Fast-forward to 7 months later; I have dropped from a size 12 to a size 6, WITHOUT any special diets. Actually, I really did not alter my eating habits. I still attack desserts, bread rice, pounded yam but all in moderation. Still LOVE my beer (liquid carbs, I know), still have days I pig out, but when I do, I gotta hit the workout HARD that evening or the next day unfailingly.
My workouts have changed too. After a month of losing weight from just running, my body started to sag, especially my butt (which I had basically lost all off… HEY! I had to give up something). I needed to start sculpting my body. I started doing sport drills, weight training, rope skipping exercises with my brother (who is a licensed personal instructor in the States).
I also discovered the joys of Max Interval Training workouts like Shaun T’s INSANITY workout. I graduated to INSANITY and now on INSANITY ASYLUM, STRENGTH AND AGILITY TRAINING, and ‘CORE’ FOCUS TRAINING which is NOT for kids. It’s damn near military training on there. I went from barely being able to do ‘girlie’ push-ups to now being able to do the ‘man’ push-ups. I can jump REALLY high, my metabolism is the best it’s been in years and now I can see a six-pack mould beginning to build in my belly. YAAAAAAAY!
I’m still on my journey though. I would like to get down to a big size 4 (American) then I’ll be happy. I might have to give up alcohol and sweets and naughty eating for this to happen though but I am still sooooo happy with my body now. I stand naked in the mirror and twist my top half just for kicks. Before the folds that would emerge were sad, now I barely have a crease on my sides. WHOOOHOOO!!
My face has slimmed down and my cheeks and my eyes are no longer BFFs. My thighs have firmed up and slimmed down, my legs are RIPPED and athletic, I have lost my side boob – You know that AWFUL extra breast that sticks out from the side of your bra… UGHHHH!! I HATED it. It used to peek out from sleeveless shirts and tank tops. It’s all gone now and my breasts are a respectable size. My arms are no longer like “old Christian mother arms” as my mum fondly calls them. I’m on my “Michelle Obama” arm swag right now. In short—I’m HAPPPPPPPY!!!
I hope I have been able to inspire through my story. My words are unsophisticated but they detail a passionate and TRUE journey. And I must say… I am happy to be on this side. I would like to detail some things to pay attention to when you decide to start YOUR own journey.
Eating: It’s simple math: if you’re eating more calories than you are burning out you WILL gain weight. Now I am not asking you obsess and stay up counting calories, NO! But be mindful what you eat and what you are willing to pay for it. I personally really didn’t change my diet that much, but I cut down on ’empty calories’. Eat and live, but remember, it all counts. And as much as you can PLEASE try not to eat past 7 or 8pm.
Sneakers: Wearing the right sneakers is VERY important. Even if you’re just working out in the comfort of your house with a DVD. The constant jumping and fast movements can take a toll on your knees. Protect them. Basket-ball sneakers do not count. Get proper running shoes with good cushion effect. I made this mistake for the first month and developed a knee injury, and now use knee braces for cushion support while working out.
Weaves/Hair: If and when you become serious about your workout, a big deterrent for women is our hair. When we get our hair ‘did’ the last thing we want to do is ‘sweat it out’ with a workout. Some people cut off their hair and go natural, take out the weave and do braids or just leave it as is. Save for the first month I started working out, I’ve been sporting a weave. I recently discovered this new hair wrap invented by Nicole Ari Parker (Yes! Boris Kodjo’s wife) called “SAVE YOUR DO”. It is targeted at women that sweat a lot on their heads. I purchased it and it works pretty good for me; however I DO sweat a lot on my head. Many other people who have reviewed it have had even better results. It’s meant to keep your hair ‘close to’ dry, in place, and preserve your ‘do’ while working out. If you don’t have access to this product, invest in a blow-dryer, moisturizer and tongs. What I do as well is schedule my workout towards the last 3 days of my ‘do’. Meaning the days leading up to when you need to visit the salon. This way you are still getting about 3 workouts a week in, which is real good.
The Between Workout Days: On your workout days off, still get some training in. You’ll be happy you did. Find your 3 problem spots and do one rep of 10 or 16. You won’t build up a sweat (don’t worry ladies) but you’ll keep your muscles in attention. What are your problem areas?? Mine are my arms, my butt and my abs so I do 10 rep of push ups for my arms and chest, a floor routine for my abs and squats for my butt. This can all be done in no longer than 10 minutes without breaking a sweat.
Partner Workouts: It’s great if you can work out as a group but I have found that I get motivated better when I do not rely on another person’s motivation. If you get used to working out in groups, the day one person loses interest or doesn’t ‘feel like working out today’, it will severely affect your motivation as well. I do not wait for anyone. I just do what I gotta do, when I need to.
Traffic/Gym: The journey to the gym can put a lot of folks off their workout. I can be very lazy in this respect, so I eliminated a potential excuse. I don’t do gyms. I run around my estate (in Lagos) or down my avenue (in New York). I do a lot of rope skipping and utilize workout DVDs. I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE the INSANITY/INSANITY ASYLUM workouts. But this particular workout is EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with. Even the kind folks instructing in the DVD can barely keep up with their routines, so let’s not talk of us on the other side of the TV. DON’T try the INSANITY ASYLUM if you can’t handle the normal INSANITY. There is also TURBO FIRE, P90x, 10 minute trainer. Go to www.beachbody.com (that houses these workouts mentioned) and do some research, watch the videos on there and make an advised decision. Google reviews from everyday people using these workouts and find one that fits your lifestyle. Or you could just hire a HOME personal trainer, but PLEASE make sure she/he knows what he is talking about. Asking you to do some sit ups and squats alone will not cut it. Weight loss is a science and whomever you trust needs to be able to keep up his/her end of the bargain. From my experience, if you are not breaking out a sweat and your heart rate is not up, you are NOT losing weight.
Stay motivated: It did not take you ONE day to pile that weight on, so it won’t take you one day to take it off. Stay on course. Try not to weigh yourself for the first month. That seems to be where people get demoralized. You wonder why you haven’t lost 10lbs in a week and you’ve been putting in work. Give. It. Time!! I haven’t weighed myself to this day; I just notice size ‘small’ outfits slither easily onto my body now 😉
Supplements: I’ve started paying more attention to my general health as well. I take a lot of supplements now. Calcium pills, Vitamin D3 pills (to help the body absorb the calcium), probiotics for my metabolic health, Fish oil supplements and Glucosamine for my joints. These days someone could look healthy one day and die in his sleep that night. As much as we want to believe it to be caused by some disgruntled relative in the village, we have to start looking at our lifestyles as a cause. We have to start taking our health more serious and working out—even if it’s not necessarily to lose weight—is a big part of keeping fit.
Heart Rate Monitor: Invest in a heart rate monitor. This will aid in keeping your heart rate in safe levels while working out. Remember to ALWAYS be safe. Push yourself…but know your limit.
Water: Stay hydrated!! Drinks looooots of water. Water aids your metabolism, and when you start working out heavy, you lose a lot of water through sweat. You have to replenish and keep yourself hydrated in healthy levels.
Treats At Home: Why tempt yourself?? The best way to keep from eating treats is NOT to buy them. Keep away from buying cakes, sweets, soft drinks, biscuits, chocolates for “the house” YOU will snack on it. If you need to stock up for an occasion or the kids, make same-day purchases and just in the right quantity. No left-overs for later.
Whatever workout you choose, remember to stay focused, Set a goal and create forms of motivation. Find something that motivates you for those days you feel lazy to work out. It could be a horrible picture of yourself, a skirt you would like to fit into again, or just being fit and healthy. For me it is that HORRID picture I mentioned before and Jennifer Hudson’s BEFORE and AFTER pictures for some reason. Not only did she lose weight, but now, the girl is SKINNY!! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!
Hit me up on twitter @kemiadetiba if you would like to ask more questions or just so we can motivate ourselves. Remember, YOU CAN DO IT!! Now go get your sneakers on!!
This was used with permission from Eden Lifestyle.