‘I Ditched My Weight-Loss Goal And Look Better Than Ever’

In high school, I was one of the least athletically inclined people I knew. I was never involved in sports and I *hated* gym class when the teacher would make us run laps.

When I was 20, I moved from Toronto to Montreal for a year. It was the first time I had ever lived completely on my own, which was exhilarating—but it also meant zero accountability.

My typical weeknights consisted of marathon hours of Netflix in bed while ordering cheap Chinese takeout or pizza delivery (and yes, that whole pizza was just for me). Weekdays often meant one too many drinks while out with friends that would leave me feeling sick and exhausted the next morning. I struggled to build healthy eating habits, let alone follow any form of consistent exercise.

When I came back to Toronto at the end of that year, I realised I had gained 10kg in less than a year. I was shocked at the sudden change in my body and disappointed as I reflected over the choices I’d made. Most of all, I was tired of feeling both mentally and physically sluggish.

When I first started with fitness, I didn’t have a gym membership and wasn’t ready to put the money down for something I didn’t know would even stick. So I started really simple: I found at-home cardio routines on YouTube—Insanity, Blogilates, and other completely random videos—and would try and sweat almost every day.

Being at home and turning to YouTube personalities that were so welcoming, like Cassey Ho, took that “gymtimidation” and threw it out the window. It made me actually enjoy working out.

After a month or two of consistently working out every day, I had built up enough belief in my own self-discipline to feel confident in forking over the money for a gym membership. Truth be told, I really wanted to get into lifting, but I had no idea where to start.

My early days of the gym revolved around the treadmill, and occasionally creeping into the weights area to experiment on some of the machines. But I also started watching videos at home, reading information, and watching other people lift in the gym.

And then I started a challenge: Each week, I’d force myself to get out of my comfort zone and try a new machine or target a different muscle group. I had my older brother teach me proper form with the free weights in moves like squats and deadlifts. As I gained more knowledge, I also gained more confidence in my body and my ability to succeed. And as I got more comfortable, I became completely hooked.

Within just two months of starting to lift weights, I achieved my goal of losing 10kg. But I quickly ran into a battle between aiming for that 55kg on the scale and having a body that was actually capable of lifting.

As I started lifting heavier and heavier, I would become lightheaded and dizzy. I realized that in my desperate attempt to maintain that goal weight, I was under-eating and failing to fuel my body properly for intense exercise and heavy lifting. I was trying to force my body to run on empty.

I had to make a decision: Do I tie myself down to maintaining this “goal weight” or do I truly want to continue improving my cardiovascular and strength levels, regardless of whatever number may appear on the scale?

I chose the latter. It was really, really hard to let go of this idea of a goal weight. But I shifted my focus toward performance targets—do 20 pushups, squat 70kg, run a mile without stopping. Achieving these goals made me feel proud—and they were actually fun to chase after, unlike a number on the scale. Plus, because I was eating more, I had more energy to build muscle, and I felt stronger, too.

That feeling when you FINALLY finish the looongest damn semester of your lifeeee ???? hi yes I’m alive, my training just unfortunately had to take a backseat during finals week, which I told myself not to feel TOO guilty for even though I kinda do… ?? _______ Told myself I’d take it easy on my first day back in the gym with just a quick run, buuuut I was so amped off that pre-workout (and those post-finals feels ??) that I ended up burning out my shoulders and tri’s + 20mins of HIIT to top it off. I also managed to meal prep for the week! ? So if you can’t already tell I’m soooo ready to get back on track ??? _______ (also shoutout to @tina.taw for always noticing when I’m gone for too long, you a real one girl lmao ily ???)

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Now, I train four to five times a week. My goal has always been to build a proportionate physique, so I train using an upper and lower body split, and still do cardio—which is definitely not as fun for me as lifting weights, but hey, our heart is one of the most important muscles, after all! With summer approaching, I’m upping my cardio, so my summer routine will look like four to five lift days with four 30-minute cardio sessions.


I'm not normally one to share foodie photos on my feed, but I'd be selfish not to share this gem of a dessert with you guys!!! ?? Check out this #GrasshopperSmores chimney cone from @ogchimneys… & nope there's no grasshoppers in it looool ? – Chocolate and vanilla ice cream drizzled with mint chocolate shavings, cocoa drizzle, and toasted marshmallows on a graham cracker cone. ? Plus there's lil goodies hidden inside the cone the more you make your way down… like mini mint marshmallows and a Lindt chocolate ball. SO. DANG. GOOD. ?? – And yes sometimes I eat treats like this that have a crazy amount of calories in em… and you better believe I enjoy every bit of it with no guilt! ? WHY feel guilty about food, guys? That's just setting yourself up for a bad relationship with food. Everything in moderation, don't lose sight of that idea. ☝? I'm a girl who loves the gym, yes for sure, but hey I'm also a girl who loves to try new foods and enjoy maaa life okurrrr. Work hard, ??‍♀️ play hard(er). ???

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In all honesty, my typical diet is not that strict. My general rule is to try and eat healthy when I’m on my own so I can allow for a more relaxed approach when in a social setting. No one really wants to eat a chicken salad or protein shake when all your friends are having pizza! So when I’m eating with friends or family, there are no rules.

But I do try to meal prep for the week when I’m on my own, so I have healthy options readily available. This is important because I know myself: If I come home hungry, I will want to just order delivery or pick up fast food instead of cook.


#TransformationTuesday: I’ve reached the same weight I was when I first started training almost 2 yrs ago! Kinda seems like my fitness journey has come full circle in a way, doesn’t it??? ??? __________ In 2016 I set my first ever fitness goal, which was to basically just shrink myself down to 120 lbs. ??‍♀️ if you scroll through the oldest posts/captions on my account you’ll notice I was counting down every pound on my scale… ? If I stopped “progressing” with this number, I would further restrict my calories and try to exercise more – even though I would get dizzy trying to lift heavy or do high intensity cardio… my body’s way of telling me it was seriously running out of fuel. ???‍♀️ __________ To this day, I continually get messages from girls saying how excited they are to have started lifting! ?? BUT they can’t help feeling stressed out seeing the number on their scale stay the same or even go UP, asking “what am I doing wrong?!” ? __________ Why do we as women keep doing this to ourselves??? Men are generally so PROUD when they’ve put on weight when working out – meanwhile many women are determined to forever shrink themselves down to nothing. __________ I’m here to remind you, love, that YOU DON’T NEED to constantly weigh less and less to prove you’re healthy or fit. The scale CANNOT ? tell you how much fat you’ve shed ? versus how much lean, toned, strong muscle mass you are building. ?? __________ Eat healthy, train hard, sleep well and give your body the TIME it needs to transform from the inside out. ?? As one of my amazing followers put it the other day, “give yourself some grace, girl.” I’m rooting for your success, whatever your health and fitness goals may be. You got this. ???

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Now, I actually weigh the same amount as I did when I decided to pick up fitness in the first place. But the number doesn’t bother me—in fact, I’m proud of it. It shows how strong I am.

Lifting makes me feel so badass. When you have lived your whole life seeing yourself as unathletic, uncoordinated and weak, it’s a very exciting feeling to grow more confident week to week as you hit PRs, run a little longer, stretch a little further, jump a little higher.

Recently, I hit a deadlift PR of 95kg! Breaking into the 90s was a goal I’d been working toward for a long time, so it felt amazing when I finally achieved it. Especially as a woman, it feels pretty badass and boosts your self-confidence when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror successfully lifting that kind of weight. Next goal: two plates 100kg)!


HIII, how is my little Insta family?! ? I’ve been a bit MIA because… guess who JUST finished their final class evarrr for their college program?! I’m SO HAPPY to be done with school, you guys!!! ????? __________ Also, I recently got a new job!! Very excited about this since I’ve been living off my savings the past few months and let’s face it, your girl’s got bills to pay and now a student loan to get rid of (like as fast as humanly possible)… LOL ?? __________ So yeah, I’ve been juggling and reorganizing shifting priorities. ? Make no mistake though! Gym’s still my sanctuary & happy place – just cuz I haven’t been posting 24/7 doesn’t mean I’m not still grinding and working toward my goals. ✊?? __________ Anyone else graduating this year?! Leave a comment telling me what you’re in school for (and what year you’re planning to finish!) ?

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Take pictures! It sounds so cliche, but it’s nearly impossible to look in the mirror and notice the small changes happening week to week. I keep a folder in my phone dedicated to my personal progress photos, and having that concrete photographic evidence to look back on always offers major motivation for me. And consider posting them on social media—sometimes one kind comment from a stranger can be enough to kick me out of my funk on a bad day, and push me to go train when I don’t really feel like it.

Follow Christina’s fitness journey @fitchristina. As told to Rachael Schultz.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.

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