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Showing Up For Yourself With Movement- Creating a Sustainable Approach ft. Kat Loya

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You are the most valuable investment you’ll ever make.

– Kat Loya

What is your favorite form of exercise? If you are not sure, that is fine with us. Andrea and Brooke brought Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Kat Loya, to Ivy Unleashed to discuss all about exercise. Kat presents tips on getting started with figuring out what movement you enjoy, how to build momentum and troubleshoot, and how to maintain your health without extreme restrictions. Join the conversation as Gold Ivy and Kat Loya encourage you to show up for yourself and reap the physical and mental benefits that exercise has to offer.


Kat Loya

Kat Loya is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Core Conditioning Specialist, Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach, and the creator of β€œHealthy Habits for Life Course,”. Kat is a powerhouse of a trainer who believes restriction and extremism are not the answers.

  • Find Kat on Instagram- @kat_loya_training & @katherine_loya 
  • Check out her app which houses her exercise plans, challenges, meal plans, meal plan guidelines, and recipe book – in the Playbook app @ Katherine Loya

Episode Highlights

Extremism and restriction are two words Kat Loya is all too familiar with. When she was young she struggled with her weight and body image. She shared with us that she started her fitness journey out of self hate. In 2001 Kat became a fitness trainer and body builder. There she took her extremism even further by counting macros, carb cycling, living in the gym and only caring about the aesthics. At age 20 Kat Loya opened up her own fitness studio. At age 25 Kat finally shifted her approach as she hit her breaking point after filing for divorce. Through therapy and what she calls the ‘hard work’ of digging deep into the why, Kat adopted a new approach and what would become her tagline- “without extreme restriction”.

Passionate about helping women conquer their fitness goals, Kat was forced to make a major shift when COVID-19 hit. She decided to go virtual and take on van life! Reflecting back on it, she shared with us that the pandemic was a gift for her as she realized “people need a light and need to see that you don’t have to go to a gym – if you want to overcome it, it’s going to happen.” For her it was all about giving people easy tasks to just get them up and out of their depressed state.

Kat’s Biggest Recommendations-

  • Cater your approach to yourself, stop comparing yourself to people you see on social media.
  • Ask yourself, “What is worth it in my life?”.
  • Look at things through a lifestyle perspective, not a “no days off”/ “all or nothing” mentality
  • It’s about movement and finding what feels good for you- this makes it sustainable and the benefits will flourish into all aspects of your life.
  • Transition to prioritizing what you actually value instead of what you should value
  • Pin point your why and start stacking on healthy habits one at a time (this will guide your momentum and you’ll start saying “Hey I got this!”).
  • Small steps lead to sustainable change.
  • “Without extreme restriction”- learn how to be intuitive and what makes your body feel good.
  • Come from a place of curiosity- not guilt and shame, not I have to, but I get to.
  • Work with it instead of war with it- let go of restriction and extremism, they both stem from something ugly.
  • Celebrate your wins. Actually pause to celebrate- take the time to show gratitude for your small wins and not just move on to the next right away.
  • The way you show up for yourself reflects how you show up for other aspects of your life -when you commit to yourself, you commit to others better.
  • You can’t pour out of an empty cup. Self-care doesn’t make you selfish. Replenish yourself to give more.
  • Understand your boundaries and when you can give more.
  • You can’t rely on motivation- focus on consistency and having a plan.
  • Focus on what you DID do. Pick 3 things and focus on 2 of them because LIFE happens. We have to learn how to adapt and not give up.
  • Be more inspired about our efforts. Show gratitude for your efforts.
  • Focus on what you can control that day.
  • Find ways to show up for yourself every day.

Kat’s Approach to Nutrition-

  • Portion control
  • Food swaps- swap for healthy options (for example cauliflower rice over regular rice).
  • Make the most obvious healthy decision/choice.
  • Don’t overly restrict.
  • Check in with yourself – “Is this my emotion speaking or my hunger speaking?”

Why You Need Movement in Your Life

  • Exercise helps with the aging process
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis in women, helping build muscle
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves mental capacity (supports a clearer mind)
  • Improves confidence in your ability to show up for yourself and that you can stay committed.

Don’t know what exercise you like or hate exercise even though you know it’s good for you? Kat recommends trying anything that even slightly peaks your interest. Try it for 2 weeks- ask yourself if you can do it, if it’s sustainable. She argues you will see results which will help to peak your interest to do things on a committed level and give you the momentum you’re looking for.

Kat believes that trainers fail by giving their clients 20 things to do right away. She recommends picking the most important thing, so you’re not overwhelmed and can keep going. Start small, but just start. You will start to feel better and then be able to stack on more and more.

Kat’s Main 3

1. Go walk.

2. Drink a gallon or half a gallon.

3. Eat something that’s healthy.

Pick just 1 to do for 3 days in a row, then add another for another 3 days and then all 3 for a week and keep stacking until they become a habit you do everyday.


Behind-the-Scenes Video

3 Gold Stars

  • Get down the basics – hydrate, sleep well, eat well, & repeat.

  • Don’t rely on the scale. Have other means of progress- measurements, your clothes feeling looser, how you feel – let that be your momentum.

  • Let go of the perfectionist mindset. Focus on what’s sustainable for the time of life you’re in.

Ivy Reflections

  • What does showing up for myself look like in this season of life?

  • What 3 things can I focus on each day to improve how I feel?

  • How can I work on letting go of the perfectionist mindset and appreciate my efforts?

Piece of Gold

Be resilient AF.

Kat Loya

Healing Food of the Week-


Does an apple a day truly keep the doctor away? Well based on these facts… it just might!

Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. 

Healing Properties: In  an analysis of more than 85 studies, apple consumption was consistently associated with reduced risk of asthma, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

Fun Fact: In Norse mythology, apples were believed to keep people young forever.

Recipes you need to try!

Gluten-free Harvest Apple Crisp | gluten-free fall desserts | gluten-free dessert recipes | gluten-free apple recipes | dairy-free fall desserts | dairy-free dessert recipes | dairy-free apple recipes | nut-free fall desserts | nut-free apple recipes | nut-free dessert recipes | vegan fall desserts | vegan dessert recipes | vegan apple recipes || The Real Food Dietitians

Apple Crisp (gluten-free)


Apple Pecan Farro Salad in bowl with hand on side

Apple Pecan Farro Salad



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We thank you for joining us in the fearless pursuit of self-discovery and growth and hope that you transform our lessons into your gold. 

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Listen to your truth and go chase your gold.

– Gold Ivy Health Co.

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