“Mimi, you have lost so much weight is very bad” Mimi you have put on weight you need to do something about your weight” These two statements were made to me by the same person three years apart! It was a bit baffling when the latter statement was made, but then it dawned on me, people will always have an opinion about how you look!
During the lockdown, the whole family started going out for nature walks as a bonding ex-ercise and it soon turn into a fitness routine. I realised my lack of fitness so, with assistance from my husband, we turned the routine walking into exercise sessions. I then also began to share my exercise routines on social media, to share my love for exercising with friends and family. Surprisingly, one question some people frequently asked me was how much weight I had lost since I started to exercise.
There is a common misconception that exercising is all about losing weight. Losing weight is not the only reason to exercise. There are numerous other benefits of exercising such as gaining strength, increasing energy, reducing stress, promoting cardiovascular health, etc Unfortunately, we live in an instant society where we want everything fast and quick and therefore society is attracted to quick fixes. We are attracted to captions such as: “Have a flat tummy in six weeks” “Lose 20lbs in 30 days” All these in my opinion are hoaxes. The weight you have on did not happen in 6 weeks; how do you lose that weight in 6 weeks? Health experts have confirmed that Fat is the hardest thing to shed off because it takes longer to burn it off the proper way. I learned from the beginning of my fitness journey that there are no shortcuts to staying fit and healthy, it must be a lifestyle, it must be sustaina-ble. How does one make this a lifestyle?
To begin with, decide what fitness means to you. Why do you want to exercise? Is it for health reasons? Whatever your reason is to let that be your guiding goal. Some do it to lose weight, some do it to feel good, some do it to tone up, some do it for the love of it, some are a profession. So, find your why and start.
In addition, you need to be consistent, every fitness instructor will tell you consistency is key. You want to see good results; you need to be consistent with keeping fit. Whatever form of physical activity you chose, be sure to remain consistent, because only consistent action delivers sustainable results. Whether it is walking, cycling, swimming, or even going to the gym. Sometimes people will go on a diet to lose weight for a wedding or for a special occasion. Why don’t you set a target to stay fit for the rest of your life? Even if it means going for a walk 3 times a week, just be consistent with that, and you will soon see results.
Also, as you embark on this journey remember to be kind to your body and appreciate what it can do, including things you don’t even notice. Whether that means running on the treadmill for 10 or 15 minutes without stopping, doing 10 or 15 squats, doing a half-press up, your body can do something for which you can feel proud. My gym buddy who happens to be my husband always tells me during our weight training sessions is to respect the limits of my body but not to underestimate what my body can do. And truly I have noticed that my body will respond to whatever steady gradual pressure I expose it to. One of the reasons I take videos and pictures of workouts is that I love to watch it back and praise myself (yes, I praise myself). One of my greatest achievements is my ability to do a 24” box jump! When I first started, I could barely attempt a 12” jump box and now I can box jump 24” (6 sets of 8 reps) How amazing is that, right? That is the effect of steady and consistent pressure.
Along this journey, you need to celebrate the body you have. Your body, flawed as it might be, is perfect. Declare it to yourself and find power in speaking the truth that your body is good enough. Years ago, before having children, I did not even appreciate my body! I had a flat tummy, now after two children, I no longer have a flat tummy and I yearned for that flat tummy! Since I started my fitness journey, I am learning to appreciate my body more and more. Yes, I have a few bumps here and there, but hey that is my body and I love it.
Most importantly, enjoy the process. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate! Don’t let it be a burden. Personally, I look forward to going to the gym. Apart from the health benefits, I enjoy putting on my gym gear. Gym gears and trainers are now my favourite things to shop for. Practice makes progress, practice the philosophy of continuous improvement and be patient. You are not going to be on top of your fitness overnight. At some point you may struggle with one or two exercises be it sit-ups, press-ups, or whatever exercise you take up. You must take it one step at a time and trust me with patience, persistence, and the will to succeed you will ace it! Don’t forget to eat well, everything in moderation.
It gets a little bit better every single day. I have not achieved what others deem as a perfect body, but one thing I know for sure is going to the gym or exercising makes me feel good and confident. I can feel the difference in body and in mind. And my husband can't stop ad-miring my new form and confidence. So yes, For God and yourself, love that body you have. It is the palace of your beautiful soul.
That is you, This is Me!