My Fitness Journey

before and after

I have wanted to share this post with you for a while now, and finally feel like since it’s a new year, now is the perfect time.  I have worked out for most of my adult life, but have gone through phases of doing different things over time.  One thing that I never changed…

…was my diet.  I pretty much ate anything that I wanted for most of my life until August of last year.  My problem area was always my upper body and tummy area, which is all food related.  I LOVE eating sweets and anything fattening in general that tastes yummy, and being raised in the south on “Paula Deen” style eating has not worked to my advantage!  I tried going gluten free, and cutting carbs over the years, but nothing ever worked.  I hurt my knee in the fall of 2015 and was unable to work out for a long time!  Even after it healed, I was so out of my workout routine and not motivated at all.  I also developed severe gastritis during this time due to not managing my stress and not eating a healthy diet.  My doctor put me on the strongest gastritis medicine possible and I was still having episodes that were excruciatingly painful.  My body had enough and I knew I had to make a change!  I was referred by 2 close friends to a personal trainer and started with him in August of last year.  Once I built some muscle and strengthened my knee, I began doing Orange Theory Fitness the following month in September.

Since then, I have lost 4 pounds, which I know isn’t a lot, but here’s what’s really mind blowing!    My body fat percentage was almost 30% and is now 19.4%.  My skeletal muscle mass has increased by almost 20 lbs and I have lost 4 inches from my waist.  My total cholesterol has gone down by 54 mg (it was 209 at its highest) and triglycerides down by 27 mg (84 at the highest).  The best part is that I was able to get off all of my meds and only use them sparingly for maintenance.  I feel incredible!!

My Workouts:

I included a short video at the bottom to show some of my current lower body workouts.  I always thought that I would get big by lifting heavy weights, and that is not the case.  I lift moderately heavy weights for 30 minutes and do 30 minutes on the stair master 3 times a week with a personal trainer.  I also incorporate other strength training and take Orange Theory Fitness classes for 2-3 other days a week.  A normal week for me includes working out 5-6 days a week.  I have found that I like to mix it up with my workouts because I am the type of person that gets bored easily doing the same thing over and over.

My Diet:

Just FYI, I go to the store only once a week to get everything I need and meal prep.  I do not spend a lot of time doing this, usually only about 1-2 hours max per week.  I use the slow cooker for most of my meats and purchase frozen veggies to cook in the over or to steam.  It’s pretty plain and simple, and I’ve cut my food bill in half!


4 egg whites

1/3 cup oatmeal with 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/3 cup berries


1-4 oz. grilled chicken breast (I also cook them in water in the slow cooker in water and season with minimal salt and pepper).  I love Skinny Latina marinade to pour on it.  You can find that at Whole Foods.

1/2 cup cauliflower

1/3 cup white quinoa


4 oz 99% fat free ground turkey

1/2 cup broccoli


4 oz grilled chicken or pork tenderloin

1/2 cup green beans

1/2 sweet potato

Post Workout:

1 scoop of Hydro Whey protein powder

1/2 banana

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (sometimes I use a whole banana and omit the pumpkin seeds)

I mix with 4 ice cubes and water


Stay tuned for updates on workout routines & diet/meal prep ideas!