#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 6: Training to be a badass!

I’ve survived 75% of the challenge and haven’t given up yet!!! GO ME! Even when I am in the middle of a class, screaming silent profanities in my head (directed at the instructor) and my body is plotting its revenge on me… I still keep going back. Post a double class I voice-noted a friend – who thought I was intoxicated by substances… I sounded so “happy” – yet, it was just endorphins!

Stats

And… I gained weight. It was not a measurement week so I have no idea what THAT will say. We are supposed to take photos of ourselves every week. I have not… I’m not photogenic at all – less so with nothing but a sportsbra and leggings! I did bite the bullet and take pics this week *cringe*. The result….

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THERE ARE CHANGES! Like visible changes. 

Side by side photos from the beginning of the challenge to the end of week 6 shows a HUGE difference… even though my weight has not dropped a lot. I have felt some of the clothes being a bit looser, and my butt feels more toned but other than that I just figured I was working off the excess food I was consuming (more on diet later). But FLIP! It actually works. And I have a two-pack developing 😀

Training

I only arrived back in Jozi midweek so managed to fit in a double on Thursday and my second triple on Saturday. My second barre class on Saturday was my first with another instructor… awesome! Lesson of the week: Pilates before barre is a challenge! I usually do barre class (or a double barre) then pilates but Saturday’s schedule has pilates sandwiched between two barre classes. It was only a total of five hours of training this week but judging from the pics… it works!

No additional training with P or hot yoga this week… Yet, from the progress pics I can tell my body is really responding to barre and pilates. It is VERY different from standard training or even hot yoga and dance-based training is something I thought I could never do (thanks to my lack of grace and coordination).

Diet 

Sigh, still not the best but I’m still ready-made meals, ready -made drinks, fast food, added sugar (to cereal/ hot drinks) and confectionary (excluding dark chocolate – in particular Lindt Roasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate goodness) FREE!

I wanted this challenge to be a lifestyle change and yes, by not eating a lot of “junk” I do feel less lethargic. The withdrawal symptoms are still there – headache mostly – but otherwise, its been good. I feel a lot better – less moody – than I used to be. One of the aims of the challenge was to get into ketosis – something I wrote about here and it is something I don’t want my body to get to – it is not sustainable for me or my body. My personal aim was to get into a healthy eating pattern.

Thanks to #vegetarianproblems I have been supplementing with Omega 3 and a probiotic. Still searching for a good protein shake though…

Emotions 

I feel as though I am dealing with one crisis after another… so I haven’t really had the time to process and figure what what exactly I am feeling. I was surprising chilled while I spent five hours waiting at a government office… I think the lack of sugar is making me calm? And less agitated…

Deciding to document my weekly progress by blogging has actually kept me disciplined and parts of the discipline is seeping into my daily life. I’ve got a long way to go but it is pretty good to be focussed again.

In terms of my body, I have never been this fit, strong and toned before. It was always skeletal anorexic or chubby. As the featured image says; I’m not training to be skinny, I’m training to be a fit badass. There is something so empowering to be strong – physically and mentally… I believe those two are linked. The more physically strong I feel, the more challenges I can handle without freaking out (mentally, that is). I LOVE IT!

Looking ahead: Week 7

Only two more weeks! I’m traveling again this week (thanks to work) so can only really fit in a triple class and perhaps hot yoga… Hopefully I can take some time to run a bit or even try one of my sister’s Zumba videos!

Just a closing thought…. images

Till next week…

k x

#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