want to quit.  That’s a panic move that will get you nowhere.  Actually it will get you somewhere, right back where you started!  If that’s what you want then go ahead and quit!
You’ve heard the phrase, nobody said it was easy.  Maybe you thought it would be.  It’s not easy and it’s not short term.  It takes, time, patience and a constant flow of good choices.  Daily choices. We could blame it on this or that, or we could open ourselves up to change.


When you want to throw in the towel, that is the smoke signal to work even harder, maybe harder than you’ve worked in your life.  I know you don’t want to hear that, because you are already working hard, but if you are not OVER-TRAINING, which is story for another day, then you have to take it to another level.  The weight you carried before wouldn’t let you do the kind of workout you can do now.  Every single day upon waking set your intentions on having a good day.  Don’t wing it.  Know in your thoughts how your day should go by planning and preparing.  Plans change yes, but if you have a plan then you are more likely to stay on path.  Be willing to change and reevaluate your plan.  There are no solid right and wrong answers that work for all, just trial and error.  And when it stops working you DON’T QUIT, you change your path.  And if that doesn’t work you change it again.  I don’t mean big changes either, small ones.  Tweaks to the plan.  If you change too much you won’t know what didn’t work, so make small changes at a time.  We are all so unique in our physical make up that we are all going to have different experiences.

QUITTING ONLY EQUALS SELF PITY PARTY WITH M&M’s.  It’s saying you’re going to stop eating well and working out because it doesn’t work.  It does work.  And when it stops, we don’t stop unless we want to go backwards!  Instead of putting the energy in to feeling sorry for yourself, let it go and say, ok, what else can I do?  I’m in.  I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I want to give up, but ok Kathi, you pain in the ASS, I’ll do it!  Quitting is not an option actually at all, now is it?  It is simply a very loud signal to NOT GIVE UP.  Now you know, easy doesn’t work.  Get in the game, stay in the game, head in the game.  Fight the fight till we get it right.  The truth is, what you think is extremely hard, is only because your body is trying it for the first time.  There is an inner athlete in you dying to come out.  Let’s find it and set it free!  I believe in you!

See you in great shape,
Your Iron Beauty Coach
Kathi Sottosanti


nachosWhen you sit down to eat. Do you think about what you are putting in to your body and how it will make you feel after?  For the majority, the answer is no. Even for the health conscious we’re not always thinking about the purpose or the aftermath. Go to any crowded restaurant or public area and you will see so many people just eating and ordering away.  If you are reading this blog then you are already drawn to the idea of becoming more aware of your health both mind and body.
Does this sound familiar?   I remember the days.  Kids were young and we would go to a family friendly restaurant.  It’s right in front of you and looks so good!  You’re at a restaurant and the picture of the nachos on the menu draws you in.  Yeah, let’s get them. And then we’ll have mozzarella sticks to start, buffalo wings . . . .  and then you place your real order!  Before your real meal arrives, you’re already FULL.  Not even a thought went in to the nutrients.  It’s actually how most people live.  We are not thinking about how these foods will serve our body or how we will become inflamed.  It’s food for taste not fuel.
What if you really paid attention to how you feel after you eat your meals?  You know how you feel after a meal like that when you overload.  UGH.  I am SO full.  I just need to unzip my jeans, open the button.  Take a nap.  Hit the sofa.  A meal like that is like an army attacking your body to shut it down.  Now your insides have to go to work and digest the overload, break it down and get rid of it.  Oh, but you probably won’t get rid of it because you didn’t burn enough so you get lucky enough to KEEP IT!   What a gift.  It tasted so good and now it’s yours. The extra calories will be stored in fat cells.  Many menus have great offerings.  Get creative.  Skip sauces and ask for them on the side.  Dip in your food instead of having it all over.  Crispy anything means fried.  Opt for vinegar and olive oil for your dressing.  Salad dressings are often loaded with sugar and fat.  Ask for twice the veggies.  Get in to the habit of eating half the meal every time. Then take half home.  I know that when I am half way done, I put the fork down.  Wait, let the full kick in.  Eat slowly.  Enjoy every bite!
THINK!  Mindful eating.
How does the food make me feel?
Does a plate full of nachos and a burger make you feel AWESOME when you’re done or are you ready to go home and sleep?
FOOD IS ENERGY.  Look at food and think how will this serve my body.  Will it give me energy, help me build lean muscle so I can burn more calories?  The right food will boost you.  We are going to get to know what serves our bodies well.  Why?  Because then we can be machines!
See you in great shape,
Your Iron Beauty Coach
Kathi Sottosanti