The Year of the Lean Beast

Good Morning Friends. Happy Saturday to you!

So happy I can say it’s Saturday and not Sunday. I took a nap yesterday in the evening and when I woke up I started thinking oh no tomorrow is Sunday already, I need to take out my meats to thaw for meal prep. After a few minutes of realizing where I was I thought “It’s ONLY Friday!”. Every time I nap I get so disoriented! Does this happen to anyone else? One time I napped in my room and rushed out of bed and started putting on scrubs, then I realized okay I’ve been to work and it’s the afternoon…

Moving on to the real purpose of this blog post…. PROGRESS!

When I started my blog over a year ago, I had just started getting serious about lifting. I was definitely a cardio bunny and my body showed it. too skinny 2

Of course everyone wanted to know how I managed my “slim down”. My starting point varied. I was always on a “diet” it seemed, but I wasn’t smart about labels and wasn’t educated on what was really good for me. Like most people that diet, I just went off of what society said you needed to eat to be skinny. That means “fat free” or “sugar free” diets. Now I look at those labels and it blows my mind. Loaded with sodium to give things flavor, loaded with sugars, and highly processed. I try to avoid these things as much as possible now. It does damage to the body and I work too darn hard to have some chemicals mess it up!

So back to my starting point. I was a BIG time yo-yo dieter as I’ve talked about before. Here’s a little outline to give you an idea:

  • Highschool 1999-2002 weight started creeping up. At my highest I was around 150 I’d guess. I’m 5’2 1/2”.


Unfortunately, I’ve ALWAYS carried weight in my face. I’m just one of those people. Remember that wallpaper Mom? 


  • 2002-2003 Senior year of high school I started working out, I was tiny and probably around 115-120 lbs, but no muscle



  • College 2003-2006 A healthy regular weight. I was around 130-140 at any given time, but had problem areas.

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The bubble TV in the background!

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Oh to be that young again!

The part that is hard for me to talk about:

  • College 2006-2007 I really started working out, became a fitness instructor and killed myself to be thin. Enter typical college stereotype here. I would workout 3-4 hours a day, and starved myself down to nothing. This is my BIGGEST regret in life. It 100% ruined my metabolism. I was cranky, tired, and always hungry. I looked forward to Thursday nights when I would eat a big bowl of Jell-O.   I really changed from week to week. I’ll never forget one night I was taking an aerobics class that one of my co-workers was teaching and I looked in the mirror and said “I can’t believe this is me”. I had bones jutting out every which way. I had a HUGE thigh gap and when I walked in a room I would get stares. I also made my parents extremely worried about me. Another huge regret. So I’m sorry Mom and Dad. I will blame it on being young and dumb. When I did eat “normal” again I would put on weight so fast as if I went to McDonalds for weeks straight and ate nothing but Big Macs, when in reality I was eating salads, baked chips, and fruit.

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 I don’t really have many pictures from this time period. Only me in baggy clothes. 


  • 2007-2009 The minute I graduated I started eating. I bet I gained 25 pounds in one summer because my metabolism was shot. I was working at a medical office and hated life, but I knew I had to do it for PA school applications. I rarely worked out anymore. This period might have been the heaviest, I felt very uncomfortable.


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  • 2009-2011 PA school Before I started PA school I started running again and dropped down to around 130. Slowly over those 2 years my weight creeped back up. Stress and not watching labels again. I did keep up my workouts most of year one, but when year 2 came it was hit and miss. Year 2 was when I put on more of the weight and probably got to around 155 or 160.

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  • 2011-2012. I started working out regular again since I was in the real world and working nights. I would do long gym sessions in the afternoon and then straight to work at 6:00pm. I did hit a plateau around March of 2012 to about July and was around 135 for this period. In late summer I did some research and started working out less than ever before and incorporating lifts into my workouts. This made the change for me and I was dropping pounds fast. I also turned vegetarian and it kept me pretty slim.

summer bod

  • Late 2012 I started my blog! I was a “skinny minnie” and wanted to gain more muscle so for the new year I decided to nix being a vegetarian and add in more protein to my diet.

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Stronger than ever!

  • 2013- 2014 1 year later I’m still what I’d consider a “skinny minnie” but I’m fit! I’m happy. I’m healthy. And I’m really proud of my progress. I fluctuate from time to time, but that is life. This is the longest I have kept with it and I guarantee I am not going back to the crazy cardio bunny or yo-yo dieter eating all those chemicals! I only plan on getter stronger.




This top I’m wearing? Well yes, that would be a senior year of college top! What’s that they say? Strong is the new skinny! Sometimes I wear these articles of clothing to remind me how far I’ve come.


So now that we are in 2014, I have big plans for myself! I only want to push my body further and I can’t wait to see how I will change 1 year from now. I call 2014 the year of the ‘lean beast’ because that’s what I plan on being. No starvation diets, just hard work by eating clean and lifting heavy.

I hope this post motivated you, or at the least let you see that every one struggles in life. We have ups and downs, aren’t smart about things, make crazy stupid decisions, but then see the light and become better than ever! Maybe you are out there reading this saying “gosh this is me, I need to change”, if so I hope you do 🙂

XOXO With a Cherry On Top,


P.S. I ALWAYS welcome e-mails if you have questions and do not want to comment below. 

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  1. Angie

    I’m definitely still in the early stages of my fitness journey but I refuse to give up. I’m starting to incorporate more lifting into my workouts and I’m also working on eating healthier without getting into a habit of restricting and binging like I’ve done in the past. Your blog is very motivational for me and I appreciate you taking the time to talk about your personal journey. Keep up the phenomenal work in 2014 🙂

  2. Stephi

    Wow, your journey is phenomenal! I had and still have some of the same problems and I am still on my way of figuring out my right way.
    May I ask how many times a week you work out and how long are your gym sessions most of the time?

  3. Sophie

    Thank you for sharing all of those moments! I know from experience it can be quite emotional and it is a very personal thing to talk about. Have a fabulous 2014 🙂

  4. Jess

    I had no idea you were going through some of that stuff when we were working together as fitness instructors. I’m glad you’re at a happier and healthier place now and I’m excited to follow your progress in 2014!

  5. tam

    Thanks for sharing your fitness journey, it’s so nice to hear that you are much happier with yourself now than previously have been. I too have had a complicated journey regarding food/ weight etc so it’s nice to see everyone has their own concerns. Good Luck for 2014! have good weekend xxx

  6. Kristy

    So, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and your story is so inspiring. I’m 5’2 and have always been fairly thin but this past year has been so busy and I became lazy!
    I’m working on getting back into the fitness game and I’m meal prepping, incorporating protein into my diet, and drinking tons of water.
    My only question is, for someone of my size and physique (5’2, 128 lbs, gain more weight in my lower half) would you suggest weight training exercises or more cardio based exercises and how many times a week to see results??

    I know this is an old post but I try and keep up with you as much as I can so if your feedback is greatly appreciated!! 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Katie

      Every one is different. I’m big on HIIT cardio and doing weights. I used to be a cardio bunny. Now I only do 25 minutes 4 x a week of cardio and 1 45 minute session with lifting. This gives you the best results and will make you leaner.

  7. Katrina

    Awesome awesome to document your journey! I saw your first comp is this year with OCB! My first is with Team Edge – NPCin July in Vegas. We have a lot of things in common with our fitness / health journey! Can’t wait to see how you inspire and progress!!!

    1. Katie

      Yes! Thanks so much. Do you have an Instagram? I love following peoples journeys on there!

  8. Tamara

    This was a great post. I needed to read it. I have always been thin, up until the last 5 or 6 years. Then menopause hit, I had an ugly custody battle that sent me into a downward spiral of eating & sleeping, and I just gave up on myself. Your ‘before’ pictures next to your ‘after’ photos are so very important to me. I look in the mirror and think to myself, “How can I possibly change this?” But you have proven to me that I absolutely can get my body back and look better than I EVER did. Thank you for your honesty, your writing style, and your before and after photos.

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