There are people you’ve never met, people who don’t know anything about your existance, but people who have the greatest impact on your life. Today I am really happy to introduce you Laura Harris aka Chicken Tuna. She is an amazing woman, who is really determined and inspirational. Through her hard work and self example she has changed the lives of million people around the world. I am glad I had the opportunity to take an interview from her, so she could tell us more about her lifestyle and the journey to being so fit, healthy and inspiring! Meet Laura…
Ines Subashka: Introduce yourself.
Laura Harris: Hi, I’m Laura Harris aka ChickenTuna. I’ve been blogging about my fitness journey since 2005.
IS: How did you get involved in fitness?
LH: I got into fitness a few years after I got out of college. I was working at a desk job and really wasn’t active at all. I would go to work and then came home and watch TV. I started to see and feel the effects of not taking care of my body so I started doing exercise videos every other day. As the years went on I gradually got into weight training and then I learned about eating right. There was very little information around when I started in 1993 and of course no internet yet, so I was pretty much on my own to figure it out. I didn’t know any fit people or any role models and I had never even seen a fit adult in real life so I had no expections of what I wanted. I basically just didn’t want to be in worse shape than I was from being so inactive.
IS: Were you involved in other sports before that?
LH: No, I’ve never been involved in sports.. I’m about as unathletic as they come!
IS: Do you follow a nutrition plan? Would you give us an example for your daily meals?
LH: I don’t follow any specific nutrition plan other than only eating plain food, unprocessed food, and I never eat any junk or crap. I eat every few hours typically. And I also eat in restaurants quite often. Most restaurants can make a grilled piece of fish or chicken, grilled vegetables, and rice so as long as I stick with my good choices, eating out has never been a problem.
My food is pretty much the same every day: oatmeal, egg whites, blueberries, yogurt, chicken, fish, wheat bread, brown rice, nuts… I basically estimate what I need to eat each day without obsessing or calorie counting. When it comes down to it, we all have built in calorie counters in our bodies because if we are over eating, eventually it will show and clothes won’t fit and then you know to make changes. Not such a scientific method but it has always worked for me. And if I had to guess, I probably eat about 40 percent carb, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. There are so many great resources on the internet now to help people figure out their calorie requirements for their goals.
IS: How do people around you accept your lifestyle? Do they judge your food choices and workouts or do they accept it?
LH: I really don’t consider it a ‘lifestyle’ at all. I’ve been eating right and exercising consistently for over 20 years now, and the only difference between me and others is my food choices and 45 minutes working out each day. Really not a different life than most, it just makes me healthy and I am very fit.
After all these years, people are STILL questioning my food choices. Mostly just at parties and social events and I just tune it out. I’ve learned that I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my food choices and if anyone doesn’t like it…too bad. People overall know very little about how food choices actually determine what your body looks like and hopefully that will change in the future.
IS: Were you afraid of lifting weights, because you might get bulky? What would you tell women that are afraid of weights due to that reason?
LH: Yes, I was defintely one of those women who stayed away from the weights thinking that I did not want to look like the Hulk. I found out on my own through trial and error that it was not true at all. I used to do walking lunges with little weights and I noticed that the heavier weights I used, the tighter my body would get. Its been over 10 years of lifting now and I am still not big 🙂
Women overall are still really confused about the weights. There is confusion because there actually are some women out there walking around with HUGE hulk muscles, but they aren’t wearing signs saying they took steriods to get that big so nobody knows it’s the drugs, not the weights alone. I think things are changing though and more women are getting into it. They are finding out that you only get a tight sculpted body from weights and not big man muscles, but still so much confusion.
Most women my age and older don’t know much about weight training or eating right and they have teen sons and daughters who they can’t teach anything to since they don’t know themselves. What is happening now is that the teens are learning so much on the internet and that really is a great thing.
I would tell women… YOU WON’T GET BIG MAN MUSCLES…. you’ll get a nice sculpted tight body if you work hard and you are consistent along with eating right.
IS: Did you have a moment in your life when you regretted your lifestyle choice? A moment when you wished you were like other people, eating whatever you want and hanging around instead of being disciplined in the kitchen and in the gym?
LH: No, I never once regretted it even for a second. I thank my past self everyday for keeping at it and never giving up. I haven’t missed more than a week away from working out in 20 years and I am really proud of myself for sticking with it.
I have to admit, I’m really glad I was oblivious to fitness when I was in college because I had a totally guilt free time drinking and eating crap back then, but I love how I feel now so much better.
IS: Do you use some kind of supplements and what is your opinion about them as a whole?
LH: No, I don’t take any supplements. I think if anyone is low on a certain vitamin or nutrient, then why not take a calcium supplement or certain vitamins, etc.. If people think they are going to get fit by taking a supplement they are going to waste money and be very disappointed. No magic pills for fitness!
IS: A lot of people consider healthy eating and working out a burden? What gives you motivation to work so hard on a daily basis?
LH: The consequences of not doing it is what keeps me going. I think it would be much more of a burden to be over weight, unhealthy, out of shape, sickly, and letting myself go. I have a choice to be fit or not, and fit is the choice for me.
IS: A lot of people find it hard to stay on track with their diets. What advice would you give them?
LH: It can be hard, but if you look at the big picture I think it helps a lot. The big picture is this.. if you only eat right ‘sometimes’ you are going to be taking one step forward and one step back.. always in the same place.. so know that, and stay strong about it to keep headed in the right direction and be consistent about eating.
IS: How would you finish the sentence “I workout because…”?
LH: I want to be fit, strong, and healthy throughout my life!