Current Leg Day Workout Routine! 🏋🏻‍♀️💪🏼

Hi Guys, Happy Monday!

Today’s post is going to be a fitness related one. Every time I put up pictures and/or videos on my social media accounts about me working out, I always get a ton of questions about it with my workouts, where I go, who I go with, etc. So this will be the perfect time for me to address all of that!

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First and foremost, I am in no way, shape or form a health or fitness expert nor am I trying to be, so everything I’m going to mention are things that I’ve found which have been working really well for me.

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For those of you who don’t know, I’m a member of Blink Fitness (don’t ask me why I go here as opposed to anywhere else because I just kind of randomly picked it about 3 years ago). I’ve been a member since about 2015 I would say, but never used to be consistent with it. It wasn’t until about 3-4 months ago that I got REALLY serious about going to the gym and working out. I try to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. I give myself one day off in the middle of the week to be able to recover a bit and come back feeling ready to kick ass for the rest of the week. And then I take off Saturdays because that’s usually when I run errands or Diego and I go out for date night.

During the week I go everyday after work, and on Sundays, Diego and I will usually start our days off by going to the gym then doing whatever else we have to do afterwards.

Almost always if you see me in the gym, I’m with Diego and our good friend Genaro. I love working out with them because we all motivate each other and keep up with one another, they don’t take it easy on me because I’m a girl, if anything, they push me harder because of that.

And pretty much the way we do workout is that we break our workouts up into particular days so that everyday we’re doing something different and keeping it fun/exciting. We separate our workouts into leg day, upper body day, full-body workout days (which is normally only once a week, IF that), and simply just cardio.

Aside from breaking our workouts up into specific days, we also break it up between heavy week and light week, and since this post is going up today (Monday), that actually starts our heavy week off with this.

Keep in mind that we take our time with workouts and end up spending about 2-3 hours in the gym to make sure that we hit each part of the workout not only properly, but completely. Also, our workouts as a whole are really not at all that bad or intense, it’s just something you have to get used to overall.

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Personally in order for me to feel like I’m going to have a kickass workout, I NEED pre-workout. And yeah its not good to rely on certain things like that and blah blah blah, but it just always gives me that extra little boost of energy I need to get things going. Plus, I really don’t rely on it as much as I think I do, I think I just tell myself I do because there will be times that I don’t take any (mainly because I ran out, not necessarily by choice) and will still have a pretty great workout.

For those of you who don’t know, pre-workout for the most part is a supplement that ultimately has caffeine in it to give you an extra boost of energy, pretty much the same concept as a Red-Bull and/or Monster, but it’s a lot better for you than that. The one that Diego, Genaro and I use is from this website called Bare Performance Nutrition . Their products are a bit pricey, but we definitely like them and think their worth it.

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So the other day I took a poll on Instagram to see which fitness routine I should write about first and the vast majority of you voted for leg day, so here it is!

Now, if you’re anything like me, you love a good leg day. Personally, I like to start each week with leg day (whether I’m going heavy or staying steady) because that helps me get pumped for the rest of the week. With that being said, let’s get into the actual workout routine I always do!!

If you’re a beginner and even if you’re not, of course its always ideal for you to spend about 10-15 minutes stretching, especially if you’re going to be attempting to pull heavy weight. Again, I’m not an expert but I’ve been finding that for me personally, I don’t always need to spend a great deal of time stretching in order for me to feel good and ready for my workout. Sometimes yes, but not always.

The first thing I always start my leg days off with is squats.

  1. Squats

With each workout we always start with our compound movement, which is pretty much an exercise that hits/targets more than one muscle, which in the case of leg day would be squats. While squatting you work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and even your back a bit when you have the bar on your back and tighten it.

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Altogether I roughly do about 7 sets of squatting, and 3 of those are pretty much just for the sake of warming up. The difference is that for heavy week we always pretty much use that time to test the weight to see how far we can go with it and what our “max” is. Ultimately we keep the amount of reps we do with each set low so that we don’t tire ourselves out too quickly and are able to actually reach some type of PR. So it looks a little something like this:

1. 1 set of 10 with just bar.

2. 1 set of like 6-7 with just the bar again.

3. 1 set of about 6 with the bar while adding 10lbs to each side, which would be a total of 65lbs.

Once I finish with that, it’s relatively light still for me to feel comfortable enough that for the next set I’ll be able to bump the weight up to 25lbs on each side for the final “warming up” set before my actual working sets start.

4. 1 set of 4-5 with the bar while adding 25lbs to each side, which adds up to 95lbs total.

After that set I’ll bump the weight again, but at this point the amount of weight I add on will depend on how I’ve been feeling after the past couple of sets I just did, while also taking into consideration the last time I squatted (more so during my heavy week), so I’m basing it right now off what I’ve been doing recently which would be either 115lbs (35lbs on each side) or 135lbs (45lbs on each side). My max. right now is 135lbs and I was only able to do that for 1 rep 2 weeks ago, so I’ll probably just try that again or bump the weight down to 115lbs to be able to complete my working sets (which would be about 3 of them).

After squatting I’ll move on to the seated leg press:

2. Seated Leg Press

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From here on out I’ll keep all of my workouts to 3 sets each. So with the leg press I’ll start off with 180lbs total (2 45lb plates on both sides).

  1. 1 set of 10 on 180lbs. For the next one I’ll bump the weight up another 10lbs on each side, for a total of 200lbs.
  2. 1 set of 6-8 on 200lbs. And finally I’ll bump it up to 25lbs on both sides along with the 180lbs that was already on it, for a total of 230lbs which is the heaviest I’ve gone on the leg press.
  3. 1 set of 4-6 on 230lbs.

      3. Good Girl, Bad Girl

After the leg press, I move on to what is known to me and Diego as ‘good girl, bad girl’, lol it sounds weird, but honestly it’s one of my favorite workouts to do during leg day.

 

 

The purpose of both for the most part is to pretty much entirely work the hip area of your body. So the first one you’re spreading your legs/knees open, which will work the abductor muscle groups on the outside of your hips. You’re supposed to push out against the resistance. Whereas with the other machine (hip adduction), you’re doing relatively the same motion, but the opposite, meaning you’re pushing against the resistance to CLOSE your legs together which ultimately works the muscle groups on your inner thighs (hence Diego and I calling it good girl, bad girl). Trust me, it’s killer but in the best way.

So my sets will go something like this:

Hip abductors (pushing out)- 1 set of 8-10 on about 130lbs; 1 set of 8-10 on 150lbs; and 1 set of 8-10 on 170lbs. The reason the weight may seem really high is because of how used to it I am and that’s when I’ll feel the most resistance (in other words that’s when I feel the workout the most).

For hip adduction (pushing in)- it’s relatively the same, however I will say this is slightly more difficult for me, so the weight isn’t as high as it would be for the other one, so I’ll do 1 set of 8-10 on like 90lbs; 6-8 on 110lbs; and 4-6 (or as many as I can push through) on 130lbs.

      4. Leg Extensions

After good girl, bad girl I move on to seated leg extensions which is a great machine/workout to work on your quad muscles.

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In my opinion this is the best and worst leg workout. It’s the best because it’s an amazing way to work on your quads, but its the worst because I find that it’s a lot more difficult to do when your legs are shot from just finishing your squat session. But because of that, I’ll tend to start off on somewhat of a low weight, then work my way up.

So I’ll do: 1 set of 10 on 70lbs, 1 set of about 6-8 on 90lbs, and then try to do about 4-6 on 100-110lbs (depending on how I’m feeling and how the other 2 sets went).

Following Leg Extensions comes another favorite of mine which is calf extensions.

      5. Calf Extensions

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This is really similar to leg press, the only difference is your whole foot isn’t flat on the plate surface. Your feet are at somewhat of an angle where they’re in a tip-toe kind of position so you’ll be pushing off from that.

I normally start off at about 70lbs and depending on how I feel, work my way up from that or stay at a steady weight. So 1 set of 10 on 70lbs, 1 set of 6-8 on 90lbs and a set of 4-6 on 100lbs.

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At this point I’m normally pretty content with everything I’ve done and could pretty much end my workout here after I finish with my calf extensions, but lately I’ve added 2 more workouts to my routine. Sometimes I get to do them and sometimes I don’t, it all depends on how I feel after all this and timing, how late or not it may be.

The first one is leg curls:

      6. Leg Curls

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This is an amazing workout that will completely work your hamstrings. I prefer doing this to work my hamstrings than anything else really, I don’t know there’s just something about it that I love, and I feel the burn of it almost immediately whenever I complete a set. So for this, my numbers aren’t all that great, weight wise, but they are enough that like I said I feel it as soon as I’m finished.

So I’ll do, 1 set of 10 on 50lbs, 1 set of 6-8 on 60lbs, and for my final set I’ll push for 4-6 on 70lbs, or as I said earlier, as many that I can push myself to do.

For the most part that’s my entire workout. Occasionally, if I have the time I’ll do one more exercise to work predominantly on my glutes, but I really don’t always have time for it so I don’t really think it’s worth mentioning.

HOWEVER, once I do all of that, I tie everything together and close out the night with a good cardio session (again depending on time determines how long I’ll be able to do it for). On average I always tend to do AT LEAST 30-35 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week, this amount of time usually allows me to burn about 300+ calories which is fine for me. On days where I happen to have more time and am feeling ambitious, I’ll push to do 45 minutes more or less which allows me to burn 400-450 calories. During our heavy week workouts that isn’t always too ideal though because that’ll tend to burn out a lot more of our energy on top of what we already are doing, which is why sticking to 200-300 calories in cardio is a lot better for us.

When it comes to doing cardio I think that everyone has their own opinions and preferences on it, what they consider good for it, what they don’t, etc. But for me, I always stick to the treadmill. So long as I have a high incline and at least 2.8-3.0 speed, that’ll be enough to hit my calorie goal for what I want to burn. Diego does the treadmill with me most times, but overall he prefers the StairMaster. It all depends on what you like and prefer.

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Well guys that’s it. That’s my entire leg day workout that I always stick to and has been working really well for me. It’s really not as much or as intense as it may look or seem. It just all comes down to pushing yourself and getting used to it.

Let me know in the comments if you guys do anything similar or completely different for your leg day workouts. Let me know if you found this helpful at all, wasn’t all that descriptive, or just a general comment about what you think about my workout and stay tuned in a couple of weeks for my other post about my full upper body workout!

-Until then,

Xoxo Leo Girl ❤

Hi, I’m Fine.

 

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Hi Guys,

It’s been a while. Hope everyone had a good, productive week and are ready to kick back and finally enjoy the weekend!

Today’s topic is something that is really personal to me, and many others I’m sure. Something that is severely overlooked in the day and age that we live in, and hasn’t been taken nearly as serious as it should. It’s the topic of mental health.

As always, I’m going to start off with my personal experiences with my mental health, then go into my general thoughts on the topic.

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My Story

This is something that very few people know about me. I’ve really only told a hand full of people, because it’s not exactly something to brag about; however, it is something I feel that I want and need to shed some light on at least once, in depth.

It’s something I think I’ve actually dealt with on and off for a number of years, maybe 4 or 5 years actually; but it wasn’t until about a year ago that it got really bad, and I realized I had a problem, which is what in particular I’m going to be talking about today.

There were so many different things going on with myself internally that I didn’t understand how or why it was happening. But I’ve been dealing with Anxiety and depression for some time now. Now, thankfully neither of these things are or were ever to extremely serious extents. And what I mean by that, because I know many people when they think depression, their thoughts immediately turn to suicide; so thankfully, it has never gotten to that extent, or even just suicidal thoughts, for me,  and both are somewhat mild I guess you could say.

Many of the most common symptoms for depression are agitation, irritability, social isolation, excessive sleepiness as a result over-sleeping or lack thereof, excessive hunger or lack thereof, lack of concentration, excessive weight gain or loss, hopelessness, constantly feeling insecure about yourself, and loss of interest or pleasure in activities (name a few), all of which I had.

As I said earlier, I was going through a lot of these things (i.e. always feeling down, over-eating, isolating myself, etc.), and didn’t understand a lot of it because I never used to be like that, and all of it had been sort of accumulating over the years. But during my last year of college was when I noticed how immensely it was actually effecting me. It got to the point where I was skipping days upon days of classes and coming up with the most insane excuses for my professors because I literally had NO motivation to go and/or do anything. I would spend days in my room and whenever I didn’t have or didn’t go to class, or when I was off from work, I would only come out to go buy food or something. In all my spare time all I would really do is eat, sleep, and watch T.V., literally all day long.

Some people would say that I probably did all this to myself, and I probably did to some extent, but I also have other reasons that I know played a role in it all. There were things going on with family, school, my health, and work that were not only wearing me down, but also left me feeling like I was stuck in such a repetitive routine that I absolutely hated.

As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, school wore me down a lot. That played a big role in the way I was feeling. It was odd though, because I loved being able to dorm, especially in the apartment that I was in, it gave me a huge sense of independence that I absolutely loved; but I hated the classes part of it, which I know obviously I could not have one without the other.

Another part of me feeling the way that I did was how much I was working. As I mentioned in my Health & Fitness post, my last year of college I was working at The Cheesecake Factory, which in my opinion, working in a restaurant was FAR worse and much more time consuming then working retail, although working in a restaurant could be considered retail in a sense, but I’m talking clothing stores and such.  If you read my Health post, you know that I was working pretty much everyday of each week, and they would be ridiculously long hours. People sort of joke all the time about getting slaved at work, but working at Cheesecake was the purest definition of that. Monday through Thursday I would have classes, and typically end up working from 4 or 5pm- to 9pm if not closing at 11pm. Friday through Sunday, I was working 11:30am (opening) until about 9-10pm sometimes later. Now don’t get me wrong, to an extent I liked it, they were giving me all of those hours all the time because they liked and trusted the way I worked, and in the long run it looked great in my paychecks, which was great, but after a while it did wear me down tremendously. I was exhausted 90% of the time, and it got to the point where I had no motivation to go to school or work, because any type of little free-time I had I just wanted to sleep; OR I would try to create my own free-time by not going to classes or calling out of work.

It was bad. My tiredness and lack of motivation got to the point where I was having more bad days than I was good ones. I was getting so freaked out about what was going on with myself. I just truly felt hopeless overall, and like I didn’t know what to do with myself anymore.

I never told anyone when I started feeling the way that I did, because I didn’t even fully know or understand what was going on, so how was I even going to attempt to tell other people?

So for about a month I kept it all to myself; the only one who sort of knew was my boyfriend, not because I told him anything really, but because he saw the way I was acting and had a feeling that something was wrong. Then when I started to realize something was REALLY wrong, I did my own research on it all, what I was feeling, etc., (yeah I guess I was self-diagnosing, and they say not to do that, but I needed SOME type of answer at the time), and sure enough I got my answer. So I started talking to him about it, he asked his questions, I would answer to the best of my ability, and we just talked about it all until there wasn’t much left else to say. He was concerned obviously, and I threw around the idea to him about telling my parents, although I was scared about it. He knew how nervous I was about it, and so he advised to think it thoroughly through  before doing anything, and so I did and came to the conclusion that I would hold off from telling them for a while.

I have a variety of reasons for my being nervous to tell them. And everything I say is in no way, shape, form a way to bash them. It’s just my thoughts, and how I felt through it all. My parents are very old-school, so they don’t believe in a lot of things like depression and the like, especially for people my age if not younger. They believe in the whole “don’t think about it, just ignore it and it’ll go away” method. And I guess I don’t really blame them because they’ve never had to deal with things like that before within themselves or their families. They believe that people my age should never be depressed, because what do we actually have to be depressed for? Personally, I think it’s more an ‘in-denial’ thing, that they don’t necessarily want to believe their child is going through that, because they don’t want me to HAVE to go through that, which in itself is understandable of course, but it doesn’t mean what I’m feeling isn’t there, and I can’t just hide it. I mean I had for a long time, but not anymore.

Although I didn’t immediately decide to tell them, I did end up going to someone else in my family that I thought would be really helpful throughout it all, and that was my brother. I went to him because I figure I would be able talk to him about it, especially since he’s a psychologist, so I thought it would help. Sure enough, it did. I spoke to him about it, and his initial reaction was to be expected: anxious, worried, asking me a million and one question, etc. But there was a certain sense of comfort I got from speaking to him about it all. I also talked to him about the idea of bringing it up to my parents, I told him my concerns with it, but also why I felt like they should know. And him, just like my boyfriend, didn’t force me to do it or make me feel bad for having my thoughts about it, he simply just supported whatever I would end up deciding because I’m the one dealing with it.

I figure if I spoke to my mom about it, she would be more supportive and understanding then my dad would be, because although they both had that kind of old-school mentality, it was more him than it was her.

Sure enough, I made the call and started talking to my mom about it all. At first, her initial reaction was extremely frustrating and annoying, she did and said exactly what I was worried about that whole time. She told me not to think about it, just ignore it and it would go away, she told me I’m probably just over-thinking it, I just need to get up, stop being lazy and be more active to get myself out of that. And above all, I felt like she was trying to scare me when she brought up that if I went to a psychologist and everything ended up being true, they would probably end up making me take medication to stop it/make me feel better. I was so pissed off at everything she was saying. Is she serious right now? THAT’S her biggest concern at the moment? I then proceeded to let her know that everything she was saying was exactly why I hadn’t wanted to tell her or my dad about anything, because those were the last things I wanted/needed to hear.

And then I hung up.

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Following that day I didn’t want to speak to her or anyone else about how I was feeling again. With each day that passed she would constantly try to ask things like so how are you feeling? Are you better today? And I would give her the same answer all the time, “I’m fine.”

The way I was feeling would come and go a lot, and hit me at the most random times, so it was hard to give her or anyone a solid answer about how I was feeling, because in that moment I was okay, but an hour later I would feel completely different. A few days later, she told me that I should go see and talk to someone about how I was feeling, but I didn’t know how any of that worked or how to go about even finding someone, so I was super skeptical about it all. I ended up finding out that on campus at Purchase, they had this place called the Wellness Center, which I sort of knew about, but didn’t know exactly the type of programs and such that it offered. After looking into more information for that, I came to learn that it was an entire building for things like what I was feeling and those that are in far worse conditions. So, I booked an appointment to speak to a fellow psychologist.

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Therapy? Really?? Did I really just book an appointment for that? I considered skipping the appointment altogether and coming up with an excuse for why I didn’t go, but then I figured I should at least give it a shot once and see what happens.

Man, people aren’t kidding when they say that shit gets intense.

It was only an hour and a half, and from that, we managed to touch upon A LOT of hidden ground that I hadn’t spoken about to many people. Some of which is a little too personal to bring up in this post right now.

It freaked me out though, and I didn’t like how vulnerable I felt speaking to this woman that I didn’t know for a hole in the wall. She asked me to book another appointment for the following week, and I did, but I never showed up to that follow-up.

The way I was feeling kept coming and going, and it wasn’t like a headache that I could just take a Tylenol and it would go away within half hour or so. Sometimes it would last a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, and sometimes it would last an entire day. It was hard, but I kept taking it day by day. It wasn’t until my graduation that I finally let it known to everyone what I had been going through the past few months in an Instagram post. Yes, I know it was probably weird and cheesy for me to have done that on there, but it was a post expressing my gratitude and what I felt/thought was strength after finally graduating.

What now? 

Things are a bit different, I’m back home and closer to my friends and family, and have been able to do constructive things to keep myself busy to not think about the negatives. I get to read my books whenever I want, I get to come home from a long day’s work and not have to worry about homework, tests, or quizzes, and I just generally have more time for myself. I’m in a much better place now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with the issues that I had, I still have my days where it hits me hard and I just feel really hopeless. And days where my anxiety attempts to get the best of me and keep me from stepping outside and doing the things I have to, but I try to fight through it each and every time to ensure that I live my life the way I want to, not by the things I go through that I know will eventually will pass, even if I never know how long it’ll take next time.

The Purpose

Following my one and only therapy appointment, during the last few weeks of school, I was watching Thirteen Reasons Why. Although I found it to be a really good, it did nothing at all to help me whatsoever, if anything, it made it a million times worse. To this day, I’m not exactly sure why, but all I know is, when I finished watching the show, it freaked me out so much that I couldn’t sleep for like a week. And I think the reason it freaked me out was because of how weirdly relatable it was to me. No, I never thought about suicide, and no I didn’t have thirteen reasons as to why I was depressed, but the way Hannah kept trying at life, with people, work, her parents, etc., and it kept always seeming to fail, got me. Also, how much she thought and expected for her parents to figure it all out and help her without judging her, but they didn’t got me too. There were so many signs there she gave off, the ways she was feeling, and not a single person caught on to any of it.

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It’s heartbreaking because there are way too many people in the world that are going through or have been through similar situations where they’re depressed and going through really heavy/deep stuff and they feel like they have no one to be there for them. Which, as a result, causes them more often than not to turn to the gruesome alternative of suicide.

I’m not writing this post to get any type of pity from anyone, or to have anyone write me after reading this and ask if I’m okay, and if I ever need anything to let them know; I’m writing this post because I know so many people that have gone through some serious shit, that they’ve felt like in the moment of it happening, they have absolutely no one to talk to. They feel like their alone, which as result causes them to handle things alone. It may not mean much for you to see or hear, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And I’m sorry that you feel alone right now, or that you did, but you have to know/understand that as cliche as it is, there is ALWAYS someone there, around you, or that you know who cares. Talk to SOMEONE, a family member, a friend, a significant other; someone WILL care. You don’t have to go through anything alone, and if you were like me, that you don’t know how to explain whatever is you’re going through, that’s okay. You can figure it out along the way, someone can help you figure it out. But you have to talk to someone, don’t wait until it’s too late to do or say something.

And parents, friends, strangers: watch out for the signs. There are always signs there. Yeah, sometimes it may be nothing, but other times it could be a whole lot, and they really do need you. Even if you may be wrong with what you think you see, at least you showed you cared and would be there for them. Don’t force anything from their end, but if they’re going to you and talking to you about something, hear them out, whether they’re old or young. They may not be exaggerating like you think, and they could know/feel a lot more than you would expect, and with whatever it is they’re going through, they could use all the love, help, and support they could get. Overall, just be mindful. Be mindful of what you say and do to people because you really have no idea how big or small of an impact you can have on a person, whether positive or negative.

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Food for thought. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

 

-Xoxo Leo Girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Healthy Is Hard, But Sometimes, You Have To Just Do It ✔️😉

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a good week, and if it wasn’t too great for you, brush it off, go have a drink, and kick back because it’s Friday and Labor Day weekend, which means most of us get a 3-day weekend as opposed to the normal 2! 😀

Today’s post is going to be about something that is pretty much one specific topic, that has a few different parts attached to it. Something that I think a lot of us tend to take for granted sometimes, and also knowing the solution for it but being too lazy or hardheaded about going/doing it. If my “Featured Image” didn’t give it away, and you haven’t already attempted to guess, I’m talking about the topic of HEALTH AND FITNESS.

I feel like a lot of the topics like these that I’m going to be covering, I need to add some sort of PSA for, because in no way, shape, or form am I an expert and/or professional about ANY of this. I’m just simply writing based off of my own experiences and opinions as I’ve previously mentioned before, so as always, if you do not agree with the things I’m saying, that’s okay. If you disagree with something, or several things that I have said and it’s offended you in any sort of way, please by all means leave me a comment down below as to why you feel the way you do, or just simply not continue to follow my posts.

OKAAAAYYYYYYY, now that THATS out of the way, lets proceed :)!

My Personal Health Background

Thankfully, I have always been healthy for the most part, *knock on wood*, never had to deal with any serious medical conditions or anything other than some asthma, but even that was minor. And I’ve always been very grateful for this because I know and have seen so many people, whether friends or family, having to deal with chronic asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. It’s heartbreaking to see actually, but thankfully neither myself or my immediate family has ever had to deal with those kind of things.

I do have to say that it is kind of a shock to me that I’ve always been so healthy, and I know that sounds weird, but I’ll explain why I say this. I mean I am more than grateful that I have never had to deal with any type of serious or non-serious medical conditions, as I’ve mentioned, but I’ve never been into eating healthy foods. I’m such a picky eater, like SUCH a picky eater, that I never used to like or even go near any type of vegetables or fruits, with the exception of bananas, up until like maybe a year or two ago. It’s actually crazy. Never ate any type of healthy foods, never took any vitamins, or if I did it would be only for a while, then I would stop. On top of that, I am a HUGE junk food eater…..chocolate….chocolate is my THING. Any type of chocolate, I could eat at any point of the day and I will absolutely love that, but going near a salad? Yeah, no.

gym meme

I’ve always really lucked out with that for my entire life when it came to my internal health and external weight. When my brother and I were younger, and even now to some extents, my parents ALWAYS made sure to keep us active. We were always riding bikes, scooters, playing basketball or handball, etc., we were always doing SOMETHING. So I guess that’s kind of why my weight got balanced out. But it wasn’t until high school and college that my weight really started to fluctuate extensively.

Come my sophomore year of high school, there was this guy I really liked and talked to, we had known each other for a really long time, and ended up getting together around the holidays. It’s a really long story, but long story short, he was my first real crush I guess you could say, I won’t say love, because I know it definitely was not love. But we were together for the span of about a year, on and off, and throughout that time he did so much shady shit to me including cheating and stealing from me. Now I’m NOT going to mention names because that isn’t the point of the story, so please do not ask me. The point of the story is that being that I was so young, and I thought this relationship was such a big deal, I really let all of those things affect me tremendously; because it affected me mentally, I let it affect me physically as well, as in I really wasn’t eating as much, and I lost a TON of weight because of it. I wasn’t anorexic, and I wasn’t trying to hurt myself by forcing myself to throw up or anything, I had just legitimately lost my appetite, so I just was not eating. I would eat the smallest portions ever and feel full. Even for some of my favorite foods that my mom would make for dinner I would barely touch. And they would constantly try forcing me to eat, but I had no real appetite for months. It was to the point where I looked so skinny, that people thought I was always sick. I looked super pale all the time, always had such deep, dark circles, teachers were always randomly walking up to me asking me if everything was okay from how badly I looked. This was also around the time that I found out I was anemic, so that really didn’t help at all either. It wasn’t until about 6 months, to a year later, that I finally got my appetite back and was eating regularly again.

Fast forward to my first year of college now, a a very similar situation happened. (Yes, I am fully aware that it is sad and extremely embarrassing that I let guys that really were not worth my time affect me as much as they did 🙄). This one, however, although it did affect me just as badly if not worse, was predominantly mental, so it didn’t affect my physical appearance too much; if anything, I think it caused me to look the best I’ve ever looked, so that was sort of a plus in a weird way lol.

Shortly after that occurred was when I (re)met my current boyfriend. Now, keep in mind that my entire life (with the exception of that one period of time in high school), I was never necessarily a skinny girl, I always had curves to me. So even when I met my boyfriend, I wasn’t skinny, but I was like a good weight, and my body had a nice shape to it. HOWEVER, this was also about the time where I started to really pack on weight. And I believe there are two major reasons why this ended up happening.

Please don’t mistake anything I’m saying for blaming him for my weight gain, because I am fully aware that it was all on me.

Reasons For My Extensive Weight Gain

When we first got together, and even now after 3 years of being together, we went out to eat A LOT. Which was fine at first, but after a while I think we both really realized that once in a blue moon its fine to go out to eat and/or order in, but definitely not all the time like we were doing. I was also still in school during all that time we were together, and dorming, so between us not seeing each other all that much and when we finally did it was on weekends and we would always just stick to ordering in, and the fact that I was away at school and a HUGE picky eater, it was just a mess lol.

Let me talk about being away at school for a bit. My first full year at Purchase, I was in a regular dorm room, no kitchen or anything to be able to cook my own meals, AND I lived literally right above one of the main food places on campus, The Hub, it was cool at first, but being that I was a picky eater and really only stuck to eating things I knew and liked, I was eating a lot of bad/greasy food back to back for a LONG time. And then came the two years following that first one, where I was living in my own on-campus apartment. That was awesome because it was pretty much a regular apartment that I shared with three other people that had its own bathroom, shower and fully stocked kitchen. Now, living in an apartment on campus was obviously more expensive than living in a dorm, so I BEGGED my parents to help pay for me to be able to live in one both years, because it was a lot better than the regular dorms. When I finally managed to get in one, I made a promise to myself and my parents that since I was going to have my own kitchen, I was going to cook more instead of eating all of the bad things that were on campus. I’m just going to say this now if you haven’t already assumed it, that both years this was an EPIC FAAAAAAAAAAAAILLLLLLLLL! 🤦🏻‍♀️

I knew how to cook certain things for breakfast and dinner, and they were things I would typically eat if I were at home and my mom made it for me, but I just always felt like I was busy either working or with schoolwork, so I guess you could say I was just lazy about the whole thing lol. But also, I really was working a lot. My second year at Purchase I was working at a retail store, Garage, so of course it was crazy hours during the week and the weekend, and then my third and final year at Purchase, I was working at a restaurant; The Cheesecake Factory, which was just as hectic as working in a retail store, if not MORE. Plus, working at a restaurant created another reason for me not to be able to cook, AND eat out more. The food was amazing, the cheesecake…I mean c’mon….and on top of all that, they gave their employees 50% off on all of the food when they were working. Amazing, but soooooooo terrible looking back at it now. I would literally be eating there every single day that I would be working, which was pretty much every single day of the week for about 9 months. I’d be working every day during the week from about 4-9pm, and weekends from 11:30am-10pm roughly. Between school and work, I would be so tired and hungry at the end of each day, that I was just trying to eat something quick and head to bed, as opposed to waiting another hour to hour and a half to cook something.

From all that and being stressed out with my last year of school, I ended up gaining a ridiculous amount of weight. It was to the point where I weighed the heaviest I had ever been in my life, which was nearly 200lbs. The only thing that really saved me from it being shown throughout my body was that I was tall; if I was short, it would’ve been over, I would’ve looked HUGE. I mean I saw it, and I was still super insecure and embarrassed about it, but the fact that not many other people noticed was somewhat of a comfort for it. But, nonetheless, it was still really tough on me.

My Big Change

Due to my dramatic weight change (among other things), I began to get depressed. I was lazy, and this just ended up furthering my issue of having no motivation to do anything, and just feel extremely tired all of the time. My mother was extremely concerned about me and kept urging me to go to the doctor and and get blood drawn to make sure everything with my health was okay. Thankfully, even though my weight gain was drastic, everything internally was still perfectly fine. However, I knew I needed a major change, because I wasn’t happy with myself or my body. Which when I think about all this it’s extremely ironic because my boyfriend was (and still is) such a big gym person. But this is actually where my change came in the most.

I had already had a gym membership for over a year before this happened at Blink Fitness (total waste of money for that whole time, I know and don’t need to be reminded of that), but it wasn’t until all this happened that I finally realized I needed to get serious about my eating habits and working out. So, I made a vow to myself to get back on track and get fit.

The Steps I Took To Get Fit Again:

  1. I pretty much had to give my apartment’s kitchen a completely new and different make-over, and go grocery shopping for better/healthier foods for me to be able to eat. This was probably one of the, if not THE most difficult part of the entire change for me, because of me being such a picky-eater, AND pretty much never eating vegetables and fruits before. But, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED 😈, because it needed to get done. It was extremely difficult at first, but I managed to play it smart, and stick to the types of foods that I knew I would like, while also being extremely mindful of the nutrition facts so that I could be eating healthy, but also like what I was eating. Also, being that I was such a big junk food person and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cut that out completely, if at all, I bought a ton of healthy snacks that were things like chocolate and such that I liked but were still not that much in calories in general, but particularly not that high in sugar and fat.
  2. The next step was probably the most obvious one which was going to the gym. Although it is pretty obvious, it’s also probably the hardest one. I’ve always said the easy part is working out once you’re there, but the hardest is actually getting there, because there’s a million excuses you could use to NOT go. “I have a ton of schoolwork,” “I’m tired right now, maybe later,” “I’ll make up for not going today, tomorrow,” etc., etc. I know I’ve definitely used a lot of these excuses before. I mean it’s so easy to right, so why not? But that’s not the right thing to do. So I had to force myself to go a lot of the times. It was difficult at first, but once I got into a routine it was a lot better and easier. I also managed to coordinate with my boyfriend, and whenever he would come stay with me for the weekends, we would make sure to go to the gym on both Saturdays and Sundays (most weekends) at some point in the day.
  3. The final step was tracking everything that I was eating all throughout the day, with the help of this app my boyfriend introduced me to called MyFitnessPal, which allows me to document every single thing I eat throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even how much of it I’m eating. This is also an extremely crucial step for this whole process, because it allows you to put how much you weigh and it’ll calculate for you how many calories and such you should be in-taking per day.

There are probably other steps that I could mention, but personally I think these are the important ones that I found worked for me the most.

Let’s just make clear now, that I know doing a lot of these things is never easy, in fact, there are going to be a lot of times when you mess up and fall off your routine, but that’s okay. It’s happened to me countless amounts of times, but if you have at least one person there who’ll back you up and keep you on track like a trainer, friend, or in my case a significant other, then I assure you it’ll make the entire process a lot easier. There have been so many times where I fell off my diet and didn’t workout for a few days, and my boyfriend called me out on it, and made sure that I got back on track. Granted, yes, at times it was a little annoying and came off a bit harsh, but ultimately, I always knew he was just trying to help me and make sure I stuck to it so I could achieve my end goal, which was to get fit again.

fat girl meme

Another really big issue I had when I first started all this was going to the gym by myself. I know how nerve-wrecking it can be for a lot of people, especially if you are new at it, because there’s the insecurity of feeling like you don’t really know what you’re doing and whether or not people are staring at you and judging. Although it may seem like that sometimes, rest-assured, no one’s watching you and no one cares for the most part unless they’re a trainer. Yes, there will be the occasional decent people who will actually try to help you out and show you the “right way” to do whatever it is you’re doing, but overall, no one cares because they’re all there with a pretty similar goal as you which is to worry about themselves and get fit.

kitty meme

There is also the issue of creepy guys at the gym. Ladies, I know at some point or another there has been a particular guy(s) that has made you feel a bit uncomfortable with the looks, or even just a group of them at a particular section of the gym (i.e. the free weights), where you want to go, but it kind of turns you off because all of them surrounding the area. I get it, it can be awkward, but that should never be a reason for you not to do that part of your workout, because they will leave eventually and you will be able to peacefully complete that set. There will always be creeps at the gym, but you just have to ignore them and keep it movin’. Do what you have to do, and leave. The quicker you start it, the quicker you can be done and on to the next portion of your workout. Now, I’m not saying to rush it, but just try not to stall that much in getting it done.hot dog meme

My Advice To Those People Who Are Beginners And Trying to Get Fit:

1. Set a goal(s) for yourself in what you want to accomplish as far as your weight, things you want to accomplish in the gym, what you want to start/stop eating, etc. and maybe even a particular time frame for you to get it done in.

2. Create a schedule for yourself for when exactly you think you would and wouldn’t be able to go to the gym (AND STICK WITH IT!). 

3. Find a gym partner; someone you know will have fun with you in the gym, motivate you to do better, and try new things/workouts while there.

4. Track everything that you eat in a day. You’d really be surprised how much this could help you realize the kind of things that you eat and what needs to be cut out. MyFitnessPal is a great app to have to do that.

5. Take before and after pictures to be able to see/note your progress!

6. Don’t be shy in the gym!!! It’s okay to mess up, because you will learn from your mistakes for next time.

7. Track your workouts, to be able to see what are your strengths and weaknesses in the gym; what you’re improving, and what your lacking, etc.

8. Read articles and watch videos on YouTube. But not from the fake Instagram people who do those weird juice and cleansing diets, because they’re fake and don’t actually do anything for you. Look up real people and videos that actually know what they’re talking about, show you how to do certain workouts, etc. (My personal favorite fitness YouTuber is Amanda Bucci ladies, she’s great at what she does, and looks AMAZING. 😍)

9. It’s okay to allow yourself a cheat day, just don’t allow it to take over you and make you lose track of your end goal.

10. Weigh yourself weekly. Some people do it weekly, and some people do it daily. I personally prefer weekly because it’ll give me the entire week to be able to track what I’m eating and workout and see if there was any big or little difference.

11. And finally, It’s okay to fall off your eating or gym routine sometimes as weird as that sounds, especially in the beginning since you won’t be used to it, but make sure to have/find the motivation to keep going. Hell, you know how many times I’ve fallen off from my routine, and I’m pretty used to it at this point, even currently? It’s bad, but I had a personal reasoning for having that happen, HOWEVER, I made a promise to myself to get back on track, starting fresh on Monday. It happens, things come up, you have to stay late at work, family/relationship issues, kids, nephews/nieces, etc., but make sure to pick yourself up again and remember why you started all this to begin with.

This was definitely another long post guys lol, sorry about that, but I hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you in some type of way, shape, or form. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, future posts/topics you want to see in the future, etc. down below.

Enjoy the long weekend, and until next time!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl