About Stefani

Damn. So after five years of being a health nut and fit fanatic I have finally joined the blogging world. Hopefully you read this whole thing, as I plan to tell my almost life story and background about how I am where I am today. I’ll be posting mostly recipes, some fitness tips (strictly from experience) and some random rants. Trust me, I’m gonna have a lot to say.

Let’s briefly go over the beginning. Fifth grade, started buying lunch at school. Chicken nuggets, honey buns, pizza, French fries? Like, yes please, get in my ten year old belly. And these habits continued till I hit 15 years old and weighed a WOPPING (did somebody say whopper?) 262 pounds.

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A couple things did not help my bad habits. Excuse number one, my girlfriends. The girls that, at that young age, didn’t have to care one bit as to what they put in their mouth. I can count the number of oreos I had at sleepovers, and as we liked to call them stay-lates, on 1000 American citizens hands. So whatever math I’m doing in my head (I’m horrible at math) that’s about 10,000 Oreos. We loved Chinese food, we loved Ledo’s pizza, and once we got to high school… we didn’t have boyfriends, we had Chipotle. Excuse number two, I’m Italian. And when I’m not Italian…I’m Irish. Mix my love for pasta with my love for potatoes and beer and well, there were a lot of carbs in my life.  My taste buds wanted it all. My grandparents on my mother’s side made mouthwatering Italian food and wouldn’t let me leave until I stuffed my face (I wasn’t mad). And though my grandmother on my father’s side is Irish, she made the most delicious meatballs. My family wasn’t health conscious, and let’s be honest, who didn’t fall asleep in health class? My last excuse, somewhere under those hundred extra pounds, I was happy. I had the greatest friends, amazing family, and lived in a great community. I was accepted. I didn’t get bullied (to my face…), and I was generally well liked. So I guess I was pretty content with being the well-liked fat girl. (I would say chubby but, I was fat.) I didn’t know what I was missing, but once I found out I showed no mercy.

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So, why did I start? What in the WORLD made the 262 pound girl stop ordering dominos after school with her friends? Well, something I did leave out was that I was a cheerleader. I started in fifth grade. I loved it, everything about it. I didn’t let my weight hold me back, but it started to. Freshmen year of high school I had made the Junior Varsity squad. I was pulled up to varsity that winter season with a few of my girlfriends who I’d been cheering with since the beginning. I don’t exactly remember how I got around that mat, but I did. Sophomore year. Made the varsity squad again. It felt amazing to cheer on our State champion football team every Friday night, but looking back, my weight started to really make me stand out. That winter season I was cut from the team. I was shocked, embarrassed, and upset. As cliché as this may be, cheerleading was my life. It was my social life. After all that drama calmed down, I started to really look into the situation. I was tired of being doubted. I didn’t want to be left behind, and I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

Boom. Next thing I know I’m grocery shopping with my girl Jenny. I buy some fruit, probably some salad, and a shit ton of Special K products. I bought slim fast shake powder, and randomly used those as meal replacements and snacks. I didn’t record my calories, but I watched. I’d go to the gym and sit on the stationary bike with Cissell for half hour to an hour four times a week. Eventually, we moved from the stationary bike to the elliptical. Big. Things. Poppin.

Week One. Seven pounds down. And the next 8 months are a huge blur as I lost 65 pounds. Nice and slow, the healthy way. I started becoming aware of what is healthy and what is not. I started using the elliptical and slowly started running. I came back to cheerleading summer conditioning ready to go, and the trainer definitely noticed. Besides your typical clean meals of meats and veggies, I would still eat bread and pasta in moderation. I was also a huge fan of PB&J sandwiches, special K bars and cereals, salads, 100 calorie packs, and omelets. It wasn’t all ideal, but I was new, and it was working. I made the cheerleading team again, and later became Captain as a senior. I’m not afraid to say that I looked good, but more importantly I felt amazing. For the first time I was truly happy. I was proud of myself. And dear god, I was not done.

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I left high school 80 pounds lighter. I wobbled between 188 and 183. I can thank my first break up to get me down to that 183. I felt great going into my first year at Ohio University. My major was Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product development. I was so excited for my next chapter at Ohio University. Party after party, I was having a blast. But at the end of the day I’m still led to what I’m really passionate about; health and fitness. The first half of a year at school was challenging. I joined a lot of clubs and met as many people as I could. The school is huge, but the students were mostly all from Ohio and already knew each other, so the beginning was tough. That’s when I started really focusing on my diet. I downloaded an app on my phone to track calories and I started running again. I had signed up for a 5K at home over holiday break. I would work out on the weekends, and as shocking as it apparently is, wouldn’t go out. I lost 12 pounds that first half of the year. Take THAT freshmen fifteen. The second half of the year I moved in with my current roommate Mary. I finally felt like I had made some great friends at the school and was having a blast. I decided to lay low on dieting 24/7 and just enjoy life. Still staying aware of my diet and exercise habits, I decided it would be fun to drink four times a week with my friends. Absolutely no regrets.

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So it wasn’t always fruits, salads, plain chicken or veggies. Sometimes it was beer, sometimes it was long islands, and it was also ALWAYS pizza. I was living, I was in control and that’s how it went for the next two and a half years. My sophomore year I decided to give up drinking for lent and train for a half marathon. I also had spring break in sight. I was going to Panama City Beach and I was GOING to look my best. So I ran, and I ran, and ran some more. Don’t pay for therapy, run. With my already in-check diet, I got down to 165 pounds. I was 3 pounds away from the big 100 pound weight loss. I didn’t think I could feel any better, but I did. So regardless of my extra skin and stretch marks, I felt great. I started crossfit at Crossfit SEO in March. Over the summer I did insanity, started building muscle and strength, and continued to run. But Crossfit? ………….Crossfit. I was hooked.

As if this rant has to be any longer, it’s now time to talk about Crossfit. I’m gonna hold back, because this could go on for days. I walked in to Crossfit SEO. Their building was not ready yet and we were working in a small space. I had no idea what crossfit was besides watching the youtube videos online. I didn’t know what to expect, but I sure as hell have never tested myself the way crossfit has tested me.  Specifically, Jolene Grant. I couldn’t ask for a more motivating and inspiring trainer. She seriously kicks ass. But she also kicks my ass, which is also why I like her so much. So while training for this half marathon, I’d crossfit four times a week. The first five months of crossfit I used the black band for pull ups and strictly the barbell for most of the lifts. I eventually started building strength, and didn’t realize my full potential until September of my junior year. The results snuck up on my ass, and all the sudden I was getting on the board for lifts like back squat, dead lift, and split jerk. Not to mention, my ass. Sweet. I was getting stronger, and while I was continuously getting inspired by my trainers and fellow crossfitters, I was inspiring myself.

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Now let’s talk about Paleo. I was SO excited to try paleo. It was so paleo how excited I was to try paleo. Paleo. Yeah. I started Paleo and definitely noticed more muscle gain, a smaller waist, broader shoulders, and my body started to LOVE all those healthy fats. If I drank I drank mostly gin. I was otherwise strict for a solid 60 day challenge, and then started to add things back in. I then realized that my stomach was stretching out to Jupiter and making weird noises 24/7. After insane reoccurring side effects,  I thought I had 50 different diseases or was pregnant with twins. It turned out I just had a serious Gluten and Dairy intolerance. From February-May of 2013 I was miserable. My stomach was mad at me all the time, my workouts sucked, I was tired 24/7, and I did not feel myself. My digestive system just recently calmed down, as I had a list of foods my stomach could tolerate without blowing up.

With the stress of the past six months I’ve put on a few pounds. Therefore, I’ve started this blog to hold myself accountable, and to share all the delicious food I’ve been making. REMEMBER. Being healthy doesn’t have to SUCK. It’s actually freaking awesome. My family is now a force to be reckoned with. My mother lost a ridiculous 115 pounds, my father lost 40, and my older brother has finally drank the kool aid and crossfits with me. He’s always been a skinny betch, anyway. To share some current and less-fun information about myself: I’m on my last summer vacation, ever. I’ll be a senior at Ohio University next year. In Ohio, I crossfit at Crossfit SEO. In Maryland, I crossfit at Crossfit Syndicate 5 times a week. I competed in my first team competition and it was ridiculously fun. I still run…sometimes? I’ve ran three half marathons and other various races. I’m secretly a cardio bunny but don’t want the crossfit gods to be mad at me. My current diet is pretty paleo, anyway, considering my intolerance’s. Processed foods make my stomach hurt. (Funny how that worked out) Though, I will include recipes with some gluten free breads and oats. I will also be making my own bread. Warning: I’m sarcastic 100% of the time. There are no rules in my blog… so if you’re going to criticize my posts you can go scratch. There are many discrepancies with what a clean diet is. But at the end of the day it’s what works for you. We’re all different. It’s not rocket science. Find out a system that works, that you enjoy, and stick with it. People will notice your glow.

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12 thoughts on “About Stefani

  1. Stefani I love what you shared! I love what you’re saying about food and nutrition and sticking with foods that aren’t processed! I want to read more. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: IIFYM, Eat Clean, Paleo – What’s Next? | Yours Truly, Stef

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