Throw Back Thursday

Throw Back Thursday, way back in 2011 I was pregnant and expecting my one and only child.  A lot of changes happened throughout the 9 months and these are some of the highlights.

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MaKupsy 2011

  • The morning sickness was from the devil himself! I had it for three straight months. I could not keep anything down and had to survive on water only.
  • I could not stand the smell of uncooked beef, heated oil, milk and eggs.
  • I could not stomach any form of fast food.
  • I used to sleep like there was no tomorrow. My lunch break at work was dedicated to making a makeshift bed under my desk and sleeping my hour away. Thankfully I had my own office back then.  The moment I got home after work I would bath and jump into bed. Imagine going to sleep at 6pm and waking up the next day at 6am, utter madness if you ask me.
  • Fruits were my best friend once the morning sickness wore off. The fruits in season at the time were masau and I would sit and eat a whole bowl of them by myself. Any other fruits were still welcome;  cucumbers were my favourite, I love loved them!
  • My then best friend ended up calling my baby bump lemon because I enjoyed eating lemons with salt. I would nicely peel them, put them in a plate, sprinkle lots of salt and enjoy.
  • I used to cry for no reason. The slightest thing would get me all worked up.  Pregnancy hormones are real.
  • I was crazy about sex; I could never get enough of it. My libido was at its highest. The father of my child used to complain. You would think he would be happy right?  I oversexed him I suppose…
  • I already am a neat freak but when my second trimester hit, the rate went on overdrive. I could not stop cleaning. I would wake up at 6am, clean the house, do the laundry, cook and bath and each time I thought of something that needed to be done I would get up and do it.
  • I used to bath not once but three times a day. I always left the house looking like I was going for a special occasion.  The number of men who hit on me was worrisome.
  • I loved long walks; I could not get myself to sit still.
  • The visits to the gynecologist were the most uncomfortable ones. For some reason I used to think he would ask me to open my legs and take a look at my vagina!  The other reason they were never something to look forward to was because for all the 9 months I went to there on my own and I watched other women with their partners, the father of my child had no interest and used to tell me he had a doctors rooms phobia.
  • My skin was flawless; I had absolutely no pimple in sight, or blemish or blackhead, nothing at all.
  • I terribly missed sleeping on my tummy after my first trimester. You have no idea how precious it is to lie on your tummy until you are pregnant.
  • The number of guys who attempted to ask me out for a date when I was pregnant was insane. I think some men just have a fetish for pregnant women. Either way I found it quite amusing.  My oldest sister used to complain saying “Can’t they see you’re pregnant?”
  • I read a lot on pregnancy, books, magazines, online articles you name it, I read it!
  • I listened to a lot of music when I was pregnant, and when I did so I could feel my baby move, I guess it was her way of saying she was enjoying the sounds.
  • I talked to my unborn baby from the second trimester till the day I gave birth. I read it in some magazine that it was good for the baby.
  • I have always prayed but when I was pregnant I prayed the most and the hardest. I asked God to bless me with a healthy baby and He did.

What are your Throw Back Thursday moments?  Do you have memories that you still cherish from way back when?  Let’s share and get nostalgic together.

©MaKupsy 2018

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5 Tips For Running In Winter

First thing’s first DO NOT OVER LAYER!  I did this two winters ago and nearly threw away my hoodie halfway into my run.  I still do not know why I thought wearing a tshirt, light sweater and a hoodie was a great idea, DO NOT DO IT.  Back then what I didn’t realise was that even though the temperature is pretty cold when you leave the house after some distance your body heats up.

Below are a few tips I use when it’s time to run in winter:

  • Invest in a pair of gloves.  The gloves I have are touchscreen gloves meaning I can still operate my phone during my run without having to take them off.  If you don’t need to use your phone then an ordinary pair ($1) will still do the trick so if you start feeling too hot you can always shove them in your jacket pocket, if you lose them it won’t be a train smash.
  • A woolen hat will also be ideal because it will keep your ears warm and protected from the cold wind.
  • Make yourself visible; this applies in any other season by the way.  I now have to leave the house at 6:00 am when the sun is out so that I can see where I am going.  On occasions I choose to run earlier say 5:30 am I make sure I wear reflective or fluorescent gear and my good friend Amy goes all out and wears a headlamp during her runs.  I should invest in one as well!
  • Run twice a day.  I am NOT an evening runner but sometimes it’s too cold to even begin to imagine going out for a 10K run.  Instead, on very rare I will run my 5K in the morning and the other 5K in the evening, that way I complete my set mileage for the day and also not freeze my ass off in the process.
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch.  I can not emphasise this enough times.  You need to warm up before and after your runs.  Winter isn’t too kind to the body; you want to keep your body warm and flexible.  The plan is to prevent injuries and if you stretch religiously your body will be eternally grateful.
  • *BONUS TIP* Make sure someone knows that you have gone for a run, which route you have taken and how long you expect to run for in case something happens to you along the way.  Safety first!
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Image from Pinterest

Remember summer bodies are made in winter.  You do not want to be the only one dreading to go out to swim,play tennis, rock their short summer dress or shorts because of all the winter weight you gained because you were not exercising.  Get up and do something, winter is the best time to get your fit on!

P.S I have running gear available and you should check out my shop you might find something you like.

Maintaining your regular routine, no matter what the weather, keeps excuses at bay!

Fitness Bae®

I Fell Apart But I Survived

It sure took a long time but I finally healed from my past hurts.  In my opinion the most painful thing after labour has to be heartbreak, that stuff hurts.  The pain is all consuming and you have to experience it to understand it.

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You can try the healing processes I went through at your own risk because if I’m honest in the end they did me more harm than good but I guess it was necessary to finally get past what I was feeling.

  • I became an alcoholic. I drank from Sunday through to Sunday.
  • I became “friends” with people who only fueled my new found alcohol problem.
  • I got into relationships I had no business being in.
  • I talked to a few friends; I lie, I told everyone who cared to listen what I was going through I couldn’t keep the pain to myself it was too much to bear.
  • I pretended to be doing just fine.
  • I blogged and tweeted about my pain.
  • I cried buckets, waking up in the middle of the night with a lump in my throat was the order of the day.  Puffy eyes every morning had become a part of me.
  • Eventually I sat myself down and told myself to get it together.  It took me nearly 5 years to finally let go of the one thing that was holding me hostage.  The way I saw it I was feeding myself poison each day hoping the person who hurt me would suffer.  It was clearly working against me!  It was hard, I won’t lie but I survived it and I can talk about it and not break down anymore.  Life happens, dust yourself up and move on!

If you are going through past hurts I hope this quote helps you realise that only you can set yourself free:

“Don’t keep dancing with the devil and wonder why you are still in hell.”

What are some of the past hurts that you are currently going through?  Have you devised a way to get over them if yes, please share, it will certainly help a reader or two.  You can also check out a piece I wrote on how real heartbreak can be over here.

©MaKupsy 2018

Eating Habits That Changed My Life

Fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. 

If you’re all about health and fitness you have read this saying a million times over.  Throughout my journey I have made a lot of changes that have transformed my body and I give most of the credit to making slow deliberate changes to my eating habits.  I strongly feel that fitness and food should both be a fun experience and that’s why I eat almost everything as and when the need arises; in moderation of course.  Below are some of the changes that have worked well for me.

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Image from Pinterest

  1. I only eat two slices of bread.  I used to eat brown bread but I hated it so decided to switch back to white bread and enjoy my sandwiches in peace.
  2. I have my tea with two teaspoons of brown sugar.  I cut it down to one teaspoon if I’m pairing up the tea or coffee with something sweet.
  3. I drink a lot of water, it’s become a part of my life. I can get up to 3litres of water in a day depending on my activity level.  I think this is the reason why my skin is clearer now, I used to suffer from serious breakouts.
  4. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Cucumbers, pineapples, mangoes, peaches or avocado.  Whatever is in season I’m eating it.
  5. Junk food no longer exists on my shopping list.  I can safely walk down an aisle filled with junk food and I won’t even be tempted to grab anything from there.  Actually, I hardly even notice it.  There is something about wanting to eat something even when you don’t want it just because it’s in the house.  If you don’t want temptation, don’t bring it to your house.
  6. I eat when I’m hungry, not just because it’s time to eat.  I take time to figure out if I’m hungry or just plain thirsty.
  7. I prepare most of my meals.  I want to see exactly what’s going into my food so chances of having horrible tasting meals are close to none, I long since declared that my cooking isn’t too shabby, people who have tried it are still alive 🙂
  8. I have an occasional glass of wine.  Okay I lied!  I drink a lot of wine.  May the wine gods help me with this.  I blame December.  I think this month alone I’ve wine I could have had in 3 months!  I love my wine, it helps me unwind but this month I’ve been terrible at managing my guilty pleasure.

This is what has worked specifically for me and I’m happy with the results.  I’m not a dietitian of any sorts, I’m just a fitness enthusiast playing around with food ideas and things I read on the internet.

What have been your dietary changes?  Are they working out for you?

 

Fitness Bae®

My First Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran my very first half marathon.  It was long overdue!  I had promised myself that sometime in 2017 I would make it happen and thankfully it happened just before the year ended otherwise it was going to be one goal that never materialised.  I trained for my half marathon for nearly 12 weeks then stopped at some point because I genuinely lost interest.  The thought of running a whole 21K scared me and I told myself I wasn’t built for it and that was perfectly okay.

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After running my first half marathon

However, because of the current December Challenge that team Fitness In The Park is hosting I was 5 days behind on the challenge and chose to up the amp by running a long distance; it’s a no brainer that I chose 21K to climb up the leader board.

The night before my run I dreamt that I had woken up at the time I had set my alarm and it was broad daylight.  I was annoyed and cancelled my run because I’m not the best runner when the sun is out.  I woke up to my alarm ringing and laughed out loud because this run was clearly taking over my entire life!

Soon as I got up I emptied my bladder nearly 5 times because I didn’t want to have to stop along the way for a pee break.  I also think it was the nerves kicking in because I knew that this run was going to be taxing on my entire body!

One thing happened to me during my run that I think every first half marathon runner should be wary of.  I FELT SO HUNGRY around 11K mark but I had to keep going, where was I going to get food from at 4:30am in the middle of nowhere?

Everyone has been asking me how I managed to run for 2 hours and 26 minutes none stop. I have no magic formula for this, the honest truth was that I told myself that I can slow down but I won’t stop and that ladies and gentleman is how I broke the mental barrier and smashed my first half marathon!  Oh, not forgetting the after run selfie and the NRC achievements!

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A few highlights of my run:

  • I started my run at 3:40am
  • I ran 10K #JustDoItSunday with the Nike Run Club community.
  • I ran non stop for 2 hours 26 minutes and 18 whole seconds!
  • I wasn’t listening to any music, it was just me and my thoughts that went from yay I’m so happy to be doing this to you know what, it’s really not too late to turn back and go home.
  • I used a sock to hold my phone.  Believe it or not but it’s way better than those phone arm bands that they sell.  You can make your own, YouTube is your friend!
  • My body felt like it didn’t belong to me after the run.  My legs felt like jelly and I was convinced I was going to collapse and die right there and then.  However, nothing felt as good as knowing that waking up at such an ungodly hour was worth it after all because…did I mention, I ran my first half marathon!
  • My toes were and still are painful but the rest of my body has completely healed, I even ran 10K yesterday and plan on running two more 10K runs this week.
  • Next stop Victoria Falls Marathon in 2018!!!

I’m currently suffering from fruit cravings and I’ve been having them in abundance.  Oh, and I’m hungry all the time!

How was your first half marathon?  What are some of your highlights and regrets?

For some first time half marathon runners here are a few tips: 21K Training Tips

Fitness Bae®

 

Banting While Pregnant

I’m pregnant and I’ve been living the Banting or LCHF (low carbohydrate high fat) lifestyle for almost 3 years.  I’ve been able to keep my weight under check during the entire time. Before then I was a runner who struggled with weight gain, the more I ran the more I gained – it just did not make sense until I discovered Banting. I lost a total of 9.5kgs in 3 months and I’ve not looked back since then!

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Nyasha

My first 2 years as a Banter were full of stops and starts due to uncertainty over the safety of Banting during a pregnancy and discovering that I couldn’t live the LCHF life while breastfeeding. Banting was still too new. This time around, yes, number two is on the way, and I have doubts that Banting is safe, if not the best, during pregnancy because:

  • It provides your growing baby with all the healthy fat need for brain building.
  • It keeps ailments like gestational diabetes at bay
  • It also means you will not have a tough time losing bump fat after you give birth.

I just have to be careful about increasing my carbohydrate intake once the baby arrives as the consumption of carbs is a key building block of milk production.

Back to Banting for those that are NOT pregnant!

While exercise is not necessary to achieve weight-loss when Banting, it is necessary for general fitness and health which is why I do it.  My preferred workouts are brisk walking in proper form and running distances between 2K and 5K. My sweet spot lies within these distances because 2K is short enough to make me run again the next day and 5K is long enough to keep me asking: “Can I shave another 7 seconds off my last run this week?” I’ve recently got more involved in dance based workouts because of the rains and I love them!

My favourite snack for movie night is:

  1. Chicken Skin Crisps, provided they survive till the movie starts! You can season them with whatever you like, my favourite is salted dipped in a Banting-friendly sweet chili sauce!
  2. Salami roll-ups are what I make if I need to rock up somewhere with a plate of eats. I make these from strips of salami, “buttered” with cream cheese and half a pimiento-stuffed olive for each roll up. They look classy and are lovely with a glass of chilled Chardonnay.
  3. When I have more time on my hands, it’s low carb pizza made with a cauliflower, yep, cauliflower, base. If people can’t tell the difference between a Banting pizza and a flour-based pizza, then you’ve made it right!

Eating out can be tricky when you’re living a low-carb life because you don’t know whether your pan-fried fish has really been cooked with butter or regular cooking oil. More and more restaurants are offering Banting-Friendly options on their menus. Delicious Fine Food Emporium at Borrowdale Village has a really comprehensive Banting Menu that I can’t get enough of! I only wish I didn’t live so far away. If it’s a hearty breakfast I’m after, then it’s without a doubt, “The Banter Breakfast” from Brento’s in Greendale. It’s made up of bacon or salmon (for an extra charge), mushroom, tomato and haloumi cheese (all grilled), avocado and 2 eggs of your choice. Eish, I’m actually getting hungry as I write this!! Cappuccinos with full fat milk and no sugar are welcome any day!

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Banter Breakfast from Brentos

I plan what I’m going to eat before I go out.  You can ask for rolls or bread sticks to be removed from your table so that you’re not tempted to dig in! Safe meal choices include grilled meats, steamed veggies and salads. Ask for a blob of butter to add to your veggies and a bit of lemon juice and olive oil instead of dressing for your salad. That way you can still track your carbs and fat intake.

One real problems is drinks and desserts! To low-carbers, alcohol is a toxin, consume it at your own risk. But if you must, go for white wines and champagne that have a lower carbohydrate content than red wines and cocktails. Spirits served with soft drinks are a no-no and beer is literally liquidized carbs! If you don’t eat out very often you can indulge in dessert once in a while but always remind yourself that sugar is as addictive as many hardcore drugs.

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What do I love about Banting? BACON – the streaky kind!  The results of banting which are usually visible within weeks of starting out are the second thing I love about banting.

A big thank you to Nyasha for the well written and informative post.  Congratulations on your pregnancy; many new discoveries await.

You can follow her Banting journey on Facebook and stay up to date with what’s hip and happening in the Banting world.

Are you a banter, how has been your experience so far?

Fitness Bae®

 

This Is Why You Are Gaining Weight

Ask anyone trying to lose weight and they will tell you how easily you can gain weight if you stop paying attention to your healthy habits.  It took me an entire year to lose 10kgs but if I’m reckless it takes me just one week to gain 1kg back!  The universe has some mad jokes I tell you.  It has been 3 years on this journey and I now know what makes my body tick or not.  Today I will share habits that easily contribute to my weight gain, I’m sure you will read some of them and notice that they probably have the same effect on you.

1. Poor Sleep

I’m a runner and this form of exercise requires that I get as much rest as I can to perform at my best.  However, on days I don’t sleep properly I don’t have the energy to get up and do one of the few things I love the most.  No energy means no runs means zero progress on that day.  Which translates to me feeling guilty all day long and probably missing a meal which by the way is a bad thing because starving yourself means your body goes into starvation mode which leads to weight gain, my word, the cycle!

2. Clothes

Fashion keeps doing the most.  One time our jeans are all the way up to our boobs next thing they are low cut and at some point they had elastic bands around the waist.  I remember the elastic band phase, I had a pair or two of those.  Now that’s the worst pair you want to invest in if you are trying to lose weight.  The elastic just keeps stretching and you don’t even realise you have gained weight until you wear something else.  Stay away from elastic band jeans, they give you false sense of security!

3. Alcohol

I love me some white wine, on a good weekend I will go through a whole 1litre of white wine and not even feel bad about it.  I run so that I can drink and drink so that I can run; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!  I’m pretty good when it comes to watching what I eat and very consistent when it comes to exercise but I promise you, alcohol will be the death of me!  My six pack comes and goes and I know alcohol is the reason why it won’t let it thrive.  Alcohol contains a lot of calories so unfortunately for me, I drink my calories…Just so you know, it’s not just alcohol that contains calories, soft drinks and fruit juices are also an enemy of progress.

White wine has 83 calories in 100g glass

Coca-Cola has 210 calories in a 500ml bottle

Fruit juice has 54 calories in a 100g glass

My advice is drink water, it has zero calories.  If you can’t at least cut down because those clearly these drinks do more harm than good.

4. Stress

My stress comes from my Body Fat Scale.  I used to have a habit where I would weigh myself everyday.  That didn’t end very well and I since stopped the habit and I don’t encourage it either.  Now I weigh myself once a week, same place and same time.  According to researchers stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly fat.

5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS)

This is the worst time of the month for me.  I hate PMSng, it drives me up the wall with it’s cravings and mood swings.  I crave the strangest things.  Last month I had doughnuts, a whole litre of coke, chocolate, lots of greasy take out and biscuits.  Gosh!  All that bad food in a week.  I don’t know if it’s just me but my stomach has this small bulge of sort when I’m PMSng.  This is one of the worst times of the month for me because I know the moment I hop onto the scale I will be very disappointed!  I promise you the cravings leave me thinking I’m pregnant…but I know better.

*BONUS POINT*

You are all talk and no action.  I see you!

I believe you know what contributes to your weight gain.  You just have to pay extra attention to yourself.  At the same time weight gain is not entirely a bad thing, especially if it’s going to the right places.

My advice is make small deliberate changes in your life and the weight loss will happen.

Let’s talk, what’s adding the weight on your scale?

Fitness Bae®

ParkRun Harare : October

Come and run with us this weekend at the ONLY park run in Harare.

Place: Greenwood Park

Date: 14 and 28 October 2017

Time 5:30am for 6:am

Join us for a fitness filled morning at the park hosted by Fitness Bae in partnership with Steward Health.

  • 5K Run
  • Body Weight Training
  • Stretching

Bring your towel and bottle of water.  Remember to wear something pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

*Please be early, run starts at 6am sharp!*

Admission is Free!

28 October 2017

28 October 2017

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

Run 5K For The Fun Of It!

I love October!  Running is much more colourful thanks to the blooming jacaranda trees. The early morning runs are filled with beautiful fresh scents and that’s an additional reason to get up and run!  I’ve been training for my first half marathon and I’m currently on week 12 of 16.  I’ve stopped following the programme on My Nike Coach for this month because just looking at the set distances is making me sick to my stomach.  I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to wake up and run 18K on a random Wednesday morning.  I’m still going to run my half marathon though, but I’m going to do it my way!

I got this brilliant idea of documenting what you plan to do each week and then sharing both what you and don’t get done from one of my favourite fitness bloggers Piper.  You should check out her September and October goals from here.

What I Planned vs What I Did

Monday Run 5K * Ran 5K. It was one tough run considering I had gone out the previous night and left the event at 10pm, only to get to sleep at 11pm, absolute madness! 

Tuesday 50 crunches 50 push ups and 30 minutes Zumba 50 crunches 50 push ups the only problem here was the push ups.  Now that I know how to do them properly they are pretty intense.  I didn’t feel like doing Zumba afterwards so I let that slide.

Wednesday Run 5K Ran 5K It was mostly an uphill run but I smashed it and clocked in my best time and shaved off a whole 15 seconds from Monday’s run.

Thursday 50 crunches 50 push ups50 crunches.  My right shoulder is in pain.  I think I got overzealous on Tuesday morning.  I had to fix a hot water bottle and lie on it throughout the night to ease the pain on my shoulder.

Friday Run 5K * Ran 5K + 30 minutes of Zumba. It was a slow easy run.  I didn’t have any music today, I wanted to enjoy my surroundings.  My shoulder is still in pain but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling much better.  Threw in some Zumba as well, the hunger I felt within an hour!  I gobbled down half an avocado before I left for work.

Saturday 50 crunches 50 push ups * 50 crunches 50 push ups.  I did these first thing in the morning before my body could make any excuses.

Sunday Run 5K * Ran 5K First #JustDoItSunday of the month, I loved it! 

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Image from Pinterest

My highlight for the week was definitely Zumba.  It takes me to a happy place.  I love how my body can do all these various moves and still get to exercise at the same time.  It gets me sweating, way more than I do when I go for a run!  Maybe next week I will do two Zumba sessions instead of one…will see how things go.

How was your exercise week?  What did you get up to and what have you changed on your fitness plan?

Lesson Learnt This Week: Go out for your run at 5:00am if you want to beat running in the sun!

Fitness Bae®

October Challenge

October is going to be one heck of a month!  We are going to be out here running like it’s going out of fashion.  If you took part in the Winter Challenge in June then this challenge will be a breeze.  You can read some of the challenge reviews from here.

When I initiated the winter challenge I told beginners that it would be a once off thing but I knew once they started running they would never stop and that’s exactly what’s going on now!  They are hooked onto running and I love it!

In winter we ran 2K almost everyday.  This side of the world winter mornings are pretty dark so you can imagine how onlookers probably thought we had lost our minds running in the dark cold weather.  However, it paid off and most team members managed to lose or maintain their weight throughout the winter season.

This October we will be running 5K at least three times a week and at most 4 times a week.  I’m proud to say that team Fitness In The Park managed to smash the June Challenge and I know they will surprise October by completing every single run.

Here are a few tips on how to survive the 5K challenge from the members of team Fitness In The Park:

Enjoy the run and ignore the pain, find new routes to run, avoid running soon after a meal and adjust your speed during your run. – M.K

Run at a steady pace that suits you. I had a problem of trying to run to finish as quickly as possible but you burn out real quick!  Running is really all in your mind, don’t give up! – Jeff

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SpreadSheet Credit: Nyasha Chidavaenzi

 

Rules Of The Challenge

  1. Have fun!  Run, jog, sprint, power walk through this but whatever you do; have fun!
  2. Share your run on any social media platform.
  3. Use the #RunWithFitnessBae challenge together with your other favourite fitness hash tags.
  4. Wear pink.  It can be a cap, tshirt, shorts any pink workout gear for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I encourage you to take note of your progress.  When October comes to an end I want you to see the difference between your first and last run of October.

Happy running and even when you don’t feel like running remember the saying “Just Do It!”

Fitness Bae®