Tiffany Rothe

I first heard about this lady from my sister a few years ago.  Checked her out on YouTube but to be completely honest i wasn’t impressed initially. She was a bit over the top in my opinion. Like who wears bright make up and designs themed workouts, complete with costume, so for example i remember one that was bollywood themed and she had a sari on in the video and another one was Orange Is The New Black themed and she had the full orange jumpsuit get up. She also talks. A lot.

However my sister had good things to say about her so i gave her a chance. It’s been a few years since and i can say I’m glad I did.

Tiffany is a fitness expert who runs a platform where she creates workout programs. meal plans and a support forum to help people achieve their fitness goals. I had paid membership access to her website for a year and i can say that i definitely saw results just from following her workouts without even getting  into the meal plan side of things.

Every month or so she’d have a new program, some of them with funny themes like, “burlesque workout” or “Queen workout” and she’d upload workout videos for each day of the week, a different video each day and that really helped me stay consistent. When you log in and see a video labelled Week 1, Day 2 it somehow makes you want to keep up so you don’t fall behind. At least that’s what it did for me.

Some of her moves are very questionable looking. So questionable that i’d avoid doing her workouts at the gym because they looked kind of silly, but they are rather effective. Her programs incorporate many elements of fitness, from boxing to strength training to yoga. She designs workouts that are a perfect balance of cardio and strength training that will get your heart rate up and have you feeling sore for days. I have to mention that she’s definitely more focused on women as many of her workouts involve  a lot of hip rolling and working your waist.

She also does a lot of talking during her workouts, which I’ve gotten used to. She does fancy herself to be a bit of a motivational speaker too. She’s bilingual and gives instructions in English and Spanish and I’ve been picking up some Spanish.

I like Tiffany for many reasons. First there’s the fact that she does full instructional videos where she’s working out and you can easily follow along. She’s also very honest in her journey, and has one of the more realistic looking bodies in the fitness space. By that i mean that she looks like she eats other things besides vegetables and chicken breasts. For me it also helps that she is a black woman on the other side of 30. The truth for me is that I can’t relate with/to the skinny, white 20 somethings that make up the majority of fitness models. For me, a black woman who is past her 20’s and has had kids and is still able to maintain such a level of fitness is more inspirational. Also it really helps that her videos are full workouts that are easy to follow. Like the Jillian Michaels and P90X from years before, but more accessible.

I no longer pay for membership on her website, but i still follow her workouts on YouTube. In the past she used to post short 10-15min workouts which you could repeat three times. She’s recently started streaming live workouts which last 20-30 mins and are just as effective. Also perfect for days when i need to work out but i’m not feeling inspired.

So if you’re looking for an online fitness program, I’d highly recommend Tiffany. Once you can get past her antics she’s really effective.

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My whole30 experience

I feel like i should start this post by declaring that i love food. I really like food. For this reason i have never been a fan of any type of diet or fasting. Not even for religious purposes. Anything that requires me to deprive myself of food is something i’d actively avoid.

However i heard about the Whole30 a few years ago and it didn’t sound so bad so i was interested in trying it out. I can’t remember when i attempted it for the first time, but all you need to know is that i failed. Shamelessly.

I’m too lazy to explain all that Whole30 involves which is why i have linked it but in summary, it’s an attempt to eat more whole/unprocessed foods, with zero added sugars, and no dairy. Also, no MSG. There’s a comprehensive list of items that are compliant and those that are not, and there are also several online forums where every question you can think of has been asked.

On one hand i didn’t think this would be impossible for me because i hardly eat rice and bread which are not allowed, but eba is allowed so i’d be fine also i don’t drink anything that’s not water (and alcohol of course) on the other hand i wasn’t quite sure how i’d do without sugar for a full 30 days. But i’d been partaking in all the sweet treats at work everyday and I saw my expanding mid-section and decided something had to be done.

I was going to start at the beginning of September but i still had birthday cake and ice cream that i couldn’t let go to waste so i started on the 15th of September instead. One of the most common tips when you’re doing the Whole30 is to cook all your food yourself, because that’s really the only way you know what’s in your food. So ideally, i should have meal prepped, but i’m away from home for a week at a time plus i’m lazy, so i only prepped grilled chicken and bought some fruit and veggies. There were many days when i’d go down to the cafeteria for lunch and there’d be nothing on the menu that was compliant so i’d end up with a baked potato and the driest salad you can imagine.

I also ate out more than a couple of times and let me just tell you this part was a minefield. it will surprise you how there’s some form of dairy or (added) sugar in almost everything. I found myself dusting cheese off my steak and picking out sweet corn from my salad on more than one occasion. I will freely admit that i didn’t have the purest Whole30. I could hardly start asking the waiters if they use MSG in their kitchen so i didn’t apply that rule to my own Whole30. I may also have had a piece of naan from my friends plate the day we had Indian, and the curry may have had some dairy in it as well, so…. Not the purest Whole30 like i said.

I did very well staying away from artificial sugars. I settled my sugar cravings with fruit. I was at work most of the time so avoiding alcohol was not *that* difficult. I bought salad bags that i’d just add chicken. I had a lot of potatoes. A lot. Some days were easier than some other days but i was definitely looking forward to the end of my 30 days  because i was tired of turning down everything.

I’ve seen people talk about the benefits of Whole30, e.g feeling more energetic, clearer skin, better bowel movements and so on. I can’t say that i felt any more or less energetic. I have fairly good skin already so i can’t speak on that as well, but i can say that since i completed my Whole30 last week, i’ve noticed a couple of pimples on my face that i didn’t have while on the Whole30.

I’m back to eating regular foods now and i’m noticing a few differences. The first time i had cake afterwards, my stomach didn’t seem very pleased. So i’m pacing myself. I had ice cream today and i could hear my stomach making very audible sounds. So i abandoned the sticky toffee pudding i ordered for desert and i’m now drinking ginger tea.

I took a picture on the day i started and took another one two days before i ended and i could see a bit of a difference. Under the right light and from certain angles i could actually see my abs starting to peek through. I checked my weight a couple of days ago and interestingly i was down only 1kg. Which is not surprising because i did eat potatoes almost everyday.

Now that i’m done with my first Whole30, i’ve learnt that there are many things i can actually do without and not miss that much. For example i can season my food with more herbs and spices and less MSG containing seasoning. I don’t have to deep fry food for it to be tasty, pan frying or baking works just as well and is even less work. So i’ll definitely be implementing certain new habits.

I’m still not a fan of diets because i don’t consider them sustainable, but i’d recommend the Whole30, not for the purpose of weight loss (potatoes and eba can hardly lead to weight loss) , but more to bring consciousness into your food decisions. Make yourself stop and read the label before you add any item to your cart. We really are what we eat so it’s important that we are making conscious and well informed decisions about what we eat.

 

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Change

I recently moved countries. Well, six months ago, but still recent.

This means I haven’t been doing any boxing training except for the occasional bag work by myself. And one test training session with potential new instructor.

It also means I haven’t been having my regular morning gym workouts. Generally I haven’t been working out as much and it’s definitely showing. Got on the scale a few weeks ago and the figure I saw was quite interesting. Heaviest I’ve been in a few years.

First few months after I moved, I was able to work out fairly regularly, thanks to the fact that my building has a gym, which is the best and most convenient thing ever. Ever. However I started work a couple of months ago and I have to be away from home for a full week at a time so this means i don’t have access to a gym but thankfully there’s a physiotherapy department where i can work out after hours. Good news right? The bad news is that my colleagues appear to be addicted to sweets so there’s always something to tempt me. Cake, cookies, an entire box of chocolates. And saying no was really hard. But i’m getting on top of that.

I’m really trying to stay on track more. Hopefully write more even. Also started an IG page to chronicle my fitness journey, so feel free to follow @thefitbabygirl.

So yea, change, change, change.

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Meal plan or nah

I saw someone tweet recently about how no one really likes meal prepping because no one likes to eat the same meal for many days especially after being stored in a fridge/freezer, So i decided to share my thoughts and experience of meal prepping.

A few weeks ago i decided to get more serious with my fitness goals and (attempt to) clean up my diet.So i decided to start meal prepping. Ordered a set of nice meal prep containers, watched some youtube videos, did a bit of research and got to prepping.

I was quite pleased with myself after i made all my meals and packed them all and arranged them in the fridge. Meal prepping is one of those things that really makes me feel like i have my life together. However the day after i finished making all these nice meals, i went out to lunch with my friend and stuffed my face so much that there was no point eating again when i got home so now i had at least one meal that would have to last an extra day than originally intended. And of course this was not an isolated event so some of my food ended up spending more time in the fridge and by the time i got around to some of the containers, let’s just say the food wasn’t in great eating condition. (Pro tip: Never cook veggies in advance.)

So i kind of sort of abandoned meal prepping for a bit. Instead i decided on a modified approach.

Growing up in my traditional Nigerian home with two working parents and a mother who used to believe that all her family’s meals had to be cooked by her, my mother would cook two pots of soup and a pot of stew on the weekend which should last us a week so whenever you’re hungry you could sort yourself out by boiling some rice or making some eba. So i decided to go back to this tried and trusted method.

Then i decided to make some bulgur wheat and miscalculated and ended up cooking a 1kg pack which turned out to be much too much and so of course some of it went off and had to be tossed eventually.

The one thing i have found to be most helpful is prepping my proteins for my salads. So i bake/roast/pan fry my chicken or turkey or salmon and pack them into the fridge and just defrost as needed and add to my salads and this has been a lifesaver. Along with cleaned pre packed vegetables of course because you know i’m not prepping no vegetables either.

However i have stuck to cooking a few meals in reasonable quantities and heating them up as needed. This works well for me because the way my laziness is setup, if i had to cook from scratch everytime i’m hungry, chances are i’d end up drinking water and going to bed. Or eat out. Or order in. And the last two options are bad for both my wallet and my waist line.

So right now i have some (baked) gizdodo, egusi soup, goat peppersoup, stew and turkey all sitting in the fridge waiting for me to decide what i feel like eating. I definitely feel quite accomplished. Side bar: I’ve been opening the fridge periodically just to admire my work.

One of the goals of meal prepping is being able to monitor caloric intake and so the meals are typically prepped with all micros and macros taken into account and properly balanced and this helps people track their food intake better which is great. I still admire the people who have their meals planned to the last calorie, but i’m not there yet. Until then i’m going to stick to my current plan.

P.s: I haven’t lost any weight

 

 

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Reboot!

Where has all the time gone. Really.

How is it already June? Almost half way through the year.

Lately i’ve been doing some reassessment of my life in general, thanks to having way to much time on my hands and let’s just say i need to fix a few things.

Recently i’ve started feeling a bit dissatisfied with my fitness life. I just feel like i’ve been coasting and thanks to some recent stress eating i’ve gained a bit of weight. I still workout but not at the level that i used to and i know i could be doing way more.

So  decided that i would get more focused.

First thing i did was start to meal prep. So on the 31st of may, i made a few nice, healthy meals and packed them all nice looking in the fridge.

Then on the 1st of June i went out to a buffet and stuffed my face with all the food i could eat. I’m serious. I went three times. Still the idea is to become more conscious of my food choices. I’ve never been a fan of meal tracking and counting macros because it all sounds like punishment but i’m going to try.

I’ve also started studying weight loss and body building via youtube. I’ve worked out for many years but i’ve never really gotten into the science of it and that’s what i intend to change. I’m not looking to lose weight as much as i’m looking to lose inches all around. I’ve made peace with the fact that i can’t spot reduce so i intend to find a balance between losing inches while still building muscle mass.

In all this i have no shame in admitting that vanity is my major driving force. My main goal is to lose several inches off my waist. I did some body measurements today and i know that this is going to take some major work, but i believe i’m ready. I also intend to do some illusion work by attempting to bulk up on my upper body in order to make my waist look smaller.

Like i said. Vain.

Hopefully i shall have progress updates to share soon. Wish me luck.

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Baby yogi

I have no valid excuse so i won’t waste your time with any.

One of my goals for this year is increased flexibility i.e, be able to do full splits by the end of the year, and to achieve this I’ve decided to do more yoga this year. I have a yoga app on my iPad which i use (occasionally) however i’d really like to attend an actual class or at least have someone to practice with, however the thought of paying 3 thousand nigerian nairas per class has kinda put paid to this idea.

Sometime last year i started this position that takes me out of Lagos for 2 weeks at a time, and i casually mentioned to one of my colleagues last year that i was interested in yoga and she was going to give me some videos. Then last month she told me another of our colleagues (an older Indian man) is actually a yogi and he practices everyday. Look at God. Won’t he do it.

So i walked up to him and introduced myself and now i have yoga at 5:30am everyday, and a 3 mile run afterwards. I can not lie and tell you that i made it every single day. I mean separating myself from the sweet embrace of my bed is not something i’m always successful at especially when i don’t have Lagos traffic anxiety to motivate me.

Anyway, having an actual Indian as my yoga instructor makes me  feel exactly how i imagine it must feel to eat Thai food in Thailand.

His poses are a little different from what i’m used to seeing on my yoga app, however if i had to pick, i’d definitely pick my authentic Indian Baba over the little white lady on my iPad. And he breathes a little loud which i was a little bothered by at first but he explained that he breathes like that just to remind me how i should be breathing. My breathing is still a work in progress.

He also showed me the most delicious stretch for my gastrocnemius (i.e that big muscle below your knee at the back) and another intense one for hip flexors which i’ve now integrated into my regular pre/post workout stretch.

Unfortunately these past few days i haven’t been able to make it out of bed in time so i’m back to the little Caucasian lady on my iPad but at least i’m doing something.

 

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Wrap-up

I don’t know who does a year end wrap up in February but…..you will just have to accept me as is. I want to claim that my very busy schedule is responsible for this delay in posting but….that would not be entirely true. I’ve just been too lazy to type.

So what can i say about 2016.

Quite a bit, but the focus here is fitness so i’ll just say it was the fittest year of my life, after 2009 when i was a student with more time than i knew what to do with and so i used to do two gym workout daily. I do miss them days.

I feel like life in Lagos/Nigeria took a serious unhealthy toll on my lifestyle, in many different ways. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, wasn’t eating as well as i should and definitely not working out enough. However last year i somehow managed to eke out a balance of sorts. It helped a great deal that i could afford a gym that’s barely 15 mins from work in the morning, but it also took a lot of personal discipline to wake up at 5am everyday and to (attempt) to work out everyday, weekends included. Also to make healthier food decisions. This doesn’t mean that i was any sort of diet. I really can’t diet, but i attempted to generally eat better. And it showed.

My holiday pictures from last summer were fire. No jokes.

And then i kept getting compliments from people who hadn’t seen me in a few months. One of my favorites was from my friends colleague. She simply said “your body has changed” which really made me glad because it was not the typical “you’ve lost weight” as weight loss in not a goal for me at this time.

Special shout out to my online fitness trainer Tiffany Rothe. I definitely lost a few inches off my waist by sticking to her many many different pregames throughout the year. Made me further appreciate having professional guidance, albeit virtually. Also thankful for my sister who is responsible for my Tiffany acquaintance in the first place and for her virtual encouragement. Her own clean eating discipline is goals.

So the idea is to keep up the good work this year, not relent on my efforts so that this years holiday pictures will elicit tears. Yes.

The plan is to:

  • continue working out everyday,
  • less cardio,
  • more weights,
  • heavier weights (so help me God),
  • more dancing (salsa is a real workout)
  • increased flexibility, so more yoga. I must be able to do a split by years end.
  • Keep boxing,
  • maybe pick up a sport.
  • Overcome my fear of water enough to perfect my swimming.
  • maybe, somehow reduce sweets and alcohol (not too optimistic about this one)

And just continue to look badass.

Hopefully i remember to chronicle this journey properly on this blog. Those of you that have my number should call and remind me.

Thanks and God bless.

 

And of course Happy New Year.

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