Trying to gain weight can be just as much of  a struggle as trying to lose it.  If you’ve always struggled with  being thin and gaining weight, you might find it reassuring to know that others have gone through the same thing and come out on the other side. In today’s transformation feature, Nneka shares her journey which begun back in 2013 when her daily caloric intake did not meet up to her activity levels. At the time she experienced alot of stress transitioning from high school to undergrad and into her Medical Doctor program. Seven years on she’s not only serving books *cue the drum roll * our future doctor has also earned herself a new bod! here she shares what has helped her as a skinny hard gainer.

This is me back in 2013 vs. me in 2020. I was so skinny y’all, I can’t even believe that’s me for real

2013: About 120lbs. Mostly strenuous cardio. Minimal weightlifting and running track five times a week followed by dance practice. I ate enough to get by but likely at a caloric deficit in comparison to my daily activity. High carb, high protein-based diet.

2020: About 150lbs. No running (but can still dust you if need be.) Weightlifting at the gym plus HIIT/core circuit 4-5 times per week and yoga/rest on my rest days. I currently work out legs 2 times a week, upper body once and full body 1-2 times. Eating more frequently and diversifying my plate with healthier grains, lean meats/fish and a lot more veggies to be at a caloric surplus. Moderate carb, high protein-based diet.

I wouldn’t say my fitness journey took me 7 years. I really started putting in the consistency about 2 years ago but never put effort into documenting my progress until recently. For me personally, the hardest part of my fitness journey is EATING and MAINTAINING WEIGHT. Not that I don’t love to eat or am a picky eater because that’s definitely not the case. (I do not discriminate when it comes to my plate, we luhhh da food mane.) The issue is remembering to eat regularly and enough to gain and sustain weight over time due to the rigor of my school and clinical rotation schedule. Now I meal prep consistently and always have healthy snacks for in between meals. It’s so important that you eat enough and be mindful of your nutrition as you would with your workout routine. It might be helpful to track your calories and macros over the course of a week to ensure your’e eating enough and bump it up if you need to.

What I typically eat in a day:

Breakfast: Protein shake and fruit

Lunch: High protein lighter meal- this week it’s chili and quinoa.

Dinner: High protein heavier meal for dinner- this week it’s Cajun salmon, side salad, asparagus with cheese

When people ask what my goal weight is, I honestly never know how to answer because I’ve never judged my success with measurements or numbers on a scale. My advice to female professionals and queens who are struggling to find time or motivation to work out, is to gradually introduce the lifestyle modifications so that it doesn’t negatively impact your regimen. Some days, I’ll grocery shop one day and prep the food the next. Some days, you may only have time for a 20 min home workout routine. That’s all perfectly ok because at the end of the day, you are taking steps in the right direction. The most important thing is to START. In this age of social media, learning to love what you see in the mirror is what really matters. Let’s work together to become the best versions of ourselves!

Click HERE to connect with Nneka