Paige Mariah is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based out of Chicago. Though her channel was originally created to display her eclectic style, Paige found a new passion to share with her thousands of followers.
The Windy City Blogger pursued a plant based diet and rigorous cardio to achieve her weight loss goal of 40 lbs. This Hampton University alumna will share the secrets of how she accomplished this amazing feat and defeated her self-saboteur.
Paige’s workout routine is consistent and well rounded but the mantra keeping her motivated instead of diving into Chic-Fil-A Nuggets is “if there’s something you really like and you’re trying to slowly let it go, limiting it to a once a week treat is a good idea.”
Growing up, did your family stress a healthy lifestyle?
My mom would definitely encourage me to eat my veggies and have an apple a day to keep the doctor away..things like that. Everyone in my family is pretty active but there was definitely still a lot that we had to learn about nutrition. When I decided to change my eating habits, I encouraged my family to join me. I actually went through all of our cabinets and made them throw a lot of things away, especially food items with an outrageous amount of sodium. They still joke about how devastating that day was for them!
When was the moment of realization that made you want to change your health habits?
I got to the point where I was completely uncomfortable with how I looked and felt. I didn’t like how I looked in photos anymore. As a style blogger that can be an issue! More importantly, I knew my path was only going to lead to future health problems. I was eating and drinking whatever I wanted and that rarely included vegetables or anything good for me.
How important was reaching your goal weight to this process? Or was it more about improving your overall health?
I believe that having a goal weight in mind is great during a weight loss journey and it can be used as motivation. However, it should never be the only motivating factor. The scale has the ability to drive you completely nuts. Weight fluctuates all the time and it is not the only measure of progress. Once you embrace this new lifestyle with the main goal being good health, then a lower number on the scale just becomes a bonus.
What kinds of fitness do you find most enjoyable?
I have fallen in love with weight training! I’m having so much fun watching myself become stronger. I used to be so intimidated by the idea of lifting weights but now I look forward to lifting them 6 days a week. I also really enjoy HIIT cardio, it feels like torture all the way through but I feel amazing after I finish!
Have you influenced any of your friends or family members to join you on this journey?
Yes! I’ve watched my parents make many changes in their diets after listening to my tips. I’m super proud of them! I’ve also received a lot of messages from followers on social media letting me know my journey has inspired them to start their own. Messages like that actually make my day and they probably don’t even realize that they’re motivating me to keep going too!
Are there any unexpected ways your life has changed since you underwent this experience?
I’ve discovered that I am stronger than I ever really knew. Not just physically, but mentally. This weight loss journey has been a complete test of my mental strength and willpower. Making healthier decisions is not always easy. This time last year, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me that I’d be eating vegetables multiple times a day. I’ve pushed myself to go to the gym when I had absolutely no motivation. When I’m feeling down, I take my frustration out in a workout instead of sulking in my bed and eating. I’ve not only watched myself transform physically but on the inside..and that has probably been the biggest reward of all.
Do you have any pro lifestyle blogger tips you would like to share about eating healthy and working out?
Remember that this is a lifestyle! You will have good days and bad days, but just remember that each second is another chance to start over. You don’t have to wait until Monday or the 1st of the month to change your life. For this to be sustainable, you have to understand that this journey will not be perfect and it is completely unique to you. Don’t compare your progress to anyone else and just enjoy this beautiful transformation.
Do you feel like being in the public eye was motivation to see this journey through? Or is it more pressure?
At the beginning, I kept my journey private and then I slowly started sharing on Snapchat. I was so surprised by all of the positive messages that I was receiving and soon felt comfortable sharing more and more. Now I make weekly Youtube videos about my journey- can’t really get more public than that! I’d say that sharing my journey with the public has kept me more motivated.
Do you think your blog and YouTube channel will focus more on health in the future due to this experience?
My YouTube channel and blog have grown over the years and will always focus on what is important to me at each point in my life. Health and fitness is a major part of my life right now and I don’t see that ever changing. Therefore, I can see it being a big focus but I could never forget about my love for style and I will incorporate more fashion focused videos as well.
What have been your greatest challenges throughout this lifestyle change, and how did you overcome them?
There have been times where I just wanted to quit. Meal prepping 3-4 hours every Sunday and dedicating multiple hours to the gym each week definitely takes a lot of effort. Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing. I overcome these feelings by being realistic with myself in this journey. I remind myself why I’m doing this and how it’s only for my good. I also make sure that I never feel restricted and I allow myself to rest as needed. It’s all about self-care! Treat your body well and it will treat you even better.
Any health trends you want to try in the future like juicing, veganism, pilates, or anything else?
I’d actually love to try a boxing work out class. I’m in support of whatever people choose to do to assist them in living a healthier life..as long as they keep it up once the trend goes away!