My Four Week Transformation

My journey has just begun, but the progress is undeniable!

I’m proud to report in with some GOOD health and wellness updates. Nothing drastic or crazy, I’m not tuning back in with abs or having run a marathon or found some miracle fat burner. But I AM here to *humble* brag about some of the progress I’ve seen thus far on my journey towards a healthier, happier self.

If you checked out my last post you saw some pretty raw and embarrassing photos. My chubby tummy in all its glory, bared for the world to see. But there is a silver lining to those embarrassing photos: they serve as the BEST measurement of progress.

I know now that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story, but Karli a few years back was always set on a number. I don’t even REMEMBER that number anymore, but I do remember it being so far out of reach and so unrealistic and unattainable but striving and fighting to reach it anyway. Back in high school and college I didn’t know how to check myself and find what an accurate measurement of health was for ME. I always compared my body to other girls I saw on Tumblr and wanted their features: their slim waists and broad shoulders and gorgeous glutes. Even when I was at my healthiest I found so many things to hate about myself because I didn’t love myself, and instead wanted to replace those parts with literally ANYONE else’s. I remember at one point back then I was so frustrated because I didn’t think I had skinny enough ankles. ANKLES. And I remember hating how short I was. And thinking that my forearms were too big because I couldn’t wrap my hands around them. I had some serious issues!

And those issues lead to more issues. If you go into any “fitness” journey with a bleak mindset and hatred of your body, you’re never going to find what you’re looking for.

Gaining weight was a slow and steady thing, and I hated every moment of it. I would go on super low calorie or carb diets and then binge at night on wine and any snacks I could lay my hands on. I would workout for a few days then fall off for a week and beat myself up and then just eat whatever I wanted because “it didn’t matter anymore anyway”. It took me a long time to gain this 20+ pounds. But you know what else I managed to learn in that time?

I learned self love. I discovered the things and people that were holding me back and I let them go. I went to therapy. I worked on all the other parts of myself that were rotting in my core and I scooped them up and tossed them away. And what I found buried beneath all of that was this little seed of self love that I’ve been able to nurture and grow and now, even though I still struggle with body image and my weight sometimes, I’ve learned to love and be so happy with ME.

I think that’s a crucial step in any health journey. Step number one: love yourself as you are.

Step number one: love yourself as you are

Oof okay we got a little off track there. Back to the changes so far!

So, here comes my transformation photo so far. Drumroll please…

Photo on left taken October 1st, 2020. Photo on left taken October 25th, 2020.

So I don’t know what you see, but I see a girl who is KICKING A** and not letting excuses get in her way. It’s crazy to me because between these two photos I’ve only lost 2.9 pounds. But I’ve lost four inches all over my body, 1.75 of those around my navel (the most protruding part of my stomach). It’s amazing how much has changed without the weight really dropping.

Things I have been doing to finally see results this time:

  • Tracking macros. I track my calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates EVERY. DAY. No matter what. I include my wings and beers on Sunday during football games, I include that glass of wine I had to have after a stressful day of work, I include that ice cream treat I couldn’t resist at 10pm. Every. Single. Thing. that I eat is recorded and accounted for. This has helped me learn how much food is the right amount of food for me, which it turns out is more than I thought. It also helps me learn proper portion sizing and how to make room in my diet for my treats and cheats.
  • Eating clean. I strive to eat mostly clean whole foods in my diet, which I really thing has the highest impact on my progress so far. Breakfast is usually egg beaters with a large handful of spinach, a light amount of cheese, and some salsa or hot sauce. I will have bacon on the side if I have low fat dinner and lunch planned for later, or I will have toast if I need more carbs. As I’m typing this I just remembered I bought some avocados so I could have a healthier fat so GUESS WHAT I’M HAVING TOMORROW. Ooooo I’m excited.
  • Eating high protein. Another HUGE factor is the amount of protein I’m consuming. I make sure that 20% or less a day is from protein powders, and the rest is from clean whole sources such as chicken, ground turkey, eggs/egg beaters, quinoa, salmon, etc. I use protein powder in the morning in my coffee (but only a low 15g vegan one by Tone It Up), my new Phormula-1 chocolate milkshake protein post workout, and sometimes if I really crave ice cream I’ll make protein ice cream with another 15g of my vegan powder, some almond milk, and some ice.
  • Working out and giving it my all. I used to be a bit of a wimp doing workouts. For the last four years I’d do exercises that I preferred and at weights were I could complete the sets without much resistance. If I didn’t like an exercise (ie. lunges) I would skip them altogether. I wouldn’t even replace them! But now when I workout I give it my all. I do everything I’m told, and I try to max out my strength by going as heavy as I can for the given reps. I’m usually shaking by the end of each set, and the knowledge that I have to do more makes me want to groan sometimes. But I push through and I do it and I feel AMAZING afterwards. In just four weeks I’ve already seen pretty good improvements on my strength and endurance. For my workouts, I do personal training once or twice a week with a local trainer, and the other days I follow the workouts in my program on the My Transphormation app by 1stPhorm. This is also where I track my macros and calories, and have check ins with my amazing instructor for the eight week challenge group I’m in. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this app and finding a group that works for you, it’s so helpful having that team of people behind you cheering you on every single day. Which leads me right into my last point.
  • Being part of a group of like minded people. Since I started the eight week challenge with the My Transphormation app, I’ve been in a group of like minded people who are all in similar parts of their health journeys. There is accountability with daily workout and nutrition check ins, weekly weigh ins and measurement and photo updates, and our instructor is always available and quick to respond with any questions we have. Having this group of people going through the same thing as you are every day is so helpful and so motivating. It really helps keep me going on days when I really just want to eat junk food and binge some TV. I’ve ALSO started weekly competitions on my Apple Watch with a close friend. Loser at the end of the year has to buy the winner dinner/drinks. Talk about a motivator!

So, yea. That’s a high level view of what I’m doing that’s working for me this time around. And the photo doesn’t lie! I’m truly seeing progress, and I couldn’t be more proud.

xoxo, Karli

A New Weight Loss Journey

If you know me personally or IRL or even follow me on Instagram, you know I’m not new to the fitness world. In fact, my first “blog” (aka Tumblr account) was a health and wellness inspired account where I would post daily workouts, full day of eating (FDOE’s) posts, day in the life posts, etc. This was back in college when I used my fitness lifestyle and blogging as an escape from endless hours of studying. And back in college, I did things right! I ate intuitively, making sure to focus on protein intake and vegetables. I ran a couple times a week, did plenty of HIIT and strength training in the gym, and still managed to pull good grades in school and have a social life. Ah, the good old days. How was it so EASY back then?

Oh wait. It wasn’t.

I look back on those years with longing – the lifestyle may not have been “easy” but the habits were formed and I was able to follow them with ease. Here are some of the habits of healthy college Karli:

  • (on a school day) Wake up at 5:30/6:00 am
  • Make a weird healthy breakfast
    • A typical breakfast would be egg whites, two slices of wheat toast with peanut butter and banana, an Oikos greek yogurt, some broccoli because I’m weird, and a bolthouse farms juice or protein drink.
  • Get ready for school and arrive by 7:30, even though my first class wouldn’t start until 10.
  • Go to the business building cafe, get a mocha (this was before I could drink black coffee)
  • Study for a few hours, to go my classes, blah blah blah .
  • When I had my two hour lunch break I would head to the fitness center and get my workout in. I would start with about 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical or treadmill, then followed that with a strength training HIIT workout and some Ab work to finish. If I felt motivated or had the extra time, I would bring a textbook and sit on an exercise bike and study for a while and burn extra calories at the same time.
  • After this I would go to and buy a Core Power protein shake to have during my after lunch class.
  • I would have a late lunch around 2 or 3, there was this wrap place and I would often get a chicken wrap but lets be honest in college I had pizza for lunch 9 out of 10 times.
  • Finish out my classes, go home, eat some kind of meat and veggie for dinner (I lived with my dad at the time, so whatever he cooked I would eat).

It’s amazing that back in school this was just my routine. I used to be so good! And it paid off back then:

These photos above were from 2013. I was thin, fit, and probably eating close to 2000 calories a day. But I mean..I was in college too! So I was walking a TON with a 25+ pound backpack full of books and a laptop and full water bottles all day, taking stairs multiple times a day between classes, and having huge calorie burn days at the gym. My part time job was in a pharmacy where I was on my feet for 6-8 hours and would kill time by walking in circles around the place. And as I mentioned before, exercise back then was my escape from studying all day long.

Fast forward seven years (these were taken October 1st, 2020):

Talk about a backwards transformation! This is a super unflattering photo of me but if you’ve seen me in a swimsuit well you’ve seen it so here you go lol. Sitting at about 33-34 % body fat and 153 pounds on a good day, this is me in all my late 20s adulthood glory. A couple of breakups and lots of bottles of wine and cans of beer and pizzas and ice cream etc later, and wallah! This is how I look now.

Am I disappointed in myself? Maybe a little. Have I had breakdowns about my body image? Certainly! Have I tried crash diets and tons of workout programs in desperation to change, only to revert back to my old habits when my period would start or something bad would happen or simply when I felt depressed? You betcha. Even though I obviously KNOW how to lose weight and be healthy, my emotions or lack of motivation or heck even just information overload in regards to the fitness industry would send me on a downward spiral back to weight gain.

In the past few weeks I’ve really tried to focus on my health. A few months back I downloaded Noom, which was helping me form a healthy relationship with grains and fruit again, a relationship I had damaged with over a year of attempting keto on and off and being told almost all my life that “carbs are the enemy” and “the only way I’ve ever seen change was by cutting out bread” and other similar accounts from other people I knew trying to lose weight. I used the Noom app and started forming healthy habits and routines, the first being eating almost the same thing every single day. At first it was boring, but I quickly became used to the foods I was eating and began to look forward to them.

Since that photo above I have lost only a couple of pounds, but I have lost 6+ inches all over. I’m already noticing changes in my stomach (which is obviously my biggest problem area).

Already feeling slimmer here in the waist only a week later!

Here’s what I’m doing differently on my fitness journey this time around:

  • Eating the same things almost every day. This helps me learn about the macros I’m eating and helps me become more comfortable with proper portion sizes for the foods I eat.
  • Weighing myself every morning. I do this because I am comfortable and confident and the number does not cause me to spiral. If weighing yourself every day is harmful for you emotionally please do not do this. But I like to do it to see how my eating the day before can cause changes. It really puts things into perspective. For example, when I follow my macros and get proper exercise I can see either maintenance or about a half pound weight loss every day or couple of days. If I overeat or overindulge in sodium or ice cream or alcohol I can see that reflected on the scale with a slight increase in weight the next day due to bloating and water retention. It helps me make connections with what I’m doing and the effects those decisions have on my body and on my progress.
  • Taking progress photos and body measurements once a week. I usually update these first thing Sunday morning before I consume anything! Measurements are amazing because sometimes the scale won’t budge but fat will be melting off you. I highly recommend measuring if weighing yourself isn’t your thing!
  • Personal training and an eight week challenge. For YEARS I have wanted a personal trainer. After paying off my car I was finally able to pull the trigger and have been working out with a trainer for a few weeks now, and I look forward to each and every session. It’s pricey but it’s WORTH IT. I am also enrolled in a free eight week transformation challenge with 1st Phorm. I use their app to track my intake throughout the day and work with my group leader to make any adjustments to ensure I’m still seeing progress. On the days I don’t have personal training, I follow the workouts provided within the app. I really recommend this app for people who want a one stop shop for nutrition and exercise recommendations. I pay $5 for the premium version which makes tracking even easier and gives you more exercise options!
  • Protein coffee in the morning. I got this idea from the leader of my eight week challenge group. She puts a scoop of protein powder in her coffee every morning to help jumpstart the fat burn process first thing. It’s a little strange to get used to at first, but I look forward to this every day now. I’ve been using one scoop of the Tone It Up protein powder in the Cinnamon Roll flavor.

I have a long ways to go to get to my college level, and I know I’ll never look the same as that again. But it’s nice to know that the physique I want for myself is attainable, because I’ve kind of been there already. My goal is to get to either 135 lbs or 25 % bodyfat by Christmas, or to fit into size 6 jeans. With the progress I’ve already made the past week and a half, I’m confident I can get there. The support and encouragement I’ve received from friends and family also helps keep me going. It’s going to be a long journey, but I plan on making this a lifestyle and living the healthiest I can for the rest of…well, forever.

Follow me along in my Instagram to see my daily stories with workout selfies, what I’m eating, and other fun stuff along the way!

xo, Karli