I’ve always been active, I played sports growing up but obviously that all changes when you have kids. I managed to maintain a fairly active lifestyle when I moved to South Carolina in 2013, after having Vela. I invested in my first gym membership, and even though I had a little experience in training I didn’t have any knowledge of weight training, and most importantly: no knowledge about nutrition (the base of all our goals), and how to properly fuel your body for such activities, and battling eating disorders. Sound like a hot mess? Well I was. I’m going to do my best to show a breakdown down of my progress throughout the years, because just like every single real person out there our bodies fluctuate; we learn new things and implement them.
Here is a photo of me 2 years ago, post-baby and hustling in the gym. I had struggled a lot with bulimia/binging and purging after I had my kids, something I may or may not go into later. I went from weighing 120 lbs. in high school then blew up to almost 170 lbs. when I had Warren. I lost 40 of those lbs., but then got pregnant again and maintained 135-140 lbs. during the second pregnancy. Gradually, I started to gain weight and I didn’t know why or how then (I do now, obviously). At this point, I was either eating very little (cottage cheese and a handful of Wheat Thins), or overeating/binge eating junk food. I had a love hate relationship with food that was sickening. At my lowest once again, I weighed 125 lbs again. YAY… but I was unhappy. I was tired all the time, I was literally sick. I developed IBS at age 20, had chronic migraines – I was always sick. I was allergic to almost everything (I wasn’t allergic to anything prior to my poor eating habits). I was in and out of the hospital for reasons unknown. On top of my poor nutrition habits, I was overworking my body. I worked out 3-4 hours a day, every single day but Sunday. When I got home from my the gym, I would still be on the go and working out when I got home. I was skinny-fat for who much I worked out. I knew nothing about body recovery, or cared for it. All I knew was: I want to be skinny, I want to fit, I don’t want to be fat. Was this me being a healthy role-model to my children? Hell no.
Fast forward 1 year, we had moved back to Kansas City. I gained a lot of my weight back being near my family (Laotion food is so hard to resist!) and always having gatherings that of course, aimed around food. I was still working out, but that this point time was the only thing stopping me from working our 3 hours a day. I worked our 3-5 times a week, lifted weights but didn’t have a plan as far as working out. Let’s just say I did a lot of squats (and I’m telling you now that more squats don’t equal bigger booty; pancake butt stage) I was pretty fluffy, still binging and purging but wasn’t in starvation mode. I was eating whatever I pleased, and kind of tracking my food – calories, but not macros. I weighed 160 lbs. again, but eh – it was just muscle gain *eye roll* it was more of an excuse for my weight gain. At this point, I definitely put on muscle but I wasn’t leaning out. I was 29% body fat. I was still eating poorly, and compensating my poor eating habits with hard workouts. Still unhappy, still not accomplishing goals.
Present. I have a better understanding for nutrition, and training with a certification in the works, helping and coaching others to a healthy lifestyle… after my long constant battle. I’ve overcome a lot of battles with my binging and purging, but I am careful because I do prep for shows. I have to keep myself aware of thoughts, and habits; not all my goals are aesthetic. I’m thankful my husband watches my eating habits, because he has seen me struggling and fluctuate for years. Food is fuel, not a way to reward yourself for emotions. I am now 140 lbs, post-competition. I’m pretty content for a base/normal weight. I have more expectations for myself with the future competitions I compete in, but for now I am happy with this progress. I’m sitting at 14% body fat as of today. I work out 5-6 days out of the week, cardio intervals 3 times a week for 45 minutes, weights 4-5 days a week, HIIT/Plyometrics once a week. I eat consistently now, 2-2.5 hours, track my calories and macronutrients. I prep my meals so I’m not tempted to grab something “convenient” aka fast food. I am balanced, for the most part. I eat healthy foods, not entirely clean but healthy. I don’t restrict myself or do crash diets. I still have goals to achieve that I am working towards, but right now I am happy with where I am and how far I have progressed past unhealthy eating habits and overexerting my body. I will eventually reach them, but there is no point in tearing my body apart now to only receive short-term goals that may harm my body in the long run. I know the importance of working my body, but also allowing it time to recover. It took a couple of years for me to learn, but I am glad I know now how to properly train.