These pictures are from 2014, when I was what is now referred to as “Fit Thick.” People always ask me what I do to maintain my physique, not understanding that a lot of my/our bodily changes happen naturally. Our bodies do whatever they want to do (good or bad); WE DECIDE how to mold, define and tone our shapes. Growing up, I was super lanky. My dad called me “String Bean” because I was so slim. I started to develop a curvy yet athletic bottom half around age 12, and got my growth spurts before everyone else until my sprouting came to a halt at age 14. 5’5″ was my height then, and it’s my current height now at age 24. People always think I’m taller until they see me in person because I’m all legs and have long arms (my torso is actually really small).
I entered high school at 135, and gained 5 pounds of muscle mass each year, ending at 150 when I graduated. In college, my game weight was 162. I was in the absolute best shape of my life, but I HATED how cut up I was. I gained muscle tone really quickly (always have) and I grew to hate lifting. Enter the nickname “Serena” in reference to the powerhouse of a woman known as Serena Williams.
After my collegiate soccer career came to an end in 2012, I rarely worked out (on purpose). I wanted to soften my shape up (and also went into straight bum mode after having been an athlete my whole entire life). When I did/do work out, I solely did/do calisthenics. I only use 10 pound ankle weights, a medicine ball and kettle weights for select exercises. I REFUSE TO LIFT.
Fast forward to now, I weigh 144, and aside from my upper body, I have minimal definition. At first I felt weird about losing my muscle mass. With the loss came slimmer thighs and half of my butt saying “see ya later!” But then I started to embrace my new shape. My bottom half is in proportion to my waist now, and as a result I appreciate the fluidity of my curves more.
In your weight loss or weight gain journeys, be sure to educate yourselves on body predispositions, genetics, what leaning out and cutting weight mean, and how to achieve a healthy weight for the type of frame you have. And of course, eating right is always always a plus! A healthy diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Many people have one without the other, but I advise against it. And for my final tip: never compare! That is the absolute worst thing you can do. Don’t let your workout regimine, diet or body type make you feel like less of a man or a woman. You set your goals and achieve them on your own terms. That doesn’t concern anyone else and never will. With all of that said, cheers to looking and feeling our best, naturally!