Katie Coles – Fitspiration
For those of you who dont know, Katie Coles is an amazing woman. She is such a big inspiration to us here at How to get fit. We had the opportunity to interview her this past week. Lets find out what Katie Coles has to say.
Give me a brief introduction about yourself
My name is Katie Coles, and I am a cofounder at Avatar Nutrition, and owner of The Fit Dietitian LLC. I have a masters degree in nutrition, a bachelors of science in biology, and am a registered dietitian.
What made you choose this direction?
I received a scholarship out of high school in 2000 to run track. As a college athlete competing in the pole vault, I recognized that nutrition was important. But I had no idea what I was doing!
Fast forward to 2007. I competed in my first fitness show that year and started following the typical diets that were common back then. You know, the ones that were low in carbs and calories…where you ate 6 times a day separated by exactly 2.5 hour increments! I received a list of foods to eat that went kind of like this: chicken, broccoli, tilapia, asparagus, green beans, almonds, peanut butter, and whey protein isolate. If I was really lucky, I would get oats or sweet potatoes on a refeed day! I became a slave to my mind and the idea that I could only eat certain foods. I won show after show and became addicted to fitness competitions and dieting.
Throughout this time I became very ill. It turns out that Celiac Disease runs in my family and I needed to cut gluten out of my diet. Up until this point I had no idea what I wanted to do with my biology degree or life. But when I saw the affect that diet could have on overall health I decided to go back to school to get my masters degree and become a dietitian. Diet had been a common theme in my life and something that had interested me as far back as my days as a college athlete looking to improve performance. But it wasn’t until I started competing in fitness shows and struggling with Celiac Disease that my passion for nutrition became obvious. In 2009 I started my master’s program and the rest is history!
What are the 5 most important things you can tell someone who is wanting to follow in your footsteps?
- Make sure that you LOVE nutrition if you want to go into it. You are going to spend most of your life working, and if you aren’t crazy about what you do, life is going to be hard.
- Realize that most paths in the field of nutrition don’t make a lot of money. If you’re the type of person who is looking to just jump through hoops and follow the well-worn path to a lucrative job position, nutrition isn’t for you. But if you are creative, hard working, and absolutely passionate about this field, go for it! You can create your own position and will ultimately make a lot of money because you’ll figure out how to.
- While you are in school, network like crazy. It isn’t just what you know, but who you know. Also build your resume, choose your dietetic rotations carefully based on what you love, and get a background in genomics. Nutrigenomics will be a huge field in the future, and having an intimate understanding of cell biology and genetics will set you apart from other nutritionists.
- Understand the down and upsides to starting a business if you want to go that route. It is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but also the most rewarding. You’ll be working to build your own dream, which is clearly more satisfying then being paid to build someone else’s dream. You’ll also reap the benefits of making your own work hours. But at the same time, recognize that you eat, sleep, and breathe the business, and there are no true vacations from it. You are always thinking about it, and this could lead to burnout if you don’t balance your life and take care of your mental health.
- Recognize that the most satisfying thing you can do is help other people. Position yourself to do this, and try to put more of your focus there. It is easy to let other concerns cloud your vision, ultimately leading to stress and some dissatisfactions with your life. Keeping perspective can be REALLY hard. But at the end of the day we are all going to die, and knowing that you made a difference in someone else’s life is all you’ll take with you.
Do you gym/train everyday?
I usually train 5 days per week. However, lately I’ve had to take a step back from training due to other things in my life needing attention. It’s taken me a while, but as I’ve gotten older I have gotten less compulsive about needing to go to the gym. There are just certain times in our lives where we NEED to take a step back, whether it is due to personal reasons, family, career stress, or just to give yourself a vacation. Balance is more important than anything else, and it’s a big achievement to be able to keep that balance and shut down your compulsions when you need to.
Do you get asked if you take steroids?
When I was in my mid twenties fitness competitions were not yet super popular, and I was the only woman in the free weights section. At that time everyone assumed I took steroids.
What is your basic training schedule
I hit legs 2-3 times per week since I have more difficulty maintaining size in my lower half. I usually only work on my upper body 2-3 days per week with a split body part routine.
Do you take any supplements and which ones do you suggest?
I usually take fish oil, creatine, a good multivitamin, and extra vitamin D since I have low blood levels. I am sensitive to caffeine and limit that. For those who take a pre-workout, I recommend citrulline, carnitine L-tartrate (for recovery), and BCAAs if you feel like you may be falling slightly short of your protein needs.
What is/was your biggest achievement in the gym?
I injured my shoulder three years ago and couldn’t lift my arm above shoulder height for two years. I was able to eventually make it back to benching heavy (135 lbs), which I never thought would happen 🙂
Who is your biggest inspiration/hero?
Turia Pitt. She is an author and a motivational speaker that was badly burned by a brushfire that swept through an Australian marathon she was running in. Despite being severely burned and undergoing surgery after surgery, she’s continued to chase her dreams. Turia gives me hope that good things can happen despite tremendous adversity. Like many others, I have some major struggles that people can’t see, and I love following burn survivors on social media because I CAN see their major struggle and can also see them overcoming it.
There it is Ladies and Gents, the inspirational Katie Coles. She is one of our greatest inspirations. Who are yours? Tell us in the comment below!