At some point in the past year, I found Fitstagram Queens on Instagram. At first, I loved being able to see new workouts that people were posting. It helped me switch up my routine at the gym when I was in a rut. There were also some great snack ideas that people posted. Somewhere along the way, though, once I started following more and more of these accounts, I realized that I was just getting ab and booty glamour shots. A lot of it was product-based and all of the posts had about, oh, fifteen hashtags that mostly didn’t even relate to their post. But, because we’re all desperate to look and feel our best, we find these pages one way or another, and we follow them because, well, we want to attain that “level”, whatever it is. For some of us, it’s a new diet. For others of us, it’s our workout regime. For me, it was both.
I started lifting weights about a year and a half ago. I saw really amazing results in the first year, but those have sort of petered out. I work A LOT and I really love to socialize and see my husband and family. Prioritizing my workouts is still high on my list of things to do, but getting there right after work, or sacrificing my early morning hours, just really isn’t worth it to me right now. I do still work out about four times per week, but I’m not as invested in it as I was. Realizing that is a serious process of acceptance. Exercise is addictive and the results are even more addictive. You look good, you feel even better, and you basically always feel like you’re high. IT’S AMAZING. Literally nothing can bring you down. Except not working out as much, that is.
So, with my adjusted routine and priorities in the past several months, I’ve been scrolling through Instagram, seeing these babes who lift constantly popping up in my feed. The amount of glamour shots in workout clothes started to decrease, and I started seeing more in “normal/regular” clothes. There were head shots, laying-on-the-beach shots, and everything in between. I was putting myself down for not achieving the same results as the people on Instagram. Which, by the way, writing that sentence is really, really depressing. Can you believe we do this stuff? I realized one day that, you know, my main goals in life are not to be in figure competitions. I have a full-time job+, a family, dogs, friends, and my hobbies – so lifting weights can’t really define me / did I ever really want that anyway??
I have spent a ton of time at my gym in the past year and a half. I lift a ton heavier than I did even six months ago. For example: a year ago, I was doing 7.5# shoulder presses and I now can use 22.5# dumbbells. That’s a lot of weight. I went from having trouble squatting 40#, to doing 140# with little trouble, in about six months. HOWEVER, numbers aside, the visible results with my body are not extreme. I really like to eat cake. I probably eat cake every single day. Or I have an ice cream cone (I had two in one sitting on Monday). That stuff doesn’t feel indulgent to me, it’s just part of who I am. So, do I have a defined six-pack? HELL. NO. Do I want one? God, I don’t know, I guess it would be nice? But giving up the things that make me who I am (read: cake, cookies, ice cream cones) just isn’t worth it to me. It would severely reduce the quality of my life.
Our sweet Fitstagram Queens eat tuna, straight from the can, with a fork. I can’t roll like that, y’all! Because of the education I’ve received from the trainers and nutritionists at my gym, I have changed my diet quite a bit. I have cut down on carbs, increased protein, included some pre-workout drinks, etc. I feel like my diet is in a great place. A place that makes me really proud.
Until it comes to the carbs. Reminder that I do not consider cake and ice cream cones as carbs – that’s like thinking of shoes as an accessory. They stand alone. I’m talking about homemade bread, non-sprouted grain bread, flour tortillas, etc. I made brioche for a wedding last week for French toast and, man, diving into that stuff was heavenly. I made challah on Monday night and it’s rocking my world! I’ve been enjoying it so much!
I started unfollowing these Fitstagram Queens last week. I think I still follow 3-5 because these few actually post great free workouts and, I feel, don’t 100% subscribe to the nastiness I hate. I think my uptick in eating delicious homemade bread and the unfollowings happened about the same time. I feel great and I feel pretty free.
You may have seen the challah I posted on Instagram (What do you call pastry ladies with Insta pages? Cakestagrams?), and maybe you didn’t. It’s a Post Punk Kitchen recipe that I altered, so it is vegan. I used mostly the same ingredients as the recipe calls for, but adapted it to be more like how my grandma makes bread.
- Ditch the water, use all soymilk. It makes a richer dough.
- Combine all of the liquid at once. So, the 1-1/2 c soymilk from the first part of the recipe with the 1/3 c soymilk in the second part of the recipe.
- Heat all milk, the tumeric, sugar (both the 1/2 c and the 1 Tbsp) together until warm to the touch (a chef in school said “baby’s got a fever” temp). Then add in the yeast and let it sit ’til it bubbles. Then add in the bananas, coconut oil, etc. and follow the recipe as it stands!
- Knead the bread for about five minutes. The strands shouldn’t tear apart like in the picture on the PPK site. You want these to be well-formed strands of gluten.
- I added Maldon salt and sesame seeds to the top of the loaves (I made four with this recipe).