Often times I get asked, ‘have you always been so fit’? Or ‘Is it possible to achieve an “enviable” figure even after having children’? The truth is, I can’t recall a time in my life where I was completely happy with my body. Sure, I embraced it and in general had a happy and healthy relationship with my body. But there was always the thought of ‘what if’? I wish I had slimmer legs or a less muscular physique. You’re probably thinking, “Kim, what are you talking about? you have a great figure”! Sure, I am not complaining, but as human beings, don’t we always wish for what we never had? Why can’t we accept what we have and be the best version of ourselves, rather than comparing ourselves to others? Why this constant search for perfection? The reality is, it doesn’t exist! We all are different and we must embrace our differences.
My body type is what is known as a Mesomorph, more traditionally ‘athletic’ looking; naturally having more muscle mass and moderate levels of body fat. As a teenager, I often thought, gosh! my legs are so muscular, I wish they were thinner. At the age of 16 when most of my friends were happy to show off their long, lean legs in mini skirts, I felt mine were better suited to trousers. At one point, I wanted to give up athletics because of the muscular built I had developed. I guess, I was trying to fit into most teenage girls ideal of a tall, slim, figure. Afterall, this body type seemed to be the most desired. It’s sad how society and the media influences our beliefs and choices.
It was not until I was in my late 20’s when I started to love my body and the results it gave me from working out, dancing and training hard for so many years. Sure, throughout my 20’s my body changed shape. I wasn’t so concerned though. I would put on weight, loose it, and never followed a strict diet, but I was relatively fit. My body changes at this point were minor.
Fast forward to my thirties and it was a different story. After having my first child, I naturally put on weight and this probably was the most difficult period for me. Throughout my thirties, my weight yo-yoed and exercise was just not a priority. In the above middle photo taken of me post-partum, I weighed approximately 85-90 kg. I didn’t have the time to exercise. At least that was my excuse🤷🏾♀️. At the time (2005), I found that there were no fitness groups in my area that welcomed mums and babies. This is one reason why I started Squat2Fit, to encourage mums into fitness where you can bring your babies along in a safe, friendly, supportive environment.
Your body shape changes naturally as you age. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid these changes, but your lifestyle choices may slow or speed the process. The human body is made up of fat, lean tissue (muscles and organs) bones and water. After age 30, people tend to lose lean tissue. Suddenly you find that extra weight harder to shift and those once toned arms turning into ‘bingo wings’. Therefore, it is important that we maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle especially as we age, and embark on a fitness programme that works for us.
Sometimes life changes and circumstances forces us to re-evaluate our goals. At the age of 40, I had my daughter and probably most women who conceive at this age can relate to how difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight. It was at this point I started working out again consistently and never looked back. As a fitness instructor, it is important that I am an example for my clients and the results you can achieve from living a healthy lifestyle. I feel fortunate to be in a career that I am not only passionate about but which happens to be my favourite pastime. If I can make a positive difference in someone’s life by helping them improve their overall health and fitness, then I know that I have succeeded in my job.