I’m Terrified Of Joining The Gym

I used to go to the gym a very long time ago before I was overweight. I looked forward to the dance classes. I’d dash from work straight home because I couldn’t afford to miss a class. I loved the music options they used to play, it was called Rave back then. If you don’t know it then I’m too old. After I had my daughter, money was tight and the gym was a luxury I couldn’t afford.  

Now I’m in a better space in most aspects of my life and the idea of joining the gym is starting to sound like a not so bad idea. The main reason I want to start is to tone my body and work on my upper body. It’s the weakest link on my entire body. You should see me trying to do push-ups or pull-ups, what a hilarious sight!

Yes, I can work out from home, I’ve been doing so for the past 5 years but why not try something different. Also, the chances of seeing a lot of eye candy to keep me highly motivated are right up there at very likely. 

So what’s your problem then Fitness Bae?


1. Intimidation 

Have you been to any of the top gyms in your area? If yes, you know how most of them are well equipped with different machines you can’t even name. I don’t know what almost all of them do except the treadmill which I don’t enjoy because I prefer running outdoors while taking in all the beautiful scenarios. I can’t for the life of me picture myself trying to figure out my way around them. I can already imagine the stares I’ll get from the regulars, I bet they’ll be able to see through the newbie in me.

2. I Can’t Afford A Personal Trainer

I have a lot of friends in the fitness field. I messaged a couple of them the other day in an attempt to get quotations for their services. It was then that I realised that I’m going to have to embark on this gym journey on my own and that got me double terrified. How am I going to manage this on my own? Yes, I’m a self-motivator but this is a completely different ball game. I’m such a chicken I know. However, if you’re in Harare and you need a personal trainer who will transform your body from average to absolutely amazing then @fitnessandie is your man.

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3. I’ll  Feel Like I Don’t Belong

The few times I’ve gone to the gym on a day pass I always left feeling inadequate.  Almost everyone came through driving their car, was on the treadmill wearing the latest Apple sports watch and had fancy sports shoes that looked like they cost my entire salary. I question if I’ll be able to go and immerse myself in an environment like that one day after another and still look forward to exercising and smashing my body goals.  I guess this fitness journey truly is a mental thing.  What link all those material things have to do with trying to get fit leaves me wondering…

I’ve resorted to trying to comfort myself with positive self-talk. I’ve also concluded that not everyone started off a gym freak. The same way I didn’t wake up running more than 10km every day. I had to start small right? So why am I being so hard on myself?

Are you a gym freak? How did your gym journey start? Did you also face this madness I’m currently going through?

Fitness Bae®




This Is Why You’re Not Getting Your Dream Body

If you asked me what my dream body is I’ll let you know all about it in a heartbeat. A tiny waist, super-strong abs, ass so big I can balance a glass of wine on it and normal-sized cheeks. I don’t know why the universe plays this big joke on me. I’ve been running for over 5 years now and my cheeks still remain big. If you know any workouts that reduce the size of your cheeks please give me a shout.

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Fitness Bae – these cheeks aren’t  going away 😦

“Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.”

You want to be successful but do want to do the work? My guess is no; you just want to enjoy the part where you’re rich and famous and everyone knows your name when you walk into a room. You’re going to have to switch things up in your life and stop whining asking yourself “Why me” and change your language to “Try me”. This is what’s holding you back from your dream body and you can drop it today and start working towards your greatness.

1. You’re Doing Things You Don’t Enjoy

When your friend tells you about the latest diet or workout program they’re on you join them immediately. You suddenly forget how different our bodies are and how this fitness lifestyle isn’t a one size fits all approach. In case you’ve forgotten, you can read about body types here. I’ve noticed that a lot of people easily give up on their fitness journey because they’re doing things they don’t enjoy and have no business doing. Don’t do this to yourself, your motivation will soon wear off.

2. You Thought It Was Going To Be Easy

I had to pick my jaw from the floor after reading the time slots for Eliud Kipchoge. He completed a full marathon in I hour, 59 minutes and 40seconds on the 12th of October 2019. That’s round about the time it takes me to complete 18 km on a very good day. How amazing is he! Congratulations to him.

Don’t think for a second it was easy for him to smash this goal? I can only imagine the time, blood, sweat, and tears he put in to make sure this great achievement will be recorded in world history. This fitness life is not for the weak. I’ve had days I didn’t feel like running but I still had to wake up and show up, heck, I don’t even get paid to do it now just imagine the motivation you’ll have when there’s money involved…That’s beside the point tho, just remember that it’s not meant to be easy.

3. You Listen To What People Say

Stop listening to what negative people have to say. Flush out the naysayers and focus on building a positive mindset. People will ALWAYS have an opinion and if you make it your job to take in every single thing they have to say then you’ll never move forward.

My colleague once told me that I had a great body but it was unfortunate that I wasn’t blessed with good looks. Imagine how that stung! I could have drowned in his negative energy and stopped believing in myself or stopped feeling confident but I didn’t let that get to me. I reminded myself that hurt people hurt people. There was and is nothing wrong with me and I love my body just the way it is. If you listen to what people say, you’ll never move forward.

4. You’re Plugged Onto Your Mobile Phone

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You can’t take your phone off your screen for just a few minutes each day to take in the beautiful things happening around you. I had to deactivate my Twitter account for this month. I figured out that it was consuming my time for all the wrong reasons and running up my phone bill. You don’t want to know how much money I was spending on data alone. Now that I’m not on Twitter I have more time to focus on my fitness journey. Less time to see what the next person is doing with their life and not playing the victim when I see other people making power moves.

I’m tasking you to check the last 3 messages on your phone. Are the people who contacted you feeding your flame or dousing your fire? When you find out the answer to that start making small deliberate steps into letting go or growing your relationships. You can also read 5 Things Successful People Do to help you make the most of your time online.

If you’re trying to achieve a dream body of any sort then this post will help you get there. You don’t have to do everything I listed at once. Just make one change each day and before you know it you’ll define who you want to be. I know for a fact that you are strong and can do anything that your mind conceives.

Let knowing that we only get to do life once be your motivation to be the best version of yourself starting today.

Fitness Bae®





Experiencing Emotional Eating, One Bite At A Time

My name is Fitness Bae and I’m an emotional eater. I discovered this a few weeks ago. I’ve never been a huge fan of eating take out but it’s all I want to do with my free time. There’s a promotion that runs every Tuesday at a local pizza place. If you buy one medium pizza you get one free. Last week I got my pizza and ate the entire medium pizza in one sitting, the horror after finishing it can not be put into words.

It’s not just the pizza I’m eating a lot of. I now take a walk to the supermarket to specifically buy a slab of chocolate. Mind you, I don’t like walking. Lately, I don’t even notice the distance to the supermarket as long as I get my chocolate fix.

Fitness Bae Food

I had to take time to take time out for introspection and try and figure out why I was reaching out for food and stuffing my face so easily.

I realise that:

  1. I am and have been feeling lonely for a very long time
  2. I am depressed
  3. I have a void inside me that I’m trying to fill up with food
  4. I am stressed out
  5. I am emotionally bruised
  6. I am bored, I’m tired of my daily routines

Last time I checked food is eaten when you need to refuel. I know better but do I do better?

My biggest challenge at the moment is the thoughts I’m feeding my mind daily. I used to be such a positive ray of sunshine but this year has triggered me emotionally. When I look in the mirror I tell myself I’m fat, my tummy is growing bigger, my thighs are getting more dimples, my cheeks are getting rounder, maybe I’m not worthy of love after all, the girl I saw on Instagram has her life put together compared to mine, should I end my life and just be at peace, maybe I deserve to be unhappy because I’m not special to anyone. Writing this hurts even more and yet these are things I tell myself. How will I continue on my journey when I’ve stopped believing in myself?


I’ve decided to start to work my way to healing. The great part is that I know what the major issues are in my life and it’s up to me to make the changes.  I’ll have to address the things that are making me unhappy one way or the other.

I host fitness challenges each month to help those around me look good and feel good but I can’t do so in October. October has to be my self-care month. If I don’t do so I might never find myself again and sink into a deep dark hole and never resurface.

Have you experienced emotional eating? How did you overcome it?

Fitness Bae®

Secrets To Body Weight Training

Calisthenics as a word originated from two Greek words which in English are ‘Beautiful Strength’. I have always been into fitness but once I saw the ability, agility, strength, flexibility, coordination and graceful manner of moving calisthenics would grant me I was sold. I chose calisthenics because it resonated with my nature. I’m free spirited, creative and progressive. Calisthenics is the same and way more.

What are your thoughts on Rest Day?

Rest Days are just as important as workout days. Working out and resting are two sides of an amazing coin. There must always be balance. If you work out a lot, rest a lot. Muscle grows and conditions when at rest. To work out more than you rest leads to burning out due to the body producing cortisol which is a stress hormone but no need to get too technical. Just rest!


What’s your favourite meal of the day and why?

I LOVE BREAKFAST!! Breakfast sets the tone for the whole day so it is my favourite. I also have time to cook in the morning so that gets me excited.

Do you eat carbs?

I eat carbs quite a bit. I prefer clean carbs like oats and vegetables. Oh yes, vegetables have carbs too. Occasionally I indulge my sweet tooth with a bran muffin or a chocolate croissant. I just stay away from heavy starch food like sadza.


How do you grow muscle using body weight?

That takes a bit of time to answer but in a nutshell: few sets with lots of repetitions using compound exercises that engage a number of muscle groups at once. Eating carb based food then resting comes after. Increasing intensity of exercise as you grow bigger and finally, believing in yourself. Your mind is the real key to your fitness.

What do you love about Calisthenics?

I love how easy it is to keep your workouts interesting. You can regulate how hard or easy an exercise gets with ease. I also love how easy it is to see that you are getting stronger and progressing, not to mention the fact that calisthenics chisels the body to the point of making regular men Spartans.

How often do you work out?

I work out 3 times a week for a maximum of 45 minutes. However, I stretch every other day. Real stretching is its own workout as I have come to realize but I do it for about 15 minutes so it doesn’t exhaust me.

Say I wanted to start calisthenics today how long would I have to wait to start seeing results?

If you are really focused and paying attention to your form then 21 days is all it takes to start enjoying the perks of Calisthenics.



Any life nuggets to share with those on their fitness journey?

I have a lot of those but the most important ones would be:

  • Remember the result you want but focus on the process. If you focus on the result it will seem unattainable.
  • Approach everything you do with positivity. If you make a mistake learn from it. If you are drained rest and pick it up tomorrow. Don’t think in terms of difficulty. See everything as a challenge you surmount because you can.
  • I’ll take it right out of Kendrick’s mouth and say ‘Be Humble.’ Pride limits growth and success. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t spend time in front of a mirror searching for definition. Work out till everyone around you becomes a mirror that tells you how awesome you look.
  • Celebrate every little victory because life is too short to wait for the big ones.


Love what you do and your love will be returned tenfold. Even if its fitness love it all the same and it will give you more than you could ever bargain for.

Paul Bako is a vibrant young man who always had a passion for fitness. He attained a Degree in Business Management at Solusi University and worked for NSSA.  He decided to pursue his passion full time. He is a self taught Yogi who still practices Yoga regularly but he focuses on Calisthenics. Calisthenics is a discipline of body weight exercise that builds strength, increases balance, physical ability and flexibility. Paul is also an avid reader and a writer. He believes that life is meant to be experienced and not just lived so you may find him doing crazy and even risky things. 


Fitness Bae®

Anxiety and Fitness

Who would have ever thought the anxiety I’ve been feeling lately is linked to fitness? My previous routine comprised of a hot bath before bed, a cup of hot tea then 8 solid hours of sleep before starting a brand new day. I was ready to start the day with high energy levels and enough energy to run 10kms any given morning. Fast forward to the present day and all that has been turned upside down.

Life in Zimbabwe is NOT for the timid. I’ve since stopped taking a hot bath because I can’t heat my water using electricity. (Because we hardly have it)  We have “load shedding” going on for the past few months so simple luxuries like taking a hot bath are no more. Taking a cold bath is your next best option or wiping the “essentials” is an option when push comes to shove. Using very expensive gas to heat your water isn’t an option. The plan is to save as much as you can and not go around burning money. There are so many other things happening in the country that are probably adding to my anxiety but not having electricity is certainly tops for me.

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1. Losing My Mojo

It’s not easy to psyche yourself each morning when there’s no electricity. I’m used to listening to a good podcast, watching an inspirational YouTube channel, reading a good book to feed my soul, clocking in a home workout video or cleaning my room before the day starts. How the heck do you do that in the dark? It’s frustrating, to say the least. I can’t even enjoy blogging because my laptop won’t have power and I don’t have access to WiFi when there’s no electricity. Also, have you seen the data prices in Zimbabwe? It’s now become a luxury to be online.  Getting out of bed in the morning has become a task because you aren’t even mentally prepared for the fresh horrors a new day will bring.  With every turn I find myself defeated and couldn’t even take part in the fitness challenge I set up for September.

2. Screw The Challenge

Two weekends I took part in an event which left me pretty upset. You can read all about it here.  I host fitness challenges every month and this month the challenge was to run 4 X 21km within the month at your own pace. Guess who only managed to complete 1? I’m completely ashamed of myself because this is the first time I’ve done this. I’m always such a cheerleader but this month I simply couldn’t do it. My mind was in a very dark space.

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3. Officially An Alcoholic

While in the pursuit of fitness I’ve turned into an alcoholic.  I think I’ve been drinking almost everyday for the past two months. I can explain myself. I get home to no electricity and no one to talk to. What else am I supposed to do with myself? I think keeping alcohol in the house isn’t such a grand idea as well. So you want to know what I did last weekend? I drank all of it and now the house is alcohol free. Will I restock anytime soon? I doubt it very much. I intend to use my money for other useful things.

Last Friday I remember tweeting that I had pains in the chest and I was having difficulty breathing. I explained this to my friend who helped me realise that I was actually having an anxiety attack. What the heck?  I really need to leave Zimbabwe already!  Anyone willing to adopt me?

What else has been killing my motivation?

  • lack of concentration
  • excessive worry
  • negative self talk
  • routine

Tell you what, I just need to get back to my fit self. My last run was on the 14th of September and I’ve done nothing exercise related.   Please send HELP to reassure me I’m not alone.

Fitness Bae®

Sweet Chilli Chicken Kebabs with Avocado & Mango Salad

Fancy some delicious chicken kebabs?  Tanyaradzwa will have you bringing out the Chef in you in no time!  She makes mouth watering meals and she was kind enough to share a recipe for a delicious and healthy meal that won’t take forever and a day to prepare.

All the ingredients:

3 chicken breasts

3 peppers, different colours (red, yellow and green)

Fresh tomato



Red onion



Dice the chicken and season spices of choice. I used:

Ground black pepper

Jerk seasoning

Cajun seasoning

Extra hot chilli powder


Mild curry powder

  • Chop peppers roughly to the size of chicken pieces
  • Using large skewers, assemble chicken kebabs alternating between chicken breast piece and a chopped pepper.
  • Place chicken kebabs on oven tray and cover with foil
  • Cook in the oven. Cooking times will vary according to size of chicken chunks.
  • Remove foil for approx 10 minutes to allow kebabs to brown. Glaze with sauce of choice if you wish. I used sweet Chilli sauce.
  • While kebabs finish cooking, chop up the vegetables (and fruit if you wish) to make a side salad. I used mango to add a sweet element to the dish!

Plate and enjoy !

I am still trying to figure out why I decided to share this post at this time of day because now I feel very hungry!  I will make sure I get some of the ingredients today and try this out because it is just the switch I need in my meals and it also looks easy to prepare.

In case you did not know some of the benefits of eating chicken are:

  1. Helps build muscles
  2. Keeps your bones healthy
  3. Relieves stress
  4. Promotes heart health

A big thank you to do Tanyaradzwa for featuring on my blog.  I hope you start on a Food Blog soon because you are really great at what you do.  You can find Tanya on:

Twitter and Instagram you will be sure to follow her because she definitely has a Smile So Bright!

Fitness Bae®

Top 5 Running Tips For Beginners

Running is the best cardio vascular exercise known to man, all things considered. While swimming rowing and cycling are also great workouts costs associated with them (the equipment needed) makes them less accessible than running. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a road or trail and you’re off!  Simple as running is; it is also a major competitive sport and those who have made running part of their fitness journey can attest to the addictive nature of the pursuit. Ask any runner if they’ve ever considered running a marathon (42.2km) and if they say ‘no’ then you’re not talking to a runner.

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Image from Pinterest

I’m going to share the top 5 tips for beginners who want to start running and what you should be aware of as you embark on this journey. These are not the only tips but these are the best tips to make sure beginners start well and stay running in the long run (pun intended).

  1. Just Be Out There

Running is largely a mental exercise. When I started running my goal was to be out there for 30 minutes. This is a really good way to start. If you give yourself a goal like mine, whether you feel (emotionally) like running or not just get out there. Even going out to walk or power walk counts. The purpose is to condition your mind to the idea of being out there and getting used to being on the road at a particular time.

  1. Use Intervals To Build Up

Intervals help you to build up endurance towards long distances. With my 30 minute goal I couldn’t run a straight 30 minutes at first. I employed the intervals technique as follows:

1 minute runs alternating with 1 minute power walks

Then 2 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then 3 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then 4 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then 5 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then 7 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then 10 minute runs alternated with 1 minute power walks

Then full 30 minutes

The logic is to get your body used to being active for that long and it really works. Most beginners make the mistake of ‘power walking’ when they are tired but scheduling it according to time helps to regulate your breathing and blood flow helping the body carry through the run. I was doing 4 runs a week and because I measured the distance and pace using a phone application; I would switch up to the next level when I saw my distance increase significantly. Roughly every 2 weeks.

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  1. Measure it

In the words of Peter Drucker ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’.  Thanks to technology we have multiple options. Your very smart phone equipped with a running application is enough to let you know your distance, pace (speed), splits (time for each km/mile) and even elevation (uphill climb). These days we have smart and health watches that can give you even more stats like heart rate and other data. By measuring you will know what you’re doing and how well you’re doing it. Keeping a record helps you to analyse your progress over the long run. More information will always help you to do it better.

  1. Good running shoes.

The important thing is a good set of shoes that gives you support and cushions the impact to your soles and knees. Running shoes are not really pricey and depending on where you are they can be quite easily found. While other athletic shoes are good I really recommend a shoe designed for running.

  1. Stretch and rest

A large part of your performance is all about conditioning and these 2 simple things are the things that will best boost your condition for your runs. There will be pain as you learn to run but it can be mitigated. Rest is a part of the plan, not something you do when you can’t go on. As for stretching, in addition to those pre and post run stretches you need to employ an all day approach to stretching. I recommend 3 times a day on the worst days but twice (before sleep and after waking) should do the trick.

Finally a great bonus tip is to find a running community or family to work with. It always helps to have like minded people to work with on your goals. Making friends who do the same will boost you in the good times and the bad.  Join the fitness challenges and conversations on the Facebook Page www.facebook.com/fitnessbaeint

Give it a try, come run with us!

Article penned by Fitness Beard

Fitness Bae®