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

August Reading Review

You guys, I’m going to get better at blogging one of these days. And I mean that! This blog isn’t intended to be a book blog, but it’s starting out that way. With COVID there just isn’t a lot of exciting stuff going on in my life worth blogging about (*queue world’s smallest violin*) . So for now: you get book reviews.

In August I treated myself to four books, two from Barnes & Noble and two from Book of the Month Club. If you haven’t checked out BOTM yet and you read on average at least one book a month, I HIGHLY recommend checking them out. For $14.99 you get to choose one book each month, and that includes shipping. The books are hardcover, making them already a great deal! For an extra $9.99 you can add-on a second book, which means for about $24 you are getting two hard cover books, shipped directly to you. GOOD. DEAL. I highly recommend giving them a try, and if you do please use this link to help your girl out! Without further adieu, onto the review!

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

3/5 Stars

Every once in a while I like to dig into a fantasy novel, and Sarah J. Maas has written some of my favorite series! When I walked into Barnes & Noble and saw this title on the shelf I knew I had to have it. I was even happier when I realized it’s going to be a new series. The book itself is thicccc, with 803 glorious pages full of drama, action, mystery, and adventure. Follow protagonist Bryce as she is thrown immediately into a mess far out of her control, and into a mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end. There are a few raunchy adult bits, as is typical per SJM’s style. If you’re not into that, I promise the story is still worth reading.

SJM does not have very diverse writing. Her characters are always described as super attractive model types with some secret backstory. There’s a hot girl with a secret, a hot broody guy who starts to be nice slowly, etc. But honestly, part of the appeal to me with her stories is that I can go in and get sucked into a story knowing full well what I’m getting into. With just enough surprise and mystery to keep me on my toes, but also while giving me the idea of what might just happen next.

If you like raunchy fantasy fiction, give it a try!

Afterland by Lauren Beukes

3/5 Stars

Follow a mom (Cole) and her son (Myles) as she navigates a world practically void of men to a safe space where they can live freely. And blood isn’t always thicker than water. Plot twist: her sister is out to get them, hoping to make her own riches using Myles for re-population efforts among the financial elite. Do you think Cole and Myles make it to safety? And what must the small family overcome along the way?

I wanted so badly to love this book. The post-apocalyptic world Beukes describes is full of some very real and very compelling concerns, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. For me it may have been the writing style, the constant back and forth between Past, Present, Super Past, Past, Present…too much. I feel the book would have read better if it was written chronologically.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

4/5 Stars

Johnson shows us a world where multiple dimensions exist, and mankind has discovered how to travel between them. This travel is used to collect data from hundreds of other Earths to Earth Zero (the OG) to anticipate anything from stock market reactions to citizenship levels. The trick is: you can’t travel to a planet where your doppelganger still exists. One girl, Cara, is a specialist when it comes to travelling: with only eight doppelgangers between 372 Earths, she can go just about anywhere. But tensions rise when another doppelganger of hers is pronounced dead, unlocking a new Earth for her that comes with a big secret that Cara just can’t shake.

Trigger Warning: there is domestic emotional/physical abuse brought up throughout the book.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

5/5 Stars

There’s…I…. I don’t even know where to begin here. This book isn’t ANYTHING like I was expecting. I didn’t read the reviews, I didn’t even read the description of the book on Goodreads. I expected such a cute, simple, Elin Hildenbrand-esque predictable summer beach read novel and NO. This was so amazing (not that Elin’s writing isn’t…but just..UGH). Read it, I really think you’ll love it.

So. I think we can all agree I’m sub-par when it comes to book reviews. BUT I like sharing what I’ve read, just as much as I like hearing what others have been reading. Sharing stories…does life really get any better?

Have you read any of these books and have any opinions? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

upcoming September reads:

Back to Blogging

Here we go again.

I’m not new to this. I’ve “started” a blog a handful of times now, but I’ve never really stuck with it. In my head, “blogging” is akin to running a Tumblr account. In high school and early college I LOVED scrolling through different hashtags on Tumblr for hours, “reblogging” images to my page that I felt fit my aesthetic. Usually that would be anything from wellness and fitness to nature photography to food. Occasionally on Tumblr I would post something original: workout stats, Myfitnesspal logs, meal ideas, and progress photos. Sometimes I would post something more along the lines of a diary entry. Sometimes I would go full out “emo” and post a stupid self-deprecating quote or some vague depressing song lyric. You know, typical young adult stuff…right?

The nice thing about Tumblr is that it was easy. So easy that it inspired me to start multiple different wordpress blogs. I think some of them are still out there if you look hard enough. But they definitely fall into that young adult “emo” category more than a useful or interesting lifestyle blog. This time around, I have a more focused vision in mind.

Karli’s Kandid Life is a play on words off of my photography business, Karli’s Kandids. I’ve used this as my Instagram handle for a few years now, and it just kind of stuck. It really transitions easily to a blog name, don’t you think? Karli’s Kandid Life is going to be a lifestyle blog. Expect posts from me about hiking, vacations, recipes I’m loving, books I’m reading, clothes/accessories I’m dying for (because as much as I try to escape it, I’m a tad materialistic), cute photos of my cats and my dog, etc. Another type of post you can expect will be those regarding transitioning into a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. Those ones will be pretty important to me, and I hope maybe they can convince some readers how easy it is to ditch a “one-time use disposables” lifestyle and replace those things with longer lasting, environmentally friendly alternatives.

Another focus of mine will be small/local business shopping. One of my personal goals for this year is to start taking my shopping habits and redirecting the focus from big brand box stores and billionaires to local artisans and small business owners. If I find some amazing products or small scale brands, I want to share them with others and encourage everyone to try to shop more local business.

My life isn’t glamorous. I won’t be one of those bloggers posting photos of their luxury beauty products on carrera marble counter tops. I don’t wear a size zero (or heck, even a size six) and look amazing in slip dresses and blouses. But I’m excited to share some of the best parts of my normal, simple life. And I hope that any of you reading this find joy in what I have to say, but if you don’t that’s okay too.

Thanks for stopping by. ❤

P.S. Here’s a pretty picture of my hibiscus tree’s blooms. Honestly I’m just uploading this so I can see how the image looks in the post and how it might interact with the rest of the site. However, if you’re like me and love hibiscus flowers and are looking for a tree of your own, I highly recommend checking out Bremec Garden Center. I purchased mine from the Concord location in early May and she’s still doing so well and blooming so nicely, and I’m not exactly a green thumb.