Disclaimer : This is my journey, it’s not the right one or the wrong one, it’s just what I did. I have nothing against any other method one may use to get to their goals, I am just sharing my experience.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
I am a strong advocate of starting small then building up with time. I find it more realistic and bound to survive time. It’s okay if you do a total diet overhaul or go full vegan or go extremely high impact for a start. If that works for you then do you boo.
I first noticed that my weight may have been a problem around November 2012. This was after I had security guards telling me that they weren’t allowed to use metal detectors on expectant women and I was heartbroken. That I guess was my turning point. I brought up the idea of gym membership to my mum but she wasn’t too enthusiastic about it at first so I decided I was going to work with what I had.
I’m going to tackle this in the two obvious ways I had to make changes in my life: working out and eating clean. This will be done in two posts to avoid making this one too lengthy.
Incorporate small sessions of physical activity: As a beginner, you may not be able to go very high impact, but trust me with consistent practice, you’ll keep getting better.
Back then in 2012, I lived near Strathmore University’s field so every evening after school I’d try and run around that field. Initially, I could barely complete a single lap but in about a month, I could do one to two laps.
It’s important to have fun when working out. You’ll be able to do it longer and enjoy rather than feel like its a chore you can’t wait to finish. There are numerous workout options which I may cover in detail in weeks to come.
Running every other day got boring real quick and I had to switch it up, else I was going to give up on working out.
Then I happened to stumble upon Tae Bo by Billy Blanks. I can’t seem to find the exact workout I used sadly. This was so much more interesting for me and I would wake up earlier to get my sweat on before school. Working out in the morning gave me mad energy levels for the day.
Build a program that works best for you. I know some people say working out in the morning is better than the evening or vice versa but I’m just going to say: workout at whatever time works for you.
Eventually, my mum gave in to my gym demands and I was sooo excited. I gave the gym a try and it turned out not to be what I expected. There are machines and equipment but very little input from the trainers, besides maybe aerobics classes. That may not be the case for others though. So I’d just jump around the machines as I pleased and it was not satisfactory for me.
So after the month I had paid for, I quit and went back to Tae Bo. The gym clearly wasn’t working for me. My cousin, whom I lived with had joined this band wagon and she introduced me to Zumba. Anyone who knows me well knows I love to dance and Zumba was going to give me that and a good calorie burn.
Make it consistent, at least 3 days a week for a start, then you can build up with time.
So I had these two options to work with. Initially I would alternate them i.e Tae Bo today, Zumba tomorrow every weekday and then I would take a break on weekends or do something light like leisure swimming on weekends.
After some time, I did Tae Bo in the morning and Zumba in the evening every weekday.
Don’t get too comfortable with your workout. Keep challenging yourself
If you’re going to the gym and have a trainer, they will keep it challenging for you so you’re safe. However, if you’re on your own and are following one routine, your body may get too comfortable with it so you need to take it up a notch and get something more challenging. Over the years I have followed different workouts. You can look them up (if you wish).
- Tae Bo
- 30 day Shred by Jillian Michaels
- Insanity by Shaun T
- T25 by Shaun T
- Chalean Xtreme by Chalene Johnson
- Yoga by the Africa Yoga Project
Ocassionally I may try Matt Stefanina’s dance moves in the name of working out but the above are my basic go to.
I have tried to keep a consistent workout regimen over the years. Every weekday if possible and so far so good. With time you get so used to it that your day feels “incomplete” without working out.
I hope this helps.
See you next week for the eating clean section.