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By Ashley I.

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Please, Don't Kill Me

Please, Don't Kill Me

Ideal dinner: Whole wheat pasta, olive oil, tomatoes, and ground kale.

Ideal dinner: Whole wheat pasta, olive oil, tomatoes, and ground kale.

…As I am about to reveal my workout regimen.

The thing is…I don’t really workout. When I say I don’t really workout, I mean my Fitbit has been sitting uncharged on my bathroom counter for a month and sometimes walking around the mall makes me heart beat too fast. I’m writing about weight management because I’ve been asked to by dear readers. I’m not an expert, so you don’t have to listen to a thing I say. This is just how I maintain a healthy weight. I promise I’ll start exercising tomorrow so I can get a healthier heart…or the next day…or when it starts to get warmer…someday.

I used to exercise hard a few years ago. I would be angry at myself if I didn’t dedicate at least an hour in the gym five days a week. I’d burn at least 500 calories. I’d chow down the 2000 to 2500 calories as all nutritional labels state 2000 calories as a healthy daily caloric intake. The math on that seemed right. I stayed away from soda, alcohol, grease, packaged foods, and white carbs, but I ate a lot. I’m not one of those people who think, “Oh, I worked out today, now I can get what I want.” I think, “I put so much effort into my workout, so I’m not going to ruin it with junk food and overeating.”

Ideal afternoon snack/lunch: Greek yogurt with berries, nuts, and granola

Ideal afternoon snack/lunch: Greek yogurt with berries, nuts, and granola

I was very healthy, but I never lost weight with this routine. My 5’6″ frame always stayed about 134 pounds. This is a perfectly gorgeous weight and I was always happy with a full butt. Of course, as an alleged “Kardashian wannabe” I wish I had more ass today. However, I’m proud to say I’ve always had a great body image. I’m not one of those thin girls that say, “OMG! I’m so fat!” At least, I don’t say that often.

My obsession with my workout routine and my strict diet was beginning to interfere with my social life. I was choosing staying in over going to bar trivia night because I didn’t want to be tempted by foundation soda (much more of a delicacy for me than wine) and french fries.

I had to really fuel up before every intense workout to give me stamina. After workouts I was hungry every two hours. Damn you, speedy metabolism, you were so demanding. I decided I needed to chill the hell out.

Stress eating selfie from grad school

Stress eating selfie from grad school

So first I cooled it down and then I zeroed out when I went to grad school and fought the Freshman 15: Round Two. Those college buffets. *Sigh*  (We should talk about The “Bachelor 10” someday.) But when you’re on camera all the time at broadcasting school, you learn quickly that the camera does add ten pounds. I also found I look a lot better without an old school Renee’ Zellweger-style puff to my face. Around this time, I figured out how much food my body actually needs for my activity level, which consists of a lot of time editing and writing at a computer desk.

Alright, here’s the buried lead! Women should not be eating 2000 calories a day. The number we see on every label is really based on the average American male’s recommended intake. Depending on your height and activity level, women should be eating 1300 to 1600 calories a day. At 5’6″ and someone who considers making the bed and cleaning the tub a workout, I shoot for 1400 calories a day to maintain my weight. Once I set this new caloric intake number, I lost 10 pounds in 6 months. I promise you won’t feel hungry. Remember to chug water. (Post on that coming soon.)

Ideal meal: Omelet with a little cheddar, ham, kale, tomato, and sriracha

Ideal homemade meal: Omelet with a little cheddar, ham, kale, tomato, and sriracha

How you distribute your eating throughout the day is determined by your schedule and your own preferences. *Reminder* Everything I discuss in this article is pure suggestion based on personal experience. On a daily basis, my eating schedule is roughly like this: Coffee and water keep me full for quite a few hours after waking up. I’ll have two snacks/small lunches in the afternoon at about 200 calories each. I like to save my calories for dinner and eat something that I can really look forward to each night. Caesar salad with salmon, a burger, sushi, tacos, etc. To finish off the day and signify to my body the eating for the day is done, I’ll have a 200 calorie dessert.

Pretending like I'm going to go work out at 122 pounds.

Pretending like I’m going to go work out at now 122 pounds.

I still eat relatively healthy. I try not to eat too many carbs, especially white ones. I’ll have only one or two sodas a week. I strive to incorporate greens. I try to stay away from boxed foods in the pantry and reach for the produce drawer in the fridge instead. I’ll add avocado and sriracha to anything I can to make it more exciting.

The bottom line is I used to be in better shape, but now I like the shape of my face. I also get excited about going to dinner with friends and I look forward to what will be on that plate. I’ve found a balance that works for me. When I start working out tomorrow (date tentative), I’ll you know how it goes.

  • Ariel
    Posted at 20:30h, 18 February

    I love anything and everything about this blog

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 21:30h, 18 February

    I used to work out and obsess over my what I ate (by “obsess” I mean think about), and then I read this book called “Bringing up Bebé” – (about child rearing in France, not even about food!) and it completely changed the way I think about eating! Basically, avoiding bread and pasta when I feel like “paying attention,” plus drinking LOADS of water has kept me happy with my weight and I don’t even have to think about it 🙂

  • Allie
    Posted at 00:37h, 19 February

    This is amazing. Thank you for your wisdom 🙂

  • Krissy
    Posted at 04:36h, 19 February

    Often times our bodies confuse thirst for hunger ….looking forward to what you have to say Ash

  • peaches
    Posted at 16:10h, 03 March

    Thanks for your honesty. I was the same way in my 20’s. Not too much different now that I’m in my 30’s but I do have to be a little more careful. Honesty is so refreshing!

  • carolineann85
    Posted at 15:18h, 05 March

    Hey Ashley! I’m roughly the same weight and height as you but I was wondering – do you do any type of abdominal toning? Because my stomach does not look anywhere near as toned as yours does. You have the look I’m trying to achieve!

  • Amy
    Posted at 03:39h, 09 March

    Hey Ashley,

    Question: Do you do any toning workouts?!?! I’m 5’6 as well and fluctuate between 118-123 but do NOT have abs like yours…any advice?

    <3 Amy

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    Posted at 15:26h, 05 August

    Hi Ash! Love you on The Bachelor and BIP for starters… And I was curious as to the “bachelor 10” you mentioned. If you would write about it, I would be super excited!

  • Noor Ullah jan Jan
    Posted at 02:44h, 10 August

    Quite a while back, in the event that you strolled into a rec centre, as a rule, the sight you would be welcomed with would be a weight room brimming with men, and a cardio room loaded with ladies. Ladies were commonly encouraged to avoid loads as it was wrongly accepted that lifting loads would transform them into massive she-mammoths.

    As research was directed, and as the presence of mind won, individuals found that lifting loads as a lady would not make you add 50 pounds of muscle to your casing medium-term. Actually, it was discovered that opposition preparing gave a shapelier, curvier, more slender, more characterized physical make-up than one which could be accomplished through cardio alone.