5 things I wish I knew at 18 (with gifs!)

1- The job market is so much harder then you think.

Most jobs you see you’re either going to be grossly overqualified or under-qualified. Only go to college if you have a clear path where that degree will take you. Focus on learning as much as you can and do things that will help your future.

2- Not everyone you meet is going to be as kind as you.

Not everyone will be the kind of friend you are. Don’t waste your energy with those people. Surround yourself with people who care about you through the good and the bad. Find people who understand you or at least empathize with you. Appreciate your loved ones and the ones who take care of you.

3- Take care of yourself first.

Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially or intellectually. Don’t put someone else in front of your own care. Take care of your body and your mind. Be active as often as you can. Eat in moderation but still enjoy what you like! Always put yourself first. You can’t help others if you’re sick or drained.

4- It’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to ask for help. Just make sure you’re going to the right people (see #2) Make sure you periodically have time to vent and let things out. Cry if you need to. Take a sick day if you need to. Keep the communication open with your supporters. They can’t help you if they don’t know.


Be yourself. Don’t try to fit into society’s mold of what’s expected. Don’t do things that don’t contribute to your wellbeing or happiness. Continue to be gentle with yourself. Understand that you can’t always be perfect. Accept that you are the only version of you there is and don’t try to be someone else.

I hope this helps someone who reads this. It helped me to write it! Stay strong out there my friends ❤️


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 

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 💪😊

too healthy? 

if you’ve ever been on a diet or even just gone a liiiitttlee too long without eating something you know that hangry (hungry + angry) is a very real, very serious emotion. but is there a point where that irritation becomes detrimental? how healthy is too healthy?

During the past 6 months I have made some major changes in my physical health but the changes people haven’t seen have been in my mental and emotional health. Competition prep is no joke. and while most people look at bodybuilders sculpted physique and think “wow what amazing will power!” there is a deeper and darker side to this extreme dieting. 

Recently I discovered Maddy Moon ‘s podcast and website and I couldn’t help but think “wow she gets me!” 

If you haven’t ever struggled with anxiety, depression, OCD or disordered eating, congratulations YOURE LUCKY! but if you are like the majority of the female population, you probably have experienced one, if not multiple of these problems. In today’s culture there is so much emphasis on the physical appearance and looking so perfect, but why don’t we ever focus on improving our mental health? why are we envious of people who are living extremely restrictive lifestyles instead of those fully embracing life and all it has to offer without obsessing over appearance? 

I’ve begun to question myself and my motives for become a fitness finnatic. although I love competiting, staying fit, pushing myself, eating healthy and developing myself I’d be lying if I didn’t say these past few months have been a mental struggle. (waaaayyy more on this to come)

Many diets focus on lowering carbs and without getting too in depth, let’s just say carbs are BRAIN FOOD! the ADA recommends at least 130g of carbs a day for proper brain function. and obviously it’s possible to live without this number but what are the effects? well this all depends on the individual. 

if you see my last post, that sums up a lot of the issues I’ve personally been facing. exhaustion, fog brain, extreme emotions, loss of sex drive, OBSESSION with food, insomnia, extreme low energy and so many mood swings. so some days are better than others but what I want you guys to get out of this post is JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE LOOKS GREAT DOESNT NOT MEAN THEY FEEL GREAT. I’m just starting to understand that there is a such thing as “too healthy” and I hope I can start to find a balance between health and obsession.  

as always, stay fab friends -mvkayy

Cardio vs. strength training

Being a personal trainer, of course I get this question a lot. unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there so many people become what I like to call “cardio bunnies” or they look “skinny fat”

now don’t get me wrong, cardio is an important and essential part of any workout plan to keep your heart healthy and your endurance up! buuuut cardio WILL not make you look the way you want (unless you enjoy being a stick with no definition). 

so why is strength training the boss of weight loss/muscle gain/overall better physique? I’m going to try & keep this simple but if you want a super in depth explanation just email me & we can get into all the mechanics/biology 🙈

when you do any kind of strength training- this includes body weight, weight lifting, machines, plyometrics, even yoga/Pilates- you are working & breaking down your muscles. now here’s where people suffer, if you aren’t pushing your muscles hard enough you aren’t breaking them down to build them up but instead you are testing their endurance (i.e. not building any muscle). think of long distance runners- they are lean, little definition, because they work on muscle ENDURANCE. now think of sprinters, usually more defined and carry more lean muscle mass. this is because when they sprint they are tearing down their muscles and building them back up to be even stronger! 

note- LADIES. when I said building muscle I DONT mean like a body builder!!! you WILL NOT become bulky like males. we don’t not physically produce enough hormones (testosterone) to build muscles like that. (more on this topic in another post)

So my point here is- lifting heavier is going to give you faster and better results. you want to challenge your muscles! do sets of 8-12 reps and pick a weight that is going to make you struggle by rep 8 or 9 but you can finish 10-12 if you push.

pro tip- record the weight you use on each exercise & try to increase the weight every 2 weeks! 

But mvkay- doesn’t cardio burn more calories? ah yes, this question is one of my favs. the short answer is yes but no. cardio yes burns more calories at the time buuuut the wonderful thing about strength training is you continue to burn calories 2-4 hours afterwards. another awesome thing about lifting is that when you build more muscle, you burn more calories AT REST! that means we could both weight 150lbs but if I’m 20% body fat and you’re 25% body fat I get to eat more calories then you, and do less work, and most likely look better! if that’s not motivation enough to lift some heavy ass weights idk what is!!! the goal is to change your body’s competition, not the number on the scale! 

Another bonus of weight lifting is… it’s also cardio! if you are giving yourself 1-2 minutes rest between sets, half that & try to keep your heart rate up. still want a challenge? add a cardio component in between sets (like jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, butt kicks, etc…) then by the time you’re done weight training, you’re also done with cardio! win-win 😝

Anyways, to sum it up- if your goal is like everyone else, to lose weight, tone up, look better overall you NEED to add strength training into your life! if you’re new to it, try to do 2-3x a week for 30minutes either doing full body or splitting upper and lower body. make sure to add in some cardio also! the best thing to do is to just get started. so get in there gorgeous people, you got this 💪