Sameshni is a young inspirational, energetic professional currently in the Corporate Insurance Industry. Diagnosed with HIV she resorted to substance abuse and binge eating. Sam thought life as she knew it was over. Yet her positive attitude and healthy lifestyle turned things around.
What does fitness mean to you?
Fitness makes me feel happier and has changed my health around. It has made a huge impact on my life both physically and emotionally. Fitness for me, is eating right and being active too. Fitness is about 'wanting it' and not doing it like a chore. Some people hate the gym, some love it, some enjoy jogging and some people cringe at the thought, it's about finding a 'fit' in fitness that makes you feel good and it will truly have an amazing impact on your life. My overall fitness means not only physically but emotional and mental health too.
Why should someone attend FIBO Africa in October?
At FIBO Africa, you will meet people who share your interest in fitness. The fitness community is always growing and changing, and fitness festivals are a fantastic way to meet new people. You may even learn about new avenues out there that you have never heard about before, and get a first-hand opportunity to try things out. More and more adults and the youth do not meet the basic guidelines for fitness activities for their age groups. This may be because they feel bored and uninspired, but lucky for you FIBO Africa will provide multiple ways to exercise including all types of yoga, different fit studios, and even fit talks to get you inspired. There are plenty of different gadgets floating around in the fitness world. It can be hard to keep track of what is new and what ones actually work, so attend FIBO Africa to experiment a little. You can have fun, work out, and buy product all in one place.
What are your top two fitness tips?
Find something that you enjoy. Challenge yourself and keep change a constant if you one that gets bored easily. Love yourself enough to be active.
How did you find your fit in fitness?
In my early twenties, after years of struggling with my weight and watching my parents suffer from five chronic conditions between them as I was growing up I decided to commit to change. My resolution to change came after I moved out of my parents' house in 2001, overweight, but with a desire to get more out of life. Having my first job and living on my own meant that healthy eating and exercise were not part of my life. It was a far reach from what I could afford. But, I decided that I needed to find a sustainable solution. My first step was to join the gym. This I thought was the motivation I needed to make exercising as part of my lifestyle. Even though I had joined the gym and was exercising my relationship with food remained unhealthy. Food was still my friend and I still attempted quick fix diets with little or no results. A few years later in 2008 when I was diagnosed with HIV I thought life as I knew it was over. I battled to accept what had happened to me; I didn't know how to deal with my HIV status. I started binge eating more frequently, drinking excessively and experimenting with drugs to try and cover up my feelings and to forget. I drank until I was numb and couldn't feel anymore. It was then that a voice inside me said I can't give up and this wasn't the way to live my life. I turned to fitness as my savior.
What is your advice to someone who is wanting to start their fitness journey?
Go slow, learn the basics and if you can afford one, get a personal trainer. Start with what you can maintain, for example, 30 minutes a week. Get a friend to join you or join a friend that is already training to help you stay committed. Be kind to yourself as this will increase the possibility of your long term success. Remember success is not a straight path, there will be ups and downs, and curves in the journey. It is okay to stumble as this makes you stronger to get up again.
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