Adventures In Food And Workouts

2015 started with a full head of hair. My life was consumed with crossfit, running ½ marathons, and eating paleo. I was miserable. I felt like I was doing everything right. The crossfit community was filled with women who rocked 6 pack abs and put in the same amount of work as me. Yet my body felt like a pile of fluff. I hated eating paleo. I thought shifting focus from calories to eating some caveman style fatty foods would make my food guilt issues way better, but all it did was make them a bazillion times worse. I developed a fear or carbs, wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes, soy, processed foods, low fat foods, restaurant foods, sugar, sandwiches, oats…the list goes on and on. What if I went to a restaurant and the only options contained gluten?!?!?!? THE HORROR! My body is not even the tiniest bit celiac. There was no medical reason for me to act like eating gluten was the same as eating asbestos. On top of that, my body was completely wrecked from lifting too heavy and running too much. Every day I was in extreme pain, but kept pushing through because I had my eye on the prize. I mean if I ate like the Instagram crossfitters and worked out like the Instagram crossfitters, I should look like the Instagram crossfitters?! Right?? WRONG.

Finally, I realized I was being ridiculous, and a life of being scared of sandwiches was no longer a life I wanted. After some careful Instagram fitspo research, I decided to do the polar opposite of paleo and start macro counting. I saw pictures of women with perfect bodies who were eating cookies, pop tarts, pizza, oreos, and loaded froyo!! What could go wrong?! If it fit my macros, I could eat it and I would have a bangin bod in no time! I reached out to an IG influencer for a plan. She set me up with workouts and macros to follow. My first red flag should have been the day my WARMUP was 100 lunges. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot. As you may have guessed, my body did not change and I was the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life. I guess daily pop tarts and insane 2 hour/day lifting plans with no cardio weren’t going to give me the body of my dreams.


Now a days I say SCREW ALL OF THAT. I’ve made a conscious decision to STOP associating guilt with food. If I want it, I eat it. I know the foods my body responds well to and I stick with that. I eat gluten, dairy, sugar, carbs, lean meats, occasional red meat, any veggie I want (legumes included!), fast food, and home cooked food. I stopped forcing down foods that gross me out because the internet told me to. I stopped avoiding foods because the internet told me not to eat it. I’ve stopped doing workouts that make me unhappy. I used to leave crossfit in tears because I didn’t PR. I used to come home pissed about a run because I wasn’t fast enough. I’ve realized that WORKOUTS SHOULD NOT MAKE ME CRY!!!! Life is hard enough as it is! Am I right?! Now I go to the gym and LOVE IT! My BFF gives me workout programs that kick my butt without killing me. I feel happy and bad ass even though most of my workouts include weights that are less than 30 lbs. There ain’t nothing wrong with some tiny weights! Since living this way I’ve found that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my body. Sure, I’d be happier with hair too, BUT I no longer dread non-workout clothes and the dressing room and I have reconciled our friendship.


I want to make this super clear…I’m not saying crossfit, paleo, endurance running, or macro counting is bad. I am saying that if the foods you eat or the workouts you do make you miserable, then maybe you should consider doing something that makes you happy! The internet is a cesspool of people telling you their way is the best way and any other way is wrong AF. I’m here to tell you that the best way is the way that works for you! There is no wrong way. If it works for you, then it works and that is all that matters! If you’re a keto guido, rock on! If you’re living your best vegan life, yas queen! If you slow walk on the treadmill, keep killin it! If you’ve never followed a fad diet and never will, heck yeah! If you PR the shit out of every crossfit workout, high five to you and your sweat angel! Just go out there and do you! If Instagram tells you that’s not good enough, then delete that person and keep it moving! Every person’s body is so different and responds so differently. Find the thing that is the right fit for you, and your body will show its thanks back! xoxoxo


The One Where She CrossFit Bald

I feel like the first few blogs have been in my feelings intense! I want this one to be a little more fun, and talk about something near and dear to my heart. Which is working on my fitness. My interest in working out started in college. Let’s face it, years of beer, taco bell, eurogyro (shout out to my fellow Kent Staters), and growing out of my teenage metabolism did not do a body good on this girl’s 5’ 2” frame. I decided to do something about it. You could say I became a little too obsessive with losing weight for a time, but again I said I’m keeping this blog out of my feels so that is a story for another day. After graduating college, I started working at a call center. On my first day of training, our trainer Lisa mentioned that most people gain 15 lbs after starting work at the call center. The combination of sitting taking phone calls and abundant snacks was a recipe for weight gain. I heard that and thought, “oh hellllllllll no.” That’s when I really kicked my workouts and healthy eating habits into gear. I’ve dabbled in a little bit of everything. The Firm & P90X were my intro into weight lifting, and started my love for lifting heavy shit. Yes, I used to be a beachbody coach, no I am not now, no I don’t want to be one again, no I don’t want shakeology, no shakeology can’t grow my hair back…have all the MLMers left the building? Jk jk…I appreciate your hustle my MLM ladies. I seriously do. It takes a lot to put yourself out there like that, so I say go after that best life!

Okay wow I am all over the place on this one. Anywho, I’ve dabbled in a little bit of everything. Home workouts, spin class, crossfit, bootcamp, distance running, yoga, pilates, etc etc. The love for fitness is so real. I was an avid crossfitter when I started losing my hair which was challenging. First of all, it was hard to focus on a workout when my hair was falling all over me the entire time. Second, when I finally shaved my head, I knew I didn’t want to wear my fancy new wig to the gym. It was hot AF and I didn’t want it to get sweaty and gross. A hat just sorta got in my way, so I decided to give bald workouts a shot so I could continue chugging crossfit koolaid. The bonus was that my crossfit was filled with good friends and kind hearts. It was still tough though. The first time I came to the gym bald, I just sat in my car and panicked for a bit. A part of me just wanted to drive home and curl up into a ball instead. However, I pushed through and was met with a bounty of hugs and love. I only got asked if I had cancer twice. Not bad. The negative was that my head sweats like Blake from the Bachelor attempting to propose to Becca (sorry for my non-bachelor fans who do not understand that reference). It was gross and I hated it. I hated sweat dripping into my eye, I hated seeing sweat beads on my skull. Not. A. Fan. Also, if you’ve ever crossfitted you know that crazy cult of loons (you know I love you all) loves them some pictures. Every workout, I spent anxious time looking for cameras and dodging them. I was not ready for my bald head to be on a social media feed. All this to say, I quickly learned that working out bald meant I spent my entire workout focused on my alopecia instead of actually focusing on my workout. Thank u, next.


If you don’t know what Crossfit WOD 16.5 is, consider yourself hashtag blessed.

I quit crossfit for many reasons…one of them being exhausted by thinking about my scalp. Head and shoulders commercials don’t think about scalps as much as I do. Next up, I decided to focus on running with a hat on and lifting at home. Here is the thing, even with a hat on I still felt like people were starting and wondering who this bald girl was running by. Also, my freeze baby head would get so damn cold!! Finally, I decided to take my talents to the apartment complex gym. At this point I purchased a under the hat wig from hip hats with hair. Its like a wig, but the cap is cloth with no hair. The goal is to prevent your scalp from roasting to 1000000 degrees while wearing fake fair. In theory this was an okay option. The piece was designed to be worn as a pony tail, but I felt it looked very unnatural as a pony. Instead I wore it as a side braid, but you could see the pink cloth through the hat hole. Not ideal. A good option, but not the right fit for me. Then I had my Goldilocks moment and found the solution that was juuuuust right. I had purchased a less expensive synthetic wig to wear to the pool I decided to try that at the gym Ding ding ding we had a winner!! I still prefer a side pony over an actual pony though. I think this looks most natural on me. Now my love for the gym is back, and my workouts are strictly me focusing on being as bad ass as possible. No thoughts are given to my head situation. Can I get a Hallelujah?!

I’m sure you may have a few questions, so here is my attempt at being Miss Cleo and predicting what you may ask.

Does it get hot?
Ish depending on my wig. The synthetic I wear now doesn’t get so hot that I feel like I’m going to pass out if I don’t dunk my head in an ice bath. It does get hotter than natural hair, but its been so long since I’ve had natural hair that I don’t even remember what that feels like.

Are you saying I shouldn’t workout bald?
Heck no man! I say do what YOUR Goldilocks moment tells you to do. If you feel your best working out bald, then yes boo go rock that shit!!

What about scarves?
Scarves just aren’t my cup of tea, but I know a ton of alopecian babes who love to workout in theirs. 10/10 would recommend if that is what makes you happy.

Have you ever had any wig malfunctions while working out?
Thankfully no! I secure that hat on so tight it requires the jaws of life to remove. I have had an eyebrow makeup malfunction. Let’s just say I tried a new eyebrow product, got off the ellipctial and realized my eyebrows had created rivers of makeup all over my face. Luckily my gym is filled with creepers so I considered it creeper deterrent. Lemonade. Out. Of. Lemons. Baby.

Have you ever run a race with a wig?
YES! My hip hats with hair wig is what I was wearing when I PRd my half marathon with a sub 2 time!! This race was crazy AF because it bounced between rain, snow, sleet, and hail the ENTIRE time. But the wig held up like a boss bitch.

Rite Aid Marathon
Finally running 13.1 in under 2 hours…wig and all!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out! I’m not an expert on navigating this alopecia life, but I’m happy to talk to you about what has worked for me. That’s all for now! Lots of love to you my boos!

What Not To Do When Your Nail Tech Calls You Fat

Oh hello friends. It’s almost Christmas and that is completely insane. Its about 60 degrees in Denver today, so it surely doesn’t feel like almost Christmas. This time of the year means that I’m only a couple months away from my bday. Next year I am turning 36 and that is literally the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Getting older is so weird because when you’re younger you think 36 sounds SO OLD. You assume by 36 you will have everything figured out. But with 36 less than 2 months away, the only thing that I have figured out is my reality tv lineup. Have you ever watched Love After Lockup? Because OMG you HAVE to watch Love After Lockup. It is the worst and the best all rolled up into one glorious hour.
I thought today I’d dive a little bit deeper into that time frame in between losing my first handful of hair and shaving my head. I keep using the Gollum reference, so to stay on brand lets call these the Gollum months. When I first realized that I was losing way more hair than my normal shedding, I thought it was weird, but I wasn’t alarmed yet. I honestly didn’t even think it was related to my alopecia because my alopecia had never acted like that. I thought it would just stop in a couple days, but as you can tell by my shiny dome, I thought very wrong. I remember the day of sheer panic when I realized something was very wrong. I was sitting at work on a conference call and had my sleeves rolled up. I looked down at my arms and realized my arm hair was GONE. Now I am of Eastern Indian decent. My arm hair was never thin. I basically had Chewbacca hairy arms, but today it looked like someone had nair’d them in my sleep. Am I dating myself? Is nair still a thing? Do the youths know the struggle of using chemical cream to remove your lady mustache leaving you with a smooth but slightly chemically burned upper lip? Anywho, I saw this and FREAKED OUT. It was at that moment I realized that I could be losing ALL of my hair. I kept telling myself, its not alopecia, its not alopecia. This is because I didn’t want it to be alopecia. I knew damn well that there is no cure for alopecia. I needed it to be something with a cure. I thought if I said it enough I could convince my body of it. That I could go into the doctor, have them tell me it’s a thyroid issue, give me a bottle of pills, and my problems would be fixed. Of course, that is not what happened. Instead I went to my dermatologist and he told me I was having an alopecia flare up. Can we talk about my derm Dr. Norris for a moment? He is literally the sweetest, best dermatologist on the planet. I’ve bawled my eyes out in his clinic a million times over, and he is soooo kind and sweet. Always comforting me and saying, “Its okay, I know how tough it is, we see a lot of tears in the hair clinic.” Today Dr. Norris broke the news to me and I was crushed. There are not any alopecia cures, but there are many experimental treatments. Dr. Norris had a plan of attack and we were going to give it a shot. I was willing to try anything to keep my hair. He started me on a course of prednisone and methotrexate. Yes, methotrexate is used for chemo, but at these smaller doses its not considered chemo.
Have you ever taken prednisone before? I like to kindly refer to it as the devil drug. Why you ask? Because it fucked shit up for me. My body has always been overly sensitive to medications and I often get side effects. Boy did I ever. My mood was wild. Anything could make me cry. I would go from normal, happy, fine, to rage filled, blood boiling, emotional mess. It made me ungodly hungry, and while I stopped eating carbs during that time to prevent the weight gain, I still gained. Mostly in my face and gut. I don’t blame Dr. Norris for any of this of course. Everyone’s body acts differently and mine was acting like an angsty teenage girl who got her cell phone taken away. Unfortunately, my flare up continued to progress and I had to make my very first hair investment—a topper. A topper is basically hair you clip onto the top of your head to make it look like you have hair when yours is thinning away. I hated that thing SO MUCH. It would rip more hair out every time I unclipped it. It never felt secure on my head. I hated the way it looked in photographs. It honestly just made me miss my old hair that much more.
During this time frame I remember having an extra shitty, I feel fugly pity party day. I decided to go get my nails did. I wanted to be comfortable, so I didn’t wear the topper. Instead I put those feeble remaining pieces of hair into a teeny tiny side braid and hoped for the best. Welp…best is not what I got lol. I was sitting in the nail chair and the lady immediately asked about my hair. From the jump I felt like crying. Next, I thought she asked me if I had gained weight, but I also thought I misheard her because WHO ASKS THAT?!?!?!? I asked her to repeat herself and then the technician next to her looked at me and said, “she wants to know if you gained weight because we can see it in your face.” I shit you not. OF COURSE I had gained weight. I had been pumping my body full of prednisone and my face looked like a little puff ball. I responded by shaking my head and holding back my tears. I used every single ounce of strength not to start crying in that salon chair. My hands were even shaking at one point. The second I walked out of the salon, I bawled and bawled and bawled my eyes out. I walked into my apartment, laid on the floor and bawled some more. That day getting my nails done didn’t make me feel cute, it made me feel like a fat, ugly sea slug. Womp womp.
Stuff like that continued to happen, but never as bad as that day. I recall a shocked coworker thinking I had cancer. I remember walking into my crossit, and immediately crying for no reason at all. I had SERIOUS pony tail envy lol. Who gets jealy of a pony tail? Oh yeah, I did because all I wanted was my pony tail back. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, thank goodness I had my crossfit family on my side. The same goes for my work fam. For every tear there was a hug, for every break down, there was a text, for every sad cubicle talk there was an ear to listen. I’m not sure I would have had the will to push through those awful months if it wasn’t for all of them. My Ohio fam and friend fam were such amazing long-distance support too. I remember calling my best friend Kristin at 6AM because I realized my hair loss was moving to places on my head where it couldn’t be hidden. I completely broke down to her on the phone while she was getting ready for work and she still took the time to patiently listen and help me get through it. The feeling of loss was so real and so overwhelming.

This is what pony tail envy looks like

Now let’s fast forward to today. I was brunching (PS brunch is a VERY regular occurrence in my life #BasicAF) with my friends Kera, Rachel, and Mattie. Rachel asked me what my long-term goal is with this blog. I think its just this. To share these raw emotions and stories. To be able to connect with people who are going through this and help them feel less alone. To help people going through alopecia know that their emotions are valid, that their feelings are real, that its okay to feel sad no matter how many times people tell you “at least its just hair”. If I can help one person struggling, then I know I am doing the right thing. 😊 That’s all for now friends. Hope you have a fabulous week my sweet boos!! Byeeeee.