Win With Adventure Boot Camp For Women!

It’s June already. I mean, not to be that person who wakes up on the first of every month and is like “Oh My God It’s June Already?!” but seriously, “Oh My God It’s June Already.”

Which means – we are half way to Christmas and half way to Summer holidays and shorts and bikinis and all those things that make me want to run (ironically) and hide under the closest Krispy Kreme delivery vehicle.

Today marked day 1 of a 4 week transformation challenged that Barry and I have signed up to (read:I signed up to and convinced him to do because there’s no way I can do a month of detoxing all alone. Not with the way he downs chocolate and curry). And it’s needed hey – a little step on the scale this morning revealed that I am a mere 3 kilograms away from full term pregnancy weight. Hideous! I blame eating all the feelings and the fact that my feelings taste like macaroni.

So, if you too are reading this, nodding your head and side eyeing that pie in the other hand, I have some good news.

Firstly – you probably look beautiful, but secondly, if you want to be beautiful in a size 8 pair of jean pant then I am giving away something which just might make you feel better about the future of fat.

You’ve probably heard of ‘Adventure Boot Camp for Women’ which is SA’s largest outdoor fitness programme for women. ABC is an outdoor exercise plan that offers workouts for women, fitness instruction, nutritional counseling and motivational training packed with fun and energising activities designed to help you reach your fitness goals.

They are running their annual 40 Day Challenge which is South Africa’s biggest outdoor challenge for women.  Ladies across South Africa partake in boot camp for 40 days, Monday to Friday. The ladies involved are also supplied meal plans from accredited dieticians, Clicks physical assessments and stand a chance to win weekly prizes from sponsors such as Garmin, MovePretty, Puma and many more, including the chance to win R10 000 when they sign up and another R10 000 on the completion of the 40 Day Challenge. On completion of the 40 days, ladies are rewarded with a luxury hamper filled with exciting sponsor products. An amazing package!

The 40 day challenge is running from 19 June to 11 August. Yep, slap bang in the middle of Winter. Which is exactly when Summer bodies are made, right?

Even better, ABC has venues all over South Africa and with over 100 locations to choose from, there’s bound to be a class near you.

I’m going to be signing up to the classes as soon as my 4 weeks of hell detox is over, and am really exited to be training in a female only environment – not a single silver back ‘gym oke’ in sight!

So, today on the blog, I’m giving one lucky lady the chance to win an entry for the 40-day challenge. Valued at R6000, it’s the perfect gift you can give yourself this Festive fat season.

All you need to do is make sure you are following this blog and have liked Rupert Approves on Facebook. Then, leave a comment below about why you’d like to win this competition. You can also enter on behalf of a friend – simply refer them in your comments below.

Good Luck… you skinny bitch you!

The Ts and The Cs

  • Winner will be selected by random draw on Wednesday 7 June
  • The winner must reside in South Africa and be close to one of the ABC venues to ensure maximum participation
  • The winner agrees to be available for the 40-day challenge and agrees to sign up to take part in the challenge and partake to the best of her ability
  • The prize is not refundable for cash
  • Only one winner will be selected
  • The winner agrees to looking fabulous once the 40 days are over 😉

———————————————- WINNER UPDATE ——————————————————

Congratulations to Adele who has won this prize! Adele, please be in touch so I can send you all the details! 🙂

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{Interview} An Inspiring Weightloss Story. 41 Kilograms Down, And Still Going.

Meet Beverly. My sister in law. When I first met Bev it was when I started dating my now husband. I remember going to their house for takeaway pizzas and a ‘meet and greet’ with her and her hubby, Craig. Bev was pregnant at the time with her son Daniel, now 5. I remember leaving their house a few hours later and saying to Barry “I’m not sure we can be together, your family just does not talk to me'” I’m glad I persevered, because even though it took what felt a lifetime to get Bev – and my in-laws – to open up to me, it was worth the wait. Also, Bev is no longer pregnant, and non pregnant Bev loves wine. And Wine fuelled Bev is an absolute hoot.

In December last year we had the family come round for an early Christmas lunch, and as Bev walked through the door I said to her ‘you look fantastic!’ and she did. She hadn’t told us but she had recently started a weight loss and exercise program, and even though at that stage she had only lost a few kilograms, she was absolutely radiant. Fast forward to 10 moths later, and Bev has lost 41 kilograms, and still going strong.

41 kilograms. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Because Bev is Bev and very quiet, she hasn’t (as I would have done) made a big deal about this absolutely massive achievement. So I’m going to do that on her behalf, because I am utterly inspired by this weight loss and lifestyle journey she has embarked on, and I think her progress and results deserves a medal.

I’ll let her tell you her story in her own words below, but I wanted to tell her just how proud I am of her. Well done sis, you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your remarkable story. 

{RA}Tell me a bit about yourself

{BN} My name is Bev and I am a wife, a mom of two amazing little ones and a career woman. My two greatest loves are reading and drinking wine and if I get a moment to do both at the same time – HEAVEN! I have always been a bit on the chubby side, and at varsity I gained a lot of weight, and then came the pregnancy weight, and then came the “I feel sorry for myself” weight. It got to the point that I was unhealthy and unhappy and needed to do something about it. I am currently on the best journey of my life – I am losing weight and I am happy and I am healthy.

{RA} What was the trigger for you that made you want to lose weight

{BN} I started a new job in September 2015 in a company full of young vibrant people. I loved the environment from day 1 but I felt that I didn’t quite fit in, not because the people around me treated me differently, but because I was fat and I felt like I didn’t belong. This played on my mind for a few weeks and I was starting to become unhappy, wandering if I had made the right job choice, wandering if I shouldn’t have stayed in my previous company where it had become accepted. At no point in all these commiserations did I think “maybe I should try lose weight” until the evening of 14 November 2015 when sitting in the lounge playing with my children, Daniel looked up at me mid-way through our game and said “mommy why are you so FAT?” My heart broke, I cried all night! I was not angry with him, he didn’t understand the hurt his words would cause, I was angry with myself. For the first time in all my fat years – I was able to admit to myself that I was fat and that I wanted that to change. The next morning I gave him the biggest hug ever and thanked him  – I had made up my mind – his words were going to change my life!

{RA} Have you started a weightloss program in the past or was this your first attempt?

{BN} Weight loss program – No! Fad diet – I have tried them all,  from taking close to 20 pills a day to eating only green foods for two weeks. You name it, I have tried it. I was always looking for the quick fix and I would lose some weight (5 – 7kg) . Then I would get bored of the dry chicken breasts and green veg, fall back into old habits (Carbs! Carbs! Carbs!) and gain it back together with a couple extra kilo’s.

{RA} How was it different this time do you think? What has made you stick to it?

{BN} Those innocent words out of my sweet child’s mouth (mommy why are you so fat). It wasn’t someone judging me (which has happened so much in the past), it wasn’t someone telling me that I needed to diet or exercise, it wasn’t someone being nasty or mean. It was my sweet child asking a question, an innocent question, a question that he didn’t know would cause so much anguish, a question that made me accept that I was fat. Before that, in my heart I knew it but in my head I could justify it. In that moment, all the justifications fell away – I was fat! Admitting it to myself was what made it different, I was making a change because I wanted to not because that is what people expected me to do.

{RA} How much weight have you lost?

{BN} I have lost a total of 41kg’s so far and 5 pant sizes.

{RA} When did you start on this journey? Tell me a bit about how it all began and whats happened in the x months since you’ve been on it

{BN} The journey started the morning after Daniel asked me why I was fat. I woke my husband up in the early hours of the morning and asked him if he could play “mom” for the next 6 months. I told him that I needed to take some time to get myself sorted out and asked him if he could help a bit more with the children. Now don’t get me wrong – he did his fair share of kiddie duty and is the most amazing father, but I needed him to pick up some more so that I could get out and exercise. He agreed with no questions asked.

That morning I joined the gym. And somehow the planets were aligned that day, because that night one of my very close friends asked me if I wanted to join her out running two mornings a week. So with all the exercise happening, it was time to start the diet. I found a lady close to work who specialised in weight loss and for the next 10 weeks she guided me through the lifestyle change. I was losing weight and I was happy! December came and December went and I still lost weight (I mean who loses weight in December right). I was exercising 6 times a week and was starting to feel more human.

One Sunday afternoon in January at lunch with the family, my dad challenged me to do 70.3 Ironman in Durban on the 20th of June. Now, I can’t blame the wine for this one since I was having a booze free January but, after a chat with the husband (because this was going to mean more time away from home), I accepted, it was on. I got myself an amazing coach (who also happens to be my brother), bought myself a bicycle and all the other paraphernalia that goes along with triathlon training and started the most gruelling training program ever. I was training 9, sometimes 10 times a week – and when I wasn’t training, I was sleeping. It was exhausting! I wasn’t eating right for someone training so much and although the weight loss lady I was seeing was amazing, I needed someone who was able to get me through all the training and still help me lose weight. I found myself a sports nutritionist (a rather fierce women) who developed a nutrition plan for me, and since the beginning of March I have seen her once a week – it keeps me accountable!

Over the last few months, my entire perception of food has changed. I no longer eat because I enjoy it, I eat because I need energy to get myself through the day. I no longer crave carbs and can quite happily go through the day without thinking about eating anything I shouldn’t. Don’t get me wrong – I do cheat, but the cheat days are far fewer than the good days!

{RA} What was your starting weight and what is your goal weight? 

{BN} This one is hard for me to admit! Starting weight was 118kg – goal weight is 64kg.

{RA} What has been the hardest part of the journey?

{BN} Since I had my little boy in 2011, I devoted every minute I wasn’t working to spending time with him and then with him and his sister. My life was my children. When I started this journey I had to be selfish with my time, getting up early in the mornings and leaving the house before they even woke up, getting home late 2 evenings a week when they were already in bed and handing them over to my mom weekend in and weekend out when I went cycling and running. It was hard – at times I felt like “the worst mom in the world”.

In saying that though, I learnt that quality time with my children was far more important than quantity. As the months went on, I was able to play and run around with them and that was far more important to them than me just being there all the time.

{RA} Whats been the best part of your journey?

{BN} The confidence that comes along with losing the weight. I am not the same person I was 9 and a half months ago and I love the new me. Although there is still a way to go before I will be happy with my body.

{RA} Do you think its possible for someone to do this on their own, or would you suggest going through a professional?

{BN} If there is one thing I have learnt through this journey, it’s that nothing is impossible. So yes it is possible to do it on your own. Would I suggest that you go at it alone – no! The support I have received from my nutritionist has been wonderful. There are times where she has pushed me to breaking point and times where she has told me to go eat a donut. She has encouraged me every step of the way and she has kept me accountable.

{RA} What do you make of weightloss clinics who give injections and pills? Would you consider it?

{BN} Weight loss is a lifestyle change. There is no quick fix. If you want to lose weight you need to do it through blood, sweat and tears. Would I consider going to a weight loss clinic who gives you pills for 6 weeks, you lose 6kgs and then go on your merry way – no! Would I consider pills prescribed by a professional in conjunction with a healthy eating plan and lots of exercise  – definitely. I am currently taking pills to stabilise my bloods, and this together with the eating plan and lots of exercise is a win for me.

{RA} What exercise/training have you been doing in conjunction with your eating plan?

Once I had accepted the challenge of 70.3 Ironman Durban, I started training 9 to 10 times a week – swimming, running and cycling. I was going to do it – or die trying! With the guidance of my coach – I did it, I finished and I loved it. In the run up to 70.3, I learnt to ride a bicycle, did my first sprint distance triathlon and my first half marathon. Since then I have done an olympic distance triathlon and I am now training for my first marathon in November. I have cut back on the training a bit and am now training 6 to 7 times a week, which is much more manageable over the long term and I have a little bit of extra time with my children.

{RA} Take me through an average meal

{BN} An average meal consists of 1 portion of protein (200g fish or chicken / 4 egg whites) and two soup spoons of salad / vegetables. Sounds like a normal diet right – accept I am allowed to use salt and sauces! This makes the world of difference.

(Kate side note: I’m on the same eating plan. Im so hangry I could die. i have no idea how she does it)

{RA} Don’t you miss pizza? I would always miss pizza. 

{BN} Oh my word – YES! Pizza is probably the one thing that I really do miss, all that melted cheese.

{RA} How do you juggle it all what with being a mom of 2, a wife and a career women

{BN} Wine :)! Seriously though – with the never ending support from my husband. My husband has been my biggest supporter though out this entire journey and has helped me with everything, from packing my gym bags the night before an early morning swim / gym session, to scrambling my egg whites at 5am in the morning before I head off to gym. He took over a lot of the household chores so that when I was home, I was able to spend that quality time with the children. Without him being the GREAT man that he is – I would never have been able to juggle it all.

{RA} Have you encountered any negativity on your journey?

{BN} No, everyone around me has supported me every step of the way, from my family to my colleagues at work, everyone has encouraged me and cheered for me!

{RA} If I were you I would have been shouting my achievements from the rooftops, and telling anyone who met me about how well I had done. You are really modest and haven’t really made a big deal about it – why is that?

{BN} I let my appearance do the talking. Everyone I have seen since has seen the difference, I never felt like I needed to shout it out. I love to share my story with anyone who is willing to listen – but at the same time I am conscious that some people don’t want to hear all the gory details.

{RA} What are some of the best compliments/comments you’ve received?

{BN} Nothing beats hearing your dad say “I’m proud of you”. That is definitely something I am going to carry close to my heart for a very long time. And a bunch of my colleagues no longer refer to me by name, but refer to me as Slender.

{RA} How do you ‘reward’ yourself? Is it a cheat meal, clothes, holiday etc?

{BN} I haven’t yet! I avoid rewarding myself with food – since food is what made me fat in the first place. I have had to purchase myself new clothes a few times already (I can fit both my legs into one leg in my fat jeans), but I haven’t yet splurged on clothes I love. Once I reach goal weight – I am definitely going to reward myself with a shopping spree.

{RA} Speaking of, what is your favourite cheat food?

{BN} Pizza of course

{RA} Whats been the best ‘surprise’ for you on this journey – i.e buying smaller clothes, feeling healthier, feeling happier etc?

{BN} The confidence.

{RA} Has your husband become more healthy in the process – do you think your new good habits have rubbed off on him and the kids?

{BN} The kids and husband still do eat normal everyday family meals like spaghetti bolognaise and macaroni cheese, but there are a lot more vegetables on everyone’s plates and there is very little junk food in the house.

{RA} How do you cope on weekends or at parties? That’s when most people tend to fall off the wagon. Do you pack Tupperware’s of celery sticks and much on those instead of the chip and dip?

{BN} My nutritionist told me at my very first appointment that if I go to a dinner party and the host serves lasagne, I should eat it. Life happens! I do however try to have a snack before I go anywhere so that I am not hungry and won’t pick at the chip and dip and I do try to eat only protein and veg when out and about, but when the lasagne lands on the plate I eat it and I enjoy it. Then I make sure that I jump straight back onto the wagon.

So many nutritionists and dieticians say it’s not about the number on the scale (to throw the scale away!) that muscle weighs more than fat, blah blah blah. Do you feel the same? Is body fat and muscle mass more important to you than actual numbers on a scale?

For me, at first the actual weight loss was important and I would weigh myself weekly. But once I started seeing the changes and having to buy smaller clothes, the weight itself became less important. I am determined to get to goal weight, but more importantly for me, I am determined to get into a size 10. And if the two can happen at the same time – that would be great!

{RA} What sort of advice would you give to someone looking to start on a weightloss journey?

{BN} Do it for yourself! Take some time and be selfish with it, make it about yourself and make sure that you have someone strong to support you.

{RA} Lastly, when this is all up and you have hit your goal. Whats next in line for you?

{BN} To be honest, I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. I guess I will find another crazy event to take part in because exercise has become a big part of my life.

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Bev and Craig back in the day

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Bev, just after the birth of their daughter, Emma

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Bev and Craig on their wedding day

 

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The beginning of the journey… One of Bevs first training rides for Iron Man 70.3
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The day before Durban Half Iron Man… Bev had already gone through a few wetsuits before this as they were all too bog for her!
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Bev and Emma, July 2016

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A picture speaks a thousand words

 

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#ShieldItsYourMove

Ok, so I am pretty damn excited about this campaign that I’m taking part in, starting today, and running until the end of August. Firstly, because I’m revoltingly competitive, and secondly because its something I do everyday, and now theres a competition associated with that something I do every day – keeping active.

Shield have challenged me, and a bunch of other bloggers to a #ShieldItsYourMove campaign. The basic idea is to ‘just keep moving’. There are mommy and lifestyle bloggers (me), sports bloggers, food bloggers, fashion and beauty. You name it.

We all have the month of August to move as much as we can, and track our daily steps on our jawbone Up2 devices. We all move for different reasons – for me it’s training once a day and working off that office stress, as well as chasing a busy toddler round the house. Im not sure how the other bloggers spend their movement time, but all will be revealed during the coming weeks when we post our updates using the #ShieldItsYourMove hashtag across various social media platforms.

Moving and keeping busy is easy when you feel confident – which is where Shields new MotionSense technology comes in. It’s the words first anti perspirant with unique micro capsules activated by movement. So, the more you move, the more it keeps you dry, and the more you move the more Shield MotionSense releases fresh bursts of fragrance. And I’m not just saying that. I have been a Shield user ever since my wedding in 2013, when I trialled several antiperspirants in the build up to the big day and Shield came out top. Let me tell you, there is no sweat like wedding sweat!

So, follow my journey here, on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook as I try to out move the other bloggers for the month of August.

Why don’t you join me?

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On This Sleep Thing.

I had a conversation with a friend last night who is keen to start trying for a baby. His wife is (naturally) very nervous. Amongst other things (gaining weight, finances and hormones) she’s worried about the lack of sleep a new baby will bring.

And I don’t blame her. Carter is perfect in many regards, but when it comes to sleeping, he’s a bit of an under achiever. And he’s over a year. So it’s not as if I haven’t given him a fair chance to prove me wrong.

Lack of sleep is 100% guaranteed when you have a child. Your newborn might sleep through from 6 weeks, but like any wild animal they can turn on you at any time. I know friends who smugly told anyone they met that their newborn slept through. And then said newborn turned one and never slept again. I know moms whose eleven-year-olds have sleep regressed, and I know my story – a baby who naps beautifully during the day, falls asleep on his own within minutes, but who sleeps through the night only 30% of the time. He’s 14 months. Which means that I haven’t slept through the night in 5475 days. That’s a lot of no napping, a massive rest respite, a sad RIP REM.

Now, before you dash off to your nearest Doctors office and swallow a box of birth control, I do have two pieces of good news: 1. You don’t actually need that much sleep and 2. It gets easier.

The only way I can liken coping on little to no sleep is to compare it with fitness. Have you ever trained for a race? Let’s say you have, and let’s say it was for a 10k. Let’s also assume that you were starting at a zero base – couch potato level. Your program starts you off gently, maybe a 2-kilometer run/walk the first day. Your heart rate spikes, you’re out of breath and you finish sweaty and exhausted. It’s possible that you may wake up the following day fucked. Your head foggy, your body swollen and battling to function for most of the day. You wondered how you could ever do more. But then the following week you have to run a solid 3 km’s, and it’s bloody hard, but you didn’t walk once, your body is a little less stiff, and you feel slightly happier. Within 4 weeks you are cruising a solid 5k’s and possibly beating your time. When race day approaches you’ve got this 10 k in the bag. You finish, tired but unbroken, and suddenly you start thinking about another race – perhaps a 21 k this time?

Lack of sleep is a bit like exercise fitness. If you happen to be a parent, think back to a time when you were kid free. If you are currently kid free then, well, damn you, you well rested bastard. Right, so thinking back to BC (Before Children) – you were used to long nights of unbroken sleep and a routine that was all yours. Now imagine you went out on a bender, got home late after a wine-fuelled dinner party or were babysitting a small human. All of these actions are guaranteed to result in less and broken sleep. Remember how you felt when you woke up the next morning? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

But then you had a child of your own and that first night back from the hospital meant no more nurses or staff to help you. And then your baby had to wake up for a feed every 3 hours and – like a blind drunk – you stumbled from room to room, boobs exposed, bleary eyed and tried to do what you needed to do. You’d wake up in the morning, and how did you feel? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

This goes on for a few days – you’re probably still so used to not having a kid that you’re sleeping through some cries, your 2-am alarm and the baby monitor beeping. You wonder how you will ever get used to the constant waking up. And then a few weeks pass and suddenly you wake up without needing an alarm, feed the kid with military skill and it all starts feeling easier. A few months in and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething,

Fast forward a few months and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething, colicky or in pain. You sleep less and less but function better and better. By now you might be back at work juggling deadlines, demands and clients. On 18 minutes of sleep you’ve put together proposals, dominated meetings and finished budget forecasts. You are acing this. You are running your 10k.

Turns out, the less you sleep the easier it becomes to not need sleep, and little rest no longer means you can’t function the next day. Our bodies are amazing things, and simply adjust to help us cope with this change in our lives.

That being said, combining the two can often be dangerous. I went out on a wine fueled bender last night, and also happened to be on baby duty. I am fucked today, eating McDonalds at my desk, my head throbbing, my eyes swollen, wondering how I’m ever going to function again.

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Why I’m Left Feeling Bitterly Disappointed By Half Iron Man.

Three years ago I took part in, and completed my first ever Half Iron Man in East London. Upon crossing the finish line I burst into tears. I was elated, so proud and felt like I had achieved the impossible. (Turns out, it’s the 2nd hardest course in the world, so my feelings were justified I suppose). Fast-forward to 19 June 2016 when I crossed the finish line in Durban, and all I felt was a heavy heart and bitter disappointment.

It’s been a few days since finishing the race, and I’ve been trying to understand why I feel so ‘let down’ about the entire experience.

The weeks and month leading up to the race were not kind, and as mentioned here, the odds just seemed to be against me. When I did the race for the first time three years ago, I had a lot more time to train, people to train with and it was I Summer, which meant Winter with its debilitating cold, dark and sickness wasn’t an issue. Back to back bronchitis, chronic anemia, no sleep, shin splints, planning a first birthday party, a resignation from work and massive stress in my life left me feeling seriously fragile for most of my training.

We arrived in Durban on Thursday – to give us enough time to register, chill with the friends whose house we were staying at, and acclimatise for the race. The big rule before any event like this is easy; REST UP. Unfortunately, the Monday before, Carter had started with some severe gastro that was so bad we did what we have never done before and actually panicked enough to take him to the hospital. There, they declared a viral gastro infection and asked us to ‘wait it out’. On the Saturday before the race (having waited it out for 7 days) he was only getting worse; there was blood in his stools, he wasn’t sleeping, had a raging fever, was as miserable as sin and we were exhausted. We took him to the hospital in Durban and within twenty minutes he was admitted for dehydration and on a drip. Emotional doesn’t even begin to cut it, I was devastated for two reasons – one for my poor sick baby in hospital, with a now bacterial dysentery (the guilt!) and two, for the race in less than 15 hours time – which Barry and I had both trained so long and hard for, sacrificed family time for and had been planning for, for the better part of half a year. Barry insisted I still race – knowing that after this 70.3 I was probably going to give up triathlon for a bit and focus on finding some balance in my life. With a heavy heart I left the hospital to go and pack my transition bags and rack my bike. If it wasn’t for my friend Eryn who we were staying with – who had just completed the Full Iron Man – I probably would have given up there and then. Thankfully she got my mind right(ish), helped me pack my bags, nutrition and bike and helped me get to the race to set up. She also took me down to the race the next morning at 5 am and stood on the cooking hot pavements, with her hubby and son, and supported me the entire day.

On the same Saturday that Carter was admitted – before we took him to the hospital – we had the pre-race training swim. Normally the pre-swim is a free for all where athletes get to play in the water, get a feel for the waves, the current and the ocean. This year the ocean was not playing ball, and the race organisers seemed uneasy. They made it a swim where you had to queue up and head off 10 at a time, with the organisers checking people in and out using our timing chips. Alarm bells were ringing in my head, and as the queue got longer and longer and more and more swimmers were coming you the water looking less than happy, I was in full blown panic mode. After about an hour and a half of waiting to go in, they abruptly cancelled the pre-swim. The water was just too dangerous. My heart sunk a bit further into my chest. The swim was my Achilles heel and mentally I had been preparing myself for this single discipline the entire time. Distracted by a very unwell baby though, we left and took him to the hospital, as above.

After a last visit to see my baby and Barry in the paed ward, I went home to Eryn and Greg and slept surprisingly well (could be the red wine or Xanax..or both). Up to this pint I had also picked up a tiny bit of Carter’s gastro, which meant an upset tummy and zero appetite – also not great before a race).

Race morning arrived and I was up at 4 am. For those who take part or spectate in triathlons, you understand its not as simple as arriving and running in to the water. It’s a mammoth task of logistics, planning and time. Even though your bike and two transition bags are packed and racked the day before, you still have to get down to transition the morning of the race to pump tyres, stock nutrition and triple check you have everything you need in the relevant bag. I did this all and left the transition area to find Eryn. It was dark and fresh and a beautiful morning. My tummy was feeling better, Carter seemed to be on the mend, and I suddenly had a bit more optimism about the race. Then the race organisers made the announcement: The swim had just been cancelled.

3000 athletes went in to panic mode. This was the first time in 20 years that the swim had been cancelled – which meant that the ocean really wasn’t in a good mood. Many people were angry and quick to judge. I was gutted. The biggest challenge for me, and one that I finally felt ready for had been pulled form under me. Which meant we technically weren’t doing a triathlon – we were doing a duathlon. I, along with 2999 other athletes felt cheated.

The race, instead of a well oiled slick machine now turned into disorganised chaos. The pro athletes (only about 16 in total) still had to do the swim, and the rest of us plebs would start on the bike once they were done. We walked down to the swim, my mind now completely unraveled and watched them start. ‘The waves aren’t that high’ I thought to myself as I looked down. Then the gun went and the pros went off and the only thing I can liken it to was confetti being tossed into a gale force wind. Swimmers were everywhere. Some immediately got pushed several hundred meters to the left, others got pushed to shore and some just could not get past the surf. Two ladies had to be rescued and many of them (remember, all pro athletes) said they thought they were going to die. To give more context – take a look here.

It was while watching the pro swim that I realised the organisers had definitely made the right call. I can guarantee that several people would have lost their life that day should the swim not have been cancelled. However, that still didn’t stop the thoughts banging in my head. People just aren’t going to respect us now. People will say it wasn’t a real race.

Now, this is where I think I started feeling like a loser, and why the race has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The bike start – instead of happening as people came out of the water – ie a staggered approach – but still relatively in line with your age groupers happened with all 3000 athletes at the same time, but actually not at the same time at all. Which meant a 2 hour queue as they let people off, five at a time every 15 seconds. I happened to be one of the very last in the queue, which meant that by the time I eventually started my bike, other athletes had already been out there for almost 2 hours. That does a lot for ones psyche, and even though your time only officially started once you had got on your bike and started cycling, mentally it felt like you were already behind. As an example, if athlete A started at the front of the queue and cycled a 4 hour race, and athlete B started at the back of the queue and cycled a 3 hour race, athlete A would still finish the bike first and start the run while athlete B was still riding. This is what happened to me, and even though I feel I had an OK’ish bike time (for me anyways!) I came off the bike and started the run when pretty much everyone had already started. Because of my late start, and the mentality of the organisers and volunteer staff being that of a normal race (ie cutoff times after swim and bike), by the time I turned around at the 40 km mark, people had already started packing up cones and aid stations and cars were flying past me on the freeways. Not cool. That, coupled with a really bad stitch in my shoulders made me a glum chap.

I got off my bike in transition and looked around in dismay – it seemed as if 90% of the bikes had been racked – which made perfect sense when you thought about it logically, but totally threw me, because even though I was well within my cutoff time, it felt like I was coming stone last. I started the run when most people were on their second lap, and so by the time I started my second lap, I had marshals rushing me along – again forgetting that I was making decent time and that time on the clock wasn’t an indicator of athlete performance. “I started 2 hours after everyone else!” I wanted to scream.

The run was shitty, and I will never again underestimate a ‘quick 21km’ again. Because it was completely flat I assumed it would be the best and easiest part of the day. It wasn’t. Flat means no hard uphill, but it also means no lovely downhill to relieve your legs. It was also 1 pm by the time I started, and 36 degrees.

I just felt the spectators at that point were disinterested, and I felt lonely for most of the run. Even my parents, who had come all the way to see me race, looked bored. I think it had been a long day of waiting, and due to the slow start, there wasn’t much excitement in terms of masses of athletes all competing at the same time. I could see them thinking ‘really, is this it?’

About 8 kms in I started running with a girl Siobhan who I met along the route and who mentally helped me a lot. I left her after a few kms as I was feeling a bit stronger, and she needed to walk a bit more. (I hope she somehow stumbles across this blog and makes contact – I never caught her last name, but we did commit to having lunch in Joburg together to celebrate not dying). The last 10 kms were much better than the first, and I kept a very slow but steady pace (race day goal was a 6:45 and I was managing between 7:30 and 8. I was hurting and the tummy cramps of the previous few days had flared up.).

On those last 10 kms, again due to the lateness of the day and mentality of how it’s usually done, a lot of the aid stations had closed up, sponges and water had run out and the promenade had been opened properly to the public. I ran into 2 people, was hit by a wayward soccer ball and had to dodge more than one child running in and out the crowds. By then I was close to despair and started going in to a very dark place.

Eventually, I finished, in my slowest 21 km time ever of 2:44. I crossed the finish line happy, grabbed my medal and T-shirt and made my way back to the supporters area. It was completely empty. That kind of (un)welcome does a lot for this already battered ego, and I felt so sad and despondent.

The positive to the race was that my baby boy was discharged that afternoon so he and hubby at-least got to see me on the route, which was a beautiful sight when you are empty and broken inside.

Sadly, I don’t feel as if the organisers handled the delayed start well, and I’m bitterly disappointed by how I was made to feel like a B grade athlete out there – at no fault of my own. I think the organisers had been prepped for a 7:30 am start and a cutoff by 15:30 – so when the plans changed and the time got pushed out, they weren’t aware that it was OK and athletes competing were not a bunch of losers. I also definitely know that having had the swim portion cut out – which actually made the race harder for some reason, has made me feel like a 2/3 Iron Man.

Does that mean I have unfinished business, and will be coming back next year to see it through? Probably not. I’m feeling a massive sense of relief that this race is over, and that I can focus on some other aspects of my life right now. Nothing that looks or sounds like a swim, bike or run… although, that’s what I said straight after my very first Half Iron man in 2013…

CJ was less than thrilled as well
CJ was less than thrilled as well

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I took this photo when the pros went out on their swim. You can see the lifeguards rushing in to assist a swimmer

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Carter in hospital with bacterial dysentry
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Race registration with Eryn
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Finishing in a time of 6:26
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On the Friday we did a team swim. The water was harsh but not unmanageable.
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WIN A Personal Training Program Worth R4000 With P3 Fitness Centre

A while ago I wrote this post. One that resulted in floods and floods of emails, calls and messages. I’m still amazed at just how many women could relate to how I was (and sometimes still am) feeling.

It’s been a few months and I’m getting there. Slowly. I still have some kilos to go, but in the middle of work, training for a Half Iron Man, being a mom, wife and friend, I find very little time to stress about it as much.

Also, I really, really love pizza.

I do also fall off the wagon from time to time, and being winter in Joburg also means its a lot harder to train and find time when it isn’t freezing or dark, to get my ass in to gear.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who has hit a bit of a mid-year slump, and who’s waiting for a change of season/new month/week/year/bikini/the stars to align to start working for the body they want.

The thing is, the time really is now, and every day wasted means a day you haven’t started. A year from now you’ll wish you had. I promise

So, some good news for those of you ready to take the plunge, but aren’t quite sure where to start.

I’m teaming up with P3 Fitness Centre and personal trainer Jennifer Barkhuizen (BA (socsci): Sports PsychologyBA (HMS) HONS: Sport Science) and giving away a two months personalised online training experience with her. The prize includes a dietary programme, online training plans specific to your needs, Skype consultations with Jennifer, body measurements, before and after photos and so much more. The prize is valued at R4000, but the way you will feel afterwards is priceless.

I personally find that being accountable to someone is half the battle won, so a customized 2 months plan with an exceptional trainer might just be the motivation you’ve been lacking till now.

So, if you are looking to get your body back after baby, trying to lose weight for your wedding or simply want to be a better you, then this is the competition for you.

It’s so simple to enter:

  • Comment on this post and tell me why you want to win this prize
  • Like the Rupert Approves Facebook page
  • Make sure you follow the Rupert Approves blog
  • You can also get an extra entry by tweeting me @KateKearney

Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday 3 June

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about P3, you can contact Jennifer on barkhuizen.jennifer@gmail.com

Good Luck!

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The Little Device That’s Keeping Me Very Accountable

I’ve entered another Half Iron Man. With MUCH cajoling and bribery from my family-in-law might I add. I think I’m crazy. Work is busier than ever, I have a very demanding 9 month old, 2 dogs, a husband, 16 hours of traffic a week, no nanny and am starting an additional career advancement course through my company. So what possessed me to now dedicate a further 8-15 hours per week to training is beyond me. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that half my family is doing the race, and a lot more to do with the fact that I am fiercely and stupidly competitive, and a dare – in pretty much every shape or form – will have me agreeing to do it.

So here I sit, crapping bricks about how my life is going to work for the next six months, but also so excited about getting this arse into gear and re-learning a skill I last utilised in January 2013.

So, what’s keeping me accountable? 3 things; the people who now know I’m doing this race (AKA all of you), my own sense of warped pride, and a little device that has become my new bestie: Fitbit.

Fitbit Charge HR

Confession – when Fitbit was first launched I thought it was another glorified step counter that allocated 5 movements for every fart or sneeze. Then several months ago a trainer suggested I get one to stay accountable. I scoffed at the idea, but like any seed that gets planted I decided to let it grow, and a few weeks later I bought myself the entry level one.

I was hooked – the band, along with the app turned me into a crazy woman who started watching her wrist like a hawk, waiting for the lights to show I’d done my 10 000 steps for the day. I logged food, training and started competing with friends and colleagues through my phone. A few months later, being the gadget-whore I am, I upgraded to the Fitbit Charge HR and my life was turned around. A very dramatic statement sure, but suddenly I was wearing a device on my arm that measured not only steps but meals, heart rate, calories burned, floors walked and workout sessions. I was so used to strapping myself up like a pysch patient before this – my Polar watch requires a chest strap, the watch and a separate GPS tracker just to do what the Fitbit can.

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There’s something very rewarding about feeling your arm vibrate when you’ve hit your step target for the day, or when you see you’ve consumed less calories than you’ve exerted (yay weight loss!). I do suspect though that the greatest reward is are the free smoothies at Kauai, because the Fitbit is linked to Vitality Active Rewards, and gives you points just for moving.

The Charge HR is available from iStore, www.myistore.co.za, Incredible Connection or DionWired for R2 999. They come in small and large and in colours black, blue, tangerine and plum. I have the plum one and when I wear it I kinda feel like this lady (except a bit fatter and with more sweat)

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit has a device for every level and comes in a variety of shapes colours and sizes. Plus, news just out is that they’re lunching a brand new device called the ‘Alta’ which is the high school cheerleader of the Fitbit range. It’s slimmer, sexier and more fashionable. Basically everything I want to be in my next life. *Swoon*.

Fitbit Alta

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I gave up carbs, booze and sugar for 21 days (and here's what happened)

This is not to say I’m stopping my ‘lifestyle change’ now that I’ve hit 21 days, but I do feel like I’ve reached a bit of a milestone in my ‘Fuck You Fat’ journey.

They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit. Let me tell you, 21 days is a very long time when that habit is so ingrained in you, and such a part of your everyday life.

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A few weeks back I made a commitment to myself to give up the following for most of January (I say most, because it’s my birthday in a few days, and there ‘aint no way in hell I’m going without champagne, sushi or spaghetti on my special day):

  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • White carbs

So, on day 22, how have I done, and how do I feel?

Emotionally I feel, well, the same. Everyone tells you how wonderful, revived and rejuvenated you will feel. I had visions of bursting through the office doors on a  Monday morning singing about the hills being alive while group high-fiving the entire office and drumming on my keyboard with organic carrot sticks. Alas, this never happened, and I feel none of these things. In fact, I am more tired, lethargic and moody than ever before. This could be due to other factors such as Zuma, my finances, the state of the Rand, work stress, motherhood, traffic or the weather.

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Physically I feel like a thousand bucks. No booze means my skin isn’t blotchy in the morning, and I have absolutely noticed less-puffy bags underneath my eyes. I’ve lost 3.5 kilograms and my tummy doesn’t bloat or ache like it usually does after a meal. I’m back in (some) of my size 10 jeans, and am feeling slightly more confident about my body. I say slightly, because I had to take some before photos for my SleekGeek challenge, and whilst clothed bodies hide a multitude of sins, half naked ones are truthful as fuck.

My diligence has paid off and I train 5-6 days a week, alternating between running, Pilates (which is super hard by the way, jaysus), crossfit &bootcamp style exercises and weights. Getting to the gym some most days is hard, and I often think up every excuse under the sun not to go, but afterwards I am so glad I did. Classes have also kept me accountable – it’s a lot harder to sneak out of a packed Grid class than it is to stop a treadmill run half way.

Side note story: Last week in my Shape class, 3 guys from the weighs section joined the class. I could tell they did it as a bribe or a dare from their buff gym boys, and I kept a close eye on them throughout the hour long session. Because I knew that about half way, they would be begging like orphaned puppies to be let loose and go back to the benches. These guys died. I had one of them ask me for my ‘girl weights’, one of them removed his weights entirely and the other one collapse to his knees half way through a jumping squat sequence. ‘Twas not sweat that fell from their brows, but little pissy man tears. They both made it to the end, but barely. Okes, before you ever judge a ‘girly class’ from outside, come in, do it, then say sorry.

21 days 6

I’ve cheated twice. Once was when I added 1 potato to a batch of fishcakes I made as we had nothing else in the house, and the other was when I added a tablespoon of curry powder to a dish I was making, only to realise afterwards that it contained gluten.

On that topic – everything you eat contains gluten and sugar. Have you read a label lately? Not even tinned Ratoutille  is safe. It’s incredible just how clean you start eating when you read food labels. I still don’t understand most of what the label says, but I have learnt what I should and shouldn’t have.

21 days 7

Planning is the most important thing when it comes to not falling off the wagon. It’s a schelp, but that extra 10 minutes you take at night to pack a lunchbox, means you absolutely can stick to the plan the next day. I’ve also found that meals are a lot more delicious and exciting than what you initially think of when faced with the idea of a carb, gluten,sugar and booze free diet. I allow myself brown rice and quinoa once a day. That, along with delicious fruits, veggies, smoothies, eggs and legumes have also meant I’m never bored.

Being accountable to someone or something is key. I mentioned the WhatsApp group I created – a bunch of ladies all looking to change their lives through diet, exercise and humour. Some need to lose 1 kilo, some need to lose 31, we are all different in our approach and style, but at the end of the day we check in with each other, post (gasp!) before photos and keep each other on the wagon in times of trouble (read: birthdays, weekends, kids tantrums and work trauma). The ‘something’ I’m accountable to is my FitBit device. I feel personally responsible for logging my food, hitting my step goal and appeasing this little band on my arm. The data doesn’t lie, and I treat the Fitbit challenges like my own personal Zelda quest.

I can live without sugar. I have never had a sweet tooth, so this was the least daunting approach of them all – and possibly the easiest of the items to cut out. I do still dream about a large pizza or a mac ‘n cheese though (because it takes 21 days to break a habit, not to kill your taste buds entirely). Funnily enough, my biggest craving of all? A donut.

I’m really battling to live without wine. 

So, whilst I’m nowhere near my goal, and whilst I won’t stop at 27 days, I will allow myself to have 1 ‘cheat’ meal a week. First stop? My birthday. That sushi carousel has no idea what’s about to happen to it.

21 days 4

I’d be very interested to hear your experience with breaking a 21 day habit – please share in the comments below.

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Following 'THAT' Fat Post – A Little Update.

Five days ago I posted this, and the response has been incredible. Turns out, I’m, not the only woman who hates the way she looks and feels naked. Turns out there are a ton of ladies in the same boat (mom, non-moms, young ladies, older ladies and even some men!).

Being accountable on this blog has meant I’ve really had to own this, which means if I let myself down, I’m going to let a lot of you down as well.

So, while I may only be on day 5 of ‘New Kate’ its been quite a week.

  • I’ve cut out all alcohol (and plan on doing so until the 27th – because, birthday). Yes, alcohol includes wine. Have you ever?
  • I’ve started a Whatsapp group where like minded ladies share before and after pics, encouraging messages, post motivational pics like these below and basically talk each other off carbohydrate and sugar ledges, daily. If you want to be a part of this group pop me a mail with your number .
  • I’ve cut out all gluten, white carbs and sugar, which is easy most of the time, except when my child eats spaghetti in-front of me and proceeds to dangle it on his head like some sort of glory hat.spag
  • I’m exercising more and using my ‘off’ days to haul this saggy arse into the gym. I recently tried a ‘Shape’ class at Virgin active. Most fun I’ve had in ages! Also, I’m  so fucking stiff I wee standing up. That’s the sign of a good workout.
  • I’ve paid for and signed up the the SleekGeek Ultimate You challenge, starting on 18 January. I might break the Internet with my ‘before’ photos, but I need to win the cash prize to pay for Crossfit classes.
  • I’ve found an office buddy who is lovely and kind and a huge motivation for me. I adore our morning coffee chats where we both bitch and moan about our cellulite, but then actually do something about it.

I’m quite excited to share stories of kilograms and centimetres lost, and hopefully that will come (dear god, let that come) but in the meantime I wanted to touch base and let you all know – I’ve started, and that’s the most important step.

If you started on your personal journey this week as well, well done! If you haven’t, remember: A year ago you’ll wish you started today.

Cheers to you, soon to be skinny bitches!

 

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Blake Lively, You Are Not helping Matters.

I just took a light jog with the dogs and the pram. In my nursing bra. My oversized boobs were literally flying into my mouth.

Why did I just take a jog with 2 dogs and a baby you ask? No, it was not to taste my own boob milk, nor was it to proudly display my multitasking skills whilst I clutched dog leash in one hand and bouncy breast in the other.

You see, my face slash body double Blake Lively has also recently given birth to a baby. I’m not sure of its name. Probably God. 

Have you seen Blake Lively post partum? Wait did you see her pregnant? Holy mother of all things fertile, the woman looks like a Victoria Secret model. She’s all lean arms and legs, luscious hair and flat tummy. It’s depressing dear reader – and don’t for one second try to tell me she’s wearing spanx under her dress made of human skin. I tried them things. All that happened was that my post baby belly went from sitting around my waist, to being squished up around my chest, resulting in 2 sets of 36 D’s to deal with. 

She has time to wear a hat?
She has time to wear a hat?

Seriously?

I mean COME ON!
I mean COME ON!

Im still wearing the pregnancy leggings I lived in for 9 months, and when I dare to wear a tight top I look 5 months knocked up. You guys, my cellulite has cellulite.

I had an easy pregnancy – so I guess this is my big pay back – the fat that won’t come off. What makes it even worse is that my bordering on problematic pregnancy cravings (white chocolate, vanilla cake, Kit Kat chunkys and toasted cheese sarmies have not at all abated). Harder still is that junk food is the easiest thing to eat when nursing a baby in one hand and fondling my fat rolls in the other.

I did go back to gym. Once. I signed Carter up to Club V, left him there and waddled off to the floor mats. There, I bumped into a lady I used to work with, who has the body of Blake Lively’s twin sister. She told me, very kindly, to go easy on myself. 12 months is a very long time to be stagnant, but I was too stubborn to listen. 8 jumping squats later I could actually feel myself starting to black out. 1 attempted plank and a handful of running lunges later and I think I actually DID pass out. 

EIGHT DAYS LATER and I was only managing to sit down n the toilet again without crying. 

I know I need to be patient, I know its only been 7 weeks and 6 days since I gave birth (and all the lard in the world is worth it when I look at this perfect little kid) but man, am I feeling crappy about this post baby body. 

I guess, in a perfect world, I would have a nanny to give me some time off to hit the gym, a slew of maids to do the washing and drying and cleaning when my baby vomits all over his brand new outfit (again) and a million more hours in the day to get everything I need to done. 

For now, I will take running up the street, clutching heaving bosoms in a nursing bra, whilst holding on to a pram and 2 hounds. 

Welcome to motherhood. 

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