My weight loss story: How I used the spiralizer to get healthy and lose 25 pounds

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

You might want to bookmark this post, print it out, or save it for a weekend morning when you have time to waste. Or, grab a bowl of popcorn, lean back and get to scrollin’.

Why?

I’ve never been a short-winded person. I’m terrible at keeping this “short and sweet.” I love to talk, write and explain. And today, of all days, I’m especially verbose, because I’m pouring my heart out about my personal weight loss journey.

Journey? Yes, a journey, because it’s ever-evolving and it has taken me quite a while to get the point I am at today. I’m sharing my story in hopes that I’ll inspire others. After posting up my gym selfies on my Inspiralized and GetInspiralized Instagram, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my diet and exercise, so, I figured what better way than to share that on the blog? Besides, I don’t think IG can handle this many words – and it’s too tough to type this all out on an iPhone!

Hmm. Where to start? It was a cold and rainy— ha, just kidding! I’m going to start by talking about my general weight journey and then get into the nitty gritty of how I lost weight, how I stayed on track and what my goals are now.

If you want to skip the background story, scroll to the section on “Taking Control.”

Let me preface this entire post by saying that there is no printable on “how to lose weight.” Losing weight isn’t short term, it’s forever – it’s a lifestyle. Once you lose the weight, you have to maintain. I’m not going to say “do X, Y and Z, and you’ll be skinny!”

I’ve never believed in Britney Spear’s “Work Bitch” song more than now, after truly committing to losing weight. There are absolutely no short cuts. I work my butt off at every work out to the point where I’m dripping sweat everywhere AND I have to give up some of the yummier things in life, at least on a daily basis (as you’ll learn, I definitely indulge.)

Disclaimer: Of course, I’m not a certified nutritionist, I’m certainly not a doctor (I got a C in Chemistry) and I don’t have any training to offer medical advice. This post is intended to share my own personal journey and meant to inspire and incite motivation in others. Please consult your doctor before making any massive changes in your lifestyle.

BEFORE GETTING HEALTHY: YO-YO DIETING AND WEIGHT GAIN

Once I quit my corporate job on June 25, 2013 to pursue my dreams with Inspiralized, my life was turned upside down. No longer did I have a schedule where I had to be certain places at certain times. No longer did I have to eat at certain hours, around a work schedule. No longer was I walking a couple of miles to work and back every day. No longer was I making a steady income, so I couldn’t meet friends out as much as before. When I sat down at the coffee shop on June 26, 2013 and started Inspiralized.com (the day after I quit my job!), I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen with my life – there were a lot of things up in the air. My adrenaline was pumping and I was full steam ahead.

Unfortunately, I neglected my self in the process. While I was immensely proud about my blog, I wasn’t proud of my body. It was hard for me to get motivated to go to the gym, when I had sat down the whole day blogging or if I had stood up the whole day cooking. I told myself that it was more important to work on the blog than my body – that my body will always be there, but my blog only has one shot to be as successful as I want it to be.

Often times, since I was in my kitchen the whole day, I was haunted by the pantry. No one was around and no one could see what I was eating or doing. While I was eating healthy things, I wasn’t practicing portion control. I would snack all day long, housing peanut butter and banana sandwiches, bags of pistachios and tubs of hummus with pita. By the time Lu got home, I was so bloated and upset with myself, I had no motivation to go to the gym. Instead, again, I turned to food and would eat an entire bag of popcorn.

I would buy a size 6, hoping I’d fit into it if I “just eat healthy for two weeks, I’ll lose 15 pounds.” It was ludicrous. I was tipping the scale at 177 in November of 2013 and my uniform was Lululemon spandex and a baggy t-shirt. Even when I did go out, I had to wear spandex and chunky sweaters out, because that’s all I had, since I refused to buy the proper clothes for my heavy self. I went to the gym very sporadically and never consistently – I’d go for 4 days straight, then skip two weeks. I wanted a quick fix, like we all do.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[The above picture was taken at a 5k race that I could barely finish, in June 2013, probably around 167]

Prior to starting this journey, I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I let it control my life and I upset many friends. I would cancel plans if I had eaten poorly that day, because I didn’t want to show my bloated self to people. I would cancel plans if I had eaten healthy that day, because I didn’t want to “ruin” my “good day.” It was not only selfish, but it was foolish – there’s more to life than being skinny. Having said that, there’s a way you can have it all (my point is coming soon, I promise!)

TAKING CONTROL

The worst part about my struggles with my weight is that I was running a healthy food blog! I was telling my readers that eating Inspiralized was healthy (it is!) and it promotes weight loss (it does!) yet I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching – I was closet binge eating on top of eating these delicious Inspiralized meals. I was absolutely out of control, because I was in denial – “Oh, it’s tough working from home, I’m so busy with the blog I rather work on it than go to the gym.

Then, 6 months into Inspiralized, in January 2014 hit, I wrote this post about going on a weight loss journey. I started the journey at 168.5 pounds. My goal? 135/140.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture is me in January 2014]

By June, I had lost about 12 pounds in 5 months, just by starting to exercise more frequently. I still wasn’t eating as healthy nor exercising as consistently as I could have been – there would be three days straight where I didn’t work out and housed a loaf of bread while sitting at my desk working. I actually wrote a post then about how I was living a healthier lifestyle, as I was – but I still wasn’t making the total change I needed to be at my healthiest.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

 [Above picture was at about 155 pounds in May 2014]

I ended this part of my journey at about 156 pounds. I was feeling much better than where I had started at 168, but I still hadn’t hit my goal and I just wanted sustainable balance, and I wanted to feel comfortable with my body once and for all. It was the same yo-yo dieting I had done in previous years – nothing had truly changed. I could feel myself climbing back up to 168, some days waking up at 162 after a “bad” weekend.

Enter June 2014. I was starting to make arrangements for my cookbook photoshoot, where I personally would be photographed, in a kitchen, eating my healthy recipes. I had worked so hard on building Inspiralized and creating a community where people looked forward to my healthy, satisfyingly delicious recipes. I worked hours and hours, sacrificed so much to get to the point where I was living my dream, writing my own cookbook and had a professional photographer to photograph my recipes and me.

I wasn’t going to throw that all away for a bag of Stacy’s pita chips or a pint of Talenti. I wasn’t going to let my lazy, selfish behavior get in the way of my one shot at my dreams. How could I feel bloated and uncomfortable while photographing a cookbook that’s promoting healthy eating? It made absolutely no sense and I was ashamed that I had let myself get to this point. Luckily, I had all these healthy recipes at my fingertips – I just needed to stop all the other nonsense!

So, the cookbook shoot date was set for the last week of August, right before Labor Day. That gave me about 3 months to take control.

BUILDING A PLAN

Enter June 4, 2014. I opened up my Instagram account @GetInspiralized. I was nervous, embarrassed and afraid, but I knew I had to hold myself accountable. I told myself that I would take a workout selfie every time I worked out (very few times I forgot) and I would talk about what I did and how I felt. I would try to take similar poses, so I could visually see my progress, as I lost weight. I also told myself I’d periodically check in on the scale and take a picture.

So, I set a weight loss goal: I wanted to weigh 140/145 pounds. Maybe I’d lose weight beyond that, but I knew myself and the type of figure I wanted to maintain and 140/145 seemed like an attainable and healthy weight for my curvy, 5’8” frame. I figured I’d start there and reassess once I hit that goal, based on how I felt and how my clothes fit. Keep in mind I started at 168, so this would be a total of almost 30 pounds lost.

My plan?
- Start exercising consistently
- Take control of my eating

EXERCISE

Aside from that, I decided to take control of my workout behavior. I resolved to work out at least 5 days a week and be consistent. To me, 5 days in a row consistently seemed daunting, but after I posted up my first picture on @GetInspiralized, I knew there was no turning back – I was blessed with the chance to make something of Inspiralized, I wasn’t going to ruin it and I was going to enlist my loyal, supportive followers to inspire me and keep me accountable.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture taken on June 4, 2014, day 1 of @GetInspiralized]

In this resolution, I knew I needed a workout plan that worked for me. I must have spent hours and hours researching workouts to build an Ali-friendly workout plan that I printed out and brought to the gym (and still bring to the gym!) I went to all of my favorite fitness magazines and blogs and most importantly, Tone It Up. Tone It Up’s videos and daily motivational e-mails and community kept me going – I never felt bored and if I did, I could always visit their YouTube or their blog and find a newly posted video to build into my workouts.

The key? Lifting weights. To be honest, I had never lifted weights before (I was always a cardio girl with maybe 10 minutes of lazy machine lifting.) I had never done squats or lunges – no body weight lifting. Just, cardio.

Once I started building weight lifting into my workouts (just 10-15 minutes at first), I almost immediately (as in, 3 days) saw a change in my body: I’d pass a window and see a little glimmer of a tricep muscle and I saw the tone in my calves. It was so motivating, that I WANTED to go to the gym, excited to see what my body could do next. I realized that all of these years, I had been dreading the gym because I thought that if I didn’t run a certain number of miles and spend a certain amount of minutes on cardio, I wouldn’t lose weight. Quite the contrary, I found out (and that’s my own ignorance about fitness, clearly!)

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture taken on June 11, 2014, 1 week into my @GetInspiralized account]

I started making mini goals, such as “by next week, I’ll be able to do 30 squats in a row.” Keeping these mini goals pushed me to get to the gym every day to reach those goals. I wrote them all down and made sure to build in the proper exercises into my workouts to meet those goals. Also, I changed it up every single day. My cardio generally stayed the same, but I did a different weight lifting routine each day, to keep my body guessing and to keep my interest levels up.

Here’s a sample workout, which took me about 45 minutes – 1 hour at the gym, depending on how hard I pushed myself and if I added a few extras or stopped early for whatever reason:

30 minutes cardio
– usually running or intense HIIT training

Repeat 2-3 times
15 reps – squats with 15 pound dumbbells
30 seconds – jumping alternating lunges
20 reps – deadlifts with 20 pound deadlifts

Repeat 2-3 times
15 reps – bicep curls with 10-15 pound weights
15 reps – tricep dips
10 reps – pushups

Repeat 2-3 times
1 minute – treadmill lunges
45 seconds – plank
30 seconds – kettlebell swings

Repeat 2-3 times
15 reps – chest press with 10 pounds
15 reps – Russian situps with kettlebell
15 reps – shoulder press with 10 pounds

In the middle of June, this amazing woman from Under Armour noticed my fit journey and she kindly sent me some amazing workout gear to use while I worked towards my goals. Wearing their gear empowered me – I felt like an athlete, I looked like one and most importantly, I was excited to get to the gym and show off my cool outfits. I was also comfortable working out – their spandex are incredible and their ribbed tank tops (wearing one in the picture below) are amazingly flattering. I loved wearing these to the gym, showing off my arms that were slowly becoming stronger and stronger.

My weight loss story: How I used the spiralizer to get healthy and lose 25 pounds

[Left - June 21, 2014 and Right - October 22, 2014]

Then, towards the end of June, my building’s gym got two Peloton bikes. For those of you who don’t know, Peloton is a company that sells spinning bikes but also has a NYC studio. On each bike, there’s this beautiful, high-def flat TV screen where you can live-stream classes from the NYC studio OR you can watch prerecorded classes.

I had always been a huge fan of Soul Cycle and spinning in general. On a blogger budget, though, it’s sometimes tough to make it to those classes, since they can run upwards of $40 all-in. I was so excited to see spin bikes in my gym, so I hopped on.

Immediately, I became hooked. This accelerated my weight loss, because I started spinning 4/5 of those workout days – each class burns about 600-700 calories! Also, I discovered Robin Arzon, who is an incredible inspiration – she quit her job as a successful corporate lawyer to pursue her dream of breaking limits in the fitness world. She’s also diabetic (like my mom!), Puerto Rican (like Lu!) and of course, she’s going for it (like me!) Check out her Instagram. Seriously, having her inspirational pictures pop up on my feed kept me going on days when I thought I couldn’t.

Once I’m at my goal (140 lbs!), I’m going to treat myself to a spin class in their NYC studio. One of Robin’s classes, of course.

EATING INSPIRALIZED

You can work out all you want, but if your diet isn’t there, you’re not going to see the results you want. You are what you eat. What you eat in private, you wear in public. These sayings are 100% true.

I knew I had to nourish myself in order to keep consistent with those 5 days of working out. In the past, as you read, I would workout and not eat enough, leading to binge eating and lack of motivation or energy for future workouts.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture was taken on August 6, 2014 to show the progress in my leg muscles]

I’m a little different, because I have to taste multiple things on the days that I cook for the blog. On those days, I’d try to eat one less snack during the day, to compensate for those extra calories.

So, I started eating Inspiralized, since that was what I knew best. I’d eat something spiralized for both lunch and dinner, since I knew I’d feel full, nourished and energized after those meals thanks to the fiber in the vegetables. For breakfast, I always had a protein green smoothie. For snacks, I alternated depending on what I had bought that week to keep me prepared. Instead of explaining, let me show you a sample meal plan on an average day:

Breakfast (8:30 – 10am)
- 2 cups of coffee with almond milk
- Green protein smoothie: almond milk, ice, water, ½ frozen banana, handful of frozen blueberries, about a cup of fresh spinach, 1 scoop of vanilla plant protein powder

Snack (11-11:30am)
- a piece of fruit (1 apple, 1 peach, etc)

Lunch (12:30-1pm)
- Collard green wrap with turkey, mustard, spiralized zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, onions, alfalfa sprouts OR a bowl of beet noodles with tomatoes, feta and chickpeas OR this detox recipe.

Snack (3pm)
- 100 calorie pack of pistachios or hummus and carrots or almonds and raisin mixture
- Coffee with almond milk

Pre workout snack (4:30/5pm)
- One of the following: Spoonful of almond butter (straight from the tub!) OR Slice of whole wheat bread with a mashed half banana OR Hard boiled egg OR ¼ cup of Greek yogurt with a couple tablespoons of granola

Dinner (7:30pm)
- Something Inspiralized! A favorite mid-week go to is my Bikini Bolognese which I usually eat alongside a piece of bread for dunking or some extra grated Parmesan cheese.
- Side or starter salad – simple with arugula and an olive oil/Dijon/lemon juice vinaigrette, maybe with some sliced red radishes

Dessert (8:30/9pm)
- A sizeable bowl of popcorn, a serving of dark chocolate covered pomegranates or a cup of frozen grapes

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture is one of my collard green turkey and zucchini noodle lunch wraps]

Not mentioned above: LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of water. I have a reusable water bottle that I constantly fill throughout the day. I feel much more energized and even full when I drink water. It helps with digestion and makes your skin glow. It’s such an easy diet trick, don’t forget it.

That’s pretty much it! Simple, fresh, whole and of course, satisfying! The most important thing about this meal plan? Don’t stress if it’s 2pm and you’re absolutely ravenous – give yourself a snack that’s clean and whole. It’s better than ignoring your hunger and then bingeing on a bag of potato chips later. Truuust me, I’ve been there.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture was taken on October 10, 2014 showing off my guns that I've so-so proud of]

Oh and of course, all of this wouldn’t have been possible without meal planning. Every Sunday, I would decide not only what my blog post schedule was but also, what I was going to eat for dinners that week (which 95% of the time revolved around my blog post schedule – so I was eating what I was blogging, or, practicing what I was preaching!) I sat down on Sunday, made a detailed list, shopped and did any meal prep beforehand that I could – spiralizing all of my vegetables for the week and cooking meats or rinsing cans of beans, things like that. You can learn more about my meal planning tips in this post.

If you’d like more meal plan ideas, leave a note in the comments and if I get enough interest, I’ll build a real meal plan in a future post!

The recipes I most often made for dinner from the blog:

MAINTAINING MY WEIGHT AND PUSHING FORWARD

All of the healthy eating and exercise paid off – I am at about 145 pounds (fluctuating up and down a couple pounds depending on the day) and I feel fan-freaking-tastic. I’m about a size 4/6 and 27/28 down from a 10/12 and 31/32 (which in reality, isn’t important, but sometimes it’s helpful to compare from your previous sizes to keep yourself on track.)

I’ve only got 5 pounds to lose and it’s definitely tough to keep motivated when it’s “only” 5 pounds. They always say this is the hardest! To be honest, I’m enjoying this stage in my weight loss and where I am and how my body moves. I feel so strong at the gym and I feel confident when I go out and dress up.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture was taken on October 21, 2014 outside my building]

I’ve set a new goal today, which I hope you’ll help keep me accountable for on @GetInspiralized. The goal is to get down to 140 pounds by Thanksgiving! Now listen, these scale numbers are just to keep motivated and on track. It’s easier to track weight loss and toning up by numbers – I’m lifting 15 pound weights now instead of 10s and I’m down to 145 from 168.

This may seem cheesy, but, honestly, I could have never done it without all of my followers on Instagram. Every time I posted a photo, I’d see a drop in followers – maybe 10 people would stop following me. It would upset me and I thought, “Is it because I don’t have the right posting gym selfies, because I’m out of shape?” Then, I’d see my true followers (who I love to death) comment with things like “you go girl!” and “you’ve got this!”

Finally, when I really started to shed the weight off, the best part was seeing your comments like “Wow! You look amazing!” and “This is so inspiring, I want those arms!” When I wasn’t in the mood for the gym, I’d reread old comments on my photos and it would literally light a fire under my butt and I’d rush to the gym, determined to work hard and post up a new gym selfie, encouraging others to push through their limits.

It’s all about finding a system that works for you – don’t let someone tell you “oh, you shouldn’t weigh yourself!” If that’s what helps you keep fit, keep doing it!

My biggest piece of advice for people that want to lose weight and get fit? Find what works best for you and what’s manageable and DO IT. Make your own plan that is tailored to you. Would you dress the way someone else would want you to dress? No! Then why would you follow someone else’s workout plan? You are the one that is going to be doing it – not that other person!

Now, aside from that, here are the 3 key things I kept in mind while on this weight loss journey (that I started with @GetInspiralized on June 4, 2014):

1. Don’t let a “bad” day set you off track: I’ll be the first to admit, there are nights when I just give in to my cravings and eat a chocolate bar or two. Or, there are simply nights when I have that extra serving of popcorn. But what I do now, instead of what I used to do, is get over it. I drink loads of water, wake up and take command of that day and I do NOT let myself get off track that day. Then, you’ll wake up the following day and feel so much better that you’ll be encouraged to keep going. Don’t let the vicious cycle start. Take control.

2. Enjoy your life: As I said earlier, I used to let my weight loss goals rule my life – I wouldn’t go out with friends, afraid I’d drink and eat too many calories and “ruin” the day. How is spending time with those who make you happy “ruining” your day?! Once I stopped canceling plans with friends and started honoring my plans, I was immediately happier and when I was out, I told my friends about my goals (hey, let’s not get dessert, I’m really trying to lose weight.) My friends were so happy, because they too didn’t want to eat dessert but didn’t want to be “that friend.” It’s so silly, but communication is incredibly important – tell everyone around you your goals. You might inspire someone else to follow a healthier lifestyle! Also, the happier you are, the more you want to be social and therefore, feel good about yourself.

3. Be consistent: while you may not notice changes right away, all of a sudden, you’ll be down a size out of nowhere. From what? Consistency. There are no shortcuts: you need to eat healthy and exercise for the majority of the time. I follow a pretty solid 80/20 rule (80% healthy, 20% indulge.) Pretty much, I give myself the weekends to relax and I commit to pushing myself during the weekdays.

Truthfully, I think the reason why I feel “different” this time around is because I’m never hungry. In the past, I was never satisfied and had constant cravings. Eating salads for dinner and running miles on a treadmill will leave you feeling unfulfilled and lead to those binges.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture was from Lu and I's engagement shoot, taken August 23 - I was about 150 here and clearly happy <3]

Most importantly, eating Inspiralized is essential in my fit journey. Without those Inspiralized dinners, I would have been left eating salads or boring plates of veggies and protein. Now, I look forward to a giant bowl of zucchini noodles (or whatever spiralized veggie it may be) for dinner and I don’t dread “having” to eat a quinoa salad.

I’m often eating less than 300 calories for dinner, but I get to have a dessert and not feel guilty – and I feel like I’m eating an indulgent plate of pasta, instead of something that tastes like a diet. I get to snack during the day and frontload my calories and then have that big satisfying dinner, without the high calorie count. I feel like I’m cheating, but my waistline knows I’m not!

I’m Inspiralized all over again.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Above picture is my most recent weigh-in as of 10/22 when I wrote this post, on October 2 at 146!]

Thank you so much for being with me every step of the way. I hope this post inspires you to start your own journey. It’s a journey, it really is – there will be times when you feel discouraged. Just know that it’s not going to happen in 3 weeks. It’s taken me almost 4 months to get where I am, because I’ve fallen off the wagon here and there, but I’ve gotten immediately back up instead of giving up.

READER SUBMITTED QUESTIONS

I asked you on social media what you’d like to know about my weight loss journey. I tried to answer everything in my post, but here are some particular questions I wanted to explicitly answer:

“When is the best day to start a diet?”
June 4 was when I started mine. It was a Wednesday. Clearly, there’s no better time than the present! Don’t push it off – just stop what you’re doing, make a plan and go for it!

“What do you eat when dining out? Also, what about alcoholic drinks?”
I always check out the menu ahead of time and take the time to decide what’s the healthiest item on the menu and I resolve to order it. That way, if I have a couple glasses of wine and start feeling “loose,” I won’t need to make any game time decisions that might not be the best. Also, I never have the bread basket - I’d rather order an appetizer that’s healthier and have my calories that way and get some nutrients in while satisfying my hunger. If I’m out for a birthday and the table wants to order dessert, I’ll have a spoonful and stop myself. It’s a rule I made a while ago in this fit journey and it has worked very well. You’ll also see in this post I talk about communicating with my friends about my goals – I’ll let a friend know I’m trying to stay on track, so I won’t split the fried calamari if they order it – it’s tough to stand up for yourself, but you’ll often times find yourself inspiring others to skip it. As for the alcohol, I really only drink when I’m out and I don’t limit myself, since I’m usually out celebrating or hanging out with friends and that time is precious to me. I never drink during the week at home with dinner.

How did you get your boyfriend to eat healthy with you?
I’m a lucky girl – Lu used to live with a nutritionist who taught him to love healthy food. On nights when I don’t feel like cooking, Lu tells me which Inspiralized dish he wants, which helps when I’m just not in the mood to be creative. Also, Lu knows about my weight loss goals and he supports me when I tell him I don’t want to order that extra appetizer or cheese plate. Tell your partner how important it is to you and he/she will of course be there for you.

What change had the biggest impact on your weight loss?
Not letting a “bad” day ruin my chances to have a “good” week and keep on track and consistent with my goals. I talked about that in this post!

How did you plan for cravings?
Having healthy alternatives at my disposal! I always keep dark chocolate covered pomegranates in my cupboard and frozen green grapes – if I ever have a sweet tooth, I allow myself a serving and I keep it at a serving. Knowing that it’s there if I want it keeps me from rummaging through the pantry and eating everything or making a trip downstairs to grab that pint of Talenti.

The Inspiralized Weight Loss Journey How I used the spiralizer to take control of my health, lose 25 pounds and get totally fit!

[Left - January 2014, Right - September 30, 2014, wearing the same shirt in both pictures - with totally different bodies!]

What gets you off track and how do you deal with that?
Ahhhh. I’m actually healthy nearly 100% of the time when I’m not drinking alcohol. It’s my blog and I want to be completely authentic and honest in this post. When I go out and have a few glasses of wine, I lose most of my healthy judgment and I will come home and binge eat. I’m a big drunk binger! It started in college and never left me! Even if I have a glass of wine, I tend to indulge. Most recently, I’ve asked Lu to stop me or I’ll just tell myself I can eat as much fruit as I want – OR, I’ll fill up a water bottle and drink that, sometimes that works. I’m bad, but I just wake up the next day and resolve to having a healthy day and I forget about it. Life goes on!

How do you deal with plateauing?
I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t really plateaued yet. Since I switch my workouts up constantly, I’m always finding new muscles popping up or I’m sore in different places. While the scale doesn’t budge, the inches change and I’m toning. Sometimes, if I really want to push myself, I’ll eat one less snack or skip dessert for a week to kickstart things, but generally, I keep things interesting and that helps with the plateau issue.

How do you stay motivated?
I look at “before” pictures of myself, read inspirational quotes, look at my favorite fitness Instagrams and make up a new workout that will fit my motivation and energy level. For instance, if I just can’t do cardio that day, I’ll do a 25 minute HIIT workout and then do some arms and abs for 10 or 15 minutes.

Please let me know if you have any questions! Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them as they come in over the next few days. Thank you again for listening. Also, please let me know if you would like me to continue to track my healthy journey on this blog – I might start a Friday series if there’s enough interest!

GIVEAWAY

In support of my fit journey, Under Armour is giving away one lucky Inspiralized reader a Women’s StudioLux Duffle bag, valued at $134.99. Open to US addresses only, giveaway will end Thursday, October 30, 2014. Good luck and thanks to Under Armour for making me look good while I sweat!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. This is such an inspiring post! I have been on a pretty steady journey since my Freshman year of college (4 years), but after graduating from college it has been hard to get back into my fitness and healthy eating routine. I just received a Spiralizer for Christmas and have already made 2 dinners with it. Last night, I made your tuna salad with cucumber noodles and really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing this post. Now off to follow your GetInspiralized instagram!

  2. I was wondering if you might be sharing more of your workouts in the new year? I’ve taken a lot of your examples in your workout and started to incorporate them into my own workouts. I’d love to hear more about some of your core work or other weightlifting that you do, since I know one of the keys to a good workout is changing it up!

  3. Getting right back on the wagon when you fall off is the best way to go. If you mess up one meal, you can get right back on for the next. The other comment I would make is that when your meals/snacks are healthy and satisfying, the physical cravings tend to leave. For me, most of my ‘cravings’ are really emotional attitudes.

  4. Felicia Kiefer :

    This is one of the most honest, real, and relate-able posts about fitness/nutrition/weight loss that I have read (and I read a lot in my spare time haha). Great job and thanks for being so open!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! This post and your Instagram daily updates have inspired me to start my own weight loss journey. I am also excited to order your cookbook! The recipes on your blog look amazing!! Thanks again!

  6. Ali, such a great post and great story! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your story, including all the ups and downs! As you are well aware, many (or most) women struggle with their relationship with food and their bodies, so I think the more women that can share their paths and what has helped them find a “happy place,” the better! I have had a life long struggle with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, but I have made leaps and bounds by finding a healthy healthy lifestyle that works for me (with plenty of your recipes!). Thanks again for having such a great outlook and sharing such delicious recipes!

  7. loved reading this, its so refreshing and inspiring. I am a yo-yo dieter and it helps to know im not the only one. i loved reading what your workout plans were, share more! Thank you for posting your journey, it is both impressive and inspiring!

  8. Hi Ali! I just read through this whole post and “inspired” doesn’t even do justice to how I feel. The timing could not be more perfect, as Amazon just email to let me know my Paderno Spiralizer will arrive on my doorstep this afternoon! I have a food blog that I update as a hobby in addition to a full-time job, so am constantly feeling too busy or tired to work out. Your advice – starting NOW, finding what works, staying consistent – has motivated me to get back to caring for my body (which in turn will definitely affect the emotions in my mind!).

    Thank you so, so much! I look forward to continuing to follow along in not only your fitness journey but also your blog’s success!

    XO

  9. Good morning!
    I am ready to start this weight loss expedition! I’ve had back surgery over a year ago and feel up to challenging myself. I love to dance so I do zumba once a week. I know the missing element is my diet. It’s very very important for me to get this added extra weight off. Not just for self esteem but health reasons. I am looking forward to trying your recipes. If there are any short cuts or money saving ways to make these meals? Please include your suggestions if possible with each post. I’m sure busy mom’s like myself whom need to save money would enjoy this!
    Ok…now 1 2 3 I’m ready to go!!!

  10. If you want to lose fat and stay fit, your smartphone may come handy. It will help you keep track of your calorie intakes in order to plan appropriate weight-loss workouts. Android and Apple iOS are the most popular mobile operating systems, and they both provide amazing app that will help you in staying fit and healthy.

  11. Completely inspired by your blog! I already own a spiralizer and extremely motivated to follow you and your recipes. Question: I enjoy an iced coffee every morning (a latte with only espresso and whole milk) and was wondering if you could recommend the serving size of almond milk for replacement to get me started? I like almond milk but I’m guessing two cups is too much and should substitute some with water. Or should I just follow the serving amount on carton?

  12. Linda Sabeh

    My weight loss story: How I used the spiralizer to get healthy and lose 25 pounds | Inspiralized

  13. Wow! Your story is so inspiring, and your recipes are delicious!!! I just recently discovered spiralizing and I’m completely addicted. I know you are good to go fitness-wise, and I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “muscle weighs more than fat” but as a fellow weight loss gal who discovered weight lifting, I didn’t really get it until I saw this picture:

    http://www.nerdfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Screen-Shot-2011-07-21-at-9.23.11-AM1.jpg. She’s 11 pounds HEAVIER on the left. Holy cow. (Here’s the site if you want the article – http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/07/21/meet-staci-your-new-powerlifting-super-hero/)

    Anyway, it was really hard for me to finally let go of the weight goal and switch to inches. SO I’m not trying to tell you stuff you probably already know, and on your own (awesome) blog no less. I’m going to get back to perusing your recipes, and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Love the blog!

  14. Hi Ali,

    I’m going through a similar issue where I would overeat. It would be healthy foods, but I would still find myself bingeing especially if I was home all day. Can you please talk more about how you were able to get over that?

  15. Hi I was searching for the blogs for many times, now I have reached at the right place.

  16. config

    My weight loss story: How I used the spiralizer to get healthy and lose 25 pounds | Inspiralized

  17. Your journey is such an inspiration! I discovered your site and recipes via your Instagram and recently purchased a spiralizer. I’ve been on a 2+ year journey from 170 lbs to my current 139 (I’m 5’5). I’m mostly doing a low-carb diet now and I love that I can still feel like I’m indulging in pasta thanks to discovering the spiralizer — I’m loving zucchini noodles and the other healthy recipes you share.

    I live in NYC and I’m a full time blogger as well — so I can totally relate to putting my personal health on the backburner in favor of working on my blog. The work never ends! But I’ve realized that taking the time to do something for myself is better for my mental AND physical health, and therefore makes me better in my work, too.

    I just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration and sharing your successes! And if you ever want to hit up a Peloton class together, let me know! I go a few times a month thanks to my ClassPass membership :)

    Also, congrats on your recent marriage — you were a *gorgeous* bride!! Best wishes! You’re awesome. Look forward to seeing what’s next for you!! :)

    xo
    Jessica

  18. I’ve always enjoyed your fitness posts! I am also excited to order your cookbook! The recipes on your blog look amazing!! Thanks for posting. I also want to suggest an e-book which is really helpful for providing postnatal diet http://bit.ly/1KhqdDv

  19. Thanks for doing what you do! I just discovered you and I feel I am getting the best of both the food/healthy living world. I have revisited your instagram and blog many times already to keep me inspired and motivated. Just ordered a spiralizer!!!!!!! I am also on a weight loss journey and find yours very similar to mine. 10 more pounds to go!!!! Thanks for including many paleo/lower carb friendly recipes. That is my diet plan and I am so excited to make it more exciting with your recipes!

    xoxo

    LELA

  20. michaelclark3553 :

    I was surfing around to start with my weight loss plan. I got to your post and it is undoubtedly so much informative and motivational at a time. I was reading another Weight loss journey by Brenda Thomson. I got some good informations from there. But yours one is better.

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  26. Kerry Colvett :

    Just wanted to say thanks, I’ve had this weird journey, finding your sire searching for how to spirialize (I couldn’t get noodles in the beginning), started using your recipes, read your blog, learned about Peloton, fell in love with that whole idea, ordered one and feel like all of this has worked out to be just the change and inspiration I needed. Just starting the journey but so excited!!

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  28. Reading what you ate, you really were only eating roughly 1300 calories per day. How did you do that while burning 700? I would be starving.

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  1. […] How I Used the Spiralizer to Lose 25 Pounds from Inspiralized […]

  2. […] you missed it, last week, I shared my weight loss journey story. In support of my fit journey, Under Armour is giving away one lucky Inspiralized reader a […]

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  7. […] My Weight Loss Story: How I Used The Spiralizer To Get Healthy and Lose 25 Pounds via Inspiralized […]

  8. […] was reading through some of my favorite blogs and came across this post from Ali of Inspiralized. I felt so inspired when I was reading it. And then I started thinking […]

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  12. […] that spiralizing helps with weight maintenance and weight loss. If you didn’t know already, I lost about 30 pounds total from eating spiralized at least twice a day (usually lunch and dinner.) Eating Inspiralized […]

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  18. […] you missed it, last week, I shared my weight loss journey story. In support of my fit journey, Under Armour is giving away one lucky Inspiralized reader a […]

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