First off, let me begin by saying to you that without a doubt, you can have the exact body you want, bar nothing. Here’s how I know:
I was never a particularly heavy child, yet from the ripe age of 10, I can remember being body conscious. I was heavier than most of my friends and it gave me a real complex that my sister’s who were only 2 and 3 years older than me weighed substantially less than me. I wondered why my legs rubbed together so much that my inner thighs would get this terrible rash, and why I had this big sturdy belly while my sister’s looked like models.
My Ideal Body Drove Me
Long before I turned into a teen I began doing crunches on a daily basis. At the time all I wanted was a flat tummy, so that I could look as pretty in a bikini as my sisters. But, alas all the crunches in the world couldn’t help my situation. Little did I know, I was missing the most important component.
So I went on to middle school and high school, longing for a body that seemed unrealistic. As is normal, my body fluctuated and some days were better than others. But it was like I could never achieve that break through.
I saw people who were once plump and then miraculously scaled down and I wondered how I, too, could accomplish such a feat.
Despite my “trying endeavors,” I cannot remember losing more than 5 pounds, and after that Freshman 15 hit in college, I was in a rising state of frustration.
I was under the impression that eating less would help and I had some strange ideas of what healthy eating actually was. Some days I would eat a subway sandwich with white bread (you know Jared and all that) with a side of sour cream and onion chips and a soda or juice, probably have a large portion of fries a bit later, then something like cup of noodles for dinner, and wonder why I wasn’t losing weight. That’s not a lot of food! I often ranted to myself.
I know now that it matters less how big or small your portion is, but more what your portion consists of.
My problem was that I was wishing and hoping for my dream body without taking the most crucial step. I thought doing tons of crunches and wrapping my stomach would be enough to get me there. I didn’t understand proper diet. Don’t get me wrong, I did try so many different diets, but of course they never got me to my goal.
Friends and family did what they do best, encouraged me, told me that I “looked great,” “didn’t need to lose weight” and that I was “trippin” (being crazy). Despite their assurances, I could see her in my head and if I could just find some way to bring her out I knew they’d cheer me on even more.
Fast forward to the year 2010. I went to a bar which was opposite my university and ordered this enormous batch of chips (french fries), as I had always done after rehearsal. I was on my way home, munching, and as I raised a ketchup-ed spud (potato) to my mouth, something clicked. I knew what I had to do.
On that day I swore that I would cut fries out for good. I soon extended my pledge to cutting out bread and also only eating sweets on the weekend. At the time I still ate meat and began to cook a daily meal of baked chicken, broccoli and rice. My body transformed. I finally broke through and became her: the woman I had always envisioned.
Healthy Lifestyles Trump all Diets
This is when I began to understand that the way to get the body you want is not by dieting or doing a multitude of crunches each day, but by living a healthy lifestyle. Making a healthy lifestyle the choice.
Since 2010 so much has changed. I am now a happy vegetarian who is slowly heading towards vegan life- this is happening naturally as I’m paying attention to what my body wants and does not want. I go to the gym and work out hard 5x a week, drink a blended juice of leafy greens with avocado and orange daily, eat a home cooked healthy meal 5x a week and only allow myself a cheat day on Saturday (Sunday too if I’m being extra naughty).
I have a better understanding of nutritional values of food and have cut out processed foods and sugary drinks. I like my food as natural as possible, especially after watching an incredible talk by the late Dr. Sebi about eating to live or eating to die.
Even though I finally achieved one of the largest goals that I set for myself, I want to share with you pictures of my journey since 2010, because I feel its important to show you what can be done with drive and determination, and also what happens when you resort back to your old ways.
Photographic Body Journey
2016. 🙁 It was my best friend’s hen do (bachelorette party) and all the bridesmaids came all the way from Cali and NY to Ibiza to spend it with me. I was eating junk food every day! I felt super uncomfortable in my skin, especially next to all the beautiful bm’s (who look fab in the fuller version of this photo). I dropped the ball here, this was not the body I wanted.
The Main Point
What can we glean from this information and these photos?
Having the body that you want is attainable. Remember, the most important thing is having the body that you want. Not being skinny, looking like someone else, or doing it for someone else, but being happy in your own skin by making healthy choices and living a healthy lifestyle.
How to get the body you want and keep it!
- Cut out a non- nutritious food that you eat in excess. Whether it be dairy, fried foods, sugary drinks, or fast food. Make a commitment to yourself to eliminate it completely! You saw how I finally reached my goal through changing my lifestyle and how I reverted back once I adopted my old ways again. Cut it out and leave it out.
- You want the fit you to emerge? Cut out the processed foods. Stick to foods that are natural because they regenerate your body like nothing else and truly help you to achieve your fit goals.
- Eat those greens! I’ll always say this because it will always be true when it comes to the body and skin. Green Vegetables are life savers. They help to burn fat and are likely low in calories so more greens= more fit. They fight against all sorts of diseases including cancers and we really cannot afford to live without these nutritious plants! Can’t find enough time to incorporate all those greens in your day? Try juicing. I love the Nutribullet to make my green drinks.
- Drink water! At least 2 litres a day. Mix it up in the cold months and drink hot water with lemon. (Some studies show that drinking cold or hot water aids in weight loss as our body works extra to either cool or warm whatever we put in it to match our body temp, burning more calories) Whether that info is right or wrong, there are tons of weight loss benefits in drinking water, plus we literally need this stuff to be alive! Read more about water- weight loss here.
- Exercise. At home, the gym, the park… wherever. Work that body! Do not give up. Do not stop! I read somewhere that it takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and family, and 12 for the rest of the world. You want that dream body? Only you can get yourself there! Work out regularly and give it your all when you do.
- Stay Consistent. It is so easy to get your body and then say “wooo I made it! Now I can eat whatever I want, I can eat whatever you want!” NO! You saw my pitfalls. Try not to fall in them yourself. A healthy lifestyle is something to live by always. Stay consistent in your healthy choices and if you fall off, get back on, this time with even more fire and determination! It helps to keep track of your progress. I have found it useful to take before and after photos, mark progress in a calendar or journal, and create a weight chart.
Your body is your garden and you can make it look exactly as you desire, and maintain it, so long as you keep tending to it. You got this!
- Talk to me, my lovelies! Tell me your body highs and lows, what has made you give up and what gives you the motivation to keep going, and be sure to tell me what you’d like to see more of 🙂
- For info on how to stick to a healthy diet plan, click here!
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