One of the struggles of #adulting is finding time to stay healthy in eating habits and exercise. I am guilty of letting my work and personal life come before working out and eating right (it’s so hard to be the only one ordering healthy when you’re out with your friends!!) and ESPECIALLY in winter in Chicago, comfort food is easy to come by. About six weeks ago, I decided it was time to really buckle down and get serious about getting back in shape, and I am taking yall on the journey with me!
There’s an important distinction I want to make clear between the terms in shape and skinny. The times where I have been the skinniest have not at all been the times I’ve been most in shape, and vice versa. Yes, I’d love to lose a few inches and maybe 7-10 pounds, but my ultimate goal is to get back in shape. I want to feel strong again, know I am keeping my heart healthy, and have a mental release through my regular workouts.
The last time I was super in shape was the summer after graduation from college. My friend Tori (who is 3 weeks away from being a RD) and I went to Mexico together for the final spring break, and we really kept each other accountable beforehand going to the gym together, eating healthy, and swapping low-cal fast food hacks – Jimmy Johns Unwich saves lives!!!
I went to Pure Barre religiously from December 2016 – March 2017 and LOVED IT. I felt like I was getting an amazing workout and was starting to get back into the shape that I once was in (pictured above) but when I decided to take the blog full-time, the Pure Barre monthly cost quickly was added to the “expenses I can cut out” list.
Since then, I have been trying my hand at cheaper workout alternatives – free yoga classes, going with friends to studios, running/walking outside, and doing at home YouTube video workouts mainly for abs and arms. The thing that has been my biggest hurdle is finding, and sticking to, a routine. I would be SO GOOD at working out every morning for two weeks, then I would have a crazy week full of shooting (AKA a full face of makeup on daily) and a workout would seem like a waste of time.
Six weeks ago, I downloaded the SWEAT by Kayla Itsines app. I had bought Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide in college, and loved the results! This app basically takes that PDF guide, puts it on a timed app to guide you through the exercises, and offers suggestions of recipes. I like that you can schedule in your weekly workouts and it hold you accountable to completing them.
I began the 4 week beginner BBG course, working out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the SWEAT app and filling in LISS elsewhere when I could. I am now onto week 1 of BBG 1.0! I do feel stronger, especially in my arms where I was basically a weakling prior to starting the program. However, I have a LONG way to go – my legs are nowhere near as toned as they once were (though I am starting to see more definition) and I am roughly 7-10 pounds above my ideal weight. I know muscle weighs more than fat, I have loads of medical professionals in my family, but there is something about being back at the weight/measurements I was before college that seems doable to me and not at all an unhealthy goal.
Obviously, working out is only a piece of this puzzle. I need to focus more on what I am eating. I believe in moderation instead of abruptly cutting out certain foods. I’ve tried no carb diets in the past, and yes, they do work with weight loss, but I was a miserable wreck without my beloved carbs, not to mention I gained the weight back the second I began to eat normally.
I downloaded an app that doesn’t track calories, rather assigns every food a number of points instead and gives you a daily and weekly point limit (kinda like Weight Watchers but not really at all lol). I think this is helpful because it allows for some cheat meals/cheat days. On Easter, for example, I ate way more unhealthy stuff than I normally do, but I still stayed under my weekly point limit! I was able to enjoy the holiday without beating myself up about the cake and candy.
I’ll be updating on my IG stories fun healthy recipes I find, low-cal fast food hacks, and workouts I enjoy! I made a Health story highlight to house it all.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me! Have any of you been in a similar situation before?? Let me know below x