Health Transformation | Losing Weight, Getting Fit, And A Personal Journey To Being My Best Self

Health Transformation |

Are you interested in knowing more about my health transformation? Here are how it went down and some lessons I learned along the way.

If you’ve followed along over the years, you may know that I have experienced a lot of loss in my life (the deaths of my husband and both my parents). After my husband died, I quit my job, sold my things, travelled around the world, started this blog, travelled more, and then decided to work freelance. Travelling became my first priority. One thing that became a low priority in my life was my health.

The ups and downs of grief and my nomadic lifestyle affected me in many ways but one was weight gain. With that weight gain also came more depression and low self-esteem. When I did things I enjoyed like hikes or chasing after my nephews, I was out of breath. My life became one vicious cycle. Finally, in April 2016, I had enough. I decided to make a change and prioritize my health. And while this post has nothing to do with travel, I have been wanting to share more about non-travel things that I am interested in and love. Taking control of my health has been a huge focus for the last year. I thought by sharing my personal health transformation, I could offer some inspiration or insight to those who may be on a similar road.

**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.**




  • Flights: Find a cheap flight using Skyscanner or Momondo. I like these two booking sites because they both search all websites and airlines around the globe including budget airlines.
  • Accommodations: I use or Tripadvisor to find the best rates on hotels. offers a free night after booking 10 nights.
  • Get up to $40 off your first Air Bnb stay by using this code!
  • Travel Insurance: Having gotten sick on my travels in the past, I never travel without being insured. You never know when something may happen. For my round the world trip and extended long-term travel, I use World Nomads. For other trips, I have used Roam Right and they cover activities like extreme sports.

It may seem like travel had temporarily been put on pause. Don’t fret travel-addicted friends!! I went to the Yukon this past August and went to Las Vegas in September so I do have content planned and coming. New adventures are in the works for this winter too!

Chubby Face

In NYC Nov 2013 – Heavy For Myself And Smiling But Unhappy Inside

Since I was in college I have always been trying to lose weight. I didn’t need to lose weight but we, especially women, always strive for an idea we have of ourselves and what we should look like. Getting older and the changes that come with it take a toll on us. I got over that idea in my early thirties and was finally was in a place where I was comfortable with myself. But then after losing my husband Eric and my mother, things changed quickly.

Depression came in full force and I stopped eating after Eric died and then after my mom died of cancer I couldn’t stop eating. I went on different diets and cleanses and I even signed up for a 10km race, trained for, and completed it. I thought that was my path to being healthy. It wasn’t. When my dad died in September 2015, shit hit the fan. A few days after my dad died, my car was broken into and 3 suitcases of almost everything I owned of value was stolen.

Being robbed along with my dad’s death sent me into overdrive of depression. I ate my feelings and started only wearing sweatpants because I didn’t give a shit about how I looked and my life. All of a sudden every piece of clothing that I had left that hadn’t been stolen out of the car I owned didn’t fit. Looking in the mirror was depressing because I hated seeing what I looked like. 

Chubby Face

My face is the first to gain weight – Summer 2015

One day in April 2016, I woke up and was tired of feeling miserable. And while I don’t care about society or media’s standards about how women should look, I do care about how I feel and my well being. My health was deteriorating and it would only get worse if I didn’t do something about it. Simple physical activities that I used to do were hard and caused me to be out of breath. I am not young anymore but I am not old. Basic hikes and exercise shouldn’t be so hard. Below are the ways I got on track with my health. Hopefully, it can provide insight into your own journey about getting on track with your health.

Here are some things that helped me along my health transformation journey:

Health Transformation Tip #1 – Accountability

When it comes to losing weight or being active, being left to my own devices, I fail miserably. I always make excuses and put things off. “I don’t feel like exercising today”, is a big one. That is just how I am and how a lot of people are. My sister in law joined Weight Watchers a few years ago and has had success with that. Checking in on a weekly basis encouraged her to stay on top of her eating habits and her lifestyle change. I’m not good at changing my eating habits. I love to eat and I can never say no to dessert.

Accountability came into play for me when I went to the gym with my friend. When I first started going to the gym I would meet her during her lunch break and work out with her. After doing this for months, it became a habit. Now I don’t need to check in with anyone but I post on social media to check in with myself. If for some reason I am not feeling motivated to exercise, I meet up with a friend or do a group fitness class.

Health Transformation Tip #2  – Don’t Focus On The Big Picture, Focus On The Small Things

When I first started going to the gym, I had this idea of how much I wanted to weigh. Not that it would be impossible for me to get to what I weighed when I was in my twenties but it is just not how my body is at the age I am at now. Nor do I want to be there anymore knowing myself and my lifestyle.

When people first start working out or dieting, we tend to say I want to lose XX pounds or I want to weigh this much and I’ll be happy. I didn’t go on the scale as much as I did in the past because it always discouraged me. This time around I just made sure I was active as much as possible and used other forms of tracking success like fitting into old clothes or photos. I have to say I am not even close to what I wanted to weigh when I started out but I am totally happy with where I am at because numbers don’t mean anything when you have more muscle!

Health Transformation Tip #3 – Do Something Active Every Day  

For many years I would just sit on my computer all day. I knew I should do a bit of exercise daily, like go for a walk, but I didn’t. Why? Laziness and not prioritizing my health or me. I look back now I remember being on my iPhone and looking at social media but couldn’t go exercise for 30 minutes. Or I would lay on the couch every night when I could go for a walk. Why? How crazy! Most days I go to the gym but even on my “days off” I do yoga via a YouTube video or go for a walk with the dog.

Exercising In Yukon

I went To The Yukon On A Press Trip And Worked Out At 6:30 AM. Who am I?!

Health Transformation Tip #4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things 

I used to hate going to the gym. The idea of it was hell to me. I would go on the treadmill, go on the Stairmaster, or even go to spin class but I wasn’t seeing any kind of results. All I did was cardio cardio cardio and the only thing I noticed is that I was hungry all the time. Going to the gym became pointless for me because I did not see any change. When we start a program we want results. So with no results, I would just quit.

When I joined the gym this time, I tried almost all of the fitness classes and started lifting weights (nothing crazy but just using the weight machines at the gym). I used to hate yoga but learned through trial and error that in order to enjoy yoga, it is a good idea to try different types of yoga as well as different instructors. I found the ones I liked and I went to those specific instructors and classes. Yoga helps with my balance and flexibility and my body feels better when I practice at least once a week. I popped into a spin class when I was feeling unmotivated to exercise so I wasn’t on my own. 

I was also always embarrassed to do new things at the gym because I thought people were watching me. They aren’t. When I’m at the gym I am focused and I don’t notice anyone. You will feel very self-conscious but seriously…no one is watching! They are too focused on themselves.

Health Transformation

This Bosu Ball Use To Scare Me – Now It’s One Of My Favorite Workout Apparatus

Health Transformation Tip #5 – When I Failed Or Hit A Road Bump, I Didn’t Give Up

I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist but when I start a project or something new, I want things to go perfectly. So in the past, if I was starting a new diet and I failed, I would binge and then give up. In the past, if I wasn’t seeing any kind of results I felt defeated and would give up. This time around, I just kept going. Instead of focusing on results, I looked at things like how exercise helped my mind. I suffer from depression and anxiety and I noticed when I would exercise daily, I felt better.

Health Transformation Tip #6 – Know That Your Journey Won’t Be Linear

Like all things in life, there are ups and downs. And there are definitely ups and downs when trying to lose weight, learn a new sport, form new habits, or change your lifestyle. That is probably one of the reasons I stopped weighing myself. Somewhere along the way, I realized that the number on the scale doesn’t matter. What matters is how I feel, how I feel in my clothes, that I do something positive for myself on a daily basis, and that I am always being a better version of myself than the day before. I would often weigh myself on the scale and do so 4 times in a single day and the scale would say something different every time. So I said…enough….fuck the scale.

Health Transformation Tip #7 – Take Pictures Of Your Progress

Instead of using the number on the scale as a progress check, I started taking photos. In the beginning, I didn’t take photos because I hated seeing photos of myself. I still don’t enjoy taking photos of myself but I do love seeing the positive changes in my body. There are muscles where I never had muscles before. Also, seeing those muscles remind me that I’m strong. Strong is what became my focus instead of being skinny. Somewhere along the way, this happens and I think this is when fitness and health sticks.

It’s not about vanity for me anymore, it’s about being physically strong and being in control of my health. Having two parents die from cancer as well as almost all my female relatives, I realized how taking care of my health is so important. Doing what I can to be healthy is what became important to me. Being more physically fit than I have my whole life at this age feels so damn amazing and I am really proud of myself for reaching these personal goals.

Health Transformation

Didn’t take a photo when I started but this was in 2014 one of the many times I tried a new health regime

Health Transformation

This Was In March 2017 (Just This Year)

Health Transformation

In September 2017 – I Admit I Upped My Workouts Because I Was Meeting Friends In Vegas

Health Transformation Tip #8 –  Be Honest With Yourself 

One thing I am not good at is restriction or tracking. If I go on a diet and cut out carbs, all I can think about is carbs. If I have to measure out food or figure out things like my macros, I’m good for one day and then I give up. When I start new projects I want things to be perfect from start to finish and if things don’t work out, I give up.

So instead of overhauling my diet and going crazy, I just make tiny changes. I stopped adding sugar to my coffee and started using coconut creamer because it had less fat than other creamers. Sometimes for breakfast rather than a regular egg, I would make egg whites so that I was getting a lot of protein but less fat and cholesterol. Instead of fries, I would SOMETIMES get a salad with my meal instead. Keyword SOMETIMES because I love fries. I was really honest with myself and I know that I can’t restrict food and go on some low carb diet. Once I say I can’t eat something, that is all I want. So I am honest with myself and try to find new paths to success. 

Health Transformation Tip #9 –  Experiment To Find What Works For You

I realized that what worked for me when I was trying to lose weight in the past is not what works for me now. I’m older. My body and mentality has changed. Trying to find what worked for me was a big experiment. It still is. What worked for me in the past may not even work for me now, and it may not work for you and your personality but you can take away some ideas.

One thing that I made sure of was that I got some form of exercise daily. Being more mindful of what I ate. I ate out less and cook at home more. If I was going out to eat somewhere I tried to see what was on the menu so I could make healthier choices. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t because YOLO. I tried different fitness classes at my gym. I started doing less cardio and doing more weights. (And don’t worry ladies!! Weights do not make you bulky! I am smaller than I’ve been since I was in college. I went from a size 8/10 in April 2016 to a size 0 now.) Instead of meeting up with friends to eat, I would suggest a hike or go to a fitness class together.

Health Transformation

Health Transformation Tip #10 – Balance

One thing I still struggle with is balance. I tend to go crazy when I am interested in something. I noticed when I see weight loss success stories or even watched the Biggest Loser, that people just move from one addiction to another. So I make sure to schedule rest days or active rest days. 

I try my best to not guilt myself and make myself feel bad about not exercising, eating junk, etc. We humans are really bad at this. I have guilt issues….must be because I grew up Catholic haha. But most of the time when I do a workout, I feel 100000000% better. My body needs to rest and recuperate too. Balance will be an ongoing project for me since I tend to be an extreme person!

So there you have friends! My list of 10 tips that helped me transform into a healthier version of myself. This journey is not over. This wasn’t a diet or a temporary program. This is my life now!!

Do you have any health transformation tips to share? Share them in the comments! Let me know where you are on your journey!! I’d love to hear about it.


Health Transformation

**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.**

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