It’s no secret here that I started the summer wanting to lose 10 pounds, which is not a big goal or a massive undertaking, or even worthy of before-and-after photos. But I’ll tell you, I had no clue what kind of transformation was going to take place. I’m a changed girl, and it has a lot less to do with weight than you’d think (though, for the record, I did lose 10 pounds.) I’m so excited to share everything here so I can continue reaching goals with healthy living.

See, I lost weight a couple years ago- about 25 pounds- rather unhealthily. I was having some health issues and basically, I just stopped eating. I’d have half a 100 calorie brownie and a small bowl of blueberries for lunch and then skip out on dinner. There was definitely not much exercise. And after awhile, my friends and family got worried, sat me down, and threatened to send me to a clinic in South Carolina for people with eating disorders, which scared me into eating again. After that, I ate sort of healthily. I generally had salad for lunch at school, but there were other times when I, well…didn’t. And I ate cookies! And brownies! And lots of other things that don’t scream “healthy.” When I went to college, I made lots and lots of good decisions (I ate a salad with almost every meal!)- but also lots of bad ones. Basically, I just skipped the idea of moderation and ate a salad- plus four brownies and three slices of pizza at 3 a.m. Not the best plan. I gained around 7 pounds away at college and I wanted that off, but I really wanted to do it in a healthy way. That meant actually eating- and exercising.

What’s ensued has been somewhat of an eye-opening experience. Slowly, I’ve come around to the idea that healthy eating doesn’t have to be “dieting.” I can eat healthily, enjoy eating, and also eat “bad” food in moderation without gaining weight (and actually while losing it.) I can also exercise for just 30 minutes a day and receive major health benefits from it. Um, yes please! That said, I’ve definitely been in “dieting” mode this summer- no sweets, fried foods, etc.- but as I move in maintaining my weight, I’ll start enjoying those again- in moderation! I am so, so excited to finally have my own kitchen, which means I’m finally in control of what I eat as much as I want to be, no matter what, for the first time in my life. When I’m living at home, I’m sort of at the mercy of whatever we’re having for dinner which is healthy sometimes, and sometimes it’s not. I’m also really pumped to try out lots of healthier recipes for sweets- they’re out there, that’s for sure.

As far as exercising goes, I’ve discovered something simple: it feels good to exercise. I’ve never been athletic, and so exercise has always sort of scared me. But I’ve been realizing that I’m quite capable of doing lots of things that aren’t sporty at all, and actually require little to no coordination. It’s amazing how much better I feel after doing something as simple as power walking instead of, say, watching television for just a half hour. I’ve also completed the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels and while I didn’t notice a huge drop in weight or anything, I definitely got stronger, which was all I was really after.

I’d love to start posting some of the (hopefully) great things we cook this year, as well as awesome exercising we’ll take part in. The gym at the University of Alabama is to die for! Kickboxing, here I come. Look out for lots of new installments about healthy living, and if you’re interested in it, check out these really splendid blogs/ sites that I’ve been following:

Carrots ‘n Cake
Danica’s Daily
Trading Up Downtown


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