Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Black women taking better care of their health and wellness, is one thing that I'm definitely here for. I have not only watched Tatiana literally as a baby because we are cousins, but I've also watched her grow up to be an amazing adult. She has made physical fitness apart of her lifestyle. Below is a fitness interview with Tatiana but to me, it's more like a diary about her journey of self-love.
1. Tell us about the mission or the motivation behind your fitness journey.
I started my fitness journey back in September of 2017 and in short it was because I needed control of SOME PART of my life. Earlier that year, I had come to the realization that the guy I had been waiting on for seven years was NEVER going to choose me no matter what I did. As the oldest child I have always been one to hold my emotions in and keep myself in check in order to not burden anyone else…and that’s exactly what I did about the guy. However, I started to also have issues in my professional life and with my finances as well. I was also starting to feel “stuck” in my life. I tried my hardest to hold everything in but ended up having a breakdown with my mom sometime in August of 2017. It felt good to finally let everything out and I knew something had to change.
That same month, my company had it’s 10 Year Anniversary Party, and while I felt cute that entire night, I saw pictures of myself later and all the weight I gained during that year hit me! I looked so swollen and felt disgusted with myself…to this day I have a love-HATE relationship with those pictures. I realized that I couldn’t control my family, my finances, my job (at the moment), but I COULD CONTROL MY HEALTH. So that is exactly what I did. My mom agreed to be my gym buddy, and over the next few months we worked our way from two gym days a week to five days a week. In November I hired an online personal trainer and the rest is history. Until that point, I had never been consistent with my fitness journey, but two years later I am still on the path of bettering myself every single day no matter what that looks like.
2. What was the hardest obstacle you faced in your fitness journey and how did you overcome it?
In the beginning of working with my trainer, consistency with my nutrition and water intake was the hardest obstacle. She had me tracking my macronutrients aka carbs, proteins and fats, and it was really hard to hit my numbers all the time. Especially since my mom is a baker, and I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth. However, once I realized it was working and my body was changing, it made it easier to stick to my goals. Plus, I was preparing for a fashion show at the time so that was also motivation. During the 12 weeks we worked together, I learned so much about food and what I needed to eat to fuel MY body. I don’t track macros at the moment, and most definitely don’t think one should track forever, however I think when starting out on your fitness journey or trying to reach certain body goals, it can be a very useful tool! Also getting in 125 oz…or a gallon of water every single day is super hard and I still struggle to do it. My advice, just be aware of what you’re putting in your body ladies.
3. Any advice for women who are looking to live a healthier lifestyle and start working out more?
First and foremost, START! It can be going on a 10 minute walk every day, getting in the gym a couple of times a week, or finally signing up for the fitness class you keep putting off. You can also start with nutrition by challenging yourself to not eat out as much, add a couple of veggies in your meals or drinking one more bottle of water each day. I learned quickly that small steps add up and before you know it, fitness and nutrition can and will become part of your daily routine. Just don’t try and go from one extreme to another because you will burnout or give up and that does no one any good.
Second, fitness is not the same for everyone. Find a way to DO FITNESS in your own way by finding activities and exercises you love and enjoy. For me, I found joy in lifting heavy weights with a structured program from a coach. I also ran my first marathon last year and will be running my second on October 13th. The marathon started as a bucket list item, but I am already thinking about where my third marathon will be. Both lifting and running are things I love to do, but I don’t ever plan to do a triathlon because swimming is not for me unless it’s to save a life. Don’t force yourself to work out a certain way, just get active however you choose.
Lastly, there is a TON of free information on the internet. Personal trainers and coaches are making a living off of Instagram and many of them post free workouts, tips and guides along with video instructions on how to do the movements. If you can afford it, hire a coach or buy a training plan (after researching of course) but start utilizing all the free resources. My coach @carliepetraitis is great but if you’re looking to follow other women in fitness, @desb__ , @ajahzifit , @danyelewilson and @em_dunc are some of my favorites as well.
4. What is your favorite workout routine and why? What’s your favorite workout equipment, apparel or exercise to do?
I don’t have a specific routine, but I love lifting on days that work with my back and shoulders. I think a strong, toned back looks really sexy. I can’t wait to get back to consistent lifting after the marathon is over.
My favorite exercises are deadlifts in any form. Before the marathon, I hit a 205lb deadlift max which felt incredible!
I actually love workout clothes. I think cute outfits make you feel and look good, which in turn builds confidence in the gym. I used to feel nervous in the weight sections usually overrun by men, but I found putting on a cute gym set gave me power I didn’t know I had. Remember, do what works for you! I had a Gymshark obsession for a while, but lately I have been buying sets from Balance Athletica. My trainer swears by TJ Maxx and her outfits are always cute.
5. How often do you exercise weekly? How often do you suggest someone who is a beginner workout weekly?
Right now, I am marathon training, so I am running 2-4 days a week. When I am strictly lifting, I go to the gym 4-5 days a week.
If you’re a beginner, I’d say (again), do what works for you. Try going on 10-20 minute walks 5 days a week, commit to taking one workout class a week, or getting in the gym to strength train for 30 minutes two days a week. Don’t overdo it! You want to ease yourself into a routine and then gradually increase when you feel like you personally and physically are ready for more.
Tatiana Lampley, is a single, 26-year-old (young) millennial living in the Chicagoland area. She manages financials for the Production department at the Big Ten Network and is in her final quarter of grad school at Northwestern University. She is super busy, but fitness is now part of her life. Her belief is that, "You have to make time for things that are most important to you and I have found a way to balance everything in my life."