10 Quotes That Make Me Happy

Happiness really is a state of mind.  I know this first hand.  Most days I’m a bubble of positive energy and some days well, some days life takes over and I drown in negative energy.  Last week was hard for me, I was facing so many emotional battles that I was convinced I was never going to get out of it.  Thankfully it only lasted a while and I’m back to my happy self.  Below are some of my favourite quotes.

  1. Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
  2. Some days you just have to bring your own sunshine.
  3. If you are tired learn to rest not quit!
  4. Today will be F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.
  5. One of the simplest ways to stay happy is to let go of the things that make you sad.
  6. Stress is caused by giving a fu*k
  7. Chin up Queen, or the crown slips.
  8. Being happy never goes out of style.
  9. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
  10. Today be the badas* girl you were too lazy to be yesterday!

I love Pinterest, it’s one of my many reliable sources when it comes to getting back on the happy wagon.  You can follow me and check out my board, Positive Energy.

What keeps you going when you are facing trying times?

 

©MaKupsy 2017

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15 Priceless Gems I Learnt From The #30DayAfriblogger Challenge

I blogged my heart out in September, a whole 30 days of creating posts was worth every minute of my time…

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Image from Pinterest

  1. What stands between you and what you want is the story you tell yourself about why you can’t have it. I told myself I was going to blog the heck out of this September Challenge and I did exactly that!
  2. Collaboration is key. There were days when the challenge topics were tough and I had no idea how to tackle them. Thankfully we had the option to invite guest bloggers to write for us on a not so creative day.  I’m grateful for Chantelle, Vimbai and Josh for coming to the rescue.  Through their work my eyes were opened to issues that I had been ignorant about.
  3. Having a Content Calendar makes life easier. When the challenge started I looked through the topics and I was convinced it was going to be one crazy month because it looked like a lot of work.  Turns out it saved me a lot of time because I worked on difficult topics beforehand and sailed through the easy ones.
  4. I’ve spotted my weaknesses and strengths. Before this challenge I was an impromptu blogger.  Thanks to having to do research beforehand I have become more organised and I can create blog posts days in advance.  My number one strength now is that I know I can actually blog everyday if I put my mind to it.
  5. I got out of my comfort zone and learnt about new topics e.g feminism. I always see the topic getting people in heated arguments on social media platforms but now that I am more knowledgeable on the topic believe me I will be jumping in with my views.
  6. Use of different tools and elements to evoke emotion. Pinterest was good to me, word play even better!  These tools helped with keeping my readers engaged throughout the month and I’m happy to note that most readers could relate to different topics.
  7. Blog titles.  The catchier the better.  One of my personal favourites this month was When In Doubt, Eat Sadza.  This post caught the attention of my readers; most readers are currently out of the country so seeing sadza left them feeling nostalgic.
  8. Scheduling posts was the best thing that ever happened to me in September! It gave me time to read other blogs and not work on blogging only.
  9. Excuses don’t bring blog posts! I wrote through both good and bad days.  That’s the problem when you initiate something; you can’t afford to let yourself down so it ends up being both a blessing and a curse.  I seriously think that Sweet Lips should give me a case of wine because I went through a lot of wine this month to keep myself from drowing.
  10. Trust is built with consistency.  My objective as a Blogger is to get people engaged on my blog and the only way to do so is through consistent work.
  11. You may be a blogger but you are also a writer. Once you are something you have the responsibility of being  the best version of that!  What better way to challenge your skills through a 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
  12. September has been the best month of the year statistically with 5,379 views, 3,598 visitors, 524 likes, 137 comments and 31 blog posts!  If you want to get this blogging thing on lock then becoming a reliable source for content makes your blog more useful and therefore popular.
  13. Team work is the sh*t! We had a WhatsApp group running throughout the challenge and we discussed difficult topics in advance and it helped to give you an idea of which direction to choose for your posts.
  14. Bearded men aren’t so bad after all, wait, bearded men are the business! Apparently a man with a beard comes with much wisdom, awesomeness and note there’s D on the end of the word beard!   My friend (who happens to have a beard) would check on some of my posts and read some of my drafts and let me know they were lacking my character.  Make sure you have a person like that to cross check your work before sending it out into the world.
  15. I was going to stop blogging by the end of this year because I thought I was completely out of ideas on what to write about but this challenge just took my creative juices to the next level! I now know how I’m going to proceed blogging wise sit tight, it’s going to be an explosive journey from here on.

*Bonus Lesson: It’s good to invest in learning some technical skills!*

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Image from Pinterest

That said, let’s celebrate good times!!  Congratulations to every blogger who participated in this challenge. It was one energy filled month, we outdid ourselves African Bloggers!!!  This is the end of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and I’m happy to have been a part of something so profound.  The first time I did a write everyday challenge was last year in September and you can read the posts from here.

I would love to hear from you, when was the last time you took up a writing challenge?  How did that go for you?  Did you face any challenges along the way and how did you handle them?

I’m going to be away for a while, taking a “break” from blogging but I will still be here reading through all your amazing posts.  Have a lovely weekend ahead and stay beautiful both inside and out.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 15: Why I Initiated The #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

I love me a challenge, especially one I set up for myself.  Last year I did my first Blog Everyday challenge and it showed me just how much I can do the work when it comes to committing to writing everyday.  However, looking back at my posts I was still an amateur at it but this time around my writing has completely changed, things are looking good!  It’s true, practice does make perfect.  In my case perfect(ish) because I believe I still have a lot to learn when it comes to blogging.

I sent out a message on all my social media platforms and announced that I was going to be doing a blog everyday challenge in September and all bloggers in Africa were welcome.  In no time I set up a WhatsApp group and got in touch with  a fellow blogger Thembi and we added interested participants into the group.  We had to come up with a hashtag and we finally settled for a suggestion from Omolayo from Nigeria and we all agreed to go with #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.

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Image from Pinterest

I could have written a very long post on the reasons why I initiated this challenge but I am honestly mentally exhausted, writing is so taxing so you will have to settle for the list version.

Here’s why I am taking part in the blog everyday challenge:

  1. I enjoy a challenge, with each challenge I get to learn something new.
  2. I announced I would be taking part in the challenge to everyone who would care to listen so yes, I am officially screwed and can’t back down now.
  3. To improve my writing skills.  The only way you can get better at something is through practice and so far I have learnt new vocabulary and I’m paying more attention to my grammar.
  4. To connect with other African Bloggers.  I follow bloggers from all over the world but since the challenge started I have read more content from writers who are right here in Africa.
  5. I want to be part of something original.  In the past I’ve had to search through Google or Pinterest to look for a challenge to take part in but look at me now, initiating original challenges and sh*t?
  6. To have a visual reference of my work.  Picture telling someone you blogged everyday for 30 days and they don’t believe you?  Simple, give them the link to your September Challenge so that they can check it out themselves.
  7. I was starting to write less in the past few months.  I usually post at least 4 blogs in a week but it was down to 2 and on bad weeks 1 post a week.  I needed something to get me back on track.
  8. To encourage other bloggers to write.  To let them know that it is possible to write a post a day if you simply put your mind to it.
  9. To stretch my mental capacity.  I always have a challenge to work on my physical strength but this time around I wanted to take my mental strength to the next level.
  10. To celebrate Africa!  The way I see it if African Bloggers do not share their stories no one else will and this is certainly a great way to start.

September is African Bloggers month!

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 2: Top 10 African Home Rules

It’s a beautiful morning, Saturday is the best day of the week I kid you not!  (now that I have my own place).  Back when I was still staying with my parents sleeping in on a Saturday morning was something you watched on TV and the moment I got my freedom I made sure that waking up at whatever time my heart desired would be a top priority.  Let me share some of the rules from way back when which were drilled into my head.  My parents didn’t have to tell me twice, I was scared to find out what would happen to me if I chose to disobey them!

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image from Pinterest

  1. No sitting on dad’s sofa.  My dad had a specific sofa he liked and even in his absence you were not allowed to sit there.
  2. No going to play outside the gate.  The gate was ALWAYS locked and you only left when you had to go to the shops to buy bread or to go school.
  3. No singing or talking during meal times.
  4. No leaving your food unfinished.  Whatever your mother dished out for you had to be cleared, no matter how sick you claimed to be.  The whole “I don’t like eating this” didn’t exist in our home.  You ate EVERYTHING.
  5. No watching TV after 8pm.
  6. No bringing anything that does not belong to you, it could be a simple pen, believe me the very next day you would have to take it back.
  7. No going for parties that start at night.  No hosting parties either! I remember being told I couldn’t attend a friends party and yet she was just 3 houses away, I was gutted!
  8. No waking up late, I was usually up to help with cleaning the house by 5:30am and if I attempted to sleep any further my mother would come to my room and start singing or looking for something in my drawers or open my curtains and windows because “basa mangwanani” – you should start house chores early in the day.  I guess this explains why I am a morning person.
  9. No locking of bedroom doors.  There were to be no “privacy” as long as I was staying under my parents roof.  My dad used to read my letters when they came through the post!
  10. Everyone had to be home by 6pm.  To this day even when I visit I don’t even go anywhere after 6pm, it’s a long standing rule.

Just from reading my own list I realise growing up was hard man.  Who does that?  I could actually go on and list more rules but this list made me realise some of those rules helped mold me to be the person I am today.  I guess my parents meant well and wanted to inform some form of discipline and order.

Right now I have my cup of tea right next to me and a plate of fruit, I know if my mother knew I was eating in bed she would throw a fit!

What are the rules that you grew up strongly abiding by? Let’s share some them in the comments section, I would like to believe no one can beat my list!

#30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

©MaKupsy 2017

Dare To Believe!

I have been keeping a journal for as long as I remember, the idea started when I was in senior school around age 14.  It has stuck with me over the years but lately I don’t make entries as often as I used to because  blogging has taken over the greater part of my life.   My handwriting has slowly become pathetic over the years so I quickly lost interest in the journal life.

I was doing some tidying up a few days ago and bumped into an old journal from 2006.  I have no idea where I got this entry from but I felt I needed to share it with my fellow bloggers.  Please note these are not my words, if anyone has any idea where this piece is from please let me know.

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Image from Pinterest

You can’t be all things to all people.  You cant do all things at once.

You can’t do all things better than everyone else. Your humanity is showing just like everyone else’s.

So:

You have to find out who you are, and be that.  You have to decide what must come first and do that.

You have to discover your strengths, and use them.  You have to learn not to compete with others.

Because no one else is in contest of “being you”.

Then:

You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.  You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.

You will have learned to live with your limitations.  You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.

And you’ll be a most vital mortal.

DARE TO BELIEVE:

That you are a wonderful, unique person.  That you are a once-in-all-history event.

That it’s more than a right, it’s your duty, to be who you are.  That life if not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.

And you’ll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.

For the Christian Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.

“In prayer; expect setbacks, but refuse retreat.”

Don’t tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great the Lord is!!

©MaKupsy 2017

I Found My Purpose

I never really wanted a lot of things badly enough.  I could like something alright but really want and need it was a different story.  I went through the greater part of my life having a luke warm attitude towards a lot of things until one fateful day.  The day I went for my regular medical examinations and hopped on the scale to reveal how I had gone from being fat to obese was a life changing moment.  It was at that very moment that I decided I was going to do everything in my power to do something about the excess weight I was carrying around.  I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.  Why is this important to note?  Well, when I was full term and a few days before giving birth to my baby girl I was 85kgs so you can imagine the horror!  It was time to get up and do something!

I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.

With no money to subscribe for gym membership I was left to my own devices.  I decided running would be my best bet since it was free and all I needed was myself.  The first days were hard and I power walked through most of the distances I had set out for myself.  After weeks  of pushing myself I eventually ran for longer without stopping and I got all the motivation to keep going…I haven’t stopped running since.

I did not have much information to work with when it came to my eating habits so I simply worked with what other people were trying out.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night and sending a message to my friend telling her how hunger was stopping me from sleeping.  I had adopted a diet where I ate a very heavy breakfast, sometimes it even had sadza, a heavy-ish lunch and close to nothing but a glass of water and fruit for supper.  The scale was not moving, I was unhappy, I was hungry.  It was only after reading an article on the internet that I realised that I was doing myself more harm than good and started learning the art of preparing healthy balanced meals.  That was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

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I am going to be the first NikeWoman from Zimbabwe 🙂

Running got much more fun.  I had set out distances to try out and each time I managed to run through them.  My goal was to run 10K and if I could do that I would have officially accomplished the biggest goal in my life.  It did happen and it was just as I had pictured it.  From thereon I started challenging myself to run not just longer but faster and the hobby slowly became an addiction.  When I started I showcased my fitness journey on social media.  I knew I would have no choice but to show up come rain(in every sense of the word) or shine because my followers would be expecting to see my progress.

I switched things up and added Zumba, Yoga, NRC Workouts, Aerobics, Swimming and Tennis.  I realised that running alone was going to get boring at some point so the more activities I included the better variety to choose from.  I was bubbly, stronger, happier, fit and lean.  I did all this from the comfort of my home and never had to part with a single dime to reach my desired goal.  I have bumped into friends from College who can’t believe I haven’t changed at all because I am physically the same person.  If only they knew how much change that has taken place mentally as well.  I am a completely different person now.

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With family and social media followers starting to compliment on my progress I felt the need to to work harder.  When I realised the impact my journey had on people around me I created a WhatsApp group which has turned into a movement termed #RunWithFitnessBae.  At the beginning of the year it was trending because of a Fitness Challenge I had planned and organised.  The movement has participants from different parts of the world but mostly Africa.  I have taken the movement from WhatsApp to Facebook, Blogging and Instagram.  As it stands I am currently the only Zimbabwean Fitness Blogger and I create fresh content each week!

It brings me so much joy to know that even though my fitness journey was mainly pushed by a case of depression; the fruits that have come from it have actually created a passion and purpose that I could have never imagined.  I have managed to inspire people across the globe; especially mothers, to exercise and get back to their pre-pregnancy bodies.  Those who have come into contact with me have become better not only physically but emotionally as well.

I am a woman on a mission to make the most of every opportunity life throws at me.  I believe everyone can exercise for the body that they want and if you can not afford the gym there is no excuse not to get fit.  I am a living example of what park runs can do for you.  I am currently 74kgs and I have never had to part with a single dollar to lose weight.  I have been through it all, the fad diets, the hoping for miracle weight loss, the drinking fruit juice all day but at the end of the day what I have learnt is that you have to eat right, exercise and be patient.  The results will come, just make small changes everyday and you will be amazed at what your body can do.

If you would like to talk to someone about weight loss or weight management then I am the person for you.  If you would like to be a part of the current Winter Challenge feel free to join us, all the more competition for the team.

Never give up on what you truly want, it’s not everyday that people get to find out what it is that fires their soul!

I found my purpose.  The one thing that makes me get up in the morning and look forward to starting the day.  The one thing I dream of, the one thing I get excited talking about, the one thing that keeps me up at night writing up ideas and chewing up my data while I do research on the internet.  The one thing that I can’t live without.  I think, eat, dream, live fitness.  I am Fitness Bae.

I have a series coming up on Tuesday 18 July, be sure to log onto my Fitness Blog and subscribe.

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©MaKupsy 2017

 

Let That Sh*t Go!

My inspiration for today’s post struck last night when I was doing my monthly ritual.  I have a habit of going through all my shelves in my wardrobe and deciding on what I should keep; what I should give away to someone who will fit into it because lately the majority of my clothes don’t fit anymore thanks to weight loss or pass on to the strangers that sometimes knock at my door asking for any form of donations.  After yesterday’s clean up I can safely say I have a few decent clothes between me and who knows when I will do my next shopping for clothes but it feels good.

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Image from Google

Believe it or not but I have three handbags in my life.  The main reason being I don’t particularly like handbags and the the three that I have are bags I actually use and not just keep.  Why am I like this?  Because I believe that you should only keep what you use.  Nothing more nothing less.  I remember trying to explain this ritual to a friend of mine the one time…I said to them:

I always imagine that if I died today and people had to go through my things I don’t want them to be pissed off with me and having them question why I kept outdated clothes.  

In our culture when someone passes on those who remain get to inherit the clothes of the deceased.  Now imagine having to get something that was a hit in 2000 in 2017.  I would be equally annoyed!

This is the part where I confess to getting shocked when I have visited a few people.  People keep THE most ridiculous things.  How do you still have the bicycle that your now 21 year old grandson used to ride when he was only 5 years old?  Why do you still have empty shoes boxes of Nike running shoes you bought 2 years ago, why are you keeping empty jars in your fridge?  Let that shit go please, you need to do this thing they call decluttering!

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Image from Pinterest

Okay, back to my story.  Sometime last year I gave away two pairs of heels that had been sitting in my office for close to a year.  You see when I give away my things I make sure I give away something that is still in good condition.  The person I gave them to was so ecstatic you would think she had won a grand prize.  Guess what happened a few weeks after this incident?  My sister took me shopping and bought me not one but two very gorgeous pairs of shoes!  Something about giving makes room for new things to come your way…

I understand that people get attached to different things, clothes included but I want to challenge you do go through your things and really question why you still need some of them.  When you do find the things to give away make sure the clothes or shoes or whatever you pick out is still in good condition.  You don’t want to defeat the whole purpose of the exercise by giving away something that’s tattered and torn.  Give something away that someone will truly appreciate and use for the next few months or so.

There is a liberating feeling I get each time I clear my closet.  Don’t limit yourself to just clearing your clothes, go all out and move to your kitchen utensils, bathroom equipment, old magazines and so on.  Just don’t do it in one day though, it can be really taxing!

When was the last time you cleaned up your closet, what did you give away?

©MaKupsy 2017

Throw Back Thursday : #TeamFitness

They say there is strength in numbers, and thanks to this group we have on Whatsapp that saying has only proven to stay true. We share all sorts of health and exercise information and encourage each other along the way. I am NOT a Whatsapp Group fan but this one is just what I needed. The ladies here all have lives to live so there is no bombarding of endless meaningless messages on the group. .There is 7 ladies in this group, all with different strategies but all with one agenda “To keep fit.” Hence the group name #TeamFitness.  Below is a bio for every member of the group.

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Name – Felly

Age – 23

Height – 5 foot 7 inches/173cm

Weight: starting weight 95kgs/211lbs/15 stone, 1lb

Goal weight: 68kgs/150lbs/10 stone, 10lbs

Current weight: – restarting my journey so if you ask me this information at the end of the month, I’ll have something more accurate.

My exercise regime is 85% cardio and 15% strength training. I run a 5K on the treadmill in approx 35 minutes, row for 10 minutes and do the cross trainer/elliptical for 20-30 minutes depending on how tired I am. I just started attending a spin class that’s 45 minutes long but trying only for x3 times in a week!

My strength routine is fairly new but is very light lifting and weighted squats. I’m hoping to improve this once I’ve lost 5kgs as I’ll be lighter and my endurance better. I’m aiming to train for 4-5 times in a week with rest days on Saturday and Tuesday. I’ll walk 5 miles/8km around my neighbourhood on days I do not attend the gym..

My diet is going to be strictly vegan for one week then clean after that. I intend to treat myself x1 per month and on that day, anything and everything in my path will be eaten lol! I’m going cold turkey on all soda and fizzy and all I’ll be drinking is water, tea, 100% fruit juice and squash. My goal is to lose 5kgs/14lbs/1 stone every month.

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Name – Zvie

Age – 29

Height – 162cm

Current Weight – 80kgs

Goal Weight – 75kgs

My workout regime is mostly composed of jogging.  I jog mornings and evenings. I jog for 20 minutes in the mornings where I run 2.5km in 20 minutes.  I recently added running up and down a hill for close to 10 minutes so that totals my time to 30 minutes once im done with the jog.  In the evenings I run 5km for about 40 minutes.

On days I do not jog I do 1 hour of Aerobics, or 30 minutes of Zumba or 45 minutes of Yoga.

I have a cheat day where I eat foods I will be craving but in moderation, then I have rest day(originally meant to be a day I chill out on the exercising front), but ends up as a day which I hardly ever utilise because most times I will be catching up on laundry and house chores. Whoever said you only rest when you are dead knew what they were talking about!

My eating habits are currently working out just fine, I now think before I eat because jogging is a constant reminder of how hard it is to burn the food I eat.  I drink water effortlessly, I go through 3 litres on a good day.  Every other week I am challenging myself to do something different, like try an all fruit day, or cut out carbs in the evenings, eat more fruits and vegetables and so far it is going great. My goal weight is to be 75kgs come April 2015, it is my birthday month so I plan to celebrate it in style.

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Name – Tendy

Age – 30

Weight  – 79kgs

Height – 165cm

Goal weight -70 kgs by January 22, 2015

Diet: Daniels fast Mon – Friday

Morning Jog 1.5kms – gym for an hour in the evening. Drinking a litre per day of water.

Jog 10km on Sundays and exercise for two hours in the gym.

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Name – Yami

Age – 27

Height – Not sure! 162cm maybe?

Weight – 57kgs

Goal weight –  Maintain current. I’m all about trying to tone up and

define muscles (lower body)

Exercise regime. My ideal exercise plan includes running, yoga, indoor cardio, dance and kickboxing. Lately I’ve been slacking but I’m incorporating yoga into everyday and kickboxing three times a week. I like anything I can do to music. I am still psyching myself to getting back into running.

My goal is to keep healthy. A common misconception about people who aren’t overweight is that we don’t have to exercise. I do it to keep my heart strong, legs fit and stomach flat. My stomach has never been a problem but I want to keep it that way.

My diet is low in carbs, high in protein. I love vegetables to – I could literally eat salad every day. I don’t like water but I drink a lot of juice and when I have to drink water, I try to flavour it. Typical breakfast is either cornflakes with fruit or an omelette. Lunch and supper vary but there’s always a vegetable in there, whether it’s on rye bread, in salad or with some form of meat. I snack on fruit, popcorn, yoghurt. I like cheese too.

I am lucky that I don’t gain weight too easily so I cheat a lot with candy but I limit myself pretty well. Two or three candy bars a month and a packet of fruit chews. Sparkling flavoured water is a weakness.

When I’m not exercising, I’m a life coach and soft skills training facilitator. I work with a youth group called Soul’d Out too. Love to read, sing, cook, laugh… And my personal motto is “More Heart”, we all need to put more energy and passion into life. That means greater commitment, focus, excellence and more love.

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Name – Kay

Age – 25

Height – 158cm

Current Weight – 86kgs

Goal Weight – 70kgs

Jogging and gym  – Currently 1.5kms each morning, adding it to make 3kms, then gym for 1.30 mins, squats, treadmill 3 kms, sit ups, weights.

Sunday to Friday routine- Sabbath I rest. Totally! Sunday I try and jog twice as much, 5kms that is, esp when the weather is tempting

I need to be really honest with myself in terms of what I eat, I start the day so well. Cereal, fruit, a sandwich for lunch but supper I get home and i have a heavy meal, I do portion control though but, I snack on biscuits at times, I have no discipline at all.

I need to increase thee exercise routine and stay on course with my diet, I also need to drink more water. Frequenting the loo goes against my very being. I have no problem drinking it, It is the downside I do not like.

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Name – Pacey Pee

Age – 26

Height – 157cm

Current weight – 66kg

Target weight 62 kg

I jog in the mornings (I mean I try to) and I go for aerobics class every Sunday morning. I make sure all my workouts are for 30+ minutes so that my belly fat can be tormented. YES #belly!!!! that’s my major concern. I hate vegetables, I don’t understand fruits. Water is tasteless. LOL I like to complain about these things even though I know they bring out a nice bikini body! So time to toughen up and get flab burning!

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Name : Miss Kay

Age: 26

Weight : 62kgs

Height : 162cm

Target Weight : 55kg

Its more of a getting toned than weight loss plan so don’t read into the target weight thing too much.

Fitness Goals : To run the 2015 Vic Falls Marathon

Routine : cardio, fartlek, gym, p90x

I wake up at 5:15 every morning for my run because I can’t stand this heat and that’s just the best way to start off a great day. I do a 20min jog at a fast pace approx just over 4km. Fully recovery then I do some fartleks which are just walk, jog, sprint intervals (example –>walk 50m, jog 100m, sprint 100m  Do this 6-10 times).

On other days I will just do gym and some p90x. I attribute my almost perfectly flat belly to my p90x DVD collection

My Playlist :  Anything by Rihanna. funk rock/ house/ dancehall music — the less lyrics the better, i just want a bouncy beat and rhythm

Weakness  : Chocolates, pizza, icecream  These weaknesses for me need Jesus himself because I don’t know what kind of will power is required here

About me : When I’m not exercising I’m farming (tobacco, pigs, mushrooms) and during the school first term season I coach athletics

Let Your Body Do The Yoga!

Never underestimate the power of a Monday morning workout!  I hope you did some form of exercise this morning because trust me, it will determine the rest of your workout week.  This year my agenda is to feature a fitness interview on my blog every month and the first one happens to be Yoga related.  I took some time out yesterday afternoon and got to talk to one who also goes by the name “Fitness Duchess” in the #RunWithFitnessBae WhatsApp group and this is what she shared with me.

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What is your name, your age and where you are from?

My name is Margaret Sandra Munthali.  I am 26 years old and I am from Blantyre, Malawi.

What inspired you to start doing Yoga and why Yoga?

My childhood best friend and I felt like doing something different for hanging out. Something healthy. We agreed upon Yoga. It was just about trying something new. A great way to spend the afternoon. We got our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram.  We started off with Acroyoga actually.  There was no specific reason as to why we picked Yoga. We didn’t know it much at the time; but after our first session we felt SOOOO  good and got hooked.

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Do you do any other forms of exercise?

Yes I do other forms of exercise.  I run here and there. As of December 2016 I’ve been inspired to skip. So I am currently on a skipping challenge.  I also do random workouts on the app Nike Training App.  One day,  I’d love to do Cross Fit activities.

What are some of the benefits of Yoga?

There are so many benefits of Yoga. The physical ones include better posture,  increased core strength,  toned muscles, increased flexibility, pain and stress relief,  weight management and improved breathing. However, I discovered some other benefits too,  it is a great stress reliever!

I found that it taught me some great life lessons. Life is a  journey,  creating small goals is essential for happiness. In Yoga, a pose was a journey,  I would celebrate each improvement or step towards being able to get the pose. I found myself constantly motivated and happy. I apply that to life as well. The journey is just as important as the end goal. Another feeling I can’t really describe is the feeling you get after a great session. A sense of peace. Amaze balls!! It also helped me focus and helped me practice the skill of blocking things out and being able to be present.

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What would you advise someone who wants to try out Yoga?

Practice, practice, practice. I can’t emphasise this enough. The more you do it the better you get. When you stop you reverse the effects slowly. The Internet is your friend. There is tonnes and tonnes of inspiration on the Internet.  A lot of amazing people doing amazing things. There are many variations of yoga too. Research and choose what suits you. There are different types of yoga too. Personally I enjoy the Hatha Yoga  and Ashtanga types; sometimes Vinyasa too. I would love to try some Iyengar  which is the yoga practice that uses props like straps and blocks and some  Birkam also known as Hot Yoga. (Feel free to search for these Yoga variations on the Internet). My advise is find a partner to do it with. I think that was what helped me to stay on track. When I am practicing alone. It’s okay but not as fun.

Where do you do your yoga and what equipment do you need?

I do my Yoga at home mostly and at places with beautiful backgrounds if the aim is a pose and a picture. In most cases you just need a mat. However, if you wanna try Iyanger  then you will need blocks and straps (or a scarf).

I have noticed your  #RunWithFitnessBae hashtags, what got you to join the group?

I decided to join because I had fallen off the wagon. I had not really exercised in a long time. I was feeling lazy and uninspired.  Body size was not the problem. I was actually weighing less than I had in a long time. But for someone who loves fitness I was feeling very unhealthy. I saw Umba’s post on Instagram and sent a message to Fitness Bae that I want in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only did I find my inspiration back,  I get daily motivation and a six pack doesn’t seem like an impossible dream anymore

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Anything you would like to share with anyone who is making excuses to start on working out?

Working out is not just about weight loss.  I cannot stress this enough. You can be in love with the size of your body but you still need to work out. I read somewhere that working out decreases the chance of getting breast cancer by 25%.  Working out also decreases the chance of getting many diseases. It boosts confidence and it’s great therapy.  You don’t have to go out and run 50 kilometres today, just make small exercise improvements everyday and make the habit a part of your life.

Where can people reach you on social media?

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Since I started doing Yoga,  I have noticed that I celebrate the small things.   I am more in love with my body and I have more confidence in what my body can do.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Diary Of A Woman Who Learnt To Love Herself More

I created a WhatsApp group that I named #RunWithFitnessBae In this group we talk about different issues that are health and fitness related.  The other day we spoke about body shaming and one of the participants in the group shared her story which I feel a lot of people will relate to.  Have a read and share with anyone you think might benefit from this inspirational story.

Not so many years ago I weighed a whopping 120kgs and I wore size 44-46.  To be honest I was comfortable with my weight. My closest relatives actually commented at how “healthy” and “well kept” I was and I actually thought being that fat was a sign to the world I was fine and dandy.  I would eat any and everything and I would sit on the couch and eat a whole chocolate slab, packet of crisps and gulp down and entire bottle of red wine while I watched TV or read a book.  Exercise was something I would watch on TV and something I never got actively involved in.  I knew the benefits of exercise but remember me being fat was a sign of “wealth” so I was ok right? WRONG!

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Real women have nothing to do with size. Real women have RESPECT for one another. -Abbyclaire Herman

I got a rude awakening from my unhealthy eating ways when I found out that the man of my dreams had gone on to marry someone else on the exact same day he was meant to pay lobola for me.  I found out he had been dating my “skinny” friend and it had been happening for a while and I had never suspected it, the betrayal and the heartache were beyond comprehension!!  This whole time I was being a couch potato the man of my dreams was making other plans that didn’t involve me, life changing plans for that matter!  I decided to seek advice from the people who knew us and the people who were close to us and I was shocked and disgusted by the responses I got. Let me tell you the five top responses that made me hate my body and feel disgusted by who I was and who I had become;

  1. Aigodii nekufuta kwawakaita?” (What was he supposed to do with the way you are so fat?)
  2. “Honey, the way you are looking like a 40 year old and yet you are only 25years old is unbecoming”
  3. “I am so sorry but what did you expect look at your friend she is skinny, beautiful and fit and she is light skinned.”
  4. “I am so sorry about what you are going through but I think you are to blame I mean you are fatter than his own mother, he went to what was attractive.”
  5. “You need to lose weight. If you were skinny like his now wife I am sure he wouldn’t have strayed but her body compared to yours there was no chance you would keep him, hauna kana shape.  (You are shapeless)
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at 120kgs

Those were the harshest and most cruel things anyone had ever told me and what made it worse was the realization that in their heart of hearts all these people had thought this but never said anything about it.  I probably would have taken offence if they had but real friends would have said something about my sky rocketing weight.  Those words coupled with heartbreak drove to a state of self-disgust and I hated my body and food.  I blamed those two things for letting me not see that my man was losing interest in me and making plans to be with someone else.

I wished I could exchange bodies it seemed all the women I saw were slimmer and prettier.  Suicidal thoughtsyes I got them because to me there was nothing worse that the world seeing you as fat and ugly.  Couple that with everyone knowing that the man thought was for keeps had left you for a “slimmer” and “prettier” woman.  Thankfully, I couldn’t get myself to follow through my suicidal thoughts because I had two little angels who looked up to me and I couldn’t imagine leaving them.  Instead I decided to diet and lose weight but when I started my weight loss journey my reason was to win my man back, I wanted to be pretty for him and I thought he would love me again if I was “slim and pretty like her” and we would get back together and get married and our fairy tale life would continue as we had both imagined it.

And so my weight-loss journey began.  I gave myself a couple of weight loss rules that I was certain would work.

  • Eat as little I you can
  • Exercise for 8 hours a day
  • I have to match “her” weight or maybe lose a few more kilograms then I will be “pretty”
  • I will have to do all this within 90 days

I would eat practically nothing the whole day.  On an average day I would have 2 slices of brown bread and a lot of water the WHOLE DAY.  I would go to the gym from 5am to 9am and again from 5pm to 9pm and I would push myself harder and further each day till I go to a point where all I would eat in a day would be chewing gum when I felt hungry and water.

The weight dropped.  Within 3 months I had lost close to 70 kilograms but unfortunately I had also developed ulcers, acid re-flux and insomnia to name but a few.  My skin changed colour and even my hair grew thin and just when I thought people would compliment me they started saying I was sick and maybe I had HIV.  I clearly was not doing something right because even after all these efforts my man has still not come back to me.  I decided to lose more weight pushed myself to lose more. I think I had gotten to point of being anorexic because eating any food was no longer a part of my life.

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at 50kgs

An angle of mercy came to my rescue.  She had seen my transformation and had heard me break down in my room so many times so she sat me down and offered a few pointers.  I remember her advice like she told it to me just yesterday.

No matter how much weight I lost I would never feel beautiful unless I was beautiful to myself first.  Beauty comes from within and with me and then radiates on the outside for everyone to see.  Beauty did not have to be physical alone but both inside and out.

This got me thinking…

Yes I loved my ex boyfriend but for the right love to find me I had to love me first before anyone else could love me.  I had to be my first love and just because we did not work out it does not mean there isn’t a prince waiting for me out there.

 Weight loss and health work hand in hand. I had to take care of my body for it to take care of me. I had to lose weight in a healthy manner so as to avoid skin and stomach issues that I had developed as well as to curb the insomnia (the insomnia had got so bad I couldn’t concentrate at work and I got fired).

Being healthy and being mentally stable work hand in hand, if I am mentally stable I am able to deal with issues that come my way better.

My world and my actions should not be swayed or centered around what people will say about me or about my circumstances but it should be centered about what I feel is right and what I know I should do.

I had to find a way of dealing with my pains, ups and down besides turning to food or to the gym and I chose to keep a journal. That way I could separate issues and still eat healthy and love myself.

After the talk it took me a while to start eating again and to go to the gym.  I now work exercise for a maximum of 2 hours a day and I feed myself with positive affirmations each day.  I got over my ex boyfriend and I moved on. I became my first love and I taught myself to be able to separate issues and deal with them in a healthy and progressive manner. Today I weigh 89kgs (I am definitely not going back to tripledigits on the scale) I am exercising, I have a new job and I LOVE MY BODY SOOOO MUCH. I want to lose weight for me because I want to be healthy and I am doing it in a healthy way this time around.

My new rules of losing weight now are;

  1. Eat a maximum of 5 small meals a day
  2. Watch my portions
  3. Incorporate more vegetables in my meals and less carbs
  4. WATER, WATER and MORE WATER
  5. Run, skip and go to the gym
  6. Prayer and meditation for my soul
  7. Join group of other people that are in the same weightless journey as me for motivation(#RunWithFitnessBae)
  8. When I am not okay I write it down in my journal
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at 89kgs

 

You gain weight gradually and you will certainly lose it gradually.  Weight loss is a journey and not an event.  It takes hard work, determination and perseverance!

 

©MaKupsy 2016