He & She Eat Clean | Healthy Recipes & Workout Plans

5 Things I Did {and Didn't Do} to Achieve My "Dream Body"

Body Image, Getting StartedWhitney CarlsonComment


Join our newsletter and get the instant download. We never spam you - we only bring you the best workouts and recipes each week! Click here to join now.

Note: We're on Snapchat! You can find us under hesheeatclean. We will be posting more of our meals, workouts, and money saving tips! Also, follow us on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and Twitter!


After posting a few of my He and She Unfiltered posts I not only received a ton (and I mean A TON) of messages from people (especially other trainers) who struggle with the same thing but I also received questions from people asking me how I achieved this balance in the beginning. This is really asking me how I made my transformation. I've touched on it a little bit in other posts but I'll outline it here again.

I don't really like "Dream Body" but that's what first came to mind so I'm rolling with it, hoping this reaches someone trying to achieve that "Dream Body". I wouldn't say that the body that I have right now isn't my dream body. It isn't when I compare myself to others but it is when I'm focused on what my body is CAPABLE of. So, I guess it's safe to say that this was my "Dream Body" then and I still have my "Dream Body" - it's that my definition has changed.

I have made such amazing progress since posting about my body image issues - you can read about them here.

THIS is my DREAM BODY. I visit places that I dream about and use my body to explore them.

Zion National Park (Angels Landing Trail)

 Saying "I can't believe I just did that...", climbing the highest peak in the lower 48, Mount Whitney.

One of the prettiest places I've ever seen, Glacier National Park in Montana! 

I wasn't and I still am not very competitive. I never played sports in school. I did cheer and play softball for years but it was just a rec league. I never tried out for anything. I never worried about my weight or my appearance either. I was never that girl in the gym running for two hours and eating 800 calories. I never counted calories and cardio bored the crap out of me. It wasn't until my husband introduced me to weight lifting that I actually found something that I wanted to do. But even then I still wasn't competitive. People would tell me all the time "You should compete" but I have never wanted to do a competition. Nothing about getting up on a stage half naked, having my body compared and critiqued against others appealed to me. I want you to understand that this is coming from someone with a completely blank fitness and nutrition background - I wasn't your all-American athlete in school or someone who has struggled with body image issues before.

With that being said, after entering this "health and fitness world" and having people ask me questions about what I do I quickly learned that every one seems to be looking for that magic pill or the quick fix that will make all their worries and extra body fat disappear. Well, you probably know by now that there is no magic pill, it's all up to YOU.

This might surprise you but the first place you have to start is in your mind.

It doesn't matter what is or isn't on your plate or what is or isn't in your training routine. It's what is in your mind that matters most.

So, without further ado this is how I achieved the body of my dreams:

1. Positive Thinking AND Talking

When I decided to change my lifestyle I also changed my thoughts. I started looking at things from a different perspective. This isn't to say that it was all sunshine and rainbows but I always tried to find the good in whatever it was. I did this while working a high-stress job that I hated so I know that it can be done! I would also talk to myself. Yep, I would talk to myself. POSITIVELY. Even if it had nothing to do with being healthy - it could even just be "wow my hair looks good today" or something similar. I started each day with positive thoughts and talks!

2. One Day at a Time

I took it one day at a time. I didn't care what I was going to look like or be doing in a month or three months down the road. I was just living my life, talking and thinking positively and living in the moment. I did go on to prepare for a photo shoot (as the picture above shows) but that was only for a short period of time. The rest of the time was spent just living life. It was always just one foot in front of the other. One meal. One workout. One day. It was a lifestyle. There was NO finish line.

3. NOT Comparing Myself to Others

I started blogging about my journey in March 2012 on my personal blog and I didn't go back and read through all of the posts but from what I can remember (and what I saw) I only posted ONE picture of someone who I "wanted to look like". As I mentioned in my post on how getting into fitness ruined my body image, it wasn't until Instagram really took off in the fitness industry that I fell into the comparison trap and it's truly been one of the most difficult things I've had to deal with. I never thought anything could consume someone so much. I'm so thankful that I haven't lived my whole life like this though and really hope to help others work on getting out of this same trap. Bottom line - I didn't compare myself to others. I wasn't competing with anyone. I wasn't even competing with myself. I was just living a healthy lifestyle.

4. Hard Work

I worked hard. I loved it. I was passionate about it. I trained 4-6 days per week (4-6 days per week weight training and 2-3 days of cardio). I didn't ever "over-train" but I was pretty much always on target with my workouts. I also had a personal trainer for about three months before my photo shoot. Same thing with my eating. I didn't ever restrict my calories (again, I am NOT a girl that will starve herself to be thin) but was always on target with my meals and we didn't eat out often.

5. Determination AND Consistency

As the ones above show, I was (and still am) very determined and consistent. I never had a goal date or finish line when I started. I wanted to be happy and healthy. Giving up has never been an option. Sure, I'll skip a workout if I'm sick or just not feeling it but giving up on a healthy lifestyle is never going to happen. What would I be giving up on? Basically everything I love and enjoy. If you don't feel the same way you should try to find an exercise routine that you do enjoy (try one of our She Sweats workout plans!) and find healthy meals that you do love! To me, there is no other option.

To be completely honest with you though...

I don't know if I would have made the transformation I did if social media was the same back then (I know it was only 4 years ago but so much has changed - and I sound really old saying that). Social media is one of the main reasons that I fell into the comparison trap and why, for awhile, I was only accomplishing 3 out of these 5 things. I forgot the most important two...positive thinking and not comparing myself. Although I am healthy, a size four (definitely the smallest I've ever been, aside from my photo shoot), workout 4-6 days per week, and eat healthy I would still find myself falling into the comparison trap because of social media. I would not change anything about my journey because I consider everything a learning experience and I honestly think I went through this in order to help others. It's definitely been an amazing ride these last 4+ years and the fact that my husband and I still continue to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle shows that we have been successful!

Please use these tips and by learn how to love YOURSELF so you can be on your way to a healthy "Dream Body".