Growing up, I danced A LOT. Between high school dance team, studio classes, performances, and a competitive team, I never had to worry if I was getting enough exercise and took my small frame and toned muscles for granted. Then, I got to college and realized that I needed to actually start working out or else I’d gain that dreaded freshman 15. I fluctuated between becoming a cardio queen to limiting myself to 300 calories a day (not pretty), and then gaining nearly 15 pounds from partying my senior year. Ever since then, I’ve had a weird relationship with food and my body and I’m finally at the point where I’m trying to accept it as is and live a truly healthy balanced lifestyle.
To be honest, taking photos in a swimsuit was a pretty terrifying thing for me to do, as I’m not 100% comfortable with my body, but I’m trying to keep it real on this blog — plus I owed pictures for a collaboration with Rose Gal. I’m working on my relationship with my body, and it’s not easy, but it’s getting better.
I’m the first to admit how hard it is work out and eat healthy with a full time desk job. I can’t force myself to get up early and hit the gym, but then there’s the struggle of getting yourself there when you’re tired from the work day. I know it’s a matter of sheer willpower to get the kind of body you want, but I guess I’m just not that disciplined! I have however come across a few tips/tools that are helping me get back into the healthy lifestyle I want to live, and I figured what better post to share them on than one that shows pictures of me in a swimsuit. Also, if you ever want to do a workout class together, I go to VIDA and I LOVE their group classes so hit me up!
- Lifting is not the enemy: as a woman, lifting weights can seem intimidating, but I promise they will not make you bulk up like men do. I used to be obsessed with running, but now I would much rather take a 60 minute barbell class any day over running two miles. Look up the Kayla Itsines workouts if you want to follow a routine that involves lifting, or pick up a Julien Michaels DVD to learn some movements in the comfort of your apartment before hitting the gym
- Find a class you actually enjoy, and make it part of your weekly schedule: for me, I do everything in my power to make it to Gregg’s RX class on Friday nights because I absolutely adore his music selection and he totally kicks your butt. I also recently starting doing Zumba classes and am loving that I burn a ton of calories doing cardio that doesn’t involve running
- Track meals on My Fitness Pal: I will admit that this app was what fueled my massive weight loss and 300 calorie intake in college, but when used correctly, it’s a great app to track your daily nutrition and it opens up your eyes to how high-calorie certain foods might be. Those yummy Panera cookies? 400 calories, yikes! I used to eat one nearly every day on my lunch break when I worked at Nordstrom until I found out how many calories they were!
- Get your steps in: my mom got me a FitBit for Christmas, and I love the challenge of trying to hit 10,000 steps a day. It’s also very insightful to see how many calories you burn throughout the day, and you can do challenges with your friends to see who gets the most steps per day!
- Get off the Metro a few stops early: I live in Shaw and work primarily in Bethesda, but instead of hopping on the Metro at Mount Vernon Square and transferring at Chinatown, I walk 1.2 miles each way to the Dupont Circle station. It forces me to walk an additional 2.4 miles a day, and then I don’t feel as guilty about skipping a workout if I don’t make it to the gym
- Don’t diet, but make healthy choices: I hate diets. Every time I try to cut carbs out, I last about a day and a half and then freak out and carbo overload the next day. As a vegetarian, I do tend to eat fairly healthy, but I also drink and have a total sweettooth. Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods (unless you’re allergic or have other health issues), but know that if you’re going to go out for pizza, you need to eat a salad for lunch the same day to help balance it out. Skip the bagel Friday at the office and pack yourself a fruit and yogurt parfait, your coworkers will judge you, but you’ll be happy with the choice!
- Invest in well-fitting workout gear: this seems like a no-brainer, but nothing kills my workout vibe faster than catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thinking that I look fat thanks to an ill-fitting top. Work out in things that make you feel cute and comfortable and I promise you’ll feel more confident at the gym