Fitness In The Park!

Let’s be honest, gym membership is expensive.  With subscriptions ranging from $50 to $150 per month it’s no wonder most people don’t hit the gym. I mean, how many of us can afford those prices, definitely not me!  If you have been following my health and fitness journey on social media you will already know that I managed to lose 10kgs in a year through eating right and without attending a single gym session.  This is what this meet up in the park is going to be all about, helping you achieve your fitness goals without breaking a budget.

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The event is open to everyone and I am encouraging you to come through no matter your fitness levels.  Remember we are always learning new things everyday and this will be a platform to share experiences and map a way forward for your fitness journey.

For more information on the event you can call or WhatsApp the numbers on the flyer.  You can also check out my Fitness Blog for different articles on health and fitness over here.  Alternatively you can Like my Facebook page to join a team that is seriously enthusiastic about fitness.

This the first of many events to come and I hope to see you there!

MaKupsy© 2017

#UrsulaChallenge

I have to be honest with you, when I initially started working out I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would inspire so many people around me.  It has been and continues to be an interesting fitness journey.  I created a WhatsApp group with amazing individuals and everyday we push each other do to better than we did the day before.  Within the group there are Fitness Instructors, Physiotherapists, Lawyers, IT Personnel, Secretaries, University Students, Bloggers…tell you what, the list is endless and the group is diverse.

The great thing about it is thanks to technology we don’t have to be all in one place to run, just a running application on your mobile device and you are good to go.  There are runners from the UK, Algeria, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa,Zambia, Zimbabwe.  Minus running we get to learn different languages, cultures and foods.  Okay, I will have to expand on this on a different day, for now let  me talk about the #UrsulaChallenge

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Flyer by @KingKGC (Twitter)

The last challenge we had, Taku won hands down.  We have a rule that whoever wins the challenge is the one who will choose what the next challenge will entail.  I decided to have a little twist to it because I realised that to keep the motivation alive runners who are improving need to get some form of recognition as well and so Ursula was the lucky runner to get chosen. She has been running with the team since October and she has outdid herself, even running after a long day when all she wanted to do was sleep.

There are a few additions to her challenge which are:

  • Participants are to weigh in on Monday morning or Sunday evening and have their weight recorded.

You are encouraged to weigh in at the same time you weighed yourself at the beginning of the challenge and to use the same scale.

The one who loses the most weight during this weeks challenge gets 15 bonus points.

P.S The weight loss is for those who have it as their goal to lose weight, if not please do not worry yourself with the weigh in.

  • There will be a cook off on the Rest Day of the challenge.  The participant who sends through a plate that has healthy  food options, is well presented and appealing to the eye will get 5 bonus points.

I hope you will take part in this challenge, trust me, if you are a fitness enthusiast you will completely enjoy it and probably come back for more.  All the best in the upcoming challenge team, and may the best runner win!

#UrsulaChallenge #RunWithFitnessBae

P.S We always use Nike+(read as being resistant to change) for the challenges but this time the rules are more flexible and participants can use Strava, Cardio Trainer, Adidas and NRC.

Share. Like. Join.

©MaKupsy 2016

Blogging Is My Release!

I started my blog close to 2 years ago.  When I look back it feels just like yesterday and yet to date I have written 278 posts and counting…  It’s an interesting journey for me mainly because there is always something new to look forward to writing or reading.  I always had a thing for writing; I kept journals from age 14 all the way up till I was about 26.  I gave up on that hobby because I had life to deal with and I never really got time.  A friend of mine told me about blogging and insisted I try it out and I can safely say it was the best decision I ever made considering the things I was going through back then.

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Image from Google

Emotional Well-Being

When I started blogging I was still hurting over past relationships.  I was in an a very bad space.  I needed somewhere to bleed out my emotions.  I had no idea putting my thoughts on my blog would actually help me heal.  It was a tough journey but when I wrote about my experiences and I read through comments I realised that I was not alone when it came to some of the things I had been through.  A problem shared really is a problem halved.  When I look through my posts now I realise I have really come a long way and I can safely say I am happy and I let go of all the things that used to steal my joy.  It’s a great space to be in.

Health

The same time I started blogging was the same time I started my health and fitness journey.  There is nothing that puts you under pressure as much as documenting an activity because now you have to actually show some results!  However, it was a great move because if I had not done so I probably would not have lost 10 kgs in a year!  The toughest year of my life if you ask me.  It’s really easy to gain weight, it can happen in a space of days, losing weight on the other hand is a real mission!  I made new friends through the challenges I would set up.  I got that extra drive because after initiating a challenge you have to stick to it otherwise what kind of Team Leader would that make you?  Now I have the body I always wanted and I feel fantastic!  I will tell you this for free…maintaining your weight is the hardest of the journey.

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Humour

There have been occasions I have been upset about something and all I want to do is rant about it on a blog post.  The ironic thing is after a few sentences into the post I actually find that I am being petty but continue to write about it all the same.  You see, life doesn’t really have to consume you with negativity.  Fair and fine you will have a bad day or two but there is always something to smile about.  Blogging has helped me through bad days because I have a few blogs that I follow that specialise in humour and there is never a dull moment there!

Lastly, blogging has given me the voice I didn’t realise I actually had.  I can write what I like without worrying what the next person will say, after all this is

My Space, My Voice, My Story…

I would like to hear from bloggers…what was the reason you started and are still blogging?  What are some of the lessons you have learnt over time?

For the readers, what do you enjoy reading the most from my blog and what keeps you coming back for more?

 

©MaKupsy 2016

A Journey Through Thick & Thin

We are investors in our lives, shareholders to the consequences of our actions. Shareholders because we never quite admit to all our mistakes, we apportion part of them to others.  Maybe that’s the reason why some people also lay claim to contributing to our successes when we do well.  That’s what l believe partly contributes to our natural denial as human beings.

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My denial for many years has been mostly about my state of health or rather “weight”. Growing up in an African setup the myth that weight signifies success is the very source of pride for many overweight people. We seek to hide using the complement of our culture giving respect to the large and hugely bodied figures who roam our streets. It is no accident that some even aspire to become bigger body wise while using the wrong route to getting there. However, my denial was slightly different from the normal African standard. I grew up in a middle class family that could afford to place before me a plate of sadza and meat more often than the average family in our country. We hardly lacked in resources and l was encouraged to finish my plate like “all good kids” are expected to. Unknown to my well-meaning parents is that l was consistently “slightly” overfed over a couple decades of my life as a kid and a teenager. During this process l came to be known as the chubby kid.

Chubby was a good thing and that was my means of standing out from the rest of the pack. The great irony is l never really sucked in sport, l made 1st team volleyball at all the schools l attended and l was on a good day, a descent goalkeeper. For me food became less about eating to live and more about eating to be always full. When you hardly lack you become very generous with your portions and portions eventually had me very rounded up. (So to speak)  My earliest memory of how much l was overweight was when as a 15year old l tipped the scale at about 80kg during a blood donation which l found to be quite amusing. Publicly l displayed pride that l was possibly in the top 5 heaviest students in our age group. Quietly though l was slightly embarrassed that l was one of the odd ones out. I wanted to belong not to become a freak show (no offense to my counterparts). By the time l reached University l had become quite obese. That phase of my life saw me pile on more weight due to the rigorous requirements of my program and my own share of laziness.

Fast forward to my 2012 l was weighing about 110kg and 2013 brought an extra 10kg onto my scale. By then my lifestyle revolved around long hours at work, a very outgoing weekend schedule filled with braais and not a drop of physical activity. It was amusing that even my workplace was located 200m from where l would drop off my lifts and l would use the elevator to our 3rd floor offices so that basically summed up an activity deficient lifestyle.

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Realities of being overweight

At one point in my denial that my situation needed a change, l got so big l blew open my work suite and had to ask my lovely girlfriend to buy a needle and thread for me. Yes you guessed correctly, she promptly delivered the goods and l had to sew up my trousers in the gents while she waited for me at reception in shock. She was always kind in her approach with me though she was getting extremely worried with each day passing. I had a challenge getting into high rise vehicles and there was always a risk l would blow a pair of trousers. I am a short guy, let’s just say am slightly below 170cm so carrying 120kg was a health hazard (this is the last time l will write the figure!) l was very huge. More shockingly l was on the chronic side of the BMI index. With time more realities started to settle into my life, for example during a boozers game of soccer l was out of breadth after every defensive play by the goals even if the goalkeeper is the least active player on the field. Whenever my work lift was not working l would have to remove my work suite jacket so that l could cover up my wet shirt by the time l got to our floor. It would be greatly embarrassing to face corporate clients in a wet suit. So the dry jacket covered up the wet shirt from the climb up. Soon even in winter l could no longer wear a suit without having a vest worn below the formal shirt. Sometimes l would sweat profusely if the air-conditioner was not working properly. Remember my point about denial? Yes, my denial only served to give me educated reasons on why all this was happening. I would blame the clothes and not the body. I would blame the air-conditioner, blame the flight of stairs, blame the hot coffee l just drank and sometimes blame the pressure of work on my state of sweat.

The wake-up call

There were a series of wake-up calls that came in slow succession which lead to some change.

  1. One day while l was on a business trip l ate so much l almost suffocated in my sleep. Seems as l was turning in bed after a generous meal the food found its way up my canal and l woke up without any air choking on my own vomit. Luckily the gag reflex we possess naturally assisted me somewhat to avert danger. This story is known by only 5 close people in my life, but it’s important that many more understand the dangers of over-eating.
  2. The next time l received my wake-up call was when my snoring got so bad that people l would travel with volunteered to have me get a private room to myself and not share the hotel room with them. I took that to mean more freedom for me but it was only when my cousins recorded me snoring on their smartphone that l saw how bad it really was. It sounded like l was dying, l was shocked and it was extremely embarrassing. The saddest part is l never had the maturity or enlightenment to do anything about it.
  3. For short stints l under ate because it seemed like l kept gaining. Soon l was hunting for trousers in the unlabeled area looking for old stock on the no size section of the department store. I would wear trousers for very tall people and have to get a tailor to cut almost half the length on the legs to get my fit.

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The unlikely invitation

I grew up in the lovely City of Kings, Bulawayo.  Late 2013 my job took me to Harare for a fixed term period to be part of a project at work. While there a brother of mine would ask me to meet him at his gym so l could grab a free lift home. It was during this period that his trainer became fond of me often encouraging me to come watch their sessions but l would laugh it off. With a society that does not see many thriving weight loss stories l stuck to television shows to get visual inspiration but l never amassed enough interest (read as courage) to start my own journey. Many weeks later my brother informed me that l had been offered free membership at his gym for a week and if l liked it then l would formally join and start paying subscriptions. Till now over 3years later, l have never tasted the hell l went through that week. The 1st day l could hardly walk, l was grossly unfit and l skipped the shower after and went to sleep in my brothers car. He found me snoring and till this day he tells anyone who cares to listen that l almost died at gym. But dying evaded me, the next day my joints were protesting, my lung capacity seemed hugely insufficient and l was begging to die. But my trainer assured me that l would not die! I never believed him, l cursed at him (in French) and l felt everyone in the class was showing off.

They say never compare your journey to that of others. There were figures in the gym that looked bigger than me and l never understood why they were having a good time while l was suffering. I have no academic reason for this but somehow when the week was over l paid for the whole month in one go. I never stopped attending and within two weeks l saw a lot of changes. An old pair of pants that l had decommissioned suddenly started fitting, l could go for 10minutes in class and not need a break then soon l could talk during the session. Interestingly round about that time Corporate24 opened their premises in Harare and they had a machine that could record height, weight, and temperatureplus body fat percentage. It was during my soon to be many visits there that l started seeing the weight fall away as their scale machine offered more privacy than the public scales out there. Soon my belt loops started moving backwards. I was ecstatic!However the process is never smooth, many before me claimed not to see the changes and many more felt it was a phase. Somehow the maturity started settling in and l needed less re-assurance from people and more assurance from my clothes that l had really shed weight. That is when the best days of my life became sculpted.

Research is key

Many myths exist on the road to weight loss. Many supposed scientific researchers exist in the world of fitness.

  • You will meet those who tell you not to take carbs as the means to real weight loss.
  • Some will advocate for a meat free diet.
  • Others will swear by a liquid only diet.

Put simply, you will bump into a lot of different theories.

When l successfully lost my first 15kg the situation changed for me. I could no longer sustain a good rate of weight loss on my once a day gym session and eat whatever l wanted. That’s when l taught myself nutrition through our dear old cousin Google, some books and expert advice through various trainers. I found that there is no one size fits all approach to weight loss. I soon found out there is no such thing as being big boned and small portions do not necessarily lead to weight loss (its actually the quality of your nutrition and of course limiting serving size that leads to long-term success).

 

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What my breakfast now looks like on some days.

l began doing morning runs, threw away my over –sized t-shirts l used for running and invested in fitness clothing even to the extent of buying my 1st running shoes. Starting at 3.1km l would finish that distance in 40mins. Soon the time started dropping; l asked my trainer to include me on his weekend schedule.  In 5 months l had lost a whooping 20kgs and l was more confident and focused.

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I rewarded myself with regular cheat meals. I started to challenge myself, increase my running distances and train the right way so as to avoid injuries. Soon even the skeptics began to throw good vibes my way. By the time l had lost 25kg l became swamped with enquiries and my trainer who was now a very close friend of mine was on the receiving end of new clients. Life changed, l fell from size 46 to 38, couldn’t remember when the last time was when l last wore trousers or shorts in the 30’s. By the time l moved back to Bulawayo l had a plan once back home.

  1. Within my 1st week l had joined a gym.
  2. I was now running 5km 3 times a week and using jump rope heavily.
  3. By the time l went below 90kg l was running 6km 5 times a week.
  4. l was doing morning runs, aerobics after and to top it up an evening session.

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I have to clarify that l hit 85kg 2years after l started my weight loss journey so take your time to build descent consistency. When l hit the 40kg lost mark l was now rocking size 34pants with descent loose skin. 78kg l became a 10kilometer specialist and then l became a competitor in distance races. 2015 October l ran my 1st competitive 10km race. March 2016 l ran my 1st 21km race the PPC Matopos Ultramarathon then July 2016 l ran my 2nd Half Marathon at the Victoria Falls Marathon.

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The realities of an unlikely journey

Yes l have fallen off the wagon, had bad weeks and many more better weeks. The art in this journey is to never quit. To be mature enough to take criticism constructively and to also embrace pain. There is a lot more happening in my life now, l’m busier with my job but l have created a schedule around all this chaos around me to keep fit. What many should know is keeping fit to maintain weight loss is a lifestyle. You can’t really take a year off this journey, it’s a continuous journey.

My milestones currently are that l do not snore anymore, so it’s safe to sit next to me on the bus on a long trip. Somehow l haven’t had a flue in 3years and l credit my morning runs for that. I have a totally new wardrobe now with much nicer gear than before. I have made friends through this lifestyle but the best part is l have become a positive influence on many individuals. Two friends l recruited have lost a combined 30kilos this year alone and it keeps getting better. I have a lot planned ahead and l look forward to doing more. Maybe run the Comrades Marathon one day, do the Ironman Race and participate on the Spartan Race. But before that l need to learn how to swim!

Unlikely journeys have unlikely results, l set out to lose a bit of weight to retain my old clothes. I ended up getting rid of my new clothes to purchase new ones. I hope this unnecessarily long biography helps someone out there who has no idea what to do; to believe and pursue lasting change.

I am not losing weight, I am getting rid of it.  I have no intention of finding it again!

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Feel free to get in touch on social media on either Instagram or Facebook for inspiration on how to go from obese to healthy and active.

Thank you to Chris for featuring on my blog today, you are a real gem!  I hope this inspires anyone going through a tough time with trying to lose weight.  It is possible to get the body of your dreams.

Have you gone through a weight loss journey?  What prompted you to finally make a change and get active?  I would love to hear from you.

 

©MaKupsy 2016

 

I Have Been Weighing Myself Everyday!

It’s been one interesting week.  I decided to try out weighing myself everyday; something I already know will make or break my entire day but I did it anyway.  This was just an experiment by the way, I only weigh in once a week to keep my weight in check.

DAY WEIGHT WORKOUT
Monday 75.8kgs 50 crunches
Tuesday 75.5kgs Ran 2.9K Pace 5″57/km + 60 crunches
Wednesday 76.3kgs 70 crunches
Thursday 76.5kgs NO WORKOUT was hungover for days
Friday 75.6kgs 30 minute Fat Blasting workout

 

As you can see from the records my weight was changing every other day.  Thursday nearly gave me a heart attack but I am entirely to blame.  I had one drink, okay fine I had three drinks the night before and woke up feeling like I had been hit by a train.  What an enemy of progress alcohol can be!

I got back on track this morning because there was no way I was going to let myself see a 76 figure on my scale.  I won’t be doing this experiment again by the way, it was enough the stress.  I am happy about a few things though.  For a start, my running pace is getting back in place.  I can now do 50 crunches in one go even though it burns my abs.  Lastly, I am halfway into the month and still dedicated to the 30 minute fat blasting workout I got from YouTube.

A few pointers I got from the internet that might help where weighing yourself is concerned:

  • Weigh yourself naked first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and always using the same scale. (Tried and tested by yours truly)
  • Daily weight fluctuations are normal.
  • If your clothes fit or are too loose but the scale says you’ve gained weight, the gain is probably muscle.
  • Premenstrual weight gain.  (I have personally experienced this.  My tummy gets bloated too while it’s at it and it feels like I have gained a tonne during this time of the month).  Premenstrual water-weight gain can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and limiting salt intake.
  • The 2 kg that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it. It takes regular eating of high-fat and high-calorie meals to result in stored fat and actual weight gain.

My advice?  Keep eating right and making time to workout as often as you can.  That way you won’t freak out when it’s time for your daily, weekly or monthly weigh in.  Do what works for you.  I know for a fact that weighing in everyday is a big no for me.  I will stick to once a week thank you very much.

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Image from Google

P.S  I have a question for those in the know.  Why am I feeling thirsty during the night?  I wake up feeling parched and I now keep a glass of water by my bedside.  Could it be the change of weather?  I do drink enough water during the day but I am really struggling when I wake up at night.  Help!

©MaKupsy 2016

I Wonder Where The 1 kg Is Hiding?

It’s such a lovely morning.  I went for my morning run and got back feeling so great.  I had not been sleeping well since the weekend but last night I slept well and so soundly I clocked in a whole 9 hours of sleep.  I have this sleep application on my phone, who knew you burn all those calories while you sleep; technology is really going all out hey?

I weigh myself each week as you already know.  This week my scale read an extra kg.  I wasn’t expecting that seeing that I still run but just not as often but to be honest it’s not a train smash because I know if I eat right and work out religiously this week my scale will be back to normal again come next Monday.  For some people I know you are probably reading this and rolling your eyes saying “Really, it’s just 1 kg!” but for me a kg will set me off track if I don’t manage it now.  I am still wondering where the 1 kg is hiding though because I still look and feel the same…or so I think.

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I never want to be overweight again.  I was unhappy, I was in a dark place, I lost most of my confidence and I don’t ever want to go through that again.  I love the healthy and fit me.  I have so much energy and I am so much happier.

I have so many feel good hormones running through my veins and listening to some Old School music just made me even happier.  These are some of the songs on my playlist this morning.

  • All My Life  – KCi & Jojo
  • Rock A Party – MC Lyte
  • This Love – Donell Jones
  • Door Number 1 – LSG
  • The First Night – Monica
  • Get It On Tonight – Montell Jordan

What are you listening to to get your day going and how is your fitness journey going so far?

MaKupsy

 

10 Whole Days Without A Blog Post

This is so very much unlike me.  I usually post a blog, two or three each week.  It’s definitely not a writer’s block I am experiencing, just pure laziness.  I blame winter, winter is the reason I have stopped running close to 5 times in a week.  Now I am concentrating more on indoor exercises and that is going on pretty well so far.  Today’s post will be random so worry not, I am perfectly okay, I just have different things going on in my mind right now so let’s talk all about them.

Firstly, “relationship weight”.  Have you noticed how you gain weight the moment you enter a relationship.  When you are single and floating about life it’s easy to watch what you eat, work out and maintain a healthy weight.  Now that you are all loved up and getting extra love, attention, great sex all your weight goals go out the window.  It’s even worse if you pair up with someone who drinks alcohol because the amount of greasy food you have to consume the next day to get rid of your hangover is insane.  It leaves me wondering if getting into a relationship is even a good idea after all.  Seeing that it comes with chances of gaining weight that will be really hard to shed off once you break up.  Yes, I know that’s just being extra dramatic and not a reason not to actually be in a relationship.

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the stage was in the garden and the sitting arrangement was perfect, everyone could see properly 🙂

Secondly, going out in winter sucks!  BUT if you are going to be attending a Theatrical Play it isn’t so bad after all.  Last Friday my friend Tina and I went to watch aShakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the British Ambassador’s Residence.  It was different kind of fun and worth every minute.  When it started off I thought oh my, this is going to be such a yawn fest but after about 15 minutes into the play I started catching onto the humour and I was hooked.  There was a 10 minute break in between and we got to go and buy some food and warm beverages.  I really wanted sadza, I was dying from hunger and seeing that I had last had a proper meal at lunch time I was worried I would collapse any minute.  LOL.  We ended up settling for burgers and in my head I thought I probably need two of them, I was THAT hungry!  My favourite character in the play was Beatrice, she was not even about that married life when the play started off but in the end she got married and they lived happily ever after with Benedick even though it had some outside help to get them to confess their feelings towards each other.

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Tina & MaKupsy

Thirdly, shopping for baby girls.  I don’t know if this is a problem I face on my own or other parents in Harare have the same issue.  I went up and about town on Saturday morning trying to get Miss Kupsy a pretty pair of black winter boots.  I was in town for close to an hour and could not find anything nice.  The few pairs that I saw were ugly and the sales people kept trying to convince me they were nice when they clearly weren’t!  You see the thing is, if I am going to buy something I make sure it is worth every single dollar and there is no way I will be spending my hard earned money on something that I will not be happy with.  I was close to giving up when I decided to try a shop I normally buy from and was I in luck.  The last pair that they had was in Miss Kupsy’s size and in her favourite colour too.  This means I still have to look for a black pair later on but for now pink will do.  I really wish we had a one stop place where you could just get everything for kids and not have to go all over town, it really is frustrating!

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Finally; I have a headache from hell!  I didn’t sleep a wink last night.  There was some Club that played music from 8pm till this morning at 5am and I could hear each and every song!!! My body hurts from all the different forms of squats I did during my morning workout yesterday, I feel tired, I already don’t like Mondays and I am feeling pretty terrible right now.  BUT I will soldier on, I will fix myself a cup of hot coffee, I will keep a positive mindset and hopefully in a few hours I will be feeling like my normal happy self again.

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The bum that squats

So, what’s on your mind?  What did you get up to over the weekend and do you have anything to vent about today?  Let’s vent together!

 

MaKupsy