Fitness Your Way – My weight gain and weight loss story.

Hi beautiful readers!

Welcome back to my blog.

In this post, I would be sharing with you the idea of a new section on the blog.

The Fitness Section.

This would include meal plans and prep, workout routines and progress tracking.

I am doing this because I want to motivate myself in my healthy lifestyle journey which as you all may guess, is not an easy task.

When I came to England, I weighted 58 kg and that was actually post summer weight (September 2014). This means on a regular school year, I would be around 55kg.

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I was about 55 – 58 kg here, very tiny and skinny.

I started putting on weight as the years went by and I reached my highest point at University in my second year when I got to 70kgs. The reason behind this would mostly be attributed to a poor mental state that led me into binge eating. Secondary reasons would be the fact that in my first year, I was still learning how to cook and wasn’t totally great at it. Therefore, I will eat out a lot and my plates used to be filled of Nando’s’ fries, and peri-peri chicken. I will order pizza in the evenings and eat it while it lasted.

Needless to mention I wasn’t physically active. The lifestyle in the U.K. was such that my common daily exercise would be walking to campus, which I absolutely hated. It was a 20 mins walk yet, I hated it because I was not used to walking back home.

In my first year, by the end of the first semester when I returned home at Christmas, everyone had a comment to make.

Wow, what have you been eating, you’re putting on weight, life is good over there … These were the kind of comments I got and believe me, I had an answer to counter argue everything. I wasn’t really seeing myself in the ‘miroir’ to notice how much my body was changing. I enjoyed that holiday and ate as much as I could knowing I would not have the same meals when I returned for semester two.

Flashback to high school …

I used to repeat these sentences: “God forbid I ever become like that”. Like that referred to being obese, over weight, massive, huge… You name it. I had very few friends that were overweight and it just didn’t make sense to me how they’ll allow themselves eat to that extent. Especially that I would see them snack all the time in school, from plantain chips to groundnut caramel, to sweets, cake, burgers, soya to “pain-oeuf-sphagetti”, and “tampico”… It was totally insane how much they ate.

After that Christmas, I came back to University and the first thing I did was to order a scale from Amazon. It was delivered to me couple of days after and I had made up my mind to weigh myself. I was so scared of getting on the scale for I myself had started to realise the weight gain people around me were talking about.

When I climbed on that scale, my eyes dropped. I was 63 kg. From 58-63 kgs, I had therefore added 6 kgs in the space of 3 months. I remember crying about how much I hated my body now. The remarks kept increasing to the extent that when I’ll Skype my parents, I would turn off the camera. They’ll ask and I would give a random excuse that my webcam has issues.

From there, I started making little changes. I would walk to school more often, and I had signed up to the University’s gym and went with friends.

However cooking was still an issue. I have to admit that the major problem here was that although I had identified a need for change, I did not know how to cook and eat healthy. I was never really a fan of veggies, I hated a lot of fruits and wouldn’t drink enough water. So that was hard.

Then began that phase of making myself throw-up after eating. I had come across several blogs were people said it makes it easier to loose weight. I would weigh myself literally every morning and if I had not gone down, I would starve myself and throw up even more in case I ate.

The problem with doing that is that you get physically exhausted. I had started to feel ill and dizzy most of the time and more frustrating was that the number on the scale was not dropping

This really affected me because again, I dealt with this alone and no one knew I was doing what I was doing. Comments about my body even from friends at Uni killed me inside. They commented on my tummy getting big, my jaws and that only made me more sad, angry and bitter.

It came to a point were I broke down one day to my best friend. I told her; people are out there making comments on my body, my weight gain and it’s just so mean. As if I didn’t notice those changes myself. I told her how much I wanted the comments to stop.

I was clearly frustrated. Remember the high school mentality, I was not about to get big. That would crush me to my core.

The gym was not helping get my weight down. On the contrary, I was building muscles. And I even went from 63 to 65kg. Some days I’ll be 63 again, 62, 64 but I never went back to being 58 kg 😭.

Rest in peace my sweet 58kg.

Fast forward to my second year. The hardest year and time of my life. Ohh God, school was hard, everything was hard, I was stressed up 90% of the time and tell me what, I started drinking to top things up. Literally, everyone knows how caloric alcohol is.

Depression kicked in (story for another day. I’ve actually written about it but it’s been in my draft for a year now. It’s quite real and deep and It’s still negative as I wrote some parts even in my depressed state – so it’s going to be another post one day – let’s hope for mental health awareness day 2019?

I would eat myself to sleep, eat whilst crying, studying, I just ate to feel better. Food was replacing my pain and before I knew it, I hit 70 kgs. Now I’m not a very tall person so I should be maximum 60 kgs for my height. I even got myself a waist trainer thinking it would help the fat disappear but “nope”, that only works for Kim Kardashian.

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I was 70 kg on this picture. I had reached my heaviest point. You can tell from my tights, had arms, my face -jaws, neck, almost double chin. Everything really!

At that point, because of how I had changed physique wise and character wise, I did not welcome any comments on my body and weight gain. Anyone who tried got properly roasted. At that point, I just hid in big clothes, hoodies and t-shirts.

That summer, when I went home, I asked my mum to let everyone know I would not welcome any comments about my weight. That I knew how I looked and all the remarks made me uncomfortable. So everyone really took that and my siblings, Dad and everyone one helped me. I had a special diet, I played tennis all summer and was also going to work (my summer internship).

All this contributed to me loosing weight. From 70/72, I went down to 67. You may think, well that wasn’t a lot but I was so happy. It actually motivated me when I returned to Uni for my final year to keep up with that healthy lifestyle.

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One of my regular detox and refreshing drinks. Its a blend of cucumber, apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, and of course, water.

I meal prepped, I stopped fast foods (wasn’t a big fan really but occasionally, I’ll have pizza, and KFC) so that totally stopped. I stopped eating out, went to the gym all year long (aside during busy midterms and exams seasons), drank a lot of water and focused on my mental health. I made a lot of changes and that really paid off.

I went down further to 65 kg by the end of the year.

Today, I carry on with this lifestyle and I am maintaining a constant weight of 63 kgs. I try to remain as much active as possible and keep the good eating habits. It’s been two years now since I had any soft drinks, pizza, KFC, and many more. I haven’t had French fries in a year and I rarely eat out. Once in 3 months I would say.

Health is really important and should not be neglected. It’s a constant battle to keep up but it’s really really important.

I had started cutting down weight from here.

The reason I’m making this post is to motivate myself and any other people that may or not relate to this story to take their health seriously. Health is wealth and as cliché as that may sound, you don’t know the value of health until you don’t have it.

Food is the best thing that could have happened in this world, especially with the flavours, from African dishes to Caribbean to French food, the delicacies are innumerable. But here’s the lowdown, food cannot control you. You control food. You may be going through ‘stuff’ but it’s really important that you find in you that capacity to stand up again and take your faith in your hands. And that may mean sacrifices but just know it’s for a good cause.

I drink alcohol very rarely now. Just on special occasions like New Year’s Eve, wine once in a while with food and that’s it. However, I don’t want to sound as though I am totally free from temptation and do not give in sometimes.

Sometimes, especially during exams preparation, I treat myself. I would order food if I don’t have time to meal prep, I would have haribos whilst studying and my favourite chocolate (the chocolate with nuts by Lindts).

However, when that exam period is over, your girl is hitting the gym hard and all is back to normal.

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Me ready to hit the gym after two weeks worth of exams eating and snacking. I’m in my favourite attire (I love my short even if mum would throw it away at the slightest opportunity)

It’s a journey. A journey where I am conscious of the dangers associated with being overweight, and the harm it can cause to your mental state (weight gain was part of the reasons why i got depressed).

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I am still a bit overweight but now I am at a floating 63. I am not looking to drop to the 50s but I want to make sure I am eating and living healthy. Again, with time, I have built muscles so I really doubt if I can drop back to 58 but its not impossible. Let’s see how I can on.

My favourite quote is that from Jim Rohn; “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.

Making excuses burns zero calories per hour. Repeat after me!

Looking forward to sharing my workouts here, my meal plans and tips & tricks.

Note: Most pictures have been left unfiltered because I wanted to maintain the realness. I think it is important to see certain things raw without any touch.

Thanks for reading xx

19’s Observation.

 

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EuroTrip – Part 2 – Frankfurt

Hi guys!

As promised here’s part two of my EuroTrip. Destination two was Frankfurt.

After four days we’ll spent in Amsterdam, I was now ready for new adventures in Germany.

Again we booked for our three days stay at IBIS Hotels! This time around, it wasn’t in the city centre. It was about 15 mins walk away from the city centre but closer to the financial district. From my room, I could see the tower of Nomura, EY and Citi Bank …

We got to Frankfurt in the evening at around 6 pm and it was dawn already. Our rooms were definitely better than the ones in Amsterdam as they were more spacious, and we had a bath rather than shower and also the interior design was fab. After settling in of course, we were on the hunt for food again and wanted to explore Frankfurt by night.

The restaurant is a pretty popular one called L’osteria. I had spaghetti bolognese and my friend (Mia) had some fancy thing which I can’t remember the name but it tasted like carbonara. Prices were pretty decent so we even decided to add some champagne (proseco) to accompany everything.

By 10 p.m. we were done eating and we went for a little walk while digested our meal and enjoyed the night view of the bridge and the wind. It was calming to think about nothing else and worrying about nothing but enjoy the moment.

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The next day, we began our little adventures with my Mia and other friends (Ben and Indira). Our plan was to visit the city (old council, the church, the opera and the city) for the morning and by 1 p.m., we had to visit the European Central Bank. I was pretty excited about it.

We did all these tours walking which meant that by the time the evening was up, we were very much exhausted. Below is a little slide show of the day. Starting from old council, then the cathedral, sneak pick from the night before (very close from the restaurant), the streets, and friends.

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Now the pictures of the view from the pictures below have a story. Did I tell you I climbed a tower of 70 metres using the stairs for there was no lift just because I wanted to capture the view.

Okay, not really. I knew the view would be nice and wanted to get it but if I had known how much time and energy  it would take get to the top of that tower, I promise I would not have signed up to it.

Anyway, I am still glad I did. Reminds me once more of that quote which says “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. You see, investing my energy trying to get to that tower’s top, I took breaks, to breathe, it was exhausting but I did not give up and the view was worth it).

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Absolutely love these pictures. With my friends, we spent around an hour at the top and I even had a group meeting via conference call because duty calls! My friends said, you can’t be serious; on a rooftop? But guess what, it was the most productive meeting ever.

Not sure if we ate something before heading back to our hotels and dress up for the part two of the day which was a visit at the ECB (European Central Bank).

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The visit was topped up by a conference on the functioning of the ECB, the current issues facing the ECB and we had an open discussion in the end were questions could be asked. I remember asking a question concerning the pace of development of different European countries, bringing in the burden that Germany and the ECB takes on those EU countries who are not at the same pace of development or currently in crisis. Greece was the example i brought up. Another question I asked was to know more about the selection criteria to EU countries to be a part of the ECB. The panel discussed this taking the current case of Turkey which is an apparent candidate yet on evaluation to assess whether or not it can join the ECB.

This conference was a great way for me to link up and connect with other participants. I was also glad that I had the opportunity to express my viewpoints on the pros and cons of the ECB. My last question I remember asking was about the ECB’s influence and stake in the management of old French colonies such as Cameroon and other central African states. I specifically brought up the issue on the colonial debt which till date, find absurd. Overall, this was an enriching experience and I hope that one day, I would be in position to influence the fiscal and monetary policies of the CEMAC countries to preserve the Franc CFA, our independence and therefore, autonomy.

And that was it for Frankfurt. I would have loved to shop especially Birkenstocks which I had planned but our schedule was tight and by the time we finished at the ECB, we just had under an hour to get to the mall and shop. And we were also hungry so food won! We went back to L’Osteria since it was close to the hotel.

Three nights and two days and next off was Paris! The picture below just shows how excited I was. There was so much to do in Paris (sight seeing, friends, family, doctors’ appointments, shopping, food). I was looking forward to it already.

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Fun Fact: If you are wondering why I was (we were) in trainers in most the photos, that is because we walked most of the time. I cannot recall us taking a taxi or the tram or bus at any point really so trainers were more convenient. Apart from that, they are comfortable.

Part 3 to come in the next post.

Thanks for reading.

19’s Observation.

 

 

Unpopular Opinion about Sex: What the WORD of God says.

Sexual sin is not like any kind of sin. Typical sins and different from sexual sins because sexual immorality is sin against yourself and own body. And your body is the temple of the Lord, so once you temper with your body, you also temper with the temple of the Lord in you where the Holy Spirit is to dwell in. And if there’s anything in this life as Christians, is that we need the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and never leave us.

Sex is a spiritual thing and not just physical because the act ties souls and is meant for those who have vowed to be tied by marriage.

Society nowadays has created million excuses to normalise our actions and disregard the fact that as unwedded couples (to whom it may concern), to give yourself to a man whom you’re not married to, in the name of “this is the man I will marry or I see our relationship leading to potentially marriage”.

Sex is something that once started, you don’t want to quit. Because it feels good in the moment and you just can’t stop. Even when we pray that we want cleansing, to stop and not give in, we fall back again. Because it’s that one pleasure you want to grant to your selfish self.

But what about God’s will. What about your purpose and His will in your life?

Many at times, some people try to shame others for not being sexually active because at a certain age, you should no longer be a virgin. It’s a “pseudo” crime not to be a part. Society wants to shame those who save theirselves and leave them as “not cool”, “lame”, “nerdy”. When the point is really about honouring your body.

Meanwhile the reverse should be the norm in accordance with the holy scriptures. Not judging anyone who is down that path however, I do believe that no one should be put to shame or made uncomfortable in any way because they have made that decision to hold on to their temple and honour their body and God.

Never again, am I going to be scared of answering that question when someone asks me if I am a virgin, a friend of mind told me recently. She added, “Yes I am and that’s what I have chosen”.

Some people would say, well, that’s because she is not even in a relationship, and so, she can’t feel that temptation.

Well, my response to this is, you don’t have to be in a relationship to feel tempted. In thoughts, in your surrounding, anything can actually trigger you. You can even wake up from your sleep and be horny but does that mean you start giving yourself? So that point is invalid.

Sexual sin is not any kind of sin. It’s a sin against your body and that’s even worst than any other sin.

And if you’re one of those who do not think or believe the bible adresses virginity or keeping yourself for marriage, then have a read through these verses.

Once more, this is in no way carrying judgement on anyone. This was simply to a way of giving my view points as I have been having a lot of conversations recently around relationships, marriage, sex and how these different things are addressed in the WORD.

That said, I am in no way perfect. Be active and that’s your decision but do not (try to) label someone and say “he/she is missing out or shame your friends” because xyz… All I know is that the WORD is the truth and we all know this truth.

For those of you whose arguments are: “Ahhh, even God knows the flesh is weak” or “we are all humans” or “shit happens you know” …

Indeed, shit happens! However, I strongly believe that no one wants to stay in “shitty” situations. In fact, I do believe that situations we just classify as “well, shit happens, or that the flesh is weak” are cycles the devil wants to keep you in and until you decide to stop listening to these lies of enemy, until you make a firm decision of getting out of these cycles, then you kind of remain trapped in there.

God says come to me and ask for forgiveness for when the Lord has said it’s over, He moves on and never brings your past life, He makes you a new person in Him again. Do not let guilt or shame distance you from his presence. Just come to him and He’ll give you peace.

Meditate these verses.

“Do not deny yourselves to each other, unless you first agree to do so for a while in order to spend your time in prayer; but then resume normal marital relations. In this way you will be kept from giving in to Satan’s temptation because of your lack of self-control.”

1 Corinthians 7:5 GNB

“Someone else will say, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” Yes; but God will put an end to both. The body is not to be used for sexual immorality, but to serve the Lord; and the Lord provides for the body.”

1 Corinthians 6:13 GNB

“But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 GNB

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.”

Genesis 2:24 GNB

“Each of you men should know how to live with his wife in a holy and honourable way,”

1 Thessalonians 4:4 GNB

“You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Ephesians 5:5 GNB

“Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body. Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.”

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 GNB

“Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 GNB

“What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions;”

Galatians 5:19 GNB

“‘And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. No human being then must separate what God has joined together.””

Mark 10:7-9 GNB

“Each of you men should know how to live with his wife in a holy and honourable way, not with a lustful desire, like the heathen who do not know God. In this matter, then, no man should do wrong to his fellow-Christian or take advantage of him. We have told you this before, and we strongly warned you that the Lord will punish those who do that. God did not call us to live in immorality, but in holiness.”

1 Thessalonians 4:4-7 GNB

“He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for human sins, he sat down in heaven at the right-hand side of God, the Supreme Power. The Son was made greater than the angels, just as the name that God gave him is greater than theirs.”

Hebrews 1:3-4 GNB

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make a person ritually unclean. For from his heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others. These are the things that make a person unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should — this doesn’t make a person unclean.”

Matthew 15:18-20 GNB

This is the WORD of the Lord !!!! You choose what you do but do not interfere or speak about another’s choice or way of life. Hold yourself accountable for your own actions.

Thanks for reading!

19 Observations xx

THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

Hi guys! Today, I received an exciting notification of my nomination for the ‘The Blogger Recognition Award’ by @katejones.

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The simple fact that someone out there enjoys your work and shares the same interest is so touching and amazing. That said, I need to precise this is my first ever nomination and  I am so grateful and excited about it.

For this award, I am meant to answer a series of questions and must tag fifteen other bloggers to take part.

So let’s dive right into it!

Why and How I started my Blog

I started my blog in May 2016, about a week after final second year exams. I was finally ‘free’, and had things I had been writing on word document and saving on my mac. Things about experiences, life and emotions in general, things I love: writing, photography, cooking, beauty and fashion. Just a bit of everything.  I have always loved writing, I had always wanted to share content, mainly to inspire, educate, share and learn. So I finally decided having a WordPress blog would allow me achieve all that.

Initially, I was scared. I made my blog private and personal because I was feared judgement, I was thinking my content would probably not be appealing, and I felt like i was over exposing myself to the fast paced world of social media. However, after two months of privacy, with the encouragement of my closest friends, and self realisation that my blog was not complete until it was totally out there, I decided to ‘go public’. I felt  better that my post could finally help someone, educate, inspire or even motivate them. Not long after that, I got my first comments, first likes and reposts.

Believe me, this was the best feeling ever.

Who Nominated Me

I was nominated by the beautiful Kate Jones. She’s a fellow lifestyle blogger, editorial assistant and recent graduate. I enjoy reading her blog articles and one of the things that captivate me the most is her writing style.  She definitely works hard to produce quality blog posts and creative content.

Two Pieces of Blogging Advice

My first piece of advice for new bloggers and even existing ones is to always remain authentic. Most often, people try to copy what style they deem trendy in terms of blog post or content and completely forget about who they are, where they come from and where they want to head to. This is at the complete expense of the real you. Be yourself, write about what you enjoy, do not try to copy or compare yourself negatively to trendy bloggers and do not try to follow a pattern (e.g. If today you write about food, and tomorrow you feel like sharing a word of wisdom, go for it!).

My second piece of advice is to be bold, get out of your comfort zone and be open minded. When I created my blog, I was initially scared of putting myself out there for the fear been judged or somehow over exposing myself. That’s the past now! Do not be scared, judgement will always occur as we all have different opinions and perspectives about life and things in general. Be creative and unleash the ‘you’ in ‘yourself’, always be open to new ideas, things and be humble enough to learn. WordPress is a huge platform and there’s so much out there to grasp.

My Fifteen Nominees 

  1. BAYN’s Music
  2. themindofasilentspeaker
  3. peripeteia5
  4. samyrablog
  5. womanofvirtuesite
  6. threadsxa.wordpress.com
  7. veuvenoireblog.wordpress.com
  8. silencebrise.com
  9. beautyobservedblog.wordpress.com
  10. msmcbeal.wordpress.com
  11. armanyi.wordpress.com
  12. foranyonewhowantstolisten.wordpress.com
  13. mindofamaka.wordpress.com
  14. thepurplegrace.wordpress.com
  15. myblessingbygrace.com

FREE VERSE POETRY 3

No set meter, no rhyme, no rules, no particular structure.
Just liberation, just a change of mind, just an expression.
Nothing has changed except me and the facts.
Facts about my imperfections.
Every season of life, you are imperfect in a perfect way.
In the fire, you look at the future.
Things you wish you could control and have at your finger tips.
Yet a box of opportunities.
You grab it and you won’t let go until you seize it.
You store memories of disappointments.
But they become a part of you and mould you.
You are stronger now.
Shelves of shared laughter.
Not the darkness of mere existence.
That’s all there is, laughter.

19’s Observation.