I would like to start off by saying that I am so excited to be a part of the Fit Approach community! I absolutely love having a group of women to look towards for motivation, inspiration, and accountability. My name is Kacie Phillips and I am a 19-year-old student at Texas Tech University. I am a health and fitness junkie, currently majoring in both Marketing & Management. I am considering a minor in Nutrition (or something of the sort), as I have turned my passion for fitness/clean eating into so much more than a simple lifestyle. This is something that I have just recently considered, so I don’t even know how I plan to apply it just yet.
But, I digress. On to my “A-Ha Moment” -
Oh, the joys of living a healthy lifestyle! I have always lived a moderately active lifestyle, but I cannot even begin to express the progress I have made in the last year alone. Late last summer, I picked up running (and working out in general) as more than just a leisurely activity when I felt like I was having a fat day. It became something that I legitimately enjoyed doing, and looked forward to. As time wore on, exercise became my escape and my stress relief. This past year was my first year of college, and instead of gaining the “Freshman 15,” I swore I would lose weight and/or tone up. And guess what?! I managed to maintain my weight, 100% thanks to my vigorous exercise, because my eating habits were subpar to average! Throughout the school year, I worked out 4-6 times a week, but I was not eating clean. I made time for exercise as a means of stress relief, but I wasn’t doing for the better of my body and health. As spring came along, I hit rock bottom with clean eating. I was still a “gym rat” but I was not having ANY results because I was not making the right choices in the kitchen. I finally came to the realization that there was no point in kicking my butt in the gym if I wasn’t going to make the steps to eat right. It’s a twofold process to live your healthiest life.
They say that being fit and healthy is merely 30% exercise and 70% the food you put into your body. So, I set out to change my eating habits. I completely changed my lifestyle and my eating habits, and I continued to train mean. As summer rolled in, and bikini season was right around the corner, I had that bit of extra motivation to push harder, train meaner, and more than anything eat cleaner. Eating clean has become so routine to me. I naturally make healthy choices because I want to, and because I know it is what I need to fuel my body through my workouts. I eat for the purpose of fuel, and not for the mere purpose of entertainment and enjoyment. It has made all the difference. So, my a-ha moment was this very realization.
I am so happy to say that my body is better now that it has ever been. I literally wear a smaller size now than I ever did in high school, and have lost 8 pounds of fat in less than two months. I 100% attribute it to EATING CLEAN & continued exercise. Not only do I look better, but I feel better. I feel rejuvenated and confident in myself. Now, I am still a “gym rat” but I actually have something to show for it. When you work hard, it will pay off. When you make healthy choices, you will see results. I am living proof that you have to make the choices with food FIRST. It is absolutely imperative. I can honestly say that I will continue this lifestyle of eating clean forever. It has become a part of who I am, and I love who it has allowed me to become. I am savvy, I am sassy, but more than anything… I am me.
Working out and sweating it out has become such an essential part of my day-to-day life that when I skip out, it has a lasting effect on me both physically and mentally. Exercising just makes me FEEL so much better: I feel rejuvenated, confident, and ready to take on the world. So I challenge myself to SWEAT IT OUT.
My First Date With 13.1-
I never really was a “runner” until this past year. I used to do the average: maybe once a week for 3-4 miles, and calling it quits for another week. As this past school year progressed, I began to run more and more. It became my cardio of choice. I actually began to *gasp* enjoy it. I started off running a lot on the treadmill, but slowly started to incorporate outdoor runs. I always said I would eventually run races (and most of my treadmill runs were run in “race” increments of a 5K or more often, a 10K). But I never signed up for a race, and I continued to run without purpose. I always pushed to better my times and pace, which I did. But I wasn’t training for anything; I was essentially just running for cardio. This summer, I decided to make a change. I would run for a purpose, not just exercise but train. Not just train, but train mean.
Cue: Races. I didn’t run track in high school, nor did I run cross-country. Looking back, I know I could have easily done both. But I didn’t. The competition aspect of both caused too much anxiety within myself that I wouldn’t be able to handle the races. So what has changed? Now, I run for myself. I do not run to be better than so-and-so. I do not run to have a better pace than [insert name here]. I run for me; I continuously exercise to better myself. Now, don’t get me wrong. I want to win. I want to be at the front of the pack when September 23rd rolls around. But, at the end of the day, one thing is certain. Finishing this race and crossing that finish line after 13.1 miles? That will be a personal best; that will be the best of the best for me because it will the first I ever accomplished this particular feat. I will no longer be intimidated by races; I will embrace the competition aspect, but appreciate them for so much more than just that.
Races of all distances represent more than just a competition. When it comes to fitness, I am always competing; but, I compete with myself. If I run 3 miles one day, I run 4 the next. If I plank for 1:00 on Tuesday, I plank for 2:00 on Wednesday. If I do bicep curls with 10 pound weights in May, I will up it to 15 by June. I think you get the picture. I like a challenge; I like to push myself. I strive off improving my physical strength and capabilities. There is nothing more exhilarating than pushing yourself and achieving something you never thought you could do. It’s a beautiful thing.
If you want to live healthfully, you have to make it a priority. In making it a priority, you will have to sacrifice many things. If you want to be fit, you have to sacrifice time you would usually spend watching TV, to get your butt into the gym. Also, if you want to be fit, you need to sacrifice some of the unhealthy foods you want to eat, and eat the foods that properly fuel your body.
Running is so much more psychological than I ever realized as a non-runner. When I talk to people about how much I run, they often respond “Oh, I couldn’t even run ONE mile.” Every single time I hear this, I want to scream: “YES YOU CAN!” Why? Because you just make it happen. You don’t question it; you just do it. Nike really got it right when they branded Just Do It. You can sit around all day and talk about what you can’t do, or you get your butt out there and JUST DO IT. THIS is precisely the change I have made in my life; I can do it because I tell myself I can do it. If my legs are numb and I feel like I can’t take one more step, I take 500 more. Why? Because I can. When my body is physically tired, my mind kicks into high gear and I do the unimaginable.
That right there is exactly how I would define my newly discovered passion for health and fitness. I absolutely LOVE bridging the gap between physical and mental exertion. Whatever you think you is all you can do is NEVER all you can do. You can always do more; you can always push harder. Tell yourself you can, take a lesson from Nike, and JUST DO IT.
And to conclude –
In conclusion, I live a very active life (as is probably apparent). I workout daily—be it cardio, strength training, or core work. I am also very passionate about clean eating and properly fueling my body. Lastly, I am very passionate about saving money (my coupon addiction is another story for another day though…). I am young (yes, only 19), but I couldn’t be happier that I have adopted these habits when I have. I know that it will only benefit me down the line.
I absolutely love everything health/fitness and feel very passionate about all of the things I have discussed. Won’t you join me on my journey to eat clean, train mean, and save green?
Connect on Twitter: @kacie_phillips
Connect on Facebook: Savvy Sassy Me
My Blog: Savvy Sassy Me
xoxo Savvy Sassy Me