Hello there! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this blog post. I receive many messages a day from people asking for MY thoughts on what THEY should and shouldn’t eat, so I figured this would be a popular post. I am flattered that people seek my advice and want to know my eating habits & workout routines. This will more than likely be a lot of information that I am going to share, so hopefully you can filter through the rambling and get to the bottom of what it is you want to find in this post.
First off, I want to start by saying that everyone’s bodies are unique and special in their own way. No, I am not trying to be sappy and cliche here, I’m being upfront and real with you! I am 5’10 (my mom swears I am 5’11 but I refuse to accept that, ha!) and weigh 135 pounds. My weight fluctuates like any other female on this planet, am I right!? But that’s basically my “normal” weight. With that being said, I have accepted the fact that I will never be 5’6 and 99 pounds. It’s just not in my genetic make up. Period. So, this is where I want to tell you , STOP COMPARING BODIES AND NUMBERS, stop it right now! Find a weight that is comfortable for you and set goals that are realistic and healthy. I’ll be honest, about 70% of the photos on my phone are screenshots of “fit inspirations” and models that I aspire to look like one day. However, one of my new years resolutions was to go through my phone and delete the majority of my “fit inspo” pictures. It can be dissatisfying staring at arms, abs and legs that are simply not realistic for you. Instead, start working towards your own personal fit goals and take progress pictures for yourself. That way you have something to look back on and see how far you’ve come!
Okay, any who… let’s start talking about food! I think diets are dumb. Period. I’ll share with you a little history of my own about dieting. My freshman year of college I had a roommate named Savannah. We both shared an interest in cooking and working out, therefore we became each other’s motivators! I was preparing for a shoot with Nike so I quickly lowered my carbohydrate intake. So basically the “Adkins” diet, but I wasn’t super strict on it (then). I would basically eat meat, eggs, and cheese. Okay, I know that may sound gross… but it worked for me at that time. For breakfast I would eat all of the eggs, sausage and bacon I wanted! For lunch, I would usually eat chicken and salads. For dinner, I would eat anything from chicken, salmon, roast, steak, etc. plus all of the veggies you can think of! It worked for me! I dropped the weight that I wanted to drop and then Savannah and I would hit the gym together (sometimes twice a day) to tone up. I used to look back on photos and think “This was my prime!” Only, remember, I was a freshman in college.. meaning I was 18. Meaning, that isn’t a woman’s body. Therefore, things are going to change a little bit.
[Side note: Feel free to try low carb diets and see if this is something for you! Simply google or Pinterest “low carb meals”. My mom may kill me after sharing this little fun fact, but she lost 70 pounds doing Adkins. She swears by it! It worked for me then, but later I learned it wasn’t the best “diet” for me.]
So my sophomore year, I joined a sorority and gained “sophomore 15”. Well, more like “sophomore 25”! I was so confused as to why I was gaining so much weight. Was it the beer? Was it the Fried-Friday’s? Was it the lack of sleep? Was it the over thinking about my weight, causing extra stress which led to weight gain!? I knew at that very moment in time that it was time for a change! I made sure I went to the gym every night after class. I also went to the grocery store and filled my fridge with fruit, yogurt, protein and veggies! I would eat salads for lunch at the Zeta house and find myself hungry one hour later. Which, of course, led me to reaching for that chocolate chip Quakers bar in my book bag. The salads, fruit, yogurt, protein and veggies were not working. I was a complete, total mess, therefore I had my mom come stay with me for a week to prep all of my meals and made sure I didn’t eat any carbs. I was so determined this time to stick to the Adkins diet and not let one ounce of carb into my body. Not even corn. Yes, you heard me correctly, corn is a carb. There is actually a lot of carbs in fruits, yogurt and veggies. Which meant, I had to toss all of those delicious things in the trash! I literally only ate meat, eggs and cheese. You know your body has flushed all of the carbs out of your system when your body is in ‘ketosis’. I purchased these ketosis strips that you pee on and it tells you if your body is in ketosis or not. I finally got my body in ketosis and watched myself lose a pound a day. My heart filled with joy and I sent my mom on her way! Well, a few weeks went by and I wasn’t losing weight anymore. I actually started gaining weight again… which didn’t make sense. I would look in the mirror and see myself actually doubling in size. *Praise the Lord that I am 5’10 and carry my weight well, because I don’t think it was too obvious to anyone else* but I was literally growing. I’m going to skip the details that go here! But let’s just say I ended up getting very sick and found myself getting X-rays of my stomach. Everything, and I mean “everything” was backed up. Turns out, your body actually needs a little balance of everything otherwise, your body will not function properly.
[Side note: Low carb/Adkins works for certain people! But as we get older, our bodies change and we need to learn to change with them!]
So here we are today! How did I manage to get my digestive system back on track and lose the 25 pounds I gained? I started listening to my own body. Yes, I still enjoy reading fitness blogs and food posts. I also like keeping up with my gym junkie friends who eat super clean and meal prep on the reg. But I learned to start listening to my own body and doing what’s best for it. I now eat whatever I want, but in smaller portions. Side note, I had a friend in Zeta who was super fit; Summer Egly. Me and all of my girl friends would always ask her “How are you so fit? What do you eat?” and she looked at us and gave us some advice and then says “Listen, if you want that cookie, eat that cookie. Your body doesn’t know the difference between whether you just swallowed a cookie (120 calories) or a handful of strawberries (120 calories). Don’t deprive yourself from the things you love because you’re so worried that you are going to gain a pound.” That really put things into perspective for me. Anyways, back to what I was saying. I usually eat eggs & bacon for breakfast still. It’s full of protein that allows me to stay full longer and really get my day started. Sometimes I’ll treat myself to a few bites of yogurt or some strawberries on a plate. For lunch, I eat whatever! Lately, I’ve really been on the go and eat a disgusting amount of fast food. It’s embarrassing and needs to stop lol! The same goes for dinner, I usually just eat whatever I want. Whether that be a delicious protein packed salad or spinach & cheese stuffed shells with a side of garlic bread. I don’t eat pasta 3 days in a row, because I know what will happen. I will get sluggish, unmotivated and have a puffy tummy. So, I find balance! If I do fast food for lunch, I am doing protein and veggies for dinner. If I did Mexican for lunch (and ate way too many chips), I will eat a giant salad for dinner with a grilled chicken breast. Balance people! I love dessert and sweets like no other. I would actually pass on an appetizer and entrée just so I can have dessert for dinner! It’s a problem, haha. But I’ve learned to not deprive myself from the things I enjoy, so every now and then if I want some Oreos (which is 95% of the time), I’ll treat myself to a few. If I want a slice of chocolate cake, I order it and try not to eat it all. I wish I had the metabolism I had in high school, but that’s just not going to happen. Instead, I just eat all of the yummy things that make me happy but in reasonable amounts.
Listen to your body! If you know you are the type of person to open the Oreo box and eat them all, don’t buy Oreo’s! Or, practice self control! Haha. Basically, what I am trying to say is I don’t think there is ONE MIRACLE diet. I think all of our bodies are different and you just have to adjust to yours. *ALSO* Drink lots of water. I drink water all day, every day! There are SO many health benefits to drinking a lot of water.
I have noticed a few health problems lately, that I can discuss in a later post, but I am going to get tested for celiac soon. My body has not been reacting properly to anything processed or bread related. So basically anything and everything that isn’t meat, veggies or fruit! AH! I’ll give a life update when I get my test done in February. But even though I don’t have the actual results, I’ve been listening to my body and know how much bread/gluten I can take in without getting sick. Therefore, I’ve been eating smaller portions of things throughout the day instead of 3 large meals that consist of complex carbs and bread.
OK RECAP HERE! I can’t tell you what to eat. I can’t tell you how to lose weight. All I can say is listen to your body and put things into it that make you feel good. Clearly my advice here isn’t going to prepare you for a fitness contest; there are other bloggers for that! Hopefully my stories and advice can help you relax and feel better about having that bite of chocolate cake! It is unnecessary to starve yourself but always keep in mind how much food you are intaking so that you don’t over do it and stretch your tummy! Have a balanced life, including a balance of food groups and don’t forget to stay active! I can chat later about more workout tip and classes. I just wanted to focus on the main question I am always getting which is “What should I eat to lose weight?” or “What do you eat? You stay so thin!”
Here is a challenge for you: Eliminate the stress. Stop worrying. Eat what makes you happy. Don’t over do it. Drink lots of water. Skip more. Dance more. And listen to your body!
Feel free to message me with any questions! Thank you for reading. xoxo