The Journey to Fitness
Women around the globe hold numerous roles in society. It is the same, if not worse for a typical Zimbabwean woman. Life already requires a balancing act between family, friends, work, working out, and the very much essential “me-time.” Add keeping track of your entire food intake and logging all your exercises in a journal to the equation, and it may seem impossible. The great news is it is possible; but how? Farayi shares how she managed to find a perfect balance between her forever busy schedule.
Farayi Mangwende is a mother and holds a successful career as the Group Marketing & Strategy Executive at First Mutual. Like most women in the world, her duties became overwhelming to an extent she could hardly get time to herself. This led to unhealthy eating habits resulting in her gaining weight. She however quickly took a turn for the better and recognized the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Farayi, shares her fitness story…
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a marketing and communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience in the industry. I’m a mother of one, a Christian, and am passionate about community transformation through mentoring of young adults.
What caused your weight gain?
It was a gradual process – age, not being consistent with exercise, snacking on sugary foods, genetics.
Why did you decide to make a change to your health?
I was always sporty at school so this was my default which I had let slide. In addition, my favourite outfits didn’t fit so well any more …
What types of struggles have you dealt with while trying to lose weight?
My main struggle was consistency in exercising until I joined Eves Fitness Studios two years ago. Eve really encourages you to be consistent; the gym atmosphere is great as well because other members are like family and we all encourage each other.
What are your favourite fitness blogs, books, or magazines?
To be honest, I don’t really have one. I have however started my own blog on my journey to run a half marathon before my next birthday . It’s called ‘How to eat an elephant’.
Yes! The half marathon was a BIG goal for you this year..
It was. My goal was to run half a marathon by 20 April but I achieved that ahead of schedule when I ran the half marathon at the Old Mutual Harare marathon on the 17th of February…
How did you manage to alter your eating patterns and accommodate the rest of your family?
As a rule, we generally eat healthily in my household. I am not a fan of junk food, but my weakness is cake!
What is your favourite healthy food?
I love fresh fruit and vegetables, mangoes and cherries in particular. On the vegetable side I love spinach, pumpkin leaves, cabbage and baby marrow.
When it comes to eating well, what are your top 3 recommendations?
Portion control, eat in moderation and avoid snacking in between meals, especially sugary snacks.
What is your favourite form of exercise?
Pump strengths Class (Eves Fitness Studios), Step Class (Eves Fitness Studios), Zumba (Zumba with Zorro) and more recently running which I do 3 times a week.
What is your favourite form of cardiovascular exercise and why?
I have quite a few – Step class because it really gets the heart rate going and is an all-round work out, Zumba class because it’s fun and helps me unwind, and running as it helps with endurance and is great for weight loss as I recently discovered J
Do you work out at home or at a gym?
At the gym
What is your best piece of advice for those just starting to exercise?
Take it slowly in the beginning and take it one day at a time. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make it on one day, get back on the horse and carry on!
What motivates you to continue with this lifestyle?
It’s important to be healthy and exercise is great for increased energy levels and all round mental and physical well-being.
What specific changes have you made that are working for you?
I have adopted intermittent fasting as a way of life – my ratio is 16:8. It is great because it is not a diet but the time between the last evening meal and the meal the next day enables the body to metabolize stored fat for energy which results in weight loss.
What do you want other people who are struggling to lose weight to know?
Fad diets do NOT work. When you resume normal eating, the fat comes back with its brothers and sisters – lol! It is important to exercise, eat healthy, avoid junk and sugary foods, and when you do eat, portion control is key! Eat from a side plate and not a regular size plate if you have to!
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