POPSUGAR Select Blogger – Kayla of Variety by Vashti

happy-healthy-momFFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).  

KT:  Hi, everyone!  My name is Kayla (middle name Vashti “Vash-tie”) and I blog over at Variety by Vashti.  I used to be an Intervention Specialist for children diagnosed with Autism, but decided to leave my job to blog full time and stay home with our 15 month old daughter, Quinn.  I don’t have a lot of free time, but normally I would spend it playing sand volleyball, reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee (I’m a mom, remember?!) and enjoying family time or a night out with my girlfriends.

FFFC:  How did you get started with your fitness lifestyle?

KT:  I have always loved sports, mostly volleyball, but when I moved away from home after graduation, I gained some weight.  I started to hate my body and had no energy.  I was sick often and starting feeling the onset of depression.  I tried multiple times to get into the gym and just didn’t keep going.  Finally, I started to make new friends who were fit oriented and things snowballed.  I lost 18lbs with TurboFire and kept going from there.

FFFC:  What made you continue in this lifestyle?

KT:  Partially my friends and having the accountability.  When you have people who don’t make you feel guilty about showing up to girl’s night a sweaty mess, or planning group workouts, it makes things easier.  We also always do our best to make girl’s nights snacks mostly healthy because we all understand the nutrition part! I have a full post on this here: http://varietybyvashti.org/2014/04/28/birds-feather/  Another part was gaining some confidence and realizing how good I felt.  I started to realize that my workouts gave me a stress outlet and the more I focused, the easier it became to keep going.  I also know I am a role model for my daughter.  She clearly gets her energy and eating habits from her mommy!


FFFC:  What are some of your established healthy eating habits?

KT:  Honestly, I try to keep it simple.  I don’t count calories.  I don’t tell myself no all the time.  I eat clean/nutrient dense food 80% of the time and 20% I allow myself to enjoy whatever I want whether it be pizza or martinis.  (Yes, that was plural.)  It’s all about balance and I think that works best for me.  I refuse to make myself a prisoner to food.

Kayla of Variety by Vashti

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner?  

KT:  It’s never the same but food staples for me are: eggs with Frank’s, tempeh, brussel sprouts baked with homemade ranch seasoning, turkey wrapped grilled asparagus, pizza, beer, Shakeology, fruit, and whatever else sounds good when I sit down to meal plan.  OH and coffee!!!!


FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity? 

KT:  Volleyball, jump roping, or strength training.  I. Love. Lifting.


FFFC:  What do you do now to maintain your physique? 

K:  I chase around a 15 month old.  Just kidding.  I learn new things.  I get bored easily and if my workouts stop making me feel good or I am not focused, I would stop doing it.  Learning about new recipes, new foods, new ways to target muscles, etc keeps me moving forward.

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)

KT:  I guess I don’t really have to have willpower with those things.  I don’t usually want them because I know they make me feel terrible.  For example, a doughnut doesn’t even taste good to me so telling myself no is a piece of cake (pun intended.)  I use my 80/20 rule and never feel guilty about splurging just a bit on something.  I also try to make healthier versions of my favorite things…like this banana ice cream.  It’s dreamy!


FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own fitness lifestyle but unsure of how to begin? 

KT:  If you hate working out but love food, then start in the kitchen.  Begin making small changes to what you already love to do because it will be easier.  For example, if you are starting with food, try focusing on getting a healthy breakfast for the entire month and once you have it under control, move on to packing your lunch for work.  What you can do to FAIL immediately is say, “I am going on a diet tomorrow and I can’t have anything on this list of foods.” You aren’t going to be perfect overnight; it has taken me years to learn what works for me.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this lifestyle?    

KT:  That it gets easier.  It doesn’t.  Even the fittest people in the world have tough workouts they want to quit early and most struggle with nutrition.  This lifestyle is about making yourself better so even when you reach a goal, you will find yourself looking for a new one.   It’s not always about weight, either!  Maybe you want to hold plank longer or be able to do pull-ups.  Go get ‘em, girl!

FFFC:  Who are some of your fitness inspirations?  

KT:  Am I a complete jerk if I say no one?!  I honestly don’t worry about what other famous fit people are doing because everyone is doing big things and inspiration needs to come from within.  I guess if I had to pick, I would say Keri Walsh, Chalene Johnson, Michael Phelps, and LeBron James.

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about you and your fit life?  (i.e. Blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?  

KT:  Be prepared for motherhood nonsense as well but I love chatting! (I can say I have work to do and make Daddy change diapers.)

Blog: http://varietybyvashti.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/varietybyvashti

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/kaylavashti

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kaylavashti

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/varietybyvashti

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