Last summer, my schedule was jam-packed. My daily schedule involved going to class at 8:30 in the morning to go to my PE class (Weightlifting for Women), heading off to my brother’s flat to shower, then going to my thesis paper writing class at 11, then going to my Rappelling + Safety + Rescue class at 1, AND THEN going to rehearsals for my thesis production at 5, then I’d go home around 9 or 10PM.
I accepted the challenge to keep doing this for the next two months. It was exhausting. I decided to sleep on a yoga mat I placed on the floor since it means I’ll be sleeping uncomfortably, which will help me wake up early. I was pretty sure that I could never do it, but somehow, I managed to get up every day.
Waking up early just to exercise didn’t appeal to me at all, but I was dead set on losing weight this summer. Not just for the beach body of course, but because I was so sick of looking at myself and not liking what I saw. It was uncomfortable wearing clothes that didn’t fit, constantly getting told that “You gained weight!” or “You were so much thinner then!”, and I was basically afraid that I’ll never learn how to control myself and then one day regret it. Another reason why I took this class was because I needed motivation. If I knew I was being graded, I’d make the effort.
This is me back in April 2011 with my collarbones and short hair. :D
With that in mind, I pushed myself to jump out of bed and fly to school. Since the class is entitled “Weightlifting for Women”, it’s no surprise that all of the students are girls. As part of our getting to know you portion, we were asked what we want to get out of the class. Most of their goals involved “losing weight”, “general fitness” and “healthy living” (which was utter bullshit since we all know that we’re just desperate to enlist in a class—just kidding). We were asked to pair up, and I was lucky enough to choose a partner that motivated me—this was based on my observation after five weeks of progress.
My lovely partner Merlynn!
The class itself was definitely enjoyable, and was tough in many different ways. Thank goodness our teacher was nice and she really seemed to know what she was doing/teaching. And also, I was thankful that, although I may be overweight, I am definitely not inactive. By that I mean, I exercise (not on a regularly, but still!) and my work involves a lot of physical activity, so I’ve practiced my breathing and doing the exercises wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. It also helped that I’m a lot stronger than most females I know, so it was motivating to see that while some students struggled, I did the exercises with just slight difficulty. (Yeah, werk it gurl!)
Look at how sweaty my legs are! I was doing Leg Presses here. Also, look at how dirty my knees are! Our weights room isn’t exactly the cleanest of places. :P
For the first week, we learned how to do the basics: basic crunches, push ups, planks, bicep curls, etc. The second and third week, we started using the machines and other equipment so we did: lateral pulldowns, pec deck flys, tricep pulldowns, bench presses, etc. In the last week, we incorporated the use of the exercise ball and continued doing the exercises from previous weeks. We were encouraged to do at least 15 reps for each exercise, and 3 sets per session. Each week, the exercises became somewhat more intense as we did more reps, but it definitely became much easier since it turned into a routine.
Woo! Bench Pressing like yeah!
Oh! And we also had Zumba fitness sessions once a week (every Wednesday). I dreaded the idea of having to dance in front of my classmates, but I didn’t really have much of a choice, now did I? Every Wednesday, we were to go to class in our brightest workout clothes (because apparently, it helps boost energy levels or something), then mirror the dance steps that the instructor (in this case, my teacher) did, and there were no set breaks. You could just stop when you needed to drink water or needed a breather.
It was actually really fun to be honest. I didn’t expect that I would enjoy it that much, but I did. My teacher calls it Zumba Fitness Sessions, and I can see why. After the first session, I was absolutely DRIPPING with sweat! I’m a sweaty person in general (attractive, I know), but that day was crazy sweaty! What else? The music was a mix of Latin songs and some mainstream songs as well. The movement was a bit confusing at first, but we got used to it eventually, and the steps were relatively easy to pick up.
Me and my classmates after our second Zumba session.
What’s so good about it is that you don’t have to be a great dancer (and God knows I can’t dance to save my life). All you have to do is enjoy the movement, as well as give your all and push yourself instead of flap about in one corner. Another bonus was that our teacher was sympathetic about the fact that not a single one of her students had ever been to a Zumba class before. She was also very motivating and patient with us despite our horrifying attempts at ‘dancing’. Strictly speaking, we were all beginners so none of us had a right to judge each other. Although, I must say we were pretty good for beginners.
Me and my classmates after our last Zumba session! :(
Overall, it was a fun experience and I highly recommend trying it out if you’re interested in an exhilarating workout, or you and your friends are looking for some fun activity to do together. I’ll also leave my teacher’s Facebook page below if you’re interested in contacting her for any Zumba Fitness sessions.
Zumba with Nana: http://www.facebook.com/zumbawithnana (Like her page! It’s great!)
Now that summer is over, and the first semester started just last week, I intend to continue what I started. I will have a lot of free time during the next few months since I will be having just two classes, so it’s my chance to work out while I still can since I might as well take advantage of it. I do think I will enjoy going to the gym everyday, and I look forward to seeing the progress I will be making. I also plan on updating this regularly so I can monitor myself and see if I’m working hard enough or not.
This isn’t to say that I’m not confident with the way I look right now. I go about wearing skirts and sleeveless tops like it’s nobody’s business because I think I look good. (Emphasis on the think!)To be honest, I don’t mind the way I look, but like I said, it’s for health reasons (and also the constant nagging from my mother). If you don’t mind the way your body looks and you’re happy with yourself, that’s all that matters really. And also, confidence in yourself. If you think you don’t look nice in what you’re wearing, just work it! If people see that you’re oozing with confidence, then they won’t notice if you’re insecure or not. You don’t have to be insecure, and you don’t have to care what people think. What matters is what you think about yourself. If you’re not happy with you’re seeing, do something about it. if you are, then keep doing what you’re doing and keep being happy.
I know I said that you shouldn’t care what people think but here I am losing weight because one of the reasons is because people keep commenting, but before that, I didn’t care at all. I would just brush off their comments and act unaffected, because GOD! So what? I liked to eat, don’t you? And it just so happens that my body doesn’t really like getting rid of what it takes in, and ta-daaa love handles! But whatever guys. Seriously. You can always get a dress in a bigger size and it won’t matter. It will still look just as good, I promise!
This was taken during New Year of 2013.
But, if you’re like me, and you caved in after not being happy looking at yourself, that’s fine too! Go ahead and start your diet and exercise regime if that’s what you want to do. Remember, that diet is 90% and exercise is 10% of your hard work. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. There are loads of diet and exercise plans online, and I could post mine once I’ve started, so look for one that suits your needs and just go for it! It will be so worth it in the end, I promise. Ever since I started being active, endorphins (some people like to call them happy hormones) have been running through my body, which is always a good thing. I’ve been looking forward to doing things and my body is used to rigorous activities. It gets easier, I assure you.
Also, so far, since the second week of April, I’ve lost 10 pounds, and I plan on losing 30-40 pounds more.
This was taken sometime last May. Ever so slight difference, but that’s still a difference made!
I don’t plan on saying goodbye to food or lazing about, but it’s time that I did something better with my life. By something, I mean not just losing weight, but feeling and looking good and healthy. The thought excites me very much. I’m signing up for the gym this Wednesday after my period finishes, and my tonsillitis will be pretty much cured by then. Hardcore, isn’t it?
Hm, it’s ironic how I’m writing about fitness and health as I’m downing an Oreo Cheesecake… (They did say not to starve yourself. Hehe)