SHOW NOTES

I'm just so itching to have you listen to this interview that I had with Kiki. We talk about a whole range of topics, about eating,  lifting, but most importantly, we talk about the idea of eating more to weigh less. Kiki and I have done a couple of things together. When I feel like having thoughts in my head about different concepts, Kiki did such a good job of really putting them succinctly in a way that makes it really easy to comprehend and understand. And this idea, we talked about is eating more to weigh less. You might ask, how can that be a thing? How can eat more to weigh less be a thing that it like does it scientifically work? And so we actually dive into that concept. And it can be such a revolutionary game-changer for so many women. 

Highlights:

  • You need to eat more to weigh less (7:47)
  • Understand how your metabolism works (8:49)
  • Weight loss isn’t just about eating less and doing cardio (11:44)
  • You bring you into everything you do: your belief and your mindset (12:42, 14:13)
  • What worked then doesn’t keep working now (19:19, 20:07)
  • Anti- diet culture: moderation (26:57, 27:40)
  • Recognize your power (36:48) 
  • You have to honor the struggle and your humble beginnings (38:47, 39:44)
  • Pull-ups (41:21)

Takeaway:

Wasn't that just an amazing episode? I adore Kiki and  I think she is brilliant. I think she is fabulous. And definitely recommend going and following her because she has a way of being able to explain things and just walk that middle road. Gosh, I just love someone who can find moderation. I just love someone who's not on the extremes can see like both sides, can kind of sit happily in that gray zone as she talked about in the episode. I feel like that's where I like to sit on a lot of things. There's like in that middle ground moderation in that gray zone. It doesn't have to be extreme either way. And so I just really appreciate Kiki's perspective. And hopefully, you took something away from this podcast episode interview with her.

Kiki's Instagram

Introduction 

You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 113.

Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four.  Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.

 

Amber B  0:47  

Hey, hey, hey,  welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I am your host, Amber Brueseke. And I'm so excited that you're here today. I'm just so itching to have you listen to this interview that I had with Kiki Smith, we talk about a whole range of topics, we talk about eating, we talk about lifting. But most importantly, we talk about the idea of eating more to weigh less. And it's actually the name of Kiki's business. And I first met Kiki through business, we were in the same coaching program, and I got to actually meet her in person at an event. And I just, first of all, just fell in love with her. And then the more I like, got to know her and got to know what she did in her business and kind of the message that she had and shared with women, we were just so in alignment with how we saw the world and how we coach and how we trained and how we talked to women. And so we've done a couple of things together. And every single time, it's just been so fun, because I feel like I'm just talking to somebody who just gets it, like she just gets it. And she does such a good job of explaining some concepts. And I feel like I have thoughts in my head about different concepts and Kiki just did such a good job of taking some of those thoughts and ideas and just really putting them succinctly in a way that makes it really easy to comprehend and understand. And this idea, we talked about this idea of eating more to weigh less, and, you know, how can that be a thing, right that maybe you're thinking that right now. Amber, how can eat more to weigh less be a thing that it like does it scientifically work? And so we actually dive into that concept. And it can be such a revolutionary game-changer for so many women. 

 

Amber B  2:29

And in order to follow that up, we actually have a really awesome podcast episode for you next week, where we have a woman, I interview a woman named Leslie who has the experience and like is going to tell her story that really piggybacks off of what Kiki talks about in this episode, this idea of eating more, to actually make progress, eating more to be able to end up weighing less. And so next week, we'll actually have a case study of this so you can actually kind of see it. You know, we're going to talk about this concept today and you know, Kiki's experience and what she's seen. But then next week, I'm actually going to bring a client on who is going to share her personal experience of going through this idea of eating more food and having that actually be the secret to the long term weight loss that she does, she's always wanted. So without further ado, let's dive into that episode with Kiki Smith. 

 

Amber B  3:22

I am so excited to welcome Kiki Smith to the podcast. Hey, Kiki, how are you doing?

 

Kiki  3:27  

Hey, I'm great.

 

Amber B  3:29  

I'm really, really excited to be able to share you with my audience because I know how awesome you are and pretty soon my audience is going to know how awesome you are. So will you first just introduce yourself a little bit, tell us a little bit about who Kiki is, what you do and maybe a little bit about how you kind of got into the health and fitness space because you're a little bit of an OG.

 

Kiki  3:50  

Yes, I feel like I've been doing it forever. Yeah, um, so I am currently, I'm a trainers trainer. That's the majority of what I do. And I'm also a transformation coach. I do some one on one stuff. So what I started out as a personal trainer that eventually took all my stuff online and I have a degree in exercise science, but I'm obsessed with psychology. So that's kind of the rabbit hole that I went down over time, which I think we all do in the fitness space for a while we're like, why aren't these people getting results? So

 

Amber B  4:24  

So, true, you come in and you're like people just need to do this X, Y, and Z and then they then you're like, but then they don't do it and now I have to dive into why they're not doing it. So as a trainer or as a coach, you start to have to dive into that because people don't do things that you say they should do.

 

Kiki  4:39

Exactly. You're like I'm giving five people the exact same steps and like they're all having completely different results. So you know that the psychology part is so huge. So as far as how I got into fitness. Way back when now. I got into it probably how most of us did, like seeing my own weight loss, you know, after marriage, because obviously, I wasn't a super active kid. So I'm not like a childhood athlete or anything. But I loved food, so that kind of caught up with me, you know, once I got married, you put on your like, whatever, 20 pounds or 40, in my case. And so it was kind of that space of looking through like, Okay, what can I do to go about this? And in the beginning, I didn't really know what to do to get some fast stuff, it would come back, you know, once I think I had my husband, like, add me to his gym membership. And that's kind of where that whole part started. So it was kind of like I give the credit to him, even though I probably wouldn't say that to him. But I just followed him around the gym and did whatever he did. And that was like, the results were awesome. I was doing whatever his bodybuilder magazine said and everything and it was amazing. And then I started reading the women's fitness magazines and started doing what they said. And oddly, it went backward. Like a lot of the progress started like backpedaling, because you know how it is a lot of the stuff that's geared towards women is actually the opposite of what they should be doing. 

 

Amber B  6:08 

So if pure pink, it was kind of them to do 30 reps,

 

Kiki  6:11  

Yes. Like all circuits all the time, you know. And as I did that did like 1200 calorie diets and circuits and stuff like that. And my body started changing the way that I didn't like it. That research trajectory, that kind of like, made me go back to school and figure all the things like I don't understand why I'm doing everything that it's saying, and nothing's happening. So a lot of it's to start it from that, but also health-wise, I was trying to conceive. And so I was just really obsessed with this, like, the health aspect of the fertility journey. So it was kind of a dual purpose thing. But in the end, I ended up not conceiving. And so it was kind of I just kind of dove into, like, well, I'm just gonna do what makes me feel good, and get stronger and learn all the things that I can about this. And then I just became obsessed with sharing that with other women. You know, like, hey, all these things that we're doing, are wrong. Which I love and that message is like, it's much bigger now than it was, like what as you said I was an OG but back then it was like, what? This is mind-blowing. Now I'm so excited. 

 

Amber B  7:19  

And when did you start Eat More 2 Weigh Less?

 

Kiki  7:24  

  1. I think it's been about 10 years. 

 

Amber B  7:26  

Yeah. OG, that's what I'm saying. Like, OG. And so what was the concept with that because I'm sure people are gonna be like, eat more to weigh less? Like, mind blown. Like, why does that work? Kiki, tell us the secret. So where did that I guess where did that name come from that idea come from and what were you hoping to, like, help women to do with that concept? 

 

Kiki  7:47  

Yeah. So it's really funny because I actually didn't come up with the name. I actually started the company with a partner at the time. And she came up with that name because that was pretty much like what I said like basically, everything that I was teaching was like the opposite. And so that was one thing that she was saying, like, because I was always getting to like eat because like I said, that was one of the biggest differences that I noticed when I was like doing the like, whatever Muscle and Fitness men's workouts, versus when I would do the like Shape magazine workouts, you know that they're on the shape under the bus, but just saying, when I would do those workouts, the calories are so drastically different. And that was the biggest thing that I noticed was that the results that I got, when I was eating 1200 calories, or 800, or whatever it was, versus when I ate, which the men's magazines were like 2500-3000 like it was very, very high-calorie count. But I would follow those to a tee and I would see way better results. 

 

Kiki  8:49  

So once I started looking that up and really understanding how metabolism works and how the metabolism kind of like downgrades to meet the need of what you're eating, like, my mind was blown. And it was like, okay, so there really is something to the eating, it wasn't just that it was because it was super clean, or whatever, you know, or because it was a certain calorie amount. It's just the fact that the less you eat, the slower your metabolism gets, you know, and the more you eat, your metabolism is going to keep rising to meet that need. So it goes both ways. And so that part made me pretty much just constantly tell people to eat like that's all it's about. And it started off on My Fitness Pal. So that's why it was more about eating. So it was like when My Fitness Pal first came out as an app. Um, you know, there was like a little social feature. And this was before there were groups and all of those things. And I would go to different events and meet people. And then afterward, they'd be like, Oh my gosh, how do you eat so much, and you're so small, like, I eat like a bird and I don't gain, you know, and I don't lose any weight. And so they would add me on My Fitness Pal, and they would see what I was eating and they'd be like, Whoa, that's crazy. And you're like eating dessert, you know what I mean? So like some of the stuff that I was eating was really blowing their mind. So I really became this like to eat more person like I would people will ask me to like, Can you look through my diary and see what I can do here. So because it started on like the eating side, that's why I ended up being Eat More 2 Weigh Less, because that's what people started noticing, a lot of people would increase their calories, and they will finally be able to break through that plateau. Now granted, that doesn't always happen, sometimes you need to regain some muscle, so the scale needs to go up before it can go down. But you know, essentially, that's the basis of it is eating more so that you can run that metabolism. And then you can waitlists on a more permanent basis than the temporary version that we're all used to.

 

Amber B  10:38  

So good Yes, and that, and I feel like women are starting to get that, I still feel like we still have some ways to go off like helping women to understand this idea that your metabolism adapts to what you feed it. And if you continue to defeat it less and less and less, like that's a losing battle. And so eating, like I love how you said it, you said you need to eat more to then lose weight later. Like that's the whole like, it's like this counterintuitive idea. Like most of our lives, we've been told the secret is to eat less, less, less, less, less, like that's the secret and Kiki's telling you, no, you need to eat more, to then weigh less in the long run. And I think that I think women are starting to get there and we still have some work to do. I'm sure you still get people who like they're still from that mentality because that's how society has told us for so long, that was the key. So would you say, and I'm gonna ask the question, and then maybe your answer is what we just talked about. But what was the biggest mistake that you see women making in their attempts to transform their body? Is it eating less and less? Or is there something else that you see as a big mistake?

 

Kiki  11:44  

It is eating less, it's cardio versus lifting. It's you know, it's these extremes, which really boil down to, you know, that psychology aspect that we were talking about, because all of those things boil down to either the way that you were taught that you should be, the sources that you believed about the way that you should eat, and the results that you've gotten in the past, like all of those things, you know, leads to this where we separate, especially women, we separate physiology from psychology, and there's so intertwined for women, that it's a huge mistake to think that you can just compartmentalize this weight loss part of your journey and think that I'm going to go after these things, or I'm going to you know, we create, like these identities around our diet journey. Like, I've always been the big girl like that's a mindset that it doesn't you're taking it into every single diet that you go into. 

 

Kiki  12:42  

So if you think like, okay, I've always been a big girl, or I need more cardio than other people to lose weight, or whatever these identities that we grasp, then, even if somebody told us like we were saying, like that's why we could give somebody the exact same strategy as we give to this person, but that person is going to bring all of their beliefs into that. So if you give them this workout, this plan, and you know, I'm sure you've had this happen to where you tell people, there's so much for you to eat, these are the workouts that you should do. Here's the strategy. And they're going to add their own spin to that because of their beliefs around what they should do. So like with eating more, for example. So many times, in the beginning, I would tell a client like okay, and here's your we're going to put you at whatever, 2300 calories, and maybe they were at 1600. And we were working our way up to that. Well, every time we would inch up the calorie intake, they would add on more activity. And that's, that's

 

Amber B  13:36  

not the point. Okay, okay, cool.

 

Kiki  13:39  

Like, that's the counter I do what we're doing. If you keep increasing your activity, I'm gonna keep increasing your calories. And that is this like, like, we don't think about things like that. Or if we think that carbs are bad, then it doesn't matter if you know if you're helping somebody to figure out their macros, and you're like, Alright, we're gonna put you at whatever, 150-200 grams of carbs, because you're trying to add on muscle or whatever the case may be, they're going to say, I can't eat that many carbs. And they're not going to eat that many carbs, they're not going to get the results that you're trying to get by eating the carb amount that you gave us. 

 

Kiki  14:13  

So really, when we start to, create this identity around our diet journey or get nostalgic about what like work, “worked in the past”, then we don't let that go. So because so many of us started when we were like, in our 20s, you know what I mean? Like our muscle mass hadn't even peaked yet. So we were getting results that we technically shouldn't have been getting. But that's what we slap the label on is like this is all that I need to do. So if I just add in a couple of runs, I'm fine. I'm good. And it's like, well, you had higher muscle mass then if all you're doing is running and you're never adding in the lifting like your metabolism is slower than it was then. So just doing three runs a week or running an extra hour a day is not going to do it. So for me, I feel like there's a lot of mistakes. As far as the actual like attempts to lift, eating too little, ignoring the muscle component, and ignoring the muscle component in the way that we eat and the way that we work out, but also in the way that we set our expectations and deadlines. Like all of that comes to mindset because if you're not willing to take into consideration that you don't have enough muscle mass to get the fat loss results that you want, mentally, you're not going to go through the process of building the muscle, and you're going to keep, you're going to stay on that hamster wheel of like, I'm going to try to get the results, I'm going to try to get the results. I don't have time to build muscle, but you're going to spend three years on this diet hamster wheel, trying to find a workaround when you could like put one year and to just like, add on that muscle mass and then go on with what you do. 

 

Amber B  14:20  

Well, you guys can't see my head, but I'm vigorously shaking my head, yes. So like every single thing that Kiki is saying, and I think you said it so eloquently like and it is, it's like this idea that I want it to be faster and so I'm not going to take the time to increase my calories and build muscle because that's going to be slower, when in actuality, what you would then end up doing is just spending three years spinning your wheels. Whereas had you actually taken the time it would have been Yeah, maybe you like to spend a year building muscle. But girlfriend that's like two years faster than Yeah, what? More 20 years faster for a lot of women. Right? Like, I get women who are like, I've been dieting for 20 years, I've been yo-yo dieting for 20 years. And it's this idea that like, yeah, that's literally the slowest way possible is to just keep trying to eat less. 

 

Amber B  16:30 

And I also want to highlight something that Kiki said as well, that's so poignant. She said, essentially, you bring you into everything you do. You bring your stories, your beliefs, your ideas, your identity, into everything you do, which is why a trainer can give to people who are very similar body type and composition or whatever the same program and get totally different results. It isn't because the strategies don’t work, it's because you bring you into everything, and how you execute is going to be completely different based on if you think you're the big girl if you think you have to be miserable to lose weight, if you think it's hard to lose weight if you think you can't maintain weight loss, like all of these ideas, it just it makes all of the difference. 

 

Amber B  17:13 

So we've talked a little bit about metabolic adaptation, you've kind of touched a little bit on lifting and building muscle, I want to go back to that in just a little bit because I think that's such an important conversation that you and I can have. But I want to start with this idea of the yo-yo dieter of somebody who has maybe for 20 years, going up and down and up and down and up and down. And they're happy when they get to their low weight and then they rebound back up. Why in your opinion, is it that so many women get stuck in that cycle and so many of these diets that they're trying end up failing in the long run?

 

Kiki  17:49  

I feel like that's exactly why because they're not long term. They're not meant for the long run you know, and that's one of the things like I'm an avid, research junkie science geek. 

 

Amber B  18:03  

That’s why we get along. I'm like, what's the research saying? What does science say? What's the meta-analysis saying, that's what we're gonna do.

 

Kiki  18:11  

Exactly. You and I both know, so much of what is popularized in the media is marginal gains. And so it's like, we take this thing that's like this thing, the study shows that an Olympic athlete got the edge in a competition on this, like, it's so my new 

 

Amber B  18:03

You're not an Olympic athlete. So we, yeah, we can't, we can't correlate. Well, and you said something like I had never really thought about, but you've said it so succinctly. We create these expectations based on our 20s  and your 20s cannot be extrapolated through the rest of your life. And you talk about, like a newbie game, right? You do anything in your 20s. And it's probably gonna work, like I don't care what it is, whether it's good programming, or not, like, you're gonna build muscle,

 

Kiki  18:58  

There's no periodization required, you can just ever the heck you want, it doesn't matter.

 

Amber B  19:04

So then we set expectations based on that for the rest of our lives when you and I know that as you get to 30s and your 40s, and your 50s things are different than they were in your 20s. And if you don't take that into consideration, yeah, you're gonna be disappointed because what worked then doesn't keep working now.

 

Kiki  19:19  

Right? It's different every decade. It's different with every pregnancy. Like there are so many moms that don't realize that you know, hey, like I said, if we're ignoring this entire muscle side of the equation, then that means before we're pregnant, we're not paying attention to muscle eating or working out in a way that gets the muscle. When we're pregnant, we're not paying attention to the fact that the baby needs protein. If mom's not eating protein, babies taking protein from mom's muscles like that's the way that it goes. So we end up after each pregnancy with slightly less muscle mass granted like there's morning sickness, there are all the things so it's like, it's not your fault if maybe you lost some muscle during the pregnancy, but that is now your responsibility to rebuild that post-pregnancy if you want those pre-pregnancy results that you're getting before. 

 

Kiki  20:07  

So expecting to still get the same results when you're not doing what it takes to put yourself back in the position that you were then when you were in your 20s, you were at your peak muscle mass period, end of the story. So to say, like, oh, I just want to be tone. Well, you can't tone what isn't there. To say like, I just want to it never took me this long before, well, you have more muscle than before. So like, there are all these things that we're not taking into consideration. But we want to just keep going about it with the super short term, marginalized, you know, suppose that research studies just because it's on whatever talk show that we're watching that day, when it's that's not that big of a deal, like the bigger piece of the puzzle, are these longer-term things that we're avoiding, the longer-term really. So when we're not paying attention to that, that's what's gonna cause the yo-yo, because most diets, you know, are just, they're just low-calorie methods and disguise they're just a way to help you to lower your calories and you did not realize that you lower them. So then you think that Okay, that was the reason why.

 

Amber B  21:11  

 It's your sugar. 

 

Kiki  21:13  

Yeah, like, if you replace a bun with a lettuce wrap, guess what, you just lost 150 calories from that burger, it had zero things to do with the carbs, you just reduced 150 calories. So like, that's something we don't pay attention to is like, these are just creative ways of maneuvering your calories so that you now attach an identity, a belief, some type of interpretation to what just happened. And we're just like, it's, I don't know, bread just makes me blow up, no bread added 150 calories per slice back into your diet. So, therefore, you put some weight on. So if we don't understand like, how things work, and why they work the way that they do, then it's really, it's a losing battle like we would have no choice but to yo-yo, because most of these marginal gain territory, it's like they're not supposed to be done more than three to four weeks. And they're meant for, like, if it's a fat loss thing, which even that's questionable. Sometimes things are saying like more fat oxidation, you know, with, which means zero things because the way that your body is burning all day long, has nothing to do with how it's burning during the workout. But that's another topic. The point is that, like, the majority of those things are meant for the person that's like, has a four-pack and wants the other two, not for the person that's like, I have 10 sizes too. Like it's just not time yet. So it's like maybe there is a time to implement those things. But for most people, they're doing it way too early, and then it's not getting the foundation.

 

Amber B  22:41  

Yeah, foundation first before you can do all the little like tweaks. And you know that timing and things like that, but actually make a difference.

 

Kiki  22:49  

That's 100% unnecessary for like 90% of people to get that ripped, you know? 

 

Amber B  22:54  

Yeah, yes, exactly. Yeah. So I'm curious to talk to you about this because I know, I'm, you know, my perspective has developed over the years, and my understanding has developed and, you know, talking to people continues to help this perspective develop. And so I'm curious from your experience, you know, we're both in the health and fitness space, and we're helping people to hit their goals. And a lot of times that has to do with fat loss or muscle gain, or looking better aesthetically. And, you know, we're currently in this climate where a lot of times that's labeled as like diet culture, and it's labeled as making women feel bad so that they have to, like, feel like they're not worthy until they are able to lose the weight. And those mixed messages that a lot of women are getting off on, like, if you want to lose weight, that is a bad thing. It's, you know, you need to like check yourself, and we need to just love our body and all these things. And so it's this conflicting space that I know a lot of the listeners feel like they get caught in because they see they're like, yeah, diet culture, that makes a whole lot of sense. But then I also have these aesthetic goals, how can we marry those? So I'm curious, in your perspective, in your practice, how have you been able to find that marriage between these two things that are seen to be very much in competition with each other?

 

Kiki  24:07  

Yes, they are. And I'll be the first to say that, like, a lot of times, I'm on the wrong side of the fence for both, like so both camps, at some point in time are like pointing the finger-like, Oh, my gosh, what you're doing is wrong. So I get that because I played a big part in and I know that it was really heavy on the like, diet mentality, but I created a whole course around it, like, five, six years ago, you know, and it was like, a big thing because I felt like we did need to understand that Okay, there is this diet culture. There is this, you know, extreme side of dieting. There is this, you know, nasty truth that a lot of the people just aren't losing weight. Do you know what I mean? And so there's all of this stuff is true. 

 

Kiki  24:52  

And at the very beginning of that journey for me, as I was coming across those things, I'm like, Oh my gosh, people need to know because that's what we do right with arms. And we're like, oh my gosh the world needs to know, yeah. So as I start telling people and bringing people in and interviewing people, and I reached out to a body-positive author, which I think I, you know, I told you about this before, where you know, and she's really big now still, and have like, I gotta have you on my shirt. Like, we have to talk about this, because everyone needs to know these things. This is what I've been talking about. You're saying it so let's talk. And she was like, I will have zero things to do. I will not lend my name to your organization. And I was like, Whoa, that's when I realized that exactly what you said, like, there's two sides to this. Because I was still on the left side, obviously, with my name, she didn't even know anything about me, then. It's just it was just a name. Yeah, the name was more than enough to say like, nope, you're on the wrong side of history on this one, you're not, I'm not going to lend my name to that.

 

Kiki  25:58  

And I had to develop the same thing that you probably have, which is this gray area, you know, and that's where I really take my Santa is in the gray area and understanding like, there's, let's be real, there are people, there are things that we love that we still wish they were a little different, whether it's our kids, our husband, our house, like come on, like we remodel our house, if we truly didn't care, then we're not going to add these extra elements, we would buy a couch, and we would keep it for 37 years and never replace it. We'd never buy new cars, we wouldn't comb our hair in the morning. Like, there's an extreme side to this. So for me, that's kind of the direction that I had to go. Was that recognizing whenever we feel this need, which is, you know, it's, it perpetuates the fitness industry, for sure. This needs to pick a side either or, you know. Like, that's the red flag that we're headed down that path.

 

Kiki  26:57  

I used to be a huge extremist, yes. Or not in that way. But obviously, like, I’m very extreme, yeah, in my beliefs, like, this is the only way you know, I was extreme in when I first learned about nutrition, like, Oh, my gosh, white flour is a double white sugar is a double like all the all the things that I talked about now like I was on that side of the fence, so I get it. But finding this gray area, finding this moderation, finding that we don't have to bash one side of the journey in order to be on another side of the journey. If we're really going to be about this movement of rejecting diet culture, we have to realize that the point of the diet culture is judgmental. 

 

Kiki  27:40  

Diet culture is judgmental towards a person's body, their choices about it, and what somebody else thinks about it. That goes both ways. So if someone wants to change their body, and we are judging them, we're judging, we're assuming that they hate their body, that everybody that seeks to change their body in any way is a sellout, are we not now and in some variation of diet culture by doing that, so it's the extremes is what makes it diet culture at me. So if I find myself on either side of those deciding that that person who wants to change their body is a sellout, that person who doesn't do anything is lazy or whatever.  Like, I feel like there are times in our journey where we do have to challenge ourselves. And I feel like we actually have to switch back and forth, there are some times that you're going to be going after a goal and you're going to have to take a step back and realize, I'm getting way too obsessed with this, I am putting so much pressure on myself, I am making everything about this end goal that like my worth and value is being placed in it, let me take a step back. And then there's going to be other times that we're going to have to say like, Okay, I'm making my stance about how I don't need this thing, a reason to stay in my comfort zone and not go after it. So there's that catch 22 like the same thing that we go through in business where sometimes like, does money mean everything? No, but does that mean? What, I'm gonna try to spread our message and help people and pay bills? No, we're still gonna do those things. 

 

Kiki  29:04  

So constantly checking in, I feel like it is the only way to have your own anti-diet culture journey or fat loss journey, and really the same, like, how much value am I putting on if I'm stepping on the scale? Is it ruining my day? Maybe I need to not step on the scale for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, couple of years, whatever it is, but then at the same time realizing, okay, me, never weighing in, is triggering me to just like, do whatever I want. I'm not getting any closer to my goals. Like maybe I need some type of check and balance system or whatever it is, whether it's weighing, measuring, taking pictures, whatever you're doing. So I just feel like really, that's more what it is, is understanding like, Am I doing this because I think I'm gonna be more accepted? Am I doing it because I want to and that's perfectly okay. It's okay to have goals for fat loss or whatever you know, and not to feel like you hate your body. Only you know that.

 

Amber B  30:01  

Yeah. And I just like I had never ever made that connection that you drew with the judgment piece of like, diet culture is all about, like rejecting judgment and yet the judgment is then being thrown on to another group of people. And you talked earlier about how we, as humans, we do we like to, like, lean into these identities. And I see that so big in the like, us versus them mentality of like, I am like a body-positive person, or I am a haze, you know, expert or intuitive eating, right. So it's like this label, it's this identity. And then they're like, against, like, the macro counters, or the fitness pros or the, whatever you want to call it. And it's like, we pick aside like, we have to pick a side, I hate the idea of having to pick aside. 

 

Amber 30:44  

Like, why do we have to pick a side? Like, why can't we find a happy medium of like moderation in between? We're like, yeah, we want to, we recognize that diet culture is a thing, and we need to be aware of it. And we also recognize that we can set goals from a place and you said that question of like, asking yourself where this is coming from. Right? So is it coming from a need to be liked, a need for acceptance, a need for other people to see me a certain way? Or is it coming from a desire to achieve and a desire to push myself and a desire to grow? And so the end result may be Yeah, I want to lose weight but where is that coming from is one of the best ways to kind of check yourself of like, is this coming from external pressure or a need to like, I will be worthy, what that when I will be better when I will be happy when. Or is it coming from a Hey, like, I want to see what I can do? I want to see what my body can do. I want to challenge myself, I want something that is going to push me, is going to make me grow. That's a really good question.

 

Kiki  31:39  

If you're not asking yourself those things, you know, then you don't really know why you're doing it anyway. So it's really understanding like, what is the point of this because if you're putting your life on hold in order to lose weight, that's diet culture, that's 100%. Like you're letting that ruin your life.

 

Amber B  31:57  

Good. Yeah. 

 

Kiki  31:59  

You know, but if you're like, you know, okay, I'm going to set these goals, I'm going to put these habits in motion because this is where I want to end up physique wise, or whatever. And then you're still crushing all the other ish in your life. Like, I mean, go do that. So even as fitness professionals, we have to remember our responsibility to the people that we're serving. And we're putting a lot of confusion out thereby forcing them to pick a side because there are people so what, you know, you brought up, like intuitive eating and things like that. There are people who are confused and think that they can use intuitive eating as a diet style, right?

 

Amber B  32:35  

It's like not ever anything.

 

Kiki  32:38  

Yeah. It's like, that's not what it's about. And so when we're not making those things clear, then we can be sending people you know, like on a wild goose chase like this is do no harm, like, what are we doing when we're not telling them the exact parts about or the same thing if we're talking about healthy every size, and let's still emphasize the health part, because there are people that will use that to lean into all the reasons why they don't need to take care of themselves, you know, health-wise, instead of saying, like realizing, I can be healthy, do all things, lift all the weights, eat the right food, and still be bigger, but be healthier than someone else who's not doing those things. So really making sure that we fine-tune and give people the clarity that they need to be able to decipher that difference. And to understand that they can bounce around between the two, you can have a phase of intuitive eating, you can have a phase of fat loss, you can have a phase of muscle building, you can have a phase of I'm just going to lift all the things and not give a crap about any other stuff that I like, whatever it is, it's not about an identity and stone road that we're on. 

 

Amber 33:44  

Yes, because once it becomes an identity, it comes hard to change. It doesn't have to be a common identity. As you said, it could become a phase, like it's a phase, not an identity. And that's two very different things. Because one is more fluid, right? It's like identity is locked in stone. Whereas a phase is like, its fluid. We can be a phase here and a phase here. I do want to talk more about lifting with you. Because I don't know I love to talk about lifting and you love to talk about lifting and I want more women lifting weights. So I'm curious for you, like how did you find weightlifting? And what has it done for you like what has been that road for you or what lifting has done both for your body and maybe for you mentally as well?

 

Kiki  34:22  

Yeah, It's funny because obviously, as I got into it for the physique training, because it completely changed my physique. Like, a lot of people think that I have an hourglass figure when I'm actually a pear. So like, just learning things like that, like blew my mind, like that I spent my whole time focusing on like, oh, I need to get these legs smaller, and it's like, oh if I just built my upper body, it balances it out. And it's all good. Like, okay,

 

Amber B  34:45  

Will you pause and just say that, again, for everybody who's listening because I don't want to gloss over this. So, you are a natural pear which in listening to this are pear and so then what is their natural inclination to think that they need to fix

 

Kiki  34:58  

Their legs 

 

Amber B  34:58  

That they need to make their legs or bottom smaller. Yeah. And what did you do? Instead?

 

Kiki  35:04  

I built up my upper body, 

 

Amber B  35:06  

You built your upper body. And so then that gave you the hourglass figure like friends.

 

Kiki  35:13  

Oh my goodness, that was like, I'm glad you're stopping there because that was the most mind-blowing shift ever. Like, I want to shout out, I'm like people like pull-ups is a thing like we do them. Because women are inherently weaker in their upper body anyway, we have really strong legs. So a lot of times all the focus on our legs is making them bigger anyway. We're just going to get them down but we're just doing crazy stuff instead of building that strength, building that muscle, building it, building up that V taper, like, forget not forget about your legs, but like, don't make them focus. If you feel like they're too big, because typically, like, if something is yours, like, whatever troubles own, like, it's gonna take a minute. So focus on something else, like that's my thing is this, like, divert your attention, set the habits in place, do the leg workouts, do all the things, tighten and tone them to the best of your ability, but your hip width is gonna be your hip width. So if you have wider hips, like and it's part of your bone structure that's gonna be there. 

 

Kiki  36:09 

Building your upper body, though, that's so fun. That was so fun to me to set out to do that, and then watch it shift and to see like, Oh my gosh, literally, nothing changed. My pant size didn't change, like, nothing really, like the shape of my legs changed. But other than that, it was more about the upper body and people would ask me like, once I started really building out like a v tape or wider shoulders, lats, people would ask me if I lost weight. Like, that's the thing is that if you don't, the way that we go about it is backward. Yes, the things 100% changed my life transformed my shape and muscle tone. 

Kiki  36:48

But mentally, oh my gosh, like, all of that is part of that mental journey and realizing like that crossover effect that strength has, you know what I mean like, when you're like, beast mode, in the gym, like you realize, like, I'm a beast. That's what it is. And you start realizing like that effect and other areas of life, like, learning to challenge yourself every time you have that, like realizing that like,  I'm stronger than I thought I was, you know what I mean? Like, every new PR is that reminder that like I am capable of so much more than I realize, you know, and that if I'm consistent, and I keep showing up for myself, these games come. And when that happens whenever you see, you know, because, for me,  I periodized my workouts A lot of times, like I already have the amount written down, like this is what I'm supposed to lift today, right? And granted, sometimes you miss a PR, and that's also a whole nother lesson of that. You know, you have to honor the struggle. But when you see that number of like, this is the number that I'm supposed to go for today. And how many times mentally and I'm sure this probably happened before where you're like, I can't?

 

Amber B  38:02  

Yeah, oh, yeah, all the time. That's really heavy. I don't think I can do it.

 

Kiki  38:08  

There's no way and then you do it. And you're like, What? Oh, my gosh

 

Amber B  38:12  

You blow your own mind. And then you have that experience, and you're able to take it elsewhere. And so you start and go and give a presentation. You're like, This is hard. I don't know if I can do it. But it's like I've done hard things before I've done things that I went in thinking I couldn't do it. And I did it. And so it's almost like reinforcing to yourself and proving yourself and you can do more than you think you can. Like that our minds are usually holding us back. And I love that you're talking about how it bleeds out into so many other areas of life because that's what I feel like strength and pushing yourself to the gym does it makes you recognize your power.

 

Kiki  38:47 

Yeah, it makes you who you are, like, you know what I mean? Like in some aspects, it's good to have to go through that, like, challenge that like, Okay, I'm weak or whatever. However, we feel when we first started out because we all started out as a beginner. Like we all started out not being able to like

 

Amber 39:04 

You didn't start out being super confident and have like a perfect squat. You had to go through a period where like, maybe it was hard to go to the gym and you didn't know how to squat.

 

Kiki  39:12 

Yeah, like I remember when I would like to follow my husband around the gym and I'm like, I'm gonna do what you do. Right and so he bench presses and I'm like, I'm not meant for us. And I remember that first day when he stripped all the weight of the bar. I'm like he's like, trust me the bars

 

Amber 39:27 

Aren't gonna have enough

 

Kiki  39:30 

you know, and I'm just like, what No, and I remember that first like, Oh my gosh, why is this bar so heavy? So it's like all those different things. We all start there but the better you get the more plates that you can start adding to that bar you're like. Oh my gosh!

 

Amber 39:44 

Well and I really want to point this out because it's really easy for someone to follow you or to follow me and be like, gosh, she's like so competent in the gym. She can do so many pull-ups she can do like a really heavy deadlift and not recognize that you and I have been able to get where we've gotten with our lifting because we were willing to suck first. We were willing to not know anything we were willing to show up at the gym and literally not know anything and suck, in order to then get better. And so then you can start to ask yourself the question like am I willing to suck at something in order to then progress and get better because every single person who's in the gym, who you look up to who you think knows so much and is ripped and like has the body you want like they had a first date as well. And so are you willing to go through that, because that's what it takes to be able to get better, you got to suck first, everyone has to suck first. 

 

Kiki  40:32  

The only way you're gonna get stronger is to be weak. And to start with the bar and go to work through it,

 

Amber B  40:37  

You got to start with the bar like you can't go in there and bench the big boy plates, like you got to start with the bar and everybody has to start at that place. So it's such a good takeaway for anybody who's listening. You just got to start where you're at. And it's all about making progress from there. So I'm curious about what your favorite lift is.

 

Kiki  40:55

My favorite lift actually isn't a lift,  it’s pull-ups. It's cool. Okay,

 

Amber B  41:02 

Well, we can be friends because I love pull-ups too.

 

Kiki  41:05

Yeah, I love pull-ups. I was gonna say deadlift,

 

Amber B  41:08

I thought you might say deadlift, I don't know why. But I like I thought you might say deadlift, okay, but yeah,

 

Kiki  41:12

That's my favorite. So like, if I think the lift is the deadlift. Okay, my favorite move is pull-ups.

 

Amber B  41:19

Why do you like pull-ups?

 

Kiki  41:21  

I mean, like, pull-ups are, like, I mean, honestly, like, the most useful equipment that you can have is your body. But most people don't like using it in a way that actually challenges. I'm not talking about like, 100 squats a day challenge or whatever, you know, like legit being able to know like, okay, no matter where you go, as you go with you. So to be able to like, whatever at the park or whatever, you know, and just like crank out some pull-ups. Like I remember the first time I did a pull-up video. I don't know when this was 2012 or something. It's a horrible video, like my son filmed it. It was all shaky. It was ridiculous. And it was like I was filming it for people like to show them like this is how you do pull-ups and how you'd assist yourself from the floor with pull-ups and all this. And so like I explained it, and I'm like I'm gonna do a couple this way and then I'm going to show you how to assist yourself. And all the commentary afterward was like she says, I'm going to do a couple she got cranks out now and I like trying to tire myself out first. And they're like, a couple. Like, that's when you get tired. 

 

Amber B  42:23  

Yes, I love it. That's amazing. Yeah, I mean, if I could get more women doing pull-ups like that would be my favorite thing in the whole world, more women lifting barbells and more women doing pull-ups.

 

Kiki  42:37  

Pull-ups are so hard for a lot of women.

 

Amber B  42:39  

So hard for a lot of women. Yes. And that's okay. And Kiki kind of talked about that, like our upper body strength is not naturally very strong. This is why a lot of guys, doesn't matter how much muscle mass they have like they can get on a par and like do a pull-up, and most women cannot. That's okay, because that's where you start, and you're willing to suck in order to be able to get better. So what are some of your current health and fitness goals?

 

Kiki  43:08  

Well, right now, I'm excited to be back in the gym. So yeah, like we at my new house doesn't have a home gym. So I know we were talking about that before the call that my old house did. So a lot of my stuff went into storage. So I'm happy to be like pushing heavyweight again. So right now as far as like physique goals go, I'm pretty much in a maintenance phase kind of been camping out there all year, because my big thing this year was just like, I'm just gonna lift at any cost, because of the fact that I know that I just losing my muscle is just like something I'm very like, I'm all like I don't want to lose my muscle ever. And I know that any of the other goals that I want, like, as long as I have my muscle mass like if I decide like, okay, now I'm going to cut like, it's going to be so much easier to do. So that's pretty much where I've been is I think I did a couple of little mini cuts this summer just because I felt like it. 

 

Kiki  44:07  

But throughout the holiday is right now, I'm really just looking to like, maintain like so many people underestimate, like that little time period, you know, like six weeks of the holiday where you just like put on a little bit more each year, each year. So I'm happy to just make it through without doing any of them. So right now, um, I want to increase my pull up strength. So that means it's going to have to eat because I guess it's still not easy for me to like, do more. Do you know what I mean? Like he had like one to it each year. So I would like to add more pull-ups. So that's a big thing. It's mostly strength goals for me right now. I don't have any fat loss goals even muscle-building goals at this point because I've done the work. Yeah, I've reached like master pass and that's the biggest thing that like a lot of people don't realize and once you put on the most of it, you can kind of do whatever again like I used to when you're younger because it is just about maintaining it so yeah,

 

Amber B  45:06  

Yeah, totally so good. Okay, awesome. So if you want to connect with you, they want to work with you or they want to just follow you where can they find you?

 

Kiki  45:15  

I am at Eat More 2 Weigh Less pretty much everywhere or EM2WL and same thing with the website, em2wl.com or eatmore2weighless.com so all the things, em2wl,  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, whatever, all the things that no one uses anymore.

 

Amber B  45:38 

Periscope or MySpace. I don't know. 

 

Kiki  45:42  

Like a hundred percent I'm still on Periscope, that was huge. It's been years but yeah, that was, I was trending on there back in like 2013. When does periscope do that thing? I'm there.

 

Amber B  45:55  

It was before I came. So I started my business in 2016 and so it was before it was right before so maybe 2014, 2013 to 15 maybe it was kind of the years for it. Yeah, I know it like I remember watching people on it but when I got into business it was kind of dying off that was really when Facebook Live took over and I remember 

 

Kiki  46:15  

That was sad for us though that was on Facebook Live to back over because the engagement was never the same. Yeah, never the same as it was on Periscope so yeah don't  please unfollow me on Periscope

 

Amber B  46:28  

It will be sadly disappointed.

 

Kiki  46:30 

I have all the things but I'm not active on Twitter or periscope at all I'm probably more active on Facebook than anything only because hashtag old school but I do you know I frequent Instagram.

 

Amber B  46:43

So awesome. Well, I am so grateful that we are able to connect and have brought you on Kiki because I think you just have such a wealth of knowledge. And I mean I just love how you're able to marry so many things the psychological the physical, the weights, the eating the like diet mentality, anti-diet culture like I just think you do such a beautiful job of being able to find a way between all of those extremes as you kind of talked about earlier in the episode. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing with my audience.

 

Kiki  47:14  

Thank you for having me. You rock.

 

Amber B  47:18  

Wasn't that just an amazing episode? I adore Kiki I think she is brilliant. I think she is fabulous. And definitely recommend going and following her because she has a way of being able to explain things and just walk that middle road. Gosh, I just love someone who can find moderation. I just love someone who's not on the extremes can see like both sides, can kind of sit happily in that gray zone as she talked about in the episode. I feel like that's where I like to sit on a lot of things. There's like in that middle ground moderation in that gray zone. It doesn't have to be extreme either way. And so I just really appreciate Kiki's perspective. And hopefully, you took something away from this podcast episode interview with her. Remember, next week, I will be coming back with a really awesome interview that I did with Leslie Spaggiari. And we talked about her experience reverse dieting and going from eating 1400 calories to 2300 calories and what that experience was like for her and what it made possible for her in the future. So you're gonna want to make sure you hit that subscribe button on whatever platform you are listening to this episode on so that you don't miss next week's episode. That wraps up this week's episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.

Outro

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