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I get asked a lot what I have done to lose weight. I love sharing my story, but it can be frustrating too. I know I’m not the only one who has been asked a million questions about what cardio I do? How do I decide how many reps or sets to do when lifting? How many macros do I eat? What got me started? Do I eat carbs? The list goes on and on…

Here are my thoughts. 

1. There is not one specific thing that I have done that I can attribute my loss to. Weightloss, fatloss, mental health that have resulted from this journey are from a combination of things. 

I have zumba’d, run, stair mastered, walked, sugar detoxed, “gone paleo”, calorie counted, lifted, decreased carbs, cut out foods with empty calories, IIFYM’d. More importantly than these concepts, I have researched nutrition and exercise and what that means for my specific body. 

Zumba was a great starting place because I needed to get up and moving and knew that as a dancer growing up I liked to shimmy and shake. I was broke after college and cutting out empty calories like soda and processed sugar was naturally easy – water comes from a faucet, I can stick with water. My journey has evolved as I have become more knowledgeable about nutrition as a whole, and torn down stereotypes – such as weightlifting will make women bulky. 

Fucking false. It will make you sexy as fuck.

2. I am not you. No one can tell you what the perfect combination of food, exercise, positive talk is. Everyone is different. What works for me won’t work for Suzie across the room. My motivation and determination to get up at 530 am for a 6 am gym session is different than the person who isn’t a morning person. Fasted cardio may work for me, but Bobby might need to carb up or he’ll get headaches. We are all different. I follow IIFYM because I believe in balance. I don’t believe in depriving myself of a cupcake, but if it doesn’t fit that day I guess I have to pass on it. I don’t trust myself to eat intuitively yet, but I’m working on it. Tracking macros for me means freedom and a better relationship with food than I did before.

3. Everyone has an opinion, but we don’t need to listen to each other. Like I said before, we’re all different and have different perspectives of health. I have been told I’m too skinny… Bitch please, I’m 151 and I acknowledge that muscle is more dense than fat, but there’s still fat I want to lose. Don’t tell me how my body looks because half the time your foot is in your mouth and it’s a backhanded compliment. 

4. Carbs are not bad for you, but we all process them differently. There’s also a difference between simple and complex carbs, meaning there’s a difference between a cookie made with white flour than a sweet potato. I’ll eat my carbs and yours if you don’t want them.

5. Don’t do this for the “oh shit you got hot”, do this to better your health. Do it so you can walk a flight of stairs without getting winded. Do it for your own self-esteem, to empower yourself, to prove to yourself that you can do great things when challenged and pushed. No matter what anyone else says this is a battle with yourself. You are your competition, not other women, not other men. Don’t compare your journey to mine or to others. Don’t tell yourself that a 10 pound loss is meaningless or less great than a 100 pound loss. Both outcomes take motivation, dedication and consistency. Don’t belittle your successes, celebrate them. But don’t convince you that your failures are horrible, learn from them. Use that experience to better yourself next time.

This is my journey and I will help whoever asks, BUT don’t try to be me, don’t try to be someone you’re not. Set goals that are realistic for you, achieve greatness of your own way. 

❤️ Cristina 

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