Hello from Mozambique! I have moved here for a 5-month contract for work. Having lived here before, I knew what to expect in terms of the conditions of gyms and the options for working out. A lot of the gyms are usually older and half of the cardio machines are usually broken. I think that when a lot of people move or travel abroad, they make excuses for why they can’t work out. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are numerous possibilities here in Maputo and I fully intend to continue my Crossfit training. This isn’t always going to be easy because I basically have to program my own workouts. Also, all of the weights in the gym are in kilograms so I am constantly converting to lbs. to try to match my PRs in the U.S. Why couldn’t the U.S. just adopt that system from the beginning to make my life easier?!
Programming for yourself is great and not so great at the same time. The not so great part is that you don’t always have the community that you normally would with a box in the U.S. At a box, you can almost always find friendly, familiar faces that are going to do a WOD with you. If they finish before you, they stick around to cheer you on. Here, Crossfit has not hit its stride. It is popular in places in South Africa, but not Mozambique. At least, not yet. On the flipside, the great part about programming for yourself is that you learn to challenge yourself and work in your favorite workouts each week. I have done a few body weight burner WODs here in my apartment in the last week and have gone to the gym the other days to do exercises with weights. There is a boot camp group that does Crossfit-esque workouts. I hope to join up with them when they start up again in August. In the meantime, I probably look a little crazy doing the workouts by myself in a corner of the gym but it makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day to know that I have continued on the Crossfit path to becoming stronger.
It’s actually funny because I have always told my fiancé about my workouts and how much I love the variety and atmosphere of Crossfit. My fiancé is Mozambican and more accustomed to lifting weights and jogging. He made a point of saying “you can do your exercises and I will do mine with the weights at the gym.” Well, I challenged him to do a Crossfit workout with me this week. It was a 24-minute AMRAP of 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 20 alternating lunges. Every 4 minutes we had to stop to do 50 jumping jacks. He made it through about 11 minutes before quitting. He sat there in disbelief, watching me finish the workout on our dining room floor. I hadn’t even reached the 24-minute mark before he had called two acquaintances to tell them to come on Monday to workout with me because my style of exercise would whip them into shape. In hindsight, I should have made it an easier beginner WOD for him but I remain convinced that I will convert him yet.
I have canceled my Weight Watchers account for the time being because I can’t always measure everything I eat here in Mozambique. Instead, I still keep points in mind while preparing meals, so I can keep my portions under control. I am opting for more natural foods. I am not 100% Paleo because Mozambique has a carb-heavy food culture. Bread and rice are staples. However, I avoid them when I can. The only product I have purchased that is processed is peanut butter. I have been eating peanuts, pounded peanuts, and peanut butter nonstop since I got here. It’s just so satisfying!
Ok, and finally, time for a weight loss update. I am currently at 244 lbs. I am down 60 lbs. since I started Crossfit again in December. Overall, I have lost 94.4 lbs. since my heaviest of 338 lbs. in May 2014. I am really proud of this and excited to get to the 100 lbs. lost mark. I brought a scale and a measuring tape with me to continue tracking my results during my time abroad. I am hoping to be below 200 for Christmas and New Year’s this year! I feel really optimistic about continuing to become healthier, stronger, and a constant better version of me. It’s possible! It’s hard work but TOTALLY worth it. You just have to believe and dedicate yourself to your goals. Até logo!