What is Irieday?

Irie / adj / total peace with your current state of being, to have no worries

Irieday is a blog dedicated to approaching health, food, fitness, and life in a beatific, natural way. After spending so much of my time growing up yo-yoing between diets, losing and gaining, obsessing over my weight without understanding the science behind nutrition and fitness, I finally found my happy place when I stepped back, took a breather, and embraced an irie lifestyle.

To be irie can mean different things to different people, but on this blog it involves aiming to eat clean food with natural, unprocessed ingredients, seeking fitness by embracing your body and the opportunities it allows for exploring nature, and falling in love with your lifestyle.

There are a lot of voices in the health and fitness world but I wanted to start this blog because after losing about forty pounds by making simple changes to my lifestyle. I felt as if I had a unique approach that warranted being shared. It’s taken me quite a lot of time to become comfortable with the idea that I had a story worth telling and I am by no means done with my weightloss journey. However, after relentless encouragement from family and friends eager to recreate my recipes or read about the training that went into my first half-marathon, Irieday was born.

We always read about how weightloss results not when you just make changes to your diet but when you make a lifestyle change. In my experience, this couldn’t be more emphasized. It wasn’t until I began studying and investigating the science behind nutrition and fitness that I finally began to understand weightloss and the misunderstandings that had hindranced and discouraged me in the past. ‘Blind’ programs like Weight Watchers may work for some, but understanding the science behind the results is what allowed for my prolonged success.

Similarly, It wasn’t until I began substituting certain gym days for outdoor adventures that I began enjoying fitness. I had never considered myself an athlete despite being a part of several sports teams when I was younger because I never enjoyed what I was doing. As I repurposed exercise as a stress-reliever and began using my time for workouts to get outside and see the world every once in awhile, I truly began to look forward to it.

By reading Irieday, I hope you can learn from my experiences but more importantly I hope you can personally transform and apply the lessons to your own lifestyle. I’m not perfect—no one who writes or researches health and fitness is—but I absolutely love the way my life has changed in the past year and simply want to share the experiences.

Make every day and irieday by working hard and radiating positive vibes,

Meela

About Meela

My name is Meela Dudley, I am 23 years old and I've been blogging in one form or another for a few years now. I was born in Connecticut, grew up spending the majority of my time in New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. I attended Carnegie Mellon University where I received a Bachelors in Professional Writing, a Bachelors in Creative Writing, and two minors in Nutrition and Global Systems and Management. I extended my stay at Carnegie Mellon for two additional years to earn my Masters in Professional Writing and my Masters in Journalism which allowed me to travel to Glasgow for a semester to study Investigative and Digital Journalism at the University of Strathclyde.

It was my first nutrition class, which I took as an elective during undergrad, that garnered my interest in diet and fitness. At that time, I was in a three-year-long relationship that had caused me to develop some pretty unhealthy eating habits. Similarly I was applying to graduate programs, maintaining my grades, working as an intern, and heading several clubs and organizations including my position as Student Body Vice President at my university. Saying I was busy is an understatement, and I'd be lying if I denied using my schedule as an excuse to live a rather stationary life. In short, I gained a large amount of weight during the last two years of my undergraduate career. 

When I began studying nutrition, I finally decided to trim the 'fat' out of my life--starting with the unhealthy habits responsible for my weight gain. I had started graduate school and was making an effort to keep my schedule manageable. I also decided to end my unhealthy relationship and signed up for my first half-marathon. As I began implementing nutritional science, experimenting with food, and training for my first race the weight began to fall off. 

It didn't take long for nutrition and fitness to change not only my lifestyle, but my life. I worked on a food blog network for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, helped publish fitness and food titles at McGraw-Hill Education and Hachette Book Group, and finally developed Irieday to share my newfound approach to living with you all. I hope you enjoy what you read here and thanks so much for your support!

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My Races

3/23/14 - March for Military 5k (Supporting Operation Troop Appreciation)

3/30/14 - Strong Women, Strong Girls 5k (Supporting SWSG)

4/13/14 - Achilles Pittsburgh Hope and Possibility Race (5k) (Supporting Achilles International, Support for Athletes with Disabilities)

4/19/14 - Pittsburgh Pirates Charities 5k (Supporting Pirates Charities)

4/26/14 - Pittsburgh Superhero Run (5k) (Supporting CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates)

5/4/14 - Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon (Half Marathon) (FUNDRAISED: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a St. Jude Hero, raised $5,000 with team)

10/5/14 - The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run (Half Marathon) (FUNDRAISED: Alzheimer's Scotland - Action on Dementia)