I met the girls for dinner last night, and the restaurant happened to be right next to my gym, so I quickly ran in to swipe my card and leave. I’m getting those nasty little email reminders from the gym about my membership, and infrequent visits and and and… It’s really very needy. I am just not finding the time to breathe, let alone exercise at the moment. I investigated preggy yoga and preggy bellies, but again was reminded just how unsuited these places are towards moms who actually work. It feels like a foreign concept to them. Who on earth can go to a Pilates at 9 or a preggy class at 4 pm? The same woman who probably have au pairs and breakfast at Tashas on a Monday morning. Ugh. Alas, yee of the working class just doesn’t have that luxury. In fact, I’m working harder now than pre-fetus because between you and me and thousands of readers I am freaking the fuck out about money and savings and education and and and. But that’s a post for anther time.
I digress. Tomorrow I will be 20 weeks with this pregnancy, and so far I’ve been totally OK abut my body image. At my checkup yesterday they doctor told me I have technically lost 6 kilograms, as I haven’t gained any weight yet and at this stage of pregnancy I should be 6 kilos heavier – so even though that was a small victory, it was short lived.
I got home from work yesterday and wanted to change into something more comfy for dinner. So I slipped off my dress and started rummaging around in my cupboard. Sadly, before I had a chance to put the fresh outfit on I saw my reflection in the mirror. My boobs have those tell-tale purple veins – I can almost see the milk flowing through them – and my love handles are clearly in the honeymoon period, for they spilleth over my hippeth like a river. I’m soft to the touch and any firmness my body once possessed has disappeared, along with the ability to control my bladder.
I remember this with Carter, but with 5 months to go still I’m quite distraught at the prospect of having to hate my body for a long time to come. Plus let’s not even get started at the post baby body – remember this fat post?
Anyway. Not a lot I can do now, I’m so far up the duff that it’s really fruitless to stress too much about it. All I can do is try maintain the good eating and try re-start on the exercise. I’ve downloaded an app catered for maternity exercises and all I need to do is activate my subscription and just do it, I guess. Tomorrow, or maybe Monday. Monday sounds good.
If you are an active mom who loves running, then you will know all about the importance f having a good baby jogger. One brand that I have always openly lusted after is the Thule range. They have recently launched the new Thule Urban Glide and it is incredible. When I learnt I was pregnant with Number 2, I actually went into the store, just to stare at it. We have some crappy 4th hand job that has wobbly wheels and is about 30 kilograms too heavy. Not ideal when dodging city traffic.
If you too have been dying to try it out, then now is your chance. I am looking for one active mom, based in Jozi, who is free on 22 September 2017 and keen to take part in the FNB Jozi Run, using the brand new Thule glide.
All you need to do to enter is comment on the blog post and confirm that you are A) In Jozi available on 24 September and B) have a kid/baby to pop in the jogger. I can lend you mine if you want, he’s pretty awesome most of the time 😉 Winner will be announced on Monday 11 September
We will send you the jogger 2 weeks before, so you can do a few practice runs with it before the big race. We will also give you an R850 VIP package to the FNB Jozi Run as well as a gift to keep (sadly the stroller will have to be collected) – A Thule Vea Backpack valued at R2499!
About The Race
The FNB Jozi Run celebrates the sizzling city that is the beating heart and soul of South Africa … Jozi. The 10km race is an opportunity to explore downtown Jozi on foot and celebrate this historical African city.
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! 🙂
At the beginning of August I wrote about a blogger/lifestyle challenge I was taking part in with Shield. The challenge was all about seeing how people – from different industries kept moving – and stayed fresh while doing it. The idea was simple – a bunch of bloggers and influencers from around SA were given a fitness tracker and a supply of Shield and told to go about their normal lives. Shield then tracked our movement for the month, and an event was held on the 27th of August to celebrate the month of moving and announce the winner.
The event itself was amazing – the Shield SA ambassadors Unathi and Janez Vermeiren hosted us as we all took part in an intensive movement filled morning of Boxing, Dancing and Yoga. Sorry, Most people took part in boxing, dancing and yoga. I have 3 left feet so pretended to admire the view while everyone got rhythmic with the music.
They also announced who had done the most steps for the month, and that person was…well…me. Blush. You guys! Apparently my competitive streak is an actual thing, and that, combined with gym, running, dogs, a 15-month-old and my accountability towards my activity tracker meant that I won the overall event. And I walked away with a snazzy new Apple watch (that I won’t be paying off monthly like my husband a lot of people I know…)
I absolutely loved this event – keeping active and moving is a huge part of my life’s mantra, plus I’ve been wearying a fitness device for ages now, and it really does keep me accountable. I’m also a massive Shield fan – it was the only deodorant to see me through my sweatiest of days – my wedding.
A massive thanks for the Shield and Tribeca PR team for one of the most fun campaigns I’ve been a part of!
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.
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…
*Disclaimer. You’re about to get knee deep into the biggest pity-party this side of 2016. Sorry.
In 13 days’ time I will be standing at the start line of 70.3 Durban, and hopefully finishing less than 8.5 hours later, with a second Half Iron Man medal under my belt.
I’m dreading it. I feel like the odds have been stacked against me from the very start of this race.
Firstly, the race is on 19 June, slap bang in the middle of Winter. Which means training has been happening leading up to, and in Winter – dark mornings, dark nights, freezing weather and less than ideal circumstances. Have you ever been swimming at 5:30 am on a Monday in -2 cold degree, in the dark? It’s super kuk.
When I last did the race I was kid and fancy free. I could train twice a day, and train with my now-husband and some friends. Now that we have a son we have to split our time – so one of us will do the morning run while the other trains, and visa versa in the evening. That means apart from a very lonely 5 months of exercising alone, I also never see my husband, and get to tuck my child in bed 50% of the time. We are like 3 ships in the night.
I’ve also had the worst year, health wise. I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia, which is a relief, because I genuinely thought I had caught a bad case of the stupid. I’ve given and received bronchitis several times and had more throat infections than Zumas has wives. I’ve pretty much trained through antibiotics, iron drips and the plague.
And then the broken sleep, and sick baby, and teething baby and baby in general. Holy hell. My one-year-old gives zero shits that mommy needs to be up at 5 for a spinning class, and then a full day of work afterwards. And it’s fine, because I have dragged this kid through the trenches with me. We wake him up at godforsaken hours on the weekend, bundle him in layers of clothing and trek him from race to race. He has been a champ, and I think when he gets fed up of having to attend one more training session or Club V class he decides to grow 18 molars in the space of a day. Just for payback.
So I’m really tired, and exhausted, and so looking forward to this day being done. I’m also really scared that I don’t finish in time because despite it all I’ve given it 100% and tried my absolute best from day 1. I’m so worried of what people will think or say if I fail – how silly am I?
Also, have I told you that despite training 7 days a week for the past 4 months I HAVENT EVEN LOST ONE KILOGRAM? Anyway.
My husband slash coach asked me yesterday what my next goal is after the race is done. My answer? Chill the fuck out. (Until the next family gathering when after one too many glasses of wine I agree to another race, like Comrades or something equally stupid).
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
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.
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.
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 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*.
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.
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):
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.
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 offand 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.
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.
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.
I’d be very interested to hear your experience with breaking a 21 day habit – please share in the comments below.