5 things I learned working at an all women’s studio

things i’ve learned from training an all women’s studio
1- not every woman’s purpose is to lose weight. everyone assumes women workout is to lose weight right? wrong. there are so many other benefits to working out. Some ladies want to increase their strength so they can put up their own holiday decorations or carry all the groceries, some ladies want that rush of endorphins to help start/end their day, some ladies want that satisfaction of a hard sweat, some ladies want to increase their muscle mass to avoid osteoporosis and other health problems and some ladies just want to work out because they enjoy it! Any & all of these reasons are great reasons to workout, it doesn’t need to be for the purpose of changing your body. 


2- you have to appreciate how you are now, while working towards your goals. some of my favorite clients are the older ladies because they help me understand how to appreciate life. they tell me about what’s really important and how to enjoy life! so many women spend so much time wishing and wanting to change themselves- in reality it’s better to accept the way we are while working towards bettering ourselves. definitely easier said than done, but it’s something i’ve really tried to start implementing in my own life. it’s so much better to appreciate your body and all it does for you then to hate it and try to force it to change. 


3- there is a disconnect between correct, educational information and the general public. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard ladies say “well i don’t want to get bulky” or “i just need to do more cardio” NO NO NO! lifting heavier IS the most ideal because it recruits more muscle fiber, builds more muscles which leads to more calories burned AT REST! Example- If client A is 130lbs and 25% body fat and client B is 130lbs but 35% body fat. Client A burns more calories then client B just by possessing more muscle mass i.e. client A can eat MORE throughout the day and do LESS activity. Building more muscle is the best way to increase your daily caloric intake.


4- People really don’t understand nutrition. Although I am in no way a dietitian or nutritionist, I have had my fair share of experience with nutrition and have learned a lot from personal experience. I can largely say that most clients I come across do not understand basic nutrition especially how to utilize it when strength training. I cannot give nutritional coaching legally (personal trainers are NOT certified for nutrition) but I can say if you don’t understand how to properly fuel your body consulting a registered dietician is the best way to make sure you’re eating properly for your body and activity needs.


5- YOU CANNOT JUDGE SOMEONE’S FITNESS LEVEL BY THEIR BODY!!! the way someone looks is not correlated to their physical ability. we all hopefully learned very early on not to judge someone by how they appear but this principle is even more important with fitness. aesthetics is just one of the many categories of fitness. some ladies are super cardio conditioned, some ladies are badass at lifting heavier weights, some ladies have the endurance to bang out tons of reps, some ladies have awesome balance skills, some have amazing flexibility, but ALL the ladies are there to get healthier- to better themselves, to better their lives, to better their health as a whole. 


Just remember all bodies are made to move and enjoy life! 

xoxo mvkayy 

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3 steps to being bikini readyΒ 

Hi friends! I know I’ve been a bit MIA on my blog posting, so I’m going to try to write more starting now! 
Since it’s my first post in a while I figured I’d keep it short and sweet. 

With everything warming up and our clothing stripping down, it’s easy to start to see our perceived flaws. As a female, of course my first thought is OMG it’s almost bikini season IM NOT READY…!!!! 

But have no fear, I have some tips to help you feel better in a bikini right now. 
1. Throw away any bikinis/bathing suits that DONT fit you or DONT look right. Simple as that! If you don’t like the way you look in it and don’t feel confident, it’ll show. So go out and buy some new bankin bikinis (or tankinis or one pieces!) then BAM! already feelin sexier.


 
2. Remember hating your body won’t make it change. Being upset is just sending negative energy into your brain and eventually securing those thoughts into beliefs. So next time you’re being hard on yourself try to redirect your thoughts to something you appreciate about yourself! (physical or non physical characteristics) 

3- Appreciate that you get to be in a bikini (or tankini/one piece/scuba suit). Think about WHY you are in that clothing. Are you on an awesome vacation? Are you laying out by the pool on your day off? Are you catching some waves during your lunch break? Enjoy the fact you get to do these activities. Soak up the sun. People don’t go to the pool/beach/lake to stare at each other’s bodies, they go for fun! 

Anyways! Hope these tips helped, or at least made you smile πŸ™‚ have a fab day. 
–mvkay

note to my body

Dear body,

First off I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve abused you. Sorry I’ve purposefully starved you. Sorry i’ve purposefully worked you to the point of exhaustion over and over again. Sorry I’ve ignored your cries of pain and signals of protest. I know you’ve only tried to help me. Keep me alive and healthy. I’m sorry I haven’t appreciated you for what you are. I’m sorry I still poke and pull and squish you. I’m sorry I secretly hope parts of you will disappear. I’m sorry I avoid posing pictures of you when I feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry I don’t let you go out when my brain is telling me I’m not worthy. I’m sorry I haven’t embraced you the way I should. Most of all I’m sorry for the majority of my life I’ve treated you like an enemy and not a friend. 

I’m sorry body.

But now I want to thank you. Thank you for keeping me alive. Thank you for keeping me healthy. Thank you for getting me to where I need to be. For healing my wounds and housing my soul. Thank you for helping me support others. Thank you for providing me with a vessel to hug and cuddle my loved ones. Thank you for fighting for me even when I’m too tired or neglectful to treat you properly. Thank you for being patient with me and my restless mind. Thank you for putting up with all the physical challenges I put you through (wanted and unwanted). Most of all thank you for teaching me to understand that life is ever changing just like you. I want to accept you. To love you. To take care of you. So I’m going to try to listen better. To hear when you need an extra day off. To hear when you need an extra hour of sleep. To hear when you need your TLC because without you, I wouldn’t be me.   

Thank you body, for being me. 

xoxo mvkay 

I’m back 🌞

so this blog has always been about fitness because fitness has always been a part of me. but I think I’m ready to take it in a new direction. 

After putting my body through one of the most extreme and dangerous situations I’ve realized that I need to take a step back and learn to appreciate my body for what it is. the pictures you see below are a sort of reverse transformation. 


The first is when I just moved back home from college. I had just started working out and counting my macros religiously. It was new, it was fun and I was seeing results I had never gotten before. I had fallen in love with lifting and naturally dieting came along with it. This is the last time I remember actually liking the way I looked AND felt.

The second is days before my last bikini competition. I was 100 pounds. I was starving myself, eating way too little and exhausting my body. and for what? to win some trophy for some organization who doesn’t even care about my well being? for months I slaved over EVERYTHING I ate. I exercised about 2 hours everyday. I became obsessed with food with exercise. I lost friends, I lost a social life, I lost my ability to have a normal relationship with food. 

Fast forward to the third picture. that was about 2 weeks after my competition. 2 weeks of binge eating and out of control dangerous habits. I had no sense of what to do around food. some days I ate nothing for hours & then binged on absurd amounts of food. I was so anxious ALL THE TIME. I was still living a nightmare. I didn’t know how to regulate myself normally anymore. I was so out of touch with my body and my signals. my body was literally STARVING and asking for food, it was trying to help me live yet I still fought it. I felt disgusting and anxious every second of the day. I was still working out 1.5-2 hours a day. I was terrified to leave for a 5 week vacation to Europe. How would I monitor myself? How would I not balloon up? I was extremely anxious and honestly didn’t even want to go. but guess what? that trip to Europe was the first stepping stone to my recovery. 

Now to the last picture. Here I am today. do I look the way I want? hell no! do I feel the way I want? still no. is my relationship with food back to normal? unfortunately no. do I still get anxiety if I don’t workout? yes. as I reflect I almost wish I had never signed up for those competitions. I can’t look at my body the same. I can’t look at food the same. my mind is constantly mentally counting and tracking my calories and macro nutrition even when I don’t want to. I’m constantly assessing my physical appearance. In a way a still feel as lost as I did in those second two pictures. But I know it’s time for a change. I want to gain my life back. I don’t want my life to revolve around my looks and diet. so I’m writing this to make my self accountable. it’s time for me to practice what I preach. While I still love working out and being healthy, I need to learn to love myself no matter my size. I hope I can learn to appreciate this body I have and start to have a normal relationship with food. If anyone reading this is dealing with body image issues, disordered eating, anxiety or anything else similar don’t be afraid to reach out to me. I’d love to find other beautiful people to go through this journey with. stay strong πŸ’ͺ😊

fitness for me πŸ’ͺ

so as a personal trainer, fitness lover and wannabe heavy lifter I can say I fully support people wanting to do things that get their heart rate up and work their muscles! 

that being said, I’m starting to realized there is so much emphasis on weight loss it turns exercise into a game of how many calories you can burn or what workouts can help change your body/size. 

well I reject this. workouts are not solely for the purpose of burning off that cookie sundae you ate. you shouldn’t be spending hours in the gym to “get rid” of your thick thighs or flabby tummy (it’s impossible to spot train anyways). sure with proper exercise and nutrition it’s possible to manipulate your body to a certain point, and I’m all for improving your physical fitness, but each of us has a different make up of genetics and a set weight point that can fluctuate 10-20lbs comfortably. some people are genetically destined to be heavier than others and that’s okay! fitness doesn’t have to be measured by a number on a scale or whether or not you can see your abs. 

while competing I was stuck doing the same workouts and stopped enjoying my fitness. I wasn’t getting to lift heavy and my cardio was monotonous and boring. now I lift heavy and do lifts I like! when I do cardio it’s something fun like swimming or rowing or HIIT circuits or even just long walks with my dogs/family/friends! so instead of fighting my body and doing workouts I hate, I’m learning to embrace my body at whatever size and love your fitness regardless of calories burned. 


for example, I use to avoid lifting too heavy on my legs because a former coach wanted me to lean down my legs. heavy squatting has always been my favorite exercise but I had to stop for 6 weeks because my legs were “holding too much weight” my legs have always been where I carried more mass. I’ve always been self conscious about them. I became even more self conscious about my thick thighs and I honestly still am. especially after getting so much criticism about them in the bodybuilding world. but guess what? I’m learning to embrace them. these are the legs that help me play sports, that help me swim competitively and for fun, that help me squat over 200lbs, the legs that carry me all around this beautiful earth and I am going to need them for the rest of my life so I better take the best care of them I can as well as the rest of my body. I’m done trying to change myself and ready to start to embrace myself

xoxox mvkay

body changes rantΒ 

So first off let me say I’m happy and super grateful for everyone who has been commenting on how great I look and how amazing my body looks….. but honestly it makes me nervous for when my body starts to show more weight gain. 

even though that will be completely normal and healthy for me I’m afraid many people won’t understand that. every time I take a picture, put on a bikini or even just wear fitted clothing I feel so self conscious. I’m nervous people are going to compare me to my stage pictures/lean physique and think I “let myself go” or “lost my willpower” but in reality, gaining weight and eating more freely these past two weeks has actually been extremely mentally stressful. waking up everyday to see my body and the scale changing has been really messing with my head.

I just have to keep reminding myself that there are so many more important things than my weight/body. I’m getting to join in on more social activities and my mood is improving. each day is different and some are harder than others. my anxiety sometimes feels suffocating but I have to try to embrace myself because I know the alternative of trying to change myself will just end up in more body negative thoughts and self destructive actions. it’s a process and all I can do is take it day by day. 


-mvkayy 

transitioning to balance

as you may have read in my last post, competing was not an easy experience for me. coming out of such a strict, restrictive lifestyle is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, especially for someone like me. 
although I’m not ready to go into great detail about my personal struggles my main focus now has been to try to start to live normally again. sounds easy right? well its actually been extremely confusing and frustrating trying to transition from such a regimented, controlled life into a more balanced one. 
So, instead of dwelling on that- I would like to share some positive points of my restriction ending! so any girl (or guy) our there who is considering going to such extremes to drop body fat, I salute you on your efforts but there’s so much more to life than hating and battling to change your body! 
here’s my list of 12 things that are better than having 12% body fat—

1- having energy when you wake up & throughout the day (not having to have lots of caffeine & preworkout) although I still do love me a nice coffee, especially now that I can get it flavored and add creamer if I choose to 😏


2- getting to enjoy spontaneous plans because my life isn’t scheduled around eating every 2-3 hours. although my metabolism and hormones are still out of whack  so I have to be sure to snack a lot but it’s better than having to time everything out strictly.


3- having more free time because I don’t have to prep food for 2 hours every 3-4 days. I can actually take my dog on longer walks, I can run errands, I can read, I can do so many fun activities! if I feel like prepping I always can, but it’s not a burden anymore it would be  a choice. 


4- getting to decide what I want to eat, how much and when. and having the option to experiment in the kitchen with fun recipes! I’ve always loved baking and when I first moved back home after college I got interested in cooking more. during my prep we had to basically cut out family dinners because I couldn’t usually eat what my parents were cooking and it causes a lot of tension in our family dynamic. or I would spend extra time weighing and measuring my own portions out from everyone else’s. it felt isolating and I felt guilty. now that I am not dieting I can experiment with recipes and ingredients that would have be forbidden “bad foods” to me before. I can now cook recipes for family dinners which gives us time to bond week nights. 


5- having energy to do heavier lifting and working my way up to new personal bests in the gym. it feels amazing to be able to actually put up heavier weights then I have in months because I actually have some strength. I am trying to set non aesthetic goals at the gym instead of focusing on appearance.


6- having the choice of cardio and exercises I want to do instead of sticking to a strict regiment. for the past 3-4 months my only option for cardio was a treadmill and my lifting was a set schedule. it’s nice to have a break, listen to my body and get to pick what I want to do to move my body. it’s me getting to rediscover what I enjoy about exercising! 
7- having the option of taking a rest day (or two) when my body or mind needs time off. this might be one of the hardest but most important things I need to relearn. while I still feel anxious if I miss the gym I know it’s important for me to take at least 1 rest day a week and now I get to pick what day I want to do that depending on how I feel and my plans. 
8- learning to embrace my natural weight, figure and flaws. this is a also a really hard one, I’m struggling really badly with the process of weight gain and my body changing. although I know it’s totally normal and healthy for me to gain back the weight I lost, especially to restore hormonal imbalances and metabolic function, it’s still probably the biggest struggle I’m having right now. I know I need to learn how to love my body no matter what so this is a good time to start. 
9- not being irritated with everyone/everything all the time. I can actually have full on conversations with people without it feeling forced or thinking of ways to get out of it. my family and boyfriend are no longer having to tip toe around me and I can express myself more freely without worrying about judgement. 


10- feeling less isolated socially. being able to make plans with friends days in advance and not worry about having to cancel because of low energy levels or my mood. although a lot of social settings are still causing me a lot of anxiety, I know that I need to get myself out and the best way to do that is to plan ahead so I feel responsible to go.


11- getting to spend more quality time with family and loved ones. really focus on making memories and positive life experiences instead of obsessing over food and exercise. this is another one I’m struggling with. it feels as if since my life revolved around food (or lack there of) and exercise so much I don’t know what to do with my extra time. I’m glad I have my mom and brothers home for the summer to help me get out of the house and experience life. 
12- focusing my energy on self growth, self love and body positivity. I know it’s possible to love your body at any size. I know it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with food and not have to monitor, weight and count calories, carbs, fats, proteins, sugars, fibers and blah blah blah everyday. I know it’s possible to feed my soul and grow personally without worrying so much about body image. I know all these things are possible and I want to accomplish them so I’ve been soaking up all the information I can find. from podcasts to youtube to blogs to Instagrams, I am following, reposting and liking anything and everything that embraces the life and mindset I want to have. this includes body positivity, intuitive eating, healthy at any size, ending dieting, everybody is beautiful, challenging beauty standards and self love. I know where I want to be and I’m going to keep fighting to get there.

*disclaimer*– I’m not by any means bashing those predispositioned genetically to have lower body fat (lucky) but this is for the girls who are FIGHTING their bodies to become something that isn’t healthy for their body type or genetics. instead of being at war with your body, be at war with your negativity. fight for your inner peace and positivity, not for your waistline. that’s what I’m doing, and I think I’m starting to win 😊
as always xoxo mvkayy πŸ’—