Body Talk. | Fitness Goals for next 60 Days.

BUTT. BOOTY. ASS. DERRIERE. TUSH. BUM. BACKSIDE. CAKES. CHEEKS. BUNS.* 

 *just to get your attention

 Drawings by Crest Saechao.

Drawings by Crest Saechao.

I remember a time when having a big butt was not mainstream and wasn't a major component of the current trending body type. I remember a time when most women weren't obsessed with trying to grow a booty through squats, deadlifts and/or surgery. 

I also, very vividly, remember a time when I was so ashamed by the way my body looked that I would go as far to say I hated it. Sometimes I still do. I grew up being one of, if not the only, black persons in my classes growing up. I was fat, black, shaped way different than everyone else, and felt too out of place. Jeans never fit properly and that gap in the waist would bother my soul. I remember choosing long cardigans and jackets trying to hide what was underneath, lol.

About 6 or 7 years ago, at age 19/20, during my first couple years in college, I began to lose a lot of weight. Being away from home, having more control of my foods, and adding exercise to my schedule did a lot for me. By the time I graduated from school I had lost about 70 pounds from my highest weight ever. And I got even smaller throughout the following year. Even after it all, I still never felt completely satisfied. I still never felt like I was good enough, small enough, fit enough, just never enough.

 (LEFT) Me pretty much near the start of my journey and (RIGHT) my first New Years while living in LA. (I can't seem to find the unwatermarked images anymore, lol)

(LEFT) Me pretty much near the start of my journey and (RIGHT) my first New Years while living in LA. (I can't seem to find the unwatermarked images anymore, lol)

Looking back, there was nothing wrong with me at that point and I should have focused on health and fitness instead of only aesthetics. I had a journey fueled by self hate rather than one of self love. 

In 2014 I moved to Los Angeles. At that point I didn't want to be in Sacramento anymore, my parents were splitting up after almost 30 years of marriage, and I needed a fresh start with new opportunities. I went to live with my wonderful grandparents after almost five years of living on my own. The first year in LA I'll never forget the one incident that completely changed the way I look at women who are victims of sexual assault, especially because I became one, and how much it changes how you view your body. I remember going to Kaiser and being diagnosed with depression shortly after that.

The two years that followed were rough — it seemed like I just couldn't catch a break. I still loved LA and loved how warm and welcoming my grandparents house was, but I missed my independence and having a sense of freedom and started applying to jobs outside of LA. In May 2016 my grandpa died and I'll never forget the stress and guilt I felt for still wanting to leave, knowing it would leave my grandma alone.

During this time, and this past year, is when I gained a lot of weight back. I can’t entirely blame depression for it, but anyone who's ever been depressed or who is suffering from depressive disorder knows that it attacks your motivation. Barely feeling motivated to eat one or two meals a day  (which slows down your metabolism) and feeling accomplished just by making it out of bed that morning, let alone making it to the gym. 

 This wasn't my smallest, but it was still a healthy weight for me and I liked the way I looked in clothes. 2014.

This wasn't my smallest, but it was still a healthy weight for me and I liked the way I looked in clothes. 2014.

 Just last year. Obviously not back to where I started, but there is some significant weight gain, you can see in my face, midsection, and thighs. 2017.

Just last year. Obviously not back to where I started, but there is some significant weight gain, you can see in my face, midsection, and thighs. 2017.

In November of last year I started seeing a new therapist and I think she's awesome. Something she told me last week that really resonated with me was, "You need to share your story and then learn to let it go." 

One of my faults is that I've let everything I've been though, and am currently going through, weigh me down — mentally and physically. For me, my new fitness journey is every part mental as it is physical. Completely different than how it was the first time around. 

ON A POSITIVE NOTE, I know that if I've done something once, I can do it again. Even quicker, because I know exactly what to do and what works for me. Of course I want to look my best, but I also want to challenge myself to love my body at every stage of the process and truly be happy.


MY PLAN FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS: 

FOOD:

I'm a flexitarian (I pretty much move along the spectrum from vegan to vegetarian to pescatarian). My diet is pretty healthy — I do a 75/25 thing, 75% of the time it's good, 25% of the time I treat myself. I don’t do artificial food coloring, high fructose corn syrup or super processed foods because they freak me out, lol. For the next two months, I'll be doing more of an 85/15, and getting more strict with my diet. 

  • Limit cheese intake — this one is more of a personal thing. I haven't had dairy milk in years, and just feel like it's a contradiction to eat cheese (even though I'm lowkey obsessed with cheese). I'm also on the fence about dairy in general.
  • Low carb dinners. My allotted grams of carbs will be ate either in the morning or for lunch. This is something I also did years ago to lose a bunch of weight. 
  • EAT MORE. I literally used to eat about 5-6 times a day when I was at my fittest. People underestimate how much frequent eating of healthy, small-portioned meals helps your metabolism. 
  • Measure use of oils when cooking. I love olive oil and coconut oil, and they have healthy benefits, but are high in calories and you want to be in a deficit when aiming for weight loss. 

WORKOUTS:

  • Workouts 4-5 times per week
  • Focus on weights AND cardio. First time around I just did a bunch of cardio for the most part, but I want a more solid, firm body this time around
  • Push myself to my limits

LIFESTYLE

  • Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night (I'm currently at about 4 hours, 5 if I'm lucky)
  • Only one glass of red wine per week, if I drink any at all.
  • If going out with friends, no margaritas or other cocktails high in sugar. Just straight shots if I do partake, lol.   

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Read more
  • Focus on self care
  • Avoid unnecessarily stressful situations or environments
  • Remind myself I am always enough <3
  • Learn to let go

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, but I'm giving myself 60 days to make sure I really adhere to it. I'm excited to see not only how much better I'll feel about myself physically, but most importantly how great I'll feel to be in a better headspace. 

Feel free to share with me your own fitness journeys, reach out for accountability, or just provide encouragement.