Shredding For The Wedding
I have tested a lot of different workouts and wouldn’t see results because I hadn’t changed my eating habits.
We all have reasons for choosing to lead a healthier lifestyle and once we embark on this journey, the hardest part is always how to remain consistent. One of the best ways to stay motivated is by reminding yourself why you started every time you feel like quitting. Welcome back to our interview series where we share the fitness journey of people who inspire us to invest in our health and self development.
Christina Mugo and her husband are the proud owners of The Tav Irish Pub and Eatery at the Mirage in Westlands which doubles as a restaurant serving delicious and affordable meals and an ideal after work watering hole. She explains that running the business takes up most of their time but she is also involved in the family business; Revitalize Wellness Center which is one of the upcoming wellness and spa brands in the country with branches at Radisson Blu, New Muthaiga and a new branch opening at Movenpick Hotel in Westlands.
On top of managing a handful of businesses, she still finds time for herself to make sure she is in good health. As you will see, months before her wedding, she made a deliberate decision to improve her active lifestyle to lose weight for her big day. I was so inspired by her dedication and transformation that I had to get her on this series! Here is what she had to say...
TIZI: How old are you?
CM: I am 28 years old
TIZI: What prompted you to take up an active and healthy lifestyle?
CM: Like many others this wasn’t the first (or last) time that I had decided to get healthy and start my weight loss journey. The main motivation this time was that I was getting married and I wanted to look and feel better for my big day.
TIZI: When did you initially start investing in your health and what has your experience been like?
CM: I started working out and eating healthy seriously about one year before the wedding. I found it hard to be consistent particularly with travelling; nobody wants to fly half way across the globe to eat a salad. Working at the Tav with all that pub food also proved to be a challenge. I also tried a lot of different things, different work outs and gyms, personal trainers and diets. Some of which didn’t really work and others which did.
TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?
CM: I would definitely say that it has made a big difference. First of all I lost 12kgs in total which left me feeling so much healthier and happier. The increased active lifestyle also helped me deal with the stresses of a new business and planning a wedding. My new and improved diet gave me a lot more energy and clearer skin.
TIZI: Can you please take us through your daily fitness routine on a weekday and the weekend?
CM: In the final months towards the wedding I was doing a lot of different things including 2 or 3 personal training sessions, spin sessions and other group exercise classes. I would generally work out 5 or 6 times a week. Now that I'm in the honeymoon phase I have relaxed my routine quite a bit. After such a long time of being really strict with myself I decided I could afford to live a little. On weekdays I generally do walks or runs at Karura Forest with friends and my puppy of between 5 and 10km. I also enjoy occasional kickboxing and spin sessions.
TIZI: Do you have a preferred type of fitness activity?
CM: Recently I have really been enjoying being outdoors especially as the Nairobi weather warms up. I am loving going for long walks at Karura Forest. I also really love spin. Every time I get into a good spin routine I always find it to be very effective and fun. I particularly enjoy Victors spin classes at Reform in Westlands. He always has a great playlist and I find the 45 minutes fly by because I love it.
TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine as a busy entrepreneur?
CM: Not really. My husband and I have flexible schedules and due to the nature of the business we generally get busy from around midday which gives me the whole morning free to work out.
TIZI: Rumour has it, that you are a “Smoothie Queen”, is this a venture you would be interested to take up in the future? CM: Before we started the Tav I was a huge lover of smoothies. I would spend almost an hour every morning making and decorating elaborate smoothie bowls and other healthy beautiful breakfasts. With all the business needs and wedding planning I didn’t really have the time to keep it up. I would love to go back to it and make it into something even bigger in the future when I am less busy.
TIZI: Do you have a cheat meal? If yes, what is it?
CM: I have a serious sweet tooth. That was another issue for me when I was trying to lose weight. So I don’t really have a cheat meal per say, I just find it really hard to resist the urge to order dessert or buy candy when grocery shopping.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
CM: At the moment the desire to not let all my pre-wedding hard work go to waste is what keeps my active and eating pretty healthy. I am not as strict as I was before but I am generally on track because I don’t want to gain back all the weight I lost.
TIZI: What would you advise someone who wants to start their fitness journey?
CM: I would say the main thing to remember is that the diet is really the most important thing when you are on a fitness journey. I have tested a lot of different work outs and wouldn’t see results because I hadn’t changed my eating habits. I learnt this lesson the hard way and so I think people need to know this from the start.
Whether you are starting out on your fitness journey to get in shape for your wedding or to simply live your best life, the key to seeing results and appreciating the process, is by reminding yourself why you started. Always go back to that reason 'why'. At the end of the day, our bodies are the only place we have to live in, so let's treat them with utmost care and this begins by making daily healthy choices.
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Chief Online Editor: Loise Machira
Photography: Brian Koome, Strikingly
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