I am so excited to share with you episode six of Tizi Talks with the gorgeous, intelligent and admirably ambitious Bidanya Barasa! She is currently the Managing Director at Top Image Africa, Brand Ambassador for Nairobi Hospice, and the Founder at Bidanya Elite Club; a mentorship program she created that seeks to empower girls and young women. She is also a former supermodel and was a finalist for MNET Face Of Africa (yes, beauty and brains!).
Bidanya is a passionate marketer by profession who sharpened her craft by working for the best in the business such as Nestle, Tetra Pak, Lowe Scanad and Top Image Africa. On top of all those achievements, she is a colon cancer survivor and has been actively involved in creating awareness. Her desire and dream is to kill cancer or stop it from happening in the first place and she does this through her beautiful health blog which you can check out here. After following her inspiring story, I also discovered that she is a gym junkie and a juicing addict! Obviously, I had to hear details of her wellness journey and hopefully inspire you through her story. This is what she had to say when we got to chatting....
TIZI: How old are you?
BB: Guess :-)
TIZI: How long have you been working out?
BB: I have been consistent and dedicated for the last 2 years especially after I discovered CrossFit and Weightlifting but before that I used to workout on and off. Now I’m an addict. However I have always been active since high school; I was in the basketball, tennis, hockey, volleyball team and took part in marathons. My best sport was swimming and I won several competitions in secondary school.
TIZI: What made you start?
BB: Health reasons especially after I fought and won the battle with Colon Cancer 7 years ago. I immediately started working out by just doing basic cardio, power walking and running but all this changed after I experienced and started seeing the benefits of weight lifting. Cancer cannot strive in an oxygenated body so working out is non-negotiable and lucky for me I love it!
TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?
BB: Oh yes a huge difference. I look and feel great. I sleep like a baby and my body has never looked this good (not to brag). Working out is also a stress reliever with my crazy work life and traveling, it somehow keeps me sane and balanced.
TIZI: Can you please take me through your daily routine on a weekday? And the weekend?
BB: First thing I do when I wake up is to pray, then I take a glass of my warm lemon water, shower, dress up, make my juice (drink it immediately so that I don’t lose out on the nutritional benefits) and then have my breakfast at the office. In the evenings I go to the gym at around 6pm until 8pm or 9pm. I usually eat at around 9.30pm (which Is not very good) and I close my day with a prayer or read the bible. I work out 4 times in a week. I rarely workout during the weekends, but I would incorporate a workout on a Saturday if I missed out a workout during the week. But weekends are usually my rest days. I sleep A LOT and just chill and hangout with family and friends.
TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?
BB: Not all it. It’s a priority and my calendar revolves around the gym. Usually every Thursday is rest day and I take this opportunity to meet up with friends, family or clients. And if I know my evening will be busy I workout in the mornings – though it’s a struggle because I’m not a morning person. When I travel, I only stay in hotels with great gyms or pay for a gym close to my hotel.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
BB: The benefits, the body transformation and my derriere. My mum didn’t give me a derriere but the gym did (lol) so that keeps me super motivated. And just seeing my oblique muscles makes me happy and proud.
TIZI: What can you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?
BB: Do what you love or try to discover what you love. They say what you do for 21 days becomes a habit. So make a promise to yourself, try it for 21 days and see the difference. Personally I find cardio very boring but thanks to a friend I discovered Crossfit and loved weightlifting. I got hooked immediately. But you must also look at it as a way of life and commit to it. Working out should be a lifestyle and not just a goal to lose weight or look like someone else. It must be personal and when you reach that level of addiction there is no going back and your body wouldn’t allow you to.
Having fought and won the battle with cancer, Bidanya remains committed to her healthy lifestyle despite her busy schedule. She explains that wellness must be personal and when you reach that level of commitment, you will want to remain healthy. I hope her story inspires you to stay active and if you have never tried it, start now. If you don't know where to start, have a look at the article "9 Gym Must Haves" to get you started!