When I was young I would often be sporting a speedo because I absolutely loved swimming . All the little boys in the complex I lived in, would call me Thunder Thighs constantly joking that I could easily kick start a jumbo jet. Being told I could donate blood with my calves, one night a group of boys even shouted you could play prop for the Sharks whilst walking into Calicos night club in Durban.
Lets just say I have always been quite “ Thick”. Genetically I build muscle very fast. At times I have hated my muscle wanting to be thinner, wanting to be taller. It seems the sayings true, “ We always want what we can’t have”, never appreciating what it is that we do in fact have. Each and every single one of us go on a physical journey with our bodies in our lives. We all have such unique physiques, we grow in different ways, sizes and directions.
As I grew up I started to really appreciate my muscles, as I have gotten older the insults have turned into beautiful comments about my big strong legs.
Today I am proud of my muscles, but it hasn’t always been this easy.
I have gone on a long, challenging journey with my body. I have been lifting weights since I was 18 years old, I have a love for Iron. I have always been fit and active. Training between 1 – 2 times a day and 5 days a week for the past 8 years.
I have taken supplements, fat burners whey protein, eaten one too many cows, one two to many chickens all in the name of building muscle.
I have failed at a bodybuilding competition – dropped out. I then turned that around and made a goal become a reality by competing in one 5 years later placing top 10 in 2 categories. I have completed a half iron man, participating in as much physical activity as I can because it is what I thrive off and crave in my life.
At one stage in my life I had the most incredible, HOT, powerful little body. After 16 weeks of chewing pieces of fish washing it down with water just to get tit down, eating 6 bland meals prepped 2 days in advance, I know how tough it is. No one will ever understand how truly challenging something like that is until they try. You have to have the strongest mind, you have to believe in yourself so much and have such self control. Not many people try because they know they don’t have the willpower or they don’t have the inclination. I have huge respect for people who set a goal for themselves physically and achieve it.
I can proudly say I was able to wear the tiniest bikini you have ever seen and strut my stuff on stage infront of hundreds of people, I looked the hottest I have ever looked in my life .The saddest part about all of this is not once did I ever look at myself in the mirror and recognise what I had achieved. Not once did I look in the mirror and say to myself “ Shit you look incredible”. That moment was so short lived and I was not even present for it.
After pushing myself too far, I ended up with a back injury. It was all just too much for my body to handle. My body finally gave in and I lived with excruciating back pain for 6 months – It was time to rest, time to heal, time to figure out who I really was. I believe in life that we get sick so that we can pull ourselves towards ourselves. Its our body’s way of saying ‘hey, reconnect with yourself’. We should be grateful that our bodies are so strong and know exactly what is needed.
If we can go red just from blushing can you imagine the effects other emotions have on our bodies and our organs? Saddness, Anger, Unhappiness.
During the time that I couldn’t train which totalled to 6 months, I ate everything I usually wouldn’t touch. Bread, Chips, Take – Out. You name it, I ate it, and what happened?? That strong, muscular body of mine turned to mush. It took me 6 months to heal my back.
I tried for a very long time to accept my ‘new’ body. I had never had cellulite in my life. All my friends would say “ Ahhhh, we love you with a bit of meat” , “You are much better this way, don’t lose any weight” . I would listen to them and say ‘ just try it, just try to accept yourself ’. I was so close at times, nearly embracing my curves and just letting it all hang out but when I looked in the mirror I knew I wasn’t happy, I began to hate what I looked like. But I had been there and done that, not appreciating my body and what I put it through and I knew too well what that felt like and what would eventually happen. Pay attention to your emotions – you will learn a lot about yourself.
At this time in my life I was going on a very spiritual journey, doing lots of yoga, eating less meat as I was seeing the affects it had on the earth as well as the amount of hormones being injected into the meat. I started learning about nutrition and superfoods, reading books on plant based diets. I stopped doing weights training and cardio, yet Istill wasn’t happy with my body. At the beginning of this year after lots of soul searching I finally came to peace with myself, realising what it is that I WANT, what makes me happy.
I LOVE MUSCLE!! I want to be strong, I want to be lean, I want to have shoulders, I want to have a flat stomach. I want to have protruding glutes and hard hammies. Its just what I like.
So I made peace with it. I made peace with myself.
But I knew what this meant. Getting back into hardcore training. We all have different bodies and each and every single one of us have a body that we can sculpt and mould just they way we like it. Some girls love their curves, they love their lumps and bumps and that is what is important. If you are HAPPY with what you look like then you rock it sista!!
All those naysayers commenting on my body as though it is theirs to comment on. “ I see you have put on weight, you look so much healthier”
NO I DON’T, I think to myself. I can be as angry with them as I want to be but my body has nothing to do with them. I was grateful for these moments in my life because they have taught me not to judge or comment on other peoples bodies.
The time for me is NOW. I need to make the change, I need to apply the knowledge I have on transforming my body and working hard on it everyday, pounding away in the gym so I can work for the body that I want because no one else can get it for me and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter to them.
So I made the decision to embrace who I am and what I love about myself.I have been blessed genetically with muscle so I am going to use my gift and sculpt that muscle. I knew that in order to get the body of MY dreams it would mean getting back into gym. Lifting heavy weights because that is what my body responds to. More High Intensity Interval cardio because it helps me lose the weight.
First things first, decide on what you want – have a goal. CREATE MY DREAM BODY.
I got a Facebook message from a long distant friend who wrote to me and said “ I am a little bit worried about you, there is more to life than exercise and I think you are a bit obsessed” I was so taken a back by this message and got super defensive until one of my best friends pointed it out to me, she said: ‘Why are you so defensive? THAT IS EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE, It is your obsession. Your body. Your strength, it gives you joy. It makes you happy, SO OWN IT’!!
I want to be a strong, lean machine that is able to jump, run, swim, cycle, bench press, squat, do a one arm push up because that is who I am.
And that is exactly what I am doing. I have signed up with an online coach who sends me my training schedule and workouts everyday. I have to login and take progress photos.
I have to up the anti and start eating A LOT to build my body. After receiving my new eating plan I tried very hard to eat the meat required. I am an O blood group ( basically I should be a carnivore ) but I am slowly becoming a vegetarian because of personal reasons and the impact eating meat has on the earth. So I am in a big predicament. Eat meat and get gains or find a more sustainable solution.
My health has changed drastically from introducing a more plant based, organic eating plan into my life ,eating more organic vegetables, super-foods, seeds and nuts. I am never sick , touch wood. I used to have really bad breakouts but haven’t had a pimple in nearly a year, Its incredible. But I also realise that in order to have what I want and create the body of my dreams I need lots of protein. So now this has become something I am studying. Knowledge is power and there is so much to learn out there. With the internet at our fingertips we can all be a nutritionist these days. How much brocolli and hemp seed protien do I need to eat in equivalence to 100 grams of mince? When I do buy meat I ensure I buy it from ethical butchers, so I am conscioulsy buying my meat and I know what I am putting into my body.
I want to sculpt my dream body because I have finally made peace with who I am. I know as I watch my body change I fall more and more in love with myself and my strength and that is the most imporant thing in life. That we love who we are.
If you’re a stick thin, long legged no bootied babe but you love the way a slinky nightgown hangs on your body, you need to own that.
If you like garage pies then you don’t need to tell yourself any lies – if you’re happy with your body and who you are then you’re doing just FINE.
Please don’t think that I am criticising over weight people. That is your personal choice. I am just saying we need to be happy with who we are & what our bodies look like.
If you’re not happy then, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Stop eating that fried food. Get into the gym.Start learning about your body. Decide what it is that is going to make you happy and DO IT.
It is your body, your rules. You are the one who has to look in the mirror everyday.
I finally accepted who I am. I am going to build my body and this time its all for me, not for the stage. If someone calls me tomorrow and says come and do a 30KM swim in some fabulous part of the world, I want to be able to be fit and strong enough to say, “ What times our flight?” I will take the time to make nutritious, delicious meals that fuel my muscles to push harder and go further.
Also one needs to realise that this is NOT a diet. You need to make a LIFESTYLE change. There is no way I can go back to falling off the band wagon again – what it did to my mind & body was destroying. I want to be healthy, I want to be fit, I want to be free and I want to love me.
And the best part about all of this is that I am doing it with LOVE and compassion towards my body. I am enjoying getting into shape.
No more artificial products that some pharmaceutical company claims to work miracles, no more whey proteins, no more crap. Delicious kale smoothies, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds – when I eat this way I can feel my body loving me back. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Do your research, there is no quick fix to anything in life.
Fast results = short lived pleaure
So what is it that you want for your body? What is it that you want for yourself?
Hey Boys…. How you like these Hammies now?