Up until early October this year, I hadn’t been to the gym in almost a year and it showed. I hadn’t shaken those 20lbs I had regained from those 44lbs I shed about seven years ago. At my heaviest I was 214, at 5ft 9inches, an insomniac, workaholic and borderline hypertensive with bad eating habits.  Being on low grade hypertension pills for a spell changed my perspective big time. I was so grateful when my doctor told me it was not genetic, it was lifestyle, which meant I had full control over changing it.  So I did.

I changed all of that. No more breads, buns, bullas, sodas, fast food, pastas and sweet drinks. I switched to protein shakes, oven baked meats, lots of salads, got into cool vegan and vegetarian cuisine and the right carbs. It was a helluva lifestyle remake, but I dropped down to 170lbs, 1 pound shy of my ideal weight for my height and medium built. I was so damn proud of myself. I looked and felt great.

I kept it off for years then I slacked off when business and personal life shook me up  a bit and while I didn’t revert to all of my old ways, I just didn’t hit the gym as often and I’d taken up drinking wine at least twice a week with my friends. I realised that for this to be a permanent lifestyle change, it also had to come from the inside, out.

So I dove deep into yoga and meditation got my mind right, changed my working habits, shed some toxic people and environments – then found my way back into a gym – Cuthbert’s Fitness ( where I lost those initial 44 lbs, Thanks to Juliet), then Express Fitness, then back at Spry again. Additionally, having had a variety of gym experiences-  I realised I wanted to be challenged, I craved variety and being part of a community that was high energy with people doing some killer shit. Spry is the best fit for me I realised, a regular gym would bore me to frickin’ tears. Plus I need a personal trainer. I lead and make decisions out in the wild every single day already, so when I am at the gym, I like being told what to do and to be pushed.

So I called Jae.

Jae Edwards – Owner of Spry Training | #GetSpry

Jae Edwards the millennial British Jamaican import who started Spry Training in Jamaica a little over 2  1/2 years ago. I told him I have to come back, I’ve only been doing yoga semi-regularly and physically I was feeling meh and I wanted to do better.

I told  him, I have 20lbs to lose, my knee is wonky again, my IT bands are tight as fuck, I can’t run up three flight of stairs without feeling like I’m going to die and I want my abs, legs and perky ass back. Plus I have something to prove to myself and yes to others – of what a GenXer ( in my 40s) woman can look, feel and be like when she exercises and takes her fitness to higher levels. Plus, I’m a digital influencer in the Jamaican and Caribbean digital space, so me being a poster girl and fitness evangelist, could be of value to his brand. So Jae and I struck a deal. Hence one of the reasons I’m blogging this.

My Starting point.

Early October, I weighed in at 191 pounds, been stuck there for like over a year. Body fat is clearly not where it needs to be, my endurance was shitty and once my pride and joy in shorts, my long legs looked like jiggly jello. Not Good.

In my first assessment ( everyone gets one before you lift a finger at Spry) with Jae and one of his Ace Coaches – Coach Sammy…did my gait analysis, squat analysis etc. and found…yep…I was lopsided, my posture was out of balance…because I was overcompensating for the perceived and real weakness in my right knee and the muscles that supported it. Patella tendonitis is what it was called.

The Damn Knee

Where did that come from? Well, my right knee slipped out and back in in 2008 while I was under the influence of Vodka Tings and Soca at the Boom Party at Royal Jamaica Yacht Club , wearing some Holland clogs I had no business dancing in. That incident resulted in a grape fruit like swelling over my kneecap and me on crutches for about 3 weeks- a bitch of an ish when your Apt is on the 3rd floor and there is no elevator. I could not drive and what followed, was months of physiotherapy to get back to ‘normal’.

That new normal though, meant I had to exercise regularly, take breaks to stretch during cross country drives, lose the extra pounds, and keep my glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and IT Bands in good shape. So I am at Spry Dunrobin in Kingston to get me going again, plus I’m determined to take my fitness to levels I’ve not done before. People gonna think Imma training for a Spartan Race dammit.

The Goals

My initial goals include getting back to 170lbs, have lean mean, toned muscles from head to toe. I want to be stronger, have a high level of endurance, get my abs back, and to have my booty popping, with my legs being powerful, strong and with those shapely wings we women love to see. Plus of course I am a Soca girl, so I want to be able to be more badass with my Trini wine without feeling like my knee is gonna pop the hell out. I will add to my list too, possibly jumping in 2018 Carnival.

I’ve given myself 6 months but the way things are moving I may get there sooner. I started early October and I will be at my 3 month mark by the first week of January 2018, so we’ll see where I am then. I’ve given up my Wine…well 99.87% and my eating goal is to behave 90% of the time with only 10% to be naughty-ish ( I kinda like Hellshire fried fish and lobster and maybe a scoop of rum and raisin ice cream every now and again).

 

Where I am now

That’s me with the Battling Ropes and Coach Mikhail.

So this first phase is all about conditioning, fixing my posture and working on core and mobility as thefoundation to solve my right knee issues. All before they load me up with those deliciously mad exercises that I love so much that will make me achieve my initial goals.

As of writing this, my posture has balanced out, I can see muscles coming along in my legs, arms..I’ve lost 3 inches around my middle, I see my abs are starting to cut and say hello and my endurance is on the rise big time.

Now they have me on this Periodisation process now until end of December. Just this past week I’ve had people tell me that I definitely look like I’ve have lost weight, they see it in my face and midsection. I rather like that. Lots more to do though.

And of course it hasn’t been easy.  ( See video below of my Instagram Story) The first few weeks were hell- I couldn’t push the damn sled 3 feet steps without feeling like I was going to pass the fuck out. Sprinting? Are you kidding me!!! Did you say flip that tire or sit on it?!. LOL.

That said, I KNOW I’ll achieve my weight loss and initial fitness goals. I have a couple of next level fitness goals for 2018 also…like going on one of their Adventure training events that includes running, rappeling down the side of a wall, hiking through bushes, and wading through rivers and sea. That shit excites me. #MovementisMedicine.

The Necessity of Movement in this Digital Age. | #MovementisMedicine

I am a Digital Strategy Consultant and run a digital media and events business – SiliconCaribe Media that has me sitting in front of a laptop a lot. Sitting for hours especially when I’m in my zone. Now, because I’m more mindful now, I get up every hour and stretch. But generally, we are all sitting way too much...this shortens our hip flexor muscles, tighten our IT bands along the side of our legs, reduces our endurance and have us putting on weight. The right regular Movement cures all of that. Plus we Jamaicans like to look good, we are way too boasy not to be. LOL.

So I’m doing this blogging series to share my journey with you, so as to inspire you to get on your own fitness and wellness journey regardless of your age or fitness stage.  I want to encourage my fellow Digital Nomads, Tech Entrepreneurs, Online Dwellers to hit the gym and move. Added to that, the thing I like about Spry is that no two days are the same, you don’t know what the hell a trainer is coming with and I love that – they challenge me to move my body in unfamiliar ways and when I do it, I like it and it translates into my business life, social life and love life. I’m feeling more limitless again.

The mind/body: body/mind connection is real and awesome and when you feel, see yourself killing the battling ropes, flipping tires, pushing sleds loaded with weights and doing box squats like never before-  it changes you. Movement changes you. As Jae had put on his Client Covenant document =  Results are not guaranteed; they are earned and boy do they make you earn that shit. LOL.

I’m looking forward to my 3 month check in January.

My Instagram Story One Day After Training