During my weight loss journey, and as a result of much research, social media scanning, and talking to other women, I have discovered that there are two ways you can stay slim and look good.
The first way involves massively restricting your calories, abusing carb-blockers/laxatives/appetite suppressants/etc., doing hours of cardio, and avoiding many foods. This is the way to go if you are aiming for the super-skinny, supermodel kind of look. If that is your goal, prepare to drink lots of caffeine. You’ll need it because you will feel tired most of the time. Mood swings will also plague you and those who live with you because you’ll probably be hungry pretty much 24/7. You won’t have much muscle because your body will have started to burn muscle since it has no fat to burn, so you may feel out of breath simply lifting your cat up off the floor. If you are reading this in despair, just keep reading because there is another way!
The second way involves hard work in the gym with a lot of sweat, maybe a few calluses, and the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). It involves a mixture of weight-lifting, resistance training, and some cardio. This is the way to go if you would prefer more of a Jennifer Aniston or Khloe Kardashian kind of body. It means eating a diet that mostly consists of fresh vegetables, low-sugar fruits, fish, eggs, lean meats, certain grains such as rice and oats, seeds, nuts, and some high-protein dairy products. You will feel full of energy from the moment you wake up until the sun goes down. You will feel happy, motivated to succeed, and you might occasionally get “hangry” but that’s OK because you are fit and your body needs fuel to stay strong and kick ass in all that you do.
Choosing a way to live that is healthy, rather than focusing on being skinny, is better for your body, your mind, and your soul. Forget about aesthetics and focus on building a body that is physically and mentally fit. Now, onto the fun stuff. There are struggles that come with choosing this lifestyle, but they are totally worth it in the end when you have a booty that would rival Jennifer Lopez and biceps that put you up there with Ronda Rousey. These are my top 10 but if you have any more to add, leave them in the comments section.
- Greasy Hair. Your hair will be somewhat greasy most of the time, as it soaks up the sweat from your scalp. Either wash it every day or find a good brand of dry shampoo, that won’t dry up into a crusty mess and leave you looking as if you have dandruff. I prefer Baptiste, and I would recommend spraying it from a distance so people don’t think you are going prematurely grey.
- Laundry every day. Doing laundry becomes almost a daily task. Get used to it, buy good-quality Nike gym leggings or H&M workout clothes that won’t disintegrate in the wash. If you have to re-wear a gym outfit, it’s no biggie. We won’t judge you because we have all done it.
- Hangry. You might feel hangry after your workouts if you don’t eat within 30 minutes. Resistance training and HIIT-style training speed up your metabolism, and lifting weights depletes the glycogen in your muscles, so it’s completely acceptable to rip the head off someone if they get inbetween you and food.
- High heels? No thanks. You will lose your sense of femininity slightly, and will reject anything that isn’t comfortable. Your muscles are sore most of the time, and you would rather slip on a pair of Flyknits than prance around in stilettos on your day off. The only time you are seen wearing heels is when your calves are sore because you know that heels elongate the muscle, alleviating pain. Sexy.
- Farts. Protein shakes, fermented foods, high-fibre veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, and dairy. If you are not used to eating these foods, expect your body to produce a little excess gas at the beginning. If you let one slip while you’re doing burpees at the gym, just blame it on your shoes. “Those squeaky soles were at it again.”
- Sleep. You are a morning person. If you are not one yet, trust me, you will be. You would rather get up at 5:00am and bust your ass at a spin class or circuits class, and then curl up in bed at 10pm ready for a good night’s sleep. You will sleep better and feel better and you will appreciate your comfy bed more than ever before. Eight hours of sleep will become a requirement rather than a luxury.
- Not so fashionable. Your feet will probably be permanently blistered if you are a runner, and this poses a bit of a problem when wearing sandals or open-toed shoes. Get used to wearing sneakers or if you can afford it, regular pedicures! If you’re like me, you’ll tailor your outfits so that they match your sneakers, because living in sneakers is just an all-round better option. Comfort over fashion. Sorry.
- Peeing a lot. If you work out a lot, you drink a lot of water. Even if you don’t work out, you should still be drinking water regularly to stay hydrated. You might also need a little extra caffeine to perk you back up after those work-outs and early-morning gym sessions. Green tea will become your best friend. What does this all result in? A lot of time spent in the bathroom. Get used to peeing more and invest in extra toilet roll!
- Protein. Most of your paycheque will go on protein bars and protein powders, as you will discover that you can still have “treats” that are high in protein and relatively low in sugars. When you can have a shake that tastes like chocolate and peanut butter or a bar that tastes like strawberry cheesecake, without the extra calories, it feels like it is totally worth spending a little extra cash. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
- Love me or Hate me. People won’t be able to decide whether they love you or hate you. Some girls will feel intimidated, some will feel jealous, and some will applaud you, admire you, and encourage you. Men will either respect you more or feel as if you are threatening their manhood because you can lift more than them. Some guys will find you more attractive and others will call you too ‘manly.’ Take all of the above as a compliment because you are strong, sexy, fit, healthy, and you aren’t doing this for anyone except yourself!