Guest Blog Post by Kristen Durnan: Running, Fat loss and Hormones.

Guest Blog Post by Kristen Durnan: Running, Fat loss and Hormones.

So Excited to have Kristen Durnan from Fitness with Kristen as a guest blogger today! Kristen has a passion for running and a bunch of medals to prove it. She recently completed a marathon!

Kristen is also a Personal Trainer and runs her own fit biz complete with online fat loss specific training and a half marathon training plan (where was this when I was training for my half?!)

Read on to find out why running isn’t necessary for fat loss and how to get the most out of your training plan if you do love to run.




By Kristen Durnan

There are a lot of mixed messages out there when it comes to running & fat loss. There’s the #teamnocardio trend on the one end of the spectrum, and there are those who spend hours doing cardio or running for the sole purpose of losing weight. Running is NOT necessary when it comes to fat loss, and it can in fact slow down your progress. What if running is something you love though? A big factor in how running affects your fat loss is hormones. Let’s go over three of the hormones affected by running, along with how to incorporate your love for running into your desire for efficient fat loss.

Three Hormones Affected By Running

Cortisol is a steroid hormone is produced by the adrenal gland and is released primarily in response to stress. High Cortisol levels from stress impact your ability to burn fat. Leisurely activities (such as a leisurely walk or yoga) are importantto ensure balanced Cortisol levels. When running, whether you are running for fun, or to train for a race, you always want to incorporate some easier runs into your program. For example, if you run four days per week you will want to have at least one of those days be an easy run so your body can recover from all of the work you are doing. This means going slower than you may even find natural or comfortable because you want to keep your heart rate down.

Ghrelin is a hunger hormone produced by the stomach and pancreas, and causes you to feel hunger hour-to-hour. Not only does Ghrelin increase hunger signals, it also favors the accumulation of fat located in the abdominal region. As a result, it also promotes fatty liver and increases the risk of developing resistance to insulin. Stress is not only associated with a higher body weight, but also higher Ghrelin levels. Adding in excessive running is the type of stress that can cause higher Ghrelin levels. This means more hunger signals (and likely higher food consumption) as well as more fat accumulation. If you are not specifically training for a long-distance race, try to keep your mileage in the 3-5 mile range (depending on how fast you run) to ensure you do not cause an imbalance with Ghrelin, thereby causing insulin resistance. If you ARE training for a race, you can dull the hunger signals by properly refueling after your runs with protein and fiber.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a fat burning hormone produced in the pituitary gland, and as the name suggests, is a hormone that stimulates muscle tissue growth. There is no better fat burner than our muscles. HGH has the benefit of stimulating your body to burn fat rather than store it, so the effect on fat loss is doubled. HGH is stimulated when your body engages in intense, short-term exercise like sprinting and lifting weights. Here is where you love for running and the Live Life Fit sprints come into play. Sprints are not only great for fat burning because of EPOC (Excessive Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption – essentially your body working so hard to get back to homeostasis), but they are great for runners because they help your SPEED and ENDURANCE. Adding a speed workout once per week is essential to any runner trying to get better at running, and has the bonus of helping with your fat burning goals.

A major decision will be prioritizing your goals. Is fat loss more important, or running? For the most part, you can enjoy both, but when it comes to a day of doubling up (which would only be necessary during race training) I recommend prioritizing. If my primary goal is fat loss, I do my circuit before my run because I have the energy to give my fat loss circuit 100%. If my goal is to improve my running and using my workouts to compliment my running, then I run before I workout.

Here is an example of a good schedule for combining your love for running and Live Life Fit if you are NOT training for a distance run:

Monday – Live Life Fit WO

Tuesday – Easy run (<4 miles) + lots of stretching

Wednesday – Live Life Fit WO

Thursday – Easy run (<4 miles)+ Lots of stretching

Friday – Live Life Fit WO

Saturday – Sprints + Run (<6 Miles)

Sunday – Complete rest/stretching

Here is an example of a good schedule for someone combining Live Life Fit AND race training:

Monday – Tempo Run + Live Life Fit WO

Tuesday – Speed run

Wednesday – Live Life Fit WO

Thursday – Easy Run

Friday – Live Life Fit WO (depending on your mileage on Saturday, you may stick to just an upper body workout)

Saturday – Long Run

Sunday – Complete rest/stretching

If you don’t love to run, then there is truly no reason for you to force yourself to run for results; however, if running is a passion of yours, you don’t HAVE to choose between the two. Simply tweak a few things to make it fit your Live Life Fit life!

Looking for more help with your running? Check out my free resources here.

My First Bikini Competition

My First Bikini Competition

So I just realized I never did a post-bikini competition blog post! I found out I was pregnant the week after the show sooo THAT kinda took over my mind. Life has been kinda crazy since then but even though the show was 4 months ago (seriously, where does time go?) I want to share my show day experience with you all.

The show day experience started the day before with getting spray tanned.  For whatever reason, I was really looking forward to getting that crazy competition tan. I don’t know why! I’m pretty sure the excitement masked the low carb fog of peak week.

I showed up at the host gym, got checked in, got my height card (I’m for sure 5’3 and now I have a card to prove it) when waited in line to get the of so coveted spray tan, after dropping  $125 bucks. Yup. That’s how much they cost. If you’ve ever considered doing a bikini competition, you need to be ok with nudity. Nobody warned me about the nudity factor, so I’m warning you, just incase.

I walked into the designated tanning room, a group exercise room full of little tanning pods. I was directed to my pod and was told to strip it down. You have privacy in the pod BUT you walk from your waiting pod to the pod you actually get the tan in totally naked. Annddd as you walk to get sprayed you get to see every other naked ladies while passing. Great way to scope out the competition.😉   This is the time I really dropped my pride… After getting my front side tanned, I was instructed to turn around, do a little squat and stick it out! Gotta make sure all those creases are nice and tan too. And yes, it is beyond awkward! I was seven shades of red…. and deep brown/orange. After getting tanned, I awkwardly walked back to my pod, still nude (arms out stretched, legs stiff)  to dry. It was June in Florida and we were crammed into a stuffy group exercise room so standing in front of the fans was actually really nice! When I was dry enough to dress, I discovered my pants were too tight! They said to wear loose fitting pants but I guess mine weren’t  loose enough. One of the girls working there actually told me change into looser pair as soon as I got home or it could mess up my tan! I obeyed! Of course, this information made me absolutely paranoid and freaked out that I just ruined my $125 tan and that the judges would find me absolutely repulsive and score me down. I changed as soon as I got home and felt somewhat better but still worried over my leg creases that look really dark. I double checked my list, made sure everything was ready to go for the big day, then it was off to bed for a crazy early wake up call. 4:00am, that’s still night time in my book. 


As much as I tried to sleep it just wasn’t happening. I was so nervous and excited about the day i’ve worked so hard for. So many thoughts were going through my head, it was so hard to silence them. When I did finally fell asleep, I would wake up and look at my phone to make sure I didn’t over sleep. When my alarm finally when off at 4 am, I was relieved. Because 1.) It was show day and 2.) It was time to EAT! And eat CARBS for that matter! I ate then got busy on my hair. At this point, I was super excited. I guess those carbs kicked it 🙂 and I was about to get my makeup done. I LOVE having my makeup professionally applied and couldn’t wait  to have a face full of stage makeup.  I had my makeup done by Candice Keene. Candice is IFBB Figure Pro, she has about a million bodybuilding trophies, is a makeup artist, offers online training and posing coach. On top of all that, she super sweet! She actually told me that morning that she was pregnant! Little did we know there was actually two pregnant ladies in my kitchen that day. I could not have been happier with how my makeup turned out. It was perfect!

After makeup came hair again. I wore some extension for a little extra length, so my sister came over and helped me put them in.  Not only did my sister’s wake up early to help me out, it was also her birthday and she let me borrow her extensions for the big day. She’s the best!  I was all glammed up and it was time to head to the venue. This is when the nerves REALLY kicked in. I probably double check my bag 5 times to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything at home.

I got to the venue, checked in, got my tan touched up and when to the athletes meeting. I got settled into the dressing room and the waiting game began. Bikini division was last on the line up. Time went by pretty fast because it was so fun chatting with all the girls! I’ve heard horror stories about backstage sabotages but everyone was so sweet and really supportive! When it was finally bikini time, I was actually really excited and not nervous at all! This was the part I’ve been wait for! Getting on stage and working those poses that I’ve practiced for sooo long!

For pre judging, we did our front pose, turn and back pose. Then it was a game of simon says. Turn left, Turn right, turn around, switch places. If you ever do a bikini competition be sure to LISTEN! You could tell the judges would get annoyed when they had to repeat themselves. Thankfully, I listen and didn’t miss anything.  They moved us around a lot and it was kinda hard to tell where I was in the lineup (being center is usually a good thing) BUT I knew I wasn’t on the end! I did this a total of three times. I enter the novice, open and master division. After judging it  was lunch time. Off to Chipotle! After lunch, I stopped in at my friend Brandy’s baby shower then headed home for a quick nap. I was feeling the sleepless night at this point.

It was time for the night show and  I couldn’t wait to get on stage again. I really wasn’t worried about placing. Sure, I wanted to but at that point I already felt a great sense of accomplishment! The night show went by so fast and before you knew it, it was bikni time! They called us out one by one for our posing routines then it was time for trophies! They called out the 3rd and 2nd place winner….then it was time to announce the first place winner. And they called MY NAME! I won the novice division! I cannot describe how it felt to stand there on stage with a trophy in my hand. All the hard work paid off. All the sacrifice, all the sore muscle, everything was worth it! A Mom of a two year won a bodybuilding trophy. My name was called out two more times. Second place in the short open division and 2nd place in masters. To say it was a great time would be a total understatement.

After the show, my husband and I headed to Mellow Mushroom where I  enjoy a pizza, coke and ice cream cookie sundae. At this point I couldn’t wait to get a shower and take out my hair extension! That night I slept like a baby. A smiling, tummy full of pizza baby.

I get asked a lot if I will ever do another show. And yes, I would totally do another after baby #2 but I don’t think it will be a every year kinda thing for me. My big priority now (other than my family) is my online training! I absolutely LOVE helping women feel great about themselves and teach them how to incorporate fitness into their lives in practical ways. I can’t wait to see where it goes and I’m looking forward to building relationship with some amazing ladies.

Thanks for reading! 

~ Lindsey 

Click here for information on Live Life Fit Training! Use code “10OFF” of a discount!



22 week Bump Date

22 week Bump Date

I cannot believe I’m closer to the end of my pregnancy than the start!  Overall, I’m feeling great!

How far along: 22 weeks

How big is the peanut: The size of a Papaya

Total weight gain: Up 10 pounds. 

Maternity Clothes:
 I’ve tried on a few pairs of maternity pants but yoga pants…..

Sleep:  Like a ROCK! 

Best moment this week:  Seeing the kicks from the outside. He’s getting stronger! 

Symptoms:  None! I’m feeling great and my burger craving has  calmed  down too! 

Food Craving/Aversion:
 No cravings really.

Gender: IT’S A BOY! And we officially have a name. Baby boy’s name is Crew Thomas

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach

Exercise: Still at it! Speaking of exercise…I’ll be launching my online training starting Monday! I’m so excited to get this going! Live Life Fit is all about fitting fitness into your life with fast workouts that get you major results and proper nutrition information. Annnd  I have a special offer just for my blog readers! You can sign up TODAY ONLY for just $10.00! Yup, that’s right your first month will only be 10 BUCKS! Use the code “BLOG” at check out. Click here to get started! This coupon code is only good till midnight tonight so don’t miss out! 

My favorite stretch mark creams

My favorite stretch mark creams

During my first pregnancy I was obsessed with preventing stretch marks. After about 25 weeks I would scan my belly,hips,boobs,butt and thighs for any tiny red squiggly lines then lather up the bump several times a day! I’m happy to announce that I ended my pregnancy stretch mark feel. In all fairness, I had a six pound baby and only gained about 20 lbs.

This pregnancy I’m a little more laid back. No, I don’t want stretch marks but they can come with the territory  and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. If the worst thing that happens to me during my pregnancy is stretch marks, I’m good!

Even though stretch marks can’t be 100% avoided (hello genetics) there are some things that you can do to keep your skin in great condition.

Hydrate! Your body has an increased demand for hydration. Your skin also needs to be hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. The better the skin elasticity the better it is at stretching out. I’m personally aiming for a gallon of water a day.

Here’s my favorite creams and oils:

1.) Belli Elasticity Belly Oil – Stretch Mark Protection for Smooth, Healthy Skin – OB/GYN and Dermatologist Recommended – 3.8 oz.

It smells AMAZING. The lavender scent is so relaxing absorbs great and it doesn’t feel sticky.


2.) Mustela Stretch Marks Intensive Action Cream, 2.53 Ounce

It’s a like bit on the pricey side but it is great! It is thick and amazing for hydration. Smells good but a little flowery.

3.)Bio-Oil 4.2oz: Multiuse Skincare Oil

Looovee Bio-Oil! Easy on the wallet and keep your skin so soft and hydrated.

4.)Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter For Stretch Marks, 4.4-Ounce Units (Pack of 3)

Another one that is easy on the wallet. This way my night time cream. So thick.










*affiliate links

18 Week Bump Date

18 Week Bump Date

How far along: 18 weeks!

How big is the peanut:
The size of a bell pepper.

Total weight gain/loss:
 Up 6 pounds. Coming in at 120.

Maternity Clothes:
Not yet. I live in yoga pants and maxi dresses! I actually found a super comfy pair of leggings that look like real pants! They even have back pockets and totally look like “real” black skinny’s but their totally leggings. They are the Metro High Waisted Legging from Athleta .

Still good. And I’m not shy about it sleeping in as much as possible. I figure my days of getting actual sleep are numbered so might was well enjoy it!

Best moment this week:  Really feeling the baby move around! It makes it so real! I’m really have another baby! 

Symptoms:  I wear out easily and I’m hungry all.the.time. 

Food Craving/Aversion:
 No cravings really. I like all food equally. I’m finding that Kale and Spinach taste a lot like dirt lately.

Gender: IT’S A BOY! 

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach

What I’m looking forward to: Hitting the 20 week mark! All down heel from there, right?

Bump: Bigger by the week!

 Exercise makes me feel good! Even if it’s just walk, it just makes me feel better. Less aches and pains and give me energy. I’ve also started teaching a prenatal exercise class at a local fitness studio. If you’re local to the Central Florida area you have to check out The Balance Culture!

14 Week update

14 Week update

How far along: 14 weeks. Yay for officially in the second trimester!

How big is the peanut:
The size of a Lemon

Total weight gain/loss:
 Total gain so far is 4 lbs 

Maternity Clothes:
No maternity clothes but I’m all about flowy and my yoga pants are getting tight!

Still good! I’m naturally a belly sleeper which has pretty much come to an end!

Best moment this week:  
The awful hormonal chin acne starting to go away thanks to Belli

Feeling pretty good and symptom free.

Food Craving:
 Red meat! I need burgers and steak in my life!

Too soon to know BUT the appointment is made to find out! Come on Sept 3rd!

What I miss:
Botox. Just keeping it real. 

What I’m looking forward to:
Finding out the sex! Pink or Blue! 

Bump: It’s here. Still not very big but you can feel it popping out above my pelvic bone!

 As a personal trainer, I stay active with my clients and teaching classes BUT this week’s goal is to focus on MY workouts. It’s all about safe core exercise and I will be sharing them with you all next week!

12 weeks update 

12 weeks update 


How far along:
12 weeks 

How big is the peanut:
The size of a Lime

Total weight gain/loss:
up another pound. Coming in at 116.

Maternity Clothes:
Not yet. Thankfully, flowy tops are in! Seriously loving this top from Grace and grit boutique. It’s not a maternity shirt but there’s plenty of room to grow! 

Amazing! I’m out within minutes and don’t move until morning. 

Best moment this week:
Feeling the first tirmister tiredness starting to fade!  

Symptoms/ Morning sickness:
Pregnancy Brain! Last week I had to make a return at Target. Got half way there and realized I forgot want I was trying to return. Turned around to get it, got to target and forgot my wallet at home! 

 The last few weeks have been off and on. One day I’ll feel 100% then the next I’m sick as a dog. I’ve randomly thrown up twice. No apparent cause. 

Food Craving:
Burgers still! One with cheese, onion, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup. And now my mouth is watering.  

Food Aversions:
No food aversions. 

Too soon to know. 

What I miss:
I’m not really missing anything this week. Pretty satisfied being Prego. 

What I’m looking forward to:
This week’s appointment! Nothing like hearing that little heart beat! 

Bump: It’s on the way! The whole “you show faster with your second” is so so true for me! 

Getting back into swing of it! The last two weeks were off a little with not feeling well but I’m ready to get back into my routine. I’m also taking some continuing education classes regarding proper pregnancy exercises! I’m so stoked to be learning this info to pass on to my clients AND apply to myself! 

This week’s takeaway:
Your second pregnancy is alway harder. It’s harder because you already have a child. In my situation (most moms actually) a very young child. Toddlers don’t get “Mommy wants a break” BUT it totally melts my heart when she runs up to me, throws her arms around me and starting talking to the baby. I can’t wait to see her as a big sister.