Katie – pictured on the left above.
Katie of Personally Paleo was not always an avid marathon runner nor an active crossfit or weight training enthusiast. In fact she was quite the opposite. Katie was an overweight teen, young adult and adult and soon was more than 80 pounds overweight, inactive and had low self-esteem. She loved pasta, specifically alfredo. She never really had a big sweet tooth yet craved salty foods over sweet foods so this led to bags of chips and other types of high carb snacking. This then led to thirst and a craving for sodas. Sodas and chips could easily be the bulk of her day’s indulgences.
Katie had tried every diet excluding Pritikin to no avail. After moving to a big city, getting sick and feeling horrible about herself something changed. Katie did! Read her sincere and very true story and why and how she now has the highest of self-esteem, a totally thriving, active and banging body and is instilling this confidence and her successful actions in others through her blog and actions. Let’s get into Part 1 of this up close and personal paleo transformation interview with Katie right now:
- Were you overweight as a child or did this creep up on you?
I was definitely overweight as a child, teen, adult… pretty much my whole life.
- Did you love carbs and sugar like so many heavier people?
Ugh yes, I loved pasta, specifically alfredo. But, I actually never really had a big sweet tooth. I tend to crave salty foods over sweet foods.
- Was this the bulk of your diet?
My body was constantly taking in such unhealthy foods and drinks. I was so addicted to diet soda and loved pasta. I was also always eating chips. So. Many. Chips.
- Were you a yo-yo dieter and trying other diets constantly? If so, which ones did you bomb out on? Did you ever try Pritikin like me? Oh God those Pork rinds! Yuck!
I swear, I tried everything! Except Pritikin I guess! My worst was when I did HCG droplets. It was basically a starvation diet. I think for the first week you consume less than 500 calories a day!
5. What was that “breakpoint” when you said you had had it!?
You know, to this day I really can’t pinpoint it. I just remember being so unhappy and feeling alone. I’d moved to a new city with my boyfriend where we didn’t know anyone and I had no self-esteem. I think it was a culmination of getting sick and feeling bad about myself all the time.
- How did the word and concept of Paleo get introduced into your life?
I have to give credit to my boyfriend, Kyle, on this one. He was looking for more homeopathic solutions to help with his difficulty with focusing and stumbled upon Mark Sisson and his site, Mark’s Daily Apple. He was the one that had me start reading up on it.
- Did you jump right into it or try a bit, little by little?
A little bit of both actually. The idea was introduced to me in mid January but I was reluctant to just jump in at that time, so we set a start date of February 1. I spent time cleaning out and stocking our cupboards, making meal plans, etc. and then when February came around, we were all in!
- Do you feel Paleo is to be adapted to the individual or are you a “by the book” gal? If so, which book do you follow to a T?
100% Paleo is what you make it to be. The same strict rules will not work for everyone. Paleo isn’t meant to be restrictive, it’s meant to empower. You feel good about yourself by feeling good about what you eat and doing what is most successful for your lifestyle. There are people who need a bit more carbs in their life or people who want to enjoy a glass of wine or people who de-stress with candy a couple times a month. It’s important to know that it’s OK! Just keep making informed decisions about what is best for you and be sure not to stray too far.
- I know some women are dying to know this, but how long did it take you to lose the weight? And how old were you when you lost the weight? How old are you now? I am a “young” grandma so I know you are about the age of one of my kids.
It took me a little over a year to lose the weight, which was about 2 years ago. And I’m 27 now, so 25!
- You became a runner! Very impressive. Running a half marathon is also quite an accomplishment. Do you continue to run marathons regularly?
Thank you! Running was always something I was too scared to try so it was a really big step for me. I like to run now, but I do it more for the peace of mind it brings me than for the competitive aspect. But – I’m not ruling anything out for 2017.
- What other types of exercise do you do?
I am OBSESSED with HIIT workouts now. I joined a local gym – SWEAT Chicago – back in April of 2015 and over the last several months I have really fallen in love. Each day the workout is different and is designed to focus on different muscle groups. Tuesday is always Total Body Tabata and used to by my favorite, but ever since I gave Butt & Legs day a chance (it’s Wednesdays!) I really love that one. It’s one of my weakest areas so it’s a real accomplishment for me when I make it through a set of 150 wall balls, tons of Bulgarian split squats or even single leg burpees. I did a whole piece on their workout when I interviewed one of their instructors, another blogger, which you can read here.
- What do you encourage others to do about diet or activities? And how often?
I think that everyone needs to find what will work for them and while cold turkey can work for some people, it doesn’t work for others. If you’re trying to better yourself diet-wise, try cutting out one thing at a time. Completely give up soda or chocolate or whatever it may be and then every couple weeks, drop something else out. For activities, it is so important to not get bored. Find something that is constantly challenging you or mix it up with a few different exercise types. But be sure to do it 3-4 times a week, CONSISTENTLY.
- Now I am so excited to ask you this! Please tell me all about Personally Paleo. How come you decided to launch this website?
My family and friends were a big influence in this! I couldn’t say enough good things about my experience with paleo to all of them and they really encouraged me to share it with someone else!
- You offer a wonderful selection of paleo recipes and information on your site. Your recipes look amazing. How did you get into recipe developing?
There are so many amazing bloggers and websites out there that you can find tons of paleo recipes. But I did find a number of bloggers whose recipes used expensive, hard to find ingredients or dishes that took lots of advance prep work. That didn’t work for me. I started creating recipes on my own (including this sweet pistachio bacon recipe) at home or for dinner with friends and realized how fun it is to play with flavors on your own!
- What plans do you have for Personally Paleo in 2017?
I’m hoping to focus more on recipe development. I have some products that I really love, but I know how lost someone can be with them. I’d love to give people a better idea of how I use these on a day to day basis.
- Your fitness page looks like a lot of fun. Tell me more about this. In fact I wish you lived closer. We’d have a blast!
Ah – yes we would!! One of the absolute greatest things about living in Chicago is that there are SO many different options when it comes to fitness. If I did nothing but try new gyms or workouts, I could survive for months. On top of that, I’ve found myself immersed in such a great community of other bloggers, so I decided to start meeting more of them by having them join me for new workouts. It’s been so much fun!
- How have you helped and inspired others since launching your website?
I recently did a talk in May at the Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo in Schaumburg, IL and seeing the turnout for my class was amazing. There were so many people interested in what I had to say with questions of their own at how to succeed with this lifestyle change. I love to imagine that everyone of them has been able to use my story as a way to improve their own.
- Finally, what New Year’s Resolution tips can you share to help others stick to their nutrition and weight loss goals?
The most important thing I can recommend is to plan it out. If your goal is to give up grains, meal planning can be your best friend. If your goal is to workout 3x/wk, plan it out. Set up your weekly or monthly schedule and pencil in your workouts. On top of all that, hold yourself accountable! I set goals for myself and if I don’t meet them, I have a “consequence” but really, it’s something positive like adding in an extra workout the next week!
Thank you Katie! I also interviewed Lori Newlon in a post on Paleo and Bariatric Surgery. She is a bariatric nurse who underwent bariatric surgery after becoming technically, morbidly obese. With a successful surgery behind her and a tremendous weight loss she soon found paleo as well, and the rest is a history of success. I love to share wisdom from successful women who have beat the system of being and feeling fat or not attractive, or lacking confidence. Paleo is not the end all but with one’s health in control, it truly changes one life.
Since many of you have signed up for my RSS feed or newsletter you will be informed of Katie’s Part 2 Interview coming out in just about 3-4 weeks.