#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 3: Baby Steps

I can’t believe Week 3 is over and we have begun Week 4… almost halfway! To be honest, I’m feeling a bit emotional that this challenge is flying by!

If you have not read my previous recaps, you can find Week 1 here and Week 2 here.

Week 3 was all about me finding my feet again, and taking things one baby step at a time. I was still on the mend from my viral infection, and even though I felt “left behind” I knew biologically it was not wise for me to train in any way, state or form while still on medication. I was surprising ok with this – perhaps because it wasn’t a flaky excuse and I was pretty ill (not “pretending” to be more ill than I am).

Training

Post-illness, I was feeling good and managed to successfully complete 30 minutes with P and a barre class on the Thursday. My first exercises/ training since the previous Tuesday – and I FELT IT.

P focused on legs… and I leg pressed more than my body weight. But it was cool. Except… at barre, Tyla decided it was LEG DAY. I made it through the class. But as soon as I climbed into bed (at 8pm – don’t judge) I was exhausted.

The inner of my thighs and sides (love handles) had the good post-workout feel. I LOVE the feeling; probably because I don’t feel it a lot. My body breaks down lactic acid pretty quickly so the day after training I don’t feel much.

Saturday saw me complete my first double of Week 3; barre and pilates. Barre was high intensity, pilates was murder with the pilates ring thing. After the double I had to drag my sorry ass to work where I felt as though I could have fallen asleep at any given moment. Alas, it is the life of a scientist…. the struggle is real people. Trust me. 😉

And no… no hot yoga for the past two weeks… I do miss it. But my favourite teacher Eliza is doing a class on a Sunday at the end of Week 4 so I may join it (if I survive Week 4…more on that a bit later).

Diet

My downfall. As usual. While I still have not indulged in sweets or ready-to-drink hot beverages (yay me!) I did have extra sugar.

Quite a bit of honey for my sore throat and sugary, deep-fried goodies at my folks. I must admit that I did not binge (as I expected)! And I did not feel bad and hate myself for it – perhaps because I knew what was coming so I could mentally prepare.

I’m still struggling with drinking enough water. A lot. It’s winter and its cold… (yes, excuses). But it is my aim for the next few weeks.

In terms of supplements I am religiously taking Omega 3, 6, 9 (Flaxseed oil) mostly cos my joints “creak” when I train! (Yes, old age – I know!). I am also taking Vitamin effervescents and realised I need a probiotic (too much info?).

Post-training, I have been taking my protein shake with some L-glutamine. However my protein shake of choice has been off the market for a while and I AM DESPERATE for SOMETHING! So I am on the look out and ANY vegetarian suggestions would be most welcome!

I’m officially down to two shakes….. I feel as though the shake gives me a boost… I can have a meal-replacement shake with milk – but that increases the dairy content. I’m still hooked on fat-free milk and low-fat yoghurts (yes they have artificial sweeteners) – for some reason I have mental block against full cream. However, it may be my disordered eating patterns from a few years ago.

Emotions

Week 3 was better emotionally – I accepted that I was ill and took it easy. I was also at home with my folks and extended family… we always manage to make each other laugh and it is a good distraction. I did shed a few tears but it was more circumstantial than self-criticism.

What was interesting, though, is that I did notice the more I physically healed from the infection, the more and more anxious I felt. My body CRAVED movement of any sort. My trip back to Jozi was only on Tuesday so by the time Thursday rolled around I was VERY ready to get active.

Stats

I weighed in on Saturday…. and I lost 2 kgs. How, I have no idea. I’m scared I’ve lost muscle, especially since I was ill. But we will see how the next few weeks progress. No photos this week – I ran out of time and wasn’t that brave – plus I knew my diet was craptastic (to say the least).

One of the aims for myself in the challenge – is to get some sort of ass. I mean, it is “booty barre” for a reason… As usual, my body does things weirdly and I think I’m losing what little of an ass I have. EEK!!!!!!

I also want to get more definition in my tummy as well as get rid of the love handles – which I do believe may be going away a bit – though it could be my imagination.

 

Week 4 

I’m stretching myself for Week 4… perhaps being a bit overzealous. But I think I can kick ass. Mind over matter, right? I hope!

It is doubles all the way for me this week – barre and pilates today (Monday), Tuesday and Saturday. I’m keen to try the triple on Saturday but we’ll see how I feel on Wednesday! In addition to the barre and pilates, I am training with P for 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday. I also want to try and attempt a hot yoga class on Sunday (beginning of week 5) but I will listen to my body…

Dietwise, I want to cut down the sugar (no more honey or refined sugar for me). I also need to desperately increase my intake of water (I am severely lacking). My electrolyte supplements unfortunately do contain some sucrose so I can’t get away from that entirely – especially if I do not drink enough water, my body requires the supplement.

In my enthusiasm to move more and eat clean in Week 4, I did forget that I am also on a lab rotation that is insanely busy… All. The. Time.

All this means is that I will (hopefully) sleep REALLY well this week and I need to be super prepared!

Good luck to me 😐

Support

The 8 week #GetFitChallenge was always going to be tough for me. I knew it even before signing up:

  • The discipline to complete the required classes per week (I can flake really easily and have some pretty lame excuses) and to get focussed in other non-work related areas
  • Trying to not eat sweets or drink highly processed ready-made beverages and consciously choosing to “eat-clean”
  • Learning to accept myself, my weaknesses and tune down the self-hate… boosting confidence

It was freaking scary to sign up. I was going solo on this. Some scary stuff; especially for someone who is very fond of my comfort zone and being invisible (yes, I know I need to change that). I’m very used to feeling “not good enough” and even signing up was HUGE for me. For some weird reason Robyn kept asking if I was keen on joining… I was – perhaps she sensed it? I don’t want to live a life of “what ifs” and I want to be more open and “seen” but I truly feel that I’m not worth it… Yes, my self esteem is shot. But this challenge is helping rebuild it…piece by broken piece.

To be honest I never in a million years expected anyone – let alone Robyn, the mastermind of the challenge – to read about my journey through the eight weeks. Robyn has truly been a pillar of strength, sending my words of encouragement and motivation. I can truly say it is because of Robyn that I have not thrown in the towel not the challenge yet. I love that she has created Core-Barre: a studio that is welcoming and a pleasure to visit. Everyone in the challenge is awesome: friendly, supportive, welcoming. It is kinda a “safe space”.

Now I need to get my ass out of work and off to class!

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Walking into a Barre

Saturday, July 1st 2017: My first ever Barre class, for the 8 week #GetFitChallenge. I’ve written about Core-Barre and their 8 week GetFitChallenge with Freddy SA here. I signed up, and was ready to get that booty fatter and the tummy flatter.

Barre… stability, strength, flexibility, balance and a dash of ballet

I was apprehensive (to say the least). I have NEVER taken a group ballet/dance class, ever. Even as a little girl, I never wanted to be a ballerina or princess. All I wanted was time to play with my Lego or go exploring and experiment. Yes, my mom tried to take me to dance classes when I was about 5, but I refused – I just sat there…not even interested in the dancing…. and we never went back.

Don’t get me wrong: I love to dance – but the kind where I’m in my home, singing along and dancing around… or in the car singing and dancing while driving (yes, I’m THAT person). I find it more freeing to move…by myself and it shows how self-conscious I am. One of my biggest fears is failure and looking like an idiot. But, I need to get over it.

As I’ve grown up and intentionally trying to be more “me”, I am more open to trying different things. In fact, I crave trying new stuff. I’m pretty sure my current Dancing with the Stars and World of Dance OBSESSION has given me new appreciation for dance. I’ve seen dance be “emotion-and-poetry-in-motion”. I’ve shed actual tears watching some of the dances on these hit shows. I never thought I would. And I want to try and express myself that way. Which is one if the reasons I wanted to try out Barre – to see if I can move that way, before I plunge headfirst into something I am USELESS at.

In my previous #GetFitChallenge post, one of the personal goals is to be more comfortable in myself. And love myself. Be confident. So, I went along to my 1st class.

1st Class Ever

7:30 on a Saturday morning is pretty early. However, I had to go into work post-class so I booked into the first class of the day. Due to the limited number of spaces per class, we all need to schedule our classes beforehand. Core-Barre uses an awesome online system of booking, a locally designed program called BookaMat. My only “critique” is that it would really cool to have an app for my phone so if I find some time free on a day, I can log on and see if there are any spots available for a class.

Tyla, a professional dancer, gave us our first class. Koketso – a fellow 8 week #GetFitChallenge victim –  and myself had never done any kind of barre workout before.

Pre-class
Koketso, Tyla and myself before our first class!

We started with a bit of cardio, weights, then to the Barre and concluding with some mat work and stretching. I have very little balance and stability, but I never realised it was THAT bad. No, I did not fall flat on my face (yet) but I did come close! It actually take so much concentration (which I could manage, even with my ADD).

I also need to relax my shoulders…. I keep the majority of stress in my neck and shoulders, with my shoulders most often crunched up to my ears unconsciously. Doing Barre and ballet movements I really needed to concentrate. The movements are very strange to my body… doing a plie, with one arm extended GRACEFULLY with a slight curve is HARD for me. So damn hard. If you know me… I am not the most graceful person in the world!

To be honest, most of the class is still blur. It went by SO quickly! I wanted more (even though my legs thought otherwise). We did a lot of different things in sets of two or three.   Most surprising for me, is that I worked up a sweat. It takes a lot to get me to have that lady-like glow while working out (just ask P) – except in hot yoga when I’m dripping in sweat (not a pretty sight). As with any exercise, I felt great and survived!

On the plus side, for surviving we were graciously rewarded with smoothies when we left! 😛

Post-class
Koketso and I “glowing” with our smoothies after surviving our first class!

After-effects

My body is, um, weird! In a cool way (and I never thought I would say that).

My arms are pretty long and weirdly shaped…I can hyper-extend – which I knew beforehand, but it was never really an issue with traditional training and hot yoga… I need to practice concentration, keeping my shoulders down and being graceful (cue the laughter from from nearest and dearest).

I certainly FELT the effects of the Barre workout on Sunday! Strange muscles in me were “tender”, which is pretty cool. My default setting causes me not to get “stiff/sore” when working out. During training I 100% feel “the burn” in my legs/arms/butt/shoulders yet I’m fine the next day… I may be a but fatigued but I don’t get the “stiff” feeling… even when I skip my protein shake. Regardless, post any workout/training/class I do drink a protein shake with a little L-glutamine (to aid in muscle recovery).

On Sunday morning I managed to make my 90 minute Hot yoga class which did help alleviate the muscle tenderness feeling… I think the heat helped. On Monday I also did a light 30 minute stint on the elliptical. So I’m working my body, and improving my mood 😀

I have not worked out in two days and I’m FEELING it. I need to move. I’m irritable, sad, grumpy…. definitely need to zen out a bit by expending my energy in gym and class. I’m schedule for the 17:30 class at Core-Barre today…. It should be interesting as I am seeing P for 30 minutes an hour and a half before the class. I’m also scheduled for a DOUBLE on Saturday… Barre with Tyla then Pilates!

Let’s see if I survive….

k x

#GetFitChallenge*

*Please note these are my own views and goals. 

My last post, Regret, was a little over a week ago. I wrote about wanting to try new things and not making any lame excuses…  I also gave a few examples of things I would’ve liked to try before the end of the year. One of those? Try a barre class… how things work out!

I found Core-Barre on Instagram and started following them. I’ve practised at Zen Hot Yoga and always walked past Core-Barre (they are Zen’s neighbours) but did not really have the guts to walk in and enquire about it. So when I saw the Instagram post about the new challenge coming up – right after I wrote about wanting to try it – I emailed Robyn, the director of Core-Barre for more information. And… I took a leap of faith.

In the 32 years and 4 months of my life, I have NEVER signed up to ANY fitness challenge or trained for huge events (like a marathon/cycle race etc). EVER. So this is a new experience for me. 

INDUCTION 

We had our introductory session about the program – with weigh-ins, measurements, photos (worst nightmare) on Thursday 28th June 2017. No, I’m not in ketosis. Yes, my blood glucose levels are fine. Yes, my measurements and weight could be better. We also received kick-ass goodie bags! 

2017-06-29 20.04.25
Goodie Bag contents courtesy of Core-Barre and Freddy SA for the 8 week #GetFitChallenge

Standing around listening to Robyn my thoughts were: “what did I get myself in to”. The program, in collaboration with Freddy SA, consists of 4 classes a week (either barre or pilates) and eating plan (going sugar-free and a low carb high fat diet).

As it is a challenge, it is a competition for the most “dramatic” transformation. At the end of the 8 weeks, the winner receives a host of goodies from Freddy, Core-Barre and SA culinary institute.

Given my competitive nature, you would think I’m in-it-to-win-it. However, to be 100% honest… I don’t really give a damn about the competition. Maybe I’m growing up? However, I think it is because I want to do it for different reasons, not to be the most physically transformed. I think it is awesome to have that as a goal, but at this stage of my life I need a more holistic transformation for me, not for any-body else and not in competition with anybody. 

PERSONAL GOALS

My aim of the 8 week #GetFitChallenge offered by Core-Barre is probably 100% different from the other participants. Ofcourse; I want to be stronger, more toned, more supple, have more balance and maybe even lose weight. 

Yet… I’m focussed more on making the challenge a kick-start to a lifestyle change.

A transformation for ME will be CONFIDENCE, SELF-LOVE and DISCIPLINE in all areas of my life. 

As far back as I can remember I’ve always had body issues and a very low self-esteem. I’ve already noticed a change in my overall mood by working out (as I recently expressed on Instagram). Now, I need to work on loving me, the body I have and I want to be proud of myself – this is the confidence and self-love. 

With the amount of training I aim to accomplish, the new lifestyle changes, working full time and major projects (not work related) due around the corner I need to be disciplined to be able to make this a success! My lazy side is already cringing.  

TRAINING PROGRAM

In addition to the 4 classes per week as recommended by the program, I will still be training twice a week for 30 minutes with P. I’m also hoping to fit in at least one hot yoga session per week. It will a be a lot. But I think my body can do it. All different yet enjoyable styles of moving my body. 

A good workout, regardless of the type and duration, always makes me feel good. I complain and am just lazy which makes me skip workouts…. making me feel worse (its a vicious cycle). After meeting the organisers and my fellow participants (its a handful of us) it seems like an awesome group who can keep each other accountable. 

DIETARY PROGRAM

While I am down with the exercise schedule, the low-carb-high-fat diet will be difficult. 

First, I’m vegetarian (no meat, fish, eggs) and protein will be a problem.

Second, the ultimate aim of the challenge is to get into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state of using ketone bodies for energy (aka fats for energy) as opposed to glycolysis (aka carbs for energy). With a veggie diet it is a challenge to be in ketosis. Moreover, I’ve been in ketosis before and to be honest I felt crap – it may have been the (extreme weight loss as well) but my body was shutting down. That is just my experience and I’m not keen to try it again. Maybe with being healthy, I can slowly lead my body down that path but my body is not there yet. 

Third, due to the lack of protein in my diet I chug down a protein shake after training.  I also sweat a lot (especially with hot yoga) so I do need an electrolyte supplement. I’m not 100% sure if these are in the program (I haven’t studied it completely yet), but the supplements sometimes do contain a portion of glucose.

My biggest vice, however, is refined SUGAR. I am always with sweets, chocolate, biscuits… and emotional eating. Or just eating out of habit. And eating junk. 

My dietary goal is to decrease my refined sugar intake as much as possible… and perhaps decrease my gluten intake a bit. If I have a craving, hopefully, I will have the willpower – and discipline – to enjoy it in moderation. I just want to ultimately overhaul my diet so I am not using food as comfort. 

PROGRESS

We are to take weekly progress photos for the challenge. I will definitely take the photos and no, these will not be publicly shared. In addition to the photos I really hope to blog about my journey through this challenge. 

I’ve summarised my goals and these are the things I want to try to accomplish (or try my best and be proud that I could give it 100%). This list is proudly displayed on my phone, my home and office! 

Mental & Emotional (& Intellectual) Goals

  • Confidence
  • Self-love
  • Discipline
  • Submit my manuscripts (!) 

Body Goals

  • Get a defined tummy 
  • Work toward getting a booty 
  • Lose the love handles 
  • Sort out the hip dip (yes it has a word, is a thing and I have it!)
  • Rock a bikini in public without covering up and show up to gym/ hot yoga in a sports bra and shorts (not that I think I would ever work out in public with just a sports bra and shorts)

Dietary Goals

  • Stop the emotional eating and eating out of habit 
  • Reduce refined sugar: sweets, milk chocolate, cakes & confectionary 
  • Reduce ready-made meals and quick junk-food – so I need to stop being lazy and cook!
  • Substitute more grains, complex carbohydrates (as opposed to white pasta/bread)
  • Drink more water! 

 

Thats it. I’m doing it. My first ever fitness related challenge and two exercises I have NEVER tried in my life. Wish me luck! But… I am so very excited and keen…. or I’m crazy 😜 Thank you SO much to Robyn and her team for the challenge (and allowing lil old me to give it a go)!

 

Have you guys participated in fitness challenges? Any tips/ tricks to stay on track? 

kush x