This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Katie Dunlop.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I’m Katie Dunlop, Health & Fitness expert and creator of Love Sweat Fitness. LSF is a community for women who are looking for fast, fun and effective workouts, healthy recipes the support they need to reach their goals and live a healthy lifestyle.
After going through my own 45lbs weight loss transformation, I had truly learned how to lose weight and keep it off for good. I discovered a new passion for health and fitness and wanted to share that with as many people as possible! My goal is to help other women realize that their health was much more than a number on the scale and that they CAN have fun working to reach their goals!
Where does your motivation come from?
Having been on the other side of things, I can completely relate to how hard it can be to make real lasting change. I know how emotionally and physically draining it can be trying to figure it all out and navigate through all the bad info out there.
My motivation comes from my deep passion to help other women ditch the excuses and realize they can live a happy, healthy, and most importantly, BALANCED lifestyle!
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
For me, the biggest stumbling block was my past insecurity. I knew I had to share what I had learned, but after being uncomfortable in my own skin for so long, it took a while to really feel comfortable with my newfound confidence.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
We all make excuses, but at the end of the day, your health should be the most important thing to you. Whether it’s your workouts or nutrition, it starts on the inside. Women need to realize they are worth it and deserve to take care of themselves and those beautiful bodies!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
Women often fear they are going to “bulk up.” I can tell you first hand, it is SUPER hard to bulk up. Bodybuilders have to follow extremely specific diets and lift ridiculously heavy weights to get the bulk they’re after. The first few weeks you start using weights you might feel puffy, that’s normal and will pass. Drink lots of water, keep incorporating cardio and remember, muscle burns fat! Build the muscle and you will burn the fat :)
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
Unfortunately, for too many young women, it seems easier to not eat than it does to learn how to eat. Often, girls cut their calories to unsafe levels which can cause your body to store fat to protect itself. Behaviors like this can lead to serious long-term metabolic issues. They hear cutting calories is key, when in reality, what you’re eating is far more important.
Having gone through my own weight loss transformation, I know how crucial the right balance of nutrients is for your body and mind. Educating girls at a young age will make a huge impact on their confidence and health as they grow.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
Having been someone who tried cutting calories to unsafe levels and every fad diet in the book, the most unexpected thing I learned was that, with the right tools, I could lose weight and still enjoy the things I love.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
Scheduling is key! I make sure to schedule time to workout, see my family and friends and just have time to relax. It sounds funny needing to schedule it, but if I don’t, it might not happen. Finding your balance is so important and, like everything, it takes a little preparation, but is totally worth it.
How do you stay productive?
I write everything down. I having running lists on my phone, computer and planner of the things I need to do. I also have a little cube timer that has time blocks (ie. 15, 30, 60 minutes). I work on various projects for certain chunks of time each day. When the timer goes off, I move on. It really helps keep me focused throughout the day.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Carbs are not the enemy! I used to cut them out completely thinking that was the way to lose weight. It’s not. Your body needs carbohydrates, but it’s all about the type of carbs you’re eating. I wish I would have known then what I know now when it comes to clean eating.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
3 days of strength/circuit training, 2 days of cardio based classes or my Hot Body HIIT Workouts, 1-2 days of low intensity cardio like walk or jog.
I eat a clean balanced diet, 5-6 meals a day and focus on lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
I take a multivitamin and use grass-fed collagen peptides for additional protein, but other than that am not a fan of supplements. The goal is to get the nutrients your body needs from the foods you’re eating, not pills.
What are your biggest life goals for the year?
I’ll be launching my 8 week Hot Body Sweat Guide and 4 week Hot Body Meal plans in early 2017. These are two projects I’ve been working on for the better part of 2 years and can’t wait to share them! They will be amazing tools for women to be able to reach their goals and find balance in their lives.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?