on gym, weight & stuff…

I’ve always been a lazy child – well, lazy when it comes to exercise! I was that child that got detention in high school for not attending my 1 hour of sport every week. When I did attend sport, I opted for aerobics because it was the “easiest” way to get out of detention. And I was in pretty decent shape back then. So I didn’t really need to work out.

And then university happened and then first year spread happened and then life happened and then stretch marks and then cellulite became part of me. At my heaviest, I was 25 years old, 78.8kg and wearing size 16 clothes. I had tried the gym thing before with a friend of mine but my eating was still messed up so all the hard work I was putting in amounted to zero because of bad eating habits.

It took 1 real life threatening conversation with my mum to get me back on track. This chat spurred my weight loss journey and now almost 3 years later and over 12 kg lighter, I’m better for it.

Looking back, I wish I had cultivated the habit of working out and eating healthy when I was younger. I think it would make waking up to go exercise every morning much easier. If I have kids of my own, good eating habits and fitness will be a part of their life growing up.

I initially started my fitness journey with just walking. Walking then progressed into running on Saturdays & Sundays. I stopped running when I developed runner’s knee and had to spend a huge chunk of my savings on physiotherapy. I also used my knee as an excuse because let’s not forget I am lazy when it comes to working out! I stopped running but I continued to watch what I eat so I wouldn’t gain back the weight.

Fast forward a lot of months later, I’m now going to the gym at least 5 times a week and I also use the Nike Training Club (NTC) app. And now exercise for me is more than weight loss. It’s for my health. This is the only body I have and I might as well keep it in the best shape possible. And with the big 3-0 fast approaching, I want to be in the best shape possible! Especially now that I’ve learnt that you can create the body that you want through exercise and proper nutrition.

What inspired this post was actually tips for gym – stuff that I’ve picked up and wish I knew before I started. I am by no means a gym expert. I’m just someone with fitness goals who is trying to stay in shape. So here are my 10 gymbie (gym newbie) tips:

  1. Get a gym buddy. Someone whose opinion you respect and who you can be accountable to. They don’t even need to be in the same country as you. They just need to know that they have to check in and help you get up on some mornings.
  2. Gym instructors are your friends. If you are struggling with a move or feeling pain, let them know. They can help you. It’s not only personal trainers that can be approached.
  3. Push yourself. Your mind limits how far you can go. Start with your 1kg weights but push yourself and go for the 2, 3, 4 kg in approaching weeks. You are stronger than you think!
  4. During class, focus on yourself and the trainer. There will be fitter people than you in class. There will be show offs in class and there will be lazy people. Focus on getting your techniques right and look at yourself in those mirrors. It’s about your progress!
  5. Don’t walk out of class.  I’ve seen people doing this a lot halfway through the class. But by then, the hardest bit is almost over. If the instructor is doing 15 burpees and you can only manage 3, do your 3 and condition your mind that next week you will aim for 5 and the week after that for 7 etc. Don’t give up!
  6. Remember, it’s just energy and energy is never destroyed. It is only transferred from one state to another. You’ll feel tired at the end of a session but  the next day you will have enough energy to do it all again and again and again…
  7. Don’t overdo it. I go to the gym between 4 to 6 times a week. Some weeks are busier for me than others so if I’m functioning on 3 hours of sleep, I tend to skip gym because my body is exhausted and I don’t beat myself up about it. The idea is to continuously exercise for the rest of my life and I don’t want to burn out at the beginning of the journey.
  8. A good pair of trainers is important! And it doesn’t have to be a fancy brand! When I’m running I need a fairly flat soled trainer. This is the most comfortable for my feet but when I’m in the gym, I need something with a bit more sole. Your feet will tell you what kind of trainers are best for what. If I use my gym shoes for running, my feet hurt and I get blisters. If I use my  running shoes for  gym, I also develop blisters and sore feet. So listen to your feet and invest in the right type of footwear.
  9. If you sweat a lot, wear dark coloured gym clothes – black, charcoal etc.. These hide the sweat patches and you won’t have to walk around looking like you peed on yourself.
  10. If you are exercising to lose weight, nutrition plays a huge role. You have to watch what you are eating and make good decisions. It’s a lot of trial and error but find a plan that works for you. And the rules are generally the same, lots of veggies and lots of water will go a long way!

    I hope my tips will help out someone along the way.

Happy Exercising!

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On every dark having a silver lining…

I saw a newspaper headline the other day that dubbed 2015 as “year of the #”. I think that headline was pretty accurate. The ability of people to hash tag events was a big game changer in social media trends this year. If I had to pick a hash tag it would be #silverlinings. I decided to look on the bright side of everything that has happened to date. So while unemployment may have been my biggest challenge, the bright side is I got to spend a lot of time with my family and share invaluable moments. I made new friends, reconnected with old friends, started going to the gym regularly and I even went on vacation with another group of friends.

http://jordan-austin.deviantart.com/art/Silver-Lining-281461718

I’m  not oblivious to the fact that it has been ages since my last blog post! Partly due to the creative juices not flowing and partly due to the way I handle things. I tend to withdraw if I feel I’m not in control and sadly my blog suffers the most. There were so many stories started but never finished and I just seemed unable to complete a full post. So much has happened since that last post. I finally got the balls to face my fears and quit a job that was draining me. It’s a remarkable feeling when one gets the courage to let go of situations that no longer bring joy. One of my greatest fears was unemployment and I faced that twice this year. I’ll share a little bit behind why I quit one of the jobs in a blog post later on. So after I left the other job, I got another one and left that one too for totally different reasons to the other one. But unemployment actually wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Granted there are certain things I’ve had to forgo because I have no constant stream of income but I am blessed with an amazing family who have supported me through everything so I cannot say I was in lack. Also the saving lessons my mother taught me from a young age came into play a lot during this year.

I had a disagreement with someone a few months ago but my unemployment status. I felt attacked and he made it sound like I was content in my current state. My response to him which at that time probably came across as very defensive also led me to have an aha moment.

I can either be depressed about unemployment and cry every single day and feel sorry for myself or I can accept that this is where I in this season and react accordingly. In those few minutes of having to justify myself I realised that how one waits during a setback is just as important as how one will react once the situation has changed.

I choose to be the best version of me – which is the best route to embrace hence my hash tag silverlining. Considering I’ve done the other route before and that just led me to be frustrated and sad and overweight, silver linings are the only option for me this time around.

Every challenge or setback also contains potential for a positive or negative outcome. By focusing on the positive, I feel more inner peace thus being able to accept that which I cannot change immediately.

On being 100 days old

Heavenly Father

I place Mazvita Olivia Chikoto into your hands. I thank you for her life and for the joy she has brought into ours. I thank you for her health and that she is with us today. I pray that the smile she always has on her face now as a baby will remain throughout her life. 

May you guide her steps as she goes through life.

May her heart and spirit remain pure.

May you fill her heart with love.

May she grow up to be a lady who is firmly rooted in your word.

May she be full of dreams and be free of fear to go for her dreams.

May she have good  health.

May she be guided by your word in all decisions she makes.

May she find happiness in all avenues of her life.

May she achieve all the desires of her heart and more.

May she be surrounded  by people who will build her up, encourage her and inspire her.

May she always be blessed

In Jesus name,

Amen

My niece (the latest addition to the family) turned 100 days old a few weeks ago.

These streets

Just last week, my mum was telling me of a show on radio she had been listening to that was highlighting the negative effects of Facebook. People had been calling into the show and talking about people they met on Facebook, gifts they received from these Facebook friends and how things had gone wrong. As my mum told me of the weird stuff that the people claimed had happened to them, I brushed it aside. Being the smart girl that I think I am, I told her the people were looking for trouble and they had found it. My reasons being

  1. How can you accept someone that you don’t know?
  2. How can you allow yourself to get gifts (such as houses etc) from strangers?
  3. What are you doing sharing personal information with strangers?

And then it hit me! It’s the same as me and my blogging. I have cyber “friends” that I’ve never met but it’s like we are a part of each other’s lives. We share our joys, our aches, our pains through our blogs. We form a type of relationship and are like a support mechanism for each other. I’ve never met any of these people in person. I don’t plan on accepting gifts from them but a type of cyber trust forms. I sort of let my guard down because I’ve been a part of your life as you go through it. I know when you are on holiday @soaking up the sun in xxx, in mourning R.I.P. gran, at school @burning the midnight oil, etc. I know a lot of information and it does not even take a genius to put certain details together and create a timeline. It’s a matter of listening or in my case reading attentively. When it comes to social networking, people are very naive, myself included. We share some of the most personal details of our lives, we share our exact locations, what we are getting up to, who did what, where, how, when and why. We open ourselves up all sorts of scrutiny from all sorts of sources and this can lead us into nasty situations.

A friend of mine put the following status on Facebook… My friends n family ds world is n has become so corrupt. Plz 4 yo own safety open e below link. It is better to be forewarned than forearmed. Take yo time 2 check out e ladies mentioned in e conversation on fb. Have done so n Lebo Khambule one of e ladies has denied not!!! http://t.co/ueJ4sVYb

Now usually I don’t open these links but she’s not the kind of person to promote spam so I gave the link a few minutes of my life. To say I was shocked is understatement of the year. This link takes you to a blog that posted conversations between a guy and a girl through a social network where the girl states “my boo…#tearing up#…I’m HIV+,yes HIV positive,bn a year now,my boyfriend infected me.Yes,im dying & yes my aim till lyk a minute ago,was to hook up wit u,seduce u so u’d sleep wit me,i wanted to infect u.”

This girl then goes to explain how a group of ladies and guys are going around spreading the virus because they were infected by others too. Now I don’t know if this particular email is fact or fiction but I know the world we live in is twisted and people do crazy things like this. I’m sure the people who do this are probably just hurting and are retaliating against what was done to them but this kind of behaviour I cannot condone. You don’t right a wrong by doing wrong yourself.  It’s a sad misfortune when people adopt the “I won’t die alone” mentality. What’s even worse is that they have statistics to show off on their Monday meetings. In this era of one night stands, friends with benefits, shag buddies etc I can see how this stuff happens. But what happened to getting to know a person better? Condoms? Getting tested before sleeping with someone? Being faithful? Sticking to one partner and not being part of sexual networks? Heck, what happened to abstinence? The only reason groups like this exist is because we give them the ammunition. If we stop accepting strangers on social networks and scrutinise people more astutely before we sleep with them, chances are they will have nothing to talk about on their Monday meetings. And what these guys and gals are failing to realise is that by sleeping with other people to infect them they are exposing themselves to other strains of the virus. HIV is a virus that mutates so just as much as they are killing others, they are making their immune systems even weaker and killing themselves.

I still can’t verify whether the email referred to on (http://thestreetwordiz.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/heres-the-email-everyones-been-going-on-about/) is fact or fiction but whatever it is, people need to be more careful out there! People need to be vigilant for their own lives. At the end of the day, people who actually do these sick and twisted things exist. There are people who are angry with the world, who do not want to go down alone ad plan on taking others down with them.

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The moral of the story is simple. Be extra cautious about who you are sleeping with.

Hibernate: to be stagnate, to lie dormant, to vegetate

I need sleep.

I finally understand why school, work etc is not 365 days (minus weekends and public holidays) straight. Sometimes all a person needs is to just rest. Heaven knows why I am so tired considering I spend most of the day at work sitting. I don’t have one of those jobs that require me to spend lots of time outside the office. Plus I’m not that busy but I am feeling exhausted! Perhaps I’m coming down with something or perhaps it’s all the in-activeness that is finally taking its toll but what I know is that I just need some R & R. A few days away with nothing but Mother Nature and good friends? to keep me company. The problem with having my friends though is that we will end up having so much fun, the issue of my lack of sleep will just be exacerbated. Actually a few days away ALONE wouldn’t hurt. I would spend the couple of days just sleeping. Then after that, I would take long walks and just breath in the fresh air. A chance to rejuvenate my mind, body and spirit. Maybe I should go away for my birthday…

Haters…

I seek justice. I seek complete eradication of the little buggers otherwise known as mosquitoes! I mean, on which part of the food chain do mosquitoes fall? They are nothing but an annoyance and a disease spreader.

I’m a light sleeper unless I’m totally exhausted but most times I wake up at the slightest sound. When the neighbour’s cat is crying like a little newborn next to my window at 3am or when the damn mosquitoes are flying around in my room, I tend to wake up and I always struggle to fall asleep again after that. My legs now have marks on them thanks to good ol’ mosquitoes! It’s almost summer, how am I supposed to wear my shorts and dresses? Now I have to invest in bio oil to make sure I don’t get unsightly scars on my legs.

The way my room is designed; I can’t hang a mosquito net. I hate the mosquito coils, they stink. And I have a sensitive skin so I can’t use the repellent rubs and all that other jazz. The alternative solution (the best case scenario would be the COMPLETE ERADICATION of mosquitoes) is to spray my room with DOOM or RAID or TARGET or any other insect spray I can get my hands on. And even then the next day I’m back at it because they seem to be like Houdini and they don’t die!

Now my reasons for wanting to get rid of the little buggers are completely selfish. But statistics out there are alarming. According to the World Malaria Report 2010 by the World Health Organisation, there “were 225 million cases of malaria and an estimated 781 000 deaths in 2009, a decrease from 233 million cases and 985 000 deaths in 2000”. If alarm bells are not sounding in your head at this point, something is seriously wrong with you! 700 000 deaths due to those little buggers!!!!! 700 000 people died in one year because of mosquitoes! 700 000! People! Died! And most of these deaths occur among children “where a child dies every 45 seconds of malaria”.

Mosquitoes and malaria are real. Something needs to give.

I’m all for COMPLETE ERADICATION of the little buggers!