If you’ve been an Issa Rae fan since the early days of Awkward Black Girl, then you know she has gone through quite the transformation.
In the April issue of Women’s Health, which she is on the cover of, the 34-year-old shared that once opportunities started pouring in when the YouTube series gained attention, she then started gaining weight.
“When the Web series started, I was very, very broke. Then more opportunities began to come,” she said. “I was gaining New Money Weight. When you get a good job, you’re like, ‘I can afford to eat at restaurants all the time!’”
But she said that it wasn’t until she saw herself on camera (we assume she means on her hit HBO series Insecure because she definitely appeared different a few episodes after the pilot aired), that she decided to change things.
“Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time,'” she told the magazine.
Initially, she struggled to stay on track, like many of us.
“I was a big excuse person when it came to exercising and eating right,” she said. “I’d have spurts of trying to work out and being good. Then once I fell off, I’d be like, ‘Well, there’s always next year. Let me make it my New Year’s resolution.’ But even then, I would still be eating wrong while exercising vigorously.”
But Rae has been able to have success, the consistent kind, by trying the Paleo diet (she says she’s “paleo-leaning” after 15 years of being vegetarian), and carving out time to exercise. Walking and jogging isn’t fun, but it’s what she flocks to in order to stay in shape.
“I exercise for, like, an hour each day,” she said. “My neighborhood has a bunch of hills, so it’s walking up hills. Then I alternate between walking and jogging. I hate jogging—you’re going in circles, but I recognize that it helps.”
She actually gets up at 4:45 a.m. to get active, and during those wee morning hours is she finds peace of mind in addition to the perk of a good workout.
“You know those earbuds that you put in your ears? I was running, and one fell. It was dark outside and I couldn’t find it. So I was forced to just be alone with my thoughts, and I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do this more often,'” she said. “Those moments are the most creative. I think finding those moments while also nurturing your body is important.”
Issa’s efforts have certainly paid off (sounds like we need to try the whole high in protein, low in carbs Paleo diet for ourselves to get that snatched). If you need proof, hit the flip to see photos of the beauty’s transformation over these last few years.