Workin' on My Fitness
I've surprisingly been asked a lot on how I stay in shape and what my workout routine is. I wish I had the body everyone thinks I do; truth is, I'm desperately trying to get rid of this gut, haha! This blog post will give you a look at my lifestyle before and after my turn to vegetarianism. Warning: it's long af.
I was always a curvy girl, but once I hit my freshman year of high school, I gained an uncomfortable amount of weight. I always hid under my cheerleading jackets, even if it was 97 degrees outside. I didn't lose the weight until I made the decision going into my junior year that I was going to just run it off. I was exercising daily (4 hours of cheer + running a mile or two + doing 30 mins of stadiums) but eating very little: only Special K, chicken salads, and a very small portion of my mom's Cajun/Creole meals. I dropped 20 lbs that summer and never felt better, honestly.
When I got to college, I definitely gained the freshman 15. I ate whatever I wanted (shoutout to my unlimited meal plan), and because I was no longer working out 5 hours a day as a cheerleader, I gained weight again. I hit the gym at least an hour every day, but I was eating trash. So I was pretty uncomfortable for the next couple years. My fourth and fifth years of college, I dropped weight simply because I didn't have the income to pay bills and eat. I survived on saltines, toast, and any of my friends' leftovers just to pay for all my art supplies (it's that fucking expensive). I felt confident in my body, but I was extremely malnourished and felt faint often.
What actually made me change my diet—and just overall lifestyle—was my proneness to kidney stones. My case is hereditary. My mother and brother both get them. I've had them since I was 13, my brother since he was 9. So when I got my last kidney stone a year after college, I made the decision to get rid of anything that caused them. I got rid of red meat, fatty and fried foods, iceberg lettuce, dairy. After doing this for about a year, I thought, Why not? to being a full blown vegetarian. I got rid of all meat, decreased my sugar intake, and really focused on getting a wide variety of veggies into my diet and drinking a ton of water.
My fitness routine changed drastically as well. I started doing intense cardio for 45 mins to an hour five to six days a week. No pauses, no rests—which is difficult to do lately since my breathing problems have been acting up, but I keep pushing myself as much as I can. I had to keep my heart rate up until the workout was over. My body proportions are simply genetics, but so is my ability to gain weight overnight. Literally. I'm not kidding. And where does it all go? My gut. It's soooo difficult for me to lose a pound any more. After I hit 25, my body was like nah.
I was taking birth control on an off for about 4 years. At first it was great! I had light periods and no side effects. But I stopped taking it due to my brand being discontinued. When I decided to start a new birth control, it was hell. Constant bloat, crazy mood swings, hair growing where it wasn't supposed to, hair falling out where it wasn't supposed to. I was gaining weight quickly, had no energy, could sleep for an entire day and would still be exhausted. So I did some research and stopped completely. I feel so much better, but I do have severe, debilitating periods, or dysmenorrhea. My life is literally on hold during my cycle due to the pain and large volume of blood loss, not to mention I gain about 15-20 lbs just from bloat (thank goodness it isn't permanent). I don't even talk to my doctor any more because all she wants to do is shove pills down my throat. Nah, ma. I'm good.
So I'm taking a more holistic approach to my health these days, and it's been good. Periods still suck. I don't know anyone that has them like I do, but I'm sure at least one of you reading this does. Cardio does help the pain sometimes.
These days, I'm working on getting my body and mind more in sync—staying away from cravings and such. I need to drop the sugar (insert monkey-covering-eyes emoji). I'll end this post with exactly what I do during the week:
Monday - Friday: I start my workout by running 1 mile. Every month I add on another .25 mi and/or add speed.
Monday: Burpees for 1 min, 10 lunges each leg holding 15 lbs dumbells, 25 ab crunches or rolls, 30 sec sprints
Tuesday: 20 body weight squats with resistant loop band, 25 ab crunches or rolls, 10 hamstring dips with 15 lbs kettle bell, 1 min sprint on stair master
Wednesday: 15 lbs dumbbell doing double squat push throughs (contact me if this doesn't make sense), bench leg raises, 10 hip thrusts/butt squeezes, tricep dips, 30 sec sprints
Thursday: I focus this day on several kinds of ab exercises. You can definitely do some research on different ones. 1 min sprint on stair master
Friday: 1 min mountain climbers, body weight back raises, 30 sec sprints
And that's it! I do three to four sets of everything. I do lift, too, but at the moment, I'm trying to shed fat before I go back to building muscle. If you have any more questions about my workout, feel free to contact me. Every two weeks to a month, I up my reps and time and weight. Definitely change up your workout every now and then so your muscles don't build memory. I also use Sweet Sweat products to get the best sweat. It's important to push yourself so you will see results. If you're comfortable during your workout, you won't see change. Just find what works for you and your body type.
My diet during the week is pretty strict. I have an endomorph body type (click the link to find yours), so it's best to stick to a low carb/high protein meal plan. Breakfast is usually one egg, a bowl of protein granola with coconut milk, or a piece of toast with peanut butter. Lunch is almost always a salad with lots of veggies and a vinaigrette dressing or a low carb wrap or soup. Dinner is either seitan and veggies or a protein smoothie. I drink lots of water throughout the day and love drinking Celsius before workouts for extra energy. I snack on almonds, peanuts, and dark chocolate (60% cacao or higher) and drink a vegan protein shake after workouts. I love green tea, too. It reduces bloat, keeps my metabolism going, and keeps me awake in the early mornings. For those that ask, "But what about cheat days? Don't you ever crave cake or a steak?" Haha, I do crave burgers. I have always loved trying great burgers from hole-in-the-wall restaurants, so I do enjoy a good burger a few times a year (obviously not a vegetarian on those days but I do hunt down grass-fed meat). I have one to two cheat meals every other weekend with alcohol, and don't forget dessert (I'm a sucker for anything sugar)! However, it's important not to indulge too often or you'll back track and reverse results. I save my worst days for my time of the month. Most of us crave loads of chocolate then, right? I do mess up every now and then. I'm not perfect, I'm human. But the thing is to not be too hard on yourself. Make that mistake and get right back to reaching your goal. It's about balance. I'm hoping to lose 15 lbs by the end of the year. My biggest problem is sweet stuff. Y'all gotta be on my ass, ok? And no guys, those aren't abs. That's just the way my body distributes fat on my belly. So my fat looks like abs when I suck in!
For those that actually read all of this, I hope this information helped you out. If not, please ask me anything. Comment, DM me, or email me. Also check out Safir Comfort for this super soft, gorgeous gym fit featured in the photo above. This just may be my new favorite gym wear! It is owned by Alexandra Safir. She is a personal trainer and offers awesome meal and workout plans on her site.
I also just want to thank each and every one of you that follow me, read my blog, and show all kinds of love. It really means so much to inspire other women with fashion and now with my lifestyle and fitness. All I strive to do is create confidence in you all, because we are fucking queens and we rock. THANK YOU!
I'd love to hear what works for you! Leave a comment below so each of us can learn something new :)
*This post is not sponsored. These are my honest opinions.*