I don’t think I can honestly tell you a time in my life that I felt really confident or liked the way my body looked. Maybe it’s the reason I started using clothing and fashion as a crutch, but it’s been an internal issue I’ve struggled with since elementary school. I’m five years younger than my sister, and by the time I was in second grade, I was already fitting into her clothes. At first I was excited to match up to my sister, but once I hit middle school, I passed her petite size and didn’t understand why I didn’t look like her or my former model mother.
I would get frustrated that I was curvier and bigger than them and my friends; my thighs would never be super skinny and no matter how many times I went to gym, my stomach would not flatten. In eighth grade I struggled with an eating disorder for a few of months until I thankfully realized it wasn’t going to solve anything and only create bigger issues. In high school I began accepting my body. I knew I was a curvy, athletic build and that wasn’t going to change. I worked out about five times a week, played sports and ate healthy and overall felt pretty happy with my body and gained my confidence back. Then my senior year, I was dating a boy who would make comments about my body and ask me if I worked out – and if I did, he would say that I should keep doing that because it would “help”. Those comments completely shattered my confidence even though I was probably the best shape of my life.
Once I hit college, everything went out of the window. I stopped going to the gym and my life was consumed with 20 credit semesters, jobs, internships, social activities and late-night snacking. I never saw an issue with it though because it didn’t affect my body until my senior year of college. My stress was at an all time high; I barely slept 3-4 hours a night and I distracted myself with food and coffee. I was unhealthy, I knew I was unhealthy, and one day I woke up around the time of graduation and finally accepted that I had gained over 25 pounds in college – most of which was senior year. I felt disgusting but also so far down the rabbit hole that I thought there wasn’t much hope.
Within my first sixth months of moving to New York, I lost about ten pounds from walking everywhere, a six-floor walk up apartment and finally getting a few more hours of sleep per week. I also got a gym membership, but, I would work out for about two weeks, get busy and then lose all momentum. To top it off, I was living off of ramen, bagels, pasta and the frequent random desserts in the office. It is safe to say that my introduction back into a healthy lifestyle was a very slow start.
As I approached the holidays this past year I was fed up. I am not a lazy person – I pride myself of being a hard worker and I have no problem working late, juggling insane schedules or doing the grunt work needed for a project, so why couldn’t I have that mentality for my own health and body? It just didn’t make sense. I like to portray a confident, self-loving person on the blog, and I feel amazing when I’m sharing a great outfit, but I started feeling like an imposter because I would look past the great outfit and only focus on what I didn’t like about my body. It started to become a huge hindrance in my daily life and I wanted a change.
After the holidays, I started small. I started going to the gym a couple times a week, stopped buying so much bread and made salads for lunch. By February, I started taking more interest in my meals and eating healthy, and I even did a free personal training session at my gym. After that session, I knew I needed some accountability if I wanted this to last. I had tried different work out videos or plans, but after a week or two, I made an excuse not to do it. I didn’t have a gym buddy to work out with so I figured the next, even better option would be a trainer. Now I know what you’re thinking – a trainer is insanely expensive, I don’t have the time to fit into their schedule, or I’m embarrassed how out of shape I am. Trust me, I made the same arguments to myself the past five years.
Enter, Rose Fitness. I met Jesse, the founder of Rose Fitness through email over the holidays when he reached out about doing a training session. After thinking about it and emailing back and forth, I decided I really wanted to work with him for a full training program instead. I was finally serious about making this lifestyle change and knew it was a perfect fit and push I needed. I think what really drew me to the program was that I had the option to work out on my own time since I was doing the virtual training, but I also would be held accountable by Jesse through the app. It was kind of the best of both worlds because since my schedule changes so much, I can pick a time that fits best with my schedule – whether it’s 6am or 3pm, and all of my workouts are already planned, and I just track them as I go. (see more below)
The Rose Fitness app is through Trainerize and it has made this entire program so easy to maintain. When you first log into the app, you log your weight, progress photos and your body fat percentage. Then you can check out your plan and your weekly calendar. Before I started the program, Jesse and I talked about my current workout routine, my goals and what I can expect out of the program. I was actually pretty nervous to start the program at first, but we had a really authentic conversation and I was honest about how I was feeling about my body, and I trusted him.
Jesse and I decided to do a 5-day workout: Two cardio days, lower body, pull day and a push day. Once you log into your calendar for the week, you just click on the day of the week you’re on, “check in” and then the entire workout will be laid out. Each day varies in the amount of exercises, but I average about four different circuits within a workout. You repeat the circuit three times each and have quick rest periods before moving onto the next circuit. I really like this set up because I can fit the entire workout into an hour, and I never feel like I can’t fit it into my schedule, because I can always fit an hour into my day to work out.
You can also track the workouts as you go – so count how many reps you did within the time period or how much weight you did for a certain exercise. I just finished week three and I already increased weights, increased reps in certain exercises and feel much more comfortable doing the work outs. Also, Jesse – or whoever your trainer is – can see when you check into workouts, gives you reminders to go work out and also stays in contact to make sure you’re setting and accomplishing your goals every week. So far in the program I have ate pretty healthy (a few cheat meals here or there… oops) and have tracked my meals using MyFitnessPal. It has been really helpful to write down everything I have eaten and learn more about portion sizing and calories.
Since the initial start of my fitness journey in January, I have noticed a huge difference in my overall health. I have more energy, I drink less coffee, I’m happier and overall more confident. And on top of that, the push of Jesse and Rose Fitness has kept me accountable, excited for the lifestyle change and more knowledgable about fitness. I have noticed a difference in my body, my muscle tone and that’s only in the past three weeks! And yes, I have lost weight, but I know I’m also gaining muscle so the true test will be with body fat percentage at the end of the program. I’m really excited to see how the rest of the program goes and I’ll be giving you guys more updates! You can learn more about Rose Fitness and their programs here, and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for workouts and training tips! xo
ACTIVEWEAR (C/O OLD NAVY) | SHOES (NIKE) | HEADPHONES (FRENDS)
PHOTOGRAPHY: ZAFIRAH PHOTOGRAPHY
POST IN COLLABORATION WITH ROSE FITNESS