It Ain’t Where I’ve Been But Where I’m About To Go

I’m a mother.  The father of my child and I separated a few years ago.  I was bitter, heartbroken and mad at the world for the longest time.  I felt like the world owed me something for all the pain I was going through.  It took me a whole 5 years to finally get out of that zone.

One morning I woke up and asked myself, what would happen if something were to happen to the father of my child and I had to look after her on my own?  Would I remain bitter or would I have to gather myself up and show up for my one and only daughter?  I chose the latter.  I stopped sending him never ending text messages wishing him ill, I stopped crying myself to sleep every other night, I stopped complaining about how I hated my job, I stopped speaking negative things into my life and chose to start working on myself one day at a time.  I realised it was time to get my shit in order and the moment I made that decision and started taking action; my life has been full.

This video stirred so many emotions within me.  It brought back flash backs of some of the things I’ve gone through in the past but still came out stronger and wiser.  It will take 17 minutes of your time to watch this but every single minute will be worth it, I promise.

These are some of the lessons I learnt from the video:

  • Success leaves clues, we’re just not picking them up.
  • Go through every toxic behaviour in your life and start unlearning bad habits.
  • My job is to like myself everyday.
  • You can’t take everyone with you on your transformation journey.
  • It takes more than one thing to change your life, it takes EVERYTHING.

I would like to know what lessons you learnt from watching this video?  Please share this post with as many people as you can, it will change a life.

©MaKupsy 2018

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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®

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

Easiest Ways To Boost Fitness While Working

Fitness is an all the time thing for me.  I don’t think a day goes by without including some form of exercise into my life.  I’ve heard so many people tell me countless excuses as to why they can’t exercise but I have since resorted to not pushing them to do something they don’t want to do.  I believe if something is for you, you won’t need anyone to constantly remind you do to it, you will get up and do something about it.  Speaking of getting up I think it’s very important to add fitness into your work routine especially if you are someone like me who has a sedentary office lifestyle.  Let me share a few tips with you that I already do and you can let me know how it goes for you.

1. Walk

Every few hours I get up from my desk and take a walk around the office or simply take a toilet break.  It’s important to stretch your legs and get your eyes off your computer every and again unless you want the glare from the computer to ruin your eyes and you end up wearing spectacles like me.

2. Enjoy Your Lunch Break

I have colleagues who spend the entire day in the office and I still don’t understand why they do that to themselves.  In my books it’s very important that I take a walk and clear my head from all the office stresses.  That few minutes of breathing in clean air, enjoying the feeling of the warm sun against my skin and getting to shop around for bargains and enjoy a lazy lunch is every reason to get out.  The best part is I get to exercise while I’m at it; bonus!

3. Stretch (Deskercise Routines)

You can do these from your desk or if you would like some privacy you can take a trip to the bathroom and get your stretch on.  There are many variations you can try out and you can check them out on the link over here.

 Research shows that repetitive motion, poor posture, and staying in the same position can cause or worsen musculoskeletal disorders.

4. Drink Water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  If you follow me on Twitter you know that this is my daily mantra.  Sometimes I even ask my followers how much water they have had to drink on any given day because staying hydrated your body needs water to survive.  If drinking water is not your thing at least try and eat water-rich foods like cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, pineapples and my personal favourite; watermelon.

5. Snack

This is one of my favourite things to do.  When I start feeling hungry in-between meals I reach out for a snack.  Whatever you do always make sure your desk is stocked with healthy and nutritious snacks.  My personal stash of snacks comes in the form of fresh fruit in season, roasted nuts, biltong, maputi, popcorn and on very rare occasions raisins.  I don’t particularly like those though.  Have one of those snacks with a glass of water and you are set to make it to your next main meal.

6. Stairs

Stair climbing requires 8-9 times more energy expenditure than sitting and burns about 7 times more calories than taking a lift. You burn about 0.17 calories for every step you climb, so you burn roughly a calorie and a half for every 10 upward steps.

I have talked about the importance of taking the stairs before and you can read all about it from here.

7. Posture

You know how most people slouch in chairs?  I’m here to remind you that practising correct posture while you’re sitting at work trains your core.  Pay attention to how you are sitting throughout the day.  Remind yourself that you need that strong core and you will definitely be sitting up straight for the greater part of the time!

8. Breathing

Practice good breathing technique.  I now do this subconsciously and it really helps me stay calm for the greater part of the day.  I will let the experts help you out on this one so make sure you read this article on Breathing Exercises To Help You Relax.

Now that you have all these tips to help you stay fit even during working hours what’s your excuse not to exercise today?

Fitness Bae®

 

Day 10: If You Come To Harare You Are Going For A Run!

This challenge is taking our creative juices to the very next level.  Each day we have to come up with different content for our blogs and I can safely say I am out of all the flowery language that I can possibly think of!  BUT I live for challenges and I will sail through this like it’s nothing.  Today on the challenge we are sharing the ONE thing that you should do when you visit my city and naturally, I’m going to invite you to one of my favourite things to do…running.

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Greenwood Park, Harare

ParkRuns have been a major part of my health and fitness journey.  I remember the first time I set foot in the park with my neighbour for my first run.  The most unpleasant experience of my life!!  However, I kept going back for more because it was a place I felt safe because there were other runners as well.  Most were slow runners, others were on a mission to sprint away but generally the atmosphere was just right if you were serious about getting in shape.  Nearly 3 years later I still put in some parkruns when I need a place to bring back fond memories of the start of my journey.  I managed to lose weight from running in the park and I also got my fitness on while I was at it!

A few weeks ago I realised that there is actually no time like the present and I should start organising our very own parkruns in Harare!  This is how it’s going to work.

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part of team Fitness In The Park

The goal is to meet up for parkruns once every week on Saturday morning.  

I have already started hosting Harare ParkRuns together with Steward Health and each week we are running 3K.  We will gradually increase the distance over the next few weeks until we get to the ideal 5K distance.  Everyone is invited to come along for the parkruns; young, old, kids, as long as you have a goal to have a healthy body and mind then you must make sure you come through.

ParkRun Perks:

  1. The park runs are free!
  2. I will teach you how to run and share fitness related information.
  3. You will be able to lose weight or maintain it.
  4. You will make friends with similar interests.
  5. If you can’t run walking is still an option so please don’t feel excluded.
  6. Exercise is a stress buster.
  7. You will challenge yourself to commit to a habit that your body and mind will thank you for in the not so distant future.

Fitness Bae works towards enhancing the lives of the community through support, encouragement, mental and physical health awareness activities. 

I find pleasure in helping those around me achieve their health and fitness goals.  For this reason I have decided to start hosting parkruns starting from the 2nd of September 2017 going forward.

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Come Run With Us!

Like my Facebook page @thefitnessbae to stay updated on the parkruns and to also get weekly updates on different health and fitness events and information happening in and around Harare.

Some of the places you should check out when you visit Zimbabwe include:

Mutare by Leo

National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Harare) by Zimsphere

Gweru by The Quarter Wife

What is the number one thing to do in your country?  Care to share so that I take notes for when I pass through your part of the world?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

21K Marathon Training

I’m now on week 9 of my marathon training.  I have been running for the past 3 years and through it all the maximum distance I have run to date is 15K. This year I promised myself that I would run my first 21K marathon and got myself on a marathon training programme on Nike Run Club. It’s a 16 week programme and I’m enjoying each week so far.  The experiences that I have encountered through these weeks are quite interesting. At week 2 I was down with a cough and I couldn’t get to run but I got back on my feet and soldiered on. Below are some of the things I have experienced from this training programme:

  • I get super excited about Speed Runs! However, they really push my body to the limit and I am sweating salt by the time I’m done with my run.
  • I can’t find the words to describe how much a bench mark run will bring you this close to your death bed.  They are super intense and lately I have switched things up so that when I have to run fast I am on an uphill route.
  • Long runs are pretty taxing and should NOT be done during the working week. I felt like death the whole day two weeks ago after running 9K on a Thursday morning.
  • Rest Days are very important; you come back feel more energised and a running pace that even you can’t believe.
  • Music is your friend especially on long runs, my go to artist is Christopher Martin, I now know that Big Deal album like the back of my hand!
  • It’s important to include upper body and core workouts to your programme because it really helps with maintaining your running form. Last month on the #PumpItUpChallenge both upper and lower body workouts were on the programme.
  • Listen to your body.  If you pushed as far as you can go but you can’t complete the assigned distance don’t beat yourself up.  You can always run the remaining distance, power walk through it or complete it another time during the day.  Not all days are the same, some days will be tough.
  • The Nike Coach knows what he or she is talking about.  If it states that today’s run is a recovery run and your pace should be slow by all means do exactly that.  You don’t want to be over eager and then struggle on your next run.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You don’t want to feel thirsty during your runs!

I have 7 more weeks of marathon training to go and the running distances are getting tougher by the day. It was all fun and games when I had to run 2K but now I have to mentally prepare myself for a 17K run on a random day. It’s not easy but it’s totally worth it. After running my 21K marathon believe me I would have officially become a marathon runner and you won’t hear the end of it!

This is the workout I did this morning, you gotta love Hump Day!
6.5K long run (I’ll finish off the remaining 1.5K in the evening)
9 Burpees
10 minutes of stretching

Have you run a 21K Marathon before? If yes, do you have any tips and tricks to share?

Fitness Bae®

ParkRun Harare

ParkRuns have been a major part of my health and fitness journey.  I remember the first time I set foot in the park with my neighbour for my first run.  The most unpleasant experience of my life!!  However, I kept going back for more because it was a place I felt safe because there were other runners as well.  Most were slow runners, others were on a mission to sprint away but generally the atmosphere was just right if you were serious about getting in shape.  Nearly 3 years later I still put in some parkruns when I need a place to bring back fond memories of the start of my journey.  I managed to lose weight from running in the park and I also got my fitness on while I was at it!

Over the long holiday I realised that there is actually no time like the present and I should start organising our very own parkruns in Harare!  This is how it’s going to work.

The goal is to meet up for parkruns once every week on Saturday morning.  

We will start off the first month of parkruns with running 2.5K each week and gradually increase the distance over the next few weeks until we get to the ideal 5K distance.  Everyone is invited to come along for the parkruns; young, old, kids, as long as you have a goal to have a healthy body and mind then you must make sure you come through.

ParkRun Perks:

  1. The park runs are free!
  2. I will teach you how to run and share fitness related information.
  3. You will be able to lose weight or maintain it.
  4. You will make friends with similar interests.
  5. If you can’t run walking is still an option so please don’t feel excluded.
  6. Exercise is a stress buster.
  7. You will challenge yourself to commit to a habit that your body and mind will thank you for in the not so distant future.

Fitness Bae works towards enhancing the lives of the community through support, encouragement, mental and physical health awareness activities. 

I find pleasure in helping those around me achieve their health and fitness goals.  For this reason I have decided to start hosting parkruns starting from the 2nd of September 2017 going forward. (save the date) 

Like my Facebook page @thefitnessbae to stay updated on the parkruns and to also get weekly updates on different health and fitness events and information happening in and around Harare.

Have you tried going for parkruns?  If yes, what has been your experience with running outdoors?

Stay logged onto my Health and Fitness Journey Series Episode 8 will be live on Tuesday at 9:00am.

®Fitness Bae

 

The GloRun

The GloRun is a youth initiative that started last year. It’s a 5km glow in the dark night run that is then followed with a Glow Party. (yes, you read right, Issa Party!!) Last year it was in aid of Magis Zimbabwe Pilgrims who were raising funds to go to the World Youth Day in Poland. After the success of last year, where over 600 tickets were sold in 3 weeks, we decided to continue and have managed to maintain the interest of our previous sponsors and gained a few in the process.

This year The GloRun is in aid of KidzCan Zimbabwe and we would love to raise as much as possible for this worthy cause. The run is on the 19th of August 2017.

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The GloRun is being held at The Country Club in Newlands starting at 5:30 pm with registrations at theglow painting booth.  GloRun participants then go under a UV light to activate the paint and will do a short dance warm up around 6 or 6:30pm then start a 5km (9 hole run) around the golf course.

After completion GloRun participants join a glow in the dark foam party with the resident DJ Smith.

ZiFM Stereo is the media partner for this event and they will also be partnering with KidzCan to celebrate Zi@5!

You already know I love all things fitness and I will be at the GloRun party.  It will be my first time attending this event and I am super excited! I am always happy to be part of a worthy cause and I hope you will join me next Saturday for lots of fun, selfies and fitness.

®Fitness Bae

 

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