Fitness Diary :: Part One

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

So I know I've been casually mentioning my change in diet and beginning of a workout routine here and there in random posts, but now that I've officially completed a month of my journey, I thought it was about time to share all the details and my progress with y'all! And, of course, some gratuitous photos with Chai, but she pretty much interrupts my actual working out on the daily, so these photos aren't too far from the truth.

I guess the real place to begin this post story (it's a long one guys, just so you know), is at my freshman year of college. I was always a little pudgier throughout high school, and though I was never over weight, I was always out of shape and had terrible eating habits. When I got to college, I did the exact opposite of the freshman 15 and lost probably around 25-30 pounds because the food at Evergreen is just so terrible. Seriously, it is that horrible, and there are no communal cooking spaces (or cooking spaces at all) for freshmen in dorms, so I had to take advantage of my meal plan. Aside from the bad food, I had also gotten really caught up in counting my calories, which can basically be boiled down to being in a bad relationship that felt out my hands and the food giving me something I could completely control. Plus I felt so good being thin and the more my boyfriend at the time told me he liked me heavier because my boobs were bigger that way, the more I wanted to control what I was doing just to stick it to him. 


Fast forward one year and I was living in an apartment on campus with no meal plan and a kitchen. My parents had moved to Arizona. I couldn't go home for meals and I was totally in control of feeding myself for the first time ever. I was eating little microwave mac'n'cheese bowls and ice cream pretty much every day. Not good. I gained all the weight back that I had lost, plus some. I felt disgusting. And the more I hated my body, the more I felt helpless and just ate. Basically a vicious cycle. I started going on runs and trying to exercise in my tiny room, but I kept eating the same, and when I didn't see any changes or feel any more fit, I just gave up. While I was going through all of this, I met my lovely Michael, and for the first time I was with someone that made me feel super confident and happy, instead of someone who tore me down. I decided I need to kick myself back into my calorie counting.

So I did. I meticulously counted calories, and while visiting my parents in Arizona I started going on runs and working out every other day. I felt good. I felt in control. I didn't want to feel fat anymore and I didn't know any other way to get back to how thin I used to be, so I kept eating my macaroni and ice cream, but just made sure it fit into my daily caloric intake. It took a long time, but this eventually worked and got me back to the weight I felt really good at. I was fitting back into all my old jeans and everything was fantastic. But I was still blaringly out of shape, and had terrible eating habits. Sure I looked thinner, but I had no muscle whatsoever and a tummy pudge that made me sad every time I caught sight of it in the mirror.


Next, we find ourselves at the beginning of May of this year. Michael and I have been steadily dating for almost two years, and live together in a cabin on a lake with our baby girl Chai, and our fat cat Lady Foot. We were however, eating terribly. We both knew it. We both talked about eating better, planning meals, getting in shape, all that stuff. But we still sat around eating our sour cream and onion chips (so good), and just grabbing whatever junk food looked good when we bought groceries. I had developed a major orange soda addiction, and since I could get a zero calorie version, I thought it was totally ok. Then I stumbled across something somewhere on the internet, down some hole, about a fitness plan for women and a meal plan and how great you could look and blah blah blah, and thought to myself, "This is it. I need to make a change. I feel disgusting, I'm out of shape, let's do it." That particular plan was over $100 for the meal guide alone, and just not in my budget. I felt so hopeless. A few days later I googled, "pilates workout plan," or something like that, and up popped Cassey Ho of Blogilates. I recognized her from a video I had favorited on YouTube forever ago and began to explore her site. Her infectious personality immediately won me over, and the fact that she comes out with a monthly workout calendar completely for free was amazing. I purchased her 8 Week Hot Body Meal Plan and told Michael that we were going to make a change and finally eat the way we'd been talking about. I also bought her fit journal to track all my progress, as well as meals, and water intake. I thrive on structure, so I knew if I didn't have something planned out meal by meal, workout by workout, I would fail. I didn't have any of these skills, I'd be developing everything from scratch. And so my journey began.

Now it's April, and I am half way through my meal plan, and just finished the beginner calendar Cassey created to get newbies up to speed and prepared for her regular monthly calendars. I feel so excited, and though the change has been slow, even noticing little things has been a huge motivator to keep going. The biggest thing I have noticed has not been a physical change, but a change in how I feel. Before switching to clean eating, I felt heavy after every meal. Sluggish. Weighted down and just blek, but I thought that was just normal. Now I feel healthy and energized after every meal! I feel clean and yummy and not like I need a nap. When I have a cheat meal and think I'm going to pig out on some foods I haven't had for awhile, I always end up unable to eat as much as I used to, or thinking they are now too rich or just too gross. It's fantastic. I still love my mac though, that will never change. During my first month I definitely hit a few roadblocks, I hurt myself a few times working out (I have really bad knees and lower back and tend to push myself too hard for fear of feeling like a failure), and I was pretty sick this past week, causing me to miss half a week of workouts, but once I compared my before and during photos side by side, the progress was still so clear to me! So I'll stop babbling now (sorry this is so long) to show you some before photos next to what I look like at the present. Ignore my lack of makeup, I do not get pretty when I workout because I think that's just silly. I'm a girl who sweats. Sweaty makeup face is just ew. 




 I know the changes are small (the biggest one may in fact be that I finally have cute workout clothes, thank you Forever 21), but the fact that I am feeling so much better on the inside is already worth so much to me. My body is thanking me for treating it well, and I'm really wondering why I didn't realize how badly I was being to it sooner. My body carries me through life, why should I fill it with junk in return? I shouldn't. It's also the little things about my appearance that keep me eager to keep going. My mom had always joked about my lack of upper body strength (it's really quite pathetic), and the other day in the car I moved in my arm in some way and she said, "is that a muscle I see?" We both laughed. And while it may seem silly, those are the things that make it so easy to keep going! I can't wait to fill you in when I'm done with my meal plan, or done with my fitness journal all together (it lasts for 12 weeks, so I'll have a chance to try clean eating without the plan...eep). I'm definitely loving trying to come up with clean recipes for Sunday Yumday, and I hope you guys don't mind the change from my super guilty pleasure baked goods. (They haven't disappeared for good, no worries.) All in all, I am so happy I found Cassey and her amazing community of POPsters. I'm sorry if this was incredibly long and boring, it'll be back to the norm tomorrow! Scroll down for one more photo of Chai if you're still with me. I made sure to save some of her fluffy goodness for last!


6 comments:

  1. I had a similar struggle! I was pudgy in middle school, lost a ton of weight in high school, slowly gained it back, then lost a ton again in college. I pretty much yo-yoed until I reached my 20s. I don't have a meal plan or practice true clean eating, though I would if it weren't so damn expensive. I do try to avoid processed foods. That's pretty much what I'm trying to live by. I just finished Insanity Max 30, and that worked amazingly for me. I feel a lot stronger, and I lost some inches! I've done the regular Insanity, I tried T25, and now I did Insanity Max 30 so now I'm going to just take all the workouts I like best and do one of them 3-4 times a week. I pretty much hate working out, but I like how I feel after and the next day. It's a good thing to take care of your body, because you only have one!

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    1. Yes! yo-yoing is the perfect word for it! And clean eating is certainly much more expensive than the way we used to eat. It's such a shame that it has to be that way, you know? I think after the meal plan is done, we're going to kind of invent a medium that works for both of us and is hopefully less expensive. Luckily our local farmers market is opening up now that the weather is nicer, so shopping there for fresh and local things will be a dream!
      I haven't tried any other workout programs yet, but Michael loves insanity. He means to start it up again soon. I'm a little afraid of it myself honestly, haha.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  2. I always enjoy reading about other people's fitness journeys. Mine is similar to yours - pudgy throughout middle/high school, lost weight in college and kept it off, but have been struggling to get back to that weight for the last 1.5-2 years. At one point in my life I was going to yoga 4 times a week and working 50-60 hours/week at a restaurant, and I looked the best I've ever looked. My metabolism kept my weight under control until recently. I don't know if it's just getting older, or if it has a little something to do with hormones... but I put on 20 pounds in a year! Nothing noticeable because it's all evenly distributed, but I figured it out when I tried on all my summer clothing last year and none of it fit :( Since then, I've gotten back into a regular yoga routine and I eat healthy 85% of the time (I don't go crazy with it though, I just try not to keep unhealthy foods around the house). I feel good, but my weight hasn't changed and I still have a belly pudge I'd love to see go! So I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing. I'll be interested to read another update after you keep this up :)
    Also, I did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred two years ago and loved it - you should look into it!

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    1. I'm so glad you shared your story with me! I love hearing other people's tales, and getting to know commenters. Yoga is definitely a hugely powerful practice, both physically and mentally. I need to starting doing it alongside my currant pilates routine. It has always helped me feel more relaxed and balanced. I've never tried anything Jillian Michael's, but I have heard good things, so I may try it out in the near future!
      ♡ Mariah Alysz

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  3. Congratulations! I loved reading your story, and it's very inspiring! :) I tried Cassie Ho's meal plan, but I stopped after 2 weeks. One of my favorite things from it that I did stick to was the Egg and Banana pancake recipe. Those little pancakes are THE best!

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    1. Oh my goodness yes! Those pancakes!!! So simple and just stupid good! They are my boyfriend's new favorite thing. He is *obsessed* with them!
      I'm so happy you took the time to read my story!
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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