I’ve been working out every day. I promise I have.
I just don’t like pretending to be something I’m not. Like, how many more fitness personalities does the internet actually need?
About two or three years ago I came across an Instagram profile of one Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) and I was ultra inspired by her. Then came the folks at Bodyrock.tv with their 12-minute workouts, Jen Selter, Freelee the Banana Girl’s high carb low fat lifestyle (and through her, Kayla Itsines), and so on.
But in an attempt to be my best, most healthy self, I thoroughly screwed myself up.
I named these individuals as an example of how I personally viewed the rise of the Instagram and then YouTube health and wellness persona that has truly taken ideals of health and fitness by storm. One of my childhood friends is one of these #fitgirls, which is still super inspiring to me.
That isn’t the life I want to lead, though. Unless a support system is involved, and one is using their body and lifestyle as part of a brand or business (inclusive of the entertainment industry), I am not a huge fan of this hardcore, buzzword/hashtag-driven, pics-or-it-didn’t-happen sort of advertising. And yet here I am. Trying to have fun, trying to strengthen my body, attempting to offer discourse within all the clutter of what one “should” do and what is actually possible.
Last year, I took a Cancun vacation in August. From the moment I booked the trip that February, I worked to come up with the perfect diet and workout in order to have The Instagram-Worthy Beach Body™.
Well, I never got that body. I kid you not — I stayed the same size for the whole damn year. No matter how little I ate or how much time I spent in the gym, my body stayed the exact same size. The measuring tape did not budge one damn inch. I had a great time in Cancun, but I wasn’t at all pleased with how things turned out.
In contrast: this year, I formally exercise around 45 to 60 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week. I am actively working to cut that down to 30 to 45 minutes, 5 days a week. I am also a lot more relaxed on diet, but make sure to drink as close to three liters of water a day.
I don’t drink that much — maybe once every two weeks, but I’m considering lessening even that.
My sleep quality could improve, but I average six hours a night.
I also get really stressed sometimes, to the point that it physically manifests itself as edema or a rash of some kind, sometimes eye twitching (always fun).
I cry when I’m happy, sad, and angry. I let things get to me. I keep things inside. Sometimes I’m a hermit and don’t want to come out.
I’m not perfect, and will never advertise myself to be as such. “Do not be like me” would be my slogan of choice. That said, since I’ve just gone along with life instead of trying to control every move, I’ve lost eight to ten pounds. I feel more comfortable in my skin. I don’t count calories. I eyeball portions instead of measuring. I just try to exist at this point, and my body seems to like that a lot better than what it had previously been subjected to.
If I had to recommend anything, it would be that — stop trying so hard. Set your own standard and don’t feel badly for eating more than your macros, for sleeping in, for taking a leisurely walk around the block instead of lifting heavy weights. Work within the limits of your body. Push them a little if you can, because, I mean, the zombies are coming.
Function and strength is awesome — remember that.
But more importantly, remember that no one is going to give two shits whether you’re swole af or your thighs jiggle when the zpocalypse hits.
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