Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I seem to have broken the sleep barrier! I can now wake up at 4h45 and function normally through the day and even study til around 22h00 without feeling fuzzy. Such a good feeling. Suppose as you get older, it just takes a little longer to adjust...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A 25-hour Day

I need more time in my day, more energy, more mental and physical stamina. I don't know how to get this right, I think the only answer is a clone!

In my previous post I kinda concluded that gym before work didn't really work for me. But recently, in an attempt to free up more time after work, I decided to give gym before work another try.
The hospital I'm working at, at present includes a 7am start, every morning. As fate would have it, the gym is about 5km from the hospital. Now that I've graduated to uber yuppie gym bunny and joined the Virgin Active Classic, the fight for machines has become null and void. Since I need more hours in my day, why not cut down on the time wasted sleeping and get to gym by 5h00? I can easily to get to work by 7h00, miss traffic, and in the evenings that would add at least another hour to studying time. Invaluable!

Unfortunately, so far, after a total of about 6 attempts at this, interrupted by all the damn public holidays, all I feel right now is tired. If my sentence construction is suboptimal, it's cos I'm TIRED!!
Instead of studying from 20h00 to 23h00 or 21h00 to 00h00 like I used to, I get home with a fuzzy head. I convince myself that food and a bit of time in front of the TV will help. By 19h00 I can barely keep my eyes open. I decide an hour's nap will help. I lie down, but start worrying about waking up in an hour. When my alarm goes off at 20h00, I still haven't slept, I need a bit more time. I finally stumble to my desk around 20h45, head still feeling a bit fuzzy. I open the books and start to stress about waking up at 4h30...

Right now it's 23h06. I closed the books because I was reading the same line over and over again. I still need to pack my gym bag, so that when I wake up I can hit the ground running. At most, I'm probably gonna get 5 hours of sleep if I'm gonna wake up at 4h30. I'm already anxious about that. I'm exhausted, but I'm anxious about whether I'll be able to fall asleep.
This is like a horrible nightmare. But I'm not ready to admit defeat just yet. Maybe my aging body is just a bit resistant to change and needs a little more time to adjust.

Maybe, just maybe, I can have a 25 hour day...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gym Bunny

Oh my goodness gracious, was the last post on this blog really in 2009??!! I'm going to blame it on Delon, he's such a procrastinator.
Well, since then I've moved to the city (Durban) and become a gym bunny (Virgin Active). Well, actually not quite a gym bunny, I don't wear matching outfits or make up, but I'm in the gym at least 4 times a week. I like the variety that gym offers, from yoga to spinning, and since October, Durban has had more rainy days than not, so I didn't really have a choice. I do like running and cycling outdoors, but I don't like the wind and rain, not quite that hard core.

Since joining the gym, I've noticed that certain activities cause a little bit of knee pain... hope I'm not going to regret the running by the time I turn 60!!

Anyway, since I'm relatively new to this whole gym thing, I was wondering: What exactly are the rules when it comes to leaving your towel on a free machine, to "reserve" the machine?

I had an incident this morning... - It was 7h17, I had planned to be out of the gym by 7h15, but I just wanted to do 10min on the cross trainer before leaving, I told myself I could have a very quick shower and make it to work just on time.
When I got to the cross trainers they were all full, except for one with a towel on it. I stood and looked around for a few seconds, then I walked up to the machine and asked the people on both sides whether they knew who was using it. Both of them just shook their heads and carried on with their workout. I looked around for a few more seconds, looked at the time again and decided to get on.
As I started, a "lady" walks up and says: That's my machine!
Me: It was empty when I got here
Lady: I went to fill my water bottle and I put my towel on it. It's my machine.
Me: It was standing empty when I got here.
Lady: I was just talking to my friend, I put my towel on it, I was coming back to it.
Me: It's peak time, it was standing empty. If you talk to your friend for a little bit longer, I'm sure another one will become available.
Lady: (getting louder) It's my machine, I put my towel on it. Get off.
Me: I'm sure that in a little while there will be another one available.
She now starts screaming at me: You're being ridiculous. Get off now!
And she starts trying to hold onto the handles of the cross trainer to stop me from working out.
She continues shouting: You're being ridiculous, this is my machine. Get off now!
I told her that she was being ridiculous and just carried on working out. She then said she was going to call the manager, to which I replied: Please do!!

Now I do understand that there are unspoken rules and common courtesy and all that, which means we don't steal machines. But, should machines be reserved and left standing empty during peak hours when we're all trying to squeeze in a workout before we have to get to work? And if you can stand and have a chat with a friend, then you are obviously not in a hurry to get anywhere, so it shouldn't be a problem to wait a few minutes longer.
In any case, another machine did become available within a minute. The lady (I'm referring to her sex and not her personal characteristics) then grabbed her towel from the machine I was on, called me a bitch and got on with her workout.

All in all, I think trying to squeeze in a workout before rushing off to work in the morning, is a little bit too stressful for my liking.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What Do You Like?

Keeping fit shouldn't be unpleasant, it shouldn't be a chore. Yes, there are days when you just won't feel like getting up early or getting off the couch in the evening. When it's cold and rainy it's just so much easier to go straight home after work, than stopping at the gym first.

I think the secret is finding something you enjoy doing. Whether it's walking along the beach or going for an easy cycle. Every little thing counts. When I was most overweight, I bought myself a bike. I had always enjoyed "riding bikes" as a child, so it seemed more like fun than exercise. I didn't spend much money on the first bike I bought. When I was cycling more regularly, I decided it would be worth it to invest in a better bike. I traded the first bike in (yes, you can trade them in like cars) and got a better one, which gave a better riding experience and meant that going for a cycle was even more of a pleasure. Still, I didn't spend more than R2500 on the bike (mountain bike) and that is sufficient for the kind of riding that I do. You don't have to spend a fortune on equipment unless you want to do the sport professionally. If you're a novice, all the equipment in the world will not make you look like a pro, it will just make you look silly.

So keep it simple:
1) Find out what you like, so that going out and doing it is not tedious. It could be swimming, cycling or even playing soccer.
2) When you're starting out, don't spend a fortune on equipment that will collect dust in your cupboard in 2 months time and just remind you what a loser you are everytime you look at it.
3) Come to terms with the fact that you're going to be the newbie for a little while, everyone was new at some point.
4) Don't be disheartened if you don't look like the Adidas model on the front cover of Runner's World. I assure you that you look better today than you will in a year's time, if you continue being a couch potato!

It may seem implausible now, but I promise you that in no time at all, you'll look forward to your exercise. If you just find out what you like!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In an attempt to build the follower base:

I'd like to start off by saying big up to our follower base, we love you, we would be nothing without you!!!

While Delon is away on a business trip in north west Africa, I'm going to hope he's distracted and I'll be able to get away with doing my own thing here! He doesn't believe readers want to know about us personally, they want facts and tips that lead to six packs and tight butts. Ok, readers do want six packs and tight butts, but I believe that a bit of a personal touch leads to a connection, which leads to loyal followers. So on that note, let me tell you a bit about us and why following us will be beneficial to you.

The most important thing is that we are very different and have very different styles of staying fit.

Delon, as mentioned previously, has always been skinny and has never had any kind of intimate relationship with food. I, on the other hand was the fat kid who ate a lot.

Delon lives in a big city and works for a big company, he drives a brightly coloured sports car and he has a hectic social life. He sometimes finishes work around 7pm and then still goes out for drinks and has to fit a workout in somewhere in between all of this. He also does a significant amount of business traveling, both national and international. So sticking to a fitness routine is challenging for him.
I live in a little town on the South Coast of KZN, I don't travel much except on holiday. Although I do work long hours, I usually have a pretty routine work week. I can plan ahead and decide when to fit in my workouts for the week. I usually don't drink during the week and I'm also studying at the moment, so planning how I spend my time is of the utmost importance.

Delon is into gadgets, he keeps up with the latest trends, he reads the latest magazines, he subscribes to Men's Health and he doesn't mind spending money on a gym membership so that if he has time to go for a run only at 21h00, he can do so.
I am technologically challenged, I usually don't understand why my computer won't just do what I say when I say, the only way I know about the latest trends is if Delon tells me, I don't believe I should have to spend money to keep fit. I believe in working with what I have, I don't belong to a gym.

It's difficult to get a word out of Delon before 7am on most mornings.
I like exercising in the morning, I don't mind waking up early. I'm a morning person.

All of this translates into 2 very different approaches to staying in shape.
So, what kind of lifestyle do you have? What are the challenges that you face in your path to fitness?
Find out what works for you, and develop your own approach.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Started

Starting out on the path to fitness is often the hardest step. I don't think any of us want to be unfit, unhealthy or unshapely, but buying a Bar One chocolate is so much easier than going for a jog!

I speak as a fat person who loves food. I was never blessed with the kind of metabolism Delon speaks of. In primary school I was the fat girl. I never even tried to run, jump or throw things on the sports field. I tried to play hockey and was given the goalie position for the B side, while my best friend played centre and won the 100m sprint.
With high school came vanity and peer pressure. I also wanted to be like the skinny girls who were satisfied by a carrot stick for lunch, I tried crash diets which mainly consisted of trying to starve myself but only resulted in binges after about 2 days.
In short: I'm not naturally skinny, I like food (a lot!) and I wasn't born a sportswoman! Fortunately I came to the realisation that none of this means I have to be unhealthy.

I firmly believe that once you can come to the realisation that being fit and healthy is a way of life, you have already conquered the first hurdle. This is not something that you do for a month to lose 5kg, fitness and health are habits you adopt so that:
1) in the short term you have more energy everyday
2) in the very near future you start to feel good about yourself and so are able to get laid more often, which will only encourage you (although, frankly, this benefit hasn't quite kicked in for me yet, i'm surviving on the endorphins I get from the exercise)
3) in the long term you live a longer and more productive life, not having to spend 50% of your time after the age of 40, waiting in the line at the doctor's office or in the queue at the pharmacy to collect your bag of pills that keep you alive.

Start small, start easy. Dig out your old pair of gym shoes and cross 1 item of junk food off your shopping list. You have already accomplished much, you're getting started.

Finding the Motivation to Achieve a Personal Goal

One of the most difficult things to do when trying to achieve a personal fitness goal is to stay motivated. My motivation is to loose my gut and put on a bit of muscle. I've always been thin but as my age increased, my metabolism decreased - resulting in a bit more unwanted meat around the waist. I didn't realise how fat I had become until I saw a photo of myself and how my belly protruded far beyond my centre.

Seeing this photograph helped me to define a personal goal - "loose the gut". I printed it out and have it pasted on my wall so that I can be motivated not to look like that again (at least not before 55).

Something else which helps me to stay on track is that I often browse through "Mens Health" magazine which always has a cover model showing off his abs and telling the story of how easy they are to get and to maintain. Although they are models they seem very ordinary. Their reason, I'm sure, for staying in shape is to remain employed as models.

If you do want to make a serious change about the way you look, define your personal goal. Constantly remind yourself of what it is you are trying to achieve.