“FIRST THINGS FIRST, SHE’S THE REALEST..”
I follow quite a few fitness accounts on Instagram, and I must say.. Not all pages are created equal! I’ve always been drawn to pages that shed light on the TRUTH of this crazy weight loss journey we are on, and by far one of my favorite accounts belongs to none other than Danielle G; better known on social media as “Splenda.” Not only is this woman absolutely gorgeous, but her candid honesty and transparency about and during her personal mission towards her fitness goals is well appreciated in a world full of fake. I had the pleasure of chatting with Splenda recently, see what she had to say:
Was there a specific moment in your life that prompted your current lifestyle?
Back in 2010, I received alarming news from my doctor. She informed me that my lifestyle at the time was extremely damaging to my health. I wasn’t eating healthy foods nor was I working out…at all. At that moment the decision to change my lifestyle was solely about health besides I was in a long-term relationship at the time & he never complained (to me at least) about my weight gain so I didn’t think it was an issue.
You have expressed your disdain for “get skinny quick” methods of weight loss. What is it that bothers you the most about the marketing and use of such products?
Lol. Yes, I am COMPLETELY against “get skinny quick” gimmicks and tricks. What bothers me the most is that it gives people, who are already vulnerable due to societal pressures placed on them concerning weight and what the “perfect body looks like,” false hope. They flash an impressive “before & after” in your face and in the next breath try to sell you a pill, a shake or cleanse, a ridiculous diet plan, or a piece of fabric you wrap around your waist and claims it brought this person results in 10 days. It’s complete false advertisement. But let’s be clear, I’m not placing all the blame on these companies or the individuals who either work for or promote them all over these social media platforms, because business is business. People also need to take responsibility in the role they play as well. STOP FALLING FOR IT. Yes, everyone wants to see results and we’d prefer to see them in the blink of an eye. I’d be lying if I said I, at times, don’t think like that. However, we have to use common sense and think things through. If someone presents you with a “get fit quick” product that does not involve proper nutrition and consistent exercise, and claims they can give you results in 10 days something isn’t right. People are so consumed with quick results that they put health on the back burner. People would rather spend money on waist trainers and chemically filled shakes and cleanses than to invest in nutritious food and home gym equipment or a gym membership. It’s so frustrating…lol
What are some of the biggest misconceptions that most people have about losing weight?
That it will happen overnight or even in a week. Rome wasn’t built in a day so what makes you think that the weight that took you months maybe even years to gain will suddenly vanish in a week? Also, people need to shift the focus from “weight” loss to fat loss. The number on the scale is such a loaded figure. It can literally increase or decrease daily depending on so many factors, yet we give it so much power. Why?? Someone can be 120lbs and have 40% body fat or be “skinny fat” versus someone who can be 180lbs and have 20% body fat. I use to be stuck on the scale. It had to read less than 140lbs for me to feel good that day. Looking back on pictures I looked frail even sickly, I had no muscle which left me with no shape. I was chasing a number on the scale that NO one but myself would know. We get so stuck on the number on the scale as if we walk around with a shirt that has our weight on it that tells the world. We don’t. So we shouldn’t care about the number on the scale, we should care about our health and body composition, how much muscle vs fat we have on our bodies.
Do you feel that social media has helped you maintain your fit lifestyle? Does it play any role in your weight loss success at all?
In the beginning, it did. Seeing people who looked like me & who had the same struggles as me helped. But there was a period in time where the inspiration I once got from following fitness accounts on social media, did the complete opposite.
I started comparing their successes to my lack of success… It was tough. It was depressing and it felt like everyone around me was reaching goals while I wasn’t. It seemed like all I was seeing was success stories. Everyone’s days were just picture perfect. It seemed like no one had an off day of just feeling “fat” or less than motivated. Everyone was just picture perfect all the time, or at least that’s all that was being posted. I had to unfollow a lot of those accounts and find myself still unfollowing if I feel like certain accounts are not being real about the journey. It is one thing to be positive and spread positivity (I’m all for that) but it’s another to put on a façade of perfection. Because people who are going through this journey know & understand that it is FAR from perfect.
I think that’s why I post everythinnnnnng… the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m honest with my followers when it comes to me gaining, losing, when I’m slacking, when I’m going hard in the gym. I post and let them see that there are people in the world who don’t wake up with abs every day, and that OKAY! I post when I do have abs peeking through because I’m excited that my hard work is paying off, but I also post when there is ABS-oultely no definition in sight because people need to see that. “I woke up without abs & a little back fat and guess what?!?! The world didn’t end.” I think it’s extremely important to let people see that no one’s journey is perfect and if anyone tries to tell you different tell them Splenda said its bullshit. Lol
Have people treated you differently since you began living a healthy lifestyle?
Nope, they know I’m still the same girl personality wise. They’ve just seen me at different sizes. I’ve always been just me, and the people in my life know that and have treated me the same.
What is your LEAST favorite exercise?
It’s a tie between pull ups (because I can’t do one…YET!…getting close though!) and burpees…because BURPEES! lol
Ultimate cheat day, what’s on the menu?
That’s easy… Chipotle- Chicken burrito bowl, with brown rice, black AND pinto beans, corn, sour cream, cheese and GUAC…and an ice water of course. LOL
Who do you want to punch in the face more: the person that tells you not to lose too much weight, the person that judges everything you eat, or the person that wants to know what kind of “diet” you are on?
Well” violence is never the answer “BUT …
The person that wants to know what kind of “diet” I’m on can get SOCKED in the mouth. I choose them because I feel like this person expects an “oh, I take this pill 3x a day and eat saltine crackers for dinner” type of answer. I never feel like they want the honest answer of “I’m not on a diet. I just eat healthier alternatives when I get hungry. I don’t time my meals. I’m not on any “cleanses “or “daily detoxes.” I just eat when I’m hungry. And if I want a cookie or brownie or cupcake, I’ll have it.”
You often post about lifting weights in your workout regimen. Why do you think most women are intimidated by lifting?
At this point, I don’t even know why women are still intimidated by lifting weights. Honestly, I’ve shouted it on the mountain tops that weight training is CRUCIAL. The “I don’t want to get big” or “I don’t want to look like a man” excuses are annoying at this point. (Just being honest)
I can understand if you are intimidated by the free weight area in most gyms, because they tend to be male dominated (things are changing though J), but actually being intimidated by lifting at all, I just don’t get it. Weight training/ lifting builds muscle which shapes the body (produces CURVES ladies) while cardio (especially interval training) reveals that shape. The women whose workouts consist of nothing but cardio will see “weight loss” on the scale, but at what cost? Remember weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean FAT loss which is what we are trying to target. They’re losing “weight” but burning through muscle…leaving them with just fat & jiggle. My advice, just TRY weight training and see how your body reacts to it. If you see results you like, GREAT. If you don’t see results you like, Try harder and lift heavier. 😉
Who inspires you most on Instagram?
Of course I’m inspired by all of my followers and everyone who has supported me throughout my up & downs on this journey BUUUTTTTT I have to say that @FollowTheLita (@LitaLewis) is hands down my #1. She literally exemplifies everything I stand for. She’s health conscious, and is more concerned about being an athlete than the generic “skinny fitness chick” seen all over the gram… And let’s not forget her body is bananas!