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Porsha Williams talks intermittent fasting, treadmill in her bedroom, and prioritizing mental health on reality TV

Porsha Williams, Picture: Supplied
Porsha Williams, Picture: Supplied

Porsha Williams is the breath of fresh air we all need in 2020. Being self-motivated is difficult for many people in general, but especially throughout the lockdown and the aftermath, it’s never been harder.

But lucky for GLAMOUR SA, Porsha is sharing her invaluable advice and insight into how to best prioritise mental and physical health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re feeling tired, unexcited about exercising, and can’t find the will to get up and go, Porsha’s words of wisdom will change everything for you.

“The best way [to get motivated] is to do what makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s really true and something I believe in,” the Real Housewives of Atlanta star explains.

“Don’t get into anything for anybody else. I’m speaking in terms of health and fitness, but I mean that for life too. You have to feel comfortable in your clothes and feel confident in your body. Nobody can do that but you. Love yourself first, Queen.”

As for what keeps her inspired? The Bravo personality is determined to stay in shape for the sake of her daughter, Pilar Jhena McKinley. “I had her late in life, and I know that I want to do everything I can to keep up with her.

I equated being healthy to feeling great with her, both mentally and physically,” she tells GLAMOUR. “That meant making the right fitness and diet choices all the time.

My healthy lifestyle is now fuelled by the intention of having the most energy I can to keep up with her and to make sure I’m blessed to be here with her as long as I can.”

In our exclusive interview, Porsha gets candid about staying fit throughout the pandemic with vitamins and exercise (she has a treadmill in her bedroom!), intermittent fasting, taking rest days, and prioritizing her mental health amid the drama that accompanies reality TV.

What sparked your passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something that has always been a part of my life. But before I had my daughter, Pilar Jhena McKinley, I let working out and eating right become too on and off.

My schedule everyday made it difficult to keep the workout plan and diet I envisioned for myself consistent. The daily routine would feel so up and down depending on how busy I was. Since it was in my mind, I’d always find my way back to where I wanted to be, but I wasn’t setting myself up for a true lifestyle where I prioritized my health.

So when I had PJ, it was like a switch flipped. I had her late in life, and I know that I want to do everything I can to keep up with her. I equated being healthy to feeling great with her, both mentally and physically.

That meant making the right fitness and diet choices all the time. My healthy lifestyle is now fuelled by the intention of having the most energy I can to keep up with her and to make sure I’m blessed to be here with her as long as I can.

She is my driving force, and regardless of my schedule which is just as crazy as ever, I’ve made it a priority to stay healthy for her.

What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?

Currently, my schedule is so packed I had no choice but to put my treadmill in my bedroom. So now I see it when I wake up, and I get right into doing about forty minutes on an incline at a 4.0 pace.

Then in the afternoon, if I have time, I work out with a trainer virtually. No matter what though, I make sure I’m on the treadmill at least four days a week and I get with a trainer once a week.

And I always take off Friday through Sunday. In the future, when we aren’t in a global pandemic and my schedule will allow for it, I want to incorporate boxing.

Whether it’s directly with a trainer or just at a gym, boxing is such a great way to get into shape. I’ve done it in the past and absolutely loved it. As for my diet, I really am not on anything strict to be honest. I just do what makes sense. If I’m craving a hamburger, I’ll have a hamburger.

But then the next day I’ll make sure that I have a salad, a lot of water, and a good mix of vegetables. Same goes for something like pizza, if I want it I’ll have it, but then the next day I’ll make sure it is filled with healthy habits.

I also do intermittent fasting at times, which is where you only eat between a certain set of hours then fast the rest of the day. When I do it, I’ll typically limit my eating window to about six hours.

What's the best way for someone to motivate herself to get fit?

The best way is to do what makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s really true and something I believe in.

Don’t get into anything for anybody else. I’m speaking in terms of health and fitness, but I mean that for life too. You have to feel comfortable in your clothes and feel confident in your body. Nobody can do that but you.

Love yourself first, Queen. Outside of that, we’re also dealing with a pandemic so I’ve been motivated to take my vitamins because I want my body to be as fortified as possible and my immune system to be on point. I think everybody can get behind that.

What one thing do you never skip in your workout?

I never skip abs. For some crazy reason I actually enjoy them. I can do a countless number, it’s like I have that natural strength. But since I had a baby, that’s been my main focus area.

How would you describe your philosophy on health and fitness?

Make it a priority. When you decide you’re going to set a goal, you also need to decide it’s going to become a lifestyle to achieve that goal. Doing that goes right along with self-care.

You have to make sure it is something that you won’t let anything get in front of. If you have a busy schedule, wake up earlier or work out later. But if you start to let other parts of your life take over your health, it’ll feel impossible to stay on track.

You’re incredibly important, you only have one body, and you have to treat it the best you can.

Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?

Like I said, my daughter is a huge motivation for me to be healthy. But I also have a lot of great inspirations in my life and people that I emulate, like my mother.

She’s sixty-three and always helps me take care of my one-year old (which is honestly her workout). I want to be like her when I’m that age, so any vitamins or meals she tells me about, I go with.

I also look to my sister, Lauren, who is really healthy. Their paired knowledge of healthy eats is amazing, and thankfully they know a lot of good foods that are also delicious.

What specific fitness goal are you currently focused on?

Right now, I’m staying focused on cardio because of quarantine. I’m not out of the house a lot so there’s not a lot of movement other than my workout. Keeping that blood flowing makes me feel healthier, both mentally and physically.

Knowing that the time factor is a major deterrent for many people, how is it that you are able to manage the demands of your TV career and still make time to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?

I make sure I get it when I can, early mornings are usually the best. If I’m going to get into cardio, and I know I can’t get in with a trainer, I try to get it done before the day starts because I know once the day gets going the excuses start to make a lot more sense.

How do you prioritize your mental health while being on a reality tv show where one is sometimes involved in drama?

Mental health is incredibly important, and I prioritize mine by protecting my space. When I’m not filming, I want no drama at all. Anybody that is upsetting my spirit and peace I separate myself from immediately.

I also say “No” a lot, as a way to put myself first. I probably say “No” to things more than I say “Yes.” Yoga is also beneficial and gives me some time to sneak away and be with myself. I really value my reflection and quiet time.

How would you define wellness?

I would define wellness as a state of mind. To achieve wellness, you have to take part in a wellness lifestyle.

What you eat, do, say, and think are all a part of your wellness, on top of the vitamins you consume and the energy you keep around you. It’s a complete mindset.

How do you practice wellness in your daily life?

In my daily life I incorporate wellness through affirmations. I have sticky notes that I keep around the house and positive thoughts that I write into my phone when I think of them.

I make sure I have more positive thoughts than negative ones in a day because it’s all about my overall want of wellness.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy lifestyle?

Weigh the pros and the cons. You need to think about how living an unhealthy lifestyle has affected you negatively and then think about the ways a healthy one can affect you positively.

There are so many long-term factors with each side that it’s important to have that discussion with yourself.

What are the three beauty items you swear by?

I swear by Aloe Vera Plant – I place it directly on my face and it makes my skin look and feel amazing. I also drink lots of water, which has so many beauty and health benefits.

From a beauty perspective, if you’re dehydrated a lot, your skin becomes more vulnerable to different skin disorders and premature wrinkling. Finally, I incorporate dark green foods as much as possible into my diets.

Things like kale, spinach, or collards are in my meals every day. They help your skin cells get enough Vitamin A, C, and E.

This story was written by Sebastien Lagree

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