• Customer of the Month! Kaseedee!

    unnamedWhen Andrea asked me to write a blog for July, I was honored beyond belief but as I sat in front of my computer trying to type…..tumbleweeds……what do I have to write about that would interest people???  Then it hit me….so here goes!!!

    I know that we all have said or been told “don’t judge a book by its cover” but how many of us actually do it??  I know that I do more often than I would like to admit and I’ve been on the other end as well.  When I first started my fitness journey many years ago (damn this fit thing takes a long time!) I fell in love immediately (even though I weighed 275 lbs and people thought I was nuts).  I knew my calling was to help other people find their passion in health and fitness.  But as I got started I was overweight and becoming a trainer, the looks and comments I got were very hurtful to say the least, how was I going to help others when I couldn’t help myself, that must be the laziest trainer out there……I wasn’t doing it for their approval, I was doing it to help others but it still hurt.  Even after the weight started coming off and I was working my tail off I was never quite like the other trainers/class instructors…..I got passed over for jobs because “I did not take enough care of myself” –seriously I was told that!!!  Anyway fast forward a few years to moving to NYC…..if it wasn’t hard enough to be a trainer in small town USA, now move to NYC, the land of beautiful people LOL.

    unnamed-2The next few years were hard on me mentally, emotionally and physically.  I took my health from one extreme to another ( I was determined the only way to be successful in this biz was to fit the “mold”), well that didn’t end well at all!!!  I actually finished a client one day and went to the ladies room where I overheard her say to her friend “ugh, why did they give me the fat trainer?”  REALLY??  I was a size 4 at that time!!!!  I started falling out of love with fitness and becoming one unhappy lady!  Finally one more move and I found my happy at the gym again.  I have a great job, an amazing training partner and am happier than I have been in a long time.  BUT the judgement still comes to my BFF and I…..we are both not small and neither of us look like we “belong” in a weight room, but we love to see people’s faces when we leave the room!!!!  We go in kick butt and work to improve ourselves and not live up to anyone else’s goals except ours!!!  People never expect two 5 foot tall chicas to toss around the weights or hit the bags quite like we do (its actually kind of fun when new instructors say ladies grab 5lbs and we grab 20 LOL).  Anyway I’m rambling!  I have since pushed myself to reach new levels of fitness from marathons to kettlebell competitions and everything in between.  I am helping people reach their goals everyday whether in person or on line, I love getting messages from people that follow me saying that I motivated them to get their workout in because of my journey.  My BFF and I push each other and don’t care what others think (they can kiss my big fat cellulite filled a**).  I can’t say that the judgements still don’t hurt, but ain’t no one got time for that……we are too busy racking up medals in kettlebell sport!!!!

    unnamed-3The point of this story is to really emphasize to you, before you make that rash judgement think about what that person has been through to get there…..my goodness, I went from being almost 300lbs to being a gold medal athlete, with my sights set on making Team USA in the next 2 years!!!!  Also for those of you who feel the effects of judgement……well, as in the words of Taylor Swift….Shake it off!!!!  You are so much better than that!!!  You are strong!!!  You are an athlete!!!  Most importantly you are you!!! And that is what you need to stay true to…..if I had listened to my naysers years ago I would not be where I am today.  I have taken control of my life and am happy with who I am, I am not the skinniest, I am not the strongest but I am my strongest and my HEALTHIEST!!!!!

    Have a FIT day!!!
    Kaseedee
    Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates Instructor (Mat and Apparatus)
    NASM Weight Loss Specialist
    NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist
    Follow me:
    Twitter:  @kaseedeej
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kaseedee-J/142141549148604
    Email: coachkaseedeej@gmail.com

  • My pants aren't getting smaller…..

    IMG_4287Well, Houston we had a problem, is turning into more like a catastrophe. I keep getting up from my chair and realizing it’s getting harder and harder because my belly is getting bigger and bigger. That damn thing is making it harder to stand up. Which means, even though I’m sweating my ass off in the gym for like a good hour each day, what I’m putting in my mouth is NOT helping my waist line. I don’t understand why cake and fried foods aren’t just as healthy as veggies, I mean, come ON!

    tumblr_np25yszAll1ql5yr7o1_500So I’ve been asked a lot lately about my mind set with T2T and how I started and where my mind is now, and obviously it’s totally different. I actually LOVE my body ha! I mean, I love it, but I will always look in the mirror and find something that bothers me, I’m only human, and as much as we try not to, it will always happen. Clearly there are days when I write about hating my body, and days when I love it, and days where I just want to say fuck it all and eat cake. But this belly issue got me thinking. Yes, the belly is back, the belly that I worked SO hard to get rid of before my wedding. But, I acknowledge and I move on. I acknowledge the fact that my stress levels are about 200% higher than my stress levels before I got married. FUNNY right? Isn’t your wedding the most stressful time of your life? HA, people who say that clearly don’t run a business hahaha. And when I’m stressed, the best stress reliever is booze and food, because let’s face it, sleep and relaxation, I have no clue what those are anymore. I acknowledge the fact that when I go into the dressing room I might have to grab a few sizes to see which ones fits, BUT, I’m finally getting over my fear of that damn dressing room and stepping inside is a huge step for me. I acknowledge the fact that I love working out, which is TOTALLY something I would have NEVER said 4 years ago. Going to globo gym and hitching a ride on the elliptical seemed like a chore, a chore I did NOT want to do. Not even if you paid me. But walking into a CrossFit gym and getting my lifting on, makes me one happy dude.

    giphy (3)Now all of these things are great, but that doesn’t solve the fact that my jeans aren’t getting smaller and I am indeed getting larger. Back in the day, a wednesday probably, I would have immediately flipped out, ran, hid, cried, and told everyone that I’m never leaving my room till these pounds magically disappeared from my body, but today, I realize, that I might not be so healthy, and it’s time to fix that. Back in the day I would have bitched and complained about how this world is a horrible place and it’s making this way, and well yeah, sure, it might be HA, but I also realize that no one is forcing that pizza down my throat but myself. MMMM pizza, mmmm pizza for breakfast? mmmmmm…. ok ok, no, drink the shake! Back in the day I would have just given up, stopped going to the gym, ate more brownies and told myself someone will love me. But would I have been healthy? Can I tell you, the best FEELING in the world is the feeling of being healthy. I could give TWO SHITS about how my pants fit, but I can tell you immediately when I start feeling sluggish, and the headaches come back, and I start feeling like complete and utter shit because I know that my eating habits have shit the bucket. And with that, I know I have to make a change. I know I need to get back on the wagon, and start eating well again, and stop making excuses. Of course, non-healthy food will be consumed from time to time, but it won’t be the 2 month binges that I’ve been on. Because my mindset is totally different. I don’t care about that number on the scale, I don’t care what size clothes I fit into, but I DO care about making sure I make it to the 4:30 CrossFit class everyday, and I DO care about feeling healthy and good and not like a pile of dog poop. If I would tell the 25 year old version of me this, she would have laughed at me, because I have changed so much. Physical appearance is one thing, but it doesn’t matter what you look like if you can’t get out of bed because you feel so crappy, right?

    This is my - I AM BEAUTIFUL selfie with my little gorgeous sister, and also, with me wearing un-buttoned shorts hahaa because my nice shorts don't fit me anymore, but hey, I look happy!

    This is my – I AM BEAUTIFUL selfie with my little gorgeous sister, and also, with me wearing un-buttoned shorts hahaa because my nice shorts don’t fit me anymore, but hey, I look happy!

    SO friends, help me stay on track a little bit… help me choose the healthy option at dinner… remind me that this feeling of feeling strong and healthy is the most amazing feeling in the world… and let’s get on with our lives, and let’s stop worrying about jeans fitting, or what we look like… let’s stop worrying about our bikini bodies and let’s #dropthetowel on the beach… let’s complain when we need to, but take those complaints and turn them into a resolution, and let’s change our mindsets, because this mindset is so much better than my mindset at 25. And let’s ACTUALLY be happy in those selfies we post on instagram, because hey, you’re beautiful and that’s a beautiful selfie you’ve got going on there!!!!! And last but not least, let’s fit into our jeans but because we WANT to, because we WANT to feel healthy and happy, not because we have to.

     

    I wrote this a few weeks ago, and it’s just a little reminder for me today… 

    When I was a little girl I just wanted to be the best at gymnastics and look like Barbie.

    I physically wasn’t that.

    When I was in high school I wanted to be the prom queen and the most athletic girl in school.

    I physically wasn’t that.

    When I was in college I wanted to be the hot girl that guys picked up at the bar.

    I physically wasn’t that.

    When I was in my twenties I wanted to be skinny so I could be hot and accepted by society.

    I physically wasn’t that.

    When I was 28 I realized all of that was crap and how I looked didn’t matter. I also realized I wasted 28 years of my life worrying about what my outside appearance was instead of making sure I was the best possible person inside I could be.

    Today, me, at 30 and 198lbs, I did what society probably thought I couldn’t do, I got a PR of 165 for my overhead squat. And none of the feelings of “how do I look” “am I skinny enough” “am I pretty enough” run through my head…. What runs through my head is damn girl you’re a strong beast and you need to keep it up. Because I can. Because my body allows me. So, I know I say it all the time but I just hope that showing how I bust my ass will show someone that they can also do it.

    Because #weareallathletes

  • The Weekly Wrap-Up | 03

    Welcome to THE WEEKLY WRAP-UP, a new series on the T2T blog designed to inform, inspire, entertain and engage. Each week we’ll be sharing a list of our favorite finds from around the Internet that we think you’ll enjoy too, which means yeah, it’s the perfect way to get your weekend started.

    LISTEN

    F*ck That – A Guided Meditation” by Jason Headley | Warning – Definitely NSFW and NC-17, but hilariously funny. I’m not one for meditating, per se, but this is amazing – and oddly relaxing.

    WATCH

    Real Housewives Franchise | I have no shame. I admit my guilty pleasure in the form of anything Real Housewives. Currently, I am pulling double duty with Orange County AND New York. However, this just mean two glorious, uninterrupted hours of television since no one in the house can stand to watch it with me (#bonus).

    READ

    Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin | This book is on its way to me, courtesy of the magical Amazon Prime. I loved The Happiness Project, so I’m excited to bust this out as a beach read!

    SIP

    Water | I know, right? How boring! But considering that 60% of your body is water, it is kind of important to incorporate into your day. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. I always find that I drink more when I drink from a straw, but that’s just me. Don’t forget that fruits and veggies count towards that water intake (watermelon, anyone?).

    SNACK

    ThinkThin Bars | One word: AWESOME. It is not very often that you can find a healthy snack that you can feel good about eating AND can satisfy a sweet tooth. I was skeptical at first, but now I do not know what I would do without the Chunky Chocolate Peanut deliciousness in my life. Actually, yes I do. I’d go for the Snickers in the checkout line.

    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  • Guest Blog | Leah Gilbert | Training like an Athlete – What Changes?

    IMG_5067“I started thinking of myself as an athlete and everything just changed.”

    The recent black/blue or gold/white dress debate is a great demonstration of the power a subtle shift in perception can yield. I believe the same goes for a person’s approach to their health and fitness. For me personally and as a trainer, I have seen the power a subtle shift in perception can make on a person’s health and fitness goals, and as a result, their lives.

    The rise of the Body Positive Athlete movement is seeing an increasing number of people embrace their ‘inner athlete’ and flourishing as a result. Many find it hard to put into words how or what changes, all they know is that something big has shifted for them and they find themselves training harder, respecting their bodies more and their relationship with food is completely altered. The health benefits then flow from there.

    Due to the fact that I get questioned about this training ethos all the time, I have tried my best to encapsulate what changes actually occur when you start to train like an athlete, and why for some people it is a completely life changing event.

    1. You set Goals.

    Personally I used to be terrible at setting goals. Not only did I have a fear of failure, I had an equally serious fear of success. I have found that people with long term weight and self esteem issues generally struggle in this area. As a trainer you are educated to always have clients working to a goal, and this can be very difficult when someone can’t quite pinpoint a goal other than weight loss that is motivated by an obligation to do so.

    Generally most people will have a burning, underlying desire that will be athletic in nature. “I’ve always wanted to be a runner;” or “I’d love to do a Spartan race.” I remember the time I told a trainer I wanted to do a triathlon – I quite often used to recall his raised eyebrows when I was training for my first tri – without his assistance of course.

    Accessing that big athletic dream and then breaking down into small, achievable increments takes it away from being the ‘impossible dream’ and moves it into a possible reality – with hard work and discipline of course. It is a realisation within the ‘self’ that you can actually achieve it, and that someone else believes you can. Suddenly you have a plan which is made up of lots of little goals, and by focusing on achieving the little ones, the big goal becomes less intimidating.

    Once you achieve the initial ‘big’ goal, the ‘if I did that, then what else can I do?’ mentality kicks in and you seek the next goal or event. All of a sudden you find yourself operating in a goal-oriented manner on a daily basis, which, for some people, is a very empowering shift in their daily life.

    2. You Start Training with a Purpose

    In an athlete mentality everything you do has a purpose. Each session makes a contribution to achieving the overall goal. When you shift to this nature of training you no longer ‘go do a workout’, you are doing a speed session, a long set, or a strength session. You start and understand what role each session plays in the big picture of what you are trying to achieve, and once this understanding happens, you tend to no longer require ‘motivation’ to complete each one.

    When you change what I call the ‘Training Language’ like this, you find a complete new respect for your efforts and no longer cheapen your experiences or what you are doing simply because you don’t feel you physically fit the ‘athlete’ mould. From what I have experienced and watched with clients, your training then becomes more assertive, less prone to mood/motivational shifts, and you train harder. Your ethos really does become the old ‘just do it’ slogan.

    3. You Rest and Recover

    There is a big difference between someone who is undertaking a 12 week weight loss program and someone who is undertaking a 12 week event preparation program – the latter begins to understand the role of recovery. Whilst the former is busy stair mastering off their last low-cal meal, the athlete is training hard and then resting accordingly. They are becoming educated to the role and power which recovery and rest plays in advancing your fitness and achieving your goals.

    In order to progress in your training you must push in the efforts and rest when it is scheduled. If you do not rest, you will not recover. If you do not recover, you will not place your body in a position to benefit from the next training session. If you overtrain you will be prone to injury, illness and experience minimal performance gains.

    Once you have this understanding, you find yourself having that nap without feeling obliged to get up and ‘run it off’. All of a sudden you find that you’re actually being kind to yourself and beginning to respect and nurture your body. This realisation that your body is the machine that will get you where you need to go sees some people, especially long term dieters or those with negative body image, have a completely different relationship with their bodies.

    4. Your Relationship with Food Changes

    This is a biggie. As a serial dieter for nearly 30-odd years, food for me was either complete restriction or overindulgence. When I started out on my own athletic journey I knew that restriction and observation of food was a mental weakness of mine and I couldn’t go there, so logic told me that movement was the answer. As my fitness began to develop and I started working towards the goals of running and then training for a tri, I started to get wise on nutrition. I began to research how to best fuel my efforts and support my recovery. For once in my life, food became fuel for performance and not not an obsession.

    I have seen this happen to people who have had almost a lifetime of toxic, binge-or-restriction relationships with food. When the focus actually moves to the physical efforts and achieving fitness goals, food becomes a means to an end. People are no longer thinking ‘I can’t have that, its worth 230 cals!’, and are either just having the item and not experiencing any guilt which makes them prone to eating more, or they are asking themselves the question: ‘is there something I can have that better serves my training/recovery?’

    IMG_40785. Your relationship with your body changes.

    When you are training like an athlete, everything you do serves a purpose to some part of your body. Be it a long run to build up your aerobic endurance, or a strength session to develop your core, you begin to have an understanding of the role different parts of your body play in the overall success of your efforts. This functional understanding of your body sees you change your perception of it. You start and appreciate your strengths, and look upon your weaker parts not as undesirable, but as areas that need to be developed in training. Your journey no longer becomes about your ‘big bum’ or ‘tuck shop arms’, it becomes about building your glute strength for more stability and injury prevention and strengthening your arms for better swim performance.

    6. Your relationship with yourself changes.

    When you start respecting your training efforts, push yourself harder and nurture your body with rest and good nutrition, you find your whole relationship with your ‘self’ has changed. In achieving things you never dreamt of, you develop a seemingly endless curiosity about what you are truly capable of. You start and lose that fear-based thinking when it comes to your potential and you find yourself acknowledging that anything is achievable – with the right plan and hard work.

    Everyone’s journey to athleticism will be uniquely different, which makes it all the more special. So many people have been generous with their stories, and I am sure the Thick 2 Thin crew would LOVE to know yours!

    IMG_6371[divider width=”full”]

    Leah is a mum, specialist fitness instructor and endurance athlete. She is the founder of Body Positive Athletes, an awesome community who believes that the term ‘athletic’ defines a lifestyle and not a body type. You can follow the blog at www.bodypositiveathletes.wordpress.com, join the Facebook community, or follow Leah on Instagram @bodypositiveathletes

  • Kickstarter and Shorts?! What's this all about!


    Hi Friends!! I know you’ve seen us posting and talking about our Kickstarter, but I wanted to go into some more depth and have a place for updates and such! So, this is that place. We are SO EXCITED that a week in, we are half way there!! That means we are half way funded!!! That means half way to having tank tops and shorts in sizes XS-5XL, and half way to having a pair of shorts in the world that ACTUALLY fit everyone the right way, and don’t show too many of your goodies, and work for numerous types of workouts!!! YES, so we are so super excited. Thank you to everyone who’s already been involved, but I know there’s more people out there that can get involved! So pass it along to your friends, tell the news, tell everyONE that we are going to CHANGE the world. IF WE DON’T GET FUNDED we don’t get shorts 🙁 At least not now!

    We were also featured on Brit+Co last week, and the article was just written perfectly. Talking about everything we believe in and what we are trying to do, it’s just great, so check that out!

    Body acceptance and self love is a hot topic in today’s society, and when you’ve got companies who are promoting HEALTH and living happy healthy lives, but they don’t even offer apparel for women to do so, that’s just wrong. All we want, is for us to be able to sell the clothing to everyone, and NOT jack up prices for larger sizes, and we want others to start doing so too! We want everyone to be able to go to one place, and feel included!

    On top of that, we want real women being shown in the marketing, because I would much rather walk into Dicks and say, hey, that would look really good on me, over saying, ugh, I will never look good in that, and feel bad about myself! So that’s what we also do, we show real women, who are ALL athletes, and who are ALL working towards the same amazing goals, no matter their size or ability.

    The other thing I’m trying to show, is that we are breaking stereotypes! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told people I have my own athletic apparel company, they say, no, no you don’t – what company do you rep, there’s no way. Well, yes, yes there is a way. I am just as capable of doing something I love even if I don’t fit society’s mold of someone who would own an apparel company, I DO! And so, to all the people who tell people they can’t do something, DON’T LISTEN, and just do it!

    sizechart

     

    [button size=”medium” style=”primary” text=”TAKE ME TO KICKSTARTER NOW!” link=”https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thick2thin/the-first-athletic-apparel-company-for-everybody” target=”self”]

    So what we did was we took feedback from our customers and make something that was going to be right for everyone, sizes XS-5XL. The feedback on these were that this one brand had a great waist band, so we replicated that, because we didn’t want the typical waist band that cut into our stomachs and gave people any sort of love handles! But a big thing here was people wanted them to be longer, so your butt doesn’t hang out and want them to not ride up when squatting or running, so we made the sides open with your legs, so all legs can fit, and will move WITH you instead of against you! Below are some photos of the shorts, I’m a size XL and we made them for me to try, but we’ve got more samples in the making and will show you photos of other sizes shortly! 🙂

    oursvstheresshorts2

    [follow size=”small” twitter=”http://” facebook=”http://” email=”email@post.com” pinterest=”http://” rss=”http://” instagram=”http://” googleplus=”http://”]

  • Dear Nike,

    Hi, how are you doing today? Whoever is reading this, I hope you’re doing OK. I, on the other hand, am not. I have an issue with your company. I know, I know, who am I to tell you how to do things? But if I’m a customer, I believe I have the right to. After all, I’m the one buying your products. Well, actually, I’m not buying your products. Not because I don’t want to, but because you don’t want me to.

    Confused? Well, let me get straight to the point. Front and center on your website, under the about section, you state that you are bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*if you have a body, you are an athlete). With all due respect, I disagree. I have a body. I am an athlete. But I don’t fit into your available size range. If your women’s sizes stop at XL, how are you including all bodies and all athletes?

    Furthermore, you choose to only showcase your professional athletes and models both on your website and in your marketing. Why do I have a problem with this? Well, because frankly, you are excluding A LOT of people. Why can’t you be a company that includes everyBODY of all sizes and all abilities? What about making it so people don’t have to go to a special store to pick up clothing that is going to aid in them working towards a healthier life style? To me, that’s false advertising. To me, that’s unfair. Do you think people stop trying to be healthy if they can’t fit into a size XL? In today’s world, body shaming is a real and large movement. Society has made it so if we don’t look a certain way, wear certain things, or are a certain size, we aren’t good enough. How sad is that? It is not OK that we are teaching our children to think that way. It is not OK that we have to be reminded on a daily basis that we don’t fit this perfect ideal because all we see is perfect models wherever we go. Did you know that you can be healthy and fit at any size? Did you know that me, at size XXL and 200lbs, is just as healthy as my best friend who’s a size 2 and 120lbs? So why is she able to buy clothing from you and I can’t? Why is it that we can go shopping together and I just have to watch her get all the cute stuff while I’m stuck with maybe getting something from the men’s section? But yet you call me an athlete and tell me you want to inspire me? Why is it that your inspiration only comes in the form of your logo on the clothing? That seems like more of a walking advertisement than a way to motivate.

    Also, do you know your clothing isn’t very functional? It’s like you design it at size XS and it will work GREAT for that size, but when you expand it up to size XL you basically just make it so that the waist gets bigger or the chest gets bigger? It doesn’t really work well anymore because you aren’t increasing all of the measurements. My guess is that if you had someone who was a size XL in your marketing or modeling in one of your campaigns, they might be able to tell you that.

    On top of not including everyone, I understand it costs more money to add larger sizes. If you ever do get larger sizes, I don’t believe that you should mark up the prices for XXL or higher. We get it – it’s more material, there’s more stitching, it takes up more space to import it. We’ve heard it all. But consider that you are automatically being unfair and unjust in making larger people pay more money for clothing that is supposed to motivate them to live a healthy lifestyle. One last thing, back to your marketing. Yes, professional athletes are amazing and they should be highlighted. Heck, we pay to watch them do their best on TV. A lot of people aspire to be as great as them and look as good as them. But so do mothers who spend all day taking care of their children, in the hopes of getting an hour to themselves so they can workout and stay healthy to be able to keep up with their children. Or the young college students who have a full course load and a full-time job, but make sure to make it to the 24-hour gym at 11pm when they get off of work. Or the 200lb CrossFitter that is also an entrepreneur trying to spread the world of changing the apparel industry who constantly gets told she can’t possibly own a clothing line because she doesn’t look a certain way, but wakes up and everyday busts her ass to get stronger and healthier? Why is it that you can’t showcase REAL women in your marketing so when people are at the store, they can look up and see themselves instead of the people that society tells them they have to look like?

    We need companies like yours to start listening to their customers. You NEED to include everyone; you NEED to remind everyone that where you start doesn’t matter and it’s where you’re going that does. Being healthy and living a healthy, active lifestyle is the most important and having the tools to do so, is important, at all sizes.

    So, Nike, or whatever intern might be reading this, can you please just take all that money you make off of us buying seriously over priced shoes and clothes, and maybe add more? Allow everyone to shop at your store, and really truly inspire everyone – Just do it!

    Thank you!

    With Love, Andrea Lynne Kuchinski (you can contact me directly at 571-248-1201)

  • T2T'S Epic Summer Playlist!

    There are no words for an epic play list… so, you’re welcome! Enjoy!!!

    Motivation-Meme-Richard-Simmons-My-Face-When-Meme-e1419396438857