I’m Zig, and after not-so-much deliberation and not-so-much persuasion, I’ve decided to write a fitness blog. It’s not really a fitness blog… it’s a ‘me’ blog! I’m not the most witty or articulate, but a lot of my real-life/facebook/instagram friends suggested that I start a blog because I document everything I eat and do anyways – might as well have it all in one place!
I’ve previously done different eating challenges and written blogs about them, which have since been deleted! I attempted to be ‘vegan for lent’ to raise money for a charity called ChildReach International, who I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with – that wasn’t a health or fitness challenge, it was a ‘I need to raise lots of money and people like to watch other people struggle challenge’.
I recently completed a shoddy version of the Whole30 (which I would like to re-do and document properly!) and it really prompted the decision to start a fitness blog.
I would NEVER have considered myself sporty or athletic, EVER. I was really girly growing up – I dabbled in dance and figure skating when I was really young, and thought I was too old to start it up again. My dad made my sister and I do kickboxing for years, which I wasn’t very good at because I’m not aggressive! Technique-wise I was fine, but fitness-wise I was poor. My dad then got me into playing rugby around age 15, when I lived in Hong Kong, but I was never any good at it – couldn’t run or catch or throw! I started dancing again at the age of 17, and although I loved it, and I had some natural talent, I didn’t have that passion that dancers need to have to be good! I took a gap year and got really into the gym, which meant 20 minutes of stretching, 40 minutes on the cross-trainer and 10 minutes of sit-ups and leg raises. I hated the gym because I didn’t know what I was doing, and everything was painful or boring, and I wanted someone to tell me what to do, but personal trainers are expensive!!
When I moved from Hong Kong to the UK for university, in just three short months, I went from being 47kg and a size 8, to being 56kg and a size 12! Because I am so petite, I felt SO uncomfortable in my skin – I was used to being tiny, with no lumps and bumps, and it was upsetting not being able to fit into clothing that used to be baggy on me!
[far left: 2011, middle and far right: 2013]
I know that I was NOT fat or morbidly obese, but I had never been over 8 stone in my life, and my self-esteem was so low! If anything though, the weight-gain did me some good. I was definitely too skinny before I went to uni, but I’d really let-myself-go with all the drinking and poor eating. I am a sucker for savoury. I don’t snack. I eat. My idea of a snack (a ham and cheese toastie) is someone else’s idea of a meal. Or my two giant bowls of pasta for breakfast would be someone’s dinners for a week. Long story short, I had a poor diet, low self-esteem and because I was comparatively a lot smaller than lots of people, I kept on trying to convince myself that the weight-gain wasn’t bothering me. THEN, I went back to Hong Kong to visit my home – asian people do not sugar-coat anything – all of my family members and ex-colleagues were telling me how chubby I was (thanks, guys!). That then kick-started a very slow and painful process of trying to lose weight, sort my diet out and get fit. I got a personal trainer and an expensive gym membership, which I rarely used. To be fair, I lots about 3kg with the trainer and he helped me sort out my diet a bit. I cut down on the take aways, stopped eating processed carbohydrates at dinner-time, and eventually cleaned my diet up to the point that he allowed me a cheat-day once-a-week!
HOWEVER, this didn’t last. I couldn’t afford the personal training and I never used the gym membership properly. When I was by myself, it was still just 40 minutes on the cross trainer, or a spin-class, or hot yoga – I am so basic sometimes, and I will go for any new fad fitness class because “this one will definitely work this time”.
Anyways, they say breakups make body builders and that’s what happened. I broke up with someone who I had been with for a few years, who never told me to go to the gym, but told me to stop complaining about how unhappy I was with my body – and he was so RIGHT! I was just expecting to magically lose the weight and magically feel better about myself, but I’m lazy and I wanted a quick fix. That’s when I found pole dance!
For AGES, I refused to say I was a pole dancer because of the stigma that comes with it. I would only say that I did pole fitness, because that’s what I was doing – pullups, situps, core exercises, bodyweight movements – I wasn’t dancing around a pole! I had finally found the type of fitness that I enjoy – that’s the main thing, finding out what YOU love to do. There is no point in me going on a 12-mile run to get fit because I hate running, don’t enjoy it, and would complain the whole time or give up after 10 minutes (some people LOVE running – not me – if that’s your thing, then you go glen coco).
A couple of months after finding pole, I found CrossFit. My ex had briefly introduced it to me before, I did a taster session and ran away. I did a watered-down version of CrossFit with a society at uni, and started training properly in May 2014. So, I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 5 or 6 months now, and say what you will about it, but it has changed my life. It’s boosted my self-esteem and self-confidence so much! I could barely use the tech-bar (7.5kg) when I first came in!! Now I’m almost push-jerking my body weight!
I lost the majority of the weight I had gained from eliminating alcohol and drunk-food from my diet. BUT, the fitter I got, the worse my diet got, because I started being able to eat EVERYTHING and not get any bigger. After about 6 months of really terrible eating – I mean burgers, milkshakes, cake, deep-fried everything, mcdonalds, take-aways… just so much crap all the time – my weight hadn’t changed, but the effects of all the crap was coming out through my skin! I got acne for the first time at the age of 22, and before that I had barely gotten pimples!! So, I started researching and trying to find out the best things for my body/skin. This blog is part of that journey!
Please give me feedback because I’d like to make this as enjoyable to read as possible!