Wait. Who are you?

My name is Ali, and I’m a fitblr. I am 21 years old and a graduate student in the English Department of my university. I am engaged to my wonderful Paul, who is the most amazing person I know. From July 2009 to January 2011, I lost ~90 lbs. Since then, I have gained about 10 lbs of nearly straight muscle. I am currently training for Women of Ninja Warrior. I am also an amateur traceuse with hopes of training at Tempest Freerunning Academy.

What are your basic stats?

Age: 21 (22 on July 27)
Height: 65.5 inches
Weight: 137.8 (13 July)

As of 13 July:
Bench Press: 60 lbs
Squatz: 100 lbs
Deadlift: 110 lbs

How did you lose all that weight?!

For the first year, I worked out and ate healthy. I kept my caloric intake between 1200 and 1500, and worked out every day for at least an hour. My primary form of exercise was hooping - a mixture of hula-hooping and dance. However, in the summer of 2010, I suffered a relapse in my ED, and for about a year, while my mindset was really warped, I was not consciously restricting (though some days, I did by accident). In late May 2011, I decided to devote my attention to recovery while still maintaining my athleticism. Since then, i have been eating at least 2000 calories a day, and am finally starting to break through some of those issues that have caused my ED.

What does a normal week of workouts look like? 

It varies. I workout at least six days a week most weeks, sometimes less, if I go particularly hard one day. I run or use the stationary bike at least three days a week, go to Zumba 1-2 nights a week, do Pilates 1-2 nights a week, and currently play soccer with a club team on Tuesday nights. I strength train 2-3 days a week, usually 2 days of upper body and 1 day of lower body. I also hoop and play WiiFit on light days.

What do you eat? How much do you eat?

I try to eat about 2000 calories a day, but I always make sure my net is above 1200 (usually shooting for 1500). I am trying to break away from calorie counting soon, though. As far as what I eat, I am currently living pescatarian again. I realized recently that I have an intolerance to chicken, and I haven’t had red meat in over two years. I mostly eat fruits, veggies, tofu, PBJ sandwiches, whole grain spaghetti, and protein bars. A lot of protein bars. Occasionally I eat fish, but that is very rare these days. I keep my protein and carbs high (100+g/250-300g respectively), and don’t pay much attention to fat (usually 45-60g).

What made you change your life?

I really don’t remember what clicked for me. In December 2009, I was told that I destroyed some of the cartilage in my knees because of being overweight/obese, but I was so scared of succumbing to my ED again that I refused to lose weight. I do remember, in July 2009, reading the nutritional information of the box of mac’n’cheese I had just eaten, and being shocked by how many calories were in it. So I decided to start counting. I did some research to figure out how much I should eat to lose weight, and kept my intake within that range. It kind of spiraled from there.

What do you like outside of fitness?

Regardless of my new fit life, I have always wanted to be a novelist. I have written two novel-length projects in the YA fantasy genre, and I am currently working on a zombie YA novel and another fantasy YA novel. I also write poetry (some of which as been published) and direct/write short films. While I think I want to be a personal trainer, being a writer is always my number one goal. I read a lot of YA (currently: The Hunger Games) and SF (currently: Never Let Me Go). I am an SF fanatic, my favorites being the Tenth Doctor, Firefly/Serenity, Inception.

Do you have stretch marks/excess skin? What do you do about them? Are you going to have the excess skin removed?

I do have some excess skin and stretch marks, particularly on my stomach. But I have adopted Jillian Michael’s philosophy about stretch marks - that they are battle scars from the fight for my body. They are nothing to be ashamed of, and show all of the hard work I have put in to lose the weight and get healthy. As far as the excess skin is concerned, I have already seen it tighten up on it’s own, so I highly doubt I will ever get it surgically removed. If it becomes a health concern, however, I will deal with it.