Summer is just weeks away and if you’re anything like me you’re probably freaking out right about now as you (accidentally??) devour another bag of Cheez-Its. Winter bod is a real thing, and it hit me hard this year. First of all, my body weight is constantly fluctuating so I feel like I can never settle into one weight which is pretty annoying. And for some reason (that reason being I LOVE FOOD), from about October to mid March I just kept on gaining and gaining without even realizing it. It was like that one line from The Fault In Our Stars, “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” But in my case it reads more like, “I got chubby the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
I’m definitely that person who goes through fitness phases. I was a competitive swimmer all throughout high school so I never really had to think about workouts because I already had practice six days a week. Being healthy and in shape was just a given. But going off to college was a whole different story. I didn’t have a practice schedule, nobody was monitoring the food I ate, and if I didn’t feel like exercising I didn’t have to! My freshman 15 came around second semester that year, but it was honestly more like freshman 29.
And to make things worse, that summer I had and ex text me: “you’re body looked way hotter in December than it does now”. That sentence absolutely crushed me. I’ve never felt more unworthy, unconfident and self conscious in my life as I did when I recieved that text. It embedded some serious body image issues in me that I still struggle with today. WORDS ARE POWERFUL. Be aware of what you’re actually saying to someone because you never know what or how they will affect a person.
Anyway, the point is that managing my weight and my attitude about my body has been a challenge for the past 3 or so years. This year was especially hard. I would exercise occasionally, or do yoga, which was helpful but not enough. I not only felt crappy physically, but emotionally too. I didn’t like my body or feel comfortable in my own skin. But a couple of months ago I finally decided to just put on my running shoes and hit the gym. The first couple of weeks were really hard because I felt so weak, but after awhile I found my groove.
Now going to the gym is something I look forward to everyday. It’s that time I carve out for myself to let go, clear my head and focus on my body. I enjoy switching up my routines every week and just trying new things. It’s crazy how many muscles I didn’t realize I had!
After about a month and a half of healthier eating and a more consistent workout schedule I feel better both physically and mentally. I’m obviously no fitness guru or Instagram model, so I might not look like #bodygoals, but I can definitely feel and see differences in my body (and that’s really all that matters). When I’m scrolling through Instagram I totally get in that headspace of self doubt and body consciousness as one after another tall, skinny, bikini wearing, 20 something pops up on my feed. So yeah. If anyone else feels this way, I’ve SO been there.
I think it’s so important to remind ourselves that our bodies are BEAUTIFUL, always. The number you see on the scale, stretch marks across your hips, cellulite on your stomach or whatever parts of our bodies we’re told are imperfect, are really not a big deal and shouldn’t determine the value we (or others) place on ourselves. The only thing that truly matters is that you love your body enough to treat it kindly and take care of it. (*Note: This little speech isn't to say that I don't feel the pressure from myself or society to look/be a certain way. I still wake up wishing was had less of this or more of that. Everyday is just me convincing myself that I'm OK, until one day I truly believe it).
Now that I've rambled far to long, today I wanted to share a little workout that I posted to my Instagram stories last week. (I wanted to post the videos from the story, but it wasn't working so this is just from my notes). This workout is perfect if you are crunched for time, or you just want to leave the gym as fast as possible. The moves are straightforward and great if you’re just getting back into or starting your fitness journey (just in time for summer!!!). If you want to see how the moves are done you can go to my Instagram @elizabethshuai and check it out in my "workouts" highlight.
Aaannddddd if that’s not enough click the images below to shop some cute workout essentials that will help you power through your next sweat sesh. Click the images or prices below to shop directly from the product’s site! (Order of photos: left to right, top to bottom).
- Outdoor Voices 7/8 Dipped Legging $85
- Alo High Waist Moto Legging $114
- Nike Eclipse Women's 3" Running Short $45
- Outdoor Voices Tech Sweat Biker Short $50
- Lulu Lemon Track Short V 4" $58
- Alo Incline Bra $62
- Lulu Lemon Free To Be Bra $48
- Alo Troop Fitted Tank $56
- Alo Dhyana Bra $56
- Alo Cropped Hoodie $76
- Outdoor Voices Stalwart Marathon Trail Shoe $290
- Adidas Ultraboost Shoe $180
- Lulu Lemon Headband $12
- Manduka eKO Yoga Mat
- Hydro Flask Water Bottle $32.95
- Adidas Saturday Hat $18
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful in some way or another. Let's remember take care of ourselves and each other! Until next time :)