What’s the story behind the creation of Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes? Wow, what a loaded question. I won’t bore you with the long story but I won’t tease you with the short story either; it’s all about the happy medium, right?


So here goes!

Body image is something I have struggled with for most of my life. So much of my self-value has been placed on how I looked, which then dictated how I felt. My self-worth was determined by if I’d exercised that day or how much I’d eaten that day. I was miserable… but never miserable enough to make a change. The picture to the right was taken a few months before I started my fitness journey. 

In 2012, as a junior at UGA, I decided to start going to the gym. I had to get braces that year for an upcoming jaw surgery… and I figured if my face was going to suck, my body should be amazing. I laugh at myself now for this mentality! My workouts consisted of cardio, cardio, and more cardio. The treadmill, the track, and the elliptical were my go-to’s. I lost a lot of weight that year (see picture below)… but I still wasn’t happy. In retrospect, I know now that I may have changed my exercise habits, but I never really changed my mentality (or my eating habits). Over the next 3 years, I had an “off and on” relationship with working out/cardio. Just as I went off and on with diets. My weight fluctuated and I tied my happiness to the number on the scale.




In February of 2015, I started working out with a personal trainer at the local LA Fitness. I’d previously worked out with 2 trainers but I didn’t have the same results… and here’s why. From my first session with JQ, I could tell how knowledgeable and passionate he was about hIMG_8840is job. His workouts were creative, challenging, and (I hate admitting this…) also fun. But there was another layer to our trainer-client relationship.

JQ graduated from the high school that my elementary school students would someday go to. He lived one street down from the school I worked at. These schools are Title 1, with a very at-risk student population (70%+ Free and Reduced Lunch)… and if you know me, you know that I am extremely passionate about closing the achievement gap in schools (as well as the race and socioeconomic aspects involved).

During our sessions, JQ and I had real conversations: about race, about poverty, about his experiences and struggles growing up, about my experiences working with children who IMG_7907sometimes wouldn’t know where their next meal was coming from. His story in becoming a personal trainer was something that I wanted to share with my students (see future post about this!). Long story short, we were invested in each other’s success. Not only did he inspire me to better myself, he showed me how to do it too. My sporadic gym sessions became a daily occurrence as I was eager to learn something new to try or work towards a goal we’d set.

Since I started going to the gym everyday, it was all I could think about… and all I could post about on my instagram. My frequent fitness posts frustrated some of my friends, so I decided to create an “anonymous” account to showcase my workouts, accomplishments, struggles, and more. Over the next months, my passion grew. I wanted to learn more about fitness, healthy eating, wellness, etc. Not only that… but also, I wanted to show others what I learned. I wanted to share my experience.

As a counselor, I know that telling our personal stories can be IMG_4586therapeutic and empowering… just what I needed. Since my instagram was “anonymous,” I wanted community with people who loved fitness as much as I did. I became ambassadors for some organizations and joined groups for people with similar interests. From their expertise, I realized that I needed more than just an Instagram. So, I started my blog to be able to share more about my story and hear from others too… (since Instagram captions can’t be too long without losing the follower’s interest!). It only made sense to add the other social media outlets as well. So, I created a Twitter, a Pinterest account, and a Facebook page all for Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes… and that’s how it all started.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, as well as like the Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes page on Facebook!


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