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By Kabelo Mollo
It’s all getting a bit much. We’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis. Social media has gone in to hyper drive while traditional media is almost stagnating.
We need a release! The pressure doesn’t seem to be building diamonds. It’s just revealing more and more rock! We need to make doubly sure that we’re taking good care of our mental and physical health. They say you should never take your health for granted. For the most part we do. Why wouldn’t we? It’s always there. Until it’s not of course!
I recently posted a picture of my weight loss on my social media. It’s been and continues to be quite a journey. At my heaviest I was around 130kg. I’m six foot one or 186cm so it doesn’t look so bad, but I was really overweight. I didn’t even realise it. My wife says she didn’t either. My clothes still seemed to fit alright and for the most part I felt fine. I was getting really bad headaches but figured they must have been from the stress I was undergoing and my eating habits never really change.
I have the bad luck of being both a meat lover and having a sweet tooth. When you exercise regularly and stay active that’s not really an issue, but I had eased off on the exercise owing to a number of factors. When my wife eventually convinced me to go see my GP the first thing he complained about was my weight. I was stunned. How had I put on that much weight? My hypertension was off the scale which explained the headaches and my cholesterol which I’d never battled with had climbed. It was bad.
On my way home I called my wife and told her what the doctor said. Like any good partner she panicked and spoke of diet. I told her to hold her horses. I didn’t think the issue was what I was eating. It was how I was eating but even more importantly, what I was doing before meals. It struck me that I hadn’t used my gym clothes in a long while always having an excuse for why I couldn’t work out that day. Too much work, or too little sleep or any other thing that made it impossible. Fortunately, around that time my friend Kheekhe and his walk of shame came about.
On a whim I decided I’d join it. When I put on my tracksuit bottoms that morning I noticed that they were a little more snug than usual. My inner thermal also seemed to hug my belly much tighter than usual. The signs were all there. I had got fatter than usual. It was strange because I had started working out before that. I was gyming six days a week but had been thrown off course by the “commitments” I spoke of earlier. And so, after completing half of the Kheekhe walk I made a decision I’d walk 10km’s at least once a week.
Before writing this column, I had a Look at the screenshots from my running app from late May and early June. It was taking me around 90mins to run/walk 10km’s. And around 42mins to run/walk 5km’s. My size L gym clothes were barely covering my navel and my tracksuit pants were as stretched as the material would allow. I must have been a sight for sore eyes on the roads of Masowe.
A friend of mine had advised me at our 20-year reunion to find a sport and play it often. When I was added in to a touch rugby group I was excited beyond measure. There was the sport! Now, I could merge the running and gym with a high intensity workout. The combination of the two has been an absolute Godsend! I have managed to shed in the region of 18kgs. That’s how much my son weighs and he’s heavy! I wonder how I was carrying around all that extra bulk! In fact, were it not for my American sojourn I’m sure I’d have lost even more than that by now.
I run three times a week. Tuesday is 10+km’s trying to go at a steady 7mins per km. Wednesday I run 2.5km’s worth of hills. That’s High intensity interval training and then Friday I run 5km’s with the aim of getting sub 6mins per km eventually. Sunday is touch rugby and then Monday I do some Pilates and mobility to activate and engage the core. The routine works wonders and apart from the weightless I just feel way more energised than before. The headaches have gone and my blood pressure is much better managed.
I’ve promised my wife that when I get to around 105kgs I’ll start to eat clean too. Protein and veg, lots of fish, and white meat. I’ll cut out bread completely and will go easy on the sweets (I’m never cutting them out). Fortunately, I’m not a particularly big drinker so I don’t think that needs to be cut.
The aim is 95km’s by year end. It’s a long way to go, and will require hard work, but I’m keen! This is less a vanity project and more about good health. At my age (39 tomorrow) I owe it to myself to stay healthy!