Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

With my lifestyle change journey, I’ve incorporated regular gym workouts to ensure that I’m getting the best results and so far so good, but being a tattooed woman means that in my gym wear of choice majority of my tattoos are on display. While this does not bother me, it is clearly something that other gym goers notice… Often.

Our gym is laid out such that the weight training area is at the far back corner of the gym, the generalization is that if you walk into gym and you have tribal biceps tattoos, you’ll walk directly to the weights followed by a protein shake. While I don’t have those tribal bicep tattoos, contrary to popular belief I am actually allowed in the weight area. The only judgment I’m getting here is based on how weak I am and how low my weights are generally set to. It’s unbelievable how it’s still more acceptable for men to be covered in tattoos over women and how it’s assumed that women shouldn’t be weigh lifting unless they’re body building.

I’m not a body builder and therefore don’t spend all of my time doing weights (smirk) which means I have to take my inked body to the cardio area, the front of the gym. I generally choose to speed walk (I’m not at running yet) on the treadmill or cycle on a stationary bike. I’m definitely not the only tattooed person in the cardio area, I’m not saying that at all, but based on the time I gym I’m definitely surrounded by an older crowd that perhaps still reserve tattoos for sailors and prisoners. There are a few other tattooed gym goers that I see here and there but for the most part, I’m a minority and am probably the most inked in the room.
Look, I like the attention that my tattoos attract. I have some beautiful pieces and why shouldn’t other people be allowed to look at them and admire them? Outside of the gym, I do get stopped regularly and get numerous comments (good and bad) about my body art and I’ve grown accustomed to it. What I’m struggling with is how to deal with getting the same attention when I’m at gym, at my worst and most out of breath!

I’ve done 40 minutes on the stationary bike, I’m sweating buckets and the music pumping through the headphones is drowning out the sound of everything around me. I’m a bit of a weirdo in that I close my eyes and sing along, I’m in the zone. Out of nowhere I get a tap on my shoulder, I get a bit of a fright because I’m not expecting it and when I look up its a middle aged tanned woman trying to get my attention (who knows for how long). I jerk my headphones out, snap out of my zone and greet her to which she replies ‘Your tattoo is really nice but what are you going to do when you’re old?’. Really? You interrupted my session for that? To make it worse, she wasn’t just pointing, she was touching my sweaty dripping arm (ew) which made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Of course, my reply was something like ‘Still be awesome’ after which my headphones went back in and on with my session I go, weirded out by the lack of personal space respect at the gym of all places.
Speed walking on the treadmill, I kind of look around the room and out of the corner of my eye notice a guy behind me, staring. When he realizes I’ve seen him, it’s apparently a cue to come closer and tell me that my tattoo is so good it looks like it’s a stick on (what?) but I can’t respond to the ‘compliment’, because my heavy breathing catches my words before they come out and I end up staring stupidly back utterly confused by the comment and the need to interrupt my session.
Walking around the gym in a vest does mean that I get quite a few stares and that’s ok, go ahead and look or admire or even judge, whatever makes you feel better but approaching me mid workout is just a little rude isn’t it?

The funniest tattoo gym experiences generally take place in the Mind and Body room, when I’m going to Pilates. Again, the time I go to class ensures a more mature room with obviously very different views. I happened to be doing one of the stretches incorrectly and so the instructor came to my aid and decided to call the class to watch her make an example out of me as I wasn’t the only one struggling. She asked me to turn around to face the class and while she bent my elbow out wards in ways the body was definitely not designed to be bend, the only looks I was getting were of disdain. One woman even pointed and whispered to the person next to her, with only one guess about what she was whispering – Yes, I have boobs on my arm, no need to whisper.

These incidents may seem trivial but this has happened in less than two weeks, I can assure you that this is going to be a part of my gym routine going forward and something I just need to get used to. Thank goodness I choose to shower at home instead of at the gym, can you imagine this inked body of awesome running around naked in the change room? Yeah no, me either.

There are unwritten and unspoken rules of the gym and etiquette that gym goers are required to abide by. Wiping your sweat from the equipment should be just as second nature as at least waiting for someone to complete their workout before approaching them with your tattoo comments and questions because, if I want to ask you where you bought your awesome sneakers I’ll make sure I wait to catch you on the way out.

Rant and rave over
I’m off to gym
Shevy

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Blogging about weight loss is truly a horrible reminder of how much I’ve repeatedly set out to achieve and repeatedly failed. Truth be told, I am my own worst enemy and the only person keeping me from the woman I’m supposed to be is me. Time to be brutally honest with myself, publicly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for curvy women with a bit of meat on the bones, I do not aspire to be a skinny woman. My battle is with myself to be truly healthy, to live a healthy lifestyle from eating correctly to exercising regularly and in turn being happy with how I look no matter what that may look like.

I wrote in November last year about this battle (My biggest battle, most difficult war.) and how I’d joined gym again ready to lose weight. While the start was slow, in January this year I threw myself into exercise and kept a food diary which went well for 2 weeks in which time I lost 2.5kgs. I then got sick (flu sick, then Gastro sick) and just haven’t had the motivation to go back to gym. The illnesses cleared up but alas, I sat on my laurels. I know that I’ve put the weight back on, am back to square one and everything I built up to has fallen to the ground, again.

My husband is an aspiring photographer and we had a great idea for an alternative photo shoot of me for his portfolio, it involved me in my wedding dress. This week, I went to fit my dress and lo and behold, it was a tight fit… In fact, it barely fit at all. This led to my break down on the bedroom floor truly feeling the years of weight that I’ve built up. After deciding on a theme for my birthday party this year, I contacted a clothing store to check on dress sizes and sadly the dresses aren’t made in my size, plus size. Another moment of shock and sheer disgust at how far I’ve let this get. So how far have I let this get? Well it’s time to be brutally honest. At my happiest weight, when my oldest daughter was roughly 4 years old and about the time I met my husband, I weighed in at approximately 86kgs. I am a tall girl so for my height, 86kgs is not skinny but it’s curvaceous and comfortable. The reality is that now, 4 years and one daughter later, I weigh more than my post baby weight. I currently weigh in at a hefty 108kgs, the most I’ve ever weighed. What do I want to lose? 28 kgs – I want to be a curvy 80kgs at a 1.78m height (still more than the recommended weight for my height). When did I set my goal for? December 2014, now only 9 months away. And my reward when I reach that weight / size / healthiness – a rib tattoo and perhaps a boudoir shoot.

What I’m going through is no different to many women I know and in my life, the struggles of weight loss and health never seem to cease. It seems we try, we fail, we try something else, we fail, we get depressed, we feel demotivated, we eat more and then we try again. I am at a very unhappy place right now with my weight and what my body looks like, the crutch of the two children I’ve had is becoming an old excuse and the fact that I work shifts with considerable time off means that I should be in the gym every single day, no excuses. I’m so tired of reading about diets, exercise, weight loss and healthy living and yet I aspire to be someone worth casting in a fitness video. There is no way around it, it’s time to face or accept once and for a all and I choose to face it.

Yesterday, a female blogger I follow posted a before and after picture of her phenomenal weight loss since December. I saw this and immediately had to ask what she’d done, she looks phenomenal and her before / after picture alone was enough to motivate me! Her answer? A combination of things but one thing that struck my fancy, following the Paleo lifestyle. It’s not new to me, it’s been explained before, yet she sparked my interest and I’ve spent the entire day doing research on this way of life. After some interesting reads, articles and arguments (See The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet), I discussed doing this with my husband and we have both decided that we are going to embark on this Paleo lifestyle from Monday next week. Why Monday? Well, it is a serious mindset adjustment and hubby and I have a date night scheduled for tomorrow night and a weekend away with the children at Thakadu this weekend so we decided to use this time to prepare, not to deny ourselves some enjoyable eating. Monday we will go big guns, back to gym full force at the same time… Monday I try again.

The hope is that going to gym as much as possible and sticking to a Paleo LIFESTYLE (not diet) will help me reach my goal weight, be healthier, love myself, have more energy, feel good when I look in the mirror and most of all, finally help me win this war I feel like I’ve been fighting forever.

Share your thoughts with me on how you’ve successfully managed to lose weight and stay motivated, have you gone Paleo? Share your thoughts, tips and tricks.

Related articles :
Paleo Mistakes
What is the Paleo diet?

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I’m the first to get annoyed when seeing a weight loss / fitness blog or post. I get frustrated because I want to live that life, be healthy and fit and I feel like this is a battle in life I’m really struggling to overcome.

It happens to all of us. No one in the world is 100% entirely happy with their bodies and how they look all the time… No matter the weight, it’s human nature for us to find something we don’t like… Something we spend far too much time obsessing about.

Most of my life I was of an average size, fairly happy with my weight and without much need for weight loss and dieting (First problem). Sure, I had many issues with many other things about myself. Like the fact that I have to wear glasses because I am blind as a bat, or the fact that I have Psoriasis (Skin condition)… Most of all I spent my life battling with my teeth (Refer to previous posts) but never was my weight, my worry.

After the birth of my oldest daughter and my massive 30kg weight gain, I found myself fighting get the weight off. Personal issues did at one point halt my weight loss and need for a healthier lifestyle and only by the time she was 4 years old was I finally in my happy place again at a weight with which I was comfortable. I wasn’t too skinny, in fact still pretty curvy, but I was going to gym and I was healthy.

Shortly after this time I met my now husband, after the birth of my second daughter the weight all came back into my body and now I sit in the same position only heavier (And she is already 2).

So… Me putting on all this weight and NOT losing anything is not for lack of trying. Just over a year ago we joined gym, tried to be healthy, quit smoking etc. Sadly, it was all to much for me. Gym. Homework. Work. Kids. I was overwhelmed and what felt like over worked… Going to gym dwindled in June / July of this year and I cancelled the contract in September to avoid wasting anymore money on a contract we didn’t use. Shortly after this, my husband started Crossfit and this may have been the act that kick started my thoughts into needing to do something again for myself and weight loss.

In early November, I started shift work. What this means is that I have no excuse about not having time to get fit. The truth is, I have more time now than I ever did. I decided (Refer to earlier blog post) that I was going to join Crossfit as well but when I arrived, a misunderstanding with the class times caused me to leave. This completely threw my interest off of Crossfit and to be truly honest, Crossfit scares the living hell out of me not to mention the cost would scare my bank balance.

In a last ditch attempt for self preservation, I had to cringe a little bit and bite the wallet bullet. I reopened my gym contract (only for myself this time) and re paid the joining fee. While it hurts me initially, in the long run gym is far cheaper than Crossfit and I will have complete control over my workouts. I have started eating healthier again, we have cut out all the breads and fizzy drinks and are just trying to live a healthier lifestyle for all of us. Then, I splurged again. Today I went out and bought the USN 12 week body makeover starter box and tomorrow is Day 1, I’m ready to go.

So now, I am trying my hardest to live the best life that I possibly can. I am going to be active (The plan is to gym at least 5 times a week), I am changing my eating habits, I am drinking more water and I am using supplementation to help my body through what is a hardcore change. Many people have their own thoughts on supplements and I appreciate those opinions but the truth is that I need help and these products are designed to do that… Help me. I used to want to just be happy with my weight, now I want a six pack. I used to just want to be healthy, now I just want to be fit.

My biggest problem, though the road to health has been kick started, is that I just cannot motivate myself and yet I cannot be motivated by anyone else either. Heck knows that my husband tries to motivate me all the time, even allowing me to splurge money that we don’t really have on products I feel that I need to get to where I want to be. We tried gymming together and while for a short time it was working and weight was being lost, when I got lazy and tired the weight piled back on. I am trying to be my own biggest cheerleader, my own sports psychologist, my own nutritionist and my own personal trainer. It’s not easy, by no means is it easy, I wish I knew how to make it easier.

I have been through many battles in my life. I truly have. This is a war that I feel like I am not ever going to win and currently I am going through bouts of despondency and excitement. The scary thing is that sitting here writing about this, there are hundreds of thousands of women going through the same thing. So many women who feel the same hopelessness about how they look and wish they could do something to change it. The truth is that there is something you can do about it… It just takes a heck of a lot of willpower that is not born overnight, it’s years and years in the making. No one can make this decision for you and no one but yourself can push you into a headspace needed for your life to change completely.

I need to feel that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, if for no one else but myself. Cheating food wise or skipping a workout is only going to affect me and no one else. The only person that I would hurt is myself and I’m not prepared to do any further damage to myself, mentally or physically. Am I going to miss being able to eat and drink what I like? Hell yes. Will I feel exhausted and want to give up, many times. Indeed. Will I want to use the words ‘Not now, tomorrow’? Often. This time though, as I sit here I know that this time I want this to be different. I have every tool at my disposal, there is no excuse, now it’s time for me to do this.

This is a long journey, an almost never ending one, so thank you to all my friends and family for understanding that this is not going to be an easy time for me. Thank you especially though to my sister, the gym bunny :) You are totally my inspiration and I hope to one day in the not too distant future get to a place that people think we are actually sisters instead of Laurel and Hardy. My sister is someone who has worked very hard to get to where she is today and she looks amazing for it. Sadly, I don’t think road cycling is my thing but that just means I need to find something else to get to that place instead.

So yes, this was another annoying weight loss blog post but its a heartfelt one, 30kgs is a lot to lose but I’d sooner lose that than the respect from those around me by not being honest about the challenges I’m currently facing. While I am happy with every other aspect of my life, this is one thing I need to change to be truly happy.

All I ask is that you wish me luck :)
The time for me is now.

Shevy

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Crossfit… the anticlimax.

Posted: November 7, 2013 in Fitness
Tags: ,

You were waiting for the big ‘I did it!’ but you’re not going to get it.

Trainer confirmed that the class started at 7:30pm but we pulled up at 7:20pm where it had obviously already started as per the time on the website. (Not a good start).

I was dressed in black ready for my Crossfit funeral and all that died was my Crossfit motivation… maybe next time?  No point in being irritated about it,  Jp’s irritated enough about us leaving for both of us.

On the upside,  found an excuse to shave my legs :)

Night friends
Shevy

Once upon a time there was this beautiful young girl who could dance and sing and make everyone laugh. One day, this young woman grew up, had children, let go of her weight and didn’t dance so much anymore. She was still completely awesome only now with a lot more post pregnancy and chocolate addiction fat.

(Her dancing skills got ridiculously fantastic with age may I add).

Yes…that woman of awesome is me, the fat is mine and tomorrow the journey from fat to fit begins.

Husband has been doing Crossfit for approximately a month now (company sponsored). We cancelled our gym contracts and to be honest I’ve done jack squat (see what I did there) in that time. Somehow he has managed to convince me to join the new Crossfit up the road which is conveniently located and timed perfectly between my new shifts at work. I figure that since I have copious amounts of free time with my new office hours, its time to take this extra time and concentrate on getting myself fit, trim, healthy and working on my six pack. I’ve even promised my hubby that if I can turn tubby tummy into surfboard stiff, I will get a rib tattoo… That’s pretty decent motivation if you ask me.

So, today I did it. I booked the introductory class and tomorrow night at 7:30pm I learn exactly what ‘no pain, no gain means’ and just how much of ‘your workout is our warmup’. It’s not a good sign that when Jp tried to show me how to do a proper squat last night I slipped, tripped and busted my elbow. Squat 1 – Elbow 0 – Ego bruised.

Right now I’m pretty motivated, I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be scared and by my contract start at the end of November I will be mentally and financially prepared for this new chapter. This also means that we are going back to healthy eating, no point in sweating bullets if we aren’t going to load the weapon properly right?

Jp just got home from Crossfit and managed to split his shorts after a 1 hour class… Fear is welling.

This is where it’s at people, will keep you posted.
Crossfit Randburg

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