Many resolutions have been made for the year 2016 and featuring top of most lists is leading a healthier lifestyle. Apart from changes to your diet to get your dream body some people recommend working out as another avenue to shape your body. If you want to go the extra mile here are a few inspirational stories of people who took a proactive approach to transforming their lives.

In the year 2015 getting abs and a toned bum was all the rage.There were various routines that were circulated mostly among women and I was among the number that joined the 30 day abs challenge.  I was surprised to find out that it actually worked except that I quit at day 27. The squat challenge was not my favourite and I was glad when it was done. Perhaps if I had incorporated diet changes to my routine I would have had better results.

Everyone has a story to tell, here are stories of people who are on their own journeys to not only looking but feeling good.

Watch what you eat

Shiro Kiambo a media professional and student finds diets work better for her as opposed to working out. She does two diets that help keep her weight in check. She is among the number that is doing Jane Mukami’s 10 day detox program and the other diet she does is called the 13 Day Metabolism Diet. When not on these diets she maintains a low carbohydrate diet and eats a very light supper or just a fruit before heading off to bed.

Wanjeri Wahanga Gakere, a documentary film maker has also transformed her diet and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. She says, “I reduced my portions and also eliminated processed foods. I reduced carbohydrates and replaced them with vegetables. So instead of having oats for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and mashed potatoes and mushroom for dinner, I would have oats for breakfast,beans and lettuce and red cabbage for lunch and mushrooms and zucchini for dinner. I also increased my water intake(sometimes you may think you are hungry but you are actually thirsty). Since she began the diet about six months ago she has moved from being 81.8 kgs to 69.8 kgs. She still has 9 kgs to lose to get to her ideal weight saying that ‘I want to be at a healthy weight more than I want to have curves and look ‘good’.

A little bit of everything

Another young lady Mary Nkatha who happens to be my neighbour does aerobics and jogs at least four times a week. She has extended the invite to me to workout with her on multiple occasions but laziness has done me in more than once. She takes at least 2 litres of water daily and watches her diet taking more proteins and vegetables than starch. She has lost 10 kgs since last year and is toned and happy to be at an ideal and healthy weight.

Esther Mumo, a communication specialist, started with a detox to clear her system, then did Zumba, after which she started walking for longer distances. “My first detox was a two week protein diet, then I went back to normal eating for two weeks. I did another diet with fruits and vegetables for a week. I also do not eat carbohydrates after 6:00pm and occassionally have breakfast at 10:00am. I drink a lot of yogurt. I started in August 2015 last year and have shed more than 10 kg”.

Karura  Forest is the perfect place to get your muscles moving and blood pumping. It is a popular site for runners, joggers and everyone who started their fitness regime a week ago. There are enough walking trails to satisfy all kinds of fitness needs. The trails available are 15 kilometers, ten kilometers and five kilometers. The Forest also has a biking trail that is 12 kilometers long,and  an outdoor work out space that is fit for yoga, pilates and personal training in the wild. There is even an obstacle course for the little kid inside you so really if none of these methods work for you, nature should be motivation enough to get moving.

E.A. Onyango, a digital marketer by profession likes to run  though very inconsistently.’I only run to train for marathons. The last marathon I did, I only did 8 kilometres the day before the marathon, so I am a horrible kind of fit person.  However when I do run in the morning I feel really good after. I find that i am able to concentrate more and my psyche is consistent throughout the day.’

Gym Fanatics

For those who want to go the extra mile Yung Nnoiz a hip hop artist and celebrated beat boxer (24th Slam Africa Poetry Champion) has this to say, “I started out at 61kg. I was playing basketball back then but i got busy and couldn’t play anymore. I still wanted to keep fit so I decided to try weight training plus I always wanted to be stronger,faster and bigger.I usually switch my training routines after every six to eight weeks depending on the results I get. Generally I create my own programs, mixing strength and conditioning workouts and bodybuilding as well as throw in some cardio sessions so as to be an all round athlete not just some puffed guy that pants like a dog after running a mile. I train for two hours maximum per session, five to six days a week. I eat ‘clean’, having four to six meals (high on protein) a day and sleep enough to sustain consistent muscle growth. I have now gained 25 kgs of lean mass and 8.3 % body fat. At the moment I am in the process of starting a gym and currently I am doing meal plans for people who also want to start working out.’

Dieudonné Masiga, who heads the football  department at a sports organisation , has always been active in sports and at first went to the gym for strength training as a football player. This enabled him to be strong enough to play against more physically imposing players. He stopped playing competitive sports but went on with the gym for body building purposes, saying that he found it fun. He has done extensive research on what would work for him. ” The amount of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fats I consume coupled with the timing of their consumption is based on my training and my goals as a whole. I not only eat a lot but I eat smart too. When you train hard or participate in activities that are physically demanding, you obviously use up lots of calories which calls for carb loading to fuel the body before action. When the activity is completed, your body needs to return to the state it was in before hence the need for more “refuelling” albeit in a different way. In such a situation I would typically eat more protein and vegetables than carbs to repair the “used up” muscle tissue/fibers.

Peter Njoroge, an entrepreneur, started working out in campus to impress the ladies and since then he has never stopped. Each day of the week he focuses on a particular part of his body. ‘Monday is usually chest and arms, Tuesday is cardio, Wednesday is shoulder and back, Thursday is either cardio or low intensity body work out and Friday is leg day.Saturday is the option of a full body high intensity work out.’ What keeps him motivated to work out? ‘The sense of achievement after a good work out and surpassing your personal best. Plus it clears my head and I always get a rush of endorphins afterwards.’

As you can see these are all ordinary people who have decided to take charge of their health and fitness and still obtain results at a much cheaper price.If you can’t afford a gym membership don’t sweat it, just sit down and create a regimen which works for you and embark on a journey of healthy living.