My Yoga Teacher Training started

I am so excited about this Journey!

This is just a quick update about my busy schedule. I can’t wait to share more and change my blog content. 

I really need to blog more regularly, attract more liked minded people. I love the bloggers I connected with so far, they are awesome bloggers and I am grateful. 

So yes!! Yoga yoga yoga and fitness fitness fitness

Houtbay

My first weekend was quite intense and a lot to learn.

Keep well all and stay Fit and Healthy

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Importance of Recovery time/ Rest Day

I must be honest, I never realized the importance of rest day and the periods.

I am at the part of Concepts of Fitness with my studies now. I love this module so much because it touches everything I need to know and actually want to know. The types of fitness, Core fitness, Flexibility, Motor Skill Fitness, etc. The biomechanics part I didn’t like lol but a very important module. 

As I reached the part where I need to learn about the different types of fitness I realized the mistakes I’ve made through my Journey of being a fit mom at home. The challenge of not being aware and educated can lead to injury and not reaching fitness goals effectively. I never realized why there is Leg days, abs days, arms days, because it is important to not work the same muscles everyday. The importance of proper stretching before and after workouts, omw so much I didn’t understand. Never to stop suddenly after exercise with no proper cooldown too. I’m honest, I did that a lot!

The Recovery time (pause) … I can’t believe how a person can think by exercising every day of the week is going to be effective. Especially now that I’m focused on resistance training.  If I look at the principles and factors of fitness, it is just not right. And on top of it I don’t think my routine was right too. 

Muscles need recovery time. It is advised to avoid exercising the same muscles two days in a row. All of the major muscles can be worked at a single session two to three times a week. As I mentioned, that’s where the targeting of specific muscles groups comes in ( legday, armsday).  Recovery allows for the muscle to rebuild itself allowing for size and strength gains.

I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I am looking forward to working properly.

Dream Believe Achieve

Action plan to lift the bum bum


So here I am writing about my bums that needs a lift. If you read my previous blog post you will know it all comes from my five year old son.

My program from 24 July will be: 

Firstly I need to add, in the fitness world they strongly believe never miss a Monday Workout. Now let this Mommy, Wife, part time student with a full time job just give an overview of a realistic schedule… Working from 8h00-16h10, pick son up from school, go to shop then home>cleaning(tidy up)>bath son>cook>check for homework>bond by playing and making conversation about the day>while cooking get ready when husband gets home, he must fetch grandpa to babysit>meeting of Church.

My Monday..

And then I must still worry about my butt hehehe

So, here I am sitting… Thinking…. No wonder some people get away with the excuse of not having time to exercise. Believe me if I look at my schedule for today I get tired already. Sitting whole day at a job you don’t really want to do, a mind full of ideas for my career in planning etc etc…

I really want to reach my goal to get a fully toned body and need to work hard for the following three months. 

This is my workout plan for this week, with alota sqauts and lunges lol

Cardio + Strength

Body weight + Cardio

Strength + Cardio

Rest

Resistance Training

I’ve decided to do my workouts in this order this week. Even if I can only get in 15minutes, I am going to do it anyway. I believe great things comes with great sacrifice. 

I need to do more cardio to burn the fat because I am toning and I do have abs however, this layer of fat need to go. The past two weeks my diet was also completely off, so yeah hard work ahead for me. I can’t wait to start with the nutrition part of my studies.

So let’s stay Healthy and Fit Peeps!

Mom, you have a big bum

It was a normal Monday night having a family bath. My husband and I get into the bath with our son sometimes just to have some bonding and playtime. I’m always getting out first and my son don’t like it. So, last week Monday he decided to tell me I’m having a big bum… Hmmmmm 

At first I laughed and thought it’s just because I got out but no.. He meant it. I thought okay, interesting. I asked why he think I have a big bum and the explanation was as follows: its at the bottom, your bum is suppose to be up not down. 

I honestly couldn’t stop laughing, I mean what the heck! A five year old boy, what does he know oh my word. I made such great progress with the “bums” and I am well aware it still needs a lot of work. Here my son comes and put it right into my face hehehe

Today… He looked at me smiled, and told me: “mom you must do fast exercises and it’ll work, then you will get stronger and your bum will lift. Dad’s bum is up and mine..

He clearly feels like I should really work harder. 

So yeah, more squats and leg press exercises for me. I already decided to do more of resistance workouts from Monday. 

Maybe this pic will give an idea of the buns that needs a lift Hahahaha

Transformation vs. Progress

When we undergo transformation we decide on making a change. Going into an entire new direction of a different level of effectiveness.

That’s how it works when we decide to lose weight and starting a Healthy Lifestyle. The change feels good, your body change. The way your clothes fit, the flatter tummy, the shrinking waist, all just so awesome.

Eating less, drinking more water, exercise regularly, and taking part of more activities. 

You reached your goal to lose the extra weight, to fit into your clothes and to be more active. 

Where to now….


Progress

Forward or onward movement towards a destination:  destination should not be Weight loss only

Develop towards an improved or more advanced condition: work towards maintaining and a Healthier lifestyle

We tend to repeat the Weight loss cycle, going on diets and new year resolutions. Making it so difficult to stay the weight that makes you happy by not focusing on the Right reasons and factors of a Healthy Lifestyle. It’s actually not so difficult at all.

It becomes a problem merely because we do not want to Sacrifice. We do not want to give up bad habits. To make a change in your diet for seven days feels like hell, believe me I’ve been there… And I’ve Done it! Because I wanted to achieve my goal, I wanted to see if it is true what all this Health Gurus are saying LOL 

So,

As long as you are trying, keep moving. When you fail just pick up yourself and start over. It is not a train smash, don’t be too hard on yourself and remember to be Patient. I can assure you, patience is Needed!! Fitness and Health goals can not be rushed. Be gentle with your body. Just do not stop trying and there must be Progress, you Must see and feel change.

Let’s Stay Healthy Because it is just so Awesome!!!

Keep well

MJ Armstrong



The Importance of Correct Form/Alignment during Exercise

I would like to start by saying… (As usual)

I love my Health and Fitness Journey because I learn something new every day. I make mistakes, I sometimes fail but, never give up.

I mentioned in previous blog posts about when I joined the gym a few months ago and how much I love the resistance machines. The progress is good and I just want more and more. Unfortunately because of work, wife and mom duties I couldn’t get to gym for quite a while now. It is a lot of stress as I need to finish my practical hours to finish my Basic Science of Exercise Certificate.

Nevertheless, I am still working out at home. And the “hunger” for toned arms and building some muscle got the best of me. I’ve hurt my sternum(breastbone) on Monday night because I rushed my workout to get things done at home. I didn’t even study yet and I knew how important correct alignment/form is during exercise. Not only to prevent injury but to work all the muscles targeted effectively/ efficiently. Taking in consideration: 

muscular force:  a force that results in an acceleration or deceleration of a second object.   

length-tension relationship:   the length at which the muscles can produce the greatest force. If lengths are altered due to misaligned joints or poor posture, muscles will not produce sufficient force for optimal movement.

 force-velocity curve:  ability of muscles to produce force with increased velocity.

 force-coupled relationships:  muscles move together to produce movement around joint. Muscles pull on the bone they’re connected to. All muscles working together for production of correct movement.

PS: personal trainers info

I was very irresponsible and I must add I am quite upset at myself. I could feel the pain in my chest the next day and also that i didnt have a proper workout. Normally I can feel I’ve worked my muscles the next day.

I need to take things slow now meaning my goal is extended too. 

I mentioned in my blogpost “I’m eating so wrong today” how I see the body as a factory, needing it’s equipment updated and well serviced and the production process that needs to run flawless. Now I go and break machines…

The Moral of the story is,  there are no short cuts when it comes to Health and Fitness. We need to take good care and be gentle with our bodies.

Let’s Do Health

Is the Gym really the Motivation you Need

So here I am again, on the topic of the “Gym”

A few years ago before I decided to take on the Health and Fitness Journey, I didn’t like the idea of a Gym. Simply because of time, money wasting and maybe a bit of social anxiety. I like the ladies gyms a lot actually.

I am also a Gym member now…. I needed to join because I need to spend a lot of time there for practical hours, so I thought it’s a win win. 

My husband joined three months before I decided to join too. So I asked him if it is a real motivation to him, what do they offer or how is the support system from the staff. As he is a complete newbie at gyming. Well, not the feedback I expected. Or I should actually say I knew it! What a waste of money! Hehehehe

So where am I heading with this topic..

Personally I feel Motivation starts at home, it starts with you, from within. If a person can’t find the time to do a fifteen minute workout at home how are they going to make a success at the gym. From what I’ve seen and heard, people are paying gym subscriptions and are not even going there. 

I do blame the Gym  too. I’m not saying they should constantly nag and bore the gym member with phone calls and updates ect. I can remember when I joined a ladies gym in 2012. At that gym they use to give you a monthly update/printout showing how often you’ve been there, your improvements and short comings. When you don’t understand why you’re not losing weight or toning they could refer to the chart. The lady use to tell me “what you put in, you get  out”  that’s the honest truth and a wake up call! They checked your BMI which showed you how your eating habits are and also how it is also playing a role. (Motivational)

It still comes down to what You put in. You getting up and going to Gym. But, what are their Motivational Tools. I think Gyms can work on that. 

The Staff

My personal opinion is: employ people who are interested in Health and Fitness, from your Receptionist. If they ‘re not fit  or healthy, be their motivation. I personally would love to walk into a gym and see each and every person has Fitness written on their face (not literally)   Friendly and Energetic! I don’t want to see how they ask to go on a quick smoke break..

If I must start a Fit Club or Gym, my goal will be to start within. Educate my staff, if they not on the road yet help them there. My conditions on employment will be “fully Healthy Equipped ” if not, I’ll help you there. It shouldn’t just be a job, but your passion. The Health and Fitness Journey is not an easy one, but it can be Fun!

I could start at home/ Joined Gym too

I am a true believer in Self-motivation. I am like this because I just needed to be from a very young age. I always get things done on my own and by myself (also a negative). It is because I want things to go perfect and my way seems like the only way. This is one of my challenges through my Journey and I am working on it.

I workout at home and it works for me. It can get tough but I make it work. When I started at the gym I just loved how quickly I toned and could see I am getting Lean Muscle!! That’s one of the many benefits of gyming! You have the opportunity to make use of all the awesome gym equipment and other services like the Zumba, stretching, spinning ect. Classes. 

Spending your time productively at the gym can lead to Great results. And except for my view on Gym  Motivation, they do help you when you need them and with a friendly smile. 

My advice

Don’t join the Gym to just show people, because that’s what 70% of people I know do. You end up gyming for a month and the rest of the two year subscription you waste your money.

Find what works for you, make notes of why you want to make a change. Set realistic goals, set up a plan and start by taking action. Challenge yourself by achieving mini goals. Something like eating less sugar, taking escalator and not lift. Skip at home or do jumping jacks. Fitness can be so much fun especially with your family.

Let’s Do Health

Oh my Hat I am eating so wrong today

I live by the rule: always pack lunch to work.  I am good at obeying that rule(hubby pack though) however, today..  Oh today! A day not so well planned.

How did my Morning start

My oatmeal was ready, I just had to warm some milk as the porridge got a little cold. My husband’s cheese toast was on the bread board (looking yummy).. I thought “agh just one bite” “mmmm so nice with the coffee” one slice down, never ate my porridge as we ran late. 

I didn’t pack fruit! Normally it’s my first snack at work (a naartjie/orange). I looked into my lunch bag and all I could see was my soup for lunch and a small packet of Frito’s, my son’s. Well, when a person is hungry you pretty much end up eating everything.  I thought “ too early for junk, it’s almost tea time for a cup of tea and a carrot muffin yum!”  I ended up eating some of the chips… Left feeling nauseous.

 Tea Time 10:15

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that muffin. Normally I eat half, today I’ve finished it all.(arrgh I’m still bloated)  I ate the icing too! Plus the tea with milk and one sugar!

Going forward

It is exactly 11:53 now, and I am still bloated! It feels like I won’t be able to eat lunch time.(an orange need to come to my rescue)

Some will maybe think “girl get over yourself” but, this is my body. And I run this factory of mine based on good production. Well nourished, well serviced and works on certain fuels. It’s like throwing petrol into a diesel car. That’s what I did to my body today and now I suffer the consequences.

That’s one of the reasons I made the decision to eliminate junk. It’s also about how you manage it. If I had to start my day right I would’ve been able to eat a peace of the muffin more enjoyable, and not by over indulging. 

The moral is: No good comes from over indulging bad foods, it just leaves you feeling uneasy, bloated and Moody.

Choose good food, you miss out on nothing!

I am glad I experienced this today, because once again it is proven what unhealthy eating habits does. NO GOOD

So, I am doing quite fine by striving to Eat Healthily and Exercise everyday. I am fine by being Judged for my way of Living. As long as I know it’s doing good for my Health.

I hope everyone can realize the Importance of Health.

Weightloss vs. Health Journey

Last year I decided to share my weight loss story with WomensHealthMagazine. I loved the fact that they called me for a photo shoot. (I love the camera)  It was an awesome experience. The best part of it all was the fact that I wanted to get my story out there, with the idea of inspiring others.

Well, this year they shared my story in the June issue of Women’s HealthSA Magazine. 

I am so grateful and happy.

Feature in Women’sHealthMagazineSA

That’s all about my Weight Loss but, there is more to that story. 

The Journey

Through my Journey to successfully lose unwanted weight I discovered a new Me.

I’ve learnt that it is actually not that difficult to get rid of bad habits(not only bad eating habits). Everything became a challenge to me. And I am someone who like to succeed in everything I do.

I got to know myself better, I’ve discovered how sad I use to be, how I use to live to please others, how I neglected not only my Health but myself (the inner me). I always mention how I use to find comfort in a glass of red/white wine with cigarettes, it became my “god” it was so bad I use to curb my hunger by drinking alcohol to feel thin the next day, to overcome my stress and anxiety problems. It just affected my health physically and mentally.

I’ve found myself through exercise and eating healthy foods. By finding a balance in my life, to focus on what’s important to Me and not others. I sometimes wish I knew this earlier. To simply focus on the positive side of life. It is not easy as one’s fears come more to light. The ability to deal with challenges with a clear and mentally fit mind is a bonus. Not looking for short cuts but simply dealing with it the right way The Healthy Way.

The Struggle is real

I still struggle with a few issues, emotionally, mentally and physically. But I am coping and dealing with it everyday. I admit, acknowledge and then take action. The beauty of everything is, at the end of the day I come out stronger.

My favourite place: the park

The Physical FitnessI’ve mentioned before that I’ve always been skinny. But, I always dreamt of having a well toned body. My sister always made fun of my skin. I struggled with cellulite from a young age. I am talking about hard cellulite on my thighs, legs, arms, and tummy. 

Since last year when I started to exercise regularly and changed my diet I could see a change. It’s really hard work because even though I exercise that much, right now I didn’t reach my goal yet. In my blogpost “it’s not the tummy it’s the thighs”  I talk about the struggle with the thighs/legs. (Wow it’s a tuff one) I understand now why they say never skip a Leg day.

Yoga/balancing in backyard

I joined the gym recently, and I must say I love the adductor/abductor machines. And guest what? My thighs are leaner and I love them!! That’s a plus point of a gym. The resistance machines gets the body toned much quicker. The only bad thing is, I became lazy to workout at home. However, I won’t forget the fact that I could do it all by myself at home. So I decided to still do my 15 minute workouts daily at home.

First day at Gym
Side plank after gym session

I know only good can come from this journey. So far I’ve done good and have so much in mind for the future.

I will keep on dreaming, believing and Achieve with the help of God.

Locust pose

Let’s do Health

Am I not fat enough, Am I not Skinny enough

It is time that Body Shaming and Judging must be put to a Stop.

I strongly believe a Healthy Lifestyle is more than the Physical appearance. People must stop their Ignorance. 

There are people out there who are facing real challenges. People who are trying to live a Healthy Lifestyle but get put down by being judged by their body image. Believe it or not, it happens.

My experience

I can’t believe how people is telling me “but you’ve never been fat” uhm… Really?? What’s your idea of a Healthy Body? Yes, that’s my question.

So me being skinny or thin makes me healthy???

There are so many misconceptions about a fit and healthy body. Skinny don’t mean Healthy, Big Build don’t mean Unhealthy or Unfit. When you are over weight you definitely need to make a change but it need to come from you, it need to come from deep inside. To really love and care for yourself is a big step in anyone’s life. To not do it for others but Yourself.

Here is pic of me being skinny and not so Healthy, where I still focused on being skinny and what’s considered “sexy” the year 2013.


I’ve lost weight and just gained again, because I did not understand Healthy fully.

Here is 2014 where I gained again. Losing and gaining a vicious cycle. I realised I am fighting a losing battle. 

2014 Weight Gain

I decided to make a change, to start within me. I decided to not do it for people but myself.

Today I can truly say I am happy and healthy. It is still tough, the journey is long and challenging. With Social Media influence on people too. The people focus so much on the physical appearance.

My goal is to win as many people as I can over to focus on their Health without having to worry about their looks.

Having a lean and fit body is awesome and it just shows what hard work and dedication does. So I salute those who are achieving their fitness goals.

People must also understand there are many different Fitness Concepts. So if you are focusing on General Fitness don’t compare yourself with a Bodybuilder or Personal Trainer. Some people chose Fitness As their careers. So Don’t Judge

Let’s focus on one self, stand together against obesity, body shaming/judging and most of all choose HEALTH