I’ve noticed that the definition has evolved over time as the movement has gotten bigger and bigger. And in my own personal experience, it’s been frustrating to have my name and face conveniently thrown in and out of this movement by whoever wanted to make their point.
Seeing people tell me that I am not being body positive and that I am misusing the term itself makes me feel really confused. And to be honest with you, I had never actually looked up the origin of the word until a couple months ago. I just thought if I was loving my body, then I was being positive with my body. But it seems to be a lot more complicated than that. And you know what, if I’m wrong, I can accept that! But I’d love to know why, and that’s why I made this video.
It’s one of the most important videos I have ever made. Please watch.
Let’s step back in time for just a second. When I posted “The Perfect Body” – a video me photoshopping myself to reflect the mean comments I was getting about how I was too fat to be a trainer, 4 years ago in 2015, it really was to help me fight back against the cyber bullies and to help me heal from all of the negativity I was getting about my body. But incredibly, it ended up going viral, racking up nearly 14 million views!
It was really cool to see how many women and girls related to the pressure I felt to have the “perfect body.” National publications and TV shows like Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, AdWeek, People Magazine, and US Weekly began picking it up and my name became synonymous with body positivity. The crazy thing was…back in 2014 and 2015, body positivity was something new to me. I wasn’t trying to be body positive, I was just trying to be be me, teaching Pilates without a six pack. And somehow my undefined abs solidified my role as a “body positive role model.”
Now let’s step back just 2 and a half months ago. On August 16th, 2019 I announced that I would embark on a 90 day journey to to get in the best shape of my life – mentally and physically. This meant doing more workouts that made me happy, like dancing. This meant cooking for myself more because making food brings me joy. This meant blogging everyday to practice not letting other people’s opinion of me censor my true authentic self, as it had over the past several years of being on online public figure. Sooo what was the problem? Well, I announced some numerical goals for my weight and my body fat. And just like that, it was like the world burst into flames.
All of a sudden I was called anti-body positive, too skinny to lose weight, a promoter of eating disorders, an embarrassment to women, a disappointment to my fans, a traitor to my own brand, psychologically unstable, and best of all, I was formally “diagnosed” in the YouTube comments by a number of people who seemed to know that I was mentally ill and needed to seek professional help. Then the media got involved, as they always do, and all of a sudden there were a bunch of articles being written about how my 90 day journey was “controversial”.
The video above explores the history of body positivity and how it is being defined today. I interview a number of women from the body positive community, including the MOTHER the movement. I also had a super enlightening chat with a plus size model who’s ready to expose something crazy about the double standards in the plus size modeling industry. This is a MUST WATCH.
To me, body positivity means loving what your body for what it can do today and for what it has the potential to do in the future. Body positivity does not mean accepting where you are now and staying there forever. It means evolving your body as your evolve as a person. Change does not mean you hate yourself, it means you love yourself enough to put effort into growing. And guess what? Growth looks different on every person. Doesn’t matter if they are fat, or skinny, or whatever – if a person wants to grow and embark on their own journey in a healthy way, LET THEM. Let them define their own markers for happiness and success. You are not here to judge someone else’s journey. If you want to help someone feel more positive about their body, then you won’t make mean comments on the sidelines. You’ll either join the journey or cheer them on.
What’s your definition of “body positivity”?
Fit Journal entry. It was another Halloween party night. And me at parties = I wanna try everything. I pretty much did :)
It was a Wild West themed party that one of the companies we work with put on (they were very specific and passionate about the theme), so I dressed up as a saloon girl and Sam was an 1800s aristocrat!
Jackelyn borrowed my skeleton costume from my heels dance, and then wrapped a bandana around her neck for the wild west bandit effect!
Can you believe this was the CEO’s house!!?? He apparently spent 6 months decorating. It was INSANE.
He hired a small army of caricature artists, fortune tellers, makeup artists, a live DJ, a magician from The Magic Castle, a much of gambling tables – I mean WHOA. It was like a wedding but Halloween!!! It inspires me to know that my wedding doesn’t HAVE TO be the biggest party of my life…hahahaha.
Alright, now let’s get to the food.
24% carbs, 29% fat, 47% protein
1 chicken skewer, 1 egg thin quesadilla with Daiya vegan cheese, plus pico de gallo. This was more like a tiny snack 20 min before my workout.
15% carbs, 46% fat, 39% protein
Salmon, green beans, coconut aminos, and sriracha. I also had a small snack of sea bass.
PRE-DINNER SNACK + DINNER:
36% carbs, 37% fat, 27% protein
Before we left for the party, I made 3 egg thin tacos filled with sea bass, power greens, and pico de gallo.
I had salad, broccoli, mushrooms, succotash, baked beans, caramelized onions, jalapeños, beef stew and beef chili. I went back and got seconds of the beef chili because it was so good! I also snacked on some bacon and a mini hot dog. For drinks, I just had sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon as well as tea! (I don’t like alcohol!)
It SCREAMED the first time I let the axe go. I totally missed the target and thought I had hacked someone in the skull!!! But after a few tries, I got more confident! It was so scary. Not sure I liked it – but it for sure was an experience!
Then after Ro’s party we headed to Phil’s 90s inspired b-day party!
Everyone was asked to wear khakis and a white top to look like they were a dancer in Monica’s “The First Night” music video. I don’t own a single pair of khakis…so…I stayed in my angel outfit! Oh well, I mean Romeo + Juliet feat. Leonardio DiCaprio and Claire Danes was 1996! So I was on theme yeah?
I did my makeup Euphoria style but you can’t really see it here. I’m proud that I am no longer as safe with my makeup thanks to the tutorial I learned during the Instagram Beauty Standards video!
Me and Sam being silly early 2000’s high schoolers.
Okay now for the food I ate yesterday! It’s always harder at parties when the environment is uncontrolled, but I think I did the best I could :P
Here is my Fit Journal entry. Did Pilates yesterday and my body felt so gorgeous and long!
18% carbs, 52% fat, 30% protein
Cauliflower risotto with grilled onions, tomatoes, and salmon topped with sriracha and coconut aminos!
26% carbs, 52% fat, 22% protein
Pre-party I had 3 egg thin quesadillas with Daiya pepperjack vegan cheese, 1 chicken skewer, and pico de gallo. I was hoping that by eating a pre dinner I would not overeat at the parties!
At Ro’s party, I had picked veggies, cole slaw, beef brisket and pork carnitas.
Then at Phil’s party I had some carrots with avocado corn salsa. Yeah, doesn’t seem like much but it sure adds up!!!
Yesterday I came in at 1,867 calories, 115g carbs (24%), 108g fat (52%), and 112g protein (24%). See, some days I go high and some days I go low and some days I’m on the mark – and it is all okay! Life evens itself out!
Now, time to go get ready for my third Halloween party of the weekend! I will show my costume tomorrow!
AHHHHH it is the week 10 weigh in!!! It is insane how fast this is going. I’ve never felt so focused with my workouts, my nutrition AND my overall well being and my happiness before. This 90 day journey has me ALIGNED and it feels so right. I feel in control, happy, and flexible. I don’t feel restricted at all – which is weird…because that is normally what I feel when I am on a diet. So, I can’t say that I am on a diet – what I CAN say is that I am eating right for my body and I am enjoying grocery shopping, cooking, creating, and eating!
I feel inspired to design new challenges and programs for you based on what I have learned! Just wait til you find out what I have in store for you in January…I’m coming up with it right now, and lemme tell ya…it is gonna be FRESH and DIFFERENT.
Here’s my Fit Journal game plan page! Seriously every time I look at this page, I feel SO ACCOMPLISHED. I wanna frame this when I’m done haha.
Last week, I rested once and worked out 6 days. I am proud of myself for going to a Crossfit class even though I didn’t really want to but felt like I needed to push myself :)
Things I need to START – I want to try some ballroom dance classes or latin classes! I just like dancing in heels in general I think!
Things I need to STOP – Need to go to bed earlier. I am staying up late reading articles or shopping online for no good reason. STOP IT CASSEY!
Now…onto the WEEK 10 WEIGH-IN!
Okay, I am shocked at this week’s progress! 2.2 lbs down from last week, a decrease of 0.5% body fat, and an increase of 0.2% muscle mass! That is a total of 13 lbs lost from the beginning. WHAT!
Now, I have a few observations about why my progress picked up this week. It’s a good thing that I am logging everything and that I have recorded my weight, food, exercise, and mood daily. This allows me to look back and see patterns, if there are any.
What did I do differently?
Week 8 is when I noticed that I was gaining weight again as I was eating keto. It was then that I decided to start logging my calories and macros and also switch off of keto into just general low carb. I allowed myself to have fruit again as well as my current life luxury – pumpkin pie hummus! Additionally, I began subbing out some of my chicken for either fish, beyond meat (vegan), eggs, or tofu. I added variety to my protein – which is what I learned that I needed to do after analyzing my Food Sensitivity Report.
Also, dance has become a more consistent part of my routine. It not only is a great cardio workout, it challenges my memory skills while keeping me super happy. I’m always smiling in class. I think dance de-stresses me and probably lowers my cortisol levels. So that’s got to be a big factor in my progress.
Finally, I’ve started taking Vitamin D and a couple other vitamins temporarily. After my baseline blood test, which I still need to show you, I discovered that I was severely deficient in Vitamin D and the nurse practitioner told me that this could be one of the root causes for why my body likes to hold on to fat – no matter how much I work out or eat clean. (I will explain how that is all connected in another blog post.) I started taking the vitamins on Oct 13 pretty much every day. I don’t know if the vitamins have helped or not, but I guess we shall see how that affects my body (if at all) once I run out.
Let’s go over my initial goals.
20% body fat
Again, for anyone just joining, these numerical goals were created to give me direction so that I could objectively tell if I was making progress or not. Of course the 90 day journey isn’t just about numbers! It’s always been about getting in the best shape of my life MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY. I don’t want to repeat myself too much because people will still scream and yell about this no matter how much I try to explain. So I’m just gonna leave this right here.
Now back to the goals.
I have 3 more lbs and 1.8% body fat to go to reach “athlete” body fat status. I have 19 more days. This means I need to decrease my weight by approximately 1.1 lbs and 0.66% body fat per week. I did not think I’d be able to reach my goals last week, but this week, something happened, so…who knows! I could also plateau next week to make up for this week’s dramatic progress. We shall see. I’m just gonna keep trucking along!
Fit Journal entry. Took an interesting dance workout class before my heels class. Not sure if I will be back…it was…weird. The instructor kept changing the choreo and then was asking us (the students) why we kept messing up. Then there was a point where she wanted me to arch my back more so she pressed her boobs up against my back for a whole minute to make it arch more. I’m sure she didn’t mean to be weird about it, but I DEF felt weird about it! In our POP Pilates Instructor training workshops, our Master Trainers always talk about not touching people – and if you do, you need to ASK if it is ok to do so.
15% carbs, 50% fat, 35% protein
4 egg thin tacos with zucchini squash, salmon, pico de gallo, and power greens. YUM!
16% carbs, 48% fat, 36% protein
Salmon with cauliflower risotto and a side of tomatoes! Coconut aminos and sriracha.
As a night time drink, I mixed collagen with almond milk and chrysanthemum tea. So soothing.
Yesterday I came in at 1,244 calories and 59g carbs (19%), 68g fat (50%), and 95g protein (31%). This is a little lower than normal, but there are days when I go into the 1800s and even 2000s – I mean you can’t be perfect every single day, especially if you’re not pre-planning your macros in advance. All I can say is that I feel full and energized. When I am hungry, I eat!
Question for you! What kind of January challenge do you wanna see!???
I haven’t been baking as much (I’m more of a steamer and a sautée-er) but today I was inspired to make some muffins! Check out these BEAUTIFUL apple cinnamon muffins I made!!! Plus can you believe there is absolutely NO FLOUR or even oats in them!!??? They’re 100% gluten free and SO GOOD.
The recipe for my gluten free apple cinnamon muffins is at the end of the January section in the 2020 Fit Planner! If you have the planner, go flip to that page now! If not…well, you’re in luck. Here is the recipe!
1 cup cashew butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Stevia or monk fruit to taste
Basically grab a big bowl, mix all of the above together into a batter, then line your muffin pan with liners, and pour the batter in! 17 min at 375F. That’s it!!!
They are ABSOLUTELY DELISHHHHHH!!!! Also if you want a shot at winning a 2020 Fit Planner, I am running a big giveaway on my Instagram right now! If you win, you get to choose a friend to gift the second Fit Planner to as well – so you BOTH can keep each other accountable! Click here to enter. Giveaway ends Saturday…so go!
Fit Journal entry. I took a terrible fitness class last night. The instructor didn’t coach very well, had the music loud with no microphone so I couldn’t hear him, didn’t have us move with the beat – sometimes he was on beat, sometimes he wasn’t, didn’t say anything inspiring or motivating, and looked he didn’t enjoy the workout. I found myself looking at my watch several times (I usually never do this) soooooo it’s safe to say I won’t be back for a while. I had taken Modelfit once before and it was actually pretty good! Not sure what happened but at 7:15pm on a Wed night (popular time), but there were only 3 people and 1 of them was the front desk girl…so…maybe something happened with the format! Who knows!
21% carbs, 52% fat, 27% protein
Salmon with cauliflower rice. I’m always so surprised how much fat is in my food, even when I am not trying! But that is good I guess because I am full after and it tastes amazing.
12% carbs, 43% fat, 45% protein
I actually had 5 of these tacos! It’s an egg thin filled with zucchini squash, salmon, power greens, and pico de gallo! YUM. Very very filling with the zucchini squash.
51% carbs, 41% fat, 8% protein
Unsweetened peach tea. I added a couple packets of stevia and it was amaze.
Healthade kombucha. Durr.
Seaweed snack. Yay.
Pumpkin pie hummus with strawberries. THIS IS THE LAST OF IT!!!! NOOOOO!!! What should I do?? Buy more?? Or hold off for a bit? UGH can’t decide!
Yesterday I came in at 1,366 calories 91g carbs (27%), 68g fat (46%), and 91g protein (27%).
Are you doing anything fun for Halloween? I have 3 parties to go to!!! OMG!!! It may be fun, but it does not contribute to me doing nothing and relaxing. EEK! Here we go!!!
Last night my friends came over for dinner and felting!
It was so nice to catch up with Casey, Sam, and Kina! We talked all sorts of crazy things as we needled our wool (like cults, murders, history, the royals, the past, the future, kids these days…etc.) but found ourselves mostly sounding like old people who didn’t understand technology – hahahaha. Mainly…WHY IS TIKTOK ENTERTAINING WHYYYY.
This took a few hours to make, but it was sooooo satisfying once we sculpted our creatures! We all poked ourselves a few times and yes blood was shed!!
The prompt was to make magical turtles as directed by Kina, our veteran felter. But in the end, only Kina and I stuck to the plan, and Casey ended up making a bee with Kylie Jenner lips and Sam made a literal professional grade replica of his cat Alfie.
Closeup. How pretty are our creatures!!??
Fit Journal entry. Yesterday was a dinner party! I didn’t have time to cook so I ordered from a grilled fish place with lots of veggie options and everything was delish!!!
18% carbs, 51% fat, 31% protein
Cauliflower fried rice made with eggs, beyond meat, and chanterelle mushrooms.
58% carbs, 32% fat, 10% protein
Pumpkin pie hummus with strawberries!
Bubbly rose kombucha from Healthade.
20% carbs, 45% fat, 35% protein
Every time friends come over for dinner, I pull out the Anthro dinnerware we got for our wedding. It makes everything look SO fancy!
This is a plate filled grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, salad, grilled veggies, and collard greens!
I came in at 1,508 calories with 114g carbs (29%), 74g fat (44%), and 103g protein (27%).
I want you to know that your body is perfect as it is. There is nothing you should hate about it. Now this doesn’t mean, you should “accept your fate” and not do any work to feel changes or improvements. All it means is that you should accept yourself at this point in your journey, and know that with everyday that goes by, it is a chance to create a better version of who you are today.
I used to tell my belly how much I hated it. I used to look in the mirror and push out my hip dips. I used to look at my arms and wish they were thinner. That type of mindset was detrimental to any progress I wanted to make. Why? Well, believe it or not, your body and your cells can tell how you’re feeling. Yeah. It knows when you’re unhappy. When you’re stressed. When you upset. Though a cell may not be able to talk to us in words, they speak to us through chemical reactions.
The more I yelled at my body, the less it wanted to do what I wanted it to do.
I mean, as a person, I hate it when a coach or a boss yells at me to do something. Yelling doesn’t fire me up. I know it does for some people who are wired to “prove people wrong.” Yelling actually makes me want to do the EXACT OPPOSITE. I’m the type of person who needs encouragement and positive coaching. This I already know about myself. So why would I try to coach my body in a way that makes it mad?
For a long time, I wasn’t nice to my body. I gave it so much hate. And you know what happened? That’s when I was having digestive issues, acne, AND to top it off – all the working out and eating clean I did didn’t amount to ANYTHING. My body was like “nah, not gonna give you any results so you learn your lesson and be nice to me.” That’s when I was plagued by metabolic damage. I felt like I had zero control over my body and my situation. It took years to heal.
Now, I’ve learned.
I’ve learned to shower my body with the love it NEEDS.
There is a DISTINCT difference between by old habits and my 90 day journey habits.
Instead of criticizing my body, I compliment my body when I see it in the mirror.
Instead of doing workouts that burn more calories, I do workouts that bring me joy.
Instead of thinking I’m not progressing fast enough, I accept that I am progressing as fast as I should be.
Instead of doubting my body, I trust my body.
Instead of feeling bad if I can’t stick to something, I embrace the fact that flexibility is good, and often necessary.
Once you practice these things, the layers of self judgement will begin to peel away. And guess what? The underlying joy that is YOUR LIFE and YOUR INCREDIBLE TEMPLE OF A BODY will emerge!!!
Fit journal entry. Yesterday I went to a Crossfit class and then did 1 hour of stretching at a pole dance studio. My body was YEARNING for movement after a weekend of sitting on my butt at the computer. Even though the Crossfit class was hard, it felt good to be pushed.
23% carbs, 51% fat, 26% protein
Chicken skewers with jalapeno sauce salad and a side of egg thin Daiya cheese quesadillas topped with salsa.
23% carbs, 25% fat, 52% protein
Chicken skewers with broccoli florets, egg tofu, and tons of sriracha and coconut aminos. I ended up having 2 more skewers to balance out all that broccoli :P
Shrimp with cocktail sauce.
55% carbs, 12% fat, 33% protein
Now the entire shrimp thing we bought at Costco is eaten, so no more shrimp pics! Haha.
I came in at 1,474 calories and 102g carbs (29%), 49g fat (32%), and 137g protein (39%).
Out of the 5 things I tell myself in order to have a healthy relationship with my body, which one resonates with you most?
Guys. I need to schedule in rest or else I will never do it.
This weekend was too much. I had zero rest time all of Saturday and Sunday. I worked so much that my head went numb. And when I was grocery shopping, I felt loopy and weird. I didn’t even get to spend time with Sam. The only times we saw each other were for meals and even those were brief.
If I am to be truly healthy, I need to take my mental health just as seriously as I am taking my physical health and nutritional health. Sleep and time to relax/do nothing NEED to become a priority.
How am I going to do that? I need to plan ahead. The reason why I am in this vortex of work, to be very honest with you, is because I don’t plan ahead enough to be able to delegate the work to someone else. Of course there are things I do not feel comfortable delegating or things I enjoy doing myself, so those will stay on my plate, but there’s been a lot of things lately that someone could have and should have helped me with. So, my goal is to PLAN AHEAD. Get my part done early so that I team up with someone to continue executing as I move on to the next thing.
Also…I always have last minute ideas, and I always want them done right away because I am so excited…soooo that doesn’t help either!!!
Anyway, it’s 10pm. So let’s get into…
Fit Journal entry. Sunday became a rest day because I simply could not take a moment to step away from my computer. I know it sounds crazy, but I was doing a ton of research, writing a script, and filming for a video I’m super excited about that will be coming out this Sunday. It’s about body positivity, the origins, the controversy, the modeling industry, the money, the debates, and the evolution of the meaning. I can’t wait for you to see it because I went out and interviewed some prominent people in the space and MAN OH MAN wait til you hear what they have to say.
I. WAS. SHOCKED.
I think you will be too.
16% carbs, 52% fat, 32% protein
Cauliflower flat bread with egg, chicken avo dip, baby bell peppers and salsa on top. Side of butter lettuce.
64% carbs, 21% fat, 15% protein
Pumpkin pie hummus by Delighted by Desserts and sliced strawberries. YUMMMMMM.
Shrimp and some cocktail sauce.
Health-Ade kombucha for that gut health yo.
16% carbs, 56% fat, 28% protein
Butter lettuce cups filled with chicken avo dip, topped with roma tomato.
65% carbs, 11% fat, 23% protein
Rice paper rolls!!! I filled them with lettuce, chanterelle mushrooms, and grilled chicken. I wouldn’t recommend the mushrooms inside – err – at least not the way I made them which was steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper.
The sauce was a mixture of lime, sriracha, hoisin sauce, and a bit of water. Traditionally in the Vietnamese cuisine, my mom would add peanut butter but it’s not necessary in my opinion!
Yesterday came in at 1,414 calories at 155g carbs (44%), 48g fat (31%), and 86g protein (25%).
It’s crazy that the logging of food calories is totally not bothering me. In fact, I find it exciting to see what I am feeding myself!!
Today I am soooooo thrilled to share with you my first ever heels choreography!
So many of you guys were super interested in learning how to do the type of dance I’ve been practicing, so I decided to take a shot at making a little routine for my friends and a full length tutorial for you guys! To me, dance is joy in movement and I wanted to share this joy with you. I promise that you will feel so confident, sassy, and powerful after you finish this video. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about dancing in heels that makes you feel INVINCIBLE and I LOVE IT. SO YOU NEED TO DO THIS NOW.
Go grab a pair of boots, a heel with a strap at the ankle, or caged heels! The chunkier the heel, the easier it will be to dance in! Stilettos are advanced! I’m not even in stilettos yet! Haha, I just started!
Did a weight lifting class with Sam at 10am! I’m starting to sleep in these days to help counter balance how late I am staying up. I hope to get back to normal sleeping hours soon. There’s just so much going on.
29% carbs, 46% fat, 25% protein
Pumpkin pie hummus with raspberries. I had the whole 6 oz container of berries too!
Cauliflower fried rice with beyond meat and eggs. A side of tomatoes marinated in coconut aminos and sriracha.
19% carbs, 57% fat, 24% protein
A side of shishito peppers marinated in coconut aminos. Not that great. I need to go buy my Furikake!!!
A piece of salmon over a bed of zoodles, sweet baby bell peppers, and marinara sauce.
50% carbs, 31% fat, 19% protein
Black tea, no sugar.
Konjac noodles with edamame succotash and an egg. Noodles were seasoned with mushroom powder.
It is amazing that this noodle pack from nuPasta is only 35 calories. It doesn’t REALLY taste like noodles, but for 35 calories, it’s pretty AMAZING :) Plus, it is super filling! The only problem is that it always makes me bloated the next day because of how much fiber is in there! It’s been over 24 hours now since I’ve eaten it and I am still bloated. I hope it goes away tomorrow. They say the more you eat konjac, the better your reactions will be to the fiber.
Yesterday came in at 1,581 calories and 120g carbs (30%), 84g fat (47%), and 95g protein (23%).
Yesterday was crazy. The morning started with me walking up at 6AM sewing my Halloween costume for an event we had to attend THAT NIGHT (didn’t finish), then I led a dance rehearsal, then we shot a full on dance “music video”, then we headed to the office where I TRIED so hard to finish my costume (but still didn’t). But by that time, we were sooooo late to the event that we just had to go. I ended up sewing in the car ride over to the event as well – but would DEF not recommend this. Very dangerous! Oh yeah, and then got home at midnight! PHEW!
Anyway, wanna see how everything turned out?
First off, this year’s Halloween costume idea was to be a family of bathtub objects. And it all started with the decision to make Sir George…
A LOOFAH!!!!! OMG. I died when he put on this costume. I legit DIED. So precious. I can’t breathe.
I made this using tulle, a hot glue gun, some rope, and a blue dog shirt.
I accentuated his costume by being…
This costume was made with a nude colored leotard, a bunch of clear plastic orbs, nude colored thread, and a headband. Ideally this costume would have about 20 more bubbles. But, it turned out pretty good I think! I really love it. It was inspired by Lady Gaga.
Do you want a tutorial on this?
So now that you know what Sir and I are…can you guess what Sam was!!???
A bunch of you guys were debating whether he would be soap or a rubber ducky. Well the correct answer is…
We were invited to attend Victoria Arlen’s “Costumes for a Cause” Charity event in Hollywood to raise funds for people with mobility challenges and special needs.
Victoria is such an incredible human with such a powerful story! Victoria developed a rare condition that left her in a vegetative state for 4 years – where she could not eat, walk, speak, or move. The craziest part was…she was completely aware of what was going and could hear everything the doctors were saying – like how she wouldn’t survive this. She was literally LOCKED in her own body.
After 4 years, a miracle happened. She began to relearn how to perform simple movements…but the sensation in her legs never came back. But guess what? She became a gold and silver medalist in the Paralympics and even competed on Dancing with the Stars – all without feeling in her legs. SO CRAZY!!!
Last night was so much fun. There was Scary-oke and I even got up on stage to sing with some of the girls! That’s Linda, me, Victoria, Rosanna, and Caleb!
I loooooove dressing up so much!!! I still have 2 more Halloween parties I’m going to so will update y’all on what I’ll be for the other 2 parties! What are you going to be for Halloween?
WEEK 9 WEIGH-IN:
Fit Journal 12 week game plan page. Wow, 25 days left. I can’t believe my 90th day is November 13th! EEK!
Week 9 recap. Need to start blogging earlier in the day so I can got to bed earlier. Need to stop letting people’s opinion of me affect my well being.
Week 9 was a good week for progress. I lost 1 lb, decreased by 0.2% body fat and increased by 0.1% muscle mass! Overall, I have lost 10.8 lbs since August! Yay for PROGRESS! Plus I am FEELING so happy, energetic, and confident!
I have 25 more days to lose 5.2 lbs and 2.4% body fat. That means I need to lose about 1.5 lbs and 0.64% body fat each week if I am to catch up to my goal. We are very close! Though I don’t know if I can actually hit these goals by November 13. I will take it slow and steady, so let’s just see where I end up! Doesn’t really matter though because the benefits of the 90 day journey have already paid off! It started paying off in week 1 :)
At this point, I am going to make a change to my diet again. I’m going to start replacing some of my fat calories with carb and protein calories. I need to do a better job of planning that out because right now fat % keeps landing in the 45-60% range when it should be closer to 30% according to my genetic fit test.
I am also VERY curious to see that IF I follow my genetic fit macros, can I optimize my body’s ability to burn fat? I think I need to actually plan my meals before I cook them or else looking at my macros at the end of the day becomes one big guessing game instead of a well thought out strategy. I’ll need to write up my meal plan soon.
Yesterday was a high calorie day compared to what I am have been eating normally! But I guess all the stress of costume making, rehearsals, performing, parties etc – really just made me more ravenous than usual!
11% carbs, 32% fat, 57% protein
I mixed some Premiere Protein vanilla protein drink with Real CoCo Coconut drink for an on the go brekkie.
32% carbs, 43% fat, 25% protein
Chipotle chicken salad, guac, corn, fajitas, black beans and pico de gallo. YUM.
25% carbs, 49% fat, 23% protein
I had a couple plates of luncheon meats with Caesar salad, roasted tomato hummus, tomatoes, carrots, and some berries. It didn’t look like a lot but when I logged it into MyFitnessPal, the meats really added up!
27% carbs, 43% fat, 30% protein
Cooking from home is so much cleaner!!! I know exactly what’s in my food and I can eat a lot slower and more mindfully. I had 2 cauli flatbreads with 2 eggs.
As a little dessert, I had some kombucha!
I came in at 2,039 calories, 147g carbs (28%), 103g fat (44%), and 148g protein (28%). At least I surpassed my protein goal for once!
I’m excited to go over another blood test today! Today we will be looking at my food sensitivity. Lots to discuss before we look at the results.
Now, I am totally aware that a food sensitivity test is NOT a food allergy test nor is it a food intolerance test. So…what’s the diff?
Food allergy: You have a food allergy when your immune system reacts to the food which is detected as a harmful substance. Your immune system will make antibodies to fight it off. This could look like skin rashes and breathing problems. A blood test will measure for a protein called immunoglobulin E or IgE.
Food intolerance: You have a food intolerance when you have trouble digesting certain foods. You usually have an intolerance because you lack an enzyme to digest the food. You can still eat the food in small amounts, but if you have too much, your body will react.
Food sensitivity: There is no standard medical definition for this. Sometimes it is used to describe an umbrella of the above two words.
The food sensitivity test that I took measured my IgG and IgA levels. Here is what that means, according to WebMD:
Immunoglobulin A: IgA antibodies are found in the mucous membranes of the lungs, sinuses, stomach, and intestines. They’re also in fluids these membranes produce, like saliva and tears, as well as in the blood.
Immunoglobulin G: IgG is the most common type of antibody in your blood and other body fluids. These antibodies protect you against infection by “remembering” which germs you’ve been exposed to before.
Something important to note is that since my tests look for IgG and IgA antibodies (and not IgE), my results will not indicate allergies. Past or frequent exposure to a food may also cause IgG levels to be higher – not just the fact that I am sensitive to the food. I confirmed this with the incredible Dr. Cicerone of Spark Health, who I had the honor of meeting at Gabby Bernstein‘s book launch party last night. She said that some of my numbers may seem high because I eat too much of it, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad for me. It just means I need to have more variety in my diet in order to not overdo any one food.
So, with that in mind, let’s have an open minded look at these numbers. I will not take them as fact, but kind of as a loose guide should I choose to change my diet to best suit my needs. I’m going to pair this report with notes that I’ve taken in regards to my reactions after eating certain foods. Let’s see if they match up or make no sense at all!
FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST:
Things they say I should avoid:
Things they say I should eat in moderation:
Now, let’s dive deeper to see how they got to these conclusions.
The nurse practitioner at Next | Health said that any food I score a 10 or above in, I should try to eliminate. I am cautious with this advice because I know that IgG tests are not 100% straightforward. Dr. Cicerone said that IgG is a “memory” antibody, so anything that I’ve had a lot of in the past 6-9 months could also show up here. So my task now is to decipher which ones foods that I am eating too much of, and which foods are the ones that I should actually avoid.
Chicken – Honestly, I have never had a reaction to chicken. BUT! I do eat it A LOT. It is my main meat, so that is why my IgG levels are above a 10 here. I will try to reduce my chicken intake and replace this protein with more eggs and fish. I don’t typically eat pork, lamb, or beef.
Codfish – Interesting that cod is up here. I’ve never had a reaction to cod, but at the same time, I don’t think I’ve eaten cod recently. I don’t know why I scored a 10 here.
Oyster – I scored a 12 here which is also interesting. I’ve never had a reaction to oyster, raw or cooked. I don’t eat it a lot anyway, so I think I am ok here.
Overall, I am lactose intolerant, as I already know. So, I will avoid dairy as much as I can and eat some lovely vegan cheese when presented with the choice! I love Daiya vegan cheese anyway – it is so good!
It doesn’t say that I am sensitive to any grains, gluten containing or gluten free. HOWEVER, I know that when I eat grains, I bloat almost immediately. So I have been avoiding them. I haven’t eaten any of the above (except maybe the corn from Chipotle) in the last 6-9 months, so that could be why my IgG levels are low here. Dr. Cicerone also said that the reason I bloat could also be because there could be a certain bacteria in the grain that is affecting my gut. That will be something else I can check for in the future.
Almond – Interesting that I scored a 10 in almond. However, I think that is because I cooked with almond flour and ate a lot of Thai chili almonds within the past several months.
Pecan – I don’t even like pecans and I don’t eat them. However, when I have had them, I’ve had no reactions.
Everything looks good here.
Garlic – I’ve never had a reaction to garlic and I do sauteé with it when I make cauli rice!
Lima bean – Don’t really eat these.
Ginger – So weird that this scored a 29! My only bad reaction to ginger is that I HATE how it tastes. I don’t eat very much of it anyway.
Banana – I’ve never had a bad reaction to a banana.
Pineapple – My throat and tongue get itchy after eating a few chunks of pineapple.
Nothing interesting to note here.
Going into this test, this is what I knew:
Grains bloat me
Milk makes me break out and it hurts my stomach
Excess sugar makes me break out
Coming out of this test, my lactose intolerance was confirmed (but I already knew that) and I found that I’m not really too sensitive to anything. I don’t count the weird chicken and ginger call outs because I’ve never noticed any bad reactions from consuming them.
So, is this test worth it?
It did not teach me anything new. I think it’s better for you to try an elimination diet like Whole30 to really understand what’s going on. That’s how I found out milk was giving me acne.
When I had originally asked Next | Health about my hesitations about being measured for IgG and IgA (instead of IgE) they assured me it was accurate and to move forward with the test. Then when I got my 2 hour sit down with the nurse practitioner, he told me to avoid all those things I listed above. I don’t think this is very responsible, as people could end up eliminating things that are totally fine and healthy for them. These numbers don’t tell the whole story, as Dr. Cicerone pointed out, but no one at Next | Health had explained it to me in that way.
Obviously, I should have done more research before paying for this test…but when you’re talking to a health professional and they’re telling you it’s fine, it’s really hard to fight back against that – especially when you’re a patient, not a person who’s a trained medical professional!
Oh well! At least I spent the money so you don’t have to! As a reminder, it was $1600 for 4 tests and we still have 2 more to go through.
Yesterday was a special day! Sir George made 2 new friends!
The mommies all went to a heels dance class together while the babies played! Meet Brittany and Michaela who you might end up seeing in a future project…just sayin! No more hints for you!!!
Then after heels, I got to meet the incredible Gabby Bernstein at her private book launch party at Gracias Madre (one of my fave vegan spots) in West Hollywood.
Guys, I’m so proud to tell you that Gabby has been doing Blogilates videos for years now. I’m literally dying cuz that’s so cool!!! She’s such a force in the life coaching, self love, manifestation, and spirituality space and you should def check her out and grab her latest book Super Attractor.
I wanted to let you know that we are currently having a HUGGEEEEEEE POPFLEX Warehouse Sale!!! Everything on this specific link is 2 for $25 ($12.50/ea) or 5 for $50 ($10/ea)!!! We’ve never made prices this insane before, but I need to clear out space in the warehouse for other stuff coming in, so could you help me clean out!!??
Here are 2 pieces that are a part of the sale that I absolutely love:
Do I even need to explain why zip bras are amazing? Your arms will thank you after a sweaty workout.
Invisible side pockets. Deep enough to hold your phone and whatever else you wanna put inside. But sleek enough so that if you don’t use em, no one knows you have a pocket! The fabric is super stretchy. So when you get it, you may not think the pants will fit, but they will. They are also very compressive – in a good way!
These 2 styles are on super sale on their own:
The Queen’s Coat is only $30!!! The original price was $84. It’s made os luscious neoprene and FULLY lined. Plus the skirt is to die for.
The Dusty Blossom Romper is only $25!! The original price was $65. This romper is so cute. There are invisible pockets!!! Also, for those of you wondering if it will work for a long torso, the answer is YESSSSS. The shirt is split into 2 wide leg holes. I know, you can’t tell. But that means that there is no fabric riding up your crotch situation ever.
The POPFLEX Warehouse Sale ends on Oct 19th, so hurry! We’re selling out of a lot of things already! Also, please please PLEASE make sure to read the Stylist’s Notes entirely. There are NO RETURNS OR EXCHANGES on the things in the Warehouse Sale. Please ask em any questions you have in the comments! I will do my best to answer all of you!
Fit Journal entry. It was a rest day. I had too much to do and I was super sore from all of the dancing!
31%carbs, 45% fat, 24% protein
To start off lunch, I made a quesadilla with 2 egg thins and some whole milk mozzarella cheese! I still have cheese left in the fridge, so until I finish it, I’m still eating it!
Real lunch consisted of like 10 egg thin tacos filled with romaine lettuce, corn, edamame, red bell peppers and chicken sausage with honey chipotle vinaigrette! YUM!
Post lunch kombucha.
0% carbs, 77% fat, 23% protein
Some roasted cauliflower with a La Croix!
27% carbs, 47% fat, 26% protein
As an appetizer, I made a cauliflower flatbread with an egg on top with some lettuce and one of the SPICIEST hot sauces I have ever had!!!
Brittney got Sam and I a hot sauce set after her trip to Costa Rica and I tried them for the first time last night. I didn’t think they would be spicy BUT OMG. I was CRYINGGGGGGG. Yet, somehow, I kept eating it as I was breathing hard and downing gallons of water. I don’t know what it is about spice. I love it but I hate it all at once!! I wonder if there is a correlation between people who eat spicy foods and willpower? Has anyone ever done a study!!?? If you know if one, please link me!!
For dinner, I made a mahi mahi fish with chanterelle mushrooms, cauli rice and romaine lettuce with chipotle honey vinaigrette dressing!
Yesterday I came in at 1,512 calories 99g carbs (27%), 77g fat (48%), and 90g protein (25%). I’m getting better at the protein! Almost at 100g!
Okay, I have found some time to finally go over some of my genetic reports! I am super excited to dive in to part 1 of my blood test blog post series. Before I get started, I want you to know that I personally paid for these tests myself. It was a hefty fee of…$1,600 (!!!) for 4 tests from Next | Health in West Hollywood. Yes, that is a lot of money. And you know what – because it was a fancy clinic in West Hollywood, I probably was overcharged. But, I looked for clinics for a looooong time on Yelp and spent hours researching clinics on Google, and this was the only place that had all the tests I wanted. So, I decided that if this was what I needed to pay in order to better understand my body, then I’d do it. Plus, I’d rather pay for insight on my health over any luxury handbag, any day!
Here are the 4 Biomarker blood tests I ordered:
1) Genetic Fit – This test looks at specific genes related to what types of workouts, diet, and diet plan work best for my body. It’s a baseline of diet, nutrients, and exercise based off of single (or multiple) genes.
2) Food Sensitivity – This tests 96 different foods and determines which ones my body creates an immune response to by releasing antibodies. The foods that I test positive for (creates an inflammatory response) may cause bloating and discomfort, indigestion, and leaky gut. By testing for it, the goal would be for me to eliminate foods causing inflammation in my body.
3) Baseline Test – This provides an overall view into my body’s metabolism and excretion abilities to see how effectively I am oxygenating my tissues, as well as current tracking of inflammatory markers, current hormone status, and vitamin levels. This covers my blood cell count (red and white blood cells and any abnormalities), metabolic panel (kidney/liver function), vitamin D, vitamin B12, lipid panel (cholesterol), thyroid panel, hormone panel, blood sugar, and inflammation.
4) Micronutrient – This tests 33 essential vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, anti-oxidants, and metabolites to evaluate any deficiencies going on on a cellular level. It allows me to see what imbalances may be present in my cells, and helps me to understand what supplements I should be taking to correct for these imbalances. Correction should allow for proper cell function through out my body. Signs of deficiencies include fatigue, sleep issues, mood imbalances, inability to loose/ gain weight.
I originally did not feel like the micronutrient test was necessary, but it was part of a larger “discounted” package, so I added it in anyway.
BLOOD TEST #1: GENETIC FIT
Today, I want to go over the “Genetic Fit” test!
When I got my results back in, I had a full 2 hour, very informative sit down with a nurse practitioner at the clinic. I asked every question I had on my mind, and then he said I could email him anytime if I ever had any more questions.
So, let’s jump right in!
Under “Diet & Nutrition”, the nurse practitioner said that he usually never sees people who gets the “low carb diet” type as their best diet. And when I say “best diet”, I mean the best diet for maintaining a healthy body and for optimal weight loss. Low carb means non starchy vegetables, high quality proteins, and healthy fats.
This is interesting because from my past experiences, I’ve had the best results whenever I’ve gone low carb. Also, I’m currently REALLY high in fats (around 50-60%) , so I will need to dial that down especially since I am not following a keto anymore. It says I should be consuming 30% healthy fats, 40% complex carbs, and 30% lean protein – so that means 44g of fat, 133g carbs, and 100g of protein per day based on my daily 1,334 net calorie intake (before workouts). I just inputted that into MyFitnessPal, so will do my best to adjust to this new goal! It’s nice to have some clarity on the protein grams too. Already this test has answered one of my biggest personal nutrition questions, so…IT’S WORTH IT! (Haha, I’m just going to have to keep justifying this purchase so I can amortize the tests.)
The test mentioned that I have a genetic variant that is associated with an “increase food desire” so I have to work harder than others at self control. YUP. SO TRUE. I love eating. I could seriously be a competitive eater. And the whole “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” thing doesn’t really work for me because I could eat forever and ever.
The test said I have a higher than average risk for elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and that I should limit my saturated fat intake. Interesting. My dad has high cholesterol and so does my grandma.
So saturated fat foods I should avoid include:
dark meat poultry
Ha, this looks like a keto essentials grocery list. I guess I was right to move away from keto!
Good unsaturated fats that are recommended for me include:
chia seed (polyunsaturated)
pumpkin seed (polyunsaturated)
extra virgin olive oil (monounsaturated)
Apparently, people with my genotype “who have a diet that includes more polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats tend to have a lower body weight compared to those who do not.” Okay, upping the fish intake NOW. Also, love eggs. YAY another reason to eat them!
The test checked to see if I have genes that might cause me to snack uncontrollably, constantly be hungry, and have problems feeling full. Well you guys, looks like my genotype is not at fault for this. Looks like I am actually just an EMOTIONAL EATER! Hahaha. Well, I can tell you that since logging my food in MyFitnessPal, I have not snacked uncontrollably and I have not overeaten. So, for now, that part of me is tamed.
My genotype is associated with “an increased desire or willingness to put forth additional effort to obtain [my] favorite foods.” This basically means if I really want to eat something I will go out of my way to climb over obstacles to get it. I wonder though, if that is just my super motivated personality?
Additionally, it says I do not have a sweet tooth. True.
Caffeine Metabolism: It says I am a fast metabolizer of caffeine. CORRECT. The nurse said “I bet you can drink matcha at 9pm and go to bed at 10pm.” I was like – umm I just did that yesterday. So funny that these tests are like horoscopes, but backed by science. Makes it so much more fun!
Bitter Taste: It says that I am someone with an “enhanced bitter taste perception.” OMG!!! TRUE!!! I hate chocolate, alcohol, and arugula because they all taste TERRIBLE to me. Extremely medicinal.
Lactose Intolerance: It also said I am lactose intolerant. I already know this. 23andMe said the same. I am also Asian, and most Asians are lactose intolerant. I pretty much cut dairy out of my diet a few years ago to help clear up my skin, and it helped enormously. I started eating cheese again when I went on keto, but I think it’s time to stop that. I don’t mind an occasional cheese, but I guess I should opt for Daiya vegan cheese when given the opportunity.
Overall, the test says that I have a genetic variant associated with being overweight. 23andMe said the same thing. So now, I know it is 100% true that I have a harder time than others when it comes to weight loss.
It says that my optimal workout routine for weight loss should include endurance exercises like:
Running / jogging
Playing sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer or racquetball
It says that weight lifting is less beneficial than endurance training when it comes to weight loss for people with my genotype. But no worries aint ever gonna stop weight lifting and Pilates! I love my muscle and I love my strength gains!
Aerobic Capacity (VO2MAX): I have decreased aerobic capacity. I guess that’s why I hate cardio so much. I CAN BARELY BREATHE. Hahaha. I bet my sister would score well in this arena since she is a kickboxing instructor!
Muscle Power: I do not have the genes of elite power athletes, such as sprinters and powerlifters. All good. Not trying to be a world class Olympian.
Weight Loss Response to Exercise: I have a genetic variant that is associated with being overweight and obese. It says I must exercise regularly or else I could be obese. Wow, I am fortunate that I enjoy exercise and that it is also my career.
Blood Pressure Response to Exercise: I have a high likelihood of having elevated blood pressure without exercise. However, good news is that I actually have very very low blood pressure. It might be all the exercise I do.
Loss of Body Fat in Response to Exercise: My genotype says that in order for me to lose fat, I have to exercise harder and put in more effort than other people.
MY BODY & WEIGHT:
Weight Loss Regain: I am more likely to gain weight back, meaning I have difficulty keeping weight off after losing weight. This means that the maintenance phase after my 90 day journey will be very important to track.
Metabolism: My genes say I have normal metabolism. We will discuss this more later, as there are MANY other factors that affect metabolism and you will see what I mean when we discuss the other tests which include my lagging thyroid.
METABOLIC HEALTH FACTORS:
Elevated LDL (bad) Cholesterol: I have an above average probability of having high LDL (bad) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the kind of cholesterol that can form plaque and build up in the walls of my arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. My grandma on my dad’s side died from a stroke.
Decreased HDL (good) Cholesterol: I have an above average probability of having decreased HDL (good) cholesterol. Supposedly high levels of HDL are supposed to protect against heart attacks, while low levels of HDL increase the risk of heart disease. This is definitely something I should be conscious of.
Elevated Triglycerides: I have an average likelihood for fat being stored in my body. Nothing alarming here.
Elevated Blood Sugar: I have an above average likelihood for elevated blood sugar, meaning that if I did have high blood sugar levels, I might have insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes. More to discuss on this when we go over the other blood work.
The main things to take away from the Genetic Fit test are:
My genes make it harder for me to lose weight and to keep extra weight off.
My genes require me to eat a low carb diet in order to obtain my optimal body.
My genes require me to work out and live an active lifestyle or else I will become overweight or obese.
Side note: When I got the report back, I saw that the name of the lab was “Pathway Genomics” and that the test was called “PathwayFit”. I immediately looked them up and read that Pathway Genomics is a privately-owned biotech company that provides genomic testing services to healthcare professionals and direct-to-customer kits. On their site, I saw that you can order the test for $299 as a physician. I don’t know if you can order the blood test as a normal civilian, so I guess that is where the 34% markup came in (I paid $400)!
Fit Journal entry. Yesterday I finalized my heels choreo in the morning and then Rosanna came over at night and we practiced together for a couple hours. It was so fun! We were sweating, and now I am all bruised and sore from all the floor work and hair whipping!
Hahaha. I cannot wait to film this on Friday. Tutorial should be up on Sunday!
13% carbs, 68% fat, 19% protein
Shishito peppers and mahi mahi with hot sauce over cauliflower rice. Seasoned with some coconut aminos.
Oh and side note…Sir George got a new hair cut!!! Look how poofy and circular he looks!!!
Ugh. Sir is perfection and I love him soooooo much!
16% carbs, 61% fat, 23% protein
I had a cauliflower cheese pizza with a side salad drizzled with chipotle honey vinaigrette! It was so good! But the pizza was too cheesy for me. I don’t think I will be buying the Cali’flour pizzas anymore! That was the last of em.
32% carbs, 58% fat, 10% protein
Seaweed crisps. Yum.
New creation! I mixed coconut milk with MCT oil powder and it tasted like a boba drink! OMG, delish!
Overall, I came in at 1,316 calories, 58g carbs (17%), 93g fat (64%), and 61g protein (19%).
So, now that I know my breakdown should look like 133g carbs (40%), 44g of fat (30%), and 100g (30%) of protein – I can adjust accordingly. Before I do anything too drastic (since what I am doing now is working), I want to go over my food sensitivity test. I will try to do that tomorrow so we can get a better picture of what this macronutrient breakdown should actually look like food-wise.
Finally, I want to leave you with a picture of my new shoes and a rainbow that came into the office yesterday and landed on my feet :)