My name is Jane Mputhia Sonie – am 45 years old and I have two adult children aged 23 and 18 years.
I have been working out for the past 6 years and my preferences are running, weights (I do a bit of strength training), yoga and zumba.
Running remains my first love.
What inspired me to start working out was that I was developing some health complications especially chest congestion plus, I was no longer fitting into my favourite clothes. Looking back, I now know that getting my kids didn’t make me gain weight as I noticed I snapped back pretty fast. It is my bad eating habits that got me picking weight.
By biggest struggle with my weight used to be my lower body. It is thick! My colleagues used to refer to them as ‘kissing thighs”. When you walk, they rub against each other and give you friction. Even when you walk for a few metres. I would often get home with burns, and trust me, that’s not funny at all!
I also experienced body shaming. My students once told me that some boys had nicknamed me “YOKO” short for Yokozuna. You can imagine how that used to make me feel.
My very own daughter also told me if I continue getting fat, other kids will laugh at her in school. It may sound petty, but trust me she reminded me so many times that I actually felt I should do something about it!
And I finally did …
One day, my boss at that time told me about a group of people who hiked Ngong Hills over the weekend. I was eager to join them as my weight was now 80kgs.
The first day, I just did 2 of the 7 hills, while my boss did one. The following Saturday I did the 5 hills that the other guys were doing. They cheered me on and that’s just the motivation I needed.
My boss gave up on this hike, but I kept at it. I graduated to hiking on both Saturdays and Sundays and I also joined the ‘Friends of Ngong Hills’ group that was hiking every weekend.
Soon after, people started commenting about my weight loss and that gave me motivation to keep on. I started getting bored with the hills and stopped hiking. I gained back a bit of weight because that’s just what happens when you lack discipline and consistency.
One day, I came across a running post by a lady called Lucy Mwambia on Facebook. I approached her and asked her if she would be my accountability partner, and that’s how I was introduced to running, running groups and all. I made a family in all of them.
Eventually, I officially joined a running club called Team Jasho, where I have made friends who have held me accountable and continue to do so.
I started joining runners for organized runs and I did my first half marathon in 2016 and earned my first medal. Since then, I have completed many other runs including some in Tanzania in 2018, my first ultra-marathon in 2019 in Uganda ‘ Source of The Nile Marathon’, and my first full Standard Chartered Marathon in 2019 here in Kenya.
This year, I have done a couple of ultra-marathons and many group runs. I have become very consistent and disciplined.
My running target for this year was 2020kms, which I have so far achieved and surpassed. I am now targeting 3,000kms by end of the year.
I am now happy with my weight, I was 80kgs when I started my fitness journey, and currently I am 58kgs which is very ideal for my BMI (Body Mass Index). My eating habits have also improved tremendously!
My word of advice to other women especially mums, is that baby weight ends with the baby popping out. Do everything you can to choose a healthy lifestyle that works for you. The secret lies in your portions and choice of food. The ‘eat for two’ phrase that is passed on by our parents when we give birth is a myth! You end up picking a lot of weight when breastfeeding and you keep blaming babies for it. Look at it positively and convince yourself that you can get back your body.
There is a quote that I love which keeps me going, it says, “If it’s important to you, you will find a reason to get it done. If it isn’t, you will get an excuse”. Anytime I want to slack off and miss a workout or make bad food choices, I remember how far I have come, and why making better choices is important.
Reflecting on where I am now, I am so amazed at how becoming fit and strong has transformed my life.
Wow! I am literally ‘wilding’ in my forties and making no apologies for it. I got a new me, new self-esteem and a new body!
I hope many more women get to experience this by making it a priority to take care of themselves. Not forgetting that apart from exercising, the secret lies in what we eat. Choose wisely.