My Fitness Journey 2016-2019

2016 – 2019

Honestly, I always feel like when people post about their ‘fitness journey’ I get annoyed. I always think to myself, how on earth did they do that? How did they lose all that weight and gain all that muscle? etc… I feel like people never go into enough depth and leave me confused. I’m going to try and give you guys as much information on this as I possibly can. But please note that I still am not where I want to be by any means and I’ve been working on this for YEARS.

What I’ve learned throughout this entire process is that there’s no answer. There is literally no way that someone could tell you how to lose weight. You really have to figure out what works for you and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. But I’ll get more into what I learned later…

I feel like I’ve jumped through HOOPS to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t as per working out and I still can’t say with 100% confidence that I know whats up.

Here’s my timeline of how this all started and what I’ve done:

In 2016 – I was living by myself in a dorm room on the first floor of a building where I didn’t open the windows often so I didn’t have a ton of natural light (which I thrive off of). The dorm I lived in had a dining hall in it with the best food literally like bacon egg and cheese sammys for breakfast and sweet potato fries for lunch. I was in HEAVEN. I ate whatever the hell I wanted – this was the last time I gave myself food freedom (kinda sad now that I think of it). I went to the gym probably a total of 20 times for that entire year and I didn’t even really care.

Moral of my 2016 was that I was extremely unmotivated but I didn’t even know it. I was kind of milking it, I would do very light yoga and use the elliptical. I didn’t push myself, I didn’t want to and to be quite honest, I wasn’t ready. I got home from school for the summer and I realized after I stepped on the scale that I really wanted and needed to make a change.

Literally the day after this revelation, I woke up and got a gym membership the same day. That’s where it all began. I started by going 5 days a week. I would use the elliptical for 10 minutes as a warm up and 10 minutes as a cool down. This way if I wanted to back out of cardio at least I already did 10 minutes. I can’t remember what exactly my workout split looked like back then but I vividly remember this cardio routine I had going on.

I also remember I was using a ton of machines as well like abductors and abductors, bicep curl machine, assisted pull up because I was comfortable with them. I really stayed in my comfort zone for the first year until I learned more.

I was still eating whatever I wanted but being a bit more mindful.

In 2017 I got a bit more comfortable. I actually purchased a the CCFIT app by Christina Capron. I remember when I finished 6 weeks to bigger cheeks I was SO excited! Her app is such an amazing app for beginners because she has a ton of different guides (gym and at home) and all different types of workouts with video instructions, reps and sets included. I did a couple different programs in that app and stuck to them. I also worked out with my best friend every day which helped keep me motivated and made working out fun.

I had a FitBit at this time and was super addicted to it. I loved tracking my steps and workouts. It made me feel accomplished and like I was on the right track. The fitbit app had a ton of little things to track like water. I think I also began lightly tracking my food at this time but I would still split a huge bag of sweet potato fries for dinner some nights lol no regrets.

By 2018 I started to figure it out. At the beginning of the year I was doing Ashley Barron’s guide just because I decided I wanted to try something new. Not my favorite guide but I did it a couple of times through. I started to track my food and pay a bit more attention to what I was putting in my body (aside from spiked seltzers on the weekend – cause there aint no laws when … anyways sorry I got off track there).

Later in the year I got a job at a gym near my school and got a free membership. This re motivated me. I started working out with one of my friends every day and we really pushed each other. It was a lot of fun. She told me about Brad and Aubrie Bromlow who calculate your macros for you for around $30.00. At this point I didn’t feel really restricted but I just started to really focus on hitting my macros every day. The rest of 2018 is kind of a blur lol.


I took the picture on the right a couple of days ago and I was SHOOK. I remember taking the picture on the left literally squeezing so hard I couldn’t breathe! It’s crazy- this feels like it happened overnight but results come with TIME!

February of 2019 I was probably the leanest I’ve ever been. I was tracking my food with Aubrie’s calculations as tightly as I could because it was winter break and I was bored, I didn’t drink a ton of alcohol because I was home and not at school so I was really grinding it out. Last February I did 1,150 burpees in the entire month because the gym I was working at was having a fund raiser (I don’t recommend this was not fun and my body was in so much pain lol). When I got back to school I slowly gained my weight back because I got back to drinking more and eating with my friends… just enjoying life in general which is OKAY!

I graduated college in May and the last 2 weeks of school I worked out but I also ate out every single meal and I felt like garbage. I was so bloated but I knew I was going to get back on the grind soon. I don’t regret this for a second because I had SO much fun with my friends and that’s time I won’t ever get to re-live.

When I got home I started eating cleaner, but I started getting really confused. How was I going to get back to where I was before? (I’m still not)

So then I found Kenzie Burke and started food combining. I was feeling amazing. I was still eating meat though so some of my meals were just boring meat and veggies I wasn’t really satisfied? So I stopped and started eating like a normal person which I hadn’t done in years and I was getting good at eating intuitively and feeling satisfied.

My biggest problem is I trend hop because I get bored…

With that being said, I found another program and I had a very very bad experience. It was so bad that I don’t even wanna say who it was from… This program was very strict. You would take progress pictures every WEEK (that’s ridiculous you won’t ever see progress every week – it was bringing my self esteem so far down because I was working so hard and not seeing huge changes). The program had me counting macros very strictly – weighing my food out and staying tight between those numbers. I was hungry and extremely unsatisfied. It also gave you a workout split (which I’m almost positive everyone got the same one but not sure) and I hated the split. Working out when you hate the exercise makes it SO undesirable. I would dread going to the gym when the gym was my happy place. One night my sister brought home leftover pizza from my favorite restaurant. I was craving it SO bad (but I only got one cheat meal a week) so I ate a couple of bites and spit out each bite so I would still stay within my macros… I started crying after this. How on earth did I get to this place? I had a revelation and I was freaking out. I decided it would be best if I cut it off completely (the program was 3 months long and I stopped after 1 – it was way too much money I was stupid to buy it in the first place and even though she wasn’t going to be helping me at all anymore she refused to give me a refund). I’ll never forget crying on the phone and her telling me ‘just know you you’re gonna gain weight once you stop tracking’. I was beyond stressed.

But in the end this program was the best mistake I ever made because it brought me back to life and made me realize I actually had to figure something out.

I was living in limbo for a little very confused about what to eat and how much to eat. I felt very uncomfortable when eating anything because I knew it wasn’t perfect and I had this girls voice in my ear telling me I was going to gain weight. I finally started to get over my fear of food in October. During this time I was learning how to enjoy my workouts and doing things that I actually liked doing, I was having way more fun at the gym than before.

Fast forward to November 1, I watched the game changers movie which I talked about a few posts back and I’ve been a vegetarian and eating intuitively ever since. I’ve been feeling amazing and I think my body reflects that. Click here to read about one week into being a vegetarian.

My workouts have been really intense since then. I’m posting my updated workout routine in about a week so I’ll link it here once I have it up. I’ve been lifting really heavy and pushing myself beyond what I thought I could ever do. It’s really amazing what your body can accomplish when you fuel it with the food that it’s craving rather than being so intensely restrictive.

What I’ve Learned:

I feel like everyone who works out starts all wrong, including me and then we get addicted to pushing ourselves through pain and being a bit too consistent.

  • Listening to your body is KEY
  • Figure out what works for YOU. what works for someone else will not work for you you really have to do trial and error
  • Restricting turns to a binge
  • There’s no such thing as a good food vs a bad food (still working on this)
  • Do workouts that make YOU happy
  • Workout because it makes you feel good not because you want to eat more (working on this lol)
  • Results TAKE TIME!!!!!

I really hope that someone took something out of this. This was really uncomfortable for me to share but I hope that it inspires someone to push themselves and figure out what works for them.

Share with me your experiences in the comments! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Instagram!

Thanks for reading!

Carly @eatsbycarly

Published by eatsbycarly

Welcome to my website! My name is Carly - I'm here to share reviews, recipes, and my experience with fitness! You can follow my Instagram @eatsbycarly for more!

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