Bodies are weird. They’re weird AF. You can change your body fat, your muscle mass, your shape…all by altering a few things about your lifestyle. But then your body will decide to take on a life of it’s own, whether that’s through hormones or pregnancy or stress or menopause or age. For some, bodies change minimally throughout their life. For me, it’s changed a lot. And I’m at a point in my life where I’m able to look back and really marvel at each stage and understand the science experiment that I’ve been putting myself through for years now.

A handful of people have asked for before and after photos. But for me, I have beforeandafter beforeandafter beforeandafter photos that range all throughout my life. That starts before puberty then to starving and binging in my teen years to overeating sh*t food in college then to dabbling in exercise and being afraid of the gym then onto my CrossFit years that have yo-yo’d but never ended. So let’s take a glance down physical memory lane because I think it’s interesting as f*ck and honestly motivating for me to continue on my path and see what will happen in the future.


This photo above spans over 7 years, starting in 2009 on the left, 2010, 2012 then 3 weeks ago in 2016 on the right. My body weight has ranged from 150 pounds then to 125 pounds then up to 160 pounds and now I’m probably around 130 pounds (I only weigh myself once a year at the doctor to make sure I don’t mind f*ck myself).

The photo on the left is definitely at my unhealthiest. I was in college at the time, eating and drinking anything that was handed to me, not caring or knowing what “healthy” meant. Even though I was in Health and Exercise Science in school and knew a general amount of what was good for me, I was still in the high school mindset believing I could eat whatever I wanted and just burn the calories off to stay “skinny”. So at this point I was spending HOURS in the gym on the stairmaster, running for hours on the treadmill and doing some light lifting (but feeling very intimidated by the men in the weight room). I ran my first (and only) half marathon that year and I think that’s what got me started with understanding that dedication leads to something. I started off hardly able to run a mile and slowly increased my distance every day, ran through the winter months, until I was ready for a half marathon. And ended up finishing in under 2 hours, which I was super happy about.

Shortly after running that half marathon, I began to challenge myself to lift more and long story short, found out about CrossFit. I couldn’t do any of the movements because I wasn’t strong enough so I would look at CrossFit workouts on and modify them however I could. Push ups on my knees, pull ups and dips on the assisted machine, kettlebell swings with a dumbbell. Before I knew it, I was seeing strides in my own fitness with being able to do those movements unassisted. At that point, I decided to make the jump to a real CrossFit gym, doing my first competition 3 months later. When I was seeing all these improvements, I wanted more and had to face the facts that my diet was sh*t. Since CrossFit recommended paleo and/or Zone, I decided to try out Zone first then slowly worked my way into paleo. In the second photo, I was eating almost strict paleo (Monday – Friday) but still had some gluten free oats and peanut butter, but absolutely no gluten. When I dropped eating bread and pasta and anything gluten related, not only did I drop weight pretty quickly, but all the stomach issues I had growing up INSTANTLY went away. But even though I had changed my diet so drastically, I still ate sh*tty food on the weekends as my “cheat” days. I would eat nasty ass food like Oreos and pizza and chips and queso. And I would ruin all the strides I had made in the week and was back to feeling sick and awful by Monday. It was a really bad relationship with food at that point, which is why I never use the word cheat anymore when it comes to anything I eat. I was at my thinnest I had ever been but I wanted WAY more muscle and wanted a better relationship with food.

Once I started competing in CrossFit, I was hooked. I loved the nerves, loved the calm feeling before the 3,2,1GO, loved the cheering and camaraderie and the support for women lifting. I had finally found fitness that made sense to me. I didn’t want to run endless hours or count calories to make sure I burned them all off on a bike. I finally found a gym with no mirrors, no judgement, and no bullsh*t. CrossFit was the first place that empowered women because of what they were accomplishing in the gym and I had never felt that before. And I wanted to be part of that. So I started working out every day, rarely taking rest days and constantly increasing my weight load day to day. Every single day in the gym was me giving every single ounce of effort I had all in hopes of making it to CrossFit Games. And the more I worked out, the more results on saw; placing higher and higher at competitions. The third photo, in my white PaleOMG shirt, was actually taken at a competition that I won. I was so excited about my accomplishments, but I was absolutely 100% unhappy in my skin. I continued to gain weight, some muscle and some fat, and my hormonal acne because of lifting was out of f*cking control. I was so unhappy and really stuck with what to do: continue to compete and be unhappy, or end competing and see what happens. So I took the latter and started lifting lighter, taking more rest days, eating more of what I wanted (except for gluten) and being less stressed out.

What’s interesting about these photos is the second, third and fourth photo are all while eating paleo and all while doing CrossFit. The only thing that was different was my priorities and goals. I wanted to lift weights, I did it. I wanted to get better at CrossFit, I did it. I wanted to lose weight and be more comfortable in my skin, I did it. None of these stages came easy. They took blood, sweat and tears and seriously years to reach. It wasn’t a day change, it wasn’t a 30 day cleanse; it was figuring out what I wanted, learning what worked for my body, and constantly experimenting. And I’ll still be doing that for many years to come as my body changes and my priorities change. My point is, remember the big picture. Health and fitness is about the journey. It’s not about the perfect butt or perfect abs or perfect arms. It’s about always striving to be the best YOU. And what’s so awesome about it is that you can strive forever, until the day you die, to be a better version of yourself. Both mentally and physically. So stop obsessing over the little details and just start trying to be better and better, no matter what that better version is.

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”

Sunday – Rest day


18 mins to get 5 Rounds Of:

9 L- Pull Ups

9 Strict HSPU

14 KB Walking Lunges (2 x 70/2 x 45). Heavier than usual!!!

I got 4+3 using 45# kettlebells

Then 9 min Ladder Of: (3-6-9-12-15…)

Front Squats (185/125)


I got 18+1 using 85#


Every 30 sec for 10 mins: 1 x Snatch @ 70%. All reps must have a 3 sec pause at knee. (5-10# more than last time) – I used 90#

Then 16 min AMRAP Of:

500m Row

100 Double Unders

400m Run

I got 2 rounds + 225 meters into my third run


Back Squats: 4 x 7. All sets at 74% (15 mins) – I used 125#

Then 12 min AMRAP Of:

9 Deadlift (225/155)

12 C2B Pull Ups


I got 4+20 using 125#

Thursday – Rest day


Deadlift: 4 x 7. All sets at 74%. Reset at bottom of all reps! (14 mins) – I used 165#

After each Set: 40 sec Top Of Dip Hold On Rings (in hollow)

Then 4min AMRAP Of:

5 Power Clean (225/155) and 15 Wall Ball

– 2min REST THEN –

4min AMRAP Of:

7 Power Clean (185/125) and 15 Wall Ball

– 2min REST THEN –

4min AMRAP Of:

9 Power Clean (155/105) and 15 Wall Ball

I got 3+6 (105#); 2+12 (95#); 2+9 (85#)


With a partner complete: (one person working at a time)

100 calorie row

100 lateral burpees over the bar

100 thruster (135/95)

100 toes to bar

100 lateral burpees over the bar

100 calorie row

We finished in 35:45 using 55#


At Home or Hotel Gym Workout:

5 rounds for time:

20 jumping lunges

15 pike push ups

10 v-ups

3 minutes rest

5 rounds for time:

20 tuck jumps

15 hand release push ups

10 leg lifts

The Perfect On Sale Gym Outfit:

Nike Bralette (2 colors – 20% off)

Nike Tank Top (4 colors – 30% off)

Zella Front Zip Jacket (33% off)

Onzie Black Leggings (5% off)

Nike 5.0 Free Running Shoes (6 colors – 50% off)

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  1. Megan says:

    I know this post is now quite old but I stumbled upon it and it really resonates with me. I used to swim competitively in college and never had to worry about my weight and really loved the way I looked. I’m now in my mid 20s and the weight keeps creeping up even with mostly paleo/clean eating and 7 days a week of workouts. I just don’t feel like myself anymore and lost the confidence I once had. It’s really challenging to find that balance between eating clean and working out while still enjoying life. I have struggled to keep a healthy relationship with food. I think I’m at the point where I need to re evaluate some things. Thanks for the reminder that it’s a journey and for sharing your experience with body image. I love the positivity. (Also, I’ve had the paleomg cookbook on my shelf for a few years now and it never fails to make a great meal!)

    1. juli says:

      glad you stumbled onto this post! i use to swim competitively and totally understand what you’re going through, i just went through that in my teens. but 20’s are full of your metabolism and lifestyle changing so it’s definitely a never-ending learning experience. i hope you find a new rhythm and start feeling good in your skin. you’ll definitely get there!!