Like most women, as you age, it gets tougher to keep the weight gain at bay. It is a natural order of ageing when your metabolism slows down. And if you choose to reproduce, losing that extra weight gained in pregnancy, does not make it any easier to keep that slim, trim figure. At the age of 35, I am finally happy with the body I have. I am in the best shape of my life, in terms of fitness. I do not own the body of a supermodel nor will I ever be walking down any runway soon. But I can finally look in the mirror and be happy with the reflection in the mirror.
June 2013, I was at my heaviest weight. I completed Insanity by Shaun T and lost a good bit of weight (went from a UK dress size 14 to 10). Over the next few years I found it hard to maintain the weight loss as I could not keep up 5 days a week of HIIT cardio and so my weight continued to fluctuate. January 2016 after gaining back all the weight, I started lifting weights. I also invested in sessions with a personal trainer who also gave me nutrition plan which was the real game changer! I now embrace carbohydrates (as long as they are complex carbs). I eat the recommended 2000 calories for women ( you would be surprised how hard it is to eat 2000 healthy calories!!!!). I still have the odd glass of wine/dominos pizza/takeaway.
To maintain my weight, I now only do one session of HIIT cardio a week and I lift 3 times a week plus it takes me 40 mins to walk to the gym and back home. I have learnt to never rely on the figure on the scale and most importantly : lifting weights and gaining muscle is ultimately the key to losing weight and consistently maintaining that loss. And no ladies, you will not look masculine. Basically, due to our biological make up, we do not have enough testosterone to look like Sylvester Stallone (unless you are taking illegal supplements). I used to be a cardio bunny, running being my favourite exercise. I remember one month I ran 80km as part of a challenge (my poor left knee was not amused at all!!!!). I run 5km once or twice a month now.
Throughout 2016, I consistently remained a size 10, and lately if its stretchy material, I am a size 8. Basically your body will plateau if cardio is the only source of exercise. To get definition, you need to build muscle by lifting a heavy object and placing it back down. Cardio should be part of your warm-up and/or finisher after weight lifting session. I am no expert and I am always open to new information…
By now, most of you will have watched the excerpt of Simon Sinek speaking about millennials in the workplace. I 100% agree with him.
I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and moved to Ireland when I was 21. My husband is Irish but most of my parenting style is firmly rooted in the culture I was brought up in with a healthy dash of Irish culture. My work colleagues were gobsmacked when I told them my 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son make their own lunches for school. In my opinion, they are old enough and well able to handle this responsibility. How do we expect them to be responsible, if we do not allow them to be responsible? I have heard of mothers accompanying their 20something old children to job interviews?????? Like seriously, cut the apron strings off! How do you expect their work colleagues to take them seriously, accompanied by their mother.
My upbringing was text book Zimbabwean. Children were seen and not heard, and my parents were firm believers of “spare the rod, spoil the child.” When I reflect on my childhood, I realise that I grew up to be a well adjusted adult, able to handle rejection, distress and whatever else life throws at me. Some people look back on their childhood and comment on how they disliked the way they were brought up and proclaim they don’t want their children to feel the same emotional distress. But we forget distress tolerance is a life skill.
We want our children to feel good about themselves all the time. We go to our children’s school and fight for Johnny to have the staring role in the school play. The reality is, Johnny was not good enough for that role at that time. Handling the distress of that rejection will make them psychologically stronger. We as parents need to accept that there are things our children are not good at. If they want something, it is them who need to put in the hard work to get what they want. Our role is not to fight their battles but to give them the skills to fight their own battles.
I am not saying I am the perfect parent and my children are perfect. All I can do is allow my children to gain life skills to help them adjust to adulthood and their careers. I cannot shelter them from every negative feeling, and I sure as hell am not going to give them everything they want. I will give them what they need. In a nutshell, I have basically turned into my own mother…..