To celebrate the release of Kim Kardashian's glorious selfie book, Selfish, I decided to Kardashify myself and live like the reality star for an entire week, trying everything from her diet to her elaborate makeup routine. In a four-part series, exploring her fashion, beauty, body, and life, I'm sharing what it's like to be my best self—a.k.a. try to keep up with Kim Kardashian. Part three: body and diet.
"I want to lose 15 pounds like Kim Kardashian," I casually, if somewhat shame-facedly told celebrity nutritionist Dr. Charles Passler just over a month ago.
Before her pregnancy, Kim was pretty open about the fact that she was on a journey to shed some serious LBs, posting Instagram throwbacks and talking about it in interviews. "I'm about 15 pounds heavier…that's what the nutritionist said—I just started seeing a nutritionist because I don't understand why I—well I do [understand], because I eat really bad," Kim told Entertainment Tonight back in January. "I just started to eat really healthy and work out more and just try to change my lifestyle, especially when you have a baby. I want to know what to cook and how to cook healthier. We've just changed our lifestyles."
So I expressed a similar sentiment when I sat in Passler's Manhattan office on a Friday afternoon. "Okay, let's get one thing straight, I can't give you Kim Kardashian's body—we'd need to get someone in here to give you a butt transplant," he said. No, no, I explained. I know my body (ish) and sure, I might have curves, but even I know I don't have Kim's curves, and that's fine—I just want to be put on a plan like what Kim would be doing—something customized to my own bod. Passler, who, by the way, is responsible for a handful of Victoria's Secret's most famous bodies, told me to hop on his table and promptly hooked me up to a lot of different electrodes.
"You were never an athlete were you?" he asked, looking at the results of my body scan.
"Well, in high school," I answered.
"What, on the chess team?" he cracked. (Pardon moi, I played three sports.) " You have an alarmingly small amount of muscle."
And then he delivered the big news—I'm 30 percent body fat. Thirty. Oh…and, don't worry, he did the test twice, just to make sure. What we (and the CDC) would consider a "normal" BMI is around 22-25, he explained, and most models want to be in the 18-22 range. Me, with all of my non-muscle, would neither be considered model nor normal.
"Now don't be offended, but you're what I'd call 'skinny-fat,'" Passler stated. Which is... a fair assessment. I'm by no means big, I'm on the skinnier side of things, really, but I don't workout regularly, and I'm not toned. So sure, that number might sound shocking, but it wasn't unbelievable to me.
With my height, weight, and body fat percentage at his fingertips, my new best friend told me I could stand to lose 12 pounds. "We're not going to go crazy, but we're going to make you feel good."
And, like Kim, it was all about changing my lifestyle. I pretty much eat whatever I want with not-so-much self-control: In the office, the snacks are usually parked next to my desk. I also love me some wine. Winewinewine. This, Dr. Passler explained, was where I had some decisions to make: If I wanted to change how I look, I'd have to change how I live, placing more value on taking care of myself and cutting back on things that were weighing me down (HAHHAHHA LITERALLY); like stress, which he said was my biggest problem. Also, probs that wine thing, and the fact that when 3pm hits and I get the craving for a piece of chocolate (jk who can eat just one piece of chocolate...) or a latté kicks in, I go for it.
The meeting was like a therapy session—in addition to asking about my (obviously) failed athletic career, we talked exes, work ethic, sleep (or lack of) habits—and when I went back again for a second session to kick off Mission Make Sally a Healthier Human, Passler hammered home the fact that this was all a choice. If he told me not to eat carbs, it's not that I can't eat carbs, it's that I'd be choosing not to. The positive spin makes all the difference, he explained.
I was initially put on a detox of sorts—a nice little regimen of protein shakes, protein bars, veggies, and more of the protein potions for a week, until I was pronounced ready to add real live (well, formerly live, sorry) proteins to my diet—chicken, fish, shrimp, the world was my oyster (except probably not oysters, those things are FULL of salt...but I'll confirm with Passler next time). I still was consuming the protein shakes in the morning and in the afternoon, but lunch and dinner were your normal meat and veggies kind of deal. Just like Kim.
Kim Kardashian's diet is always changing—"Kanye loves to eat really healthy and is always on different diets…We just started seeing a nutritionist who changes our diet every 10 days," she told Harper's Bazaar earlier this year—but she said her normal breakfast consists of "scrambled eggs or oatmeal, or a protein shake with fruit;" her chef-made lunch ("because it'll be healthier") is "fish and vegetables, or chicken and vegetables, something like that," and then for dinner, "I have vegetables and fish or chicken, just like lunch," she said.
And really, once you're used to it, it's easy. But before you're used to it, it's a Thing. On day one of my "cleansing" period, I met two friends for dinner where I realized I could eat nothing. I'd totally forgotten about all the restrictions I was choosing (pOsiTiviTy) to place on my normally unrestricted diet, so instead of going for the ribs and beer like the boys, I sat there, calmly telling them about my 30 percent life-update, and then went home to feast on my decidedly less exciting veggies. Since so much of socializing is based around "let's grab a drink" or "dinner?" it's hard to see friends during the week when you're on a strange diet journey to transform your lifestyle. When I went to a fancy dinner with two other friends two nights later, I asked for my sides-as-entrees meal of asparagus and brussels sprouts steamed, with nothing on them, nope nothing. "I'm on a cleanse," I announced, tomato-faced, to our waiter, who, let's be serious, works in New York City and has probably definitely heard this before.
Passler—who, for the record, calls me "Holmes"—also inquired about my workout habits. "Errrrruuummmmeeeehhh I exercise like twice a week? Maybe? Okay, once? Ish? Kind of?" was what I told him. I'm an enthusiastically sporadic Flywheel-er, but, if I was going to Kim-ify myself, that would have to change. Since giving birth to North, Kim says she likes to exercise at home, going for a run in the neighborhood: "Running takes me about 35 minutes on the trails, and then I'll come back and work my abs or legs. I like to listen to music while I work out, but I don't need it to pump me up or get energized. It's weird—I'll put my iPod on shuffle and listen to slow R&B songs or even classical music, which most people think is so bizarre. I don't need anything fast."
So, after I added meaty protein back into my diet, I went running for seven four days straight. On the first day I queued up a little Ludwig van Beethoven on my iPhone ready to do this thang. Friends, have you ever exercised to classical music? Spoiler alert: Those violins don't tune out shit. You can hear yourself breathing. Do you know what my breathing sounds like when I'm running? It sounds like I'm DYING. I find that very disturbing. After three remarkably un-zen minutes of "Symphony No. 5," I switched to Rihanna. Sorry, Kim.
As for the running, after I got over the fact that I am not in shape (#30percent), I decided I felt good. I had more energy for the rest of the day, I slept better, and, in the mornings when I woke up an hour earlier to get my run-ab-leg fun times in, I was incredibly productive. Sure, it lasted a week, BUT I've upped my workout game, hitting Flywheel or running at least twice a week. For real this time.
And guys, in three weeks, I lost seven pounds of fat. Seven pounds! That's like a royal baby! 10 pounds total, but according to Passler's zippy little body scanner, seven of those LBs were my not-so-hard earned fat. So #BLESSED. (And so lucky to have a celeb nutrionist helping me every step of the way.)
Was it easy? No. People are weird about other people's diets. They don't understand, they're concerned, sometimes they're even jealous. Is it fun to turn down an ice cream sandwich and a glass of wine? No dudes, I'd much rather pound that pint of mint chocolate chip heaven you're brandishing in front of my face, but...once I started to eat healthier and started to feel (not just see) the results, it did become easier. It's a tradeoff that's worth it...but I will be having some mano a mano time with Passler to discuss reintroducing Cabernet Sauvingon back into my life.
Since Dr. Passler couldn't help me in the all-important butt department, I decided to turn to another professional: face and body guru Tracie Martyn. Kim swears by Tracie's Face and Body Resculpting Cream, so I contacted the salon to see what they could do to put some badonk in my badonkadonk help me. Co-owner Marius Morariu immediately recommended the Resculpting Body Treatment, "a unique, effective yet relaxing spa service that helps to lift, firm, and contour the body including areas that women and men most feel self-conscious about. It utilizes our proprietary equipment, the Resculptor, that delivers a mild electric current to energize and tone the areas worked on." Contour? That's the Karmagic word, Marius! Also, "lift, firm, tone?" INTO IT.
The "mild electric current" thing was slightly worrisome, but a) I had seen Khloe Kardashian survive something of that nature on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, b) "LIFT, FIRM, TONE," people!
But unlike what seems like a rather painful procedure on KUWTK, the Resculpting Body Treatment was a breeze—it was relaxing, pleasant even. After changing into a pair of paper undies (which, frankly, seemed unnecessary considering what these ladies were about to do), one of the technicians assessed my, well, ass. Promising that the treatment would diminish the appearance of cellulite and smooth everything over, she explained that my thut area and muffin top would be depuffed post-treatment. "OMG IS THAT A REAL THING?" I shouted/asked super cooly. I would have hugged her, but, you know...paper undies.
I hopped on the table and immediately two technicians went to work. If there were an Olympic medal for synchronized butt sculpting, these two women would have earned gold. Each using two probes that look like the appendages from your mom's electric mixer, they zapped each lathered up section of my buttox in perfect harmony—coincidently set to some very pleasant classical music that, this time, I appreciated.
The lead technician had warned me that I might feel some of the zaps, but when I felt the little jolt of electricity it was more like a tickle—and similarly to when you use lip balm that burn-tingles slightly when used, I experienced a satisfied it's working feeling. The service, which starts at $150 per hour per associate (can you really put a price on art though?), lasted an hour and a half and when I was done, I could see the results immediately.
MY BUTT LOOKED FREAKING PHENOMENAL.
To maintain the photoshoot-ready derriere, Morariu recommends "ideally three sessions to start with with two associates within the first month and one hour with two associates per month as a follow up." Which is a lot. But, after seeing my results, I can understand how this would be addictive. Checking out my butt in Tracie Martyn's mirror, I was proud. I wanted to take this baby to the beach, ASAP. Pert! Round! CHECK ME OUT J.LO!
Inspired by my newfound buttfindence, I sent my first-ever frext to one of my best girlfriends. Then, mad on butt hubris, I dropped the pic into a lady group text. My butt was a star...I would show you, honest to God, I would, but for the sake of my parents, grandfather, and future possibly English-accented children (a girl can dream, right?) I am not going to willingly post my nearly naked butt on the Internet. Again.
Meanwhile, that Resculpting cream Kim's into? Been Resculpting my under-eye bags ever since, dolls.
Next on my #BodyByKim plan was laser hair removal. If you have to ask why Kim needs laser hair removal, well, AHEM. Also, did you see that Yeezy number? When you're Kim Kardashian West, you can't risk downtime between waxes or shaving—you must always be ready to be oiled up and naked.
So on a lovely Saturday morning, I strolled over in my weekend I-might-be-going-to-the-gym clothes, to Spruce & Bond to get a laser hair treatment. After I derobed, my lovely technician explained the procedure, comparing the pain to a shot (like from a needle, not a weapon, stop panicking, guys), and ranking it as a "2" on a 1-5 pain scale. She also pronounced me a great laser hair candidate (self-five for being super pale!) and passed me a stress ball. Ominous?
Let's be real for a sec: I'm a wuss. And a self-diagnosed hypochondriac. I freak out a lot. I also <3 whining. But seriously, laser hair removal is no joke. I don't know what kind of crazy electric eel Kool-Aid this technician is drinking, but those zaps hurt. Like, This Is Not a Drill Level 4 hurt. Oh, you can also smell your hair burning while you're gripping that stress ball.
After I calmly expressed that this FREAKING HURT about two seconds in, the technician got a cold compress and followed each zap with a relieving dab...and the whole thing lasted about five minutes. "That's it?" I asked, regaining a normal breathing pattern. That was it. In about two weeks, the hair would start to fall out on its own (I could shave or let it do it's thing during that period), and then I'd have to come back for a few more sessions. Lying there, I decided it wasn't thaaaat bad after all (I must have the gift of immediate selective memory), and right then and there stripped off my shirt and had my new laser-wielding friend zap my armpits.
I'm coming for you, Kimmy.
But, this wouldn't be a true Kimsperience without waist-training. ELLE.com Fashion Editor Danielle Prescod did the whole waist-training thing last year, so I knew what I was in for. Danielle deigned to loan me the waist-trainer she'd outgrown (or outshrunk, really), so I could start rearranging my organs training pronto!
For one thing, wearing a waist-trainer is hot—and not like let me pretend I'm in Moulin Rouge for the night corset-hot, like super sweaty-hot. It's like its own little furnace forcing you to sit up straight while you pretend to smile through the sweat. You can also never take a full breath. You're supposed to exercise in the thing, but since I could barely put enough air in my lungs to house my veggie-lunch, I chose to stay away from too much movement while wearing the contraption.
It did, however give me a figure. "But where do your organs go?" one confused male friend asked me. "No clue," I answered. Hourglass figure > Organs, amirite? Well... at the end of day one, when I unhooked myself and my stomach once again assumed its natural position, I had a new appreciation for the roominess provided to my kidneys, etc. I also had welt-like marks where the edges of the waist trainer had cut off circulation to my muffin top.
After that, I wore the waist-trainer enough so I could feel I'd given it a shot—I wore it while watching TV with my parents, I wore it while reorganizing my shoes, I wore it while TYPING THIS SENTENCE. But, to be honest, I'd rather listen to a soundtrack of myself wheezing like a dying animal during a set of crunches than wear that thing one more day.
But, waist-training or not, I do feel Kim-tastic. I'm healthier, fitter, and ready to wear a Baywatch-cut swimsuit whenevs. And I feel really good. I'd toast myself with a glass of Champagne, but alas, I'm still not drinking. At least not just yet.