Where are you from?
I’m from a small town in Wisconsin called East Troy. The population is around 5,000. It’s about 30 minutes away from Milwaukee and maybe an hour and a half from Chicagoland.
Where are you now?
I’m currently living in Cleveland, Ohio. I am here for graduate school! I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for the past four years while doing my undergraduate degree.
What do you study?
I’m a music major! I have my Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and am working on my Master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. I play the oboe! Which is like the snake-charmer instrument if you don’t know. It kind of looks like a clarinet. NO, it’s not the big one! You would be amazed how many people think the oboe is big!
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I’m definitely an introvert, probably close to 100% so. According to MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator~ I will definitely have some blog posts about this!), I am an ISFP. For astrology lovers, I am a Cancer sun, Aquarius moon, and Sagittarius rising!
What are your hobbies besides music and blogging?
My hobbies are pretty simple. I really enjoy spending time with my cat. His name is Ezra and he’s a three year old, giant tabby cat! I adopted him when I was a junior in college and he’s the love of my life! Something else I love is just love exploring, whether it’s with someone else or alone. I love driving around and checking out local shops, restaurants, parks, museums, etc. I also love cooking and trying new recipes. And like everyone, I like watching TV. I’m currently watching The Bachelor (lol), Black Mirror, and This Is Us. A wide variety!
When did you start your wellness journey?
I started changing my mindset and trying to lose weight around February or March 2017.
Have you lost any weight?
Yes. At the most, I lost 45 pounds. I have gained about 10 pounds since then, but it’s really not a huge deal! Consistency is key.
How long did it take you to lose the original 45 pounds?
Between March 2017 and December 2017, I lost 45 pounds. So about 10 months.
But you gained weight back?
Yep! I did a lot of traveling in Spring of 2018. I ate lots of good food (worth it!!) but also fell back into old habits and gained back 30 pounds. Since August 2018, I have lost 20 of those additional pounds.
What are your weight-loss secrets?
I wouldn’t say any of them are secrets. The number one thing is consistency. It’s definitely ok to continue to eat the foods that you love. Food is more than just fuel, it’s love and so much more. The second thing I would say is to do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Third, think beyond the goal of losing weight. Think about your happiness and overall wellness, improving your quality of life. And fourth, be patient! It’s a long a daunting journey but it will be worth it.
How much do you weigh?
I’m really not comfortable publishing that information right now. I will say that I am 5’9″ and at my highest weight, I was wearing an 18/borderline 20.
What is your diet like?
I’m vegetarian, but not for the purpose of losing weight. I’ve been vegetarian since September 2010. I do count calories though, but this is temporary until I can use my hunger cues to identify what I really need. That’s something I never learned in my childhood. I really do struggle with overeating and am trying to learn the signals my body sends. Also, I don’t avoid carbs because you don’t have to!
Any magic weight-loss exercises?
Nope! I do a variety of exercise classes. I find that being in a class setting is the best way to find motivate to put in the most effort during the workout. My favorite class is spin, particularly Harness Cycle in Cleveland. I also go to barre classes every once in a while!
Why do you call it a health or wellness journey and not a weight-loss journey?
Because this is really more than just the desire to lose weight. It’s about improving my outlook on life, happiness, and overall health. I have had some intense physical and mental health struggles in 22 years. In high school, I was chronically ill. It started out with a staph infection that, after antibiotics (most of which I’m allergic to), morphed into an infection called C-Diff. C-Diff, or clostridium difficile, is a bacteria in the gut. When good bacteria is wiped out with antibiotics, C-Diff can cause horrible (tmi) diarrhea and life threatening symptoms like kidney failure, dehydration, abdominal pain, and blood in the stool.
Usually, C-Diff can be treated with antibiotics. However, I tried three antibiotics and none of them worked. I had C-Diff for two years until I had a procedure done to fix the problem. I ended up having this procedure again after getting another staph infection a year later! I have been free from C-Diff for about 6 years now. This part of my life really shaped me and I hope to write more about it, as it is a topic that is generally not talked about because of how nasty it is.
I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, but I have been able to regulate my period with changing my lifestyle. I struggle with anxiety as well, which I take medication for and have no shame about!
So this journey is much more than losing weight to me. It’s about trying to overcome everything I have been through and be healthier for the remainder of my life.
Why did you start a blog?
I started the blog to explore my creativity in a new way, as well as to share the journey of my health and happiness with others. I want to inspire people like me who are trying to improve their lives! I also really want to share my favorite parts of my favorite cities in the Midwest with other Midwest-enthusiasts or people who may not be aware of everything this part of the country has to offer!