“Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time,’ ” Issa Rae told Women's Health magazine in their April cover story
Before landing her own HBO show, Rae first found fame with her popular YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in which she wrote, directed and starred. As the show picked up steam and caught the attention of TV executives, Rae said she ended up gaining what she called “New Money Weight.”
“When the Web series started, I was very, very broke,” she told Women’s Health.
“Then more opportunities began to come. I was gaining New Money Weight,” she added, explaining, “When you get a new job, you’re like, ‘I can afford to eat at restaurants all the time!’ That adds up in weight.”
However, after seeing herself on television, Rae revealed that her self-esteem took a hit.
“Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time,’ ” she said.
Still, even after deciding that she wanted to adopt a more healthy fitness and health regimen, Rae wasn’t able to be consistent.
“I was a big excuse person when it came to exercising and eating right,” she told Women’s Health.
“I’d have spurts of trying to work out and be good. Then once I fell off, I’d be like, ‘Well, there’s always next year. Let me make it my New Year’s revolution,’ ” she said, admitting that “even then, I would still be eating wrong while exercising vigorously.”
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These days, in order to make time for exercise, Rae wakes up at 4:55 a.m.
“I exercise for, like, an hour each day,” she told Women’s Health. “My neighborhood has a bunch of hills. Then I alternate between walking and jogging.”
But that doesn’t mean she enjoys every moment of her fitness routine.
“I hate jogging – you’re going in circles,” she shared, admitting that despite her personal misgivings, “I recognize that it helps.”
Getting serious about fitness also helped her mental well-being.
“You know those earbuds that you put in your ears? I was running, and one fell,” she shared. “It was dark outside and I couldn’t find it. So I was forced to be alone with my thoughts, and I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do this more often.’ Those moments are the most creative.”
“I think finding those moments while also nurturing your body is important,” she added.