guest post! lisa p.

by Janetha on July 22, 2010

in meals

Redefining “Healthy” and “Exercise”

First of all, I want to say THANKS to Janetha for allowing me to write a guest post for her. She’s probably off in some tropical paradise gallivanting around with Marshall looking FANTASTIC in her bikini. Meanwhile, you guys are stuck here reading me! I’ll try to make it entertaining for you!

Let me introduce myself quickly. My name is Lisa, I’m a 25 year old from Oklahoma, and my blog is titled I’m an Okie.


I’ve been on a fitness/health rollercoaster over the past 3-4 years. I went from not working out at all, eating normally (i.e.—knew nothing of nutrition) to losing 15 lbs, eating by the clock out of Tupperware, counting macros down to the last digit, having 3 whey protein shakes a day, and just crazy stuff. Yes, after that I looked phenomenal.


While I love the way I look in these pictures, it’s darn near impossible to stay that way. Every winter, I would gain about 15 lbs because it’s just IMPOSSIBLE to keep myself like that without driving myself crazy. And every winter after I vowed not to gain the weight, but still did, I would feel depressed and started to not like my body.

I started becoming obsessive, worrying about what my next meal would be and how to make it fit into my “macros.” I started freaking out about what I would eat at my boyfriend’s house and what I would do if she cooked spaghetti. I started to binge. I even had a panic attack and start bawling one night because I felt so guilty about eating an apple that wasn’t in my plans. AN APPLE. I mean, c’mon. I knew I was at rock bottom and I didn’t know how to get out of it.

This is NOT healthy. I realized QUICKLY that I needed to somehow dig myself out of my hole and redefine what HEALTHY meant to me. I had begun to think of healthy as having a low body fat, seeing my abs, and eating low carbs and never straying from a plan.

After a lot of soul-searching and working on breaking myself from dieting, I now view healthy as a mindset. Brad Pilon said it best…

I think healthy is the way you approach life. The way you think about what you eat and how you exercise. It is the decisions you make in life and why you make them.

Healthy is definitely NOT being an obsessive-compulsive eater. Nor is it doing workouts you hate because some trainer told you that it’s the only way to workout, or the only way to lose fat.

Healthy is finding a way of eating and a way of exercising that you love, that causes you no stress, that doesn’t make you injured or sick, and that gives you a body that looks the way you want it to and can do the things you want it to do.

When it comes to being healthy I think the key is finding a balance between doing the things you love and the things you need to do.

My journey has also made me rethink how I think of exercise. In the past, I followed a plan. It would vary from 3-5 days of lifting and 4-5 days of cardio (with HIIT days, moderate days, low intensity days)…it was always planned to the tee. There is nothing wrong with working out like this, but it made me feel caged in. I would feel extreme guilt if I missed a workout or if I didn’t complete a set. Even if I did exercise, but didn’t do the EXACT workout, I felt guilt.

Now, I take Matthew Mcconaughey viewpoint towards exercise. Just do something that makes you sweat most days of the week. If you want to run, then run. Go swimming. Lift weights. Go for a walk. Do pushups. Go dancing. All are great for you and you should feel good about yourself for just making an effort to be move and ACTIVE.

So, don’t be afraid to do what you want to do. It’s all good. In fact, just the other night I did exactly that! My cardio for the day was A LOT of dancing and I loved every minute of it!


1. How do you define healthy?

2. What’s your favorite type of exercise?

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Nicole C July 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm

OHMYGOSH I LOVE this posting!! The video at the end is brilliant, who knew the tootsie roll would end up being a fun song to get us moving! I often listen to 80s/90s music while cooking and find myself dancing around. Dancing is a good way to get moving and make us smile! I find that some Rob Zombie pushes me more than Michael Bolton though haha so way to remind us to have fun and enjoy ourselves! :)

homecookedem July 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I love Lisa!!!!!!!!!! :) And I’m so proud of how far she’s come!! Beautiful inside and out!!

My favorite type of exercise right now is walking, but I hope to get back into running post-baby.

Amanda (The Nutritionist Reviews) July 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Ahahaha love the video! Dancing really can be the best exercise!

fitnessandsunshine July 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Thank you so much of this post! :) Lisa, you look great, and what you said is so inspirational. I can relate to feeling “caged in” by strict meal plans and workout routines more than I’d like… and while I’m still coming to terms with *my* new definition of healthy, I am already feeling so much better.

Letting food and exercise control life isn’t right–it should be YOU who’s in charge of your nutrition and exercise. I’m sure I’d be pretty ripped if I ate a ton ton ton of protein and very few carbs but that’s just not me. I’d rather feel free and enjoy life. :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes July 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Yes, it’s so easy to become obsessive and that’s not healthy. I’ve been all over the place when it comes to diet and exercise, and I feel I’m finally in a good place. I eat mostly healthy without being too restrictive and I don’t feel guilty (most of the time…). I am also more relaxed about exercise than I was in the past, and I now do what feels right. I love outdoor workouts, especially long, hilly hikes.

Ed July 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Haha! Loved the video! I salsa dance and in the summer, I sweat so much! Oh wait, I sweat a bunch in the winter too, lol! It’s an awesome form of cardio, but I never count it since it never seems like I’m working out. Seriously, I get cranky if I don’t go out dancing at least twice a week! My favorite cardio is swimming.

MAJL July 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for this post! I have been going through the same thing due to a knee injury. I feel like I got my life back! The bonus? I still look good, feel good, and have more time to enjoy things that matter, like spending time with friends and family.

Talia July 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Love, love, love the post! Gosh, I needed to read this! Obviously for my own personal goals to drop body fat for a competition (within 6 months) I have to really scrutinize what I eat and plan, plan, plan! I can definitely relate now to counting EVERYTHING and going through Tupperware (although now it is at least BPA free!) and sometimes feeling guilty. I’ve been gaining and losing the same 15 lbs my entire adult life and finally said NO MORE! I refuse to live life unhappy with my body and not having the energy and stamina I deserve. Training for my first body competition will surely teach me a lot about what is a realistic HEALTHY weight year round and what is an ideal competition weight. I’ve never done this before, so this is all new to me, but I promise myself daily that I won’t lose focus that it is about being HEALTHY first and that the body competition is just one thing I want to check off my list of fitness goals. What matters the most is everyday after the competition and having a healthy mind, body and spirit year round!

Love the video! I’ve seen it already on your page, but it never gets old! Way to blast calories and have FUN doing so!!! (let me see that tootsie roll…♫ )

tanyasdaily July 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm

healthy to me is how I feel!

Holly at Greek Yogurt and Apple Slices July 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm

YAY! Lisa :D I love the post! You are wonderful & I love ya :)

sweetandsweat July 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I love this post! I definitely connect with her story (except, I never had that great abs!) so it was great to read some advice :)

jqlee July 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Hi Lisa. I LOVE YOU!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) July 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Super fun! Love the video- you can really shake your groove thang, girl!

I’ve been there with the obsessiveness just to see the 6-pack and I could only manage that kind of insanity for a year. Now I’m more “cushioned” shall we say! :-) And I still struggle, but not to the point that I did before. Thanks for sharing your story! And btw, you still look amazing.

Rita @ The Giggly Bits July 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I officially laughed by butt right off, workout done!

Kerry July 23, 2010 at 1:01 am

haha that video is hilarious! but yeah dancing is great, as long as you’re moving, its exercise! Healthy is all about having a happy balance to me!

Steph (@ mediterraneanmiss) July 23, 2010 at 4:31 am

Hi Lisa!
What a great post!
I’ve only recently begun to accept the Matthew mentality – now I dance once or twice a week, ride once a week when I can, run, bike, swim, etc. The only thing that I make a habit out of is doing 20 minutes of strength 4 times a week, and as it’s only 20 minutes, I don’t feel like I’m too obsessed with it.

This was a great reality check – thank you!

Angela July 23, 2010 at 7:16 am

As so many other’s have already said – this is an amazing post! I’m not quite where you are, but you definitely give me some inspiration. Exercise is about feeling good, so it makes sense that you should only do those things that are fun for you. And love your video. Thanks for this post!

Erika July 23, 2010 at 8:36 am

I started reading your blog the other day ago! I love it! Great guest post!

Michelle July 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

What a fantastic post – I can relate to every. single. word. (having competed in a figure comp last month). I am now about +10 lb and couldn’t be happier at my more balanced and healthy approach to food and fitness.

LOVED the vid at the end. One of my fave “shake your groove thang” songs :-)

JamieS49 July 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

Great post as always Lisa. You have come so far and its incredible. So proud and happy for you!

Lara (Thinspired) July 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hi Lisa!

I can’t watch the video right now (work!), but gosh, I really enjoyed reading this post! I had no idea that you had a history like this…somehow I missed that on your blog! I agree…looking great is, well, great, but it’s exhausting! Finding balance is key :)

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) July 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I LOVE how real this post is!

I define healthy as doing what my body tells me it wants, and eating a wide range of natural, nutritious foods. Filling my body with the wholesome foods it needs- sometimes, I may eat more meat, sometimes, more vegetarian- I go with what is best for myself, at the time!

I love to RUN!


lisaou11 July 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Sounds like a great view of health! I’m glad you liked the post!

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) July 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

It’s official- Tootsie Roll is now emblazoned on my brain. In a good way :-)

Katie July 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Hey Lisa. :)

I love reading your motivational posts! Tonight I was getting worried about my plan for tomorrow. I REALLY want to go to a spin class tomorrow morning at 7:15, but I won’t be home until 1:00 am tonight, or tomorrow morning…however you want to put it. I would also have to get up at around 5:30 am tomorrow in order to be ready and get to the class. Yeah…not a good idea. I debated and debated over this. I finally realized that if I go to a class on less than 4 hours of sleep I am doing my body NO GOOD. So, I decided to get some extra sleep and do some elliptical work on my own and then an ab class at 9:30. :) I feel much more at ease now and I will still be getting in a cardio workout!

Today I was going to start my first upper body day for BFL, but I was so tired from my travels (I just got home yesterday) that I decided to start on Monday with a fresh and new week. Hopefully, everything will be more settled down by then and I can actually get a healthy workout in rather than doing a lackluster job because I am so tired. I am committing myself to this workout and diet plan, but I am also listening to my body and staying healthy with it. I am actually very happy right now. Thanks for the encouragement and advice! :)

Jennifer July 23, 2010 at 8:54 pm

bahaha, I love Lisa! Your approach to healthy living is AWESOME, and best of all your dancing was insane! This coming from a prior dance teacher too. Way to break it down and have fun!!

Denise July 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Great post. Love to dance, it is a great way to let loose.!

lifewithacrazypup July 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

LOVE THE VIDEO. Flippin’ hilarious! That’s what exercising is all about :)

Teri [a foodie stays fit] August 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

great post Lisa!

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