My Plan for 2017: A Commitment to Fitness

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For years, I lived my life with one solid focus: to travel the world as much as possible and build my career as a travel blogger. And it was good. Lord, was it good.

But over time, I learned that being singularly focused means that everything else in your life suffers to a degree. Relationships. Other interests. And most importantly, health. Case in point: almost every travel blogger who has given up full-time travel has cited health as a reason.

When I finally felt the travel desire waning, it was a blessing. For the first time, I felt the freedom to create a fixed life in New York. Now that I’ve been managing that for a year, it’s time to turn my efforts toward improving my health.

The Background

I grew up very thin, put on weight throughout my twenties, then lost 20+ pounds in 2010, just in time for me to start my travels in Southeast Asia. How? I basically starved myself. It wasn’t healthy.

You can see in the pics from back then that I was super thin but had no muscle tone. I was the epitome of skinny fat.

After Southeast Asia, the weight packed back on. And while I would lose a few pounds here and there, I was never able to commit to anything. Yoga? BORED. YouTube workouts? MAYBE FOR A FEW WEEKS. Paid video workouts? DIDN’T LAST. Running? HURT MYSELF AND STOPPED. Walking a ton? NOT ENOUGH CARDIO.

And so I found nothing that worked. As a result, my weight stayed the same. And I am so fucking sick and tired.

I’m tired of contorting myself into the skinniest position possible while posing for photos.

I’m tired of traveling with gorgeous friends with hot bodies and feeling like the resident lump.

I’m tired of hiding on beaches behind sarongs and caftans.

I’m tired of traveling with brilliant photographer friends and ending up photos of a fat girl I don’t recognize.

For five and a half years I’ve been looking at photos of myself and thinking, “That’s not me.”

So I’m finally taking action. In a big way. Here is how I am going to change my life with fitness.

Exercise Goals:

Join Equinox.

Yes, I drank the #committosomething Kool-Aid. There was a promotion in December where there was no initiation fee for joining Equinox (usually $300-500), so that was the incentive that brought me in.

(Note: this January you can still join Equinox with no initiation fee if you work out 12 times in your first 30 days! Tell them Kate McCulley recommended you.)

I held off because I wanted to join a gym like Healthworks Back Bay, where I went in Boston. Healthworks is a luxurious all-female gym and I went all the time because I loved the atmosphere. And there actually isn’t an equivalent in New York. I went back and forth — did I really want to work out with boys who used all the heavy weights and made me feel inadequate?

Turns out a coed gym wasn’t the problem. My core issue was that I didn’t want to feel intimidated. And I lucked out — I go to the Equinox on West 92nd St., which is in a residential zone and thus reflects the locals: there are a lot of older people. Classes tend to be young and nearly all female, but usually at least two thirds of the floor is filled with people in their fifties and older. The kind of people who say, “Why, thank you, young lady!” when I hold a door for them (so sweet). And because of that, I don’t feel intimidated at all!

For what it’s worth, not every Equinox is like that. I’ve heard the downtown locations have a hotter crowd and the SoHo location in particular is popular with models.

And to acknowledge the elephant in the room — yes, it’s an expensive gym. I wish it weren’t. But for someone like me who has tried and failed so many different fitness plans over the years and has only succeeded staying in shape when she has a fancy gym to go to? GIVE ME THE FANCY PLACE WITH THE COOL CLASSES. All day. I need that as motivation. And their app. God, Equinox has an awesome app.

Honestly, if I joined Planet Fitness or even NYSC, I wouldn’t be motivated to go. Equinox is super nice and fancy and I love going there. Spending that money is worth it because it’s keeping me in shape.

Get a personal trainer.

I didn’t see this on the horizon, but surprise — I have a trainer now! Equinox matched me with Gayle, a trainer who met the criteria I asked for (female, not a drill sergeant type, wouldn’t mind my sporadic travel schedule) and I see her twice a week for strength training.

I went into the gym as a fitness newbie — I have no clue how to work out on the machines or what my form should be or how hard to push myself or how to design a circuit. Even when I went to Healthworks in Boston, I avoided the machines because I didn’t know how to use them. This way, Gayle is helping me go from an unshaped ball of clay to a very fit human being with a routine customized to all my personal strengths and weaknesses.

Try 20 classes at Equinox before the end of the year.

I am a class junkie — I love group fitness, especially fast-moving dance-y classes, and it’s one of the best ways to motivate me to go to the gym. Equinox is known for its excellent classes and instructors. I’m already impressed at what the difference can be between an average Zumba instructor and a great Zumba instructor.

I *could* take 20 different classes at my gym on 92nd St., but that would mean taking virtually every class they offer, so I may look into expanding into a global membership, letting me check out other clubs and classes.

Get up the nerve to take a spin class.

The idea of spinning, or indoor cycling, has always terrified me, especially after hearing accounts of intimidating instructors from friends. It seems like everyone yells at you, and I don’t feel strong enough to join in yet!

I will get up the nerve, and I will do it. Maybe in a month or so.

Figure out how to keep up exercise while traveling.

This is the one that stumps me the most. Everything I’ve tried while traveling has not worked long-term. I think my best solution may be trying to find Zumba classes when traveling in the US or major cities.

Lose 25 pounds by Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is the last weekend in May and the unofficial kickoff to the summer, non-American readers. And I think losing 25 pounds a week, which works out to just a little over a pound per week, is a very reasonable goal.

My body assessment calculated that my optimal goal should be to lose 33 pounds of fat and add 11 pounds of muscle. So losing 25 pounds will get me to a good, bikini-worthy weight, but I think I can lose another 5-10 pounds beyond that.

Get sexy, defined clavicles again.

I want my clavicles to be sharper than a serpent’s tooth.

Diet Goals:

Aim to eat paleo 80% of the time.

I’ve always thought the paleo diet made the most sense — lots of vegetables with meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding processed foods, sugar, dairy, and grains. It sounded so healthy — I just didn’t want to commit to it.

Then I promised my trainer I would give up sugar and carbs (not all carbs, just bread and pasta and rice). And then I dropped dairy as well and didn’t miss it. I guess this is what I’m doing now.

Doing it 80% is a smart choice because it keeps me from being miserable and it makes socializing easier. I went out for Vietnamese food at Anchoi on the Lower East Side and enjoyed pho and summer rolls with rice noodles and rice paper, and didn’t care. I had a little shaved parmesan on a kale caesar salad at Sweetgreen and loved it, too.

I’m not going to splurge aimlessly — I’m going to save them up for really good reasons. Like a Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream in the Village or the fettuccine al’amatriciana at Emilio’s Ballato in SoHo.

Commit to cooking paleo at home.

I love to cook. And there are so many great paleo recipes on the internet! I’ve been experimenting and having a great time. I made a grass-fed beef chili so good that I nearly cried. And my new favorite things are date-almond-coconut bars made with nothing but those three ingredients.

In the process, I’ve also started shopping at the Trader Joe’s on 72nd St. more often, rather than relying on the subpar markets in my neighborhood. Not only is Trader Joe’s shockingly cheap (like, cheaper than Amazon cheap), they also have a nice selection of organic options and cool store products. (The only thing? The checkout line stretches for AGES, even on a random Tuesday afternoon.)

Make smarter choices about alcohol.

I’m still doing a sober month once a year (though I didn’t write about it in 2016), which I recommend to everyone. It’s good to give your body a break and remind yourself how to socialize without booze. It made my skin clear up so much, too.

I’m not giving up alcohol entirely, but I’m making smarter choices about what I drink. I don’t drink at home to begin with, and when I go out, I choose wine (usually red or champagne) or spirits, ideally low-cal vodka sodas with (a lot of) lime.

And if I get a cocktail, I try to get a relatively clean cocktail. At Attaboy on the Lower East Side (amazing speakeasy and one of the best cocktail bars I’ve ever been to), the bartender made me a Bee Sting: gin, lemon, honey, ginger. At Red Rooster, the restaurant that literally made me want to move to Harlem, I got an Earl of Harlem: bourbon with Earl Grey tea and lemon.

Off the menu are beer, sugary cocktails, and anything involving soda or high-cal mixers like tonic.

Make smarter choices about caffeine.

I’ve become a latte-a-day girl, and as much as I love them, they’re not the smartest choice. They add a lot of calories and the dairy isn’t great for you. Plus, I don’t mind drinking (good) coffee black!

When I go out to cafes now, whether to work or for a pick-me-up, I restrict myself to either black coffee or herbal tea. No sugar, ever, but I didn’t use sugar anyway.

I’ve also been experimenting with bulletproof coffee: a cup of coffee with a tablespoon of organic unsalted grass-fed butter and a tablespoon of organic coconut oil. I only do it pre-workout, but it makes me feel like I have rocket fuel in my veins.

Make smarter choices about animal products.

This year I’m going to make a bigger commitment to cooking only with organic, free-range, antibiotic-free eggs and poultry, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish. These kinds of animal products are so much healthier for you than the conventional options.

Unfortunately, meat this good comes at a price — it’s very expensive. I’ll try to get what I can for cheap at Trader Joe’s, but they don’t have everything. I plan on making lots of visits to Harlem Shambles, one of the best butcher shops in the city.

Mental Health Goals:

Meditate more often.

I pay for the Headspace app but don’t use it nearly enough. It’s funny how I can while away ten minutes on Facebook without noticing but ten minutes of meditation makes me think, “Do I really have time for that?” Hell yes, Kate, you have time for that!

The truth? Meditation always helps me relax, focus, and feel more in control. Sometimes it even cures my headaches! There’s really no reason not to do it. I’d like to do it a few times a week.

Let go of the body baggage.

I grew up in a thin family. I graduated from high school at 5’4″ and 109 pounds and didn’t start putting on weight until later in college, then kept adding more and more in my twenties and thirties.

My family members are wonderful, smart, funny people. But nobody’s perfect, and looking back, I realize that when I was growing up, we were not as kind and accepting of overweight people as we should have been. It never lapsed into mocking or cruelty, but there were constant negative comments when talking about people heavier than we were.

Two examples of that? I remember when I was in a play and one 15-year-old girl had to do a move where she flung her arms outward. I noticed nothing unusual about it, but I remember my mom saying, “If I had a daughter whose arms jiggled like that, I’d have her on a workout plan so fast.” (And because I know a lot of people from home read this blog — she wasn’t talking about someone from Reading. This was at summer camp.)

And I remember once at church when a family of three came in. Both of the parents were obese and each used two canes to walk. Their son, probably around 12 at the time, was overweight. “That kid is doomed,” I remember my dad saying as soon as we were home.

It was during college when I realized that making negative comments about overweight people was neither kind nor common. I spent a few years rewiring my brain and trying to become a better person.

So, what’s it like to grow up thin in a family where thinness is prized but you end up heavy? It’s been rough. I’ve felt like an embarrassment to my family for many years now, especially after being a heavy bridesmaid in two weddings. My weight is frequently a topic whenever I’m home, but it’s more along the lines of, “So what are you doing to work out now?” They’re not mean about it, but it’s tough to know that they would hold a better opinion of me if I lost it.

I need to keep working through that.

Use the SELF Journal for fitness goals.

I supported the SELF Journal on Kickstarter and got one of my own but haven’t even started using it yet! Talk about the height of laziness.

It’s part day planner, part bullet journal. It helps you set your daily and weekly goals and lay out the steps you’ll take to get there.

I particularly like that it has sections for daily gratitudes, both in the morning and the night.

Make peace with the fact that I’m going to lose my boobs.

Because, really, they’re exceptional. And I don’t say that lightly.

Get up early — perhaps a monthly challenge of getting up early.

I got this idea from Lauren of Neverending Footsteps — she wants to spend a month waking up early, like at 4:00 or 5:00 AM.

I love getting up early, but I rarely do it — I feel like I’m wired to do my best work at night, especially when it comes to writing, and it’s not unusual for me to be putting the finishing touches on a blog post at 2:00 or 3:00 AM. Even though I don’t want to.

So perhaps I should make a concentrated effort to get up at 5:00 AM for a month and see how it goes. That would be easy to take on the road, too!

Put phone on airplane mode long before bed until long after you’re up.

C’est Christine recently posted about doing this and I’m a big fan — it’s nice to know there are no distractions when you’re trying to get to bed. And this way, my eyelids start fluttering while I’m still reading and I fall asleep immediately.

It also helps me get up in the morning and get things done before getting sucked into social media.

So, how’s it going so far?

Well, we’re 17 days into the New Year, so I’m well aware that I’m in the “This is awesome!” stage of things and keeping it up will get more challenging.

So far, though, I feel amazing. I don’t know whether it’s the workouts or the diet, but I feel so focused and aware and light and I have an easier time getting work done. My skin is soft, too.

And the big one: I’ve lost five pounds in two weeks and my jeans are loose in the butt region. Five pounds is a lot of weight to lose that fast, but it’s common to lose fast at first, and I’m certain the weight loss will soon taper down to a more-reasonable one pound per week.

I plan on doing little fitness updates in my monthly recaps and a bigger post around Memorial Day or once I hit a major milestone.

But what I really, truly hope is that this is the beginning of a major lifestyle change for me. I’ve waited long enough.

What fitness goals do you have for 2017? What has worked for you? Share away!

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174 thoughts on “My Plan for 2017: A Commitment to Fitness”

  1. I REALLY encourage you to try a vegan diet. Google “high carb low fat” vegan. You will never have to restrict yourself and can eat as many whole plant foods as you want while losing weight. It is seriously amazing. I would never go back to paleo diet. Veganism speeds up your metabolism, while paleo slows it to a crawl. It’s cheap, easy, cruelty free, and good for the planet.

    You’ve written about global warming so much, and I urge you to watch Earthlings and other documentaries about the catastrophic environmental impact of animal agriculture. Eat figs, not pigs!

    1. Thanks, Anna. I have considered trying veganism at times — I’ll think about it more. In the past I used a vegan diet to drop weight every now and then. I’ll seriously think about it.

  2. New Years resolutions don’t really work (for me), so props to you Kate 🙂 I’m also hitting the gym twice a week to get fit, not necessarily thin. It’s more important to me what my body can DO rather than what it should LOOK like. This approach is also helping my mental health as well.

    It’s awesome that we’re both on a fitness journey for mind and health.

  3. As a fellow person who travels more than I’m home, I also face the challenge of not gaining weight on these trips. I focus on getting as many fruits and veggies as I can then add little things that make them taste good. Cruise ship buffets are actually the best when I can load up a giant plate with veggies and fruits. I’m also a gym regular and I do the 10,000 step challenge 6 days a week. Thanx for addressing this important topic.

  4. As someone who’s been mostly Paleo for three years (when not traveling), I definitely support this idea and am trying to be a more 80 percenter myself off AND on the road (as well as cut out daily lattes and cut back on drinking or at least make smarter alcohol choices). It’s so true that abs are gained in the kitchen, not the gym. Best of luck to you!

  5. Interesting. I’ve always had a few more pounds than I wanted, though always in the healthy range. I’ve always exercised, too–weekly or bi-weekly gym class, plus riding a stationary bike. But for the past two years I’ve done Pilates, and I can see the difference. My weight hasn’t changed but my body has (which is even more amazing because I’m not young). I’m way more toned and buff now. Love it!!!!
    All that said, I do eat healthy, and almost 100% homemade, not paleo, more almost-vegetarian. I am far more interested in being healthy than in being skinny.

  6. TBH, I think you look great as you are, but it’s how you feel that counts. And of course I would never discourage anyone from exercising and eating healthy foods. So good for you, taking charge of your health!

  7. This is so great! I am a personal trainer AND have the travel bug 🙂 I travel on little trips every weekend and big trips frequently too. It’s so hard to stay in shape due to eating while traveling. I always vow to make good food choices while on a trip but you HAVE to experience cuisine! During the week I train hard and feel so great because I have finally been able to achieve balance. That’s the key! Good luck, you will do amazingly!

  8. Hi, Kate!

    Thanks for sharing your plans and thoughts – this is truly inspiring. Sure, we all set resolutions and hope to get better at, well, life each year, but it’s refreshing to see such a down-to-earth plan with actionable ideas. Also, I couldn’t help but think that I kind of have a great idea for your goal to keep up exercise while traveling. I happen to be part of this startup that puts rentable bicycles on the streets of various cities around Europe (and soon the world 🙂 ) and lets people find and unlock them via an app. I think it’s exactly what you need: an easy and healthy way to get around and explore a new city when you’re traveling. I’d be happy to hook you up with a bike in places like Copenhagen, Barcelona, London etc. Just drop me a line if you’re interested, I’d love to tell you more about our project.

    Thanks for the awesome work you’re doing,

  9. I lost 50 lbs or so a few years ago. Now I struggle with a similar thing–after being told how thin I look (bc I used to be huge! I’m only 5’2″) I expect every picture of me to look thin–but it doesn’t. I honestly think that we have really similar body types. A steady stream of Flywheel, Flybarre, and yoga has been the best combo of keeping me lean. But in order to do it, it has to be super consistent. I also find that eating healthy makes me feel better, but overall does not contribute to keeping me lean as much as a steady workout schedule does. I can diet like crazy but not be nearly as thin as when I workout a bunch and eat whatever. After years of experimenting, I feel like you have to find the best diet-workout ratio for you that allows you to lead a happy and normal life so that it is SUSTAINABLE over a long period of time. Good luck!!

  10. Hi Kate, Try a skipping rope! It is cheap, easy to use and portable so you can take it travelling with you. It is also great cardio 🙂

  11. Love reading this! I was a spin instructor and personal trainer before I started traveling. Don’t be intimated by spin classes. Sure, they look hard, but just talk to the instructor before the class and let them know you’re a newbie. So many people fake classes that no one cares. A good instructor is not some who yells in your face the whole time. I’d like to thank Jillian Micheals for that perspective. Good instructors are the ones who are willing to help you, encourage you, and know when you have reached your limit and have you modify or stop. And, I’m so happy to hear that your focus is on strength training! So many people, especially women, focus too much on cardio. Strength training not only develops and defines your muscles but increases your metabolism so you burn more calories even while sleeping!

    Stay the course and you have so many readers rooting for you!

  12. Kate, the most important part is that you have decided for the change. That is crucial. Now you just don’t give up and I am sure you can be proud of yourself next year. Great thing about exercising and living healthy is that you feel strong not only physically, but also mentally, this is a million dollar feeling. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Tip for not giving up: Unless you or someone else die, don’t change the routine. Go and train even if you feel little bit sick, go even if you are crazy busy. Don’t think about it, just go as you planned. Make the habit.

    I have loved to train all my life and now I am starting a travel blog to have a change in my life, so it is funny how our ways of doing these things are the opposite 🙂

    Good luck. I wish you the best. Never give up. It is worth it!

    I wish you

  13. I just joined Equinox at Bryant Park today and gave your name for my referral! One of my best friends is a trainer at one of the UWS locations and I’ve been debating about joining for forever, but this post confirmed it for me—especially your points about needing the luxe environment to motivate you, because that is the most me, too. So thanks!!

  14. Congrats on your very attainable goals! In case you haven’t discovered them yet, and both have amazing recipes.

    Also, I lost some weight, then put muscle on and haven’t managed to lose my boobs, fingers crossed you won’t!

  15. I too have plans to get fit and healthy. For one, it helps me have a better mindset and I will be able to enjoy my travels more. I want to feel good about myself, and I commend you for doing the same. It’s not easy, but it will be worth it! Good luck!

  16. “Lose weight in the kitchen, Get fit in the gym”. That is the best quote I have ever heard in regards to exercise and weight loss! I have been spinning 3 times a week for the last 2 years religiously and couldn’t lose a pound! But when I started really reducing my portion sizes the weight started to fall off. I never finish my food anymore and always push away at about 80 % full. I am a Blue Zone (how people live to 100) fanatic which one part of their ‘rules’.

    We started traveling 2 years ago and I just haven’t figured out how to fit exercise in besides walking everywhere! I truly miss spinning when we travel. But I do try to stick to my 80% rule. I am just funny about going to ‘my’ spin class. Maybe my 2017 goal should be to visit a spin class another state or country! Take care and good luck! Love your snapchats!

  17. Really enjoyed this post… the part about being a fat bridesmaid reasoned too well with me :/ I could not commit to a diet/workout plan for the life of me for my sisters wedding during that time and ended up hating all my pics … anywho u live and move on. I started bootcamp as 2017 resolution and wake up at 4:15am to make it in time! Or I will have annoying message from instructor later for missing class.. best of luck with your fitness 🙂

  18. I’m right there with you Kate! I’ve put on so much weight I keep asking myself who’s that girl!? So I’m meal prepping and working out daily again. It’s a struggle to maintain in this crazy city of New York when everything is too fast but we’ve got this. After returning from Bali recently I also promised myself to mediate daily. It’s amazing how much time is wasted on other things of less importance but taking time for wellness and mental health often slips through the cracks. Good luck on your journey. Here’s to us both dropping 25 pounds in the immediate future!

  19. Fantastic! I love these health goals. I would also recommend The Five-Minute Journal. You basically write down things that you are grateful for each day, and what you want to accomplish:

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years. I am a fellow solo female traveler in my early 30s. I used to go on 4-5 trips a year, but that is slowing down. Changing goals and shifting priorities are a natural part of aging, so I totally understand your desire to create a home base. I think a lot of your readers would enjoy reading your health tips and recipe suggestions in addition to your travels, if that’s the route you decide to go. Best of luck! And as always, Happy Travels. 🙂

  20. Awesome job! As a former trainer at Equinox, I can attest that you are in the best of hands! It’s interesting to read about people’s fitness/health experiences when traveling. We tend to lose weight when we travel. However, my blogging tends to go downhill at these times as well. Doesn’t make sense. I know!

  21. How cool Kate, for this year I’m going to try to have a healthier diet, even because, to enjoy travel we should be in good health.

    Good luck Kate and be happy always …

  22. Totally there with you! Joined a fitness challenge from Feb – March to lose as much body fat as possible, haha. The prize is $1000 that I would be able to put to travel!! It sucks – I’m not one of those people who gets a high from going to the gym, the only reason I do is because I want to fit into my old clothes haha.

  23. I never understood why getting up early was considered better than staying up late. It seems counterproductive to me to get up early to work when I know I work best late at night

  24. Hi kate,

    i want to increase my weight, my weight so less according to my height 5.10ft but weight only 52kg. your post gives me a boost a motivation. i will definitely do this.

  25. So happy I’ve found your blog, I’ve connected with each post I’ve read so far! I was feeling similar at the end of 2016, but on top of that, I felt like I was just “busy” all over my life and not productive. In my online search for answers, I kept coming upon the importance of a morning routine, and it’s been working like a charm!! First off, I use a site called to calculate what time to go to bed to wake up before 6 am every weekday. I usually put all this info into my google calendar, so I hold myself accountable. The site has totally stopped my snooze habit! It’s amazing. Understanding my sleep cycles has made such a huge physical and mental improvement. Once I’m up I brush my teeth immediately, fix my bed, down a glass of water, put my vitamins out, meditate for a minimum of 3 minutes, then I workout. I use an app called 7-minute workout, and I love it! I can feel the difference in my body, and the exercise wakes my brain and body up further. Then I take a quick shower, fix my hair and makeup, get dressed, finish packing my work bag and head downstairs for breakfast. I also pack snacks & lunch for the day, so I don’t blow the budget then off to public transit! All in all, it takes me about 80 minutes, but ironically I get to work half an hour earlier now, and in turn, I’m able to plan my top 3 goals for that day. I was shocked how quickly I saw results with this new routine. I’ve also promised myself that I’m not going to take on more new habits (that’s where I usually fall off the wagon by overwhelming myself!) and keep these current habits up for 90 days! Thanks for sharing! I hope I may have shared a few good things too. Cheers to a new year!

    1. Erika, that is AMAZING! I’m proud of you! Such an amazing morning routine. That’s what I honestly need in my life but I’ve never been able to maintain anything like that…I should start!

  26. Hi Kate,

    I am EXACTLY THE SAME as you… except male…and 61 years old…and far less fit. But, my wife and I just retired and are busily breaking down our lives in Venice Beach, CA to start a “senior circuit” of world travel.

    We plan to be gone for a few years, not moving at a breakneck pace, but spending weeks/months at each destination we fall in love with. I am not planning any 30-hour bus rides in India as did my younger self.

    Our entire plan is dependent on maintaining health and fitness… well, first we have to get there… we won’t be having much time to get in shape before we leave the US, so we are looking to do so overseas.

    Our first destination is Bali. We have never been there. My question to you: do you think Ubud, the beaches and other Indonesian locales are a good place to spend a few months, eat well, exercise, get fit? We hope so. What other places do you think would make great locations for an inexpensive health & fitness retreat?

    Thank you,


    FYI–found your blog when I came across your review of the Pacsafe Travelsafe.

    1. If you’re into yoga, Ubud is one of the BEST places to stay fit while traveling! That town is yoga-crazy. If you’re not into yoga, I recommend you start, because it’s one kind of class that’s relatively easy to find all over the world.

      Beach towns with a decent foreign tourist/expat population often have fitness classes — I’d concentrate on those.

  27. Oh, you are going to feel sooooo good with all these changes!! Sounds like an amazing and do-able plan. I’ve been trying similar changes for 1.5 years and I feel so much better about my life and my self. Happy for you.

  28. Kate, if you ever need an accountability partner let me know! Fitness is one of my huge passions.

    One of the biggest things I recommend is also participating in events that give you goals or something to look forward too. I love 5Ks for that purpose. They come with so much variety: color runs, glow in the dark, Zombie Walks! haha. And I just got into Adventure Racing as well (obstacle courses, like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder) that have shorter distances. I just did my first two in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this year! (on the road now lol) Its a great way to socialize with people of the same goals and will make it a lot of fun!

    Last tip from my bodybuilding days, and hopefully your trainer agrees. Don’t worry as much about the weight! You can look FANTASTIC and slim and still weigh more. When I used to train, I put on 15 pounds of muscle, but still lost nearly 8% body fat and several inches off my waist… it totalled to the same weight I started!

    You got this girl 🙂 Let me know if you ever want to talk about it all cause I’m ALWAYS up for this topic 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Lexi! I’m definitely losing weight at a slower pace than I expected but packing on a ton of muscle. It’s exciting watching my body fat percentage go down — I started at 42% (I know. Very high and you would never guess that high from looking at me) and I’m down to 36% now with a goal of 20-25% or so. Just got a body weight percentage scale today from Amazon — excited to try it out tomorrow morning.

      I don’t think running is for me, but I might try to do a fun 5k sometime! My sister has recently started running; her boyfriend is running the Boston Marathon this April.

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