#TransformationTuesday – Have your chocolate (milk) and have abs too

In the spirit of #TransformationTuesday I’ve been sharing stories of others who have changed their health for the better, while still including dairy in their diets. However, as a result of this, I’ve been challenged to “practice what I preach” and show that dairy is in fact, a staple in ANY diet.

Truth be told, (sticking my tongue out at you, non-believers) I have been practicing while preaching. During my senior year at college, I gained weight. Why? Because I was having way too much fun, and by fun, I mean mac and cheese pizza three times a week at 3 am (peer pressure is dangerous, kids). Between classes, parties and a job at a campus cafeteria, I didn’t make time for a gym OR a healthy diet. It just wasn’t in my agenda.

Once graduation rolled around and I moved home, I had time to kill before starting my new job. I thought, heck, why not use that family gym membership? I looked in the mirror and immediately thought “Oh good god…” I’m not going to sit here and sugar coat it; I was not happy with how I looked. I understand I wasn’t “fat” or “gross,” but by no means did I feel 100% confident in my appearance. So I decided to do something about it.

I began exercising, and watching what I ate. I even tried a juice cleanse (I quit two days in; my family is lucky they’re still alive… I was one hangry betch). But I began to drive myself crazy with calorie counting and skipping nights out with friends. It wasn’t healthy. I was more stressed trying to LOSE weight than I was when I was gaining weight (weird, right?). Something else that was negatively affecting me was my lack of dairy in my diet. Before you burn me at the stake for being a hypocrite, I have an explanation. Between the lactose intolerance and my obsession with improving my body, my dwindling dairy intake just kind of happened.

That’s when it hit me – what the hell was I doing? This isn’t good for me! I always told my friends, everything in moderation INCLUDING moderation, and I was doing the EXACT opposite. I stepped back, cooled my jets and realized something needed to change. By doing that, I’ve lost 15 pounds (I ate a lot of pizza with no regrets, OK GUYS) and I feel great in my clothes again.

To keep it short and sassy, I’m going to list the things that I credit my #TransformationTuesday to:

  • I stopped counting calories and instead just focused on controlling the number of times I ate french fries in a week. Driving yourself crazy over a number won’t help you lose weight, but will just bring down your self-confidence (no bueno, girlfriend!).
  • Dairy is now a HUGE part of my everyday workout/health routine. Yogurt and fruit, cheese as a snack, milk in my coffee – you name it, I consume it. I actually feel outta whack if I don’t get in a glass of chocolate milk after exercising… I swear by it! Click here to read up on the benefits of dairy for your body!
  • It’s not all about losing weight. Scales shouldn’t cause your stress and honey, when you feel good you look good!
  • Kayla Itsines. This chick has the GREATEST workouts. I’m serious. And she has an Australian accent so listening to her is super fun.
  • Group classes (Shout out to Point of Fitness!) and surrounding yourself with others who are there struggling right along with you makes a huge difference. It also makes dropping the f-bomb during a plank (sorry mom) a little less awkward when there’s someone next to you doing it too 😉
  • Imagine yourself as a role model. I always thought to myself, what if there are younger girls looking up to me? Am I setting a good example? Is what I’m doing, what I’d want someone I love doing, too? It’s not conceited or self-righteous to think of yourself like that, it’s just one hell of a tear-jerking motivation. Be the inspiration that someone needs! Empower one another! YEE HAW!
  • Last, and maybe most importantly, I only eat one piece of cake instead of the whole cake. That really made a difference. Weird…

So, friends, family, followers and  those who think I’m full of it – sometimes I am (usually when I’m telling a story from the previous night out on the town). But today, I’m not. Focusing on health made me a happier person. Dairy in my diet (and a great filter on pictures) gave me abs. Seriously. Go ahead and try dairy three times a day, every day, and make chocolate milk after your workout one of  them… I triple dog dare you!

Left - post college graduation  Right - how I look right meow

Left – post college graduation
Right – how I look right meow

#TransformationTuesday Episode 1 – Meet Amy!

Raise your hand if you made “fitness” a New Year’s resolution. *Inserts raised hand emoji here* Personally, I eat bacon ranch pizza and throw back a few cold ones way too often to not hit the gym at least once a month. And, with bikini season approaching, we’re all thinking the same thing, “I’ve gotta hit the gym!”

However, on a more serious note, being healthy is a big deal. Everyone is busy; but health still needs to be made a priority. Whether that’s going on a walk, finding a group fitness class, ordering the veggies instead of the ultimate cheese fries (good luck with that one) or even limiting your cake intake to one slice versus the whole cake, there are a lot of ways to make a healthier lifestyle for yourself.

What you DIDN’T see me include is cutting out dairy. Whoever started that trend is first and foremost, BONKERS, and second, most likely hung up on some trend they found on the internet (I’m looking at you, Cosmo). So today, I bring you my first (of many!) episode of #TransformationTuesday which will be featuring individuals who have made a difference in their lives and bodies. Meet Amy Savage. Her story is awesome, inspiring and hey, guess what… IT INCLUDES DAIRY. Enjoy!

  1. Introduce yourself!

I am Amy Savage. I grew up on a dairy farm in Maryland, but now call Lancaster, PA home. I have been involved with the dairy industry my entire life.  I am currently a sales representative with Holstein World and enjoy working with youth serving as a local 4-H leader.

  1. So you wanted to lose weight… why?

Like many of us, I wanted to lose weight to feel better about myself and to improve my health. I had an ankle injury that I also felt it would be good to shed some excess pounds in order to help with my recuperation.

  1. Tell us about your workout, diet, etc.

Due to my ankle injury, I was not able to work out for most of my transformation. In fact, I had surgery again in September and was not allowed to bear my full weight on my ankle for 12 weeks. Once I was allowed to be full weight bearing, I have done some limited exercise to help regain my strength in my leg and ankle such as walking on the treadmill, riding a stationary bike and some weights. My diet started with just watching my calories, but then I was introduced to a weight loss program, that I started to follow. The basis of this program is to rid your body of acidic waste, eat lean proteins, green veggies & complex carbohydrates, limit sugar content and artificial ingredients.

  1. Did you include dairy in your diet? If so, why?

YES!  Dairy is an excellent source of protein and other important nutrients that I especially needed following my ankle surgery. The products I used included Greek yogurt, which I eat nearly every day, and even use it in several recipes as a substitute for sour cream. I also eat low-fat cheese and there is a whey (a dairy by-product) protein in the shakes that I drink. After exercising, I have found that I enjoy chocolate milk to help re-fuel.  In particular, I enjoy Fairlife, a newly introduced milk brand that has lower sugar and higher protein content.

  1. Do you have any advice out there for anyone else trying to complete their own #TransformationTuesday ?

Find something that works for your and your schedule and needs. I feel that it should be something where you change your overall eating habits to help succeed long-term. However, whatever you choose, make sure to include dairy!

Right Picture: 2014 Left Picture: 2015  You go girl!!

Right Picture: 2014
Left Picture: 2015
You go girl!!