General Post

Q and A: Who are you?

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I get a number of questions on my posts on Instagram every day. Some I try to answer right away and others I miss. There are a few I ignore, let’s not lie, people want information faster than Google can provide it and that leads to some questions that I believe I don’t need to answer. But, I thought it might be fun to do a post of just Q and A and see what you guys actually want to know.

Here are the questions I’ve received through email, DM and comments.

Have you and JP talked about marriage?

Yes we have. I actually have a promise ring that he got me within the first six months of dating, but it’s too big for my finger so I don’t wear it as much anymore. We need to get it resized. As far as marriage, we didn’t want to get engaged while we were long distance. We started dating in September 2014, but we didn’t live in the same state as each other until two months ago. We don’t have any plans to move forward with an engagement, but we also believe that we act more like a married couple than some of our married friends do. We don’t believe having a legal document is necessary to be committed to each other.

What’s the major change that you made in your lifestyle that helped you lose weight – other than working out everyday?

I don’t work out everyday. I work out five to six days a week because you do need to rest to recover. But more importantly than working out, I changed my eating habits and eventually my nutritional approach. I started with calorie counting because I knew I was consuming TOO MUCH for my body. I was still consuming over 2,000 calories a day when I started, but I was seeing a loss because this was lower than my normal had been. I tried the paleo diet from August-ish 2013 to November 2013, which helped me get out of my comfort zone with vegetables, but I found it out of my price range. I did lose around 20 pounds, but I wasn’t tracking my intake. I went back to calorie counting and being mindful with my eating until June 2014. I started macro counting with a clean eating focus as I prepped for my first bikini competition. I lost 24 pounds over 22 weeks, but I felt too restricted so I switched to macro counting with a flexible focus, which is where I am today. You need to eat for your goals. You can’t outwork a poor diet.

When you’re stuck in a rut and are trying to get out, but nothing seems to be working, how do you keep going?

I continuously evaluate my goals and make changes as necessary. Whenever I was seeking to lose weight, I did. I never truly plateaued unless it was intentional like during my master’s program when I was focusing on work and school over my weightloss. The journey is going to be frustrating, there’s going to be times when it’s hard. You have to be willing to challenge yourself. I’m very Type A and I have a must-do personality, not everyone is like that, but I believe that making lists of a plan to accomplish your goals and taking notes along the way is helpful when progress is stalling.

What’s your favorite statue photo?

How did Bella get her name?

I’m as uncreative as a three year old and Bella came with her name on her tag, but I thought it suited her.

Is it a mindfuck when you think about how many people follow your journey and look forward to your posts?

Yes and no. I ask myself – how did I convince so many people I was doing something extraordinary? Anyone can lose weight, anyone can set a goal. But I guess what people find extraordinary is the follow through. How many people are setting goals, reaching them, creating new ones, developing a plan of attack and being honest about the good and the bad. You see a lot of people talking about social media being the highlight reel. Maybe I haven’t video taped a binge or a dissociative episode, but I do write and photo much of my life to give a better picture – bring more clarity to what a journey of weightloss and living could look like.

Did you ever expect to be “Instagram famous”?

I’m not famous. Please take me down from the pedestal before I fall.

Where do you buy all the fun coffee you drink?

I don’t seek it out at a specific store. I always check the coffee and tea aisle at my local grocery store – we have Price Chopper, Big Y and Shaw’s near me. I also check the food section at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. You can find some awesome flavors if you just skim through.

Do you eat carbs?


Do you track sugar?

Kind of because I noticed that I break out if I eat too much. My daily sugar goals – both natural and added – is around 60g, I’m usually well under… unless I eat a doughnut or cupcake.

Do you track fiber?

Yes, pooping is important for a healthy body and for weightloss. I follow the CDC guidelines of roughly 14g per 1000 calories consumed. I eat between 22-30g of fiber daily through food.
How did you start getting your eating on track? 

It really started with calorie counting. I knew I was eating too much and I needed to reel it in. Like I said in the question above, I was still eating over 2,000 calories daily, but it was such a drastic change in calories that it made a difference. As far as what I was consuming, I looked at what didn’t have nutritional value and what wasn’t needed and stopped buying it. This was mostly soda, chips, pasta and breads. I never went low carb, but I leveled out my consumption. It also saved me a lot financially. I bought what I needed and tried to eat everything so I didn’t have to throw anything out.

What kind of movies, books, music and TV shows are you into?

This is a loaded question. I love political dramas like The West Wing and Scandal – which, sometimes I question if it’s a true political drama. I’m a Law and Order SVU junkie, Stabler and Benson for life! My musical tastes differ with the day. I listen to classic rock and 90s hip hop (JP shocking learned that I know all the words to Gangsta’s Paradise, JP knows most of the words to Amish Paradise), I like country music and I have Sugarland lyrics tattooed on my ribs. Books – mostly young adult fiction. I like stories that could happen in real life, I can connect with the characters; however, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland are gold. I also have an Alice quote tattooed. Movies are hard because there’s so much variety.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Paris. I love art and history. To see those museums would be amazing. I would also love to experience a city that is so walkable and adventurous like that. Granted, NYC and Boston are walkable, but just like Parisians probably don’t see something magical about Paris, I don’t see as much magic here as there. Also, food.

What interests or hobbies does JP have?

JP loves cars. Everything to do with cars. He owns more motorcycles and cars than a 27-year-old should own, but he also does the work on them. He’s showed me how to change my oil, but I usually leave that to him. He’s changed my breaks and done other handy things that I would’ve paid too much money for as well. We go to car shows in the summer and he hangs out with a group of other guys that are into cars too. His friend Tom has a YouTube channel where all he talks about is cars. These guys are serious.

What surprised you (if anything) about living with JP?

He’s a lot more needy than I thought he would be. I’m joking and I’m serious at the same time. I love spending time with him. I do like cuddling. However, lately, with some of the stress and anxiety flying high, I need space. He doesn’t always understand even if I tell him I need space right now. When he’s sad he likes to be touched or held or snuggled, but sometimes when I’m sad or frustrated I want to be left alone. We’re still working on how we can communicate this to each other effectively. Easier said than done, but we’ve only been living together for just over two months.

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