A new year always brings new resolutions. Without fail, many of those resolutions are centered on weight loss and physical fitness. Enter Kayt Wolfe, personal fitness coach. With a passion for fitness born from her own personal transformation, Kayt now runs an online personal training business that has many Atlantans thrilled with their results. Georgia Voice caught up with Kayt to find out about her personal journey, her hottest fitness tips and the role of the mind in fitness.
Kayt: Like many people, my passion came from my own personal experience. Most people find it hard to believe when I tell them I was nearly 60 pounds heavier than I am now, or that I was a pack a day smoker and took no exercise whatsoever. They just assume I’ve always been healthy.
I felt terrible, both physically and emotionally. I kept using food and cigarettes when things got difficult, but eventually I got sick of making excuses for myself, and more importantly, I was sick of feeling bad.
I finally kicked the habit and started losing weight, but I still didn’t feel very good. The thing that really got my attention was when I started falling asleep at the wheel of my car … in broad daylight! My blood sugar was all over the place, which was no surprise given that most of my diet consisted of fast and processed foods.
I had convinced myself that I couldn’t cook, that it was beyond me. The reality is that most of us don’t come out of the womb knowing how to cook and prepare meals. We have to learn, just like everything else, so I bought some cookbooks and found a new passion in life.
That decision changed everything. Eating healthier made me feel so much better. I took up running, now that I had more energy, and went on to lose the rest of the weight. Becoming a health and fitness coach sprang from those experiences. I wanted to help others transform their health and their lives, and in less time.
What do you see as the biggest barrier to people getting and staying physically fit?
I would say time is one of the biggest barriers. There is still this misconception that you have to spend 40–90 minutes at the gym several times a week, and that’s pretty intimidating for most people—especially if they haven’t been doing anything for a while. The idea of short burst intensity training of 20 minutes is finally catching on.
What causes people to be so off track to begin with?
I think there’s a short-term mentality around health for a lot of people. They think, I’ll be lax during the holidays and then I’ll just go on a diet.” I teach more of a lifestyle approach to health rather than the quick fix.
The mind is very powerful. If people go into their health with a “quick fix” mentality, it’s very difficult for them to hold on to a true long-term healthy lifestyle because they’re always swinging back and forth between a total blowout and then trying to recover from the damage they did.
Belief systems about oneself also play a major role in health. If your mentality is one of “I can’t,” then that’s accurate. Or if they’re holding on to old beliefs that they can’t stick to a regular exercise routine or someone in their past told them that they would never lose weight, they hold on to that. I work to shift those beliefs.
We are always being bombarded with so much information. The first thing that has to happen for someone to make a shift is to create a consciousness of what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis. I have my clients keep a food, exercise and thought journal.
I want to help people create a new vision of themselves and spending a few minutes each day thinking about that. Instead of thinking about what they want to try to get rid of, I want them to look at what they want to create. Just a few minutes a day can be enough to really make the changes that people want to see.
What tips can you share with our readers for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
First, you need to create a strong vision of what you truly want. This is called your ‘why’ and it will keep you going when things feel challenging. Next, build an action plan for success. Start small, and gradually add more into your plan so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Lastly, envision the life you want daily. Then spend 3–5 minutes at the beginning of each day focusing on what you want your life to look like, today, and a few years down the road.
I’ll be offering a free training series that will cover a lot of this, and much more. Any of your readers who are interested can go to my website at www.healthybodyblueprint.com.