So, some of you may know I am a wellness lover and that I dabble in fitness – but I wanted to explain my fitness life, because although I’m committed to it with my #HoodRatGymRat posts…I am actually not in love with working out like other people in my lane are. I don’t do intense yoga poses with my boo thang, I don’t get a kick out of hiking and I certainly am not the first one to get down and plank…I sort of do what I know and stick to that.
As early as 4th grade, I can recall waking up before my usual wake up time for school and doing a little aerobics courtesy of our dusty old TV. In the darkness of those 5 a.m. mornings, I would sweat alongside Denise Austin and let her peppy voice lead me to fitness. I’m not sure why I started that young, maybe I was grappling with some body issues as I did start to develop at that tender age.
Anyways, I didn’t stick with it for too long , but by 8th grade I decided to start running–which is strange because I would rather be round house kicked in the face than run at the moment. Running at that age felt liberating and also got me pretty fit, but again, I fell off shortly after my first or second year of high school.
My interest in getting fit was always a short term goal. Like, getting in shape for Prom or getting in shape for Summer. It wasn’t until I was in art school and instead of gaining the Freshman 15 I gained the Freshman 30, that I decided to join a gym for longevity and health. I did, but again…I fell off. It truly wasn’t until 2011 that a good friend noticed my weight gain and said that I needed to get back on my grind (you could literally be brutally honest with me and I won’t take offense).
So, I did…and I didn’t look back. I was tired of being so wishy washy, a trait I didn’t even like in others. I decided to get my life and keep it tight! My weight has always fluctuated and at my adult heaviest, I was 139 lbs. Some people find it hard to believe that I was almost 30 lbs heavier, but being a tomboy had its perks when hiding unappreciated weight gain.
Then, in 2013 I got the flu very badly (with a month long cough that made it impossible to eat) and lost even more weight. At my lowest, I got to about 107 maybe? Lipstick Alley was on fire with the comments about me, but thankfully some reader made note that I wrote about my weight loss/flu experience on a blog post…
I still fluctuate here and there, getting down to as low as 112 when I travel to places like Europe that don’t have many vegan options and as upward as 119 when I’m cozy in NYC.
It really took me mentally dedicating to get myself on a fitness regimen. I stopped thinking of it as a short term thing and gave up focusing on how much I didn’t want to do it, instead focusing on how awesome I felt after a great workout or enjoying how I looked in cute clothes. I also don’t focus on perfection, I focus on feeling good…lord knows I would love bigger and better in various areas, but I’m good…really. Now, I look at working out like showering…you just have to do it! That shift in focus has allowed me to stay on my game.
It also helps to find what you like. I’m a creature of habit, and as a true New Yorker, I like to kill as many birds with one stone–so I use the same elliptical/arc trainer machine everyday. I know, you are supposed to mix it up – but I like to do social media, email and research new music while sweating out my Jhermack Bounceback. I do spice things up with jumping rope and Y7 Yoga, which is performed in a hot candle-lit studio with new Hip Hop and R&B. Peep my HypeBae Interview with Y7 here.
I hope this all might inspire you on your journey to fitness. Like I said, I am regular, schmegular and am not invigorated by the thought of working out – but, I made it work for me and you can too!