The amazing thing about fitness is the endless opportunities and possibilities. I’m super excited to announce that a boxing extravaganza with a difference will be heading your way.
The Warriors are Coming
Champions from around the world will face off in an epic battle that will test strength, stamina and skill in an international fight to see who will be the ultimate best. This is no ordinary contest: it’s The Battle of the Warriors, a boxing extravaganza, and it will be coming to The Sun Arena, Times Square on 26 August 2018.
Eighteen boxers will be fighting it out in the ring at Sun Arena, Times Square in Pretoria. The championship title in what promises to be one of the most exciting international sporting events in South Africa this year. The matches held feature champions exclusively, lasting nine bouts each, providing riveting entertainment for the audience.
Something for the Ladies
Seeing as it’s Women’s Month, it’s fantastic to see that Battle of the Warriors have included a bout between Ivana Habazin from Croatia and Gifty Amanua Ankra from Ghana. These ladies will take to the ring on Sunday the 26th of August. Keep watching as I’m hoping to get up close and personal with the ladies before match day.
Not Just About Boxing
It’s not all about the boxing. Expect to be entertained by specially choreographed performances from the current South African champion dance team, as well as witness the gravity defying acrobatics from South Africa’s pole dancing champions. The master of ceremonies for the event is comedy legend Barry Hilton. The entertainment also includes performances from Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels as well as Dozi and his band. The SA Medieval Combat Team will also be displaying their prowess in demonstrations in between bouts, in preparation for the world championships.
Tickets for this exhilarating event are available through Quicket. I however am giving 2 double sets of tickets to this not to be missed family friendly event. Head over to my Facebook, follow the rules to enter and good luck. Winners will be announced on Monday the 20th of August 2018 on Facebook..
As a woman who is all about women empowerment and living a balanced life, the announcement of the Women’s Lifestyle Expo 2018 was music to my ears. The expo is an extension of Women’s month which is celebrated in August, in South Africa.
The innovative Women’s Lifestyle Expo, which is brought to you by FMI, will be returning, bringing financial advice alongside the best health, wellness, beauty and décor to Jozi’s Montecasino Piazza, from 29 to 30 September 2018.
Helen Johns, co-founder of the Women’s Lifestyle Expo explained, “We are really excited to be hosting the Women’s Lifestyle Expo to give South African women, of all ages and stages of their lives, the opportunity to have a day that is all about them”. After chatting to Helen and getting some insider info, her enthusiasm and passion for the expo was rather evident. The Women’s Lifestyle Expo promises to be one for the books.
Things to look forward to
Endless retail options
High-end pampering services
A wealth of refreshments
Quality dining options to satisfy your every craving
Interactive talks and seminars by experts in beauty, nutrition, health, fitness, décor and so much more
A short preview of what to expect
Not to be missed is the inclusion of a Parisienne-themed high tea. Prepare to enjoy an exquisite high tea menu accompanied by champagne and gin cocktails. You can also expect to rub shoulders with some of South Africa’s icons and leaders. The High Tea includes a goodie bag filled with an assortment of health, beauty and wellness products. Dressing to impress is definitely on the agenda, so start preparing ladies. Tickets to the High Tea are available at www.itickets.co.za from 14 August 2018.
Value for Money
As as serial event-goer myself, I have to mention that the ticket price of R250 per person per day for a general entry ticket is exceptional value for money. Especially because your ticket allows you access to two workshops of your choice at no additional cost. Ensure you select the workshops when purchasing your tickets so as to secure your spot.
Towards the last week of July (spurred on by a post from one of my followers), I decided to create the hashtag #WYSJOUMAAG(translated into English, it means show your stomach). I however seriously underestimated the power of this challenge.
Known for my workouts in a sports bra, (despite having fat rolls and stretch marks), I have been receiving an abundance of messages from women praising my confidence and courage. I decided that for the month of August , also known as Women’s month, that I wanted to impact the lives of women with the main focus being self-love.
I launched the #WYSJOUMAAGchallenge on 1 August 2018 and after a mere 5 days into the month, women have unequivocally accepted the challenge.
The month of August is the opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and the important role that women of all races and religions have played and continue to play in South African society. I want to especially focus on learning to celebrate ourselves, flaws and all. I want to inspire women to accept and love themselves. I want them to realise that they are enough, that they are perfect and that they are unstoppable. I want women to know that they deserve better and that they should never settle. I want women to just stop giving a damn, but rather embrace what is and celebrate the now.
I started the challenge keeping in mind that I probably wouldn’t have many people saying, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED”, I however have been surprised beyond my wildest dreams. I am humbled and in awe. Women are being so badass about the challenge that they fill my heart with an unbelievable amount of happiness and joy. Yesterday I received a video that had me in tears. The good, proud, this is so worth it kind of tears.
You my dear Merlize are courageous, immensely brave and strong. I want you to know that you are ENOUGH and that you are indeed OWNING THIS LIFE.
Thank you to all the women who have accepted my challenge. You are pretty damn amazing and have forever changed my life with your awesomeness. So to all of you out there, I challenge you to join the #WYSJOUMAAG movement. Post your pics on social media, tag me and use the hashtag. Show some love to the incredible women who are stepping outside their comfort zones and challenging themselves to live their best lives. Be the kind of women who celebrates other women.
Let’s be the revolution, because self-love is indeed the greatest revolution.
I’m absolutely loving the “My Daily Inspo” series and today I’m introducing you to the woman who got me to do the impossible. I have always said that I hated yoga and that it wasn’t for me, that was until I did a class with Paige Cassidy. There was an instant connection which I didn’t understand at the time, but after getting to know Paige we actually have so much in common.
How and what was the motivation that made you start yoga?
My honest motivation for yoga is that I got out of Rehab and needed a form of discipline that would not only keep me moving physically but moving me mentally. A space, a movement that allowed me to be vulnerable and strong at the same time. A self-discipline.
What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?
Yoga has helped me get rid of this crazy perception I had about my body. This want to be perfect. I used to stand in front of the mirror criticizing myself about the way I looked. Yoga has helped me to fall in love with my body. Yoga has taught me to respond and not react to situations and people.
How important is meditation to your yoga practise?
I think people’s perceptions of meditation is slightly confused! Meditation for me is not sitting for hours in silence trying to calm the chaos in my head. Meditation for me is waking up making plunger coffee and sitting outside listening to the birds. It is washing dishes, visualizing washing the dirt away in my life. Meditation for me is playing music whilst creating beautiful food not only to look at but food that tastes amazing. To me it means climbing into bed and being able to lie there and not think of 50 million different things all at once. Yoga is my meditation.
When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga instructor?
When I was younger I wanted to be a ballet teacher, so I think the passion of being a teacher was always ingrained into my being. I was working full time as a project manager, studying and teaching in the evenings and the one day (I worked for an asshole) I pushed that fear out of my head of “what if I don’t make enough money” and quit my job and started teaching. I’ve never been happier.
Any advice for beginners or people wanting to start yoga?
Yes, come and try MY yoga. My question I always ask my new students “are you mentally strong?” I have clients that respond “HELL YES” and I have clients that respond “I’m not to sure,” and no matter what response you will walk out my class feeling mentally & physically tougher. You will walk out my class and would have surprised yourself.
“A strong mind makes a strong body” – Thomas Jefferson
What is the rewarding part of being a yoga instructor?
The most rewarding part about being a yoga instructor is seeing the growth mentally & physically in my students. Watching them prove to themselves that they are stronger than they know.
Should kids be introduced to yoga?
We should watch kids and they can teach us about yoga. Kids are fearless when it comes to the physical aspects about yoga but if you go deeper the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects children have no boundaries when it comes to their honest feelings. Children are vulnerable without feeling ashamed. Children are loving without limitations. Yoga should be compulsory for little ones.
How is Will Power connected to yoga?
Will Power is completely connected to Yoga “the ability to control your own thoughts and the way in which you behave”. The lesson behind yoga.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?
I am currently struggling with learning how not to do all the classes with my students as this becomes physically and emotionally exhausting. I have been taught patience through my students. I have been taught to put my own issues aside. I am still learning to breathe outside the yoga studio when life gets tough.
Tell us your practise style and how did you choose your method?
My practice style . . . “Paige Yoga”. My yoga is all about Power of the Mind. Pushing past the boundaries we create for ourselves in our mind. My ballet background adds to my discipline in yoga. My love for movement allows me to be creative in my classes. My father has always said to me “mind over matter”. This I proved to myself when I came out of rehab, that I am stronger than I know!
As you can see from Paige’s answers, she is fearless, raw, real and a warrior. Simply put, Paige Cassidy is a badass!! She has overcome numerous obstacles in her life and is unapologetic about the life she lives. Paige is an example for us all, that shit happens but we have the ultimate choice when it comes to moulding our lives into something beautifully strong.
My fitness journey has been one of the most amazing experiences, entirely because of the inspirational women that have come into my life. This week’s feature for My Daily Inspo Series is the gorgeous and oh so kind-hearted Nikki Peeriyalal. Nikki follows the LCHF diet also know as Banting. This SAHM is also a serious cross-fitter and has successfully lost 36 kg since her journey began 2 years ago.
1. When did your weight become an issue?
My weight became an issue when I looked at a photo of myself taken on the 3rd of January 2016 at my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t believe I was so large and hadn’t even noticed the changes. I often hid behind the comment, “you’re tall so it’s ok to be big!”
2. What was your lightbulb moment that pushed you to lose the weight?
The lightbulb moment didn’t even happen after my moment with this photo. It happened several months after in May 2016. My son told me I couldn’t run with him because he didn’t think I could keep up because I was too fat. He also proceeded to question why I was so fat even after having my baby.
3. What made you decide to start banting?
In May 2016 on my son’s birthday, I made him a promise that a year from that day I would be healthier and fitter. I made him a promise that I’d be able to do any strenuous exercise with him.
4. How much have you lost to date?
I wasn’t initially going for a goal weight as I don’t believe in the BMI method. So I worked on a goal dress size. I worked towards a size 36. On my 1 year anniversary of banting, I comfortably fitted into a size 36 and had lost 35 kilos. I really couldn’t believe it was that much!
5. As a mom of three, how do you find balance in your life?
Let’s just say that I wing it. However, keeping meal plans and ideas at the fore helps bring balance. I’m lucky that my older children are almost the same age. So I don’t have that much of a disruption with routines. I’m strict about sticking to schedules and meal plans. If there are a sudden unfortunate obstacles in my way, I improvise whilst still sticking to clean eating.
6. What has kept you motivated when you were feeling down?
There were many people who told me that they know my personality and that I am the kind who gives up when things get too hard. I don’t ever recall being that way, so I was even more determined when I was feeling down, to continue and achieve my goal. It was always so difficult to eat clean while everyone else in the family refused to join me. So I was alone on this journey and had to prove them all wrong. The lack of encouragement and belief in me was all the motivation I needed.
7. What is your biggest struggle – food, exercise or temptation?
Right now, I don’t have a struggle because I’ve become used to this lifestyle. However during my first year, my struggle was exercise and temptation. More exercise because I had last done it in high school. So I was extremely unfit and I felt I couldn’t do it.
8. How has your weight loss affected your relationships?
Weight loss and relationships: It’s amazing how people see you differently when you lose weight. They’re always full of compliments as well as questions. But I find I’m more approachable now. My husband in particular is loving my curves and muscles. We talk a lot more and I’m able to encourage him and others daily to keep trying to make healthier decisions. Weight loss brought me closer to my husband because I’m no longer hiding in a fat body and not dealing with things. I’m confident and at ease now, so automatically I feel more drawn to him and others and them to me.
9. Lastly, tell us what your tagline is.
It’s a Maya Angelou quote – “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”
Even though I haven’t met Nikki in person she is what you would call an Insta Friend. Neither distance nor meeting in person has stood in the way of her encouraging me to push harder, eat cleaner and continue on my journey. Her support means the world to me. Nikki lives to encourage, inspire and motivate people on a daily basis through her Banting Beauties page on Facebook. Nikki is a lifestyle and wellness consultant focusing on the low carb lifestyle for all ages.
I recently wrote a blog-post about my insane love-hate relationship with running. As already mentioned, my hate for running stems back two decades when I did Basic Military Training in the South African Air Force. The idea of someone screaming at me and making me run for 3 months straight was enough to put me off running for a lifetime. That was until I met Jayindri Shanmugam. We met the same way I met Botle Kayamba, at the Women’s Health event held at The Cookery. Ever since, Jayindri has been encouraging me to pursue my running. She’s the little angel sitting steadfastly on my shoulder reassuring me that if she can, so can I. We recently got together to chat about all things running.
1. How did your life as a runner begin?
Five years ago (at the age of 40) I went for a standard medical checkup, and the doctor asked if I exercised, I responded that I had two daughters and they kept me active. The doctor in turn wrote down Sedentary. So for some unknown reason this was my wake up call. It really was my aha moment. I must admit that I didn’t start running immediately. At first I did the Women’s Health Magazine DVD called “Look better naked” and I slowly grew in confidence as well as in my fitness.
2. When did you start running
It was my mission to get fit at 40 after that doctor’s visit. Once my fitness was up I started running and started with a little 2 or 3 km and used the Nike app. My goal was to complete a 5km or 10km. My first race was the Spar race which I did with my daughter who was 12 at the time. Before I knew it I was doing a 10km and had convinced my husband to join me. We also joined Discovery Health and later the Discovery Vitality Running Team which was pivotal in getting us from COUCH TO COMRADES.
3. Which goal do you most identify with?
Initially my main goal was being healthy but now it’s all about getting stronger.
4. How many km have you run per month in the last 3 months? How does that compare with what you averaged last year?
I have run 474 kms since January 2018. It’s pretty close to my figures from last year as I’m currently training for the Two Oceans and Comrades.
5. What injuries are you susceptible to?
Common ailments are low immunity and ITBS injuries. Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed. IT band pain can be severe enough to completely sideline a runner for weeks, or even longer. Basically these injuries are due to the higher volume and intensity of the training.
6. What’s your brand of choice when it comes to running shoes and when do you need new ones?
Running shoes are the most important gear decision you’ll make, so make a concerted effort to buy a good pair of running shoes suited for your feet. I run in Asics Nimbus and generally get 500-600 kms out of a pair.
7. Who is your running support network?
I’m extremely blessed and fortunate to have the support of my husband, both my daughters and my in-laws. My husband and I train and run together. He was the one who suggested we start running 21km races. I also have a running coach who supports me.
8. What training phase are you in right now?
High mileage starts now in order to peak for Comrades in June. Two Oceans Ultra is at the end of March. Running is very much part of my lifestyle and it doesn’t end. It is an all-encompassing routine that requires commitment, dedication and perseverance.
9. What are your top three things that you do to prevent injury?
I take supplements, fuel my body with wholesome food, stretch often and have regular massages. I’ve learnt that sleep is the most vital part of recovery. You asked for three and I have given you more things but these points are essential for my life as a runner.
10.How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
Running takes a considerable amount of discipline. My husband motivates me. Also I’m inspired by women like you, Amy Hopkins and veteran runner Deidre Larkin who is 85 years old.
11. What has been your running highlights?
My first race with my daughter will always hold a special place in my heart. That was the start to my life as a runner. The Two Oceans Ultra 2017 was another highlight. For Comrades 2017, I raised over R13000 for the Pink Drive. I did complete the race but sadly it was just after the 12 hour cut-off.
I have always been in awe of Jayindri and the fact that she is an Ultra-runner, a title she modestly acknowledges. After chatting to her about the nitty gritties of running I have a new found respect and admiration for runners. Aside from being a runner, she is an amazing mom and wife, and her family comes first, despite her hectic training schedule. She teaches us that its never too late to chase those goals or try something new. Jayindri is passionate about everything life has to offer, but the way she speaks about the women who inspire her, shows the character of a woman of strength.
When I entered the Woolworths#startswith challenge, little did I realise that I would find inspiration, motivation and best of all … friendship. The #startswith challenge brought the most amazing and inspirational women into my life and for that I am truly grateful. One of those inspirational and remarkable women is Dil Pillay. She is a woman of love and sheer strength. She has overcome so many obstacles in her life and that’s what makes her a real life superhero. She is humble and probably one of the kindest people I have ever met. We recently met up for a picnic in the park and got to chatting.
Who is Dil Pillay?
I am extremely passionate and diligent about everything that has been laid on my heart. I thoroughly enjoy sharing what positively impacts my life. My world pretty much revolves around the love of my life, my little four-legged boy- Chow. I have developed a passion for creating new and delicious healthy foods. I especially love surrounding myself with people who love to eat, laugh, pray and who unconditionally give of themselves.
You have a rather impressive story to share in terms of your weight loss, would your care to elaborate?
My weight fluctuated on an ongoing basis from 2011. I weighed in at an impressive 110kg at the end of 2015. I couldn’t bear to come face to face with the harsh truth of the scale so I avoided it at all costs and didn’t weigh myself. For some unknown reason I lost the weight and when I finally mustered up the courage to hop onto the scale I discovered that I had lost 20.1kg. At the time I was living with depression, PCOS and type 2 diabetes which put a huge strain on my life and my weight, so in Feb 2017 I made the decision to commit to a lifestyle change. It was time to stop making excuses and commit to myself.
Tell us more about your change in diet as a result of your food allergies.
My body and skin were reacting badly to the types of food I was eating, so I had no choice but to make several huge changes to the way I was eating. The fact that I was diagnosed with PCOS compounded the situation further, so I made the decision to become a Pescatarian. I hear you ask, “Pesca what?” A Pescatarian is someone who does not eat red meat at all but does eat fish. Therefore my diet is just plant-based foods and seafood. In addition to being Pescatarian, I also do not eat gluten, dairy, refined sugar and certain nuts due to allergies. This change in diet has transformed me into an absolute foodie who spends an insane amount of time whipping up healthy dishes for myself.
What is your approach to exercise?
I initially had a gym contract but due to being uncomfortable about my weight, I cancelled it. So the workout aspect of my journey started with me walking my little boy. I gradually increased the distance and began walking him every morning and afternoon. Walking him around the park several times progressed to jogging, which in turn progressed to running. Eventually I felt ready to do more than just walk or run, so I used the internet to research exercises that would best suit my needs. I bought a yoga mat, just one 10kg weight and a skipping rope. These items became part of my work out routine. My current routine involves me running on the spot mixing it with high intensity training 3 times a week for 45 mins. I also mix things up by adding some yoga, squats and lunges to my routine.
Did you try losing weight prior to this?
Oh yes I did! In the past I attempted losing weight by just trying to eat healthy without proper information about my body type and what my body needed. I jumped into diets and failed within a week. I now know that my mindset wasn’t ready for this journey.
What was different this time around?
This time around I realised I needed to make it a lifestyle change, but before that I needed to educate myself about my condition. I spent hours on the net researching exercises and healthy eating alternatives. I was in the right frame of mind and I was ready to commit to myself, my health and my life. I started cooking more from home, creating healthy dishes rather than buying take-out. I learnt to make healthier choices when I ate out and before I knew it, those changes had become a lifestyle for me.
What does faith mean to you?
Faith is what keeps my mind at peace in the midst of many life situations as it reaffirms that there is always hope. Faith gives me reassurance that as long as I keep my faith I will certainly overcome all obstacles. During my journey having being diagnosed with depression at one stage in my life and having gone through a divorce I have been challenged emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Faith has helped me stay at peace and motivated me to move forward. My faith in God is what led me into getting my body right, knowing I was created not to have these health barriers and that healing was for me which is evident in my life right now .
How do people react to your transformation?
It has been an amazing journey and more people are inspired and curious as to what it is to be a Pescatarian. People want to know what my secret is and want to know what diet i’m on. I’m blessed with the support and love of so many people, many of whom are people I have never met in person but who make up my support system.
Has there been a downside to losing weight?
There definitely are downsides. I now suffer with low blood pressure and the main downside is the excess skin. Losing 50 odd kilograms is an unbelievable amount of weight and unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I have all this excess skin around my tummy area. I say fortunately as it is a constant reminder of a place I never want to find myself at ever again.
Any words and advice for people wanting to lose weight?
Make a mindful choice that you want to change to be better, feel stronger and achieve your best health possible . Don’t be hard on yourself but at the same time I urge you not to give up. Get up and get moving. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to embrace yourself for who you are. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You can do this no matter what your struggle is . I am living proof it can be done.
Dil Pillay is indeed proof that we can step outside our comfort zones, tackle the obstacles life throws at us and still come out on top. I’m extremely grateful and honored that Dil has allowed me to share her story with you and I’m extremely blessed to call her my friend.
Melissa from Mel’s Postbox afforded me the opportunity to do my very first guest post on her blog where I share my fitness journey and speak about the support I have received this far. Click on the link below to read the full post.
In my recent guest post on Mel’s Postbox, I spoke about how it takes a village to lose weight and make a significant and sustainable lifestyle changes. Well, Botle Kayamba is very much part of my village.
What started out as a chance meeting has since turned into a real friendship and mentorship. That chance meeting happened when we both attended an event at The Cookery hosted by Women’s Health Magazine but didn’t know each other at that point. We greeted each other and a cordial smile was exchanged every now and then.
Botle is a highly skilled personal trainer as well as group trainer. She was diagnosed with an Ameloblastoma type 3 tumor, which later led to swelling in her face and the loss of her left jaw. The tumor eventually ended her booming modelling career. Three operations later and this amazing woman who is beautiful both inside and out, could easily have returned to modelling but instead found her calling in the fitness world.
Coming from a disadvantaged background was all the motivation she needed to make a success of her 11 year fitness career. Botle has gone from teaching kids in her neighbourhood to being a resident trainer at the Virgin Active health club chain. She lives to inspire and is all about inspiring women from all walks of life, both in her community, as well as the fitness industry. I can truly vouch for that, as she inspires me daily by the manner in which she lives her life. Botle once told me that I inspire her, which honestly left me flabbergasted and in disbelief, but she is a woman who’s all about helping other women. She is such a special individual and it’s evident in the way she treats people, especially her clients. Botle revels in her clients progress and she definitely keeps an eagle eye on whether or not you are staying on track. Don’t let her calm and sweet demeanor fool you, as she is a powerhouse of a trainer who pushes you to the limit and takes no prisoners in her super energetic, fun and sweaty classes. Her body is a temple of pure strength and power.
Botle also happens to be the Women’s Health Next Fit Star, Top 5 finalist for 2017. Her journey has been so exceptionally inspiring that it’s no wonder that she has featured in Fatloss Magazine, Fitness Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine. Botle is sponsored by the likes of Adidas, Cleansui, Fresh Dew, Lovi Juice and Venga.
It doesn’t stop there. Mega brand Adidas has taken it a step further in her brand ambassadorship and is sponsoring Botle with her very own event, Botle’s Fitness Fest. When this happens, you know you are doing something right and Adidas is all about fitness #inspo and amazing journeys. Cleansui, Fitness Magazine, Fresh dew, Lovi Juice and Venga are the other brands sponsoring this event.
Guest Instructor, Ntsekie Majoro and Botle (both Virgin Active Personal Trainers) will be putting you through your paces on the 24th of March and I promise you that this is a fitness event you don’t want to miss. Its going to be amazing fun and a wonderful opportunity to hang and workout with like-minded individuals. Bootcamp will get you into the swing of things and Botle’s sexy Dance Fitness will most certainly help you get in touch with your sexy selves. Oh and let’s not forget to mention that the your ticket to the event includes an amazing goodie bag (just for added incentive). So I really hope that you will be joining me at what’s set to be a fantastic day of fitness fun.
If for some reason you can’t make the event and you are not a Virgin Active member, but want to workout with Botle, then you still can. Botle holds weekly classes at 6pm on a Thursday at Sagewood School in Midrand. So ladies (and gents) there are no excuses, just get up and get moving.