Wellness|Women

I Seriously Underestimated My #WysJouMaag Challenge

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 #WYSJOUMAAG challenge on 1 August 2018 and after a mere 5 days into the month, women have unequivocally accepted the challenge.

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I am ENOUGH … and so are you!! . Happy Womens Month – #WysJouMaag Challenge . Let's make it one for the books. Let's work on our self-acceptance and self-love. Let's work on not giving a damn, because is too short Let's just do us . Use the #wysjoumaag and step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to love the skin you are in. Right now in this very moment. . 🔊I'm looking for 31 women to step up to the plate and accept my challenge for the month of August. Don't forget to tag me in your posts and use the #wysjoumaag . Let's be the revolution!! . Have a empowering, energising and excellent month of August 😘 #iamchallenge #iamperfect #iamallwomen #nofilter #iamallwomen #wysjoumaagchallenge

A post shared by NATASHA 👉 GAUTENG | 🇿🇦 (@fitlikemummy) on

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.

 

Body positive|Fitness

Body positivity does not justify obesity

I was recently attacked and confronted about the supposed claims that I make, which has sparked this blog post.  The gist of the conversation was  ….

“How can you say you are body positive and love your curves if you are trying to lose weight?”

Being body positive is about confidence and even at my heaviest of 108kg I was sexy AF. I believe in dressing for my body shape and I’ve always been a confident person. Don’t get me wrong, of course I had my insecurities. I just found ways to work around them.

At my heaviest, I was also at my unhealthiest. My personal experience has taught me that even though I was confidant and felt amazing about my appearance, being obese had dangerous connotations when it came to my health and well-being. I was hypertensive, pre-diabetic and my cholesterol and insulin resistance counts had spiked. How did this happen overnight? Well it didn’t! Excessive weight gain happens over a period of time. I was too busy living in denial and hiding behind my confidence, that I let my weight skyrocket and my health deteriorate.  As stated by the Times LIVE “Body positive movement is NOT about glorifying obesity.”

Just over a year ago I ate fairly healthily, so I assumed I was doing the right things. I was however overeating, my calorie intake far exceeded my physical activity. I wasn’t getting enough rest and I definitely should have swapped my alcohol intake with my water intake. All in all I wasn’t living a balanced and healthy life.

My weight loss journey isn’t about being skinny, but instead about being healthy and strong. My weight loss journey has taught me to accept my flabby arms, stretch marks and cellulite ridden thighs.

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Now my focus is on improving those areas by eating right and firming up. A year ago I wore a size 44 to 46 and now I wear a size 38. The goal I had set for myself a year ago was to drop to a size 36 but I think a size 34 (which still makes means I am a plus size) would be a reasonable goal when I take into account the visceral fat I still need to lose. Visceral fat is a “deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Body positivity means different things to different people, irrespective of whether you are fat or thin.  “The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being”.

Now let me take a moment to chat about fitness. Firstly, here is a little rant. The misconception that thin equals fit drives me completely insane.  To put it very bluntly, it FUCKS me off.  Your size doesn’t determine your damn fitness level. Let me also point out that my big ass just happens to be fitter than many people who aren’t overweight. Fitness does more for me than just help me drop dress sizes. Fitness keeps me sane, helps me process things, makes me feel good and strong and it even helps me sleep better. Fitness is contagious but I’m not like the super athletes out there who train religiously several times a day. I’m all about getting my body moving and having fun while I do it. Fitness is a lifestyle and a journey of self-love and self-acceptance.

Guys I absolutely love my curves, I love my saggy boobs and my big booty. Let’s be honest, I’ve got thighs for days and they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. I’m not looking to lose that look but merely looking to enhance it while maintaining a great level of health and fitness. I don’t care too much about the size I wear as much as I care about having to live with chronic diseases or being sick all the time. I absolutely refuse to compromise my health just to prove that I am body positive.  I have also never been in the business of proving myself to anyone, and I don’t intend succumbing to the pressures of social media anytime soon. I live my life with conviction and I AM UNAPOLOGETICALLY ME!!!

 

Body positive

My Insane Self-love

On the 1st of January 2018 as l skipped through the photos taken on the last day of 2017 I realised how much l had grown as a person. I realised that my growth wasn’t just about fitness or weightloss, but was also an emotional growth. I realised that through my journey I had fallen completely head over heels in love with myself. It took 4 decades for me to reach the point of being in a lifelong romance with myself and boy does it feel amazing.

I’ve spent years being my own worst critic and being hard on myself, and in the process I made life complicated and difficult. I mean I wasn’t prepared to accept myself, yet I wanted acceptance from the world. Why? Why did I need acceptance from the world in the first place? Why did anyone else’s opinion matter? Why couldn’t I just accept myself for who and what I was? We are indeed our own worst critics.

On reflection my biggest issue has always been my legs. I’ve always had huge legs and my thighs were often referred to as “thunder thighs” by my family. The damage of their careless words stayed with me and made me doubt myself and my appearance, but honestly I should have never allowed it. Granted there are other reasons for my lack of self-love, but that’s a story for another day. If I had loved myself enough way back then, I would have been freed from the shackles of life and not have been a prisoner inside my own body merely because of the insignificant opinions of others.

I can’t undo the choices of my past but 2017 has served me well. It has been a revelation that I’m insanely grateful for. I’m doing me and pretty damn pleased about that. My life is far from perfect and the same applies to my body, but I’m content, happy and in love. I love my flabby thick thighs, tiger stripes and tummy, after all its evidence of a life lived.

And to you over there, the one reading this post – stop being so hard on yourself. Smile and know that you are a beautiful and talented individual. You are pretty damn amazing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. That right now, in this very moment YOU ARE ENOUGH. You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people so take the time to love every inch of you. Take the time to fall in love with yourself and flaunt that shit because you are SEXY AF.

If you are not already in a lifetime romance with yourself, why not start the year off by challenging yourself. Here’s a 7 day self-love challenge worth giving a shot. Think about it, it’s just 7 days and you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Yes, it may make you feel a tad uncomfortable or weird if you are normally negative about yourself, but hey that’s the point. We are taking no prisoners this year so let’s get started.

When you are done with the challenge please contact me or tag me on your final social media post. I’d really love to hear about your INSANE SELF-LOVE.

Self-acceptance and self-love is indeed the road to happiness my Lovelies. I sincerely wish you all the best on your journey. Once you learn to love yourself, life will simply fall into place.