My Fitness Journey

Throughout my life I have been into fitness in one way or another. I danced for over ten years starting at the age of 3. I then moved onto playing basketball through High School. From then on, I would take some dance classes when I lived in NYC (hardcore hiphop – loved it – I am really good btw ;)), had a personal trainer at one point, got heavy into running for a while & always dabbled with the gym mostly focusing on cardio. I have tried yoga, Insanity & even barre classes. The list goes on and on! I was always interested in learning more about nutrition and fitness. But I definitely went through too many times where my fitness slipped and fell into major slumps. I never seemed to find something to stick with. I also have always yo-yo dieted, which is super duper unhealthy.  It was kind of all or nothing for me. I remember watching Oprah and relating to her when she said, “UGH I hate working out but I just want to lose weight!!!! Wahhhhh.”

BUT over the years I have learned a LOT. And until only recently I have learned the best thing EVER: lifting/weight training/pumping iron/whatever you like to call it….is the only way of life! And I don’t know why more people and more women in particular do not partake. I am here to tell you why you should start, my friends!!!

I signed up at Planet Fitness at the end of October and have been going regularly since. I recently gained a partner-in-crime (HI LOLLZ). We have been going together for about a month now and let me tell you – doing this with someone else is really helpful! Ever since Lolly started with me, I have seen more results!! We go more frequently and consistently (4x per week for about 1.5 hours…I was going previously 2-3x per week). We lift HEAVY and it is now just a part of our lives. We motivate each other. It is no longer an option to go to the gym – we just go. Like it’s our job. Today Lolly was congested and not feeling totally amazing & for me, it’s that time of the month! We could have easily slept in (it’s our day off) and skipped – but ALAS! We went and demolished it and had an amazing session and feel so much better! It is truly medicinal. Like…fureal.

One of my favorite things ever is seeing women killing it at the gym…and being one of those women. Especially when I glance over and see some dudes casually moving on the elliptical or bike. HEHE. Makes a girl feel like a bad ass bitch! This is where the addiction comes in to play. Once you go a couple times, you get addicted. It feels sooo empowering in every way to lift. And on our days off, we crave to go. I have now added in running a couple times per week as well – so I really only have one solid rest day. Which usually is on a work day which means not really a true rest day. I feel like I have gotten to the point where I NEED to workout because my mood is much better and I have way more energy! Like I don’t really want or need too many rest days. I have made lots of progress physically and continuously increase weight, which is important to maintain progress. It’s seriously insane the difference it has made in my life. This is why I need to share this information!

If you are intimidated or not sure what do to – soooo many resources are available online (youtube, bloggers, etc.) OR you can just ask people at the gym. At planet fitness, there are trainers that you can use for FREE (if you have the Black Card). There are lots of tools out there, ya just gotta find them and use them!

Especially since it is International Women’s Day (HELL YEAH), I encourage all of you ladies to get out there and start pumping iron if you aren’t already. Cardio is wonderful – it is. BUT here are the differences from my experience that make me want to lift things up and put them down rather than run forever and ever:

Running (or whatever cardio you like) is also addicting and is wicked healthy for your cardiovascular health. It is important to incorporate cardio into your workouts (warm-up, warm-down) definitely. When I used to run, I did miles and miles and had a few times where I lost lots of weight. But that was combined with eating MUCH LESS and not feeling totally energized. I actually felt pretty tired. But I liked the results and I do love running outside. This was at the time in my life when I ran a lot and was really trying to lose weight and that was a success…but only for a little while. Once I started eating a little more and running a little less I gained the weight back almost instantaneously. It was demanding on my knees, too.

When I started to mostly lift (incorporating some cardio), a change happened almost immediately. I remember it was my third time at the gym and I felt so super strong. It was my THIRD time there. But I felt it working. I was getting stronger and the addiction began. The amount of energy that I was feeling – so unreal! The best part of this – I ate more. I eat more. It is seriously important to up the protein and calories in general when you are lifting regularly. I feel like a machine and need to eat every two hours or so. My body needs fuel always. After a hardcore gym sesh, your body will continue to burn dem cals for another 24-48 hours. Another reason lifting is way more effective than cardio. My metabolism is through the roof!

Life became easier. Carrying groceries – ummm yeah lemme carry every bag in at one time! Lugging my laundry is much easier (I unfortunately do not have a washer/dryer in my apartment dammit). I dress brides for a living so carrying heavy ass dresses ain’t no thang now! The list goes on and on..!

Naturally after exercising, I really do not want to ruin my hard work by eating processed yuck food. I do not skimp on carbs because my body does need it…I just try to stick to complex carbs like sweet potatoes, whole grain bread & brown rice. Along with lots of fruits and veggies and PROTEIN!!!! But ya know, if I “cheat” once in a while and have some ice cream…whatever! My body is a goddamn machine and it really doesn’t make much of a difference, as long as it’s once in a while. OH and hydrating is so important…that helps with having lots of energy throughout the entire day. Water is your friend. I also love flavored seltzer waters (black cherry in particular yum yum).

So YES! If you lift, you can eat more and lose weight and feel better and everything will be just dandy! Again, I have now recently incorporated running outside 3-4 miles 2x per week as well (mostly because it is getting nicer out and I have serious seasonal depression so that helps a ton). I have even had a week or two off from the gym since I started and there has been zero weight gain and no real setbacks – that would not have happened when I was simply a runner (NOTHING against runners, just comparing and sharing). ‘Cause like, I am still a runner, too.

Anyways, if you have any questions – feel free to reach out to me. I am no doctor but I am here to help inspire, motivate, etc.! I have been on the up and up with this and I really felt compelled to share to my fellow people. And to my fellow womenlet’s show men what we are really made of (flexing emoji, dancer emoji)! Wooooo!!!!

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