Living the simpElle life: Katie

We’re well into 2014 now and I think all the ‘dropper offers’ have dropped off :(. If you are still going strong and working towards your goals then I thought it was time to share some inspiration again in the form of this mini series – Living the simpElle life – where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story. 

I heard a great phrase last year – 

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

– so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all! 

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Katie Wright 

Katie as bridesmaid at friend Sadie’s Wedding

I have been lucky enough to be able to call Katie a friend for the past 13 or 14 years having met her when I changed schools at aged 16! She has been an inspiration, support and true friend in all that time! I wasn’t always this active remember, especially not at the point when we met – but our friendship survived my lifestyle and career change! Katie and I often catch up before / after a workout, over a coffee discussing healthy living ideas or baking up a healthy storm! 

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? …What was your plan / goals?

Katie: In my teens I was overweight at 5ft 11 and a UK size 22. I simply ate too much and didn’t move a muscle (except if it was a walk to a fast food chain!). In my late teens I managed to lose 5.5 stone through healthy(ish) eating and exercise. By my mid twenties I could reel off the fat and calorie content of every food in the supermarket (I definitely had a border-line eating disorder at this time) and was putting myself through punishing workouts 7 days a week. It left me exhausted and dreaming of food 24/7 and all without the beach body I wanted. I felt I was resigned to this below par body (stretch marks and a bit of wobble) because of how big I had been in the past, it never occurred to me I was working HARD but not SMART.

With my 30th birthday approaching this year I knew I had one last shot at getting the body I wanted after gruelling cardio classes, 3-peak challenges and half marathon’s hadn’t worked. I needed something more. My male friends were insistent about weight training to get toned muscles but I kept on with retorts about not wanting to get fat by stopping my cardio and not wanting to end up looking like Arnie!

One day I saw a female weightlifting page on Facebook and that was it, I knew I had to get involved but I didn’t know where to start, especially when just a glance at the weights section of my gym left me scurrying off in fear! I knew I needed help to build my confidence and to give me the motivation to make the best of the body I had, that’s when a chance conversation led me to find my Personal Trainer Sam.

“My goals were simple, I wanted to shred fat and get lean muscles possibly even end up competing if I could progress enough in 2014”

– {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your favourite way to work out?

Katie: I love working out with someone. I am really competitive and a weights session alone doesn’t quite give me the same performance as when I have someone watching me or setting me target weights to squat! My PT Sam is the best trainer I have ever had, the right level of mentor/friend/scary motivator! If someone is feeling a lack of motivation in their workouts I would recommend they try a club/class/buddy up with a friend, it doesn’t have to rely on the expense of a PT to get you to where you want to be.

Elle: What’s your typical weekly exercise schedule?

Katie: At the moment I am in “phase two” of my transformation programme (with my first two months focusing on technique to avoid injury once weights really ramp up) which looks something like this:

Monday            – PULL weights session + core

Tuesday            – LEGS weights session + core

Wednesday        – HIIT (10 min warm up, 16min HITT, 10 min cool down) + core

Thursday           – PULL weights session + core

Friday                – HIIT (10 min warm up, 16min HITT, 10 min cool down) + core

Saturday            – PUSH weights session + core

Sunday               – REST DAY!

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Katie: For the first few weeks my inspiration was the weighing scale; a few freak outs later to my PT I realised I had been far too fixated on the numbers versus the appeal from the mirror. For me now it is looking in the mirror and seeing my stomach getting more taut (I cannot wait to get abs and I wont rest until they come!) and catching myself in the mirror in the gym like I did last night, seeing the new back muscles flaunt themselves as I did my dumbbell rows. 

My confidence has grown massively, even after face planting a Pylo box one week and getting these facial injuries…

ouch 🙁

…and crying in the gym one week as mind wanted to do something my body wouldn’t! I haven’t given up and I have noticed such big changes that make me wish I had started this a decade ago!

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Katie: The first big change I saw was in my log book; yes, as geeky as it sounds having a written record of the weights I lifted last week versus this week! You can see how much I use it by its sorry battered appearance:

It acts as a motivator and a big visual aid to just how far I have come already! I cannot recommend enough keeping visual aids, especially if you are like me and hung on the scales! Keeping a log book, taking body progression photos or taking body measurements during intervals in your program will really help to motivate you and keep on pushing forward.

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Katie: Firstly, now I eat…..and I mean I EAT! I am eating about 2,100 calories a day now versus living off a depressing existence of 1,250 in the days when I was a cardio junkie (with the terrible weekend alcohol binges!). Having six regular meals a day has stabilised my cravings and stopped me reaching for the junk or thinking about food 24/7….. I am even able to resist the office treats that appear to be cropping up all the time, feeling smug tucking into my meal whilst colleagues are guilt-ridden having inhaled a cake or two! Best bit, I haven’t gained loads of weight eating this way, I have been correctly fuelling my body and lifting weights, so for now my weight has stayed the same and I am starting to notice the changes aesthetically. I have learnt it is not about achieving quick results, they won’t last, it is about enjoying the journey and improvements mentally and physically along the way

…. Oh, and I still have one full on cheat meal once a week that I look forward to instead of just taking it for granted and gobbling it within 5 minutes!

– {NOW} – 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Katie: Apart from my little log book I also have a “before” and an “after” photo (after photo to be taken at the end of phase 2 which lasts 12 weeks). This not only is motivating me right now (as I haven’t had the “after” photo yet) but getting to see other transformations from a variety of women (ex-eating disorders, mothers, large people, people obsessed with cardio) makes me realise I can do this too. Nothing like a bit of inner belief to spur you on!

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Katie: I think as time has gone on my goal posts have moved. I now feel so much more is attainable and I want to put the effort in with my diet and gym time to really see how far I can push my body. I have gone from wanting to squat my butt into shape to wanting my whole body to be on top form. I want to be one of those women in the gym that people say, “oh, I love your back muscles…..” or ask me for advice and for me be able to make a difference to them.

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Katie: Keeping myself motivated is pretty simple. I WANT this. It took me three bumpy weeks to get to the point I am at now (with me having near panic over the scales, lack of cardio and the amount of food I was eating….. sending my PT insane with whataspp freak outs!) which was mainly because it took me three weeks to change my habits and learn new ones. That would be my best advice to anyone, allow yourself at least three weeks to turn the changes into habit before attempting to throw in the towel, by that point I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

My second photoshoot is due mid June 2014, so I have a lot of changes in my body I am expecting up until then, I’ll keep you updated on my progress along the way 😉

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?! 

Katie: Don’t be afraid to try something new if you aren’t getting the results you want. Like I said before, studies show it takes three weeks to break habits and make them your new routine (like changing your diet or mixing up your workouts) and most importantly give your body time to adjust, Rome wasn’t built in a day…..so don’t give up at the first hurdle!

…so what d’ya think?! Inspirational?! 

If you’d like to leave Katie a comment below please do!

…and if you have a story you would like to share just get in touch! {Contact Elle}

Keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 


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