January Dietary Challenge Ends + Confession

Thank goodness January is done! The beginning of Cassey Ho’s dietary challenge was super easy. I didn’t completely cut anything out (except alcohol which I already cut out years ago) but instead cut back on everything.

My normal daily eating habits included several slices of American cheese, a ton of French bread, summer sausage, cookies, misc pastries, coffee etc. And then there were the special meals where we went out for eat – Burger King, Jimmy Johns, misc diner, Subway. Really, I think Burger King is the worst one there and we don’t do it all that often because I’m in love with Jimmy John’s sandwiches. I only get the sandwich but it’s still too big for one meal so it becomes 2 meals. I’d say that’s healthy enough and if it’s not, I don’t really care.

So I did my best this month to cut out desserts, cut out that cheese, bread, and summer sausage. We still went out to eat every weekend and I didn’t change my coffee because the sugar content on that is as low as I’m prepared to make it. When we did go out, I tried to keep it to Jimmy Johns as that is the tastiest and healthiest. Some might argue and say Subway is but I get pizza when I’m there sooooo…yeah…Could be better, could be worse.

Let’s shrug it off.


To buy the 28-Day Reset meal plan, click above – Eat Healthy, Be Healthy

On top of the dietary changes, I added in at least 30 minutes of exercise. It was cardio and it wasn’t intense because I don’t like to be intense these days but it was 4-5x a week. I’m doing a Couch Potato Triathlon challenge at my YMCA so I’m working my butt off trying to get everything in.

My cardio:

  • swimming
  • cycling
  • walking

Strength training:

  • POP Pilates (30-min, 45-min classes)

Every day opens my eyes to a new sore spot. It’s good though. I tell my students that that pain is weakness leaving. It’s screaming and holding on for dear life and that’s why it hurts so much – it’s putting up a fight. But we master it with every workout, every class. And we’re getting stronger and stronger so it hurts less and less.


Before/After measurements from eating cleaner (not clean, just cleaner). On the left is 1/1/17, on the right is 1/31/17, in bold/italics is the difference.

  • Weight – 182.4 lb // 180.6 lb ( – 1.8 lb)
  • Arms – L 12 1/4 in, R 12 5/8 in // L 12 in, R 12 1/2 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/8 in)
  • Bust – 40 1/2 in // 39 3/4 in ( – 3/4 in)
  • Chest – 32 in // 32 in ( 0 )
  • Waist – 36 in // 35 in ( – 1 in)
  • Lower Belly Pooch – 42 in // 41 1/2 in ( – 1/2 in)
  • Hips – 44 in // 43 3/4 in ( – 1/4 in)
  • Thighs – L & R 23 3/4 in // L 23 1/2 in, R 23 1/4 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/2 in)

And to think these numbers would have been even better had I not had junk food over the weekend and on Monday. Bloating is bad if you’re only worried about the numbers.

Here’s my confession…

To be honest, I was seriously stressing this last weekend over what to eat because I wanted to give the best possible numbers here. In fact, I was stressing about it so much that I realized I wasn’t eating.

If you know me, you’ll know that that is sooooo NOT like me. I love food. That’s why I’m overweight – I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat. Now, during the month I wasn’t stressing about it and I was only focusing on eating healthier. When I was hungry, I ate something and I was happy. It was just at the very end for about 3-4 days when I started stressing about it. By Monday I realized I was skipping meals and only lightly snacking. I was constantly hungry and I was depressed because I was hungry and because I wanted my numbers to be as low as I could get them. I wanted to be as small as I could be in my After pictures.

My body was not feeling good after all the salt from the nuts, and the celery and PB was not leaving me feeling good because I had eaten so much of it (and I was worried about running out before I could go grocery shopping again). The Kind bars were only upping my blood sugar levels because I wasn’t eating anything else so I wasn’t feeling good from that. Nothing I ate made me feel better.

I didn’t know what to eat because nothing was making me feel good anymore. I was surrounded by snack foods along with food for sandwiches and I didn’t want to eat a sandwich because then I would be eating processed foods, dairy, and gluten on non-cheat days. For 3-4 days, I was afraid to eat. I wanted actual food and I wasn’t seeing it. All I was seeing was snack food and then I thought if I didn’t eat, my numbers would be smaller so then I was doing things to distract me from eating and it was working all too well.

Monday I realized what I was starting to do and I had forgotten that the challenge had ended on the 29th so I thought I was still in the challenge. By Monday I was dizzy and tired. I’ve been drinking plenty of water so it wasn’t that. I gave in and had 2 hot dogs (no buns…we don’t have any) wrapped in American cheese. Damn did that taste good. And damn me if my dizziness didn’t go away soon after I had finished eating.

I realized then how stupid I was being putting numbers before my health so for lunch I had a sandwich. Raisin bread, mayo, a slice of American cheese, and some honey ham. It…felt…AWESOME! And so did I.

And now for my pictures!


I see a difference in both shots but only a good difference in the front shot. From the side I can see that I’m bloated from what I ate yesterday. And you know what? I’m okay with that. It beats being dizzy and hungry. I didn’t like seeing it at first but then I thought back to what I ate yesterday and I’m okay with it. I needed actual food in my stomach and that sandwich, while I knew it would bloat me, was exactly what I needed.

Don’t punish your body. Don’t skip out on meals to have better numbers. It’s just not worth it. I was miserable for those few days. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who actually have eating disorders and have to deal with this sort of thing every day of their lives.

I’m all for being happy. If I’m fat and happy, that’s fine. At least I’m happy. But if I’m starving myself to look better on social media, then I’m not happy and that is not okay. Not only does it affect me but it affects my family. My kid shouldn’t have to feel bad because I do. He’s a kid. He should be happy. But if I’m starving and tired then I get super cranky and emotional and I can’t handle anything as well as I should be able to and then he suffers for that. Not to mention the strain it puts on my husband. That’s not fair to anyone.

Don’t do it to yourself. Don’t do it to others. Just don’t do it.

P.S. I’m not belittling people who do have an ED. I know their struggle is real  – unbelievably real – and I wish them all the luck and strength in the world. This was meant for those people who don’t have an ED.


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on January 31, 2017, in Monthly Challenge, Personal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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