Well I Am Challenge – 50 days DONE!

Finally we’ve reached the halfway milestone with the Well I Am Challenge. Wednesday marked exactly 50 days, and only 50 remains.

The past month and a half has really been a rollercoaster ride of up and down. I reached enormous highs as well as some setbacks. When I started my training programme, I battled through 4 sets of deadlifts. I barely managed to lift 7kg. My legs were shaking like Autumn leaves, through every rep that I mustered the courage to do. My biggest achievement for my training programme so far is that I can do a 40kg deadlift. Yes, 40kg! And that’s excluding the weight of the bar. For me that has been my proudest moment so far.

I’ll be really honest, I’ve always struggled and fought the weight battle. All through my teenage years and even university. I’ve never thought of myself as super skinny or thin. The number on the scale has always been the number I measure my happiness with. But, weight is so much more than the number on the scale. There is body fat ratio and lean body mass, things I have never taken into consideration when I look at the number on the scale. My eyes and mind has been opened up to nutrition and exercise in a healthier way. I got highly upset because after 30 days, I had only lost one kilogram and it annoyed me so much. Why after eating so well and sticking to my diet had the number on the scale only decreased by one? So I sent my fitness coach a message and she had a good stern talk with me. At first I was a bit upset, but after thinking about what she had told me I sucked it up and continued.
You cannot base your happiness on the number on the scale. And this was proven when I went for my halfway mark check-up at the biokineticist. The number on the scale might have been standing still, but other measurements were dropping. I got a little excited when the biokineticist started measuring my thigh and without looking at the number on the calipher he said that my thighs have decreased a lot. After he had put all the measurements into the system the results were amazing. I had lost 4% of body fat and my lean body mass had gone up by 1%!!! You know you did good if your fitness coach sends you a voicenote to explain how happy she is with your results.

Dieting has really been an uphill battle for me. Not because my diet is difficult to maintain, more because of myself. I have a bad sweet tooth and temptation is everywhere, especially if you have a small home based baking business. It’s taken a lot of willpower to stick to my diet amd not fall back into bad eating habits. I’ve had a cheat day or two where I’ve given my diet the old finger, but come the next day I can feel the results of eating bad. Mainly struggling to get through a workout because I feel sluggish or difficulty concentrating. It’s come to a point where I am becoming to feel guilty if I cheat on my diet. But, most of our cheat meals my husband and I have revamped to either cut out processed carbs or replaced them with vegetable alternatives.

My fitness coach has sent me my second month training programme and I can tell you, my ass will be on fire for the next four weeks! I’m excited for the results that the next 50 days will bring!

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The first week of WIA5

This post is going to be a little bit more on the revealing and oversharing side of things, bear with me. Here goes…

On 8 March, it became very real that the challenge is here. I had my health checks done on the morning of, and everything was in acceptable and healthy-ish range according to the nurse. I also passed all my health checks for our medical aid, which was fantastic news to my husband because my points bumped us out of what he calls “loser range.”

For my before and after photo’s, I handed all responsibility to my trusted photographer aka my wonderful husband. Looking at yourself with a different mindset to change your lifestyle and eating habits, really does open your eyes up to a lot of things. I became content with the way I looked and felt about my body after Tanielle’s birth, but honestly, there is most definitely major room for improvement. It really irratates me a lot when women use the excuse “but I had children.” Your child did not make you gain weight, you made yourself gain weight. That little human in your womb didn’t send you e-mails informing you to go sit in the drive-thru of a take-away chain and eat that greasy burger. No, you did that because you probably told yourself, “Ag it’s fine I’m pregnant I can indulge a little.” I’m not judging, I’m being realistic here. I am definitely not without fault here, in both pregnancies I gave in to the odd craving here and there and at Tanielle’s baby shower I ate my slice of cake as well as the cupcake thank you favour afterwards. But you cannot continuously blame your children for your poor diet.

This is what I look like after having two children. My body sure does not look like the 22 year old version anymore, but it isn’t going to stop me from having a new and improved version of what  I previously had. Save my soul…
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See, all bodies are different! My blog is here to mainly motivate mommies, because you really can be healthier in all aspects if you apply yourself. I never had the opportunity to be a fit mommy in my first pregnancy, my doctor instructed that I lay off the running because of my low lying cervix (which could have been detrimental to our Sesame at the time), due to it possibly causing bleeding. Therefore I had to be very mindful of what I ate, but I never starved myself. Ever. I only ate healthily (with the odd burger or ice-cream in between), and luckily after the morning sickness passed, fish wasn’t so nauseating anymore.

Here is an insight of what my first week of the challenge looked like:

Day 1 (Wednesday, 9 March):
I started the morning with my normal breakfast of oats, teaspoon of peanut butter, drop of honey and a splash of milk. And we shall not forget my cup of personality.

Off to gym I went after dropping Tatum off (I looked like 90% of the Mom’s that drop their children off at the Primary school across from Tatum’s school). I did a Grid Fit class and a 5km run and even had a fleeting thought that I might have this fitness thing down.

Dinner was our usual Wednesday meal of freshly prepared chicken strips (which are an organic, gluten free eaters dream) and baked veg.

Day 2 (Thursday, 10 March):
It was more or less the same as Day 1 and I went to gym again. I think my medical aid is having a small little heart attack, because I generally do two gym sessions a week, sometimes that’s all I do for the whole month, and here I am already on three for the entire week.

I received my diet and exercise program from Sarah, my personal online coach that was part of my prize from Well I Am and Inside Fitness Magazine South-Africa. I’ll see what my muscles feel like at the end of the week, but it really is something I have to apply my mind to shift to if I am going to achieve the goals I have set for this challenge. The headaches also started today, and I remember them from last years challenge. It is just a sign that my body is adapting to the healthier and cleaner eating as well as the increased physical activity.

Day 3 (Friday, 11 March):
Breakfast is a HUGE meal, it consisted of my oats minus the milk and honey. Cup of personality minus the milk and drizzle of honey, as well as yoghurt, a fruit serving and egg white omelette. This is the breakfast of champions it seems. Really battled to get everything down in one sitting, but into my mouth it went.

Dropped Tatum off, and off to the gym I went to go test out this exercise routine. Oh. Dear. My. Dignity. By the second exercise, everything was shaking. My legs were spaghetti and I was still supposed to go upstairs in order to do the goblet squats with a kettle bell. After the first two exercises I went upstairs to do the squats and halfway up, I had to stop on the platform just to compose myself. As I got into the room those very familiar voices in my head with their negativity started, and I was thinking that if I quit it will be okay. Because let’s face it, who will know? I will know, I’ll walk away with the shame that I failed to complete my exercises. Do you know what I did? I pulled horrible faces, but I pushed through them. Pushed through the burning muscles and I DID IT. All of it, each and every single exercise.

Dinner sucked a whole lot. Friday nights are our cheat night, and it will consist of anything from Italian cheesy goodness, or what normal people refer to as pizza or my version of Quesadillas. My husband had Nando’s for the sake of my sanity, and I had my diet meal.

Day 4 (Saturday, 12 March):
On Saturday’s my husband usually goes for a very long cycling route, so I spent the morning with the girls. I was rather stiff from Friday’s leg workout and could barely move and it felt like the universe was torturing me. It felt like the girls dropped each and single thing they laid their hands on, and of course mommy duties do not stop when you have stiff sore muscles. I completed my exercise routine except for one exercise, which I just did not have the physical capability to complete. Stuck it out with the diet, although I was highly tempted to cheat and have something sweet. Yet, I didn’t because at that point I went onto Facebook and saw a post from the Well I Am Facebook page with the following message “Junk Food you’ve craved for an hour or the body you’ve craved for a lifetime?Your decision.” I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you what my decision was.

Day 5 (Sunday, 13 March):
Sunday was a little tougher than I anticipated it to be. I had serious withdrawal symptoms from not having my usual weekend “cheat meals” and my husband had a big sit down with me and explained the ramifications of what dieting does to your mind. The amount of food that I am allowed to eat isn’t bad, it’s the calorie intake to create a deficit that was getting to me. So I had one teeny tiny potato wedge, stolen from my husband’s plate to just make me feel “normal.”

Day 6 (Monday, 14 March):
I was a bit scared of what will happen at work due to the ladies in our office having some questionable ideas relating to health and dieting. It went pretty well, I might have had one cup of coffee more than I should have but I stuck to my diet even after being offered a cookie with my coffee. It does feel a little weird cooking three different dinners every night. One for myself, one for my husband and the last being for Tatum.

Day 7 (Tuesday, 15 March):
Maybe this fitness does suit me after all. In regard to dieting, I almost had half a biscuit . Without thinking I took the biscuit that Tatum didn’t want and popped it into my mouth. Luckily my brain is still fully functional and at that exact moment it decided to tell me to not start chewing!

Day 8 (Wednesday, 16 March):
It was my day off, and I missed the gym so much I actually went and ran a 2km run. Maybe this fitness thing does suit me after all. I had dinner by myself as the husband had a training session to calculate some higher grade cycling equation that I am still learning about, and there was no cheating involved in my dinner. Just dinner as stipulated in my eating plan.

Overall the first week went pretty well! Apart from the headaches that are becoming a little more dull and the stiff (really stiff) muscles, I feel liberated that I have pushed my body and my mind so far and I am hoping for even better things for the rest of the challenge. Hard work and dedication will pay off. Six pack here we come!

Tomorrow is the start of 100 healthy days

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Tomorrow officially marks the first day of a 100 healthy days. If you’ve missed what the hype is around these 100 healthy days, you can read my previous post “You might be a mom, but you are still you.”

I had my health screenings done today at Dis-Chem, which comes included in your basic entry. I’ll admit that I was quite scared of having my cholesterol tested, only because when I entered the challenge last year it was sky high! As in way above what it should be for someone my age. Scary scary high. I’d like to report that all checks that were conducted, were in acceptable and healthy range. I am incredibly relieved about this because I really do not want to use medication to lower my cholesterol but rather use alternative healthy ways like making healthier food choices to lower it.

I really am ready for this challenge this time around. Not because of the enormous cash prize, but rather because I want to take control of my lifestyle. I’m tired of being the blimp in my husband’s shadow (he really is the epitome of health, especially for his age). When December rolls around, I’m going to have a rocking body that I certainly won’t want to hide under any wraps!

If you still need motivation, go have a look at the Well I Am website at http://www.welliam.co.za

You might be a mom, but you are still you

For quite some time after Tatum was born it felt like I had morphed into just being a mom and wife. There was no identity anymore. The person I once was, was non existent. I was sleep deprived, my boobs ached, I’m pretty sure my perfume didn’t even cover any poop fumes that clung to me and the last thing on my mind was getting my body back into shape.

I was given the friendly advice, which I refused to take, to not have my nails done anymore as I “won’t have the time.” But that was the only thing that made me feel well groomed. I soldiered on and started losing weight because my graduation was in February and there was not a chance that I will be plump or have a mommy tummy. I lost enough weight to fit back into my size 28 jeans, with only a little bit of excess love handles.  At least my graduation outfit was perfect and I even had to tailor the pants a bit. High five for me!

Six months later, I found out that I was pregnant again. I wasn’t prepared for a second pregnancy at all. I wasn’t ready to give up my body again, I just wanted it to be mine for a little while longer.

Last year I heard about the Well I Am Challenge, which I did enter but never finished. My mindset wasn’t right, I had just been retrenched and I was raising two babies under the age of two.

However, this time around it hasn’t been all that easy losing the baby weight. The love handles are a little more apparent when I wear tighter than normal shirts or dresses. And it’s time for them to pack their suitcases and go on an extended holiday somewhere far far away. That’s why I grabbed the opportunity and took a chance and entered a competition to win an entry into the Well I Am Challenge as sponsored by Inside Fitness Magazine South-Africa.

On Monday myself and another lovely lady was selected as the two chosen winners. Amd believe me, this time around I am ready to kick this body back into even better shape than it was before. I have something to prove to myself, but it’s not just going to be a flash in the pan kind of change. These 100 healthy days are going to be a change for the better in order for me to be the best kind of example I can be to my two girls.

Bring on the 9th of March, I can’t wait for the challenge.
So for the mommy wondering how to enter this competition, you can have a look at the Well I Am website and sign up for the challenge. A basic entry will cost you R549, and it gets you an entry into the challenge, two health assessments at Dis-Chem and a goodie box full of spoils to get you on the way to a healthier you. If you like them on Facebook, they are having a Leap Year discount that will run until tomorrow and an entry will cost you R349 for all of the above.

DISCLAIMER: I have not been paid to write this post, nor am I being sponsored by any of the entities as mentioned in my post.

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