Thinking of a Core-Barre Challenge?

So, you’re thinking about a Core-Barre Challenge but still in two minds?

My advice…

JUST. DO. IT. *

(*thank you, Nike for that epic slogan)

As of September 2017, I’ve only participated in a single Core-Barre challenge, throughout which I documented my weekly progress here. Day in and day out I did not feel a difference: I tried my best to go to the classes and stick to eating healthy. Yes, my clothes felt a bit more loose but other than that I still was the same clothes size and the healthy eating increased my energy levels a bit. Ultimately my “transformation” was a huge shock to me – and without the photos I would not have realised the difference in my body.

After eight weeks of classes and diets (I’ll go into more detail on these a bit later) I lost 2.9kgs. The biggest loss? My measurements… 8.4cms off my waist and 4cms off my hips. And I’m starting the get definition in my tummy! #winning

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What is the challenge like? 

I won’t lie… you need to make a commitment to yourself.

As with anything in life, do it as your own choice – not because someone wants you to do it. Sign up for the challenge if you want to do something good for yourself. No one is going to “police” you by making sure you are doing four workouts and eating right. It is a very self-based challenge – you chose your classes, your diet, your lifestyle; which I love. No micromanagement (thankfully) – I would hate someone having to bug me to go to class and make me feel bad if I did not eat healthy or skip classes (I can make myself feel bad all by myself, thank you very much!).

If you do need accountability, I’m sure you can ask for it! Robyn, the mastermind of the challenge, and the awesome instructors (Taz (Barre), Tyla (Barre) Kristie (Pilates)) are AMAZING. They all make you feel comfortable throughout the challenge, inspired to keep going and provide loads of fun and laughs during classes… I have awesome memories!

Think of the challenge as your very own version of “Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body”. In retrospect that is what the Core-Barre Freddy-SA Get Fit Challenge did for me.

I started the challenge very insecure, low confidence, little to no self-worth and not very happy with myself – after eight weeks, there has been an increase in my confidence, self-worth and being truly happy. I’ve become physically and mentally/emotionally strong.

The “Get Fit Challenge” is first fitness challenge I had ever signed up for – and the only challenge I have ever completed.

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With Robyn (Left)

 

How many workouts are in the challenge and what are they?

The prescribed workout schedule is to fit in FOUR classes a week. I quite enjoyed doubles: which was Barre class and Pilates thereafter. Being the overachiever I am (more like getting away from my life – the challenge was an escape for me) I sometimes completed six classes a week.

Barre classes are a ballet type exercise that gets the heart rate up, gets the blood pumping (and if you’re like me… sweating) as well as making you “feel the burn” (and having a good laugh). Pilates is a more “slow-paced” yet very muscle controlled so you also feel EVERY muscle. Both classes have increased my balance, flexibility and coordination (though my coordination could still use work)!

I was afraid I would get bored in class but the combinations of movements and the instructors guiding you make you concentrate. Like really concentrate. And sometimes I just can’t get the combinations but thats OK. I have never felt bored in either barre or pilates so it kept my Attention Deficit Disorder brain in check.

 

What is the diet like? 

There is a diet plan accompanying the challenge. However, I did not stick to it… I am vegetarian who does not consume meat, fish or eggs. My biggest vices were fast food and sweets and I knew I needed a change.

With respect to my diet I aimed for a more lifestyle change and cut out all sweets, ready-made meals, take aways, junk food and “just add hot water” drinks. Apart from that there were no big changes… I still ate dark chocolate, low fat fruit yoghurt, loads of fruit, homemade meals, wholewheat couscous, wholewheat/ seeded/ rye bread, Emmental cheese, homemade baked goods (always reducing the sugar intake). I never felt deprived and apart from a few sugar withdrawal headaches I did not and still do not crave sweets.

 

Do you have to take any supplements?

I did. My diet is not rich in protein at all so I do have to supplement. For the protein supplementation, I always had a protein shake or protein bar post classes.  I also took a probiotic and Omega 3 capsule (from algae) daily.

It is also important to ensure your body is in homeostasis. Electrolytes are something we don’t take notice off and incorrect concentrations may be the reason for headaches, cramping and fatigue. When I was doing multiple classes a day, I always sipped on an electrolyte supplement.

 

Is the challenge worth it? 

YES. YES. YES. Apart from a fun workout, you meet the most incredible, inspiring people. The highlight of the challenge is definitely the friends I made: we were able to support each other through the challenge and learn to laugh at ourselves.

If it wasn’t for the challenge, I would probably be still hating myself, in superficial relationships, numbing my emotions and not happy. It sounds like a stretch but honestly the challenge has changed my life – the classes and the friends I made in class got me through some tough times during the challenge. I do not know how I would have stayed sane without it! My reflection of the challenge can be found here.

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Barre-Girls 🙂 

 

Will I stick to Core-Barre or do another challenge? 

OF-COURSE (to both questions). I’ve found something I really enjoy doing, that kicks my ass, given me incredible friends and makes me happy – so I’m definitely sticking with the studio, As for another challenge? I’ve already signed up for the “Abs Sculpt”!

Hope to meet you at the barre!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me 🙂

k x

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#GetFitChallenge: Reflections

Three months ago, I signed up for a challenge. Specifically an in-person fitness challenge.

My track record of challenges is dismal. I’ve signed up for NUMEROUS challenges online… have I ever completed them? No. Hell, I don’t even think I read the daily emails.

In addition to my challenge record… my fitness level is a joke. I love sports but despise exercising… even though I feel good afterward, I dread dragging myself to the gym – which, I only started about three years ago.

So I’m not 100% sure why I did sign up for the Core-Barre GetFitChallenge, but I did. The challenge provided a diet plan (which I did not follow, mostly for my own reasons – written about here) and at least four classes – either Barre or Pilates –  a week.

A bit of history 

Growing up, I was a tomboy – give me sports, things to take apart and experiment with, Lego to build, trees to climb and bodies of water to swim in. Ballet, modern dance, traditional Indian dancing were NOT for me (and trust me, my mom tried). My little sister is a dancer (modern, traditional Indian dance) and was into all the reality-TV dance shows since their inception. She purchased the Zumba set too – I sat laughing at the videos…

Fast forward 20-something years: A bout of insomnia late last year lead me to stream season 23 of Dancing With the Stars. The show introduced me to dance as a form of exercise (it also introduced me to how gorgeous those professional male (straight!) dancers are!). I was hooked and kept watching, as well as having in depth post-mortems with my “work-mom” (who is obsessed with dance and a latin dancer herself).

Doing something remotely close to “dance” for me is huge. Yet, something clicked in me: I desperately wanted to dance (Argentine Tango is still on the bucket list), be graceful and “elongated”. Knowing I have two left feet, ungracefulness, funky body shape and serious balance issues; I have to take baby steps.

I noticed Instagram posts for Core-Barre and decided I wanted to try at least three Barre classes (which I wrote about here, prior to even thinking about the challenge), improve my balance/ flexibility and definitely be bikini-body ready for summer.

So, I signed up.

The Challenge

At the introductory evening a few days prior to the challenge I was TERRIFIED. Everyone looked amazing already… what did I get myself into to? After measurements, weighing in and “before” photos *cringe* I felt, well crap, but motivated… I was doing something for me. I did not even care about the winning… all I wanted was to prove to myself that I can do something “good” for myself.

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2017 has been THE cherry on top of a craptastic (yes, I love making up my own words) 4 year long “bad patch”. By actually committing to the challenge for myself and knowing it was time to take care of “me”. Taking care of myself has never been high on my priority list – I am the picture perfect people-pleaser and give way too much off myself (to my own detriment). I’ve never had much self-worth and the past four years led me down a spiral of unhealthy coping mechanisms… Things get tough? It’s fine, I’ll fix it all for you and numb myself to deal with my own emotions around the matter.

So it was scary to decide to do this for me. I’m in my thirties and I do not want to live a live of “what if’s” but rather a life of “oh well”. I do not want to die with regrets – I already have so many and the list does not need to be longer! To hold myself “accountable” (and none of my friends were around to do the challenge with me) I started documenting my weekly progress.

Barre and Pilates 

Overall I managed at least four classes a week (sometimes I’d do six). Both barre and pilates were new to me. Yes, classes are intense but SO MUCH FUN! My favourite part of the classes… the stretching at the end (and I managed to get VERY close to the splits!).

For some reason I was the only one sweating in barre class – flip, the concentration and muscle groups you work are damn hard. In addition to my sweating, I am ungraceful, my body can be hyper-mobile so I look weird and very uncoordinated… however this all lead to lots of laughs and deliriously happy moments. I have never in my 30-odd years remember being happy while laughing at myself and my “weirdness”. It was a new feeling and I kinda liked it.

Diet 

Yeah, did not follow the diet. But I did cut out sweets, milk chocolate, take-aways and my latest addiction “Hazelnut Latte Hug-In-A_Mug”. I also stopped my tendency to pop a pill to make myself feel better – no more sleeping pills, antidepressants, painkillers. I went cold turkey… The insomnia was a bitch but I had to go through it.

However, my addiction to peanut butter grew stronger (there is nothing better than eating it straight out the bottle (the Black Cat Sugar and Salt free crunchy one)).

Emotions 

Felt all the feelings. For. Real.

I went through every possible emotion throughout the challenge. From crippling insecurity, feeling sorry for myself, not sure how to deal with stress to actually having happy moments.

It did not help that I experienced some of the roughest weeks of my life during the challenge: intense work schedules, lots of travel, (multiple) cancer diagnoses in my immediate family, being with my family through surgery/ appointments/ treatment, tough medical decisions to be made for myself, doing a prayer for my gran who passed away six months ago, my self-imposed drug free period, friends who needed me and my support during their own struggles, finally letting go of a no-good relationship.

My double and triple sessions during the challenge was my escape. The one place I could go to where for an hour, or two.. or three I could have fun and just be me… like a relaxed kid again. Every single time I left class I was happy (so much so that a friend thought I was drunk while voice-noting her on the way back home from class)! And the sessions did help exhaust my body so sleeping became easier.

The finale

Very unexpectedly I did win the challenge. I couldn’t believe the change in my body. Without taking photos I would not have seen the change… I stayed the same weight for the longest time. While I did not lose much weight, I lost centimeters and the shape of my body changed… I actually have muscles now!!! (Like my legs are toned… not skinny Indian legs!).

Here are my pics:

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Lost: 2.9kg; 8.4cm waist; 4cm hips

Most of all….

Core-Barre introduced me to an incredible group women who I am proud to call friends, allowed me to tone my body, made me prioritize myself and my health, stop the numbing mechanisms and after classes I am genuinely happy (endorphins for the win!). The challenge allowed me to be more me and allow me to experience moments of self-worth. The INCREDIBLE and INSPIRING women I met during the classes have given me strength and support. In comparison to my teens and 20s, I am and feel so much stronger (physically and emotionally), pill-free, less sad/ anxious, more authentically me, a touch more confident and HAPPIER in my 30s! 

Thank you, Robs and team!!!

Looking forward

There is another challenge at the studio “Abs Sculpt”. And yes, I’m doing it!!!

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 5: Sore…but worth it!

These weeks are flying by! Officially only 3 more weeks until the end of the challenge! The Core-Barre GetFitChallenge has kept me inspired, motivated, determined and disciplined – something I definitely wanted… and I have not quit yet!

Stats

Nope, no stats this week.. However I did formulate a document for myself, which includes a comprehensive measurements. I just need to get hold of a body composition scale so I can assess my health more carefully.

While there are only 3 weeks until the end of the challenge the “finale” is only on the 16th of September… so in my mind I have six weeks to further improve of my health and wellness. It is a goal for myself and the challenge is keeping me focused and disciplined!

As I’ve mentioned in one of my very first posts about this challenge, I’m doing this as a kickstart to a healthier lifestyle – more “real” food, less ready-made, fast-food; more movement. A healthy lifestyle is something I am craving – being confident in myself and my body, being present and living in the moment, feeling healthy – fit – strong, being productive and efficient, being disciplined, being able to have good sleep, being able to conquer any challenge that comes my way. Too much to ask?

I’m considering booking a photo-shoot – just to be pretty and have cool pics taken… I’ve never had one and perhaps it will be good for my self-worth? Or maybe I will overanalyse and hate myself even more… I’m definitely in two minds about it. Anyway, on to the rest of my Week 5 summary…

Training

I completed my first TRIPLE! Two barre classes followed by a pilates class! In the moment during each class I felt every muscle hurt, yet after the class I felt good! I also had an hour training with P the day after…followed by a double barre the next day… Six hours of training in three days.  And… I FELT it!

I absolutely adore barre and pilates – even though I lack coordination and grace! It does make for funny classes and loads of laughs! How am I supposed to remember those combinations? 😛

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Accurate depiction of myself in barre..particularly the “help” one!

For the GetFitChallenge, we aim for four classes a week – I must say I’m leaning more towards five a week… especially if I do doubles or a triple. My body feels good! It was also great to get back into training with P… I’m doing about six hours of training a week (well, for the past two weeks) and it feels amazing! The “high” I get post-workout – and the ability to sleep deeply – is something I can get very addicted to!

Now to try add a hot yoga class to the mix 😀 (yes, I am a sucker for punishment!).

Diet

This has been the one area where I have not been so good 😦 And I have not taken my supplements… or my protein shake (it is currently discontinued and I’m currently searching for a vegetarian/ vegan alternative)!

I’m trying VERY hard to “eat clean” however with the travel and odd hours – I’ve been succumbing to hazelnut latte’s and energy bars… Weird observation though: I find these items too sweet now! I have never added sugar to hot drinks and now I find the flavoured lattes too sweet!

I am at my parents for a bit of a long weekend/ family break and they do not believe in any diet (perhaps because they saw me through my disordered eating). As a result, I have been consuming a large quantity of “sweet” foods… Not part of my clean eating plan! However, I am just going with the flow… There are always going to be days when I fall off the wagon but I must remember to not be too hard on myself.

Yes, I want to eat healthier but I also do not want to deprive myself. From past experience I know depriving myself will only cause me to binge and go four steps back in my health journey. I’ve been down that road too many a time to revisit the patterns.

I am considering a juice cleanse – but I do not know how my body will react. Not a long cleanse, perhaps just one day? Has anyone tried one?

Emotions

A much, much, MUCH better week! Week 4 was probably the lowest I’ve felt during the challenge: sleep deprivation, headachy, moody/ grumpy/ bitchy/ withdrawn aka PMS, overwhelmed and emotional. I was a bit more of myself during Week 5.

My headache is still ever-present but I think it’s getting better? I’ve realised my low moods and dull headaches were as a result of sugar withdrawal (I used to eat a LARGE amount of sugar).  Damn, the withdrawal symptoms are painful (to say the least).

I’ve also learnt the hard way that I must not sacrifice sleep… Waking up at 3am to watch Game of Thrones before working a full day followed by two hours of training does NOT work for me. Good, deep sleep has been something I’ve struggled with for a few years. Sleeping pills make me depressed and ‘out-of-it’ the next day so I stay as far away from them as possible. I generally fall asleep to some series playing in the background – yes, I know electronics should not be in the bedroom but it is a hard habit to break… I also should switch off my phone (we may be pushing it, there!).

Looking ahead: Week 6

I’m only flying back to JHB on Tuesday evening… so my exercise regimen will start again on Wednesday morning with a P session before I drag myself to work (on a public holiday). I’m scheduled to have double barre on Thursday and a triple on Saturday – my first ever barre-pilates-barre combo (and my first class with another barre instructor).

The “goal” I am adding to week 6 is deactivating Facebook (again), and taking time off Twitter and Instagram – kind of like a social media detox. I hope it will give me a chance to “reboot” and focus on other priorities (not indulging in work-avoidance-behaviour (WABbing) by scrolling endlessly through social media). With this “detox” I also want to try and put my phone off for a few hours every day while I focus on certain tasks… easier said than done!

Until next time

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 – Recap of Week 2: Down & Out

I knew weeks 2 and 3 would be hard… however, I did not think it would be THIS hard.

Why?

I came down with some form of cold/ flu/ viral hybrid-infection. It started with a sore throat and losing my voice last weekend. This symptom slowly, but surely, progressed to a fever midweek and I’m still pretty congested. Feeling physically drained, congested (thank you, sinuses!) and all headachy is probably the worst limbo out there… you’re ill but it is not quite stay-at-home ill. You just feel crap. And the meds you take make you too restless to sleep – even though your body craves sleep. In addition to my “poor health”, I flew home to my parents for a few days.

Training

Exercising in any way, shape or form when you are ill is not advised. You put additional stress onto your already fragile body – plus you need the extra energy diverted to your immune system to fight off the bad guys or you’ll progress to more severe symptoms.

Because I can be an idiot sometimes; I thought I was fine and completed my second double class of barre and pilates on Tuesday. Physically I felt good and got through it. In fact, I really enjoyed it… until Wednesday morning. I woke up (not having the best sleep in the world) feeling more congested and just iffy. My sore throat seems to be returning and my sinus headache was unrelenting. Mid-morning I broke out in a fever – the first for this period of illness.  Blegh.

I decided to listen to my body and did not exercise for the rest of the week… While Week 1 of the GetFitChallenge saw me complete around 6 hours of training, Week 2 only saw me complete 2 hours. Sadness.

Diet

The win of week 2? I still have not succumbed to any confectionary items and soft-drinks (yay)! Or added sugar to any hot beverages.

I did however have lots of honey to soothe my throat…. Yes, I did “indulge” in sweet and fried foods. No, I did not stuff my face or binge eat. Which I’d like to see as a win. I’m not depriving myself at all… everything in moderation. Maybe I am taking this challenge into a new lifestyle?

Stats 

Yes, the dreading weighing and mugshots happened in Week 2. we are to weigh ourselves and take progress pics weekly. I dread this part. I am the least photogenic person around (thank God for SnapChat filters!). Surprisingly, I managed to lose about a kg from Week 1 to Week 2. In addition I *think* I can see a difference in my photos (a bit more definition in the abs)… or maybe I’m wanting to see something so badly I’m tricking myself!

Emotions

As always, this is my most challenging battle, and perhaps the main reason I registered for the GetFitChallenge. This past week I have been exceptionally mean to  myself – especially seeing that I did not train as recommended. With me, there is always a head vs heart battle; intellectually I know I can’t stress out my body physically, yet emotionally I feel like a failure.

Seeing everyone on our group chats pushing themselves is truly inspiring but also makes me feel worthless… which makes me “hate” myself for not trying… and sends me into a slump and makes me feel physically worse… making me hate myself for being “weak” and getting a cold and not trying – it is a vicious cycle.

I’m consciously trying to work on my internal dialogue with myself and treat myself with more love, care and kindness. But it’s a 24 hour job and damn hard work!

The women in the challenge, particularly Robyn – our mastermind – are amazing; all smiling, energetic, ready to go out and kick ass… all so positive and full of life. These women are the epitome of what I strive to be… just being around them in class bring a smile to my face and brightens up my day. There is no drama, no external influences bringing me down. They make me want to lift myself up and be happy with myself. The pic below was taken after my one and only double class in Week 2 – I look so happy and chilled…. I’d love to carry that around with me.

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Feeling good after completing my Barre and Pilates double!

For this challenge, I made a contract with myself more than anyone else. Robyn’s challenge gave me a platform and a gentle push in the right direction. I’ve always broken promises to myself before and I REFUSE to break this one, too. I can’t handle breaking another promise with myself.

Even just coming to the end of the 8 weeks will be an achievement for ME. I am in competition with myself, the old me: quits when she hits a wall, has crippling self-doubt, very little self-worth and no self-love. I need to remember I can do no more or no less than what my body is capable of – and I know it is capable of a lot.

I need to do what’s best for me: physically, emotionally and mentally.

I need to cut out toxic relationships and mines negativity in all areas of my life…. and I’m worth it. I deserve to be confident and happy in my body and mind.

I need to take this challenge one day at a time.

Looking forward

Week 3!

I’m only back into routine on Wednesday and do hope to squeeze in three core-barre sessions this week – one on Thursday and two on Saturday morning… Unfortunately I’m working on Saturday so it threw my plans of trying the triple for a Saturday: barre, pilates, barre. Maybe next week…  The plan is to also train with P at least once. And – if I am feeling up to it, a hot yoga session with E on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Although I am feeling better physically, I need to remember not to strain myself and my body.

Diet-wise: I need to reset a bit and eat-clean once I get back into my routine. I am proud that I have not had any sweets or soft-drinks though. I am craving fresh food right now!

Emotionally – I need to remember what my friend Miranda always says (and which has become my source of motivation)…. Remember No Matter What: Chin Up, Tits Out. (I reviewed her first book here)!

Until next week!

k x

 

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 1: Internal Struggles

Week 1 of the #GetFitChallenge is over… Seven more weeks to go….  How do I feel?

Finding my feet and struggling with comparison. 

Here is a quick, raw, honest overview of my experience during Week 1… As always these are my personal views and opinions.

Training

I think I did well… I successfully completed 4 sessions – including my first double: barre followed by pilates. My sessions included 3 Barre and my first ever Pilates workout. I wrote about my first Barre session here.

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Early on a Saturday morning, getting ready for my first double session of Pilates & Barre… Classes 3 and 4 at Core-Barre for Week 1!

Fifteen minutes into starting my 3rd barre class I began wondering HOW THE HELL I would be able to complete the double. But, head down and had to just do it. It did help having a fellow challenger do the double with me…

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Lezanne and I did our first double-class together!

Furthermore I successfully completed a 90 minute Hot Yoga class on Sunday the 2nd and a 30 minute session with P (after which I did a Barre session), as well as just 30 minutes of light cardio by myself. It felt good! I’ve been drinking my protein shake loads, always with L-glutamine.

Robyn, the director and mastermind of the challenge, joined in for our early sessions of Barre and Pilates on Saturday. It was awesome to have her there training with us. Inspiring and motivating. Thank you, Robyn!

Overall this past week, my body worked with me and I felt ok. I’ve struggled with the emotional side of life and my personal demons, which I will get into a bit later.  However, I don’t feel comfortable enough to take a weekly progress photo or weigh myself… but I just need to bite the bullet. Just. Do. It.

Diet

EEK! While I stayed clear (!) from all confectionary and adding refined sugar to any of my drinks and meals (yay for me…it’s the little things, people)… I did “enjoy” a single Jungle Oats Peanut Butter Energy Bar – every day for four days (including BEFORE Barre class on two occassions)… Naughty, I know.

I’m also struggling to drink enough water – and at some stages I feel as though I may not be eating enough – which is perhaps why I craved something sweet before bed (hence the energy bar). So I do need to look at that for this week. I did get some Lindt Dark Chocolate with Mint (and Lindt Dark with Roasted Hazelnuts) so I’m hoping a block or two before bed will do the trick.

In better news I have not had my go-to hot drink! I, quite frankly, am ADDICTED to the Hazelnut cappuccino from a local brand flavour –  Pour a packet into my mug, add boiling water and stir. Quick, easy… and full of unhealthy “stuff” – I read the ingredients and nearly passed out from the amount of chemicals in it! I’ve been putting all that in my body… multiple times a day *cringe*  Does my body really need anti-foaming agent? Um, I think NOT!

I must admit I do absolutely adore the smoothie treat after classes on a Saturday – so yummy and combinations I would never think of! Now, if only I can make the time to make myself these every morning….

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Delicious, healthy, nourishing smoothies on a Saturday post class!

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions

Toward the end of the week – from about Thursday –  I’ve been struggling. Its been tough. I’ve been very self-conscious, to be honest. There has also been body-hate. I’m not sure why but its just how I feel.

Everyone at the classes for the GetFitChallenge look AMAZING and could be models in their spare time. I feel very…frumpy, ugly and lumpy. I go to work in jeans, sneakers and hoodies, with no makeup (at most, I will have eyeliner and lip gloss on). After work I head off to gym. For the challenge, my fellow challengers look flawless and are all very sophisticated. I do feel a little intimidated… and as though I need to wear makeup every time I go to class. Wrinkles and dark rings under my eyes have become insanely worrying. I feel as though I’m getting and looking very old, very fast.

I know I need to get out of this mode and slay these demons. Its hard, though. However, one of my goals for the challenge is to be more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Week 1 was a step back – and sharing this so openly is scary.

In hindsight, the anniversary of my gran’s death is coming up and I’ve noticed I’m in a slump around that time… It’s been quite consistent for the past few months now so I have come to know and recognise know the sadness and withdrawal that clouds over me around and before her death day.

The cold-like symptoms I’m currently experiencing also do not make me feel any better…

Just hoping I can move past this, soon. It is nothing but self-destructive.

As ridiculous as it seems – trust me, my intellectual side knows this; the emotional side does not – I feel crap that I have not seen any change in my body yet – where are those damn abs… why are the love handles STILL there? Why is my butt not growing? Yes the instant gratification I expect is in full force. I just need to keep my head down and keep swimming…. progress NOT perfection.

Yes, that was my biggest lesson this week. I need to remember the little things, the little achievements and I always have to Strive for progress, not perfection”! As a perfectionist, I need everything to be perfect – but that is neither possible nor productive. I should be proud I managed four classes at Core Barre, a hot yoga class, a 30 min light cardio session and a 30 minute session with P this week… around 6hr30min of working out!

Looking forward:

Weeks 2 and 3 will be even more challenging for me…

Week 2 has not begun on a good note. I seem to have laryngitis (not sure what the root cause is: either bacterial/ viral or acute sinusitis). I did not take my a Hot yoga class and well rescheduled some of my Barre classes – so I will only take two classes (a double) this week. Hopefully I can still make my two sessions with P. Yes I know I should not be exercising when I’m ill…but right now, the only organ affected is my throat. If I get worse, ofcourse I will slow down.

Thanks to my sore throat, I’ve been adding honey to my tea and living on lozenges (which do contain some sugar). Sunday the 9th has been a bit of a disaster… ready-made pizza (not good) and a lunch-size packet of ginger biscuits.

Toward the end of week 2 and the beginning of week 3 I am out of my normal routine. I am performing a ceremony for my late gran back home, which means lots of family and food (some deep fried and a fair amount of refined sugar!).

Being away and out of my normal routine means no training – no Barre classes, no Hot Yoga and no training with P for 5 days. And not the best diet in the world.

I do hope to focus on my emotional/mental side and put in a fair amount of work on my project, as well as try to be more grateful for myself and learn to not compare myself to others. This is my journey – again, intellectually I get it… emotionally I’m stuck in comparison mode. This body-hate needs to go down a couple of notches… it is not healthy in any way, shape or form.

Let’s hope my review of Week 2 will be a more personally positive one! Here is my current mantra for the next few weeks:

Unknown

k x