Hi hi loves!
So today I’m really excited to introduce y’all to Kelly Mckinnis: total dime & also so inspiring. She’s about all things health & fitness and a stellar blogger. I met Kelly via the blogosphere (AKA where most of my friends come from these days…I promise I’m social LOL) and her enthusiasm and positive attitude is so gravitational that I just had to share her story with you!
Soooo let’s get started, shall we?
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 22 year old Chicago girl and I absolutely love everything about this city, right down to the homeless people (and that’s saying a lot). Currently, I go to college for event management, which in the future, I plan on creating my own event planning business – I’m a pretty big dreamer. Aside from college, I have a passion for fitness and health. If I’m not in class, I’m probably at the gym. If I’m not at the gym, well, then I’m probably out to eat with my best friends; brunch is my favorite meal!
What motivated you get start your fitness journey?
I’ve had two different times in my life where I became motivated to start my fitness journey. My first moment was when I was a Sophomore in high school. I was trying to join the track team and in order to do so I had to get a medical physical where they not only asked for my weight (which I thought was 135 pounds), but also asked me to perform a bunch of different exercises that had me panting harder than my dog. It was at this point that I thought to myself, “if I can’t do 50 jumping jacks without getting out of breath then what does that say about me?” I also found out I didn’t weigh 135 pounds like I had thought, but I actually weighed 150 pounds, which may not seem like a lot for some, but to me it was a huge shock. I was crying to my mom and told her this would be the last day I ever weighed this much. So, from that point forward I gave my all during track practice and with 30 days left of my gym membership I decided to go every day. I ended up losing 30 pounds in about five months.
However, when I got to college I stopped working out and had the mind set that if I restricted my calorie intake during the week, I could party and eat poorly on the weekends. I did this for awhile and after about a year and a half of not working out I gained some weight back. I didn’t like how I looked in the mirror anymore and my clothes were starting to get tight on me. Again, I decided to restrict my calories, but I didn’t really lose any weight. It wasn’t until a year ago when I started a fitness Instagram account that I became motivated to work out again and live a healthier life. I started a 12 week workout program and finished it four times and I’m now on my fifth round of it. I’m healthier and the fittest I’ve been in my entire life and I won’t be looking back!
Favorite fitness trend as of now?
I absolutely love the saying “strong not skinny” because it’s how everyone should look at health and fitness. It took me a long time to realize that being strong is way better than being skinny and that gaining muscle doesn’t mean I’ll look like the hulk. I’m also loving that fitness clothes are becoming fashionable! There are so many cute workout clothes now that even my friends who don’t partake in any physical activity are wearing them haha.
My favorite type of workout is body weight resistance training. Jump lunges, jump squats, tuck jumps and x-hops just to name a few! I add weights to them to give myself more of a challenge and I’m sore almost every time! Another one of my favorite workouts is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because it’s only 10-15 minutes, I can squeeze it in if I have a tight schedule and still burn a ton of calories.
Go-to songs to workout to (name as many as you like!)
I love electro music while I workout or anything super upbeat! #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers, A Little Party Never Killed Nobody, BO$$ by Fifth Harmony, Yeah Yeah by Willy Moon, Shots & Squats by Vigilant Tham Sway and Bad by David Guetta are just some of the songs on my workout playlist right now. Other times I honestly just love to have an episode of Friends on in the background, especially if I’m doing LISS.
What does your diet look like?
Well, I don’t count calories or track any part of my diet or anything like that, but I do keep in mind portion sizes. I also don’t eat a lot of meat, I’d say 2 out of the 3 of my meals are vegan or vegetarian, but I do ensure to get protein from other sources such as tofu, seitan, etc. I always make sure whatever I eat or cook has whole ingredients and most of what I eat is organic. I also don’t cut out any food group, so I don’t cut out carbs and I don’t cut out fat – those two food groups are really important in the right quantities! Plus, I could never give up pasta or pizza so going carb free is out of the question haha. Speaking of pizza, I don’t restrict myself from eating it or indulging here and there with treats. I eat out twice a week with family and friends and usually there’s dessert, sometimes there’s fries, but I let myself eat those things because why not? I like to keep my diet as balanced as possible and that includes ice cream, fries and chocolate along with all the healthy stuff.
My all time favorite healthy meal is smashed avocado on toast with two poached eggs on top. I drool just thinking about it it’s that good. It’s fast, easy and super filling.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start their own journey?
Just start. There will never be a right time to begin, you just have to dive right into it. Don’t dip your toes in, just take a big leap! But,aside from the metaphors, another piece of advice I give to all of my friends is to not compare yourself to others. It’s so easy to look at a girl next to you at the gym who has an amazing core and ask yourself why you don’t look like that. The reality is, that girl may have been working out for 5 years and it took her two years to finally get those abs, but you wouldn’t really know this by just looking at her. Instead, my advice would be to take progress pictures and compare yourself to where you were a month ago or three months ago and you’ll notice progress and you’ll ultimately be a lot happier with that progress.