By Bridget Stangland/July 20, 2014
We are living in a society that seems obsessed with the topics of diet and fitness, especially as they relate to women. There is so much pressure to look and be a certain way, regardless of our circumstances.
To get some advice on how to deal with all these health issues, I recently sat down with Kathy Kaehler, a better living expert, who has her own ideas about looking and feeling your best without going to the extreme measures that society suggests.
“I don’t have a signature product, or piece of equipment. It is just me. ..I think that it is very important to be clear on what it is that you have, what you bring to the table.” Kathy Kaehler
Kathy appeared as a fitness expert on NBC’s TODAY Show and trained numerous A-list celebrities including Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston. She also has a popular radio talk show, Fit and Sexy for Life, which airs once a week.
For Kathy, looking and feeling great is not about being a certain size, but being healthy and doing it in a manageable and fun way…
EYE: Tell me about yourself and brand. How do you help people eat healthier?
KATHY: Right now, I am coined as the ‘Better Living Expert’. I’ve spent most of my career in the fitness industry, and in the last 3-4 years I have put a lot of focus on what we eat. I created Sunday Set-Up, which is a practice that I did for myself when I commuted back and forth to New York for the TODAY Show.
I turned this into an online membership club where people could come to my website and subscribe to Sunday Set-up and get my recommendations on how to set up their refrigerator on Sunday or over the weekend.
This allows individuals to be ready during the week to have healthy foods that were prepped and accessible to eat or assemble meals. It also gives them more time to get their family to the table and sit down to an actual homemade meal.
It saves money and gives you a better chance to eat healthier foods that are real and whole, as a opposed to frozen, boxed, or processed foods.
EYE: You’re coming out with Fit & Sexy for Life…BAM. Tell me about the concept of Fit and Sexy for Life.
KATHY: Fit & Sexy For Life is the title of one of my past books. It means when you are fit, and feel like you can go out and walk a mile or do 20 push-ups, you have a sense about you that is confident and your self-esteem is more positive. With that you have an appeal that is sexy.
That book dealt with women of all ages, but was more focused towards 30+ to 50+ and the changing of our bodies, minds, souls, and hearts. It was about exercises that you can continue to grow with.
Kathy’s Mini Workout: Get Fit While You Sit/USANA
BRIDGET: Tell me about the Fit and Sexy for Life…Boom program. How does it work?
KATHY: It’s a concentrated 28-day-program–four weeks of dedicating the attention to making better choices with the guidance of myself and my nutritionist who will be working with me.
It starts the first week with a reset, where you basically put everything aside and you follow a shake & bar low-glycemic non-GMO plan from USANA. Then there is a phone conference with my nutritionist and myself and we give you our expectations and what kind of homework to do during the week.
This allows you a connection to me, and, of course, we will have the social media pages and a private Facebook page so that during the week all the members can communicate with each other and us. Then you go into transform phase where you learn what foods are right to add into your diet along with the shakes and the bars.
Kathy’s Mini Workout: Upper Arms/USANA
EYE: The transformation from being a college student to a full-time worker can be hard on one’s health. What advice do you have for post-grads to keep their health in check?
KATHY: For the post-grad, the best recommendation is to stay active and be energetic. The overall key is organization and prioritizing. Those are the two key words that I have for people like you.
“The key is your body. If you get sick or you are depressed, that wreaks havoc on everything else. So when you feel good and you are energized and have a positive attitude, you put exercise into your daily routine and make the decision to choose healthy foods to eat.”
BRIDGET: How do you create that kind of environment?
KATHY: When you are on a budget you have to get creative. I have worked out with celebrities in their garages with not one piece of equipment. It can be done; it’s just how creative you are.
For example, I love the minute workouts. Everyone has a phone; everyone’s phone has a clock; everyone’s clock has the option to do a stopwatch. So I use the stopwatch and I take a list of exercises that I know I love, that are effective, and that I know how to do.
I then do them for one full minute. These are jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, planks, lunges and squats. You can take them anywhere you are. You can come up with ten exercises and add a mile walk, which you should aim to do in less than 15 minutes, and you then have yourself a nice little workout that costs nothing.
EYE: You are in such great shape! Did you struggle when you became a young woman, realizing that the young metabolism doesn’t stay with you forever?
KATHY: Yes, absolutely! When I was leaving high school and going to college I had eating disorders. It started as disordered eating which then led to bulimia. The disorder was borderline anorexia tendencies, but I never got there because I was an athlete and I had to fuel myself.
But once I was in college there was so much pressure to measure up that I fell into that deep dark hole and almost lost my life over it. So I definitely know, and have experienced, that. I am a midwest girl so coming to California I saw that everyone was size 0 or double 0.
Here I was, this athlete with a different body type. It was hard. It was really more learning to accept, learning to love, learning to be strong, understanding health, and understanding how your body works.
These were the biggest issues for me. And if I could help someone understand them in a much quicker way, that would be amazing. That became my goal.
BRIDGET: The fancy gyms and organic food can get extremely expensive for a post-grad and anyone, actually. Do you feel you can really be healthy and fit on a budget?
KATHY: Buying health food on a budget can be done because the reality is the trends that we see, such as juicing, food delivery, organic farm to table, etc. is marketing. So when you go into a grocery story and see fresh pressed juices on the shelf that are $11, you got to take a minute and say, “Is this something I can afford and is it worth it?”
“So you educate yourself, which I did because I get asked all of these questions. It’s all in moderation and all in balance and preparation. I definitely suggest buying organic because we do need to be cautious about what is going into our food.”
You can purchase things at farmers’ and local markets that can be cheaper. Don’t buy the pre-prepped. Those always cost more. Prep your own veggies and grains. Having those things prepared will motivate you to go home and eat.
Set it all up ahead and make it a priority because what it does is it gives you back time; it saves you calories; and it saves you money.
Kathy Kaehler and Katic Couric on TODAY
EYE: So many women go to the extremes with dieting. There are juice cleanses, detox programs, and more. Women literally starve themselves to try and be a certain size. How do you feel about these extreme diets?
KATHY: I think the world of dieting and trend-eating is here to stay. Every year there will always be a multiple of new diets. You need to find the resources that will give you the honest answer.
I looked to a lot of universities, hospitals, etc, to get all the needed information on these diets. And, once again, you have to realize and think about the marketing that these brands are putting on the diet trends. Many favorite actresses will stand in front of a bottle of something that says you will lose this amount of weight, and you have to wonder and question.
“It’s our job to really look at something. And that is what I have done in my career. I have passed up on a lot of sponsorship opportunities where I could have made a lot of money, but I didn’t feel I knew enough about it to put my name on it.”
Diet means you are taking something out of your food groups. Find the balance and the moderation. With my affiliation with USANA, I spent six months digging, researching, looking for proof to be able to support it.
EYE: You have trained some well-known celebrities. What is your go-to health tip for new clients and individuals?
KATHY: The first thing when I train a celebrity is I find out what they want to accomplish. Why are you here? Why did you call me? What are your goals? It can be a lot of things such as for movie roles, auditions and post-baby. It establishes what that reason is for calling me.
Kathy’s Mini Work Out: Wall Squats/USANA
Then I can determine what they did before, if it worked or if it didn’t work. Also, I ask them what they like or what they don’t like. It’s finding out what the enjoyment is and what the person would like to do, and then building that as a part of a routine so it becomes a habit.
Find out that with food too. See what healthy foods you like and make that a habit. Find out what works.
EYE: I love that you started your own brand. What is your advice for a woman who is trying to launch a brand or company?
KATHY: It’s funny when you say the word brand because it brings up so many things. I toyed a lot with feeling that I was not going in the right direction by using my name as my brand. Everyone that I met with kept telling me you need a brand.
I kept saying, “What is the brand? How do you brand what I do?” It was a constant struggle until finally I realized I am the brand. I have been the trainer on the TODAY Show; I am the author of these particular books; and I am on the DVD with Cindy Crawford.
“I don’t have a signature product, or piece of equipment. It is just me. So when I had that established, I became much more confident with what I was doing. I think that it is very important to be clear on what it is that you have, what you bring to the table.”
For me, mine has been Kathy Kaehler, the better living expert, helping you make better choices on what you eat and how you move your body so that you can improve the quality of your life.
EYE: Thank you so much, Kathy. This has been a great learning lesson. Now I’m ready to take on the world and load up the fridge not just with any food but with the right food!
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