Choosing my hard

There is a caption in my gym at Eve’s Exercise Studio, in Harare that goes:

Losing weight is hard

Maintaining weight is hard

Staying fat is hard

Choose your hard”

 In July 2017, I decided to choose my hard even harder because I had always been a very active person – I choose to lose weight this month. The history to this decision is that I am a beautiful African sister who has struggled with asthma for most of my life. July 2017 was a month I chose to kick asthma in the butt by dropping a few kgs and also see what would happen with my body in the process. I fell head over heals with training this month. It has been such a wonderful journey but I must admit, it was a love-hate journey. Yes, I did lose 3,5kgs but it was not a walk in the park. It was very, very difficult. So, I thought that it would be worthwhile to dedicate sometime to write about my journey and what I learnt in the process of shedding of weight, my chosen hard!

  1. Calories do count. I have always thought this whole calorie count is not for me and considered it a foreign but mostly Western concept of weight loss. Alas, I was wrong! Calories represent the amount of energy you are putting into your body at any given time and this energy needs to be equal to the activity of your body. So if you want to shed off weight, at least consume slightly less calories or better still become more active. Once I limited my calorie intake to 1200 calories a day, I did notice a shift in my weight. So watch what you throw into your mouth. Be mindful about food.
  2. Support is critical. There I was this day, confidently walking to the gym and onto the scale. I almost fainted when I saw the figure on the scale, I had actually gained instead of losing weight. Despite my hard work, sweat and dedication. I called my beloved friend who happens to be a wellness and fitness coach who explained to me that most times, the scale doesn’t have to be your only guide. The definition and toning of your body should also be telling of results so not just the scale. I was literally in tears as I was hand held to calmness. The lesson here is that when embarking on a fitness and wellness journey, look for people who will support you be it family friends or even professionals. It is worth it.
  3. I am more than a figure on a scale. It is so tempting to think that once the scale gives me a reading that is my doom for life. Well, assuming it is not the figure you intend to see, the heart space can be devastated – naturally so. There are so many times I almost collapsed at the scale reading, like I mentioned above. It discouraged me and I felt like my efforts were not paying off. Well, this is not to fat shame but to share that it can be rather tempting to define my body and yours as that figure on the scale. Well, that is not true. The human body houses the most amazing souls and kindred spirits and let us also embrace that. Do not feel ashamed and sad about what the scale shows you. I used it as a motivation to keep chasing my goals and you too can do that.
  4. Train and do not stop. My current gym in Kampala has a caption that screams, “sweat if fat crying” and it is true! Once I decided to train like a beast – adding the use of weights to the routine, I did see the toning of my body and the results were evident on my body. I do have some of my co-members of the gym who come to do other things outside training and that is perfectly all right if they chose to. The truth is that the results at the end of their set timeline will show what they invested. So train, train, train….you will not be disappointed, the results will come and show.
  5. Drinking water was one of my key actions throughout June. Sometimes, I would forget and other times I just didn’t feel like taking water. I didn’t. Of course it had effects on my weight loss goals as I failed to hit my target for that week. But I realized that the more hydrated I kept myself, the better y skin looked, the better my gym performance and of course, the better I felt as I had achieved what I set out to. Keep drinking.
  6. Social media helps. I kept a daily entry approach where I posted something about my journey on Instagram. It is amazing how many people were following my journey but also supporting me, challenging me and were just there. It also gave me some motivation to stay the course because I did not want to post lies about my journey or look like a zombie. The community proved very helpful for me in many ways and I loved it. I also made friends with other people online with a similar wellness vision and it was quite awesome.
  7. Be true to you. My sister always says to me, “do you sweetheart”. That is so true. As I walked this wellness and fitness journey, it was tempting to compare results, notes and other many things with the next person whether openly or secretly. I learnt that comparison never works as our bodies are created differently. What helped me instead was to work with a community of people who were serious, open, honest about their own journeys and together we sought the very best for our bodies at each level and with each step. I have developed amazing connections with other human beings like myself chasing their own fitness and wellness journeys. No body similar to yours so focus on your body please and do not fall for the temptations of comparison what so ever.
  8. Use technology. I downloaded an app to support my journey – it is called MyFitnessPal. It helped me keep track of my level of activity, had a daily journal of my meals and also the water intake. It was quiet insightful in that it helped me realize my eating patterns and what I could tweak to achieve what I needed. Amazing app and so you do what works for you, You could even chose not to use any app, that too is fine. I loved using mine and loved it.

Well, the journey continues and I am glad that July 2017 marked the escalation of my choices. I am absolutely sure that this hard I chose is the best hard ever. It is not about the world, it is about me and the journey I chose. Chose your hard too:

Losing weight is hard

Maintaining weight is hard

Staying fat is hard

Choose your hard”

 

 

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