The CrossFit Girls
#PimpMyHealth challenge creator Annemarie Cronje and the winner and model Caitlyn Kelton talk to MYHRU about their journey, the lessons, and their wellness secrets!
Interview by Elaine Fouche.
Q: Annemarie, what inspired you to facilitate a 6-week lifestyle challenge? And how did you come up with the #PimpMyHealth slogan?
I LOVE to feel fit, healthy and happy. I have been brought up in a house where we mostly ate healthy. My mom taught us to never eat anything without reading the label first. She had to protect me because I was diagnosed with Allergy-Induced Asthma at the very young age of 3. My mom had no other choice than to nourish my body with foods as close to its natural state as possible. So, eating healthy and exercising daily has been part of me since a very young age. I never knew any other way.
Everybody wants to have a strong healthy body well into their old age. The best time to start looking after your body, mind and soul is NOW. I started the 6-week challenge, because I want everybody to feel confident and happy in their body. Your body is your best friend forever – you just need to learn how to treat it well.
The #PimpMyHealth slogan comes from that American TV-show Pimp-my-ride I used to watch all the time. The cars were totally transformed!
Q: Annemarie, what did you learn about yourself and the participants during the #PimpMyHealth challenge?
A: I learned so much! You get to know each and every person on a different level. I mean I even knew what everyone’s blood pressure and sugar was, how much they weighed, what they ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I can go on and on. Taking measurements and photos while they were in their most vulnerable state was difficult for me. I needed to make them feel comfortable and positive. I made dear friends through this challenge. I learned how to see beyond the body, into the soul of each person.
Q: That’s really amazing! Caitlyn, you lost 88 cm on this journey – well done, girl!! What did the 6-week lifestyle challenge entail and what kept you going?
Thank you so much! I could not have done it without Annemarie’s support and inspiration. The 6-week challenge consisted of the two basics when it comes to seeing results: healthy calorie conscious meals and exercise. I found that the aim of the meal plan was to boost the metabolism by eating regularly during the day and to feed the body with the much-needed nutrients it thrives on. Annemarie was so great with providing regular recipes and a top-notch fat-burning exercise program. Moreover, the one thing that kept me going was my initial goal. I wanted to prove to myself that if I continued striving, I would see results.
Q: And you did it! So what aspects of #PimpMyHealth did you find the most manageable and the most challenging?
I enjoyed the entire experience. However, there were some challenges when it came to temptation on weekends. I’d normally enjoy a few sweet treats on a Sunday evening, but I had to keep strong and remember my initial goal. The most manageable part of the challenge was how Annemarie supplied us with shopping lists and we could order some items directly from her.
Q: Annemarie, you look so fit and healthy! What’s your secret ?
Ooooh, I don’t really have a secret. I am totally in love with life, eating healthy and staying fit and strong. I don’t exercise because I have to… I exercise to be the best me I can be. I love a challenge, and I work at it until I reach my goal. Then I set a new one. And I do it because I need it, I love it, and I crave it. It makes me feel alive.
When it comes to eating, I only eat when I am hungry and I stop as soon as I’m full. Food is there to nourish your body, NOT for pleasure. I don’t think about food all the time. And when I do feel hungry I first think what my body needs right now. And then I eat that. I drink lots of water and green tea. And I make sure I get a good nights sleep every night.
Q: S0 what advice can you offer to someone who would like to make a lifestyle change in terms of healthy eating and exercise? Where do they start?
The first step is to actually decide you want to start with transforming your life and body. Then you need to get rid of everything in your house that could be a temptation. Clear you cupboards from chips, chocolates, cookies etc. Find an eating program that can be a new lifestyle. Don’t go on a starvation diet or a very restricting eating plan. It won’t last and you will end up picking up all the weight again. You want to be as healthy as possible, and if you don’t get all the nutrients you need, you will do more harm than good. The bonus will be weight loss.
Then you need to start with an exercise program slowly. You don’t want to burn yourself out in the first week. Be gentle with your body and listen to it. As you get fitter and stronger, work harder. Try to excel all the time. Set yourself small reachable goals and reward yourself when you reach them – not with food, but with something you love. Decide you want to do it, and stick to it. As Carl Gustav Jung once said: “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
Q : That is so true! Caitlyn, How do you feel after completing the #PimpMyHealth challenge? Will you continue with your new healthy habits?
Words can’t explain just how good I feel, mentally and physically. I feel lighter and with that more confident! Healthy eating will forever be a way of life for me. It’s amazing to live a life filled with all the good stuff!
Q: At MYHRU, we believe that our skin is a reflection of our health, which is why we’ve created the multi-tasking HIGH! Serum. Caitlyn, being a model, what is your skincare routine like?
My skin care routine consists of an all-natural skin care range. A facewash, cleanser and a repair oil as moisturiser. I am a firm believer in making use of nature to aid the skin. So MYHRU is brilliant!
In addition, I’ve found that good skin starts from within, so if you’re not eating healthy it will show in your skin. Previously, I was prone to breakouts, but after just a few days on the challenge my skin started to clear up.
Q: We couldn’t agree more! Annemarie, with the upcoming holiday season and plenty of indulgence lying ahead, how can we balance enjoyment and health?
There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then. The most important thing is to get back on the wagon right away. Indulge and enjoy it, don’t feel guilty, get back to healthy living.
I love summertime because the days are longer and everybody seems happier. I love getting up bright and early and smelling the clean fresh air. Start your day with some cardio training. Work up a good sweat. Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps you to burn fat all day. In the beginning it might be hard, but afterwards you will feel energized and ready for the day. And for the rest of the day you don’t need to worry about exercise, unless you want to train again…
Q: Is it good to set New Year resolutions? If so, what are yours Caitlyn?
New year resolutions are a must! The new year is a fresh start and a great opportunity to work towards new endeavors. One should always try to improve themselves; be it physically or intellectually.
My new year resolutions are, most importantly, to reach my fitness goals. I want to continue eating healthily and exercise on a daily basis. Moreover, my second goal is to find a permanent job as I will be graduating in April 2018.
Q: You’re going to do great Caitlyn! Annemarie, can you share one of your famous #PimpMyHealth recipes?
Sure… I will share my favourite one: Medium-baked Stuffed Sweet Potato (with spinach, chicken and dates.)
YUM! Thank you so much Girls for talking to MYHRU and may all your goals and dreams come true in the New year 2018!which will have a Garden Route portal.