Here’s the thing, just need to put this disclaimer out there. I TRULY don’t feel like I have some fitness routine or did anything extra special to lose weight. I say this because I wasn’t aware it was happening when it was. I simply left for South Africa one size and came back another. I may have remarked to myself while there that my clothes were starting to fit looser, but it was never a conscious thing. I wasn’t in the gym or anything like that.
Nevertheless, y’all asked and I fancy myself a person who delivers so let’s get into my accidental get right for the summer plan.
I left for South Africa on June 3rd, 2017. I returned August 28th, 2017. In that time period the following changes happened in my life:
- got out of toxic ass America and only tuned in to the news when I chose to
- ate less processed food (reached for fruit or salad before chips blah blah)
- ate less (smaller portions abroad + I don’t eat a lot in the summer)
- operated at the intersection of my passions, international development and writing
- got 7-8 hours of sleep a night
- set and met water goals (100oz a day minimum)
- endeavored and (only sort of) achieved to work through my resident boy issues
Now, again I tell you, I was not in the gym this summer. Therefore, I attribute my weight loss and subsequent glow up to eating better + less, getting more sleep, and drinking a lot of water. But, I’m also aware that mind, body, and spirit are all connected so I know that being on social media less, working within my wheelhouses but still being challenged, and at least trying to process my guy tings played a role.
When Lauryn Hill said, “How you gone win when you ain’t right within?” I felt that shit.
Since coming home and being informed of my progress, I’ve endeavored to keep the weight of it all off by doing the following:
- a glass of green tea with lemon and honey in the morning
- snacking on fruit or a small salad
- making healthy food choices where I can –> this one is harder because I don’t buy my own groceries, but I try to reach for yogurt before chips, eat smaller portions at dinner, limit my carb intake, balance my dessert intake, eat lots of protein, etc. I’ll probably never be vegan or vegetarian but I do think making healthy choices where and as you can makes a difference.
- water goals (100 oz a day still)
- going tf to sleep (being in the same time zone as fam and friends mean ‘Do Not Disturb’ and telling folks when my bedtime is)
- working out 3-4 days a week
- releasing toxic energy
Again, my goals are not to run the NY Marathon or be a body builder. I mostly just want to feel better in and about my body, plus wear a lot of crop tops come summer 2018. I’m working to love my space in its current state even as I try to push myself down to a size 6 after going from a 10 to an 8 this summer. Loving my body as is, is of course easier said than done. I’m happy to have abs now, but still wonder when the hip fairy is going to drop by. It’s a process.
In terms of my work outs. I make use of the gym in my family’s basement 3-4 times a week. On “gym” days, I start on the treadmill and jog/run for 30ish minutes, 10 for warm up and cool down and 20 of running at an incline of 3.5 and speed anywhere from 3-3.5.
Then I work through the following sets of exercises doing 2 sets of 10 reps.
After that I do standing deadlifts with weights (8 or 10 lbs) and your basic arm circuit (bicep and tricep curls, above arm raises, full arm raises, side-bends, and cross-body raises – all with weights). Thennnn comes abs (my faveee). Keeping the same number of sets and reps, I do crunches, sit-ups, side bicycles to hit my obliques, leg lifts for my lower abs/pudge area and some crazy hard shit with a balance ball (see below). I will sometimes also throw in a plank and supermans on my back because planks are great for core strength and who wants a flabby back? Not I said the Gab.
Oh and of course squats and lunges because #manufactureanass is the movement. I just do those until I get tired but always do at least 20.
As you can see, I carry my weight in my face and midsection. I’ll always have and love my chubby cheeks, but when my weight is down, you can def tell a difference in my chin area and general cheek contours (is that the word?). I also went from flab to abs and just want to thank God because I don’t have to be insecure about my pudge anymore. I know I was and am beautiful at either weight, but it feels really good to FEEL good in my body.
PS Where are the Black/WOC fitness gif models???
Images: Sourced throughout post otherwise, Gabrielle’s own.