I never liked to drink water. I was obsessed with carbs… bread & butter, pasta, fast food and chocolate and my upper body strength could be described as almost a disability.
I was a curvy vegetarian (with a body shape that required untold hours in dressing rooms to find a dress or shirt that would button up) that never had a flat stomach- abs were things that skinny girls have – and a typical top heavy, crazy out of proportion apple body shape in minature fairy size just didn’t.
We have all seen the story of overweight girl loses weight, looks amazing in a bikini and finds happiness and that is amazing story, taking dedication and effort but it is not mine. Or the skinny, lanky girl who becomes strong with a six pack and find the confident to be a model and again this is inspiring to me but not my story.
I have never been largely overweight, nor lean and skinny. I was never strong, I was never the fastest or most active and sporty, nor was someone who suffers from illnesses or conditions that I had to overcome. I have tried so many things to ‘find my perfect body’ from detoxes, cleanses, diets, shakes, over exercising and almost starving. And then there was a time I told myself I didn’t care (but I did).
As a child I was always into Science Fiction and Superheros. I grew up in a house of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monkey Magic, Dungeons and Dragons and well, my brothers being very into their Kung Fu and using me to practice on!
Couple that with a mother whose very essence screams humanity as a social worker and professional cook and feeding everybody within a 3 mile radius. A father who was always looking for the perfect business idea and spending everyday in front of a computer, and of course I would end up wanting to help people armed with my humanity and a laptop.
When I began my own journey of self-discovery and personal development, I realised very quickly that I really wanted to save the world. I secretly hoped that I would become a super hero (I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer- even calling my son Josh after Joss Whedon the creator) and wanted to save the world.
What I began to realise more deeply was that I wanted to help people to grow and be better, to be the best they could be and I wanted to inspire people to make good choices for themselves. (all why being a little kick ass doing it!)
And what was even more exciting was I didn’t have to be ‘special’ or unique or have special powers. Making a conscious decision to be better and do better and taking responsibility for my actions. That’s what makes a true super hero.
The power comes from the understanding that you can change and it simply starts with making different choices.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”- Ghandi,
Be the leader, pioneer and role model.
I want to be my own superhero. To be strong, lean, curvy and kick ass. And I want to have the curvy body of an Amazonian Princess.
This picture tells a story. 9 months apart but two different goals and a whole lot of work in between.
In a matter of weeks I will be celebrating two years as a certified personal trainer and later this year 3 years as a kettlebell instructor.
And in this way honouring a commitment I made to myself to work on getting leaner, stronger and curvier every day. To continue to strive to live the ultimate healthy living lifestyle.
I may have come to the fitness game late in life and rather reluctantly (still not 100% convinced I like to exercise!) I have come to appreciate what is does to my body, my mind and my spirit.
And in that I have fallen in love.
Last year I turned 40 and wanted to be #fitfabulousatforty.
This year I want to aim even higher and become the ultimate Warrior Goddess. The ultimate in strength and curves and embrace the world of fitness and compete in my first fitness competition.
Let me tell you a little about how this works.
There are three types of female muscle and fitness competitions: Fitness, figure and bikini. There are different requirements for each type. To get involved in female fitness competition, here are the important points to know.
Fitness and figure competition is a class of physique-exhibition events for women. While bearing a close resemblance to female bodybuilding, its emphasis is on muscle definition, not size.
Bikini competition was created as a category with much less emphasis on muscularity to accommodate even more women into the world of physique competitions. Rapidly growing, bikini category looks for lean and firm physique and “competitors are scored on proportion, symmetry, balance, shape and skin tone”. In bikini competition usually participate girls that are not willing to be muscular as much as bodybuilders. The tan that the girls have is also a point that should be taken into consideration when it comes about participating at a bikini competition
Later this year (not sure when as it will depend on my progress) I will be competing in my first Bikini Fitness Competition. Yep, sparkly bikini, tan, hooker heels, the lot!
It shows dedication, determination, focus and understanding of the human body in terms of both body building muscle, tone and strength but also nutrition, my relationship with food and my body.
Also, these shows and types of events are really a larger showcase for your hardwork and determination and your skills in understanding nutrition, muscle building, fatloss and sculpting your body.
Unfortunately, this is also an arena where people look for short cuts and can often damage their metabolism and overall health to force their bodies to build muscle and shred fat with drugs and unhealthy practices. I want to be a role model and do it with health, ethics and compassion being the priority.
So how am I doing it?
Currently I am working out 4 times a week. I am lifting heavy weights in the gym up to 3 times a week with my trainer who is a Body Sculptor by trade and once a week for a HIIT or additional leg day by myself and I am still doing yoga a few times week, kettlebell classes 4 times a week and Josh and I are embarking on Kung Fu class too.
I am following a gluten free vegan carb cycling formula to build muscle and stay lean and taking high quality vegan supplements. I food prep every day and some days I am eating nearly 3,000 calories and eating every 3 hours! On these days I enjoy vegan gluten free pizza or pasta and even treats like Vegan Rawtella and Vegan Brownies.
I sleep 8 hours a night. I fast once a week on my rest day where I often walk in nature, meditate, take muscle soothing baths and everyday I am drinking between 2-3 litres of water.
This is the advice I am following and you can too!
My Workout Advice
Workout With Strength Training and Fat Loss in Mind
- Use compound exercises with the focus on building and maintaining muscles.
- Focus on strength training.
- Use cardio sparingly, and only to supplement nutrition.
- When using cardio, stick to interval training. Going from high intensity to low intensity and back again can help you burn fat faster than with a steady cardio workout.
My Nutrition Advice
Change Your Diet for Optimal Weight Loss
- Monitoring calories is the most important aspect of weight loss. You need to burn more calories than you eat. This can be accomplished by lowering your calorie intake or by increasing your workouts.
- Make sure your protein intake is around 1 to 1½ grams per pound of body weight. On weight lifting days, eat more carbs than on the days when you do just cardio.
- Eat carbs only at key times, such as in the morning and before and after your exercises. All other times focus on protein and fats.
I am doing this following a gluten free vegan carb cycling programme, measuring calories and macros and lifting heavy![Related article: Carb Cycling for Fatloss, how to make it work for you?]
Why am I doing this you might ask? I mean it’s not as if I am busy enough!!
I want to do it for us fabulous forty somethings. To do it for us little fairies. To do it for the chicken legged, apple shapes.
To do it for the ethical deep thinking animal lovers – as will be doing it following a fully gluten free vegan plant based diet.
And to do it for Josh as his role model and life mentor.
And to do it for me so I know it can be done.
You see, this is the one thing that money can’t buy, no matter how rich you are.
This is one thing that not everybody can do or wants to do as it requires enormous commitment, motivation and focus.
And when I think about it I freak out a little and then get super excited all at the same time.
So here it is. Watch this space as I rebuild my body and truly embody what it means to be a Warrior Goddess.
Train like a Warrior, Look like a Goddess.
Creator of Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training
Author of The Warrior Goddess Body Book