My name is Zoë Ihaza, and I was born to a Nigerian-born father and a Black American mother in Chicago, Illinois. On my paternal side of the family, our roots originate in Edo state. More specifically, some of my family resides in Usen. Although I was born and raised in the United States, I have always had a strong cultural identity. My parents exposed my sisters and I to Nigerian artists such as Fela Kuti and Osayomore Joseph.
Aside from my roots, I am a full-time fitness blogger who started her fitness journey on June 19, 2018. Currently, I am in the weight maintenance phase of my fitness journey. Nutrition and fitness truly changed my life after losing thirty-six pounds of body fat and gaining eight pounds of muscle.
This summer, I have worked on getting more toned and challenging myself daily by engaging in HIIT, strength training and cardio exercises with my trainer. Similarly, I am striving to increase the number of steps I take each day. My daily goal is 10,000 or more steps to ensure that I am staying active beyond my workouts.
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I am encouraging people to start their fitness journey. For my daily Instagram posts, I always use the phrase “sweat it out.” This phrase is used to motivate others to complete their workouts. Every morning, I also post inspirational quotes as I enjoy spreading positivity. One of my favorite things to post about are meal and healthy snack ideas.
In the interest of still eating some healthy Nigerian food while living a healthy lifestyle. I try to eat tomato stew with cauliflower rice so that I can increase my vegetable intake. I also use organic olive oil as an alternative to canola oil. I find that these are ways that I can still enjoy food from my culture while still being health conscious.
When I am not at the gym or meal prepping, you can find me scrolling through social media, having brunch with friends or spending quality time with my sisters. I am also a full-time blogger for my blog, Zoë l0l Fitness™, where I curate fitness related content. The blog content is meant to motivate and inspire others to start living a life full of health and wellness.
For anyone who is interested in starting their weight loss journey, it is paramount to focus your nutrition, fitness and mental health. In the beginning of my journey, I solely focused on nutrition and fitness, but mental health is just as important. Nowadays, I encourage my supporters to engage in self-care. I feature various self-care practices such as drinking a glass of matcha and doing a facial mask.
In terms of fitness and nutrition, my advice is to implement both of them into daily routines. I would avoid fad diets, weight loss pills or any other shortcut. Losing weight should not be rushed. Find fun ways to work out and experiment with new, healthy recipes. I like to think of exercise as a way of rejuvenating oneself.
Exercise gives an extra push that nutrition alone cannot. However, it is crucial to know that eighty percent of weight loss results are based on nutrition, and only twenty percent is based on fitness. Prioritize healthy eating habits, along with fitness. Another food for thought is to avoid drinking calories. Rather, try to maximize hydration by drinking water. Lastly, remember that any fitness journey is a lifestyle change.