If I told you I started exercising to stay fit and healthy, I would be lying. I started exercising to stay slim. I wanted the freedom to enjoy all of the fashion choices I wanted to make. This was my reasoning in my twenties, but as I grew older and took on more responsibilities, I started to see the mental benefits of exercising.
Exercising keeps me sane! Without exercise, I would find it extremely difficult to cope with being a mom, a wife, working a full-time job, running a new business and a charity.
I took my exercise to the next level after I gave birth to my son who is now 8. His birth challenged me tremendously. I had assumed that my body would snap back like it did when I had my daughter 4 years prior. It didn’t. So, I hired a personal trainer to help me ‘tone up’. That decision was one of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself.
Gavin, my personal trainer taught me to think about my training and diet as one. I had to clean up my diet, which wasn’t terrible, but it contained too many heavy white carbohydrates and hidden sugars. And for the fitness model look, I wanted the ratio of carbohydrates to protein was simply off.
You must remember that my goal was not to lose huge amounts of weight, but rather to gain more definition I.e build back all the muscle I lost in pregnancy and a little more. Do you know you lose muscle density in pregnancy and as you age?
The plan for me involved switching to very little processed food, more lean protein, good complex carbs, vegetables, and regular meals with good snacks. After six weeks, I started seeing results. Three years later, and with Gavin’s help I competed in a bodybuilding competition and got the abs I’d always dreamed of.
Unfortunately, my abdominal muscles were stretched badly in pregnancy, a condition called diastasis Recti. It will never be what it was, but diet and weight training and shifting my mindset have made me reconcile with how it looks now. And to be quite honest, time and consistency in weight training and diet mean it looks better and better each year.
In 2020 I want to beg you to stop following fads! Risky diets! Mad diets! Diets that will leave you with food disorders! A diet that will stress you mentally, it need not be this way! And this new craze for plant-based; be careful.
A plant based diet Is not automatically more healthy. You really need to know what you are doing with your diet before you jump on the vegan bandwagon, otherwise a vegan diet is likely to leave you with food deficiencies not worth the 3 kg weight loss. I’m not against a vegan lifestyle, I have the utmost respect for those who do it for philosophical reasons. But if you think it’s healthier, I’m sorry there is no sound research that validates this. What we should all be doing is eating less meat, we eat too much, and when we eat meat, we should eat good quality meat, organic if possible, and knowing where your meat comes from is also important.
If you want to go vegan consult with a dietician to fill in nutrition gaps that you will face. I’ve preached this for years! And remember deficiencies will show up fast on your hair. This is why some vegans who aren’t supplementing correctly, or pairing food rightly, find their hair suffering. It does not have to be this way if you are diligent and plan ahead.
Of course, your body will change as time goes by and as you age – mine has – but it doesn’t have to go downhill. Make the right food choices 80 percent of the time, do the right types of exercises, and you will be amazed at how great your body can look into your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
So what about our hair! Well, more and more surveys show that regular exercise can improve the health of your hair. And the key to maintaining strong and shiny strands is to combine fitness with a well-balanced diet. We also know that exercising reduces some of the stress-related issues that can cause hair loss.
Exercising doesn’t have to mean changing your life by going to the gym for hours or even weight training. You can take a brisk walk, dance, cycle, or run – it’s all about finding an activity that you enjoy. But to get that squat bum and that boulder shoulder you have to lift some heavy ish sis!
Titilolami’s Top Diet Tips
1. Eat more lean protein.
2 Prep 60% of your food
3.Don’t isolate yourself from social gatherings, learn to make the best choices in social gatherings
4. Eat out less often. When I’m hosting a dinner party, I put taste over health, and restaurants do the same, adding copious amounts of sugar and fat to their meals. When you eat out, you relinquish control over what goes in your food.
5. Drastically reduce your sugar intake, including natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup.
Titilolami’s Favourite Exercise Tips
1. Stop going to Zumba classes if you want to build muscles or tone up!!
2 If you really want good definition, start weight lifting or find your nearest circuit training. But circuits has its limitation because to see muscles develop you need to gradually increase load for toning - circuits is not structured enough for that.
3. Hire a personal trainer! Share her/him with friends, like I did, then the cost becomes more affordable. (Plus, having training partners will keep you motivated.)
4. If you don’t know what squats, deadlifts and burpees are, you need to! Ask your trainer or look on YouTube. These exercises really sculpt your body. They will give you great abs, lift your bum, and give you the best arms ever!
5. Lift heavy weight! Not only will you sculpt your body, you will lose more weight. (And no, you won’t end up looking like a man, unless you are using performance-enhancing drugs!)