“Being Big Doesn’t Equate Being Unfit” Chinwe Obinwanne, Fitness Coach, Naija Fit Moms

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Fitness is one thing majority of us wish we did more often.

The thought of fitness, daily workout routines, new eating habits, lifestyle
changes and the likes however, scares a good number of us off. But what
exactly is fitness all about and does it really involves dramatic changes as
mentioned?

Maybe fitness isn’t as scary as we make it seem, maybe it doesn’t event require
those things we think it does and maybe it does requires them.

Fitness coach, Naija Fit Moms, Chinwe Obinwanne, gives us insight into her
world of fitness as a mum of 3 and what fitness is indeed about.

So, let’s meet our beautiful coach of the day.

HF: Can we meet you?

CHINWE: “My name is Chinwe Obinwanne, I’m a fitness trainer/copywriter, a
mom of 3, I love to exercise and help people exercise and be in shape.”

HF: Why did you choose to become a fitness trainer?

CHINWE: “My fitness journey started after I had my third baby. I’ve pretty
much been on the slim side all my life so everyone just assumed that I was
healthy and I assumed I was healthy as well but I had noticed that when I
walked a small distance, I’ll be gasping for air and sometimes I’ll need to rest
and pretend I was on the phone just to while away sometime before I continue.

So, there was a certain time some medical persons came to the office to run
some tests and I discovered my BP was really high. So, I figured after having
my baby was a perfect time to start. I did a lot of research on fitness and
healthy eating before I started training on my own at home, without going to
the gym.

After a year, my friends started asking me questions about what I was doing
and all of that. Then I started a blog, writing about what I do. After a year, I
had friends from different parts of the country calling me, asking what they can
do to lose weight and keep fit. So, I prepared workout plans and sent to them
which they used to get great results. That’s how I started.

When I started, I discovered that a lot of mothers were struggling to lose post-
baby fat (never being able to go back to what they used to be or even better)
and that a lot of mothers were going on fad diets, not eating right and taking
some harmful things into their bodies in a bid to lose weight. So, I figured that I
could use NAIJAFITMOMS to help them achieve their goals in the most healthy
way possible.”

ALSO READ: 5 Awesome Tips to Stay Healthy While Working From Home

HF: Is there more to fitness than weight loss? Can I be fat and still be fit?

CHINWE: “Yes, there is more to fitness than weight loss.

Being slim doesn’t equate being fit, likewise being big (not fat) doesn’t
equate not being fit.

Everyone has their own body structures and so not everyone is meant to be
skinny. There are some people who will exercise and eat healthy and never get
to be skinny but when you see them, you’ll know that they are fit .

There are people who are slim but can’t do an 8km walk/run but there are
people who are bigger who would go on such race and still stand. So, while
the results of exercising and eating healthy show on the outside, fitness
is more about how you feel inside.”

HF: So, is fitness basically about flexibility?

CHINWE: “No, fitness is not about flexibility, because not everyone who is fit is
flexible.

Fitness is about being healthy, having the strength to do the things you
should normally do, being able to ward off some certain kinds of diseases and
the icing on the cake is that you look good from the efforts.”

HF: What is the role of diet and nutrition in fitness and how do you make
healthy eating interesting?

CHINWE: “First and foremost, in Nigeria, there is a misconception about diet.
We think diet is when you start eating grass, boring salads and eventually stop
eating foods.

Diet is basically about eating healthy meals (balanced diets). Balancing
the different classes of food is what makes a healthy diet. So, you can eat really
interesting meals. For instance, you can have oatmeal (fibre) for breakfast, add

milk (calcium), reduced sugar or banana as sweeteners (fruit), with egg
(protein) fried with carrot (vegetable) and wheat bread (carbohydrate). So, it’s
really not boring. Exercising and healthy nutrition also go hand in hand in
getting you faster and sustainable results.”

HF: How much of exercise does a person need to keep fit?

CHINWE: “There are things we do already that are exercise like brisk walking,
climbing the stairs about 5 times a day and all that.

Our biggest problem with fitness and being fit is what we put into our
mouth, our food.

So, we don’t need like an hour every day to push ourselves to say we are fit.
Once we can get our feeding under control with about 20-30 minutes of
exercise three to four times a week, that’s good progress.

Everything is about the quantity of what you take in. Knowing that you have to
burn more calories than you take in, keeps you in shape.

So, if I eat puff-puff, shawarma, ice cream and the likes and the next day, I just
sit down all in the office, doing nothing to burn it, instead, I eat some more
things, then it goes without saying that I’m going to keep piling on more fat.”

HF: How does a person know when he/she is totally fit?

CHINWE: “Well, you don’t need anything to measure that you’re fit. You are
going to feel fit. You’d be able to do things you’re not able to do before.

Some instances are: if you used to have chronic back pain or knee pain and it
disappears or people who can’t walk long distance without breathing fast are
now able to do that. So, basically you feel it within; you feel lighter and you are
able to do more. The aesthetics, like noticing that your skin is tightened, you
are leaner and you don’t feel flabby e.t.c are added advantages.”

HF: What’s your advice to other mums who are looking to be fit?

CHINWE: “First, love yourself as a mum

Secondly, don’t expect too much and don’t compare yourself to others.

Also, set realistic weight loss/fitness goals for yourself. Watch your diet and cut
down or eliminate the unhealthy food you eat. Enjoy the process and trust that
it is working even when you aren’t seeing the results as quickly as you want to.”

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