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Who: Jade Womack, 26, government employee and bartender
Lives: Adams Morgan
Pounds lost: 45 lbs.
How long it took: “Since March, I went from a size 10-12 to a size 4-6 and a 36DD to a 36C.”
“I discovered what a gym was five years ago. But like a lot of people, I thought there were ‘quick fixes’ to losing weight. Going to graduate school [in Ithaca] from 2015 to 2017, I fell off the workout wagon. In March 2018, I discovered CrossFit and continued going to District CrossFit when I moved back to DC (I’m a native!). I’m not sure what happened, but I started seeing fitness as a challenge of what my body was capable of versus a painful exercise [to work off] what I ate the night before.
“Around the city, I like to take Rumble boxing classes with Sharon Kim, Flybarre with Christie Horan, and Flywheel with Christine McDonough. I’ve done the Bar Method as well, and taken a few yoga classes offered by Vida. Another way to keep this fitness journey sticking besides building consistency and habit is to mix it up. So when I travel, I try to stop into different gyms when I can, or I follow fitness influencers on Instagram such as @collegecleaneating and incorporate her movements into my routine.
“Sherelle Wilson at Corporate Fitness Center, which is part of the government gym system, has been really helpful. Sherelle and I are training for our first half-marathon together for the Rock and Roll Marathon. I’ve been able to run longer distances a lot easier and I think a lot of that has to relate to having less weight on my body. I’m currently at a 9:30 pace for the first 5 miles! [The gym also hosts] challenges, and this summer there was one to win an Amazon gift card for attending the most work gym classes. I won the challenge.
“Now that I’ve built the habit of going to the gym, I want my body to finally reflect the hard work I’m putting in. And a lot of that has to do with my diet. I started really tracking my food with MyFitnessPal and practicing a more Paleo diet. I started walking home and to work from Adams Morgan to NOMA and making sure I was eating when I was hungry, not when I was bored.
“Cinnamon Toast crunch cereal.
How she stuck with it:
“What has made it stick is consistency. Although I lost a lot of weight in the past nine months, in 2018 I tracked my fitness with a calendar. I would put a sticker in my planner every time I went for a workout as a visual reminder of my progress.
“Another thing is building it into your schedule. I plan where I’m going to go [work out] and if I need to bring workout clothes to [the office] in advance. Or I’ll change up my schedule: if I have a meeting, I’ll need to work out after work and [then I’ll] take a spin class versus using the work gym. Or if I’m going out later, [I’ll plan] what I’m going to eat for lunch to balance my macros. These small considerations really help. I read once that you don’t slice all your tires because you get a flat. If you fall off the workout routine one day, it’s okay. You can get back on.
Newfound body love:
“I love my quads. They’re rocks. I was at one of my favorite wine bars on 14th Street and this guy came up to me and wanted to cheers to my eyes. He said they were the most beautiful ones he had seen. And I told him that was stupid because I don’t work on my eyes—I was born with them. I then flexed and told him to feel my quads—he should cheers to them instead. I work on my quads. They weren’t made overnight!
Changes to her “invisible” health:
I have a lot more energy and better skin—the biggest thing I’ve noticed from sweating more is having a clearer complexion. Internally, I would say better self-care: I consider my gym time my ‘me time.’ [It’s my] time to plan out my day or to reflect. I really check in with my body: If I’m too tired, I’ll change my workout. If I haven’t slept enough, I’ll sometimes skip a workout. If I’m sore, I’ll eat Halo Top ice cream in my bathtub and soak. And that mindfulness of really checking in with myself is something I didn’t do a lot and is something I don’t think we do enough. Fitness sort of forces you to. And with knowing yourself [comes] a sense of self-esteem and confidence I didn’t know I had.
Advice for those looking to make a change:
“Have fun with it and ask questions. I didn’t know what I was doing when I first lifted weights, and CrossFit really helped. Now that I use my work gym, I ask the trainers all the time [for guidance]. Also—build it into your schedule and routine if you want it to stick, or to come up with a sustainable plan.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.