This Time, I’m Bringing My A-Game

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always struggled with my body image. My weight has always fluctuated and I’ve always had to work hard to get the body I want. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born into a family of long legs, thin thighs, natural muscle tone, high metabolism and hereditary thinness. Instead, I’m a product of the Eitel gene (my mom’s side), which comes along with thick thighs, short legs, curves, weight issues and hypothyroidism. Great. Oh yes, we’re the ones that try every fad diet that comes around, purchase late-night infomercial exercise videos that get completed maybe twice, buys a gym membership that never gets used and shares new workout tips we learn, but can never seem to find the time to do them. We all WANT to have a great body. We WANT to be healthy. And we WANT to be workout fiends. But being born and raised in south Georgia around a mom and grandma who are the best cooks around, having to drive everywhere instead of being able to walk or ride a bike, and eating one meal with the family while talking about the next – you can see how that might be a challenge.

BUT. Now is the time I change that. You only get one life, one body and one chance to be young. Why shouldn’t I be the best I can be while I can? I should. I can. And I will.

I had my “ah-ha” moment yesterday while going through a box of old pictures and came across several photos of my from my high school days. Crazy to think that was only seven years ago. These pictures (along with a pair of my favorite jeans I’ve held onto since then) are my motivation.

Me, left.

Me, 2nd from right. Brown/Pink Swirl Bikini.

Me, yellow shirt. Heading to college orientation.

Me with the crutches. (Broke my ankle from landing a back handspring wrong.) But I like my legs!

I had that body? Wow … to think I used to think I was fat. And now I’d give anything to have it back. Granted, I went to gymnastics 2-3 days a week, had 3 hours of gym and cheerleading practice 6 days a week year-round, took aerobics and gym class for school credit, came home from practice to do workout videos or go for a run, had homemade meals every night of the week, never ate school lunch (because, well, who really ate school cafeteria lunch?), and didn’t drink alcohol. But who’s keeping track?!

Now, I work a full-time job at a desk 8 hours a day, come home and just want to relax on the couch, go out to dinner way too often and look forward to a glass of wine every night. I try to cook healthy as much as possible, but it’s not nearly enough. I have a PACKED walk-in closet with nothing to wear, and when I go shopping, I search and search for the “perfect” outfit that makes me look great. Why? Why don’t I just fix myself so that I can look great in all the clothes I already own? The truth is, everything looks great on a great body.

I remember in 12th grade, my mom and I went out for dinner and I said how I’d love to have a milkshake, but didn’t need the calories. She told me (and I remember as clear as day,) “You could have 12 milkshakes and be perfectly fine because you’re so active.” I’m sure it was true then. For some reason I kept that mentality through college, but the “active” part was lacking. Sure enough, all those milkshakes (which soon tuned into Michelob Ultras and vodka cranberries) caught up with me, and here I am.

Me, left, with my mom.

Me, Dec. 2011

Me & Jimmy, April 2012.

So, today is the day. Today, everything changes. Jimmy and I have been trying to do the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge for a month. It’s not that hard, we just haven’t been disciplined enough. I’ve lost a few pounds, but by now I could be 10-15 pounds down! All the challenge entails is replacing two meals a day with yummy shakes (of any flavor), snacking on healthy snacks throughout the day and eating a sensible dinner. They give you a TON, of energy, make you feel great and actually really do fill you up. We’re doing it for REAL now. No excuses.

The moment I got home from work today, I did a 20-minute intense yoga workout video, a 15-minute kickboxing video, 50 sit-ups and this leg exercise I found on Pinterest.

I’d like one of those butts, please.

It might not be a lot, but you have to start somewhere.

I am determined to take control of my body, health and life again. When you do this, not only does it make you look and feel better, but it helps you think more clearly, concentrate better, be more productive and just makes you want to live an all-around better lifestyle. Work, lack of time, responsibilities, serious relationship … I could make excuses for myself all day, but it’s not going to do a thing for me. I have to get my ass up and do it on my own!

I haven’t worn shorts in three years and I haven’t purchased a new bathing suit in two years, all because I hate the way I look in them and didn’t want to spend money on something I don’t look good in. Well, guess what? I just bought a new bikini and I WILL wear shorts with a smile on my face THIS summer. Watch me!

This isn’t stuff I talk to many people about, and definitely not something I say out loud often at all, but I have to hold myself accountable and I know putting this out for anyone to see will help me do just that. I will be tracking my progress, posting updates, sharing tips and inspiring myself through this blog as often as possible. And hopefully, in a year from now, I will be looking back at this post with rock-hard abs, thighs that don’t touch and a size small tank top on!

I am ready to go from this..

Back to this… (only 7 years older….)

Now my sweet tooth is kicking in, so I’m going to head to the kitchen to make a bikini-friendly dessert: sliced grilled apples topped with cinnamon and nutmeg :).

Follow my “Healthy Living” board on Pinterest for workout tips and healthy recipes!



  1. June 19, 2012 / 3:44 pm

    Love your post and your drive to get healthy. Vi-Shakes are a great start, as Nutrition is going to be the biggest factor in helping get back into the shape you want to be.

    “It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Give it 12 weeks. Don’t Quit.”

    I’m in the midst of the year of “No More Jiggle.” Good luck girl, and if you need any motivation I’m happy to oblige!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 4:15 pm

      I saw that post on Pinterest and it’s hanging in my bathroom :). Thanks so much for the motivation, and good luck on your Operation “No Jiggle” – I like it!

  2. June 19, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    I had my moment a few months ago when I stepped on the scale & saw a number I really didn’t like.

    That’s when I decided my lifestyle had to completely change. I committed myself to the gym 5-7 days a week, I quit eating crap & I quickly lost 10lbs. I’m still working on 10 more, but I really & truly believe the only way to do it long-term is to make it your lifestyle.

    Good luck!

  3. Calli Arnold
    June 19, 2012 / 1:03 pm

    B, I love that you wrote this. I feel the same way. While I may not be completely down that slippery slope, I don’t feel at my best. And it’s not about whether other people say “Oh stop! You look great! You don’t need to lose weight!” It’s about how I feel and the idea that I have of how I should look. I will never have long, skinny legs either, but I do not have to buy a size up to get into to dress pants that fit. Good Luck, Blakeley! If anyone is disciplined enough to do it, it’s you!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you, Calli! You’re right about the pants – I know what you mean and that doesn’t fix a thing. I don’t care how other people see me, I just want to be the person I want to be and be happy with it 🙂
      I appreciate all the kind words!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 1:13 pm

      Woohoo let’s do this! Get ready to hit the gym after work today. And have BOTH of your shakes 🙂 Love you babe!

  4. June 19, 2012 / 12:29 pm

    Still waiting for my butt-kicking ah-ha moment, but can totally identifying with this post. I look at pictures from when I graduated college [30+ pounds ago] and remember arguments I had about why I didn’t want to wear a two-piece bathing suit then. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME! I’d kill to get back in those many-sizes-ago jeans. Will be reading along and rooting for you! Can’t wait to see the results!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 1:13 pm

      Haha, I know it. I remember thinking how much I hated my body and how much “fatter” I was than all my friends. I just had a totally different body type and didn’t realize how great I really looked! But, better now than never to get it back, right?! Thank you!

  5. June 19, 2012 / 11:36 am

    This is wonderful- such a beautiful post! You got this Blakley! “the hardest step is the first foot out the door” – that saying helps me because I’ve just started what you are starting now. It’s hard at first but when you get the hang of it everyday, you feel so much better.
    I hate bikinis – actually I bought a one piece this year && really love it!

    Good luck love! Team Blakely, you can do this!
    && remember Sweat is Fat Crying – that also helps because I hate sweating. I want to quit once I start – so don’t!

    Can’t wait to see your results!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you, Jessica! I know the first few weeks are going to be the hardest, but hopefully I can suffer through and breeze by after that. I love the sweat quote – thanks for that!!

  6. alex
    June 19, 2012 / 2:46 am

    well you look beautiful regardless

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 2:53 am

      Well thank you 🙂

  7. June 19, 2012 / 2:34 am

    Yay! Good luck my friend. I will join you at our gym any time you need a motivator – just let me know!

    • Blakeley
      June 19, 2012 / 2:53 am

      Yay that makes me happy!!! Tomorrow?? 🙂

      • June 20, 2012 / 2:30 am

        oops.. was this for today? you need to text me 🙂

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