TODAY I HEARD THE MUSIC. TODAY I FELT THE SUN. TODAY I SAW THE SQUIRRELS.

Ever feel like you have to escape? Life is a lot. We are on overdrive and so incredibly plugged in. It’s a disease that needs a name. It’s like watching a sci-fi movie as I walked through the city today. Imagine hearing 100 phone conversations in quick blurbs while you’re not speaking. Just observing. It’s so easy to go on overload. Everyone is talking. Is anyone paying attention?

Our kids are so plugged in they’re not living in reality they’re living in phonality. It’s so sad. It’s a life based around who’s calling, who’s face-timing, who’s snap-chatting, who’s texting. Did you know there was something called Phantom Texting? A problem facing the under 20 crowd where they think they hear their phone go off. JEEZZZZZZZ. Let me ask you this. Do you look at your phone because you are looking to see what’s up from 2 minutes ago? YES YOU DO. It’s a disease. An addiction. Who’s writing us? What’s new? We eat dinner and have a conversation, yet we cannot wait to get to our phones. So once dinner is kind of officially over we grab our devices and it’s good bye. Why? Because we put our friends on temporary hold only to have dinner with our family. We actually can’t wait to get back to them but we do the obligatory dinner time. That’s so fucked up. We took a temporary break from our real world to plug into our FAMILY TIME! WOW! What the hell is happening to us? We get jittery because the dinner conversation is going on a little too long and we have to RESPOND. To whom? Who is more important than our children and yes I am guilty!

Today I had had enough. I unplugged. I got on a train and went to the city where no one knows my name. I was mindful. It was so interesting. I walked a ton. I sat in parks. I listened to music that was so beautiful. I watched as a couple dance at 4:30 in broad daylight in a park and thought how cool is that?! I watched a squirrel eat out of a woman’s hand like it was a house pet. I had no WIFI. I did my best to disconnect and read, with the exception of checking in on my kids after school. I felt the sun on my face as I sat on the park bench. I felt the presence of the stranger that asked to sit with me. I connected with no one and everyone. They were a part of my peace in a weird sort of way. How can we break this horrible disease of human disconnectedness? The stacking game is great, friends over phones, young people stacking their phones on the table so they can have real time with each other. BRAVO. We need to start seeing each other. Paying attention to each other. The phone gives us so much love that it makes it easy to not love what is right in front of you. That is bullshit. Can we turn it around? We’re doomed in my opinion if we don’t. Pay attention or pay your phone bill. You tell me what’s more important.

Love always,
Your Iron Beauty Coach
Kathi Sottosanti


“I NEVER SEE ANYONE WHO LOOKS LIKE ME IN PICTURES.” DON’T LET IT GET YOU! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. THAT’S WHY WE’RE HERE.

I got an inbox this morning at Iron Beauty from a woman who really struggles with her weight.  She asked the following questions.

“How come the people in your pictures are in great shape?  I never see anyone who looks anything like me.  Do larger people go to your gym?”  Well that opened up a real heartfelt and honest conversation with my friend about a very real subject and it was a conversation that I’m glad we had.  YES, there are women all sizes in the gym (and in my pictures, but some people HIDE in the back because they don’t want to be seen and I make them get in). Fitness bodies are not all small.  A big woman can be a very fit, strong woman.  Even that can be intimidating.   Immediately after she asked me those questions, she thought about it and said, “The truth is I would never want to be in a picture because then I would have to look at myself.”  Heavy heart moment.  If one person feels that way, then countless others do to.  We are never alone, which is why I share this story.

Our body fat is often attached to a bigger issue, an emotional one.  We’re eating to numb ourselves, we’re addicted to sugar, we have experienced trauma, loss of a loved one, poor body image, stress with a relationship, kids or simply because it’s all we know.  It could be how you grew up culturally.   Thirty years ago there was no internet.  Our parents and grandparents did the best they could (or not) at the time. There were no guidelines on food and when the guidelines did come out in the early nineties, in the form of a pyramid, it called for 6 to 11 servings of grains, bread and pasta which we now know was so wrong.  But we trusted in the experts at that time!  We’re only as smart as the Dr’s right?  Not in this case.   My father had his first heart attack at 48!  He grew up without money and my grandmother fed in quantity not quality.  She did the best she could. She also smoked like a chimney and had a yellow circle in the ceiling above her head from the smoke. I didn’t know her struggles as a woman, only as a child.  9 strokes later she passed.  She did not have the info we have now.  Pregnant?  Yes, gin and tonic please.  Now with a touch of a button and my voice I know how many calories are in anything.  I know the effects of smoking and foods that lead to the dangerous fat but people need motivation, to be held accountable and most importantly to FORGIVE THEMSELVES!  Everyone is worthy of feeling amazing, but they have to believe they are first.  It’s important to note that I am not saying there is an ideal body for all, because there is not!  We all have our own personal visions of our own ideal bodies and some of us will be fit or feel great in a much larger frame than someone else.  Sexy is not achieving skinny.  Sexy is owning your body and having love for yourself.  Clearly, one of the biggest challenges, regardless of fitness.  Just a beginner.  Take baby steps.  Just walk to get started.  Let’s not think in terms of what we can’t do or weren’t able to do but appreciate what you can do.  Need help?  Ask for it.

A picture here or there cannot show you the thousands of conversations that go on day and night with so many for so many different reasons.  I ask the question to women when I first sit down with them who are over a certain weight, “When was the last time you were under 200 pounds?  Or 300 pounds?  And the answer I hear most, from grown women in their 40’s, is high school and even middle school!  That’s over 20-30 years ago.  They have lived their whole adult life at a certain weight.  So if we can get to the emotional aspect of why or when, maybe then we can begin the process of releasing.  Releasing first what got you there. If obesity was not a medical issue would it be a discussion?  Unfortunately it is in that it increases risk factors for disease.

Here are some facts to consider from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
About Overweight and Obesity and the prevalence of it in the United States.
Overweight refers to the amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water.
Obesity refers to an excess of body fat.

  • More than 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight or obese
  • More than 1 in 3 adults are considered obese
  • More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity
  • About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese
  • More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.

Did you know that the terminology on a body fat chart is skewed and that the word “average” is actually overweight and “above average” is obese?  The “ideal” category is what is considered normal.  They are using words that sound nicer.  I coach online, in a gym and have coached corporately.  By nature you will see more fit people (all sizes!) in a gym, but in real life America and big, high stress corporations that’s not the case.

My wish:  That when someone thinks to themselves, I don’t want to be in a picture, I don’t want to look at myself, or that they are alone, that we don’t bury ourselves in the negative emotions, but recognize that in this country, the land of plenty, there are millions that need help. That  when you find a place that is safe and holds no judgement you hang on!  Let’s talk about it and what to do.  Iron Beauty is a safe place.  There is no discrimination in our world.  I am very involved in fitness, but not all of my clients are.  There is a reason why I coach, because so many people need help.  I am grateful that she brought up what she saw and how she felt so we can talk about the reality that it is not all pretty pictures, it’s a ton of work!

If you have read this, please take a moment to honor yourself and where you came from, your struggles, losses, addictions and that fact that you are here to read this.  Then I want you to think about this. . . Please tell yourself or me FIVE positive things about you.  Write them down.  Then really think about what it will take to you get in that picture and let’s talk! Send me pictures!

Your Iron Beauty Coach,
Kathi Sottosanti
Health and Wellness Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Instructor
Mother, Wife, Loving Stalker, Friend

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DROP YOUR ANCHOR AND WATCH YOUR BODY CHANGE!

Do you have a anchor on your ship? You eat well BUT. You have an anchor. That anchor can sink your ship. Coke at 140 calories is an anchor. 25 cans will buy you a pound. Let’s take pumpkin donuts, totally an anchor.  At 360 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat that will hold you back for sure.  One does not even fill you up. Empty calories.  I may know someone having an average of 6 a week. 2,160 extra calories a week that will not do one thing for your body except add almost 3/4 of a pound of weight to your frame.  A week.  UNLESS you are a serious body builder or powerlifter, and need X amount of carbs that are sometimes hard to get, so you throw in fast acting carbs immediately after training ie donuts which some guys do, to get it back into your muscles quickly, then it’s a big, fat NO.
It’s her culture to eat dessert. I respect that. So how about a square of dark chocolate with a hot cup of tea. Afraid you might eat the bar? Leave it at work under the care of a co-worker and bring a square home at night for an after dinner treat.  This at least is a healthy fat at 70% or higher.
We try so hard, but the truth is that many of us have an anchor.  Can you give up your anchor for 21 days?  It takes 21 days to change a habit.  That’s my plan with my girl to give up pumpkin donuts for 21 days because the goal is real.  It’s also SO important to GET TO KNOW your anchors.  When I spoke to the Google God and it responded with the nutrition info in all of two seconds, it was very surprising to my friend.  She was guessing it was a couple hundred calories. It is actually easier to give up that “thing” when you know that it costs you a QUARTER of your calories for the day but gives you NOTHING in return!  Imagine eating a 1/4 of your calories for a ZERO body benefit.  Yet for 400 calories, you could have 4 oz of chicken, a half a cup of rice and a cup of broccoli and get way more protein, carbs, nutrients and more in your body would be able to either build or protect your lean muscle and feel good when you were done.  What’s the donut doing?  Nothing, that’s why it’s shaped in a ZERO!  Drop your anchor off your ship and watch your body change!  Unlike the ship that would stay in place with an anchor, your ship will actually move when the anchor is GONE.  Remember new goals.  Holidays.  Strong and Sexy.
As always, see you in great shape!
Your Iron Beauty Coach and Loving Stalker,
Kathi Sottosanti
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FEAR STUCKS!  NO THAT’S NOT A TYPO. GETTING UNSTUCK.

 

Let’s get down and dirty with FEAR.  Like take the gloves off and fight fear.  Fear is a bully.  Fear makes you STUCK.  STUCK in life.  STUCK in workouts.  STUCK in progress.  STUCK in moving forward to what could be an amazing path ahead. FEAR JUST STUCKS!  Fear is so real, yet so not real.  We live with fear because we create it in our minds to block us from life therefore giving it life.  In fact, don’t feel bad, it’s not even you, just a version of you we call the ego.  The ego in each of us wants to win so we have to fight with our good souls to get it the hell out.  We are the sole creators of our fear yet our souls need love.   When we experience fear we cannot experience love, as per my friend, (in my mind and in my future) Gabrielle Bernstein, and her book May Cause Miracles, a 40+ day practice to alleviate fear and see amazing things happen in life (miracles).  Gabby says, where there is fear, love cannot exist.  And she’s not talking about romantic love, but life love.  As a coach, the number one thing I tackle with people is fear.  As a human being, the number one thing I tackle for myself is fear.  Fear has held me back in numerous situations and I am now really working to recognize fear when it peeks it’s head in to my life.  I can now look back at scenarios and see where I remained stuck for too long and should have moved forward.  I will never forget the words of my sister Eileen when we were young adults.  She had been out with a guy a couple of times and it didn’t work out.  They ended it and she said the very next morning, without hesitation or fear, “I can’t wait to see who I meet next!”  It really blew me away because anyone else would be feeling sorry, she looked at life with adventure eyes and saw opportunity.  I admired that and have used that example to help many others (thanks sista).

I talked about this in one of my recent blogs, how during my last training phase before my competition, I would look ahead at workouts in fear wondering how I would pull them off, thinking how on earth . . . 285, 295 pounds . . . fear cannot exist in workouts.  Period.  I learned from that and made a shift.  Now I look at a 10 X 10 with decent weight and say, shit, ok, the only way to finish is to begin.  Just move.  Fear STUCKS.

FEAR holds us back from being our best selves.  Fear lies.  It tells us we’re not worthy.  Fear tells us we will die if we try.  NO WE WON’T.  Fear tells us it’s too hard.  Fear tells us that we can’t be free from an unhealthy relationship because we can’t make it on our own.  Fear tells us that we can’t lift or we’ll get hurt.  Fear tells us not to go out of our comfort zone because something will go wrong.  Fear tells us not to meet someone new for FEAR of rejection, not being good enough.  FK THAT FEAR we are already perfect, because we are a creation of God you’re just trying to brainwash us in to believing otherwise!

These things cannot hurt you.  We fail at something.  Great!  That means you are moving forward.  Failure IS THE WAY TO SUCCESS.   Failure is GOOD, it’s a lesson.  So GET OUT THERE AND KICK FEAR’S ASSSSSSSSSS.  Believe that you are worthy of trying.  We all are.  Worthy.  What you fear you have created and so you have the ability to CHANGE IT.   Create something amazing in your mind.  We know our thoughts become our actions.  When you lay your head down on the pillow, create an amazing picture.  Practice this before bed.  Create your tomorrow in your mind.  Not what you think will be reality, but what you really, truly want.  Take fear out of the picture and visualize life as if anything is possible.  I know this is hard because life is real.  I totally get it and you’re tired and don’t believe but do it anyway. Create the vision that you CAN and you will be 1,000 times more likely to get what you desire versus fearing you can’t.  Whether it’s fitness, a job, a relationship, trying something out of your comfort zone, or just heavy real life.  Fight it with feelings of ABILITY.  Feel able.  You are able. You are capable.  You can do this.  Fear is real  because we make it real, but we can fight it and we can win when we make it not real and we don’t give it power.  Amazingly you may not even know it was an something real that held you back, just that you were held back.  See it now as a separate version of yourself, your ego self and fight to release it. Here’s your new mantra:
Sayonara STUCKA!

Tell me what else you want to hear.

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