When fitness loving, Caroline Pule committed to changing up her fitness routine, lockdown threw a spanner in her plans. But not one to be easily deterred, she went back to the drawing board and readjusted her weight loss plan to suit the current situation. Here’s how she smashed her PB and lost 8 kilos during lockdown…
City: Cape Town
Occupation: Medical Scientist and Founder/CEO of Caroline Pule Science and Literacy Foundation
Weight before: 57.7kg
Weight after: 50.9kg
The time required to reach her goal: 4 months
The secret weapon to her fitness journey: Running, skipping rope and eating healthy
A sporty and adventurous person at heart, Caroline is a self-confessed gym fanatic, passionate runner and all-round outdoor lover, thus fitness has always been an important factor in her life. Given that she loved staying fit, Caroline says that she could easily tell when she was “getting off track”. “In mid-February, I realized that I was be gaining weight, I was running races a bit slower and some of my clothes being a bit tight,” she says.
This left Caroline worried as she was prepping for an ultra-marathon race and wanted to be racing fit. “I was sitting at 57.7kg even though other measurements confirmed that I’m still healthy. However, I just knew if I wanted to run faster and do well at my next important race, I had to lose weight,” explains Caroline. Upon doing some research, she found out how much weight she would need to lose to improve her race time, how long it would take her, and how many calories she would need to consume and burn in order to meet her goals.
While Caroline always ate healthy foods, she says that she was not consistent with it. So to help keep herself on track, she designed herself a fat loss programme that would not only get her to her goal but also be sustainable beyond weight loss. She began planning her meals as a way of avoiding the temptation of high sugar foods. “I consume all the necessary nutrients, protein, low carbs, good fats and drink more than 2L of water a day,” she says.
In addition to her 2 litres of water, she drank freshly pressed juices, green tea, and black coffee. Caroline allowed herself one cheat day, as she wanted to make sure that she enjoyed the process of healthy eating. “One thing I appreciate more about my eating habits is reaching a point of no return after weeks of being consistent, that is enjoying healthy food to an extent that I rarely crave for unhealthy food,” she explains.
As for exercise, Caroline kept up with her running (as much as lockdown restrictions would allow her) incorporated with indoor workouts and jumping rope for 1-2 times a week and 1-2 days of rest. To help keep herself motivated, she watched inspirational videos and had a good music playlist to push her while she ran and exercised. Caroline also sites her faith as one of her main sources of inspiration and motivation.
Given that Caroline set to improve her fitness levels during the lockdown, she was restricted in some area, like during level 5, but she adjusted. She says that this allowed her to learn a new way of exercising and prioritising her overall health and fitness. “The fact that I started this journey during COVID-19 pandemic, exercising has really been helpful mentally on another level. Its’ been helping me with reducing the stress of panic and worry living through the pandemic”.
Caroline also adds that she has physically improved her physique is in better shape, “I’m well-toned and in good shape, abs starting to show up, this is a work in progress. I’m lean and strong. Both my upper body and lower body are getting stronger.” As for the running time she was hoping to improve, Caroline has beaten her personal best for short and long-distance runs — smashing the goals she set out for herself at the beginning of lockdown.
“Goals are meant to be achieved. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. Every achievement counts and sets you for another one. A mind of a visionary and enthusiast is always up for a victorious challenge!”