Posted by: Leah | August 7, 2011

Pursuing a Stronger and Healthier Me

I agree, there is too much emphasis on girls’ looks. Let’s take me as an example: I was a chubby child, mostly because of my love to chocolate, that subsided as I entered my adulthood, by the way. All my childhood years I was criticized for being not skinny and was advised to lose weight. Suprisingly enough, this did not lead to any eating disorders, and when I eventually I did lose weight I however perceived myself as still overweight.

Several years forward: after my divorce I gained weight – mostly because there were certain foods that brought lots of comfort to me – like toasts and musli pitas. Lots of bread. I started to balance on the border of average and slightly overweight. Then, again, I was not bothered by this at all – however, my strength and ability to be physically active was reduced.

Fours years forward: having entered my 30s, I realized that now I look exactly how much effort I put in it and what I do to stay active. Having started to attend gym classes, I was disturbed by ladies who were not able to go through a cardio class and did not look very healthy. I certainly did not want to look like them.

So I made changes to my lifestyle – not having weight loss in mind but rather a healthier life in general.

What I did:

1. Changed what I eat – no bread, processed foods, greasy meals. Pretty much no pop or juices. More vegetables and whole grains. Brown rice is my staple. I don’t overeat (except for maybe once in 6 months all you can eat sushis!)

2. Exercising is a must. To stay sane you have to be physically active – and it is important to do what you like say – I hate running, so I don’t run! I prefer group exercises so I hit classes a lot. I love dancing, so I dance, and dance and dance! We do so many things we have to, so when it comes to exercising, I think we can make choices that make us happy.

3. Yoga. I think yoga is not only a physical activity, but a mental one as well. I try to do it at least once a week, ideally 2-3 times a week. It keeps me focused.

4. Weight training. Now, I will be honest here. I still detest it – however, it is extremely good for me. My muscles are finally more defined, and I am stronger. Much stronger. So I do weight training twice a week. I do it religiously.

I do like working out a lot, mostly because I get to switch off my brain. Especially when I am in a class, I just follow an instructor; the only thing I have to think about – where I turn or step. After a class I feel refreshed.

This is how my typical week looks:

Monday – off day

Tuesday – cardio or aqua aerobics class

Wednesday – weight training

Thursday – cardio (almost always zumba)

Friday – either an off day or yoga

Saturday – yoga and cardio (zumba)

Sunday – weight training

As you can see, I aim for about 7-8 hours a week. If I have to miss a day, I just try to compensate by walking home or to work.

Now, 25 lbs lighter and much stronger, I am a firm believer that only by changing your lifestyle in general, you can achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle.



  1. I really love your attitude toward yourself and your body. Thank you for spreading the goodness!

    • thank you so much, Linda.

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