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Wellness Walk Wonder!

One of our participants of the Brightstar Wellness Walk, Lize van Zyl, joined me in writing this Wellness blog. Her story is an inspiration for everyone. She is honest, true to herself and experienced a wonderful change in her wellness.

[1] Give us a little background about your exercise routine before joining the Wellness Walk.

As little as two months ago I proudly described myself as inactive with a sedentary lifestyle. I had no exercise routine at all with no interest in changing that any time soon.

[2]Why and when did you join the walk?

In March 2023 I joined the wellness walk, simply because one of my best friends is the organiser and asked me to send my monthly  steps to her. Easy enough.  I then started doing it. My daily step target was set to 3 000 steps and very often I didn’t even reach that – not that it bothered me at all!

At first I did not even notice the totals, but simply sent the required stats. I decided from September 2023, I will seriously try to lose  weight.

Something I have done on numerous occasions, but never with any form of exercise.

There is something you need to know about me. If I set my mind to something and really make the mind switch, nothing is going to move me not to keep to it. I can be determined (and I guess hardheaded!). At the end of August 2023, I noticed my step total for the first time and decided to challenge myself to reach 10 000  steps each day during September. I called it “September Steps”.

[3] What is the reality of your circumstances?

I live on a farm and work in the Eastern Cape as well as KZN South. In other words, my job requires a lot of travelling, staying in guest houses in different towns, irregular hours, eating take out – I think you get the picture. All of these can be used as really good excuses to gain weight and be inactive.

[4] How did you overcome these challenges?

Well, that “determined me” kicked in and there was no way I would let myself not reach that steps every day…. To reach my 10 000 steps target a day, I needed to improvise.  Sometimes it required walking up and down in a guesthouse room, round and round in a parking lot, early morning or late afternoon walks. That was done in various towns and facing unpleasant weather conditions. Nothing stopped me, no excuses, simply creating a way. I achieved my goal and felt super accomplished!

Now I am on a roll and focused on my step goal. I started adding walking as a workout to help me reach my goal. To my surprise, I really started enjoying it. If anybody told me two months ago that I would be the one saying this, I would’ve laughed the loudest.  I guess the impossible is possible.

To make this whole experience even more fun, I combined it with things that make my heart smile. I do it mindfully. I take photos of the beautiful things I see when I walk. I put shiny laces on my walking shoes and since I love pink, I also have a pair of pink walking shoes. Life is way too short to be boring, so I believe in bling and beauty.

[5] What are the benefits of this walking adventure? 

*I feel great.

*I am losing weight.

*I sleep much better.

*My hot flushes are nearly gone.

*I am motivated.

*I am healthy.

*I support cancer awareness and entered the “Move 4 change” challenge. My goal is to walk 42,2 km in October 2023.

*Best of all, my journey inspired my colleagues and friends to either join me or set a goal of their own.

[6] What message would you like to share?

The message I would like to share is:

  • Nothing is impossible.
  • Set your own goals at your own pace – do it for yourself.
  • Share your successes with a friend.
  • Keep in mind that your journey inspires others.

As a Wellness facilitator, Lize’s story about her health, excites me, and re-inforces that more people can enjoy exercising. She combined her personality, passion and circumstances to develop a unique routine to improve her fitness. The benefits of a Wellness commitment gave her energy to live a purposeful life with fun!

If this story moves your heart and mind, contact me at sarleneh@gmail.com and let us get your body moving as well!

Your Wellness buddy

Sarlene Horn

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