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.
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…
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.