real-balanced-blogger

Hi! My name is Sara and I am the face behind Real Balanced. I'm so happy to have you here and to share my favorite low-carb, keto, paleo, and low-FODMAP recipes! Learn more about me here.

Katie Olivera of GainzAndGlitter

Katie Olivera of GainzAndGlitter

gainzandglitter

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, my name is Katie! I have a degree in Marketing, but am now currently pursing a degree to become an Assistant Physical Therapist. I previously worked in a desk job for a few years and realized it was not for me. I have come to love how the body moves and work, which is why I decided to go back to school for a different degree. I have always had a love for the healthcare field and helping people and I feel like both of these interests will be fulfilled in my future career as an APT. I don’t have any pets but when we move to a place that allows them, I want a husky. I grew up with one and I adore them. I wish I could sneak one into our current place because I want one SOOOO BAD. I am married to my husband, Ariosto, who I met at work in 2007, but we didn’t start dating until 2010… Man, where has the time gone? We both love to hike (we buy a state park pass every year) and love movies (which is where we met, in a movie theater). He is very active and LOVES running. We definitely both help motivate and keep each other accountable. He is a chef so he makes us really yummy food!

gainzandglitter

What was your lifestyle like growing up?

I didn’t grow up in a fitness- or food-oriented household. We were allowed to eat whatever and drink soda. This led to my unhealthy relationship with food. Growing up with siblings who were in sports, music, and other things made it busy and my parents often stopped for food out. Also, although delicious, my mom never made healthy dishes even though she cooked often. During college, I tried to start eating healthier and learning about nutrition. I lost a bit of weight my senior year but it wasn't until I graduated college that I really took hold of my nutrition.

Do you follow a specific fitness regimen?

I have tried MANY fitness regimens in the past. I always hated working out because all I knew how to do was the cardio machines. So I never wanted to go. It wasn’t until after I learned of the million other things I could do at a gym that I started to love working out. I LOVE to lift and still avoid cardio when I can ahahaha.

Why do you work out?

I work out because it makes me feel SOOO GOOD. There is no better feeling than when you are standing in the locker room, sweaty as heck, and smiling because you just crushed your workout. I also love the endorphins it gives me. When I’m mad or not having a good day, I go to the gym and always feel so much better. I usually let all my anger out on the weights lol.

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

How do you fit working out and eating healthy into your daily life?

I make working out a priority like another else. I schedule time for it and don’t allow other plans to take over that time. A lot of people tell me that “they don’t have time to work out,” which is just an excuse. You make time for things you want and I want to be in the best shape that I can be.

When it comes to healthy eating the best way to make time for it is MEAL PREP! I schedule (again it’s all about scheduling it in like any other plan) time on the weekend so I can bring my lunch and have dinners ready for those days I have work and school. Meal prep is also nice because then you have less dishes during the week!

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

How do you handle staying on track over the holiday and weekends?

I am not going to lie, that is the toughest thing for me in this lifestyle. I try to balance it out as much as I can. If I know I have an event on the weekend or a party coming up, I try to stay 100% on track until then. It’s all about balance and we are all human so we aren’t perfect and we mess up. All you can do is start over and get back on track. The hardest things is getting back on track after a day/weekend/week of bad decisions but you can’t hit your goals if you don’t.

What do you do when you experience a setback?

Honestly, I still struggle and experience setbacks more often than I would like. When that happens, I just get back on track. I try and learn from whatever set me back. I say try because I don’t always learn and sometimes go back to old ways. It’s hard to break old habits and you can’t break them over night. But you can’t reach your goals if you don’t try. You have to push yourself and be vulnerable. You can’t be afraid to fail because you will. Failure doesn’t mean you are a bad person or you can’t try again.

Do you ever struggle with maintaining motivation? If so, how do you work through that?

Yes, who doesn’t? Especially in this crazy world we live in. We have so many choices and opportunities to do things that hinder our progress of reaching goals. I combat that by setting a schedule and creating goals (monthly, weekly, yearly, and sometimes daily) Goal setting is one of the things that makes me most successful in my journey to a healthier me. If I didn’t have goals, what would I be working for. I also believe in writing down steps to how to reach those goals. It really makes you think and set an action plan of how you can reach those goals.

What, if any, life lessons have you learned in recent years?

I’ve learned that “it’s never too late for change” This really hit hard with me in two ways. One in my weight loss journey. When I first started, all I could think about was all the million bad decisions and habits I made in the last 23 years of my life. I didn’t think it was possible for me to start working out and eat healthy. I didn’t think my habits could change and I would accept this new lifestyle but I WAS SO WRONG. This change has made me happy, working out makes me happy.

The second way was in my professional life. I couldn’t fathom going back to school, spending a few thousand dollars more on switching my degree when I already had one and still had student loans. It wasn’t until after I interviewed and talked with my husband that this was what was best. I felt that this change was meant for me. I needed this change.

SO many people tell you that you change is bad and avoid change. I disagree with this. I think people are afraid of change. Change isn’t always easy but it can be so worth it.

What do you find is involved in a balanced lifestyle?

I think there is a lot that goes into a balanced lifestyle. Obvious things like getting enough sleep, finding a balance between friendship and personal time, working out and eating healthy. I believe it’s a balance between your social, physical, mental and emotion well-being. I believe it’s all the decisions you make in your life for a better you. I also believe that everyone has a different view and needs to live a balanced life. You have to find what works best for you.

Where do you find inspiration?

People inspire me. I have MANY people who inspired me. My mom, who in the last few years found her love for fitness and nutrition and has lost over 40 pounds. She works full-time to support my disabled dad, takes care of him, maintains an always clean house, and works out 5 times a week. She is such a huge inspiration and motivation in my life.

My husband also inspires me. He works over 75 hours a week, runs 5 times a week from anywhere between 4-8 miles a day and still does so much for me. His love for running helps motivate me and keeps me on track. We are always checking in on each other and helping each our goals. He has also been my number one supporter in my weight loss and my decision to go back to school.

I also have so many friends and people I follow on Instagram who I follow who inspire me. I love seeing other people reaching their goals. It makes me so happy. Instagram has changed my life. I know that sounds crazy but it honestly has. I have met some many people who inspire me daily. It took me 2 years to make my own account and I am so glad I did. It allows me to connect with others as well as look back at what I have accomplished. It’s like a journal of my journey.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I have so many favorites but I’m currently obsessed with “Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now”

Do you have any major goals for 2017?

I have so many goals. So many. I love setting goals. I try to set them monthly and I write them in my planner. My big year goals though are to lose 50 pounds, find a new way to track food (so far I’m really liking tracking macros, and scheduling time to myself (I am constantly on the go and busy and never take time for myself).

OK, time for the fun questions!

What is your favorite meal? Favorite snack? Favorite restaurant?

My favorite food is definitely Mexican. I married a Mexican and he opened my eyes to all the AMAZING Mexican cuisine in the world. My favorite snack is string cheese (so Wisconsin of me but don’t care.. cheese platters are life). Breakfast is my favorite meal because who doesn’t like bacon and protein waffles for breakfast?

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

Photo: Instagram/@gainzandglitter

What about food products? Do you have any favorites?

PROTEIN SHAKES AND PEANUT BUTTER are my life. I have tried MANY protein powders but my favorite are PE Science and MRM all natural. I also am OBSESSED with Lara Bars. Their new fruit and greens bars are amazing. If you haven’t tried them, you must. Oh and for drinks, I love kombucha. I am mildly obsessed with it. Oh, and anything corn related: corn itself, corn tortillas, corn chips, etc. My favorite fruit is watermelon. Watermelon makes me so happy. Okay I could go on about my favorite food. I love food. WE CAN’T FORGET ABOUT TACOS. One more thing, Kodiak Cakes are life.

Any funny gym stories?

One time in college, I tripped on the treadmill and fell off. That’s why I refuse to run on it because it was so embarrassing. The worst part is I was between two friends that just laughed instead of helping. I fell in a weird way that my leg was still on it and just scrapping against it which caused a minor burn. It was awful. That also might be why I hate cardio machines.

Where can readers find you?

Instagram: @gainzandglitter

Erin Hill of erinfitmke

Erin Hill of erinfitmke

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Alexa Federico of Girl In Healing