I’m on a journey of pursuing my purpose, and for me to do that effectively I need to be holistically well / healthy.
3 John 1:2
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.
I have failed at this many times – over and over again because I set out on a weight-loss journey instead of a wellness journey. My ultimate goal was to see the numbers on the scale become less and less each time I’d get on it.
My goal isn’t tied to a number on the scale anymore, even though my BMI suggests that it would be good for me to weigh between 62-65 kgs. In my mind I’m thinking: you can be 65 kgs and still be diabetic, 65 kgs and still feel sluggish & tired all the time, or 65 kgs and still be so unfit that a flight of stairs would have you out of breath and gasping for air. Plus, the number on the scale can drive you nuts if that is your main focus! So then, what is my goal, you’re probably wondering. My goal is to:
- be tight and toned in all the right places and soft where it matters 😉 (please note that “all the right places” is subjective!)
- be able to run a 10km comfortably in under an hour as I prepare my body for Ironman.
- function well internally and to NOT take chronic medication, and NOT having to tuck my tummy into my panty when I’m wearing a high waist pants. The latter are more preventative steps. Still won’t get rid of my spanx though, even if I do reach my goals.
I know some of you are reading this, asking yourself: what in the hell kinda goals are these!? But it is what it is! They are mine.
Let’s talk about Body Positivity, Fat Pride and the fact that we don’t owe anybody flat tummies, for a quick minute. At first I saw Body Positivity as a shield from body shaming and Fat Pride as encouraging obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. After sharing my views with my cousin’s girlfriend, who is a body positivity activist, I learned that the movement is about opposing the media’s ideas of skeletal model figures and encouraging us (non model-figured women) to feel good about ourselves and the body that houses us.
I considered all this and must admit that I haven’t done much research on these movements because I figured that I’d much rather invest my energy in Self-Love then giving society the middle finger. Loving my body and accepting it for how it is and what it can do, and at the same time working on changing what I can. I practice the kind of self-love that drinks 2l water a day even though I’m not thirsty but because I know my body needs it. The kind of self-love that tells you to have only three of the six oreos you normally would’ve had and to opt for popcorn instead of the Simba chips. Because you want to be the best, fittest and healthiest version of you…FOR YOU!
I’ve always been a very active and extremely competitive person, so the exercising came fairly easy to me. Adjusting my diet by making healthier food choices was, and sometimes still is, one helluva battle between my mind and tastebuds. Cauliflower doesn’t exactly takes like angels moonwalking on your tongue. I will share how I’ve gone about this change in a later post.
I used to get so inspired by peoples’ “before and after” photos. Like, REALLY hyped up and ready to also shed the fat in “just three months”. That was until I embarked on my own journey. Now those pics annoy the living daylights out of me, especially those with captions sharing half truths. Let me tell you why.
People are not always 100% transparent with what happens between the “before and after” photographs. More often than not, they wouldn’t care to reveal the supplements or weight-loss aids they’ve been using or how they fell off the wagon for a few days and gained back the 1.5 kg in just three days that took them 1 whole week to lose. This is what I’ve attempted to do with my IG story highlight. To show the sweaty, messy bits. To share the weight fluctuations and the frustration when hitting a plateau. To tell my followers about that one time I went into the sauna weighing 70kg and came out 2kgs lighter.
Also, the other thing about these photos are the fact that they don’t show flabby. People who mostly do cardio and HIIT exercises will lose weight faster than persons like me (who does mostly strength training), so the photo will show a skinnier version of the person and the number on the scale will have dropped. But how do we measure strength? How is it that my body fat and visceral fat % has decreased but the scale’s needle didn’t move at all this month?
Laz has played an instrumental role in all this, working out a training program for me and whenever we do have the opportunity of working out together he has been a pain in my butt with correcting my form and my breathing! What the hell! Yes girls, you have to exhale on the concentric phase. Don’t go DM’ing my guy for gym advice now. I’m his secretary! Jokes aside, he is a really nice guy and passionate about fitness and body building. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sharing what he knows, should you ask.
This has required so much discipline, commitment and hard work. Doing it (physically) by myself does get a bit difficult at times coz there is no partner to keep me accountable. Laz does require that I log my runs on the Nike App and send it to him, as well as the occasional sweaty gym selfie.
I set 4 alarms for the morning and getting out of bed is THE most difficult part, I must confess. I know once I hit the road to gym (I take a 3km jog /brisk walk) that I’m already winning, coz I have this mentality of “I’m here so I might as well do the damn thing”. Also, knowing what to do when you get there and how to use the equipment is key to your success.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing this journey – Ruth’s Road to Ironman (guess I just gave it a name and that makes it official) over here and more frequently on my IG, so make sure to follow me over there too.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for taking the time to read this very long intro post ☺