Today on the podcast, I got the pleasure of interviewing Katie Crokus. She shares a little bit about how we know each other way back to 2016 and how she's evolved her fitness journey and the fact that she's been in maintenance for three freakin' years. We really talked about maintenance, its importance, and how her body has changed more in maintenance than any other time. It's like a stop-gap, an in-between, it's like what I have to do before I can do the things that I want that are going to make the difference. She also shares her thoughts on why it's such a time that a lot of women skip, and why you should not be skipping maintenance, why it really should be where you are spending the majority of your life.
- Free five-day fat loss challenge (0:48, 1:56)
- Getting beyond the benefits of weightlifting (12:58, 13:34)
- Maintenance (16:56, 28:48, 29:29, 32:15)
- Patience problem (18:24,18:50)
- Foundational health habits recommended by Katie (20:37, 25:29)
- Tips while in maintenance (30:26, 31:26, 34;15)
- Being intentional, mindset is the key (34:03, 35:04)
- Believing that you could (37:58)
I'm sure by now you love Katie just as much as I do. She is such a wealth of information. And I really am excited to bring her back onto the podcast later this year. And talk more about gut health, talk more about hormone health, and talk about, all not only her personal experience but what she learns as she dives into more education on that matter. I think it's something that's really important. And I'm really excited to bring you more about that in 2021 here on the podcast.
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 119
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 0:48
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And I am so freaking excited to share with you, we will be running a free five-day fat loss challenge starting in about two weeks. So January 25, is the start date. And this is going to be five days of education, of community, of fun, and prizes to really be able to kick off your fitness journey. And I named it a five-day fat loss challenge because a lot of women want to lose fat. However, if you're somebody who you're looking to just gain muscle, go through a verse, as you're trying to change your body composition in some way, then this is going to be valuable for you. If you have set a fitness goal and have not yet achieved it, this is going to be valuable for you whether or not you're aiming for fat loss or not. So don't let the name turn you off. It is going to be packed full of valuable content to help you to get started on your journey. And figure out the pieces that are missing that are needed to be able to be successful.
Amber B 1:56
So if you've had experience in the past where you've tried something and it didn't work, and you quit and then try something else, and it didn't work and you quit, you are missing some of the pieces that are necessary to be successful. And that's what I'm going to start teaching in the five-day challenge. So we're going to go over creating your goal, we're going to go over helping you to start to identify self-sabotage as it comes up, we're going to go over the difference between the diet or mentality and the scientist mentality. And you are going to have such a good jumping-off point for whatever goals you're trying to hit in 2021. So if you have not signed up, I highly suggest you go to www.bicepsafterbabies.com/fatlosschallenge and going to sign up like I said, it's free, we're going to have a great time and we have tons of prizes. It's always a lot of fun when we do these free challenges. There are a lot of work for us, the team, but they're also a lot of fun. And we're really excited to be able to get started with this and help those of you who are in that position where you're like, I really just want to kick off something new, I want to kick off actually hitting my goals this year. That's what the five-day fat loss challenge is about.
Amber B 3:02
And if you've been someone who is like I'm really interested in Macros 101, and you've been eyeing that for a while the five-day fat loss is our challenge is a perfect segue into Macros 101, it's like a perfect beginning part of experiencing what you're going to learn in Macros 101, how I teach, the approach that I take in helping you to create your customized plan to be able to help you get the results that you want. So go to www.bicepsafterbabies.com/fatlosschallenge and I'll see you there.
Amber B 3:33
Now onto today's episode. Today on the podcast, I got the pleasure of interviewing Katie Crokus. And Katie shares a little bit about how we know each other, we go way back to 2016. And she's evolved since then, as have I and we really talk about her evolution, her fitness journey, and the fact that she's been in maintenance for three freakin' years. And we were kind of comparing notes. And it's very similar to me, I did my last bulk right before I did my powerlifting competition and that was back in the fall of 2017. And so we really talked about maintenance and this period of time that many people can think, Oh, it's just like, it's like a stopgap. It's like an in-between, it's like what I have to do before I can do the things that I want that are going to make the difference. And Katie really turns it on its head and talks about the importance of maintenance and how her body has changed more in maintenance than any other time and we talked about why it's such a time that a lot of women skip, and why you should not be skipping maintenance, why it really should be where you are spending the majority of your life.
Amber B 4:43
Now, if you don't know Katie, definitely go over and follow her on Instagram. She's @katiecrokus. She has an amazing Instagram feed and it really shares a lot of her journey as well as a lot of the mindset shifts that she's had along the way as she's learned and grown and evolved in her fitness journey and I just love her to death and I'm so grateful that she was willing to come on the podcast episode. So without further ado, let's roll that interview with Katie Crokus.
Amber B 5:11
All right, I am so excited to welcome Katie Crokus to the podcast. Good morning, Katie. How are you doing?
Good morning. Thank you so much. I'm great.
Amber B 5:20
I am really excited to be able to share you with my audience. And I actually, when I asked you to be on the podcast, I couldn't believe that I hadn't asked you before. So this is a long time coming. This needs to happen.
It is we go back like three or four years.
Amber B 5:34
Oh, yeah, a long time. So this is gonna be good. So first off, if somebody doesn't know you yet, hasn't met you will you just tell us a little bit about you, and what you do?
Sure. I'm Katie Crokus, I'm 41 years old. I'm from Madison, Wisconsin. And my background is very much not aligned with where I am today, I grew up watching a family business in the beverage industry evolve as my grandfather passed it on to my parents, and I really got to see firsthand what it meant to be your own boss and sort of have some entrepreneurial spirit. But that was never really interesting to me, I was actually far more interested in the product that we were selling. And I ended up taking a job working for a global winery after college where I had the experience of all the industry perks you can imagine, but it was coupled with a seriously high benchmark for success. And it taught me a lot of grit. And that was really good for me in many, many ways. I've always been someone who's very self-driven and motivated by goals and benchmarks. And today, it's kind of just transitioned to what I do with myself, with my family, and then with clients. It all sort of began with a passion to pursue some recipe development when I was doing macro counting for the first time. And it's kind of just cascaded into supporting women and mindset and body goals through counting macros.
Amber B 7:00
Yeah. And it's been so fun because I feel like I see a lot of my trajectory in you. And I remember when I first got started on Instagram, you know, I had a very quick, fast-growing at first, and I remember people saying, Oh, my gosh, I can't believe how fast you've grown on Instagram. And I now look at you and I think this thing of like, you, like have just grown so fast. And I know why because you're amazing and you provide amazing content and inspiration for people. So like I get it, but it's just been so fun to be like, oh, like, yeah, I watched Katie and I just watch her keep growing and I just watch her keep serving. And it's just been really fun to be able to have a little bit of outside perspective because we go back way back. So do you want to show everybody how we first came in contact and what that looks like?
Absolutely. So that was back in 2016 when I reached out to you. I had been working on let's see, I had always really been trying to find my way and my path when it comes to body goals. And I was really good at extremes, right. So like whole 30 and defined diets and rules and parameters like that kept me safe. I felt like and somebody mentioned your name and suggested macros. And so I kind of like knocked on your Instagram door and you set macros for me. And you showed me the ropes and you opened my eyes to this entirely new experience that suddenly was madly empowering.
Amber B 8:36
Yeah, it was so awesome to be so for a little bit of context. I started my Instagram account in January of 2016. So this was like, and it was like the summer of 2016. Right when you reached out to me.
It was exactly July Yeah.
Amber B 8:50
Yeah. So it was like, you know, this was like six months into being a coach. And I hope that I have grown since then. Right? Like I, we grow, we evolve, we elevate but like, it's so fun to be able to go back and say hey, yeah, like this is kind of where it started It started with like, just taking people who were like, Hey, I'm interested in this like thing called counting macros let's help you out. And will you kind of talk about a little bit about your evolution over that time that we work together because I know we're going to talk more about what's happened since then but over that time, what was some of the highlights some of the maybe aha moments and some of the evolution that happened that first time that you learned about macro counting and sort of doing it yourself?
Yeah, so honestly, it wasn't pretty in the beginning, I stumbled a lot. Unfortunately, I went into macros with a whole lot of self-limiting beliefs. And I really was something you termed that I didn't realize existed but now I completely aligned with is the idea of a macro dieter or someone that really sort of believes that if you are not working 100% within the framework of zeroing out your macros every day, then you are doing it wrong and that is just not the case. But because I came from this place of boundaries and rules, the only way to apply macros was the same way for me. And so here's the thing, I had wild success in the beginning because I was so rigid, I lost about 20 pounds. And then I gained back about 25 pounds over the course of six months. Like it was that fast. And I kind of gave up for a little while after that. So I took with me the lessons of I understood how to execute macros, but I didn't understand how to take a nuanced approach and make it work with in my life.
Amber B 10:33
So good. And I think that right there, what you just said is what I feel like I've gotten better at as a coach is like, yeah, and I think that is like, most people's introduction to macros is this very, like, rigid, we take this idea of having rules and restrictions and you know, guidelines, and we just apply it to macros of like, here's your macros, and you have to hit them. And if you don't hit them, well, you better try harder. That's your fault, you're not going to get the results you want if you don't just follow them. And yeah, I do. I call that the macro dieter. And I think that's kind of like that. That's a lot of women's first foray into macros, and it turns a lot of people off, because they're like, well, I thought I was supposed to have freedom, I thought it was to like, have no restrictions. And now I like I just have different restrictions of like having to fit into this tiny box of like these macros. And that's what we find is that we find that swing that you experienced of like, yeah, you are successful when you're perfect and you're spot on, and you're like paying attention to every detail. But then when you lose that structure, you swing the opposite way. So after losing the 20 pounds, regaining the 25 pounds, will you talk us through the rest of your fitness journey, maybe over the next, you know, up till where we are here today. I know that's a big ask, but kind of give us a note.
Sure! Well, sometime in late 2017, basically, I was left with no choice but to completely shift gears. My body was inflamed in pain and constantly triggered to eat, because I had pushed it to the limits, with orange theory with high-intensity interval training with eating foods that really were not serving me in any way and not supporting the exercise that I was putting out there. And so I realized that something had to give, and it was not what I wanted to do but I knew I had to shift gears. And so I did that and I kind of let go of the idea that I would ever really have the body that I wanted. Again, these self limiting beliefs that I just was not a person who could have an athletic frame, or who could ever do a chin up. And I just sort of like said, you know, can you gotta let those dreams go. And it's for the good of your health because you literally cannot run another mile, or you will fall apart with my hips hurt my ankles hurt all of it. And so I transitioned into a gym that taught me how to get under the barbell and that changed everything.
Amber B 12:55
Oh, tell me more. Oh, my God, I want to know more.
I had chills just thinking about it because that was the genesis of the transformation. Getting under a barbell taught me not just how to lift weights and how to physically be strong. But it gave me so much mental energy and clarity and confidence. And it allowed me to do things that I didn't think I could do, like walk away from running 20 miles a week, okay, like things that I thought I had to do, or the sun wouldn't rise the next day no longer mattered. And I credit weightlifting a lot, because it just built something in me that I didn't even realize was there.
Amber B 13:34
Yeah, I think for me, one of the things, and I see this as I get women to pick up weights, and to really dedicate more themselves to weight training, is that we're meant to do hard things, right. And so when you intentionally do something that's hard, that feels like more than maybe you can even accomplish, or feels like you have to stretch yourself to get there, there is an inherent growth that happens. And the more times you do that, I'm saying, I'm approaching this heavy barbell. I don't know if I can do it, and then you do it. It's like, repeatedly building that confidence of like, Oh, I do have these ideas in my mind that I can't do something. But I've had an experience where I didn't think I could do that either. And look, I did it. And the more that we can get those experiences of something's hard, but I know that I can do hard things. It does, it builds that confidence muscle like you was talking about. And I love being able to see that competence muscle be translated into other areas of your life because I kind of see that that's kind of what you did. Like you took that competence that you had gained, and started a business, right. Started helping other people and started sharing the things that you were learning. And so after picking up the barbell, that's a part of your story. I didn't even really know that was part of your story, but I love it, it is.
It's a big part.
Amber B 14:53
Kind of walks us through what that looks like as you made this transition away maybe from some of the running and stuff that you were doing had a nutrition play into that time of your life as well.
So this time, it was entirely different. I approached macro counting again, from a place of not being a macro dieter. And because I had come from a place of abundance in calories, I was definitely north of probably between 2200-2500 calories a day is my guess. Prior to picking up the weights, I decided to just kind of not even worry about tracking for a little while. And then once I kind of gained the confidence to do that, I was like, let's just throw a dart and see what it looks like when I eat about 1700 calories a day. And things happen fast. So you've talked about newbie gains before and talk about a meteoric change in body composition. So I lost about 10 pounds in two months. But if you look at the pictures, it looks like I lost 25 pounds. So everything changed. And it wasn't a result of deprivation. In fact, I was doing fewer workouts, I was working out four days a week, I was doing no cardio. I wasn't even doing any sort of scheduled walking, I wasn't even saying okay, 10 minutes a day, I'm gonna, you know, walk on the treadmill, I was just living my life, lifting weights and adequately fueling my body and everything started to switch. And that really went on for about eight weeks. And then I decided to do like four weeks in a small and an even deeper deficit. And guess what nothing happened, my body stopped. It completely resisted that deeper deficit and so I reversed back out. And as I reversed I started to lose more weight. And I started to reveal a little bit more muscle. And that was my entry point into maintenance.
Amber B 16:46
So exciting. Yeah. And so then you've been in maintenance?
Yes, three years.
Amber B 16:52
Three years. She's been amazing. Did you guys hear that?
Three years. And Matt said, the biggest transformation for me has happened while I've been in maintenance, it was not during my cuts. And it was not even during the reverse. It was the last five pounds that I've lost over the course of three years that have elicited the biggest physical transformation that my body.
Amber B 17:17
Okay, can we just stop and pause for a minute, because I want you guys to hear what she is saying. So many people, and I get this and I'm sure you get this a lot, too, are like, I'm not at my ultimate goal so I can't like being in maintenance, right? I need to be right. I need to keep cutting, I can't reverse. Because I'm not at my goal. yet. When I get to my goal, then I will reverse. And I want you to hear what Katie saying is like, Yeah, she had an amazing transformation. But that last bit, like she the last, like change in her body happened because she spent time at maintenance, not because she spent time consistently at a deficit. And I so appreciate you sharing that your deficit was like, what? Eight weeks? 12 weeks? Like, you get in, you get out and then you maintain and that maintenance period, it should be the majority of your life should be at maintenance. And that recomposition that she's talking about is a real thing. And that's what we see is when you're feeling your body, when you're lifting weights, your body changes and is slow. Let's say that it's slow. Would you back that up?
I would. I think most people think that they have a dieting problem when in reality, I think they, we, I should say, have a patience problem. It's going to take longer than you want it to. And yes, like this is a good thing. Because that gives you time to form habits, which are the easy buttons of maintenance like suddenly the friction is gone when these things that contribute to your goals are just habits.
Amber B 18:50
Yes, and when it's a habit, then you don't have to think about it anymore. And it's not hard, right. And I think that is the transition that so many women don't ever get to is it feels hard at first, because you have to, and they don't push through to where it then becomes a habit and it's not hard anymore. It's just who you are and it's just how you naturally live your life. So that's a mic drop right there. Because I think you're right, I think we have a patience problem. And I think the reason we have a patience problem is because we are so focused on the end destination rather than the process of getting there. When you can take I'm all for setting big goals. I think we all should have crazy goals that we haven't reached and we may never reach like I think that's really important because it continues to push us. However, when you only have your eyes set on the finish line and you don't like stopping around and smelling the roses along the way. You are setting yourself up for disappointment and failure and feeling like you're never getting there. And so I really think that we can focus on what is awesome about this time right now, what is awesome about the progress I'm making right now, even if I'm not at that end goal. I think that helps us to flex that patience muscle a little bit, agree and sit tight, and continue on with the process.
Amber B 20:08
So we are in a new year, we're into 2021. Hopefully, 2021 is going to be a better year than 2020 was… But a lot of people listening are probably thinking a lot about habits and New Year's resolutions and who they want to be in this year, and especially when it comes to health. So I'm curious over the last three years, especially of maintenance, you talked about developing these habits, what are some of the foundational healthy habits that you've developed that have really, maybe given you the best bang for your buck?
Mm-hmm. I would say the number one if you want if you're someone who's looking for a hack, or like the most bang for your buck, the number one has to be sleep. And no one wants to hear it. It is by far the most unsexy habit there is. But sleep is going to carry you to whatever goal it is you have. And I learned the hard way this year, I kind of had to put sleep on, I didn't have to, I chose to put sleep on the back burner to pursue some business goals. And it really came back to challenge me and sort of attack my hormonal health, regardless of the fact that I was at maintenance and I was doing low key workouts, and I was tracking biofeedback. And I was getting my water and I was doing all of these things. That really helps solidify my goals for me. But without the sleep component in place. It wasn't enough. So sleep is number one, and I go to bed when my kids do.
Amber B 21:30
Yeah. So I would say like, can you elaborate a little bit more? Because I think we hear Oh, yeah, yeah, I need sleep. But like, what does that mean? How are you making sure that you're getting enough? What have you found has worked for you? How are you tracking that I know, I saw on your stories that you like, had like a little tracker. So I'm curious. I use a little tracker, but I'm not sure I love it. So I want to hear what you use?
Well, currently, I'm using the Aura Ring, which I like because it tracks all of my recoveries. So it tracks my heart rate, it tracks my body temperature, it tracks sleep. And so all of that basically, it's like my accountability buddy, because I can have a terrible night's sleep, wake up and have two cups of coffee and be like, I'm ready to go.
Amber B 22:07
Exactly but if I look at the feedback on the ring, it's gonna say actually, no, you need to pay attention and chill. And maybe I felt like I got good sleep. But if I look at my watch, or if I look at the data, and it's like, No, actually, you only got six hours you were restless last night, then I don't get to train that day. If I do not get seven and a half hours of sleep, I don't train the next day, regardless of what my brain is telling me and how I'm feeling. But with that in mind, I don't think everybody is available to everybody to have an additional tracker on their body. And I think that's fine. So there are definitely ways that you can track the data. And you can really stack the deck in your favor for a good night's sleep. And for me, one of them is a super cold, super dark room. And so like, I like that it has to be black in my room. And I'm from Wisconsin, so people die when they hear this, but the temperature has to be about 64 degrees,
Amber B 23:01
Hooh! that's cold,
I know, you're California blooded.
Amber B 23:06
It would actually freeze at that level for us Californians.
To see, I am someone who needs blankets, like I want to sleep with a weighted blanket, I have a dog in my bed, I have like a giant man next to me like he's 6'4″ takes up a lot of space. And it's like there are things in the room that heat the space. And so I need to have the window cracked. And in the summer, we turn the thermostat down. And that has worked for me tremendously. So there's that, there's turning off all of my notifications at 7:30. That is a non-negotiable for me. I'm just done with blue light, I'm done with any sort of communication at 7:30. So when I crawl into bed between eight and nine, I'm sort of like my mind is no longer thinking about, like, all of the blue light of the day.
Amber B 23:56
I love that you're more of a grandma than even I am. I feel like I'm such a grandma. I go to bed, we usually go to bed somewhere between nine and 10. We usually like 9:30 is kind of our aim. And I always feel like such a grandma crawling into bed at 9:30. But I love it, you're even the best.
Well, and I'm an early bird to a lot of people. The objection a lot of people have to that is well if you're going to bed with your kids go to bed. When do you spend time with your spouse? And to that I say, five in the morning, our alarm goes off at five, we have a cup of coffee, we go to our garage gym. And every day we marvel about how much we love this time together. And since we don't get you to know, date nights aren't a thing the way they used to be. We now have these 90 minutes every single day that are just the two of us and nobody and nothing can interrupt them because of when they're happening. If it's at like 8:30 at night if we started our time together at that point in the night, it would probably just default to watching Netflix right but now we're doing something that serves us both in a space where we are not interrupted and it's what works for us.
Amber B 25:00
I love that. That's awesome. Yeah, I do sometimes feel like my husband and I spend time at the end of the day when we're both tired. And we felt like we had been through an entire day. So it's kind of awesome like switches saying, No, I want to spend my awake, like, awake time, like when I'm actually like at the beginning of my day with the person that I love. So, I love that. So what habits then are you focusing on building this year? Do you have any new habits that you are focusing on building?
Ah, well recovery is one that I really want to make a daily non-negotiable and as habitual as brushing my teeth. I've always been a person who doesn't really want to relax in the day until designated rest time. And I sort of using air quotes for that. Because if somebody, if my husband was maybe sitting on the couch at three o'clock on any given day, is like, what are you doing? Why are you sitting like it's not designated rest time? And that's something I've really tried to get away from, it's just always been my personality to go, go, go, and not rest until the time is right. And I always felt the need to fill my day and become as efficient as possible. It's like, does the dishwasher need to be unloaded? What else can I do? How can I keep myself from sitting still? And that's something I've really had to lean into this year. And so I want to get better at it and make it something that I don't have to work for quite so hard.
Amber B 26:20
Hmm, that's such a good one. And I feel like a lot of the same lines as you. And it's been something that I noticed in myself too, I think, are you in a three on the enneagram? Do you know? Okay, yeah. So I feel like that's a very three thing to say. Like achievement-oriented, like almost like self-worth comes from, like what you accomplished during the day. And so then rest just gets in the way, right? It's just like, you gotta earn it. You got to earn the rest, you got to put it into action. Yes, transactional is such a good way to put it. And I have been really focusing on one of my words for this year: the presence of being present in the moment. And I don't do a great job of it. But really like starting to slow down, like you're talking about like, how can I just be like, I don't need to always be doing things to be being right. You can just be by that sometimes. And that's, there's a lot of value that comes to that. Do you meditate?
No, I should, but I do not. It is really hard…
Amber B 27:20
Go in and out of it.
I have reminders to meditate on my phone, I have a sign in my office that says, be still. I tell other people to do it. But…
Amber B 27:30
I feel like as three's. It's like what, like literally the hardest thing. One of my business advisors told me, like, I should be spending 20 minutes a day just like thinking. Like, that's like literally the hardest thing for me to do is just like to stop and try to think because I am, I want to be doing but doing doesn't always move you forward. And I think that's the lesson that you're kind of trying to share is that like, the progress doesn't always happen in the doing. And that's very interesting.
Parallel for being in maintenance and all the growth you can have in that space.
Amber B 28:05
Yes, it's not maintenance is not static. Right? I think a lot of times people think maintenance is just like that. Just like, you know, nothing's happening during maintenance. And I just have to like, you know, twiddle my thumbs to like, wait until I can cut again. But there's a lot that can and should be happening during maintenance. So let's focus a little bit on that because I'm curious about spending three years in maintenance. There are a lot of women listening to this that are probably never intentionally done that, right. They're either like you said before, either on a diet or way off a diet, right, this big, huge pendulum swing and maintenance is like finding that happy medium and just staying in there and stopping the big swing. So what surprised you most about maintenance?
I think there were two things that really surprised me and one was just how much the physical transformation truly is possible. In maintenance, I guess I just always assumed that it was sort of like treading water. And the goal was to just hold on as hard as you can to the raft and hope that you don't, you know, gain body fat in the process where you just sort of do what you have to do and like check this horrible box. But I mean, we have this vision of maintenance being this uneasy state of purgatory, right, when in actuality is where you live and thrive. And so I would say that's the first one, the physical transformation actually can happen when you're not even paying attention.
And the other piece, the other thing that I think most people don't realize is you have so much more flexibility in maintenance than you think. Yes, I'm still amazed by how flexible and forgiving my body is when it is not afraid of starvation.
Amber B 29:43
Yes. Such a good point.
The sheer latitude and grace you have with intake and activity when you're in maintenance are remarkable.
Amber B 29:51
Yeah, it's almost like you've given enough to your body that it's like you said it isn't scared. It isn't like oh my gosh, here we go again. Like cutting down calories. Oh my gosh, here we go again. It's like, Oh, yeah, like you have a couple of days that are off, and your body's like, yeah, we can roll with this. We can deal with this. That's awesome. So for somebody listening, who is thinking, Hey, I haven't ever really intentionally maintained, what would be your three biggest tips for someone who's going into that process? Like, what would you go back and tell yourself, you know, three years ago as you were going into that maintenance period?
Gosh, well, I think to focus on gains in life has got to be number one, like, rather than focusing on scale fluctuations that may be, I don't know, one to three pounds higher than they were at the bottom of your cut, which, by the way, to be clear, is a really false low, because you're totally depleted at the bottom of your cut, right? Yeah, that's another podcast, but focusing on things like what is available to me now, that was not, oh, 500 calories ago, but Sunday dinners with the family minus tracking, PRs in the gym, not losing my temper with the kids. You know, reduced craving, like, one of the things that I've noticed that I do in maintenance now that I never did before, was I forget about food. Like, I'll put something in the air fryer that I want to have on my salad or with my dinner and not realize it until the next day and be like, Oh my gosh, I forgot about my delicata squash, it's been sitting there 24 hours because it's there's just no fixation. So that's just one more gain in life that I have from being at maintenance.
Amber B 31:24
I think it's really one of the things that have helped me enjoy the process, too, is just being educated on the benefits of periodizing my training and nutrition. And by that I mean, like not spending more time than I need to not a second longer than I need to in a deficit, and understanding that this time out of that phase is actually a springboard to next-level results. Whether you decide to cut or not. I think I said to you at the beginning that I never intended on staying in maintenance for three years, like I didn't reverse out and say, Okay, I'm going to firmly plant myself here for the next three years. But now that I'm here, I cannot imagine a reason to get out of here. It's just a place where so many great things can happen. And it's probably like the dieting world's best-kept secret is to just live in maintenance.
Amber B 32:15
Yeah, maintenance is wonderful. And so many women resist it because there are lots of reasons women resist it. They haven't ever done it. It's scary. It's different. It's you know, it's not moving them, “forward”. And I think what Katie is saying, and I really want to like second this is that maintenance. Again, we think that maintenance is like nothing's happening. We think that maintenance is just like hanging out and just waiting for things to go on. But what Katie's saying is like maintenance is where some of the things that happen the most that will springboard you to whatever is the next step for you. So being intentional about maintenance and doing maintenance really well. If you wanted to go into a cut in the future, that's going to set you up for a better cut. Having that time, it means you want to bulk and you want to add more muscle faster, that's good, like being at maintenance is going to springboard you set you up for that next goal. And so it really is about maximizing what you're doing for any other step that you want to take on your journey. There is an important purpose to maintenance, it is not just wasting time is setting you up for long term success in whatever you want to do next. So that's so exciting.
Amber B 33:27
So if somebody, okay, I want you, Coach Katie, somebody comes to you, and it's like, yeah, Katie, I heard that podcast that you're on. I heard you talk about maintenance. And I'm really scared but I'm ready to like, kind of trust you and like, give it a go. What would you say? Okay, here's the first step. Here's the very first step I want you to take because it can feel scary for women to jump from a deficit or always dieting to like maintenance, right? So what would be that first step that you would have that women start with or someone can take it to start today?
I think one of the first things that I wish that I could tell myself going back is the hard stuff that you think you need to do is not what you think it is. And to elaborate on that. It's my point is these, the best physical transformations are sometimes the most fragile because you haven't done the right work. And mindset is just so key. And so one of the first things that I would encourage anyone entering maintenance to do is really sort of establish the expectation that you need to work on mindset and understand that you are doing something that is not going to elicit rapid results and that's okay, that's the point. You're playing the long game with your help; you're playing a long game with your goals. And so to really sort of wrap your head around the fact that it's going to take some work that you're not used to doing it's not about like getting on a treadmill or cutting calories. These are different actions you need to take that will get you to your end goal.
Amber B 35:04
That's good. Something just keeps coming up to me. I had a client just recently who we were talking back and forth. And she made the comment that she is somebody who likes to see faster results. Like she wants immediate feedback, she wants immediate results. And I made the point to her. First of all, I was like, Okay, so that's your stating that's what you are. But is that what you always have to be like? Is that unchangeable? Is that an unchangeable characteristic of you that you cannot be somebody who can be patient and who doesn't need instantaneous results like, can that change? And I think for those of you who are listening, who may have said that to yourself, I like, if I don't see fast results, I just quit, or I, you know, I have to see faster results. Like that's how I'm wired, I would really offer to you that that's changeable. That is a changeable characteristic. And what Katie's talking about is, being intentional about developing that patience, one of the affirmations I love the most is it's going to take the time it takes, right I don't like I can be confident that something is going to happen, I can be confident that it's going, that my success is inevitable, I can be confident of all those things. And at the same time, I can say I don't really know what the timetable is gonna be. And this is going to take the time that it takes to happen. And I think that's a really, really powerful place to be in your journey. I do want to share this one quote that I read, it's in a book called The Course On Miracles. And the quote is, those who are certain of the outcome, can afford to wait and wait without anxiety. And I think that's so powerful because if you really are certain of your success if you really are certain that you're going to be successful, you can hang on for three years. And wait and be patient and not have it be like having to be this race. And you can just enjoy the process of getting there and not just getting there.
That is so good. I love that.
Amber B 36:57
Yeah. Awesome. So a couple of last questions. One of the things that I've been thinking about a lot and I kind of mentioned earlier on in the episode is that you know, we all evolve and change over time, I hope that I continue to be a better person, I hope that I continue to be a better mom, I hope I continue to be a better coach like that, to me is the purpose of life. So I'm curious for you, what would you say, a perspective, a habit of, you know, a way of being that has changed or evolved over these past five years?
I think before I met you, Amber, and started following you and listening to all of your S
sage wisdom, I was someone who thought anything worth doing is worth overdoing, right? Like more is more,
Amber B 37:40
more is better. Always!
How could it not be, right? Until one day I learned that doesn't matter how hard you're rowing if you're rowing in the wrong direction.
Amber B 37:51
Oh, mic drop.
Well, I think that's James Clear. I think I got that from James Clear,
Amber B 37:57
Oh I love James Clear
Right, Atomic Habits. But it's genius because it's like, just try harder is absolutely terrible advice. I think you touched on that in a podcast before. And I mean, after decades of all or nothing, learning a nuanced approach took a lot of mindset work. And that's why I love module one, and macros 101, by the way, you nail it with believing it has to come first. And then like you build layers of evidence to prove it to yourself. And that was the real big perspective shift for me. Once I believed my success was inevitable. It was and what taught me that was the confidence I got for weightlifting. Suddenly, I saw a massive shift in my body. And it transitioned to a shift in my mind. And suddenly I could do anything. And it happened because I believed that it could. And so…
Amber B 38:54
You believe that it would first
Amber B 38:57
before you had evidence that it could. And I think that's the key is like you have to believe before you have any reason why you should believe and that is what creates the outcome that you want. So good.
Amber B 39:10
Okay, two more questions for you. First question, what are some of your current health and fitness goals for 2021? We talked a little bit about some of the habits but I want to know what are some of your current fitness and health goals.
So education is a big one. It always is for me and I feel strongly that so many women I've encountered in space tend to overshoot their health in pursuit of fat loss and body composition goals. And I really want to continue to spread the message that healthy physiology precedes any physical goals period. And that's not my opinion, that's science. I mean, short-term really anything goes you can get away with a lot short-term, but an unhealthy hormonal balance will quickly become the barrier entry for those seeking any aesthetic goals. So you have to put health first that I want to continue to spread that message. And I'm actually taking a Hormone Specialist certification right now as well because I'm fascinated by this and I want to dig in more. So education is always at the top of my list.
And then recovery. So again, I've touched really, really gently on this, but I have to heal my gut. Currently, I was really in an overstressed and overworked state. And it all came to a head somewhere in late summer 2020, 2020 was a hard year for everybody. And, you know, one of the things that the way it hit me was just my hormonal health sort of tanked because I wasn't getting the rest I needed and it's manifested itself in some things that need to be addressed. And so I really want to work on my cortisol levels, I want to heal my gut and I want to make recovery as habitual in my day as possible. And with that, I'll continue to really make sure that I'm adequately fueled because I have strength goals. I like, a year ago, I had these strength goals, and then I sort of lost my momentum when my body started to kind of break down a little bit from being so overstressed. And so I want to go back to them, I want to do 10 unbroken chin-ups again, yes, I want to deadlift twice my body weight, and I am really, really interested in getting a pistol squat like I just could not master that. And it's so first to my lower body is my lagging muscle group. So those are my fitness goals.
Amber B 41:31
Here's my tip for pistol squats, you want to get a pistol squat?
Amber B 41:36
Well, it does require well, so I can do pistol squats really well, when I'm in my squat shoes, like my shoes with a heel. So either go and buy squat shoes, but they're like, not as cheap, or put plates underneath your heels. Like that, just heel elevation helps with ankle mobility. And I remember I was trying to get pistol squats. This was probably like, back in 2016 or 2017. And I like just freakin' couldn't do them. And then I did. I just tried them once with my squat shoes and I could like boom, do them. So
Amber B 42:08
there's your tip for your pistol squats.
That is phenomenal and I'm gonna start doing that right away.
Amber B 42:14
There you go.
Amber B 42:15
Yeah, it's so fun. Pistol squats are a fun achievement because there are a lot of things, right? It's not just strength, its strength and balance and coordination like all the things. So that's really fun. And for those of you who are listening, I want to hear Katie talk about gut health, and I want to talk about hormones. And I want to hear her talk about… I got your back. I've already told Katie I'm gonna bring her back on the podcast. It may be like later in 2021, after she's gone through some of the stuff that she's doing to, heal herself. And through her some of her education and training. That's definitely not my area of expertise. So I told Katie, I already told her, we're gonna bring you back on the podcast, we're gonna have her on round two, we're gonna talk about all of those things. So…
I can't wait. It's my new passion. I love talking about it but I don't have the vernacular yet. And I want to just become really, I want to sink my teeth into it and become an expert on it and just continue to talk more about it.
Amber B 43:10
Yep. So just if that was you, and you're like, I want to hear more about that. It will be coming. We will be bringing Katie back on and she will be discussing more that. Okay, last thing if somebody wants to follow you, where can they find you?
So @katiecrokus on Instagram, and I have a website too. It's empowerednutritioncoach.com. And on that you can find coaching options, you can find a lot more about me and I have a blog that shares my story in a lot of depth. I'm someone who loves to write, I find a lot of I guess I should say there's a lot of growth for me in writing, and I didn't realize that it existed. And so when Instagram limits me to 2200 characters.
Amber B 43:56
I feel like I have so many more thoughts.
They do. I really want to share. So I have a blog and you can see a lot more about my history. If you thought there was you know, more to my story there. You're right. There's a lot more and you can see it there.
Amber B 44:13
Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, definitely encourage you to check that out. Katie's Instagram feed is full of a lot of really great recipes too. And I find it to be really like accessible recipes. So I think some bloggers/recipe creators are kind of like, with the crazy ingredients and like weird things that you do and Katie's much more like let's make a nice home-cooked meal for our family. That kind of vibe. And so if you're looking for macro-friendly recipes, and to follow her like health and hormone journey, that's something again, that is I would never say that I'm an expert at gut health or hormone, hormones, anything. You know, Katie, you can follow along with at least Katie's experience as she goes through it herself and as she continues to educate herself on that topic because it is such an important time. And one that impacts and affects a lot of women. And yeah, so awesome to have you come on to the podcast, this has been so much fun.
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Amber B 45:14
I'm sure by now you love Katie just as much as I do. She is such a wealth of information. And I really am excited to bring her back onto the podcast later this year. And talk more about gut health, talk more about hormone health, and talk about, all not only her personal experience, but what she learns as she dives into more education on that matter. I think it's something that's really important. And I'm really excited to bring you more about that in 2021 here on the podcast.
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