I got my fattest between my junior and senior year of college. I came in the size of Angela from the Office, and by graduation time I was probably the size of Kelly Kipoor. Old ladies at church were making comments about the weight that I had put on, and I smiled politely while thinking about their dwindling days left on earth and ground-sweeping tits. As annoyed as I was by the constant input I never asked for, I realized that I had to make changes, and I became a lot more conscious of my diet and exercise habits. I was completely clueless about exercise and nutrition, but I started jogging once or twice a week and would have two tuna sandwiches, some orange slices and cucumber slices every day.
And miraculously enough, that haphazard approach actually worked.
I’ve never quite gotten back to my pre-junior year size, and I’m not really sure if I would call that my goal. My priorities are a flat stomach and a huge ass. After that comes losing my wings and toned legs. But for years after college, I’ve made promise after promise to myself about how I’m going to start working out and/or eating right. And I’ve broken them time after time. But something finally clicked. Actually, two things finally clicked.
Earlier this year, I was at an event and I met this girl. I assumed she was 28 or 29 without thinking much about it. Then I learned she was 24, and I wondered what about the way she looked led me to believe she was 3 or 4 years older than me when she was actually a year younger than me. It wasn’t her face. She was really pretty and had great skin. It wasn’t the way she was dressed. She looked like every other basic that gets promotional emails from Zara. I realized that it was her body.
I’ll say first and foremost that I genuinely believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to have your hip bones sticking out or your ribs showing to have a good body. You don’t even have to have toned arms or a flat stomach. I used to judge women’s bodies (including my own) really harshly, but I’ve realized that there’s more than one way to be healthy and hot.
That being said, there are certain body types that inherently make us look older, and I’m not trying to be mean — it’s just a biological fact. And I realized that a huge part of looking young was just being health and body conscious. And that if I didn’t want to let go of my crop tops and body cons, I had to get serious about my health.
I’ve done paleo. I’ve done intermittent fasting. And they’re definitely doable. I was doing really well with paleo until I went to Punta Cana and never stopped eating like I was on vacation. But I love terrible food. Like, I’ve never been one of those girls that pretended that McDonald’s was gross or that I wouldn’t absolutely demolish a Big Mac at almost any opportunity. Sure, I love avocado toast as much as the next basic, but I love a Taco Bell crunchwrap too. And honestly, so do Sarah and Blake — they just lie about it when they’re sober.
And when I realized that there would never be a day I didn’t want Dominos or a hot dog, I realized that I had no option but to start working out consistently. People say that getting in shape is 90% nutrition and 10% exercise (or 80/20? idk), so I know that my diet needs to be modified too. But my eating habits change a lot. I can be on a health kick for a month and the next thing I know I’m having McDonald’s for lunch one day, Taco Bell the next, and Chick-fil-A the day after that. And it would be a lot easier to tell myself that I’ll never eat a large pizza in one sitting or get those rolled up tacos from 7/11 again and pig out for days than to actually do it. So if I wanted a nice body, I had no choice but to start working out — and stick to it. I shit you not, while writing this blog post I ripped up my chicken nuggets into smaller pieces, mixed them up into a LARGE Chick-fil-A mac n cheese, doused it in hot sauce and went to town. I’m gross, but also like…a visionary.
I started going to the gym at my old apartment, and it was actually the perfect way to segway into working out. It was free, it was convenient and it was 24/7. I would complain and snapchat constantly about the douchebags playing their TERRIBLE music out loud, and sometimes while I was using the one mat there for ab workouts someone would plop down on the other half of it without even asking, but it got the job done.
I moved in May, and as much as I love my new apartment and new neighborhood, there’s no real gym. There’s a room with treadmills. My focus has been on strength training, and after proving to myself that I could go to the gym consistently, I was ready to invest in an actual gym membership. If I could spend the money I do on fatty, carb filled foods and Tito’s every month, there was no excuse not to invest $40/month — or less than $2/day — in my health. My goal was to reach a point where I was going to the gym at least 3 times a week. It took me a while to get there, and I got really lazy right before going to Martinique. But since getting back, I’ve been going to the gym almost every day. Now, making it to the gym 3 times is actually a bad week for me, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. My new goal is an hour of strength training in the mornings and an hour of cardio in the evenings. The biggest challenge with that is just getting out of bed on time. But I digress.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would not only be paying for a gym membership, and not only using it, but working out for almost 2 hours every day, I wouldn’t have believed you. But after realizing that I want to keep getting carded in my 30s and reserve the right to eat like a feral hog, I knew I had to make some changes — and keep them.