We Start Big Too Fast: Most of us tend to make all the change, all at once, which typically leads to burn-out. Start small. Create one healthy habit at a time and build on that.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie Dunlop. Katie Dunlop is a certified trainer and founder of Love Sweat Fitness. Through never giving up and changing up her lifestyle, she had lost over 45+ pounds. Now, Katie has created a platform where she reaches over 1 million women, inspiring them to live their best happy/healthy lifestyle.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
While I was going through my own personal 45lbs weight loss and total lifestyle makeover (all while dealing with hypothyroidism that I was diagnosed with at age 11), I realized everything I had been told about being “healthy” before was wrong. Every fad diet I tried had failed ME, rather than the other way around. And I realized change had to start from the inside, out. I became passionate about sharing that with other women who were dealing with the same physical, mental, and emotional struggles I had dealt with for so long. I believe every woman deserves to live a healthy, happy lifestyle and know that that is unique to every woman. My mission in creating LSF was to inspire, empower, and motivate all women to build the confidence to live their best lives and reach their personal health and fitness goals. It’s called Love Sweat Fitness, not Katie Dunlop Fitness, for a reason. I want every woman to feel included, like they are a part of this incredible community and can take ownership and pride in that.
My “aha” moment was when I had realized how isolating and lonely my own journey was. I didn’t have anyone supporting me in my changes beyond my now husband Ryan, and really wished I had had other women to share in the struggles and successes with. That’s when I knew I needed to create that for others so no one else would have to go at it alone.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I’ve been really fortunate in my career to have met so many incredible women and men who I totally look up to, which I always find fascinating. And while I didn’t meet her (YET), I was on the same page of a “top 100 most influential people in health and fitness” as Oprah! So…we’re basically besties.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
We do a big, free 8 week challenge every summer called “Summer Shape Up.” In 2018, we decided to put together a summer bundle box with some apparel, a beach towel, and other summer faves. I’ll preface by saying, it was our first time taking on manufacturing products at this level and we were short on time. So, we went back and forth with manufacturers until we finally thought we had the perfect plush, round beach towel and ordered a few thousand. They showed up right on time and we excitedly opened the boxes to find what look and felt like cheap cotton sheets. I was devastated. Like, there was nothing towel-like about them except the fact that they were round with fringe on the ends (which was actually heavier and better quality than the “towel” itself.) You could have torn it in half with your bare hands and it absolutely wouldn’t have absorbed a drip of water off your body. Even though we had to spend more, we luckily got new ones rushed out that were great. Needless to say, we quickly learned the importance of lead-time and getting samples!!
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
Besides being a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, like many women, I’ve been on the other side. I’ve struggled with insecurities, body image, health, and weight. I know the mental and emotional toll it can have on you and I don’t want any other woman to experience that. My goal is to help women build the confidence they need to live their best lives through fun, fast, and super effect training methods like the program you’ll find in Love Sweat Fitness the App. I also want to make eating well easier for even the busiest of women through simple meal plans and recipes.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I first started my journey as a fitness professional, I feel like I struggled a bit with impostor syndrome. Like who was I to help other people when I myself struggled for most of my life. My husband and COO of Love Sweat Fitness, Ryan, was my biggest supporter and the one who helped me truly see what I could offer the world. He was by my side through my own journey and still inspires me daily to be my best self so I can be that for others.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
- We’re BUSY!! No matter what’s going on in your life you probably feel a bit overwhelmed and too busy for much else. We forget how much our nutrition and movement play into our overall mood and happiness — it’s crucial. Making healthy meals and squeezing in a workout can seem daunting with everything else you have going on, but there are easy ways to make it work. My LSF App workouts take about 30 minutes and I have a Busy Babe Handbook with tips and tricks to eat healthy on the go, so ANYONE can make it work.
- We’re Scared: If you are like me, you may have spent years yo-yo dieting and failing over and over again. That feeling of failure can be crippling and prevent you from even wanting to try again, but that’s when you know you need to change the way you’re doing things in order to succeed.
- We Start Big Too Fast: Most of us tend to make all the change, all at once, which typically leads to burn-out. Start small. Create one healthy habit at a time and build on that.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
· I make self-care a priority. I used to think it was a “nice to have” if I had time, but I realize how important it is to take time for ME each and every day. It might be as simple as a face mask or going to get a massage, but when my mind is right, the rest of me is.
· Getting the same hours of sleep every night. It might seem basic, but honestly, it’s been a game changer for me. I try to go to bed and wake up and the same time each night which helps my body function way better because it gets into a rhythm and I am much more productive while awake.
· I start my morning with coffee and quiet time. My days get crazy busy creating content, running a business, and leading a team but my 30 minutes in the morning are MINE. I love having time to myself to think, be grateful for another day, and envision what’s next.
· Taking care of my gut health. As someone who has hypothyroidism, I suffer from occasional constipation and sometimes it disrupts my days (and nights). In order to help fix the situation, I had to start paying attention to what I put in my body. Some adjustments were making sure I stay hydrated, eat clean, REAL foods, take probiotics and even using stimulant-free laxatives that work quickly and naturally with my body, such as Dulcolax Liquid.
· Setting small goals: smaller micro-goals allow me to create healthy habits I can stick to and give me reasons to celebrate regularly. To me that is the MOST important part of staying motivated in anything you do and has been a game-changer in how I approach every part of my life.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
- Improved mood and decreases in anxiety — regular exercise can increase endorphins which are basically are “happy hormones” and also creates changes in the parts of your brain that regulate stress and anxiety decreases those while improving mood.
- Increases your energy levels — Fatigue is a very common side effect of my hypothyroidism. So much so that there were days I felt completely useless. But once I started getting myself moving daily, I found I had way more energy. And not just for me, research has shown this to be true for people suffering from all sorts of disorders that cause fatigue.
- It can make your skin better. If your nutrition is on point and you’re working out regularly, your body will naturally increase the production of antioxidants and increase blood flow which can help your skin and cell production.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
#LSFSelfLoveClub. I don’t know at what point it starts to fade, but I think almost ALL of us lose confidence in ourselves at some point along the way. Whether that’s not feeling skinny, pretty, funny, or smart enough, it happens — and it’s a horrible pain to endure. I feel so lucky that I was able to learn to love myself again and let go of fear, but many people don’t. It’s really hard to do; especially if you feel like you’ve been “failing” for years. I want to help every woman discover that inner confidence so she can live life to HER full potential, loving herself every step of the way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Comparison is the thief of Joy. I don’t want to get lost in comparing myself to competitors in the space, I want to compete with myself. Compare myself to who I was and what I was doing last week versus this week. How am I growing? How can I be remarkable? To me, success is staying in my lane and crushing it.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Oh man, there are so many! I would really love to sit down with Simon Sinek. I so admire the way he looks at the world, and business. Taking my journey, sharing it socially, and building a community of over 1 million women has been the greatest adventure of my life. Learning to grow an organization and inspire my own team the way I hope to inspire my community is something I work on daily. I would LOVE to have like 30 minutes to pick his brain and thank him for everything he’s taught me.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
They can follow me on Instagram at @LoveSweatFitness and/or on Youtube at LoveSweatFitness. I would also definitely recommend download the Love Sweat Fitness App in your iTunes or google play store to access the FREE Daily 10-minute workout.
Thank you for all of these great insights!