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 💪😊

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fitness for me 💪

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 rant 

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 💗

10 things I learned from competing 

1- FOOD IS FUEL
without proper and adequate nutrition your body changes, and not in a good way. sure you get to look super lean & ripped but you do NOT feel great. mentally it is exhausting and can have some serious side effects depending on the person.

2- LOSING WEIGHT DOES NOT SOLVE BODY IMAGE ISSUES

this one speaks for itself. sure you might feel more confident after dropping a few pounds but if you’re not happy with your body to begin with, losing weight is not the way to solve that issue. it’s not a magic fix to make you happy, anyone who thinks that will never truly be happy in their skin. 

3- LIFE IS ABOUT BALANCE

competition prep can be extremely isolating and sad. spending hours in the gym, hours in the kitchen. skipping out on family dinners, missing fun events and not making memories. all because life revolve around food or because you are too busy with gym/meal prep to enjoy regular life. it takes a toll on your social life and relationships with family and friends. 

4- MENTAL HEALTH > PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

just because someone looks super healthy and fit DOES NOT mean they feel that way. in fact, for me, it sometimes felt like the complete opposite; especially towards the end. for someone with diagnosed anxiety I think it was risky to participate in something that can become so addictive/controlling so quickly. I strongly urge anyone who is considering competing to make sure their mental health is fully in check beforehand. 

5- SELF LOVE IS HARD/STOP COMPARING YOURSELF

It’s easy to say “love your body” “you’re perfect the way you are” “everybody is beautiful” but truly believing it? well that’s a different story. before starting this journey I never confronted my body image issues, I just brushed them off assuming it was normal for most girls to dislike their body. and while that might be true, I no longer want to be one of those girls. I want to embrace my body at ANY size it chooses to be (which is not stage weight or 12% bod fat). sure I want to be healthy, be active and fit but a number on a scale or body fat percentage shouldn’t be the end all be all of my body worth. just because the girl next to me is 15% body fat and loves herself doesn’t mean I need to be that way to love myself. we as women need to embrace ourselves and each other to celebrate healthy bodies of ALL sizes. instead of comparing we should appreciate each other’s beauty without belittling our own. we are so much more than our bodies. 

6- SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE TOXIC

sure following some “fitspiration” and “healthy eating” accounts might seem harmless at first, but for someone like me it became obsessive (see #5). it’s easy to get caught up in the fakeness of social media and begin to compare your life with everyone else’s “highlight reel” of social media. I have gone through and purged a lot of my followers so that now I only allow fitness/health accounts of they promote body positivity and embrace the healthy lifestyle I can appreciate. 

7- EATING DISORDERS ARE COMMON

In the fitness/physique industry disordered eating and eating disorders are EXTREMELY common. but here’s the thing, it’s hidden by the “healthy” outward appearance. how can someone eating such healthy, clean, balanced foods be unhealthy? when food becomes obsessive and restrictive (even if you’re not in a calorie deficit) it can quickly become disordered eating. especially in female fitness competitors the push to be leaner and leaner has people ignoring the mental illness because of the outward physical appearance of perfect health. in fact it’s basically considered normal to have eating habits that resemble disordered eating during competition prep. now I’m not by any means nsaying all competitors suffer with this but I’m just saying that it can be very prevalent. anyone who is in this fitness world will agree there is a huge emphasis on food. 

8- EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT

whether you follow IIFYM, bro diet, paleo, keto, or whatever is up to you. everyone’s body responds differently. and everyone’s MIND responds differently. some girls thrive off of the structure of a set meal plan, others love the flexibility of macro counting. some people look better on low carb high fat and some look better with more carb less fat. the point is that everyone is different and you should make SURE your coach has your physical and mental preferences in mind when preparing you for a competition. don’t settle for a coach who doesn’t make you feel 100% confident in your plan and approach. 

9- PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IS TOO HIGHLY EMPHASIZED IN OUR SOCIETY

even though I already knew this being a somewhat attractive 20 something year old, I realized this even more after I cut some of my body fat. I was getting so much positive feedback. people were so curious how I got so thin and how they could imitate me. it was addicting. but guess what? I was still unhappy and self conscious of my body. but the positive feedback from society drove me to diet down even further and get even smaller. which in turn had some bad side effects mentally and physically. and guess what? that still hasn’t made me happier, it hasn’t made me more relevant in the world. your worth should NEVER be determined by a number on a scale or percentage of body fat. 

10- ITS OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT

as someone who suffers with anxiety/depression I am constantly seeking perfection. I always want to do my best, be my best and if I can’t do it perfect I don’t want it at all. this mentality can be very damaging especially when it becomes extreme (as in the case with restrictive/extreme dieting and over obsessive exercise). it’s almost as if my anxiety to be perfect pushes me to unhealthy tendencies. this experience has taught me that I need to sometimes step back, breathe, and realized it’s okay to not do something 100% and still do it! healthy life needs to be sustainable (see #3) and that means balancing physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual health. I’m learning to embrace not everything can be perfect all the time and that’s okay. 

xo mvkayy

losing weight 

as a personal trainer, the majority of my clients come to me with goals to lose weight. they see it as an end all be all goal. “oh if I lose this 20pounds I’ll finally be happy and confident and my life will be great!” and while losing weight is sometimes necessary required for some people in order to become healthy and avoid medical issues, losing weight is not the end all be all of everything. 
losing weight will not make you happy

losing weight will not give you real friendships

losing weight will not give you fun memories

losing weight will not make the important things in your life any better then it already is 
in fact, sometimes losing weight can become mentally and emotionally unhealthy. Especially in women it can become obsessive…


I hear it all the time from girls “I have to go to the gym” “I have to do 1 hour of cardio everyday” “I have to stop eating carbs” 
what we HAVE to do, is start loving our bodies!!! we need to exercise for fun and to get our bodies moving, not for the sole purpose of burning calories and changing our physique. life is about more than being a lean bean muscular skeleton. life is about more than steps racked up on your Fitbit. life is about more than how many calories your elliptical session burned. life is about more than how you looked in that one bikini picture on Facebook taken at just the wrong angle. while I’m all for working out and conditioning your body, what I’m more concerned about is the lack of body positivity in the fitness community. instead everyone is so quick to compare to each other but NO BODY is the same! learn to embrace your body for everything it does for you. do activities because you like them, if you burn more calories doing Zumba but you’d rather go to yoga, GO to yoga! fuel your body and your mind. make fitness positive for you and it won’t feel like a chore. 

xoxo mvkayy 💗

social media & body image

with my new found love for fitness, it seems as every new follower I get is soandsofit or fitnessjourneyofblank so naturally my feed & discovery page is filled with beautiful, muscular, toned bodies. Dozens of comparison pictures, girls who claimed to have changed their life & loved every part of the process. by no means am I not happy about people getting fit and becoming healthy, but at what point is seeing all these body obsessed posts stop being inspiring & start hurting? 


I tell myself not to compare my journey to theirs but it’s hard, secretly I am comparing my progress to everyone. but that’s the thing about social media, it’s all about perspective

I noticed myself obsessing over others so I unfollowed a lot of these people. not because they aren’t great people (I’m sure they are) but because following them is  not benefitting me.


 I started following more body positive accounts. I love fitness and competiting but not in a way where I have to constantly be showing it to everyone. some of my goals for the next few months are to focus less on my physical appearance and work hard to appreciate the relationships in my life. I want to spend more time enjoying life and not worrying what I look like or how I appear to others. I know after my next competition I will be putting on weight (being this lean is not sustainable in a healthy way) and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the changes in my body. Filling my life with body positivity and self love are my priority right now. I hope you all can do the same! – xoxo mvkayy