In our series Fit Chicks, we chat with female fitness bloggers and trainers from all over the country. Equipped with their collective experience, expertise and practical tips, you’ll be happy to know that a healthier lifestyle is right around the corner.
Name: Katie Ringley, 27
City: Shelby, North Carolina
Katie started Katiefitscript in 2014 and has been running hard (literally) ever since. Her and her husband, Tanner, are based in North Carolina with their two adorable teacup yorkies (see below). Now a pharmacist, Katie strives to combine medicine and fitness, along with encouraging women to find passion in honoring their bodies.
Where did your love of being fit and active come from?
Katie Ringley: It’s kind of a long story, but honestly I think over time I had done a lot of extremes on both sides. My husband (boyfriend at the time) was like, “How about you just try to be healthy and live the lifestyle?” It was just this light bulb moment. I started researching more and I’ve always had digestive problems, so I started looking into that. It led me to just really wanting to eat better and drink more water, just those things naturally over time. Being from North Carolina, my family, still to this day, is still very unhealthy (laughs). I’m the odd one. I’m the “health nut” as everyone says. It’s been the natural progression of after all of these extremes, just wanting to take care of myself.
Describe the moment when you decided you wanted to start Katiefitscript?
KR: After I graduated from pharmacy school, we moved to New York City for a year and I was working as an intern at a store in the Bronx to get licensed for pharmacy. So we were living in New York and there are obviously lots of entrepreneurs there. For some reason, I just felt like I was supposed to [start the blog]. So I just decided to take this leap and it was seriously the best thing ever I could have ever done. Not that it just took off or it was easy – obviously it was super hard work. But it gave me so much faith in what I can do and how you can be an entrepreneur and how you can do this blogging thing full-time if you really work at it.
In what ways do you see fitness and nutrition changing?
KR: I feel like there’s more acceptance of people. People understand that [being healthy] looks very different for every person. Even me, I was gung-ho macro-trained but I understand that the more people I work with, they’ll say, “It’s just not working for me.” And I’m like, “how could it not?” Because for me it seems, not easy, but so cut and dry, I thought everyone would love it. But some people just don’t operate or are wired that way. Everyone is recognizing that it doesn’t have to be Paleo, or vegan, or whatever your “thing” is. Also accepting that every body is different. Health doesn’t always look skinny.
You just completed your first Ironman. Describe that experience and what you learned from it.
KR: Leading up to it, the training is honestly the hardest part. Even now, if I was to do another one, I’d have to take a deep breath and say, “can I actually do this training?” I didn’t realize how much it was going to be: every single day, two and a half hours of training, seven hours on weekends. It was crazy. I love extreme events because those are fun for me, but at the same time, I don’t want my entire Saturday taken. But then the day of comes, and it was genuinely one of the best days of my life. It was so awesome to be out there because everyone has worked so hard. So when you’re on the run and people are breaking down and you start to walk because you just can’t do it anymore, and there are people getting emotional – it was just so cool to experience it with everyone. And of course I cried. It was definitely life changing.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to do something like an Ironman?
KR: To 100% believe that you can. If you continue to put one step forward, you’re going to get there. These big events sound so daunting, but the more you do, you start to trust yourself. If you can do half marathon, you can do a full. Every step is this new trust in yourself. If you wanted to do an Ironman, even if you’ve only done a 5K, have no doubt every single person can do it. It’s just about putting in the time. On the marathon [in the Ironman], half the people walk it! Know you can and you will never forget that day for the reset of your life. Oh, and everyone’s going to think you’re crazy (laughs).
Sometimes women get over-obsessive about living a healthy lifestyle. How do you keep the balance of being healthy but also just enjoying life?
KR: I don’t really agree with cheat days. I feel like if you want a cookie on a Tuesday, you should have it on a Tuesday. But you should have one because if you don’t have it then, it builds up to this cheat day, then you’ll want 12. And then you’ll might as well have had one every day. For me, nothing is off limits any day of the week. So if I’m craving something, I’m going to eat it. Also not thinking about things, but being able to push things out of your mind and busy yourself to where you don’t think about it. Whether it’s about body image or, for me, like the day of a marathon. On the day of, everyone’s super nervous, but I’ve learned to just push it away and not think about it. Also, recognize that it’s normal and everyone goes through that. Don’t feel like you’re weird.
What’s your go-to healthy snack?
KR: Probably Clif bars.
What’s a nutrition trend you’re a fan of right now?
KR: Plant-based eating.
What are some of your goals for 2017?
KR: I’m hoping to do a 3:10 marathon in March and then I’m doing Boston for the second time. I kind of want to do 5 marathons in a year, but it’s up in the air which ones I want to do. That’s my goal but my body, I swear, is getting injured all the time. This is the year of marathons, which I’ve never done before.
McGee Nall is a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia. She was probably eating Nilla wafers and Nutella while writing this.