Issa Rae rose to success after her YouTube web series, Awkward Black Girl. And since then, she has achieved one milestone after another. The American actress, producer, and writer was nominated for Golden Globes Award and Primetime Emmy Awards for her outstanding performance in HBO’s TV show, Insecure.
It’s not that Rae was always that successful, she has made her success through effort. “When I first started at YouTube, Awkward Black Girl, I was very, very broke”, she told Women’s Health. However, as her web series became popular, so did Issa. And with popularity comes a lot of opportunities.
She started receiving a lot of offers from different media platforms. Rae started earning a lot of money. However, with earning money came a problem. “When you get a good job, you’re like, ‘I can afford to eat at restaurants all the time!’ That adds up in weight”, Rae said.
As Issa’s income and wealth increased, she started eating outside which became kind of an addiction. As you can imagine this caused some health issues. Issa gained weight which she called “New Money weight”. Quick action was needed and so Rae took that action.
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Issa’s Weight Loss Journey
When at first, Rae decided to lose weight, her busy routine didn’t allow it. But she knew that she will have to take some time otherwise, it would risk her health. Rae described her dilemma as, “Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time.’ ”
She had moments when she was like not now or what about next month or next year. But she knew that it would only delay the action and would result in further procrastination. Rae said, “There is always a new year but let me make it my new year’s resolution.”
There was only one goal in front of her, to lose weight. Rae dedicated her efforts to achieve this goal. At first, she faced a lot of problems. The biggest problem of all was shooting Insecure. It didn’t allow her much time and affected her consistency in her weight loss journey.
But she kept pushing and eventually, she built healthy traits. After the shooting for Insecure was done, Rae was able to work on her health in a more efficient way and that is what led her to lose more than 30 pounds.
How did Issa Lose Weight?
‘But how did she do it?’ is what you guys will ask after reading this far. Well, as mentioned earlier, Rae lost weight by working hard and making some important changes to her lifestyle. Rae not only changed the way she ate but she also changed the way she spent her whole day. Here are Issa’s diet and workout plans.
Issa’s Diet Plan
Issa tried to live a vegetarian life. And she was a vegetarian for 15 years, however, it didn’t seem to work out. So she decided to shift to the Paleo diet. Paleo diet is what our ancestors ate when they first invented farming 10,000 years ago with the start of the Agricultural Revolution.
Paleo diet contains food that could be gathered by hunting and gathering such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, grains, and dairy products. It obviously didn’t get Issa the physique of a hunter and gatherer but it certainly did help her in becoming better.
After adopting the paleo diet, Rae started feeling a kind of energy that she never experienced before. Getting rid of junk food and soft drink addiction felt like a blessing. She felt being connected to nature.
To maintain her hydration, as she did a lot of exercises, Rae also drank a lot of water. On average 15 glasses of water a day. This routine kept her energy high while at the same time helping her in developing healthy habits.
Issa’s Workout Plan
She would set her alarm at 4:55 in the morning. While most people turn to the gym to live healthily, Rae heads to the streets of her neighborhood. While describing her workout routine, Rae told Women’s Health:
“I exercise for, like, an hour each day. My neighborhood has a bunch of hills, so it’s walking up hills. Then I alternate between walking and jogging. I hate jogging because you’re always going in circles, but I recognize that it helps.”
Like others, Issa also loved listening to music while jogging, However, it changed on the day when she lost one of her earbuds. “It was dark outside and I couldn’t find it” Rae recalled the memory. She continued, “So I was forced to just be alone with my thoughts, and I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do this more often.’ Those moments are the most creative.”
And it was the moment in which Rae fall in love with solitude. After that, she started mediating as well which helped her in gaining peace of mind. When you follow this healthy and peaceful routine, weight loss is inevitable.
Before & After Weight Loss
After working on her health and losing 30 pounds, Issa now weighs around 130 pounds (59 kgs) as compared to her old weight, 160 pounds.
Issa’s Advice for Black Women
When asked about what would she advise her fans, Rae had a strong message for all women and for black women, in particular. “We, as black women, don’t take care of ourselves enough,” Rae said. She advised women to find friends and make teams.
Issa also stressed the need to eat healthily and move around. As some women stay housewives they stay at home most of the time and don’t go outside or exercise. This results in bad health and increasing weight. She said that living healthily is a blessing and we all should experience it.
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We all can take charge of our lives if we wish to. Issa has demonstrated it perfectly. Yes, she had a busy life. Yes, there was work to do but she succeeded in taking time for herself and by doing so she taught a great lesson: How can we improve ourselves despite our busy schedules.