I have been on a physical makeover journey for the last 7 weeks. I decided to make a health and fitness lifestyle change (basically to get more conscious about my health and fitness and actively work on it) and gave myself a challenge to kick start the process. My goal was to lose 5kilos in 5 weeks. I did it in 7 weeks (I hit a plateau in the Christmas and New year weeks J) and I feel great!
The Motivation Behind The Decision
Well… I was slowly starting to put on weight. I could feel it (smug clothes and all) and I was less energetic in the 3 – 4 months leading to the decision. I of course made excuses for the tiredness like ‘I am working too hard!’ etc.
The thing is, my eating habits have more or less been ‘fairly okay’ but my weak point was exercising (stress the past tense). This meant that my ‘gyming’ pattern could be on and off but my weight would only fluctuate by 2kilos (up or down). However in the 3 – 4 months leading to the decision I barely went to gym (if at all I did it was simply to get my card ticked so I didn’t lose the membership!J)
My wonderful husband Sandras had warned me (more than once) that I was putting on more weight than usual and I would argue that I wasn’t because I believed my ‘good’ eating habits always kept my weight in check… and yes because I am stubborn! LOL!
The great thing about life is that whenever you are going off ‘the right path’ you usually get 3 warnings. Firstly your subconscious mind gives you warnings (it sometimes solicits the help of your conscious mind and body to do this:)). For example I was feeling heavy, bloated and tired but I ignored it. Secondly other people tell you (e.g. Sandras’ telling me) and lastly nature tells you (this may come in the form of an illness or other apparently sudden changes in your life). I usually don’t like to wait for stage 3 warnings as those are the hardest lessons where other people will even say ‘we told her so and she wouldn’t listen!’
So anyway, Sandras likes to take pictures of me (all times of day, in all sorts of attire, awake or asleep etc) and on the morning of my kitchen tea (pictured above) whilst I was making our bed and dressed only in underwear, he took pictures of me from several angles. Now sometimes I look at the pictures, sometimes I don’t but this particular time I decided to look and was pretty spooked! I hadn’t seen my naked backside in a long time and what I saw – I didn’t like! You know I love my ‘African heritage behind’ but this was too much for my small frame! But still I comforted myself thinking ‘it only looks this exaggerated because I am naked’ and went along with the kitchen tea celebrations.
But lo and behold when it was now time for me to look through the party pictures and see which ones to put on facebook, I was even more stunned at how bad my belly looked! I looked pregnant! I put up some of the pictures anyway (else the ladies would’ve killed me!) but decided there and then that I was going to make a health and fitness lifestyle change lest nature decides to bang me on the head next!
Preparing for the Change
Over the years I have learnt that if I have to make any kind of long term and sustainable lifestyle changes (be it financial, spiritual or whatever) then I have to ensure that I lay a strong foundation for it. I do this with my clients in the first week of the SLi Money Makeover Online Program and decided to do it with myself for my physical makeover. I’ll share what some of the key steps in this process are:
1. Identifying what your values are
These are the things that are really important to you. They may not necessarily be the things you think are important or would like to be important to you. These are the things that actually ARE important as demonstrated by your life.
For example you may think religion is important to you but your life may demonstrate otherwise. So I re-evaluated my values.
2. Seeing how the lifestyle change you intend to make will support your values
I’ll give you an example of my life at that point. My top 5 values were money, family, business, personal development and socialising (read as partying and hanging out with friendsJ). In order for me to be able achieve my physical makeover mission and sustain it, I had to think about (and write down) how getting healthier and fitter would support each of those values.
Take for example my family. How would it support my 3 guys? Well amongst other things it meant being able to do cartwheels, running, Swimming and having loads of fun with them without getting tired quickly! It meant feeling vital, sexy, confident and playful which would translate into ‘a bigger smile’ on Sandras’ face ***nudge-nudge, wink-wink*** and so on.
3. Identifying any limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering ones
That is more or less self explanatory and yes I did have limiting beliefs about my body and its ability.
These are just some of the key steps in laying a strong foundation for a lifestyle change that I had to take. Each step is critical if the changes you make are to be sustainable (and yes you would have to join the SLi Money Makeover Online Program to find out the rest ;)).
Doing the work
Yes it was hard! I discovered that a physical makeover is very similar to a financial makeover! But just because it was hard didn’t mean it couldn’t be done. I did it in phases to ease the pain. In similar fashion to how I take my clients through the SLi Money Makeover Online Program.
1. The first 2 weeks I spent reading up on health and fitness (Education, education, education!). I reduced my food portion sizes and I told my family, workmates and friends about it. They were all supportive and one of my workmates Tracy Lee gave me tips on how to make drinking 2litres of water per day easier and went as far as policing me for the first few days (she herself has lost about 24kilos over the last year or so). Another workmate Tremayne made it his duty to tease me about it every day (yes we need those too) and changed my name to Miss 5Kilos. Two other workmates took me for lunch time walks to get me into the habit of being more active.
2. The next phase I brought in the experts –Dr Manina Beukes a nutritional expert, Zipiwe Banda an aspiring personal trainer and Lomthunzi a gym buddy (she was already on the journey herself). I also announced it on my facebook page because there is nothing quite like ‘the public’ to keep you accountable! 🙂
I needed to up the gears, get back to gym and do it properly. Mind you these experts did this work with me online (apart from the nutritional lady who had to come in to take measurements once a month) so the excuse for not having support locally is thrown out of the window for you!
3. Finally am at the maintenance phase where am working on toning, reducing my body fat and replacing it lean mass whilst maintaining my weight.