Overall, A Good Day

Today is shaping up to be a pretty good day. Even though we didn’t get another day off from school due to the ice storm, it is supposed to be a little warmer today, which is always welcome. Tonight is Bachelor Night for me and my friends (if you’ve already seen week 7, no spoilers please!) and that alone makes Wednesday one of my favorite days of the week. No matter how my day is going, there is nothing that boxed wine and Colton Underwood can’t fix.

I got these overalls for Christmas and I’m obsessed with them. I love them paired with a sweater or turtleneck, but I’m excited for consistently warmer weather so I can try them out with some t-shirts as well.


Sweater: Seafoam Green Sweater (similar)
Overalls: Skinny Denim Overalls – Macy’s
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

I hope everyone has a good day, like mine looks like it will be!


Wintry Mix

In the cruelest twist of fate, OU cancelled class because of severe weather after I was already done for the day. Despite having to go to class when I was hoping for a full day of school closure, I did get to try out this cute outfit, so it wasn’t all bad.

I’m a big fan of berets and French style in general, and I thought this was a good combination for a potentially snowy day. (Once school was cancelled, I promptly drove home and traded it for pajamas, though. I’m human.)


Hat: Black Beret (similar)
Sweater: Black Sweater (similar)
Scarf: Plaid Scarf (similar)
Jeans: Rockstar 24/7 Jeggings – Old Navy
Boots: Ellie Waterproof Knee High Riding Boot – BLONDO

Stay warm, and check back soon for my next #OOTD!


Counting Calories and Achieving Your Health/Fitness Goals

While restricting daily calories to extremely low numbers is definitely unhealthy, regularly monitoring your calorie intake isn’t. In fact, in my experience it’s one of the only ways I can consistently reach my health and fitness goals!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, so please don’t take this as if I’m giving you personalized diet advice, because I promise I’m in no way qualified to do that. This is just what’s worked for me personally in the past and the themes I’ve consistently seen through research on the subject. I recommend going to see a nutritionist or talking to your doctor before making any major change in your diet, and of course what works for me may not always be what works for you.

First of all, I’m going to start by saying that eating in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight, as long as you don’t have any medical conditions which either enhance or obstruct weight loss, which is why tracking your calories is so important. I have always used an app called MyFitnessPal. You can’t counteract a bad diet with exercise, so you need to have an idea of what you’re putting in your body to achieve a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is whenever you eat less calories than you naturally burn off in a day. You can find an estimation of your daily expenditure here. Once you know your average of what your body burns in a typical day, subtract 500 calories from that, and that’s around where you should be eating if you want to see weight loss at a healthy rate. (Just make sure you don’t eat less than 1200 a day, because that can harm your health in the long term.)

Personally, I stick to around 1300 a day if I’m trying to lose weight. Some days my average is more, and some days I my average is less, especially if I got a workout in that morning. But for me, 1300 is the number I stick to. It’s all about balance! It’s the long-term average that matters.

As you can see, both weeks had days where I was over my 1300 calorie goal. But the average daily calorie intake throughout the two weeks is 1314, which is right around where I want to be.

Before consistently counting calories, I was the victim of the yo-yo diet, which is when you lose weight super super quickly through extreme diet restriction, only to gain it back just as quickly because of a period of binge eating. It sounds counterintuitive, but consistently counting calories (but not restricting too much) helped me overcome that. 1300 calories is a level that is sustainable for me when my goal is to lose some weight. By filling my day with healthy, filling foods I never feel overly hungry or tired.

Despite seeing substantial weight loss through the past 8 months, (something I’ll touch on more in a later blog post) it was at a slow enough rate that it was sustainable for me. Yes, I lost 35 pounds, but it was over the course of about 32 weeks, which puts me at just over a pound a week. (For reference, a healthy rate to lose weight is 1-2 pounds a week.) I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m getting there. And once I get to my goal weight, I’ll increase my calorie intake to a level that helps me sustain that, and takes me out of the calorie deficit range.

Calorie counting isn’t bad. It’s the only thing that helps me be consistent.

I have terrible self-awareness when it comes to what I eat, so tracking it is the only way for me to keep an accurate estimate in my mind of how much I’m actually consuming. I’m the type of person where if I’m not tracking what I’m eating, I’m probably gaining weight because I tend to overeat. So that’s why I choose to monitor my intake, even if what I eat isn’t always perfect.

Monitoring and budgeting my calories is what helps me live a life I enjoy while also being able to meet my weight-loss goals. I can still go out to eat- I regularly enjoy a Whataburger dinner with my littles or a Torchy’s date with my best friend. I can eat what I want, in moderation, and still advance myself towards the body and health that I want.

Calorie counting, when done right, is not unhealthy. And counting everything I consume doesn’t make it an obsession. It’s just a tool I use to help me shape my body into the way I want it to be. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking something is unhealthy just because it takes some self-discipline and time to get used to it.

If you have more questions on this topic, I am probably not the right person to answer them. However, I would love to help direct you to a source that can answer any questions you may have. Just let me know.


P.S. If you don’t want to count calories, this isn’t me saying you absolutely should. I advocate for self love and body positivity for everyone. I just know for me personally, I feel more confident when I’m at a weight I like. And if you’re like that too, I wanted to share some tips on how the routine that works for me.

My Fitness Routine: February 2019

Fitness has become a huge part of my life recently. I aim to work out 4-5 times a week, simply because it makes me happy and feel great about myself for the rest of the day.

For the month of February, it’s been so cold that even the 60 second run down to my apartment gym sounds miserable. So instead, I’ve taken to doing all of my workouts in my bedroom!

A specific genre of workouts that I’ve fallen in love with recently are dance workouts. I find all my workouts on YouTube, and the channel I’ve found with the best dance workout videos is Dance Fitness with Jessica. She has tons of songs from all different genres, so it wasn’t hard for me to compile my own playlist full of songs I like. I’m not a great dancer, but in the comfort of my own bedroom it’s fun and gets me active.

If Dance Fitness with Jessica isn’t your style, then I recommend looking up Just Dance playlists on YouTube- seriously. I added a few of my favorite #throwbacks from Just Dance 2/3 to my workout playlist and cycle through them occasionally. They’re super easy to follow along and achievable for people of any skill level! I have very little coordination, but can still pull them off pretty well.

My favorite throwbacks from the Just Dance era that I enjoy incorporating into my workout routine are:

Dance fitness has become such a fun way to get my body moving without it feeling like typical cardio! And there’s way more resources out there than the ones I mentioned, so if dance fitness interests you, there’s more out there than just these options.

If you give this workout style a try, be sure to let me know what you think!


Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets

One of my favorite places to eat in Norman is a restaurant called Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets. Run by two brothers, Tino’s is a Philidelphia-inspired deli that offers a wide range of food options, from Philly cheesesteaks to Italian ice.

Personally, my go-to order is a soft pretzel and french fries, and the difference maker is the “white whiz”, the cheese dip that comes with it. It’s so good, I could drink it- and once, on a dare, I actually did.

But beyond the food, I love Tino’s because of its atmosphere. There’s always 80s music playing (my favorite), and the workers really make an effort to get to know their regular customers. I love being greeted by Valentino Pistilli, one of the owners, every time I come in. He never fails to greet me when I come in, check on me as I eat, and say goodbye as I’m heading out the door.

I rarely go to Tino’s by myself. Even for a “small,” the french fry portions are huge and I prefer to split them with someone. It’s also a great place to come and work on a project or paper with a friend; they have free Wifi and the casual atmosphere makes it a great place to study.

If you live in the Norman area, I highly recommend stopping by Tino’s on Main Street and giving it a try. And if you get the chance to go, make sure you let me know what you think!


My Own Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I personally love February 14, even if I’m single (mostly because that means I don’t need to buy gifts for anyone other than myself.) Today I took the phrase “treat yourself” very literally! I went to Torchy’s for lunch, something I rarely do anymore, and then came home and let myself have a nice, relaxing nap. It’s shaping up to be a good day all around!

I wasn’t planning on dressing festive today, but after spotting this pink skirt in the back of my closet I knew I couldn’t resist. For those of you who knew me 3-4 years ago, my statement necklace is probably bringing back some strong “retro Kayla” vibes. I haven’t worn one in a while, but today reminded me how cute they are!

Shop the look:

Shirt: Women’s Fitted Short Sleeve Crew T-Shirt – Target
Necklace: Statement Necklace (similar)
Skirt: Pink Pleated Skirt (similar)

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day! Eat lots of candy for me, and check back soon to see my next #OOTD!


Jenny From The Block

Hey everyone! It’s time for another #OOTD post!

Today I’m heavily feeling my braids, as you can see. I thought they really pulled this outfit together (I usually wear my hair down.) I love the gold accents from my earrings and my belt and that the whole outfit is so delightfully neutral while also sporting an extremely bold print. (I also was told that I gave off Jenny from the Block vibes, which inspired the title.)

Shop the look:

Hat: Newsboy Cap (similar)
Earrings: Smooth Metal C Hoop Earrings – Target
Turleneck: Leopard Turtleneck (similar)
Jeans: Mid-Rise Rockstar 24/7 Jeans – Old Navy
Belt: Loop Belt – Target
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

Thanks for reading! Keep checking back so you don’t miss my next #OOTD!