My name is Michaela Krivankova and I am the owner of Yummiewear. I started Yummiewear while I was a fitness competitor back in 2015, and a NASM certified trainer. I competed in Figure, which meant weeks of grueling dieting and daily workouts that included long sessions of weight lifting.
"Passing up a plate of cookies was not something I ever pictured, but while I competed it was necessary I stay on target."
I was trim with only a layer of skin fitting snugly around my honed muscles. It was the best I ever looked, in the toned-sense, but it was also a time where I had a lot of low points. Some of the low points came from constantly eating the same meal plan everyday for weeks on end. The meals consisted of steamed broccoli, tilapia, sweet potatoes, and eggs. I had always had a sweet tooth and enjoyed a variety of savory treats as well. Passing up a plate of cookies was not something I ever pictured, but while I competed it was necessary I stay on target. I wanted to compete. Though it was strenuous and mentally taxing, it was equally rewarding because I had to commit to a routine and it tested my will power.
I had come to learn about the opportunity to compete in fitness competitions from my co-worker at the gym where I worked and trained. He saw something in me that I didn’t know was there. Sometimes, someone else’s perspective and encouragement is what it takes to embrace new challenges and push the boundaries of your comfortability. He trained me for each competition and became a mentor to me. I was soon able to see what I was made of, and I had succeeded. In fact, I won first place in my first fitness competition (FitXplosion Northern States Championship) in the Novice category for my age group. I had also gone on to compete in much larger competitions like the OCB Yankee Classic and the NGA Potomac Cup which was an incredible honor.
"At that point, I had a learned that a balanced diet didn’t just mean making sure that you have the right amount of veggies, protein and fruits each day. It also meant eating what you desired and craved."
The drill was the same for each competition, and it was during this time that I realized how important my so called “cheat days” were. They were now especially important because they ceased to exist all together. Before each competition, I would reach a mental breaking point. It was not only the lack of variety in my diet plan, but it was the lack of well-roundedness in what I could eat. It was unsustainable for the long term. After every competition I would resume a normal diet. I would break into a bag of cookies or a carton of ice cream, and the muscle tone I had a week prior literally disappeared within a week and a half under a hungry layer of flesh. At that point, I had a learned that a balanced diet didn’t just mean making sure that you have the right amount of veggies, protein and fruits each day. It also meant eating what you desired and craved. Denying yourself only led to over indulgence later, which is what actually ends up tipping off the balance.
"We tend to crave more of what we can’t have, and demonizing certain foods makes it hard for us to have a healthy and symbiotic relationship with them."
The American Heart Association recommends eating a high fiber and nutritious diet low in saturated fats and sugars. Your heart is your body’s powerhouse. Without it’s rhythmic beat, blood can’t fuel your organs. A diet that keeps the beat going is not only ideal but essential. This appears to leave little room for junk foods. After all, by definition they are the antithesis of heart-healthy as their content is typically high in saturated fat and high in sugar. However, this does not mean that they don’t have a place in our diet. It is important to eat healthy majority of the time, but incorporating a donut or pizza into your diet occasionally isn’t a deal breaker. In moderation, and paired with the proper exercise routine junk food has a positive impact. Which brings me back to the point I made before. From my experience denying yourself, is counterintuitive both mentally and physically. We tend to crave more of what we can’t have, and demonizing certain foods makes it hard for us to have a healthy and symbiotic relationship with them.
As a personal trainer, I had a simple motto for my clients — “Workout to be healthy and to feel good in your body. The rest will fall into place.” My view of food is the same. Eat to be healthy and to feel good. And, sometimes that “feel good” means having a burger or ice cream. The freedom to be ourselves includes choosing what we want to eat without having to feeling a certain way about our choice.
"For many like me, balance does not exist without [junk foods]."
I had started Yummiewear at the tail end of my fitness competition days. At first it started out as an outlet - putting the foods I craved to eat on t-shirts. But, it evolved into to so much more. At Yummiewear we paint a positive picture of junk foods that celebrates and acknowledges our freedom to love and desire them. For many like me, balance does not exist without these foods.