A Lump & A Mammogram: A Day in the Life of My Boobies

“It’s probably nothing,” I told myself.  I’m only 33 years old. I’m healthy. I eat right, I exercise. Perhaps I overindulge in my wine and chocolate at times but who doesn’t?

When I found the little guy I was on vacation. For some reason (God only knows what I was doing) I came across a pea-sized lump in my armpit. Hmm…. that wasn’t there before. I gave it a couple days, checked again… still there. I waited a week. I waited two weeks. Still there. Look, I’m a nurse. I know what to look for regarding cancer (anyone remember CAUTION* from nursing school?!). But even though the majority of factors that play into what makes a malignant vs. a benign lump were heavily in my favor, I still couldn’t brush it off.

Women in my family have had breast cancer. Women in my family have survived breast cancer. But without early detection, diagnosis, and treatment they may not have made it to the other side. I could hear my Mom’s voice in my head, “Don’t mess around with this, you go to the doctor right away and have it checked.” Mom is always right!

I recently also met a woman (now a friend) who was diagnosed in her 30’s with metastatic breast cancer. It’s a very aggressive form of cancer that spreads to other parts of your body. By the time you even know you have it the cancer has spread and may be too aggressive to treat. It is deadly. It is scary. It happens. And it doesn’t care how old you are or that you have kids, family, friends, etc.

SO, sufficiently worried, I call my doctor on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend… dummy. I tell them what’s going on and they get me in first thing Tuesday morning. What?! Oh thank God I don’t have to wait like a week or two to figure this out! So I go through the weekend having a grand time watching fireworks, watching the boys run around with their friends and cousins, forgetting about my upcoming appointment… it will all get sorted out on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning comes and I see my gynecologist. She does a full history, breast exam, takes her time to talk to me about what this could be, then tells me she wants me to have a mammogram and an ultrasound. I was excited! I’ll have definitive answers as to what this will be. No watching, waiting, and “we’ll see” but real answers I can take home. She calls over to radiology, tells them what I need done, and they get me in the same afternoon. At 3pm I show up for my procedures. I request a 3D mammogram (the friend mentioned previous insisted this is what I always request). I am zipped back to a changing room. I wipe my armpits with the thing, put on my cute little shirt-gown, and head to the waiting area. Within 5 minutes they call me back for my mammogram. The woman doing the procedure again asks for my family history. She walks me through this awkward procedure. Explains there will be pressure. Explains how the rest of the day will go. I am at ease, especially for someone about to show their boobies to a complete stranger.

After the mammogram they take me to ultrasound. The tech does the job then leaves to get the Radiologist. She returns within 10 minutes with the Radiologist to go over both the mammogram and ultrasound to finally tell me everything looks normal. The lump was an inflamed lymph node… perhaps I was getting sick or was recovering from something (low and behold I developed a fever last night). This is something not to be concerned of, give it four weeks and call if it is still there. Otherwise, they have a good baseline for my next mammogram and into the future.

My initial reaction, after wanting to hug her, was to apologize for wasting everyone’s time. I mean, people who are more seriously ill are here for way more serious things. I can’t believe I just came in for a lymph node! But what if that lymph node WAS something else? What if it WAS cancer, I caught it early, and I could treat it now?! I wouldn’t apologize for that right?! So I say my thank you’s, change back into my street clothes, go pick up my kids, and thank God for my good health.

Never take a lump too lightly. Never take life for granted. Never feel dumb for asking questions. Never see a physician that doesn’t take your concerns seriously. Never be embarrassed when it comes to your health and your body.

Thank you Dr. Evans for not taking my concerns lightly. For allowing me to express my worries and have them heard. Thank you for doing everything possible to determine the status of my health within 24 hours. Myself, my husband, my kids, my friends, and my entire family thank you. It was such a little thing but that lump, to me, might as well have been the size of a grapefruit.

All the best,

Katie Kottmann,

Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

Goal Fitness & Nutrition


Bride. Baby. Body.


*7 Warning Signs of Cancer

   C – Change in your bowel habits
A – A sore or cut that does not heal
U – Unusual bleeding or discharge
T -Thickening or lump in the breast or anywhere else in the body
I – Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
O – Obvious change in a mole or wart
N – Nagging Cough or Hoarseness





5 Ways to Find Motivation for A Healthier You

I often get asked how I get and STAY motivated. Let me tell you, some days are way harder than others. And some days I wake up invincible! The overall key is consistency, but here are five ways you can find your motivation and keep it.

  1. Get a buddy. Or a group of buddies! There is nothing more motivating to me than seeing others sweat and hearing about their intense workouts. It makes me, dare I say jealous?! I want to feel that way! I have a Let’s Get Motivated! Facebook page dedicated to sharing motivation. We post our ups, our downs, and keep each other going when we need it the most. I am also surrounded by a great group of women at my part-time job that share this passion with me. We talk about our workouts, our nutrition, our hard times or our successful times! We cheer each other on. Not to mention my great friends who walk and talk with me when I need it the most. Who do you have around you that can get you going? Feel free to message me and I’ll add you to our Facebook page… all are welcome.
  2. Get on Pinterest. But don’t spend your entire day on it. And keep on scrolling past all those yummy desserts you see please…  Just browse through different motivational quotes, pin some go-to workouts, and find some healthy meals to cook. When I need a little pick me up or a quick morning workout I always go to Pinterest. My Fitness board has a bunch of different workouts, positive quotes, and some cute gym outfit ideas, too. Not sure where to start? Search for ‘fitness motivation’ and you’re on your way!
  3. Get dressed and lace up those shoes. It’s a fact that you’ll be more likely to get up and go if you’re ready for it. I usually workout in the morning so I have my outfit and shoes picked out and waiting for me when I wake up. If I have to think too much in the morning it might not happen. Once I’m dressed it helps my brain focus on the task that’s ahead.  If you’re working out later in the day, set a time when you’re going to get dressed and a time when you’re out the door. Otherwise, you may end up getting too cozy on the couch.
  4. Get a routine. Have your plan ready, clothes and shoes ready, and time out your day. If you can, work out at the same time every day so it becomes a habit. As mentioned before, if you workout later in the day be sure to set a time for workout gear and a time to leave the house so you don’t end up running too late. Routine becomes habit, which in this case is a great thing.
  5. Get a mantra. This may sound silly, but it works for me. Whenever I feel like I don’t have it in me (unless I’m sick or really need a day to rest) I close my eyes, take some deep breaths, and repeat the following to myself:  “I am strong. I am alive. I have no excuses. I will conquer this workout.” I know, I know, cheesy peesy. But it makes me feel awake, badass, and ready to hit it!

These are ways I find motivation in my day to day. There are definitely other things that motivate me and keep me on track such as my kids, my husband, my clients, and overall just feeling good. Always remember you will have good days and bad… no one is immune to a bad day. But if you remain consistent and have a plan, you’ll know a good day is on the way.

What works for you? Feel free to comment and share what motivates you, or if you’ve used one of these tips above we’d love to hear about it!

All the best,

Katie Kottmann

ISSA Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse





Fat Loss Supplements

Recently I have noticed a sharp increase in the number of my friends that take fat-burning diet supplements. In a country that prizes the superficial, it’s no wonder people are taking these supplements to try and lose weight. The concerns arise for me when someone without any form of nutrition, dietary, or medical background starts selling these products. How much education is there in direct marketing for those that sell these pills and powders? It’s like we are so focused on being thin and looking good that we don’t even care what kind of poison we may be putting in our bodies. I’ll admit wholeheartedly, I used to use fat-burning diet supplements when I was much younger. I remember the days of sweating through shirts, heart racing, heart skipping beats, not being able to sleep at night… all just to lose some fat. What kind of long-term damage did I cause? I guess time will tell.

What I’m saying people is we need to educate ourselves before we just take any kind of magic potion. Supplements should be treated the same way as medication. You have no idea the type of interaction two supplements can have between each other. And Google isn’t always accurate. Are you taking medication? Did you know that certain natural substances, those which may be in your “natural” fat loss aid, can have deadly consequences when taken with certain medications or even a multivitamin???

The FDA does not regulate most supplements, and no supplement should ever say they treat or cure anything. Supplement manufacturers are responsible for testing their products according to certain guidelines before putting them on the market.. and if they are sketchy, you never know how accurate and truthful the claims may be. Newer supplement companies have most likely not had enough time to see the long-term effects their products will have on consumers and so they may not have any negative reviews. Sure, people may lose 10-lbs in a week… but have cancer later in life because they used this product for a month. We just don’t know!

SO (as she steps off her soapbox)…. I challenge every one of you to be an educated consumer. To do so you have to do your research before you use products that could so drastically change your body and your health. Do not put any pill or powder in your mouth unless you know all about it. To help you out, the FDA has the following website, which I think gives a good background on the supplement industry and how to navigate it to find the best option for you:


When all else fails, or you have a question about a supplement, contact your physician or a dietician or nutritionist. I guarantee they will be more than helpful in answering your questions, and you’ll be safer for it. And let me tell you, if you’re looking to burn fat, good old hard work and healthy eating do wonders!

All the best,

Katie Kottmann

ISSA Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse







My Son Said the F-word

My son said a bad word lastnight. The F word. He used it to describe a girl he knows. He whispered it into my other son’s ear as I listened. Immediately, my youngest turns to me and says, “Mom! He just called that girl FAT!” I looked at my oldest son and reminded him it wasn’t nice to call people fat. Everyone’s body is different and calling someone fat can hurt feelings. It can make them sad. But what I really wanted to say, and what I hope I conveyed is this:

Calling someone fat can hurt feelings. It can make people sad. It can create self-hate. It can create self-doubt. It can wreak havoc on confidence. It can create obsession over food, over body proportions, over what to wear. It can make children sit in the back of the class, lack confidence to make friends, and force them to believe they should be picked on because emotionally they have shut down. It can create eating disorders, mental illness, and murderers. It creates a society of narcissism, perfectionism, and meanness (yes, I think that’s a word). It can crush joy, destroy fun, and make you feel just plain… worthless.

The truth is, words fucking hurt. Sticks and stones I can take. I’m scrappy, I’ll hit you back! But words creep under the skin, through the blood, and into the marrow of our bones. They become us if we let them. So the F-word, my friends, may not seem much to many but it is not allowed in my home.

I do not let my boys hear me say the F-word (not this one at least… the other one just slips sometimes!). I will not let them into my secret quagmire of body image. But I will let them hear me say I am strong. I will let them know I think my body is beautiful. That my stretch marks, my flab, my imperfections simply make me… ME!

We can change the perception of the F-word by getting to a couple root causes:

For one, ourselves. I challenge you to be very aware each time you use the F-word to describe yourself… and then stop it. Once you omit it from your self-shaming vocab you’ll notice you feel more positive about your body and life in general.

For two, our children. We are the best leaders and examples for our little guys and gals. If we set them up to see their bodies positively, they will see others the same way. Everyone is different and calling someone fat can hurt feelings. Imagine what calling someone beautiful would do… Imagine what calling yourself beautiful would do…

Just a thought…

All the best,

Katie Kottmann

Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse




Exercise During Pregnancy

A few days before I gave birth to my son I jogged two miles and lifted weights as part of my regular exercise routine. People were amazed I was still working out four to five days a week, and that I was still jogging well into my third trimester! I’m absolutely positive exercise was the only thing keeping me sane, in pre-pregnancy jeggings through my third trimester, and helped me handle labor like a champ!

Many women discontinue or limit exercise when they become pregnant. Even women who exercise regularly before they become pregnant tend to taper off when they find out they are having a baby. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things you can do for yourself and your baby. There are many ways you can benefit from regular exercise during pregnancy, including:

*Reducing the amount or severity of back pain

*Reducing depression and stress during and after pregnancy

*Increasing energy levels

*Reducing risk of premature or low weight birth

*Reducing constipation and other digestive issues

*Reducing post-partum weight

*Promoting post-partum weight loss

*Reducing the amount of maternity clothes you have to buy

*Reducing recovery time after labor

*Promoting a positive body image as you gain baby weight

*Limiting frustrating water retention

*Decreasing risk of gestational diabetes

Starting a positive relationship with your child so early is such a wonderful experience. Once you’ve given birth, you can exercise WITH your baby to become the hot momma you’ve always wanted to be! Follow the guidelines below to ensure a safe exercise program for you and your growing baby.

*Exercise at least three times a week

*Exercise for 30 minutes at a time (60 minutes max for those already exercising pre-pregnancy)

*Avoid long periods of standing without movement

*Avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back after the first trimester

*Exercise at moderate intensity

*Stop exercising when you are tired– NEVER exercise to exhaustion

*Cycling and swimming may be used to replace more high-impact cardio

*Weight programs may be continued at near the same intensity as before you became pregnant, but avoid lifting heavy weights that require you to hold your breath

*Avoid exercises that may require a lot of balance

*Be sure you ingest enough food to keep your baby growing… your goal at this point is NOT to lose weight, but to stay healthy!

*Drink LOTS of water

*Avoid overheating

During my pregnancy I gained 19 pounds. It took me about 3 months to get it all off, but my body will never be the same. Pregnancy kind of changes your proportions but I actually kind of like the new curves I’ve acquired! It was such a rewarding feeling to be able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes, push my kids in the jogging stroller, and feel good about being a positive role model for my own family. I wish all of you the same wonderful experience I had with my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have regarding fitness and nutrition during pregnancy. Just send me a line!

Best of luck, and congratulations!

***ALWAYS speak with your physician prior to engaging in an exercise program, especially during pregnancy. Every woman is different and certain health issues may cause risk or harm to you and/or your developing fetus. Ask about warning signs and when you should stop exercising.***

Katie Kottmann

Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse



Gettin’ Old is Hell

As I age, my view on the reason for exercise and eating well has changed immensely. I mean, obviously I’m not super old and I still have plenty of time left on Earth (knock on wood), but there is something to be said for every year that passes. Each experience we have molds who we are, how we think, and what we regard as important. Each year also brings new challenges in the way our bodies behave, which I wasn’t quite aware of until now.

When I was much younger I went to the gym simply for vanity reasons. I ate what I wanted and if I was gaining weight too quickly I just stopped eating and went to the gym more. Mt. Dew for breakfast, some dinner, good to go… Not the healthiest. Not the smartest. I was young and dumb. Back then the weekends of partying never derailed my goals. Staying up all night wasn’t an issue. But now, at age 33, I have two glasses of wine, followed by a three-day headache and an additional 3 pounds on the scale that probably won’t come off for a week or two. Times have changed.

Around age 25 I started to wise up. I started working hard towards bettering myself. I wanted to know how the body worked, what the best fuel was for my goals, and what exercises I could do to perform at my best and look my best, too. I became a personal trainer and opened my own business. I loved sharing this information with others, as I still do, and figured this was the way to go. Jackpot!

Two years later we adopted our first son. Still working hard in the personal training biz I exercised as usual. The nutrition part of it slipped more often than not with sleepless nights and stress. At this age, it did become harder to recover from poor food choices. I had to up my game if I wanted to stay on track. The pounds started to stack on… slowly enough it wasn’t noticeable to others, but enough that over time I could tell.

At age 28 I was pregnant. The normal, healthy amount of weight gain happened. I exercised throughout my pregnancy and craved fruit constantly. My youngest and I sat and ate an entire watermelon in one sitting when I was pregnant! After my son was born most of the weight came off… then I decided to go back to school to become a nurse.

I gained a lot of weight in nursing school. I went through an accelerated program so I was studying constantly, barely sleeping, and stress eating whenever I had a chance. Fifteen months later I was up about 20-lbs. After that I went on to work nights, which totally screwed me up. I rarely had energy to exercise, I lived in a fog, and I always craved junk. Up, up, up went the scale. I did exercise, but it wasn’t enough for my aging metabolism. Oh the ironies of the unhealthy nurse!

Now, at age 33, I realize my body just works differently than it did at age 20, at age 25, even at age 30. It doesn’t respond as quickly to my demands for muscle growth, recovery, etc. But I am probably healthier than I have ever been. I love to eat healthy foods and find new recipes to try. I love to exercise! I can do things I never used to do. I am a healthy role model for my boys. They love to exercise with me, and even though they don’t always want to eat my healthy dinners, they know what healthy is and is not. These are my reasons for exercising and eating well. To be a role model, to feel good, to live longer with a better quality of life. It may have a little to do with vanity, but for the most part it just feels good to eat well and exercise.

“Gettin’ old is hell.” That’s what many of my patients have told me. But if we do what we can now, our later years will hopefully treat us well.

All the best,

Katie Kottmann

ISSA Elite Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

Goal Fitness & Nutrition, LLC






Women Without Time: The Answer is Online

Women come in all shapes and sizes, from all different backgrounds, with all different lifestyles. Some are single, some are divorced or remarried. Some are pregnant, some are going through menopause. Many work during the day, but some work overnight. Some stay home with children, some travel and are barely home. Some are single parents, some have blended families with more kids than they think they know what to do with…. The point is, we are all different. We have different schedules and obligations which makes it hard to come together and celebrate our successes. But what if I told you there was this thing called technology that would allow us to band together in our strengths, our weaknesses, and allow us to support each other?! Well let me tell you ladies… it’s here! Now let us rejoice and let me introduce you to online personal training.

What is online personal training you ask? Well, it allows you to have YOUR OWN personal trainer, who you have UNLIMITED contact with, that gears workouts towards YOUR GOALS, and works until you reach them. At least that’s what we do for our Bride. Baby. Body. clients. I know, I know… sounds pretty awful…. HA! Yeah right!!! I mean, seriously ladies, this is the jackpot! Not only do you optimize your time but you optimize your worth.

How many times a week do you search online sites for workouts? And how much time do you spend finding just the right one for the day…. and the next, and the next. And what results do you see from picking and choosing random workouts from these sites without them being geared specifically towards you and your goals? Did you know sets, reps, and types of exercise matter when it comes to fat loss, muscle gain, and/or fetal health? Are you seeing the results you want 1 month, 6 months, even 1 year down the road? Maybe some of you are, and I am so happy for you! But the majority of women in this boat do not see results. And do you know why? Because these workouts aren’t written for YOU! And most don’t include nutrition recommendations which are 80% of your results. If they do, they aren’t taking into account your weight, body fat, lifestyle, etc…. so why are you following them?!?! How do you know it’s right for you?!?! How do you know it’s SAFE?!

Bottom line… What is your time worth? What is your health worth?! You can search endlessly online for workout and nutrition advice that may never yield results, or you can spend $2-$3 per month for online personal training and nutrition that will get you in the body you deserve fast, safely, and effectively.

Check out Goal Fitness & Nutrition’s online personal training site for more in-depth information on how this service works, including video demos and pricing. We even have a free mobile app that displays exercise videos, allows you to track your workouts, and so much more!

Women! Brides! Pregnant Women! New Moms! Take a free tour and contact us when you’re ready to get started:

Bride. Baby. Body. Online

All the best,

Katie Kottmann

ISSA Elite Fitness Trainer, Sports Performance Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

Goal Fitness & Nutrition, LLC