#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

 

Regret

The featured image above is a beautiful sunset I witnessed arriving home late from work a  day this week. The world keeps turning, we get older and have we really lived? We go from school to university to the working world. We wake up, work, sleep. Does that define a life? I don’t think so. Sure, there are holidays and moments of “awesomeness” within those days but those are few and sometimes far between. Are we really happy? What do we regret? Am I happy with my life as it currently stands? Am I fulfilled? Or am I talking myself out of things and experiences that, at the very least, be something new I’ve tried?

I’ve been thinking a lot about regret lately. And how to live without regretting anything.

I do have regrets – things I should have done and paid more attention to, people I trusted when I should not have. I can’t change the past – nobody can. But I can move forward and change the way I live.

I wish I felt this way sooner in my life. I want to try new things and learn new things about myself; not to feel held back by my own excuses (I’m great at making excuses). My excuses are the usual: I’ll be rubbish at it, I’m scared of making myself look like a fool, I can’t afford it and the two biggest excuses…. I have too much work to do and don’t have the time; I’m too exhausted.

And I do regret not trying things and I’m going to try an experiment… for the next 6 months (until the end of 2017) there are a few things I want to accomplish. And I want to write about my experiences here… to keep myself (publicly) accountable.

  • Try at least three core barre classes (I’m scared I won’t be able to keep up – I’m very competitive)
  • Try to go to latin dance classes and dance the Argentine Tango (my favourite!) (My lack of balance will make me fall flat on my face)
  • Complete and submit my big project (I’m scared of failure)
  • Work out at least three times a week (common excuses: I don’t have time, I’m exhausted)
  • Be more “present” and “in the moment” when I am talking to people… not scrolling through my phone… (I don’t have time so let me scroll Instagram while I talk to you – which to be completely honest is damn RUDE of me)
  • Go completely offline for one weekend a month: no email, no blog posts, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter – I can relax/ work by reading, writing on actual paper (the excuse is I can’t be offline because I will miss something… major FOMO (fear of missing out))
  • Look after my body – cut down on the sweets and junk food!!!

SO there it is… The first three scare the living daylights out of me. Honestly.

But, I will try. No use in not trying and regretting.

I need to start living my life.

x

 

Regret

Disillusioned…

I think the turmoil of the past few months is hitting me, hard.

Personally and globally. The personal turmoil –  I understand that; I have not fully dealt with or comes to terms with the losses in my life.

But with the rest of life….not only in my geographical region either… across the world it seems as though human kind has lost the plot. Apart from the natural disasters we cannot stop (drought here in RSA, wildfires in RSA and Portugal), WHAT THE F%#! is going on with us?

  • Politically, the US and UK can rival our good old JZ with “scandals”.
  • There radicalised people committing acts of terror in the name of religion, causing hate and fear.
  • Racism, sexism, discrimination against religions, sexuality, pretty much anything that differs from the “norm” are all pervasive in our society (our global society, no less).

Honestly, these things affect me a lot. I’m the kind of person who needs to know everything that is going on – probably the control freak in me. And I over-analyse EVERYTHING. Yet, it does all seep into my subconscious and keeps me up at night.

It may sound overdramatic but what kind – what level – of hell is this? Are we living in Dante’s inferno? Why? How can we make this better?

I think I need hope. I need faith. I need to breathe. Just like the quote featured above says – but how do you having hope and faith? What do you do when it feels as though your very soul has taken enough of a beating? How do you keep positive in times of despair? How do you keep smiling when the world is suffering?

Or am I a freak who feels all this too much?

This has been a very depressing post – and I do apologise…  Definitely no suicidal tendencies here, just curiosity. Any comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

x

 

Dancing In The Rain

This is something paraphrased from my Instagram which I recently posted… but I think it is necessary here as well.

To my loved ones:

I must apologize.

It’s no secret that I’ve had the WORST past few weeks, if not months.

I was an angry bitch for about two weeks… and only one of those weeks could be attributed to hormones….before which I was just sad.

 I could feel myself falling into deep despair, struggling to keep afloat…

Life is hard when you forgo your wellbeing – physical, mental, emotional – to take care of others. My body, my spirit have taken a beating this year and I’ve tried to be ok with it. But I can’t.

After I failed horribly at a hot yoga session (as in sat out of the whole floor series), went home and cried for what felt like the millionth time, I had a light-bulb moment.

I took responsibility for my behavior, apologizing to those I lashed out too and realized that I need to take care of “me”. This past week was better than the weeks prior but I still have a long ass way to go.

Yes I’m overwhelmed – too much to do, too little time – and emotional…. but right now it is the best I can do, for me.

Please be patient with me – I am my own worst critic and I don’t know how to fix it.

Every month around my gran’s death day I slump badly; I miss her terribly and I know she’ll want me to be happy but it is so freaking hard. So, so hard. But I am trying to be ok.

I’m trying to learn to “dance in the rain”.

This quote is something to remind me to let go of my own need for perfection and expectation. I need to be that free kid again… doing what I love, not because I am obliged to… I need to stop the self-hate and self-criticism.

I need to smile from my soul again.

I’m so grateful for you rockstars in my life.

Thank you for being there and helping me be me again.

X

Gone But Not Forgotten

I have not written in a few months. I’ve wanted to multiple times, but unfortunately could not bring myself to do so.

My last post was about my gran dying.

On the 11th of February 2017, I watched my gran take her last breath. It was the culmination of two weeks of torture for me – watching her decline very fast. I am fortunate I could spend the last two days by her side, talking to her (she was in a comatose state).

As with most “traumatic” events in my life, I reverted to my default mechanism. Shut off the emotions and get stuff done. It is what I do. As a Hindu, there are a number of rituals we go through, which I followed for my gran. So I was pretty busy getting things sorted and making sure everyone was ok.

However, like all things that we try to ignore and not deal with… they come out raging, when we least expect it.

It has been 4 months since my gran left and I miss her.

Every. Single. Damn. Day.

I love you my Nans so much and miss her terribly.

It is heart wrenching – i just want to talk to her, discuss politics and sports with her, let her go off on tangents an ask me the same question in the space of a few hours.

As I write this I am crying…it is hard for me to “open” up about it… my grief is raw and I don’t like being vulnerable. Maybe someday I will write more about it – but not now. I hope this post will get me writing again – I miss it.

 

Growing Older

People say growing older is a privilege, one that is denied to many. I agree, but at what point do we draw the line?

My maternal gran – the only grandparent I have left – is dying. I grew up with three grandparents, lost my maternal grandfather at 16. I lost my paternal gran at 27.

My maternal gran is the one I am the closest too. My mom is her only child and my sister and I are her only grandchildren. Ever since my grandfather passed away in 2001, she’s lived with us… and I speak to her everyday – especially since I moved away from home to Cape Town and now Joburg.

Over the past three years my gran has become a lot less stable, and has been losing weight.  Since July 2016, though, she has not been well. Her eyesight has deteriorated rapidly and she’s become a lot more forgetful. In December, she was frail and weak.

A mere four weeks since I last saw her, my gran can barely walk on her own. She needs help and has been asleep a lot. I stayed with her during my stay and learnt she was afraid – but she could not tell me of what. She’s in pain but her medication provide no relief. She sometimes forgets who I am. She has no appetite. She’s far from the person she used to be. It breaks my heart. And I can’t fix it. I can’t make it better.

A family friend who visited over the weekend said that this “dying process/stages” can be a way for us to say goodbye while she is still here. I understand that (my grandfather died suddenly)… but it is still so hard to see her go through it. My paternal gran went through the same process…

I know it is only a matter of time. And I already miss her. I miss talking to her every afternoon – hearing her tease me about something or the other. I’m crying writing this. I’m anxious and scared that at any given moment I could get the phone call.

The only thing certain in life is death. It’s sobering and puts life into perspective (especially since I had a man die on me (he had a sudden heart attack and fell on me) at an airport this Tuesday…but thats another story).

Cherish the people in your life now, tell them you love them. Be with them.

My nani made a huge difference to my life. I love my nani with all of my heart. I already miss her, even if she does not know who I am.

k x

Sneak Peek: #ChinUpTitsOut Book 2

Earlier this week I was privileged even to be able to read a sneak peak of Miranda Oh‘s upcoming book, a sequel to “Remember No Matter What: Chin Up Tits Out” (my review of that is here). You may have seen my interview with Miranda Oh (if you have not, check it out here).

Thursday 19th Jan 23:00pm, with a throbbing tooth (my right lower wisdom is making its appearance – a little late in life but hey, I’m a late bloomer, ok)  I couldn’t sleep so I reached over for my phone wanting to mindlessly check out social media – not the best sleep hygiene, I know.

A certain Whatsapp message caught my attention.  “Check your inbox”, I was intrigued… So I open up my email and lo and behold… there was a sneak peak of Miranda Oh’s sequel: “When all else fails: Chin Up Tits Out”. The prologue and Chapter 1, to be exact.

I started reading through it and devoured the pages I received (which conveniently distracted me from the toothache! ). In an instant, I was at the climax to Chapter 1… and the end of the teaser.

First thoughts: “WTF. I NEED MORE!!! I have so many questions now!!!! Dammit, Miranda the suspense is KILLING me!”  (which is pretty much what I messaged back with…)

As is with Book 1, the writing is more like a conversation between girlfriends and flows with ease in “When all else fails: Chin Up Tits Out”. Again, brilliant chic lit (I may be biased though as I don’t read a lot of chic lit…just one other author). You get caught up in the story and emotions. But you can somehow sense there is something not-quite-right brewing, an undercurrent of uncertainly… especially with how Chapter 1 ends.

The prologue of Book 2 fits in very well with the prologue of Book 1. In Book 1 we saw Hadley (the main character) getting ready for a date. Book 2 brings us back to the scene and we learn that it is her first date since her marriage broke. Wait, WHAT?!?! Her marriage?!?! WHAT! (yes – my thoughts).

We have no idea why and its a line you think you read  but can’t believe it…. you have to re-read it to sink into your brain because of the implications. Much like how I felt in a few of the George R. R. Martin series of books “The Song of Ice and Fire” aka Game of Thrones (yes, the HBO show).

Chapter 1 of “When all else fails: Chin Up Tits Out” (book 2) starts with how “Remember No Matter What: Chin Up Tits Out” (book 1) left off… Hadley just got married and was preparing for Riaan’s arrival to start their new life together in Canada. It’s a picture perfect start – think white picket fence, house in suburbia, honeymoon phase….and before the leap into parenthood, they adopt a fur-baby.

Almost as a foreboding of things to come, the couple is faced with yet another challenge (already in Chapter 1 of “When all else fails: Chin Up Tits Out” – have these kids not overcome enough!…again, my thoughts). And then…. Chapter 1 ends. With a bang.

I got so caught up in this preview. And I don’t think it is because I know the author well. The story sucks you in – makes you forget about your problems/troubles/issues for the time you are reading it. And I can stop overthinking or analysing when I read it.

I love to read – anything and everything – and most genres I read make me have to “think” or deal with difficult global issues (e.g. legalities and overarching issues in Jodi Picoult’s “Small Great Things”, the drama in the seven kingdoms of Westeros in “The Song of Ice and Fire series”, hell even in J. K. Rowling’s  “Harry Potter” we had to connect the dots)- if you get what I’m saying. Chic-lit is an escape from life and we all need to indulge overselves.

Miranda’s writing reminds me of Marian Keyes (the only other chic lit author I read… and love – you also get sucked into the everyday life of certain characters). While reading the preview of Book 2, I found myself more “present” and connected while reading, as if I was listening to my friend and letting her get it all out. I relate to Hadley – sensitive and emotional, but all she wants is her happy ending. But what the hell happened to her marriage? What the hell happens with how Chapter 1 of “When all else fails: Chin Up Tits Out” ends?

I. NEED. BOOK. 2. NOW!!!!

If you’d like to also read the preview, please sign up to Miranda’s site here!