When I was younger I used to believe that exercise is the only way to lose weight. During high school I didn’t participate in any sports except for one season in the hockey team during grade 9. My mom has always been overweight and she was always dieting and trying various exercising regimes which means that I often did what she did. I even did calanetics at one stage and it really created a real burn in my thighs but because I didn’t change my eating habits I didn’t loose any weight. Not eating right caused me to stop exercising if I didn’t see any results with my exercising routine.
During 12th grade I gained a lot of weight mainly because of bad eating habits and examination stress. I am quite tall and as soon as I gain weight I look like a giant fat teddy bear.
When I started working I started to go to extremes to lose weight. I remember that I use to eat cereal for breakfast, then run for 40 minutes on the treadmill before work. For lunch I would go run for a further 20 minutes and then only eat a yogurt or drink a fruit juice since I would not be hungry after exercising. This went pretty well for a while but as you well know this kind of crash dieting does not last. This only lead to binge eating and when I wasn’t running I would gain lots of weight because I had no muscle to burn the fat anabolically. I didn’t believe in weight training because I was afraid that I would look like a man. You always see these bodybuilder woman online who look like dudes and I didn’t want that.
During our honeymoon I bought a Fitness magazine and saw this lovely picture of Jamie Eason. She was a bodybuilding competitor and didn’t look like a guy at all. She looked so feminine and this is when I first considered weight training.
It wasn’t until around 2009 that I got into weight training. In August 2009 I was retrenched from my work and hit a real low in my life. I didn’t know what to do… our country was going through a recession therefore companies weren’t really hiring. Although this was the lowest point in my life it was also the catalyst for everything that I am proud of today. I started studying and started to work out at the gym. By then I have gained around 6 kilo’s and found it hard to do simple things. I remember being out of breath when I dried myself with a towel and this is when I decided that I can’t be this pathetic at such a young age. I should still be able to run and jump, not try to catch my breath after a bath, I mean come on!!!!
I then first started controlling my calories by following weight watchers, its was a great diet because it helps you see what kinds of foods are REALLY bad and which ones you can get away with without cutting out any of the essential food groups. When I’ve lost 6 Kilo’s and couldn’t lose anymore, I started cleaning up my diet a lot more by reducing my sugar intake. I have never cut out any particular food group entirely but I have reduced some of the ones harming me. Especially since I have such a love for cakes… 😛
Fitness wise I then started going to the gym with my husband. Since I wasn’t working I could afford to go in the mornings and the evenings. I started off with the aerobic classes, three times a week in the morning and as I became fitter I started incorporating step classes and kickboxing classes into my routine. In the evenings I did some weight training with my husband. I started off with mainly doing legs 3 times a week, and upper body twice a week. It consisted of mostly body-weight exercises.
My first exercise routine looked like this.
Legs (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps)
Upper body (1-2 sets of 8-12 reps)
Close grip lat pull-down
Standing cable chest fly
High cable press-down
I am currently writing a book on my fitness journey that will include some exercise routines and food ideas. Watch this space….