by Thishiwe Ziqubu
New moon. New cycle. Another opportunity to grow.
Fierce August. My goal is to much more meaningfully and practically choose love, love of self, kindness to the self, stillness, awareness, discipline as well as movement and practices that attend to the needs of body, mind and soul. Even when it’s scary AF.
August is my birth month but for the past few years it has not profoundly been a month of celebration but pain as it is the month wherein I lost my mother. Also, as some sort of sick trend, I generally find myself suffering a similar type of work overload and burnout around this time of year. Even when I think I’m working on managing myself, my habits and my time better, I still find this time of year to be highly stressful. I tend to deplete my energy resources to an unhealthy point.
Not this Fierce August.
In the words of a popular musician, not sure who, ‘let’s just be real, let’s just be honest’ … It’s been a rough time due to health issues and career burnout. It has been a dark week where I also found myself losing out on a much-desired career opportunity that I was heavily invested in because I was physically and emotionally not well enough. Henceforth, I have not been able to move through life as fluidly as I would like to while dealing with these untimely demons. (more…)
The goal is permanent, positive and sustainable lifestyle changes that improve the quality of your life. Use this month of August to launch, revive or continue your endeavors in this regard by committing to a period of discipline. If you can do it for 31 days, you can do it for life!
There is no better time than now to be and build the ‘you’ you essentially are and want to be!
Sign up here:
Warriors and sages of all cultures take a period of fasting and reflection. These usually entail less indulgent eating and drinking, and more physical training. These habits then serve the warrior mentally and spiritually for her or his ‘slayage’.
So let’s take a month, warrior-style, to prep ourselves to: DO BEST! If not, why not?
YOUR BEST BODY
You have to be consistent in your efforts at wellness, all year around. Waiting until spring to try and – as Bob Marley put it – ‘wake up and live’ is too little too late. You have to do it now. For your entire living experience. And so that yes, on Spring Day, you’re that confident motherwhat who just shed off the unwanted weight and the unwanted emotional baggage while nobody was looking. Eat that!
Here is a very basic programme that can help us towards these aspirations. But this is adjustable according to where you are, to your goals and of course nutritional needs and fitness levels. Do consult a professional health practitioner!
If your goal is fat loss, measure yourself on Day 1. Then again on Day 31. Tell me nothing happened. But fat loss will be the least of the benefits! Improved energy, health, mood, esteem, productivity – we’re after all of that!
THE FIERCE AUGUST CHALLENGE
The blueprint is simple. Three basic principles:
Eat Clean. Train Mean. Self-Reflect.
- Eat whole foods
- No sugar ie. don’t add sugar to anything and don’t consume products with sugar like tomato sauce, most dressings and spreads, desserts, juices etc.
- No/very little intake of alcohol, if you must, max 1 glass of red wine a week. No bingeing! (ie. more than 3 drinks)
- Lean meats, mainly fish, chicken and ostrich
- No refined carbs eg. no pap, white pasta, white bread, white rice etc. Enjoy oats, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, sweet potato, rye bread etc.
- Eat mostly vegetables, fish and chicken
- No fizzy drinks or fruit juices, just water. Infuse with cucumber slices, lemon, ginger and/or mint leaves for taste
- Don’t overdo the dairy
- No junk food, pastries or sweets but if you must, allow yourself max one treat food a week within your daily calorie goal, whether your goals are gaining, maintaining or fat loss.
Calculate your daily calories requirement here: www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator
Exceptions to every rule. If you can make your own rye protein muffins, go right in. But we’re more likely to go for store-bought cakes made of mostly sugar and white flour. I prefer to stay away from the stuff altogether. If you can have the discipline to have two squares of 70% dark chocolate, indulge, but, again, what are chances?
Tap into your immense storehouses of self-control to stay away from things that are not good for you. Proving to yourself that you can honor your nutritional decisions does immense things for your powers of self-assertion in every aspect of your life.
- TRAIN MEAN:
- Push yourself, depending on your fitness level and health. Some it’s 5-6 training sessions a week, some, 3-4. For some walking or a light jog is already a step up, some require a much greater challenge.
- Alternate cardio and weight training days eg. Run today, lift weights on your next session – WOMEN MUST LIFT! Start light and increase the challenge week by week.
- Journal every day. It’s not ‘Dear Diary’. Once a day, give a moment to reflect on where you are with respect to where you want to be. Write a thought, an idea, a goal and how you plan to achieve it. Or write a feeling, or an observation on the world around you.
- Keep a fitness diary with all your fitness goals and timelines for achieving them. Plan meals ahead and record everything you eat and drink. Plan your workouts ahead. Count calories and stick to it, whatever your goal may be, for some it’s eating less, some more.
- Do yoga. It’s good for the body, mind and soul.
- Be still for one moment every day. Even if it’s one minute. If it’s meditation or breathing with awareness or nothing, just be still. There’s enough chaos in our days.
- Eat clean
- Train mean
Don’t push yourself to do something you know you won’t stick to, but do challenge yourself. Make small, significant changes.
Use this timeline and outline or create your own. Make it yours. You know what you need.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…
If you overindulge in cake or have a few cocktails too many, move on. Make your next resolve. Life is too short to beat ourselves up. Just keep moving.
WHY FIERCE AUGUST?
Fierce August is not a diet. It’s about taking a moment to pay attention to ourselves intimately. The idea is to live a life always that’s full and satisfying and healthy and complete, all day every day.
Set this one goal for yourself and you will feel lighter, more awesome and slaying harder than you were before.
By thishiwe ziqubu
• how we spend our time
• how we relate with family, friends, lovers and others
• how we see ourselves
• how we treat our minds, bodies and souls
• how or where we work
• how much money we make
• how we spend
• how we eat and drink
Be it as ‘big’ as getting off drugs or as ‘small’ as spending less time vegetating on the couch, all efforts at change are necessary, laudable and challenging. (more…)