Beauty Into Beast: A Fitness Journey

BY OLIVIA ANDREW // SEPT. 22, 2015 //

When it comes to exercise and eating healthy, everyone has those days where they feel down. They swear they are going to change and that this time will be different.

I was a gymless body builder for two years in high school. I took a yearlong break and got back into the routine about seven months ago. Sometimes, it’s important to give your body a break and after a yearlong hiatus, I was ready to get back into the routine. Now, I couldn’t be happier.

So… what is a gymless body builder?

A gymless body builder is an individual who trains to gain muscle mass, but in everyday spaces such as bedrooms, living spaces, classrooms and even outdoors. My lifestyle helps keep me on track. I can never skip a workout because no matter where I am, I’m already in the gym.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA ANDREW.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA ANDREW.

How did this all start?

I credit it all to my best friend, Nick Condon. Nick not only inspires my fitness goals, but he also inspires me to become a better person.

For years, Nick was bullied by his peers for anything and everything he did. Instead of becoming destructive and ruthless, Nick followed another path. That path was bodybuilding. Through bodybuilding, Nick was able to release the pent up frustration he’d been holding in from years of bullying.

Every workout became a thrill for Nick. He allows nothing but the best to enter into his life. To me, his strength and love for bodybuilding, is what inspired me. Not the physique you achieve from the sport, but just the love for it.

After every workout, I feel strong and empowered. I feel pride every time I choose the healthy meal over the fried one. Every little triumph leads to a greater success. I am still learning, but I just have to remember – my hero wasn’t always a pro. There were days when he was exactly like me, and I look to where he is now and how successful he has been. I am so insanely proud of my best friend.

Being in college definitely makes my lifestyle even harder. Luckily, being on a strict diet in college isn’t as hard as you may think. You just know where to look.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA ANDREW.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA ANDREW.

Here are a few things to try next time you’re at the Student Center for a meal:

1. Get those greens!

Make sure you eat as many vegetables as you can. Find your most favorite and flavorful salad combinations. Some people like veggie-only salads. Some like fruit, meat or even eggs added on. Find the combination that makes you happy, and make sure you work it in with lunch and dinner.

2. No fried ANYTHING!

That means no pizza, no fries, no chicken tenders, no fried clams and no French fries. It is going to be tough, but just keep in mind – it’s all worth it. Plus, you always have your CHEAT DAY!

3. MEAT!

Meat is a very important staple. Meat helps support your muscle growth. As you increase in size, you are going to have to eat more to keep up with your over all size. Make sure that your protein intake is relatively high, whether it comes from protein bars, protein shakes, meat or eggs.

4. Lots and lots of water.

Water is one of the best things to give your body. Drink up!

When the going gets rough…

No grilled chicken in the dining hall? Grab the chicken or other meat available and peal off the skin or breading. Cut up the pieces and mix it into your salad. Or, my personal favorite: go to the sandwich station. You dictate what goes in it, so definitely use that to your advantage.

Craving something sweet? Instead of dessert, grab a fruit or two. You get the same sugary satisfaction, without the extra calories.

Whenever I get bored with a workout routine or need new recipes, I always refer to bodybuilding.com. I have had so much success using this site and it is extremely helpful!

It sounds simple, but searching for workout circuits on YouTube is also very helpful!

Remember – your fitness dreams are achievable. You CAN do it!

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