Hey there. I’m Alex Sliva (that’s sleev-uh) and I decided to create my own blog that channels… my life. In case you’re curious, the name of my blog “The Plum Foodie” comes from my name, actually. Sliva means plum in Polish. Plum/food/blog… it meshes 🙂
I’ve got a husband, a daughter and a (healthy) fitness and food addiction. I like to write. I have lots of free time when the little one is napping away. Why not combine it all and start journaling here on the web to share all my fun fitness tips, nutritious recipes and random thoughts for you all to read when you’re nice and bored?
Here’s my story. Read it or don’t. Head on over to the recipes and fitness stuff if you’d rather. I just feel like I need to get this all out on “paper” because it’s how I got to where I am today. It’s an explanation of why and how my life has gone from unhealthy habits and zero exercise to being a self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for fitness.
This is pretty new to me. Never growing up was I ever really a healthy eater. That’s not to say all I ate was junk all day but I could take peas or leave ‘em. Sure, I’d have an apple I guess but I’d much rather have the brownie (or 2 or 3). Wheat pasta? Pshh.. forget about it. Give me the WHITE carbs. Broccoli??? You’ve got to be kidding me… bleh! Despite my mama trying to teach me well, I was a stubborn and picky eater and usually just ate copious amounts of dessert after a decently healthy dinner. I’m talking milkshakes that could leave a hippo stuffed. Cookies, cookies and more cookies. As you can tell, I’ve got a seriously sweet tooth that just won’t quit.
Coming home from high school I went straight to the fridge and grabbed anything I could get my hands on. How did I have such a huge appetite? Let’s blame it on teen years and hormones… that makes me feel a little better at least. I distinctly remember eating half a bag of cheddar goldfish and washing it down with a Coke in front of the TV before my parents got home. Holy gross – but at the time, it was pure delight. I never thought about nutrients, calories, vitamins or anything of the sort. And I was never heavy growing up. I always remained a skinny mini. So why think about food when I clearly wasn’t at an unhealthy weight? My goal was to get food into my belly pronto and so that’s what I did.
College was nothing short of awesome. It was the very first time I was on my own with zero familiar faces around. But sure enough, I made friends rather quickly and what better way to make friends than over lots of alcohol and “drunk food” as I like to call it which is basically anything that comes from a college cafeteria. I’m talking burgers, fries, waffles, hash browns, soft serve, chocolate milk, donuts, bagels, muffins, and the list could quite literally go on forever. There was an endless amount of food at my fingertips just waiting to be devoured. Having an all-you-can-eat meal plan will do that to you, too. Again, all throughout college, not once did I think about what I was eating and how it was ultimately affecting my body. Surprisingly, I didn’t put on much weight either. In fact, I never even owned a scale, let alone stepped on one throughout my whole life really, so I figured that if my clothes were still fitting, I was good to go.
This all changed after my life changed. Keira came along. Well first Mike came along, and then Miss Keira but I’ll get to her in a minute.
I met Mike through mutual friends: my friend was dating his friend. Anna and John came to my college over their spring break to visit me (and by visit I mean laugh… drink… party… drink… drink – you get the picture). Over their vacation they were making rounds to all different colleges to visit friends. Next up after my place they were headed to Mike’s school. John and Anna talked Mike up so much that I knew I had to meet him that summer. Not so fast – why not meet him the very next day? It only took about 5 minutes for Anna and John to convince me to skip my Friday classes and come with them to Mike’s. In case you were wondering, I ended up PASSING all of those classes… with flying colors, I might add!
I won’t bore you with all the mushy details but I saw Mike and Mike saw me and whether he knew it at that moment or not, he was going to be my husband. We hit it off right from the start, kept in touch for the rest of the semester and dated as soon as we both got home from school for the summer. Best. Summer. Ever.
Two years later (just 4 days short of the anniversary of our first date!) we were married. And then came Keira.
Pregnancy was no picnic for me. I imagined it would be blissful. I thought it would be a walk in the park. No, sir. For me, pregnancy was tiring and uncomfortable and nothing short of miserable (at least in the last month or so). Mike and I had moved to upstate NY where he started working. I, on the other hand, was just sitting around waiting for him to come home. You see, his job made us move around the country every six months or so for a couple of years. What was the point in getting a job after moving to NY when I was expecting just three months later?
So I occupied my time with exploring around my new town, visiting some family I had close by and eating. A lot. I lived a very sedentary lifestyle for most of my pregnancy. In the morning I would share a chocolate Instant Breakfast packet with Mike mixed in whole milk. Then I’d nap. Then I’d wake up and eat 2 heaping bowls of Honey Bunches of Oats… with whole milk. And after that, I’d just snack all day long. I ate while driving, I ate while watching TV, and I ate while reading books and magazines. I ate when Mike got home from work, I ate dinner, and I ate dessert. I ate after Mike went to bed. Every. Day. I will say, though, that I did incorporate more healthy foods into my diet mainly for the bun in the oven’s sake. I’d say that was the first time I really thought about what was going into my body. But it still didn’t stop me from indulging in whatever I wanted and whenever my little heart desired.
A full 45 pounds later I delivered little Keira at 6 lbs, 15 oz and 22 inches long. She was so perfect and beautiful and sweet. Well, she still is (when she isn’t melting down into a puddle on the floor after I tell her it’s bed time). She’s by far the best thing to ever happen to Mike and me and I wouldn’t change her coming into our lives for anything.
While I truly love my little Keira, I did not love the place my body was in after having her. The first 25 pounds or so came off pretty quickly and I give lots of credit to breastfeeding! After that, though, I was really starting to miss my old body but since I was so used to eating whatever I wanted and not gaining any weight (with the exception of my pregnancy), I thought that I could go back to doing that and somehow I would bounce back into my tight little body I once had.
Not the case. Not the case at all. And for a long time, I ignored it. I thought in the back of my head that it would take time for my body to go back to the way it was. And it would take time. But it would take a whole lot more than time for it to look the way it did pre-Keiraface.
I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t want to be ashamed of my body, but I also didn’t want to put in the work and effort that I knew was required of me to look and feel my best. I think I was in denial. I didn’t change my eating habits and I didn’t even attempt to get any sort of exercise. After all, Mike and I were moving every 6 months and I was simultaneously taking online courses to finish up my degree and caring for a newborn. And those were my excuses: that I didn’t have the time.
A little over a year ago I graduated from college and we were living back in NY after having been in NY for the first round where Keira was born, then North Carolina and Delaware. I was absolutely fed up with the way I looked. I think it just dawned on me one day that I just needed to change my whole lifestyle in order to not be so miserable about my body. To tell you the truth, I think I kind of panicked. I just wanted to lose it all over night and be done with it. So I went about it all the wrong way. I limited my calorie intake to 1000 per day and went to the gym at least 5 days a week for an hour. I used the elliptical, participated in spinning classes and used free weights. All of this left me drained, cranky and frustrated that my body wasn’t in perfect condition after a month of this intense lifestyle which led me to give up and go back to pretending that if I prayed enough for it, my abs would appear, my butt would shrink, my thighs would lean out and my arm jiggle would be nonexistent.
The pretending didn’t last long. We moved to Connecticut – where we are both from – and I was back to desiring that body I knew I could get but this time I was genuinely ready to put in the time, effort and dedication toward meeting my goals.
It all started when one afternoon Mike and I were lounging around while Keira was napping. We were on Facebook looking at people we hadn’t seen in a while when Mike came across someone he knew from high school who had posted before and after pictures of himself titled “P90X”. Intrigued, I took a look and to my amazement, the kid actually looked great. I say I was amazed because I’d heard of the program before but never knew anyone personally who did it and so I waved the idea away thinking it was the same old infomercial scam. But this kid’s after pictures were astonishing.
P90X is a combination of a fitness plan and an eating plan that work together to drastically transform your body in only 90 days. I figured I could definitely do one hour a day, 6 days a week for 3 months. That’s like a semester! And God knows I got through plenty of those, surely I could get through this.
Mike and I then Googled P90X results and there it was again: pictures of real people with real results. On to YouTube. Same deal: people posting videos of their transformations. It was inspiring to say the least. After talking about it for a while, we decided to purchase the program so I could give it a shot. I honestly looked at it as my last resort: do this and do it right or continue to be unhappy with myself.
It. Changed. My. Life. It really did. Not only was it full of tough (more like excruciating) daily workouts that left me tired and sweating (but the good kind!), it taught me what to eat and how to eat it. I followed the “diet plan” to a T and I didn’t miss a workout. I wanted to make sure that my results would be the best they possibly could be – no cheating, no giving up – just plain hard work.
I completed my first round of P90X in May. I’m on to my second round, but this time because I’ve learned so much about food and fitness, I’m doing it on my own terms. I choose the workout I feel like doing that day and I’ve also incorporated running to my routine. As mentioned before, the program taught me about food and calories and what your body needs for maximum results. I no longer truly crave junk food anymore like I used to. In fact, if I do indulge in something that isn’t normally part of my diet, my body responds to it negatively. I now pick and choose carefully when indulging. I’ve learned how to eat clean and though it did take quite a bit of time, my body now really craves clean foods instead of the unhealthy and processed garbage that it used to.
Exercising regularly and eating clean has turned my life around. I lost all of the weight I gained during pregnancy, and then some – healthily. I am living proof that you can change your eating habits around, get healthy and LIVE a better life because of it. I’m a better mom, a better wife and a better person all around. I am not going to lie – it took a whole lot of serious dedication and commitment but the results I’ve achieved prove to be worth every second of my time and effort and I don’t regret a single moment of it.