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Hi friends and happy Monday!

This week, I’m starting things out a little differently.  Because I spent the weekend staring at study notes and textbooks, I thought I would spare you the boring pictures and share a fun new feature on the blog for some Motivation Monday action!

When I asked you to complete a little survey for me last fall, many of you responded saying that you wanted to see success stories from other people who have made healthy changes to their life.  Well friends, ask and you shall receive!

If you would like to be featured in a “Motivation Monday:  Fit and Healthy Feature” blog post, please e-mail me at trebleinthekitchen at gmail dot com and I will be happy to share your story 🙂  You DON’T need to have a blog to be featured.

Fit and Healthy Feature via Treble in the Kitchen

Today, I am so excited to highlight Marisa from Uproot from Oregon!

Marisa_Photo

Marisa and I connected virtually (thank you blogging world!) before I even moved out to Colorado.  Now, we see each other at the gym a couple of mornings a week, have play dates with Bernie, grab dinner, and just hang out 🙂  While getting to know Marisa, I learned that she had an amazing transformation story about how she became a healthier version of herself and I just had to have her share it with all of you!

I love Marisa’s outlook on health, food, and exercise.  She is definitely in it for the long haul with her perspective focused on making one healthy decision at a time and celebrating all of the positive things one can do in a day to work towards those health goals.

Take it away Marisa…

  • Tell Treble in the Kitchen readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

Hi everyone! My name is Marisa and I am the blogger behind Uproot from Oregon, a healthy recipe website. I use whole ingredients to make simple, accessible meals that are tasty and nutritious! Through the process of blogging and reading up on nutrition and wellness through my profession in public health, I have gone through my own transformation as well.

I have always felt healthy and loved eating real food, but since high school I hadn’t prioritized my physical health. Getting into food was my ‘aha’ moment, and realizing I could make recipes just as tasty with healthy ingredients snowballed ‘aha’ moments into the rest of my life – fitness included. While the goal of my year spent focused on a ‘healthier version of myself’ wasn’t just weight loss, I lost 25 pounds, brought my BMI into a healthy weight range, and replaced fat with muscle through focusing on strength training and high impact exercises.
  • What lifestyle changes have you made to become a healthier version of you that you think are here to stay? 

There are a few lifestyle changes that I have made to become a healthier version of myself, but the biggest change was becoming an AM exerciser! Instead of going to afternoon workout classes, I now wake up 3-4 days a week to go to group fitness classes or run on the treadmill in the mornings before work. I love seeing Tara on Mondays for her 6 AM Bodypump class!

This early morning routine has changed how I view exercise. I used to feel frustrated about exercise – like it was something I had to fit into my afternoon, when I could be doing other fun things outside of the gym. I would make excuses and then just end up skipping workouts entirely instead of rescheduling.Now, I have my bag and lunch packed the night before and get in bed at a reasonable hour so I have no excuse not to make it to my workouts, and I actually look forward to them because it now feels like I’m starting the day off on the right foot with more energy than before!
  • What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered along the way?  How did you overcome them? 

One of the big challenges for me was getting past all the ‘weight loss’ products and messaging that are around us all the time: 100 calorie yogurts, fat-free salad dressings, protein bars and powders promising us that they’ll help in our journey. I used some of them as crutches at the beginning of my process, but soon realized that these weren’t products that I wanted to eat- not only were they full of fake sweeteners which didn’t help my sweet tooth, but they weren’t enjoyable and continued to reinforce the “diet” mentality I was trying to get away from.

Once I made the mental switch to realizing that I was overhauling my diet for good, I was able to relax and think creatively about how to build a healthy and filling day. You have to live your life exactly like you want to for the rest of your life – and for me, that meant figuring out how to include healthy treats (see recipes listed at the bottom!) and a daily scoop or two of nut butter into my diet. It also meant making the foods I loved at home, so I could control the ingredients and portion sizes.

Life wouldn’t be as fun for me as a foodie if it weren’t delicious too!
  • What differences do you notice in how you feel now verses when you started your journey?

I have always felt outgoing and confident about myself, but for the first time in my life I don’t feel held back by my own uncertainty. I have never been a runner, but this process made me rethink why I didn’t just lace up my sneakers and get outside earlier. We are all capable of whatever we want to do – and this is coming from someone who never ran a mile after high school athletics who is now registered for a half marathon, leaving my timidness behind. I find myself pushing boundaries in all sorts of situations now that I am more confident, from exercise to work to my blog. All it took was the courage to reevaluate how I was living my life!

Fit and Healthy Feature - Marisa
  • What are the next steps?!

I continue to set (non-weight-related) goals for myself to keep myself accountable, as maintaining this level of fitness and wellness is important to me! Weight maintenance is the ‘non exciting’ aspect of all of this, so it’s important that I continue to set goals for myself and check in every so often to see where I’m at. Signing up for the half marathon was one of those things I never thought I could do – but I did it, because now I have something to work towards for the end of the summer.

Professionally, this process has given me so much insight for narrowing my career interests. I am relocating to pursue a Masters in Public Health in the fall so that I can do research in lifestyle change. Similarly, rethinking my own nutrition has helped me continue to create recipes on my blog that can help people achieve their goals while feeling satisfied – because they’re eating delicious food!
  • What tips do you have for other people who may want to embark on a weight loss journey or just want to add some healthy habits into their life?

I think the best thing I did at the beginning was sit down and think through what my goals truly were. For me, the superficial “I want to lose weight to look better” or “I want to drop 10 pounds” attitude didn’t help me get from one day to the next.  Thinking deeper about how I wanted to change my exercise regimen, and what I wanted my diet to look like, helped me shape those habits that ultimately led me to weight loss in a natural, healthy way was what worked best for me.

Fit and Healthy Feature - Marisa
Another tip is to not only take it one day at a time, but one decision at a time. This really helped me on hard days when I felt frustrated and wanted to go home to sleep so I could get on to the next day and start over. Do your best to plan ahead, whether that means scheduling workouts or packing your lunches and snacks ahead of time, but also be willing to roll with it.We are faced with so many decisions everyday that you can celebrate a zillion times over for making healthy decisions – whether it be a healthy item on a menu or waking up to your 1st alarm to maximize the day – so don’t let the slip ups derail you! Sometimes I say yes to ice cream and enjoy every bite, and then continue my healthy day as planned.
  • Anything else you want to share?
I am so thankful that I didn’t go through this process alone – and in any life changes you’re trying to make, do your best to find the help that will support you! Whether that be consulting with your doctor, a Registered Dietitian, a personal trainer, or enlisting the help of your friends and family – get those people on board so that your healthy choices are easier to make and they encourage you. I now have friends at the gym for accountability (hi Tara!) and I love that we are encouraging healthy behaviors among one another.

If you’re interested in reading more, you can find more under my weight loss category, as I did my best to chronicle the changes I was making in my life as I was successful with weight loss (and now, weight maintenance) on my blog.

I also wanted to share some recipes that I relied on heavily over the past year. After all, the main focus of my blog is delicious and easy recipes! Here are just a few of my favorites:

Hearty Rainbow Mason Jar Salad pictured below

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Banana Walnut Muffins pictured below

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Smashed Sweet Potatoes pictured below

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites pictured below

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Thanks again to Tara for asking me to contribute to her new series– it was nice to reflect back on all the positive changes I’ve made this past year towards a healthier me. I hope that you all stop by my blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages for more healthy meal inspiration!
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  1. I especially liked the point about celebrating numerous healthy choices made throughout the day. I’ve been eating healthy and losing weight for the last 97 days and focus more on my new healthy habits (that I never thought possible) than on the number on the scale. I wanted write how much weight I’ve lost, but I’m trying not to focus on that. Thanks!

  2. What a great story! Thanks for sharing Tara and thank you Marisa for opening up! Very inspirational. I especially like how Marisa said that an important aspect for her was searching beyond the superficial reasons for losing weight and finding a sustainable way to stay healthy. I’m totally on board with this long-lasting approach!

    • I totally agree with you. I love that Marisa really found something that worked for her! I just know she will be successful in the long run!

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