PIZZA AND GIN & TONICS: THAT TIME I PARTNERED WITH KATIE UHRAN BY SHELBY RING

Shelby Ring on Iles des Saintes during one of her travel series.

Today we meet Shelby Ring, she's a branding consultant, avid partner dancer, traveler, videographer + photographer and an overall Queen B, and today she takes the floor and shares her experience working with me personally in her fitness journey.


Why did you reach out to Katie?

I reached out to her because well… have you seen this woman’s abs with she does side plank lifts? #canthandleit #notevenalittlebit

I took Katie on as a branding client back in October/November, and like any relationship, the more hours you log, the more you get to know someone beyond the scope of just business as usual.  After filming, photographing and immersing myself in understanding her business from a marketing perspective, somewhere along the way I came around to my resolution of wanting to quit F-ing around with my own fitness/eating goals and get my $#!+ tight and back in gear, so I asked her if she would partner with me in my fitness journey and offering some guidance. Best Decision Ever.

Being the videographer that she is, Shelby of course filmed herself the first week working together February 2, saying “It’s easy to cheat your looks in still images, so I recorded myself moving back movement doesn’t lie.” She recorded herself again March 19, 7 weeks into her journey and built out this before/after update video montage, adding “The lower boob slip, terrible dance moves and crazy eyes are free of charge. You’re welcome.”

"I always love learning what do people that look like that do in their day in, day out life to maintain that level of fitness - do they eat 30 raw egg yolks a day? Not eat? Were they just born a skinny mini? Take diet pills? WTF.  After hours and hours of coffee meetings with Katie and taking refuge in the fact she’d share about a weekend of eating her weight in pizza, I realized how this girl could relate to me so much more than I thought at first glance."
  Today Shelby Ring takes the floor and shares her journey with her body, self image, and eating all the pizza and gin and tonics she wants.

Today Shelby Ring takes the floor and shares her journey with her body, self image, and eating all the pizza and gin and tonics she wants.

One of my favorite things about Katie is she is a planner and she gets $#!+ DONE. She is an implementor, an activator, she follows through more than any client I’ve ever worked with. So when I asked her if she’d be open to partnering and coaching me with my fitness + physical goals, she asked me...

  • What are your goals?

  • What kind of workouts do you like?

  • How much time realistically can you commit to working out each week?

to which I answered all of these things in my “Shelby’s Fitness + Eating Goals. Bitches: A Report on Being a BAMF” Presentation PDF complete with a vision board, and photos I built out for this endeavor (like-minded activator/implementor powerhouse betches UNITE!) along with:

  • My Current Reality: The $#!+ I Eat

  • Motivation: Where I’m At

  • The Struggle: Where I’m At

  • My Triggers + Weaknesses

  • Accountability: How I’d Like Help

(You can view my fantastically over the top highly entertaining candid and embarassing report by clicking here!) 

I laid it all out with Katie, sharing all of my irrational fears, deep-rooted doubts, and self-belief, I shared all of these things with her and having her bear witness to my crazy, and step into that role of reporting with her daily on all of the feels, was in a word, magic.

The 3 Biggest Challenges I faced:

Obstacle / Belief #1: “I don’t have the time to invest in working out + preparing healthy food”. I did a huge rebrand + relaunch of my business at the beginning of 2017, logging 40-60 hours a week behind the scenes developing my processes, streamlining my marketing, schmoozing at networking events and hustling to promote sales, I had to cut somewhere in my life to give myself time, and I chose working out + food prep.

The Starbucks Diet - I decided my “diet” would be made up of coffee at coffee shops I’d be working at for 4-8 hours in a day, and whatever flakey, decadent treat I picked with my coffee, and I forewent grocery shopping and buying real food to offset the cost of the $7-$12 I’d spend daily in a coffee shop. Efficient as hell? Yep. Crazy? It’s probable. But that’s what I did — and so my lifestyle shifted from taking 2.5 hours out of my day to sweat my butt off in a hot power yoga class, switch outfits, exert all my energy there, to giving my best energy at the start of my day to my work, sitting. For hours. Do you see where this is going?

So when it came to changing my physique, I mentally had to commit to the time and consideration of packing a bag of work out clothes along with my computer bag every day before I left the house. And nutritionally - I’d found all of those empty (delicious flakey) calories usually left me with blood sugar drops and these highs and lows of energy, so I started shifting my actions to packing yogurt, I invested in these (adorable) tiny Tupperware containers for putting nut butter in and packing a banana, or a serving of berries and cantaloupe, or cheese.

So there was I’d say 20-25 minutes in additional prep - 10 minutes the night before setting up my work out clothes, 15 minutes preparing my snacks for the day before walking out of the door, but these tiny commitments were huge to my success.

Obstacle / Belief #2: I didn’t want to get all sweaty and nasty before my work day, and to commute across town to catch a hot yoga class. The key to change for me was baby steps. I went from living in Mount Pleasant to moving to John’s Island - so trying to drive downtown for 25 minutes, look for parking, totally exerting myself in hot yoga first thing in the morning depleted not only my physical energy reserves but emotionally and mentally I’d sit down to work afterwards and be completely spent, so something I’d say I’d attribute 60% of my success was SIGNING UP FOR A GYM that takes less than 10 minutes to drive to. I will say now I am back in Mount Pleasant but I'm still digging an array of movement practices.

I signed up for Anytime Fitness on Johns Island  just hoping to use their machines and free weights but I found a gold mine of a group fitness classes (my favorite way to work out - I push myself exponentially harder than I would if left to work out on my own) with not just run-of-the-mill instructors but fantastic, inclusive, positive, down-to-earth instructors and the whole gym community there and the people who attend the classes were some of the most welcoming, gracious, sweet people I’ve had the privilege of working out alongside. And if I can just brag on them for two more seconds - Anytime Fitness on Johns Island is a unicorn of a gym. From the moment I walked in there and was greeted by Stacey I felt so welcomed and included, and from taking Brittany's butt kicking HIIT class to Taylor's way too fun cardio dance class, it's truly an inclusive, welcoming, kind community. I LOVE this fitness family.

In Shelby’s latest travels delivering a boat up island from Martinique to the U.S. Virgin Islands, she found moments like these to stay accountable to her fitness goals, land or sea!

Obstacle / Belief #3: I don’t like working out later in the day. The other secret sauce that’s kept me successful is I typically love knocking my workout out in the morning so I can check it off my list, but I’ve learned my best, clearest energy hits from about 5 AM - 11:30 AM, so I need to dedicate that window to the work that pays my bills and keeps food (or exotic travel trips) on the table, so I had to learn to adjust to accepting the day gets capped off with a good hour of exercise before I get home and truly “wind down”. So it took some time getting used to giving more thought to dinner meal prep because I get home around 6:45 PM after a class and my body doesn’t do well digesting when I go to bed immediately after, but now I look forward to meeting up with my fitness community, exerting and releasing the pent up stress or anxiety from the day and leaving it all in the group fitness room, and then coming home to unwind. AND an unforeseen bonus: after burning calories right before dinner and working hard, it’s like a rocket booster of awareness for what I choose to eat. I’m re-inspired to eat clean for dinner after being aware of how hard I just worked out, and craving things that really resonate with my body rather than just my mind’s idea to eat some trash.

  Not after Brittany's HIIT class...that's for sure!

Not after Brittany's HIIT class...that's for sure!

So that practical action step of finding a convenient, close gym or work out studio that offered group classes in the EVENINGS - has kept me not only accountable to working out 5-6 days a week but also looking FORWARD to taking Brittany’s HIIT class, or catching Logan’s TRX class or catching Stacey’s killer Barre class or Taylor’s hella fun Cardio Dance class.

3. What have been the most rewarding parts of this new journey?

My real goal was to be able to eat a whole f$%^ing pizza, have about 3 gin and tonics, wake up the next day, look in the mirror and go “Damn. Still a total babe.”  — What this meant to me was that one big feast of alcohol and all of the carbs in the universe doesn’t derail me from my fitness goals + body image, and throw this whole journey that’s been the case. I’ve eaten pizza and had cocktails and had seafood nights and you name it, and I’m still exercising 5-6 days a week, staying true to those goals and it’s showing.

I also love that the post-dinner sugar bug has lost its bite to me — that big urge to have a treat, now that I’ve introduced satisfying fats or sweet protein bars here and there when I have the inkling have completely taken that edge off and honestly the appeal of having this monster piece of chocolate cake that halfway through is going to send a surge of insulin, shoot my blood sugar through the roof and make my heart race (in a bad way)… it’s really lost its sex appeal to me.

Oh, and my ass is way higher than it used to be. Didn’t know that was possible.

4. How does Katie help you on this journey?

I think the biggest thing is her bearing witness to the good the bad and the ugly. She’s pretty much daily checked and asked, “How does your body feel?” and it’s made me aware of this constant state of discomfort, soreness, and ultimately growth. It’s made me aware that I’m not alone in my journey, that there is no “falling off the bandwagon” because if I fall off it stops an waits for me to get back on.  The strength I’ve felt from her being human with me, her transparency in her own journey and her ups and downs as we are radical emotional beings has been nothing but pure power.

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You can join Shelby on over at Travels With Shelby-- her personal passion blog where she shares some of her physical travels, as well as explores the metaphysical world of the human experience, her commercial work over at Fired Up Media, and of course her beautiful wedding videography collections for her clients at Nest Productions Videography.