Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince.
I have always been skinny my whole life. People used to call me “toothpick” in grade school, they weren’t doing it in a rude way, it was just a nickname at times. It didn’t bother me, since I was still a bit too young to think about body image.
Everyone starts their fitness journey differently, I started off doing cardio sessions and certain classes that I enjoyed at the time. When I moved to Toronto in 2014, I started going to the gym more often with my husband. Who knew lifting weights would be so much fun? In 2016, I decided I wanted to compete in a bodybuilding competition, my husband found me a coach, who he worked with at Lululemon years back. Going through the whole journey of competing, I learned so much from my amazing coach Silvia. She changed my whole perspective on body image, she lifts so f*cking heavy, she has quads for days, and isn’t a size 0. She’s a beast and will always be my inspiration.
I was over being “skinny”, so I after my competition, I played around with my macros and workouts, I can squat over my body weight (135LB), I worked so hard to squat one plate and I finally reached that goal. Here I am now, in 2020, loving my body more than ever. I’m sure some people would say I’m “thin”, but I’m so much thicker now than I used to be, and I love it! I love being able to change my body, and actually work for it.
Here are 7 pictures of me from 2015-2020. Taking progress pictures is key! The scale will only tell you a number, that number could mean some extra gains, you just never know, so by taking pictures allow you to see the difference with your own eyes!
Things I Have Learned
Consistency is key
Being consistent with your food and workouts will provide you with all the success. It’s hard to reach your goals with only 1 workout a week and eating whatever you want. Keep at it every single day and you will see changes! I promise you
ALWAYS take progress pictures
Stop, and I mean STOP, relying on the scale, just because the number on the scale is higher doesn’t mean you gained fat, it could be so many things! Did you go to the bathroom? Are you holding on to water? Your body holds on to water due to being hydrated. It could also mean you made some gains! 😉 Throw the scale out! Ok, thanks! Instead take progress pictures or measure yourself! As you can see, progress pictures are amazing and it doesn’t lie to you!
Everything takes time
Everything takes it’s sweet a$$ time, but don’t give up! Results will come, be patient! Your body will not change overnight. Starting off your fitness journey is about trial and error and figuring out what works for you.
Don’t be afraid of eating lots
Don’t be afraid of eating lots of food, healthy food that is. Losing weight or gaining muscle mass, you need to eat lots! Eating less will only lead to binging…Please don’t ever believe you have to choose a crash diet, stop eating or get obsessed and anxious with food. Losing weight really fast by eating less calories or cutting carbs is not sustainable or healthy and will hurt your metabolism.
If you load your body up with fresh veggies, good proteins and unprocessed foods, you’re likely to feel more energized, have better digestion, better skin, less bloating, etc. Try it, and before you know it you’ll start craving all the healthy foods because it makes your body feel so good!
Meal prep is crucial!
Prepping your food ahead of time will only help you in the long run, keep you organized, and make mornings less stressful. More time to enjoy your mornings instead of getting things all ready for the day.
Lift heavy and increase intensity
Don’t be scared to go up in weights every other day, or week, just make it challenging, plus seeing your strength go up is an amazing feeling. Heavy weights are good for any goals. Stop doing just banded workouts, instead add them into your compound exercises to make it more intense. (Hip thrusts, squats, curtsey lunges, etc).
Change up your workouts
Try new things and see what works for you. I like switching it up. One week will be a heavy week, less reps, then the week after will be a tad lighter with more reps. Switching it up will shock your muscles! Also add different training techniques that will keep it fun and allow your body to grow, whether that’s losing weight or wanting to gain muscle mass. Check out some training techniques that I love adding to my routine.
Don’t forget to workout your entire body
If you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass you still need to workout your entire body. I see people wanting to lose weight and they only work on abs or they happen to be on the cardio machine the whole time…That’s not the right way of training and you honestly won’t see a lot of progress. You need to train each muscle group in order to get the results you want! You want to look balanced and don’t worry you will still reach your goals by working out everything!
Switch out your regular cardio for some good ol’ high intensity training. The treadmill gets so boring, just staring into space, waiting for the session to be over with. WELL, fear no more, I’ve got something new for you to try. HIIT cardio on the stair master! YES, it’s intense, but in such a good way. I only spend about 15-20 mins MAX on this thing. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Find a speed that’s challenging for you. I do level 23 for 30 seconds (I’m technically running up the stairs, so I hold on for safety.), level 4 for 30 seconds off.
Doing HIIT you’ll burn more calories and fat than walking on the treadmill. Also, you’re workout won’t take as long! phew! It goes by so much quicker!
Don’t forget to have those “treat meals”! You need to have a well balanced nutrition. Avoiding junk food for a long time, might turn into a binge night. Also, having a treat meal once a week will help you with your goals. By having a cheat meal, it resets your hormones. It helps you replenish glycogen, which increases your energy and keep those calories burning! Just don’t let your “treat meal” become “treat days!
Your water intake is important
Drinking water is very important. There are so many benefits to keeping your body hydrated. Some benefits are weight loss, energy, brain function, flushing out bacteria, skin health, strong nails, etc. I noticed my nails grow very quickly now.
Try tracking your food
Tracking food intake on My Fitness Pal app. It’s not for everyone, I get that, but knowing how much protein, fat, and carbs I’m eating is important. It would be hard to reach on my goals, not knowing how much I’m eating. It’s hard to look at a chicken breast and be like “that’s 100 grams, so that has 30 grams of protein.” I find myself eating so much in the morning that I’m shocked I’m only at 800 calories by 11am. I track as much as I can, however I don’t track my food to the T, condiments and sauces I usually let slide. You need a certain number of calories to grow or to lose weight and I wouldn’t be able to reach that without weighing my food.
Check out “Understanding Macros.” Everything you should know on macros! (Protein, carbs, fats.) I have added information for those who want to lose weight or gain muscle mass. Use the calculator I have provided to get a rough idea on how much you should be eating.
You don’t need to do this for the rest of your life. I just track when I have bigger goals like bulking or cutting down a bit for the summer. Tracking is great to get a rough idea what your daily calorie intake is, but it’s also nice to have a break from it. 🙂
Rest your body
Rest days are a must. Your body needs time to rest up and recover for your next tough gym session! Rest days is not an excuse to eat junk food. These days are when your body grows the most, so feed it right! 🙂 Unless it’s your planned treat day for the week, then by all means, enjoy! However, I do enjoy having a treat meal after a hard workout session!
It’s all about knowing how to motivate yourself! Motivational quotes, blogs, and videos are great to read and listen to. However, no one can force you to make the right decisions. You have to find that fire deep down inside and learn to kick ass yourself. If you need help with motivation, I suggest you take a look at “How To Keep Yourself Motivated.”
Your dedication will show
Dedication is the most important factor in building a successful life! Keep at it and I swear you will get to where you want with your goals!
Never give up!
Keep grinding! There will be good and bad days, but don’t’ let the bad days affect you and your goals. Never. Give. Up!
YOU GOT THIS! <3