THE FAB FIT GUIDE

I AM A MODERN WOMAN: KY Fitness & Nutrition Consulting

Meet Kalli Youngstrom of KY Fitness & Nutrition Consulting

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

I am the owner operator of KY Fitness and Nutrition Consulting and work as an online health, fitness, and lifestyle coach!

I work with clients to develop customized nutrition and training programs that are designed to suit their lifestyles while helping them achieve their health and fitness goals. All of my programming is done online so that I can offer my services to anyone in the world and work around any schedule. Although I am personally in Saskatoon I have clients all over the world, from Canada, to Australia, to Sweden! With the majority of my business being online a large part of my day is dedicated to creating content for my various social media platforms along with my client programming. I work to provide insightful content on all things health, nutrition, and training on myYouTube page, Facebook, and Instagram in order to provide people with the tools and information to make the choices that are best for their mind and body.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I have always been an athlete, but after 9 years of wresting competitively and making it to the national level it was time for a change. I became interested in bodybuilding while I was in University completing degrees in psychology and marketing and as I prepared myself for my first bodybuilding competition friends and family began to ask for help with their fitness goals.

I began getting certifications in nutrition and exercise while I was completing my University degrees and started to help others with their fitness by creating customized nutrition and training plans for them. From there my clientele continued to grow and by the time I was done university I had a client base that allowed me to continue with my business full time and pursue coaching as an entrepreneur.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I am inspired by my clients every single day. To have the opportunity to work with clients not only in Saskatoon, but all over the world, and from all walks of life, is truly an eye-opening experience every day. I am continuously motivated to be a better coach and better human through the 1 on 1 interactions I have with my clients on a regular basis. Knowing that I have the opportunity to positively influence the lives of others inspires me to do what I do to the best of my ability every day and continuously grow in all facets of life.

I am also extremely inspired by the opportunity I have to impact women within the community as well as within my social media platforms. I am driven to be a positive role model for women of all ages and encourage them to pursue the path that is right for them, even if it is the less traditional one. Whether it is in fitness, business, or just life, I strive to be a strong role model for all women.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A MODERN WOMAN?

To me a modern woman is one that pursues her dreams fearlessly, no matter what those dreams may be. I feel grateful that I live in a time where women are encouraged to be trail blazers, crush gender barriers, and break glass ceilings- but I also realize that is not necessarily a path that everyone wants to take. I think a modern woman is one who honors her passion in life, embraces the path that is right for her no matter what others say, and uplifts other women along the way.

WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS?

I truly want everyone to live a life of no regrets. If you have a business idea or think that entrepreneurship might be for you, question whether you will always think “what if,” if you were to not pursue it. If you know you will look back and regret not having started that business, developed that product, offered that service… maybe it’s time for a change. I don’t think of anything as concrete, you can always change paths, try new things, and adjust. I think that it can be scary to consider entrepreneurship because of the risks attached and viewing it as a cemented decision, but I think regret is even scarier. What’s the worst that could happen?

DO YOU THINK HAVING A MENTOR IS VALUABLE BOTH WHILE YOU'RE STARTING OUT AND EVEN AFTER YOU ARE MORE EXPERIENCED?

Absolutely. Although… do as I say, not as I do. I have never had a true business mentor, but I like to think that I have many mentors in life who I look up to for guidance, inspiration, education, and encouragement. My business is unique in that I “am” my business and it developed very organically. There was no start up cost, no business plan, so the need for a mentor in that sense was less important than it would be to other businesses. I look to role models and mentors within all industries for guidance in making decisions in business and in life and believe an extremely valuable education can be achieved this way. You can avoid many missteps in business by listening to stories of others experiences. Whether from 1 or 100, learning from others is key to success.

DO YOU FEEL A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY AMONG BUSINESS WOMAN AND FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN SASKATOON AND IN SASKATCHEWAN?

I love the feeling of community that I experience locally within the group of female entrepreneurs. Being so involved in many social media platforms enables me to interact with female businesswomen and entrepreneurs throughout Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, some who I have yet to have the chance to meet in person, but am able to connect with via social media. Some have even turned into great friends after having had the chance to meet in person and its amazing being able to feel connected to other boss babes despite being an online business! I think this sense of community just goes to show the movement of women empowering each other instead of competing with each other. Hell hath no furry like a team off boss babes supporting one another 😉

Want a chance to meet with Kalli and learn about your food and diet choices? She is hosting a workshop at Modern Woman Show at 3pm on Saturday April 22nd at Prairieland Park. Click HERE to learn more and reserve your spot!

The Fabulously Unfit Girl's Guide To Health & Wellness: let's talk.

Let's talk about something extremely personal. 

 

Something almost everyone who knows me is surprised to learn I have Bi-Polar disorder. And not just a little bit. I have full blown Bi-Polar 1 disorder and have my whole life - and although I was diagnosed at 18, I was never fully and properly treated or made to understand what I was dealing with until my late 20s. I have a family doctor, a psychiatrist, an ObGyn, and a maternal psychiatric specialist that are all fortunate enough to have me as a patient. Ha. I take 3-4 different medications daily, some twice a day, and I will have to for the rest of my life. 

 

Some people will suggest that you can control an illness like mine with breathing exercises, physical activity, diet, or yoga and green tea. Those people are wrong. They are ignorant and need to get informed. In short, until they decide to hit up a library, they can go f**k themselves.

 

People also assume that being bipolar means simply that you have mood swings. Nope. Wrong. In the simplest way I can explain it, it's like you are either in the deepest depression or high as a kite. And I don't mean sad or happy, although those are emotions that can come into play. I'm talking about crippling depression that will keep you in bed for days, so anxious you can't breathe, angry, sad, and desperate. I'm talking about highs so extreme that people will think they are invincible, not sleep for a week, spend money on ridiculous things, choose terrible partners, and take on far too many tasks. Being in a manic (high) cycle can make you feel magic - but like my psychiatrist says, magic comes at a price. Long story short - what goes up, must come down. And when it does, it's a not a gentle landing. 

 

Let me tell you a story... 

 

Last winter I experienced one of the worst lows of my life. It went and on and on and got worse and worse. I would get up every day, get dressed and put my makeup on, and go to work with a big smile for each of my clients like everything was fine. Everything wasn't fine, I felt like I was drowning. I was functioning but only as an empty shell - like a puppet. I would come home and take out my frustration on my husband, I didn't want to engage in any social activities, I was confused and angry all the time. 

 

After my household was asleep I would get up about 3:30am every night and have such an intense anxiety attack that I would often throw up and sit crying on my bathroom floor. My best friend Ted was always by my side... for anyone who doesn't know Ted, he's a big, adorable rescue mutt that I got just in time to save his life from being shot, after living the saddest life a dog could live. And yet, time and again, I wonder who has really saved who? 

 

Finally, one night or early morning, my husband woke up to find Ted and I on the bathroom floor. He knew this had been happening but hadn't seen it for himself to fully understand where I was at. 

 

The next day he told me he wanted to put me in the hospital. My mind raced... what would people say?... this would be on my medical records... my career would never be the same... people will lose all kinds of respect for me... I simply said "If you do that, I will never, ever forgive you."

 

To which he replied, "Well I will never, ever forgive myself if I come home to a dead wife."

 

Never had I considered suicide. Let me be clear about that. I am WAY too stubborn for that. Ha. But the fact that my husband saw that as an end game for what was happening was like a cold shower. The jig was up, I couldn't live like that anymore. My meds had stopped working, I hated my psychiatrist, and I was sick. Plain and simple. 

 

Luckily (very, very luckily), I had access to someone who manages a psychiatrist's office who had always spoken so highly of the doctor she works for. She is a beautiful person and so very compassionate. I swallowed my pride and explained what was going on and asked for help. I saw him within a week. He tweaked my diagnosis, changed my meds, added some new ones, and focused on the holistic things I could do to help myself. He actually listened to me. He asked my husband to attend my appointment to understand the illness. Nobody had ever done that before. Most importantly, he didn't talk down to me. 

 

Let's get something straight. Somebody can have all the degrees in the world but nobody is an expert on a mental illness like the person who has it. Trust me on that. 

 

Flash forward to 2017 and a year of new treatment and a good doctor. I feel really good. I can't say great because I don't think I ever feel totally great. It's something I still deal with everyday and always will. But I'm happy, I'm social, I'm lucky to have a job (correction, jobS) that I love. I try to put effort, research, humour, and kindness into everything I do. I appreciate the life I've been given and I try my best to take care of myself. 

 

I love my husband and I am nice to him... Most of the time. Ha. JK, he's seriously the best. 

 

... And Ted is still my best friend. 

Photo by Leslie Kent.

Photo by Leslie Kent.

Photo by Leslie Kent.

Photo by Leslie Kent.

 

This blog series is about health and wellness. Mental health still has a huge stigma around it, and until we can accept these illnesses just like any other that needs to be diagnosed and treated, people will continue to suffer. Not everyone is as stubborn as me, not everyone is so stubborn that they refuse to let an illness beat them. Not everyone has an amazing husband, friends, family, and dogs that are by your side the second they sense something is wrong. 

 

People without support systems will continue to live in poverty, battle addictions, resort to crime, and alienate their loved ones. People will continue to fill our hospitals, jails, and shelters. People will also appear to live completely normal lives, but come home and suffer in silence. 

 

Open your minds, open your ears, and get informed. You might just be the person to help someone who is struggling. 

 

If you or anyone you know feel that you need help, ask for help. As Canadians, we have access to health care. Use it. It's there for you. 

 

Take care of yourselves and love each other. 

 

Katie

Xoxo

#bellletstalk

January 25, 2017 is the Bell Let's Talk day of mental health awareness that raises money for mental health initiatives. Talk, text, or use social media and let the world know your story. 

January 25, 2017 is the Bell Let's Talk day of mental health awareness that raises money for mental health initiatives. Talk, text, or use social media and let the world know your story.