On February 28, Bermuda Sun online reporter and NewsBite host Mikaela Pearman embarked on a quest to get fit and lose 20lbs … just in time for the start of summer on May 24.
THURSDAY, MAY 31: Today is the final day of my bikini body challenge and it’s so bittersweet for me.
I remember the first day I trained with my trainer Don Peden at The Olympic Club.
It was Tuesday, February 28 and I was terrified.
I knew that I needed to lose some weight and get healthy, but I wasn’t sure I could do it.
I remember being in excruciating pain and not being able to walk the next day.
I remember swapping my stilettos for flats because I couldn’t bear to walk in them.
I remember almost crying at the thought of jumping rope 100 times or lifting weights.
Boy have I come a long way!
Yes, I am still sore and probably will always be.
But I can do those 100 jump ropes relatively quickly, I love lifting weights and I definitely strut around town in my heels.
To say this challenge has changed my life and my outlook would be an understatement.
I went from working out maybe once or twice a week to intense workouts six days a week and loving it.
I used to hate going to boot camp but now I look forward to 12:15pm on Friday’s because I know the class will kick my butt every time.
At the beginning, I didn’t like working out because of the pain and now when I feel sore, I smile so hard because it means I’ve worked out new muscles.
So needless to say, I’ve learned so much.
I’ve come to the realization that I will always have to work out six days a week in order to maintain my weight loss and stay healthy because I love food.
As I’ve said many times over the past three months, the diet is the hardest part for me.
I love to cook and I love to eat.
But at the same time, I like to look outstanding, so I have to keep my fitness up and workout extra when I feel like eating something bad.
Throughout this process I’ve also learned that I have a lot more discipline that I thought.
I’ve learned that I can put my head down and focus when need be.
And I’ve learned the importance of mind over matter.
So let’s talk numbers.
When I started, I weighed in at 181lbs at 5’10.
When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, I weighed 167lbs, losing a total of 14lbs.
Don says I’ve probably lost closer to 18lbs since I’ve put on muscle.
But fitness goals don’t end here.
I plan on continuing to push to have super toned abs for Cup Match and hopefully drop that last six pounds to total 20 pounds lost.
I find that I will need to continue to give myself goals in order to stay
So with that said, I want to thank everyone who has supported me these past three months.
I have so much gratitude towards the countless people who stopped me on the street to give me encouragement.
I also want to thank my amazing friend and fitness inspiration Jasmine DeSilva for constantly motivating me and keeping me focused.
I have to thank my friend Leyde St Legre for always checking in on me and making sure I was doing two workouts a day the last couple weeks.
A big thank you goes to Karen and Ron Magnum at Magnum Power Force Gym who kindly provided me with Zumba classes every week.
A huge thank you goes out to Scott Stallard, owner of The Olympic Club, where I did my workouts for the past three months.
I couldn’t have done it had it not been for Scott.
And last but certainly not least, I have to thank my amazing trainer Don Peden.
He has encouraged me, yelled at me and motivated me since day one to be healthy and get fit.
Don is a true inspiration and if you are looking for an amazing trainer, please check him out.
So while my challenge is technically over, it’s far from over.
I will see you all on the beaches this summer.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30: Tomorrow morning, I will have my final photo taken for my bikini challenge.
Weirdly enough, I’m not nervous, but I’m not necessarily happy either.
These past three months have flown by!
It feels like yesterday that I began this journey.
So I’m excited at what I’ve accomplished but know that it’s by no means over.
Last night I did Zumba at Magnum. The Bermuda Sun’s photographer Kageaki Smith came along to do some video and photos.
Most of the girls in the class were mortified at the thought of being on camera.
So to the ones who were on camera, I thank you.
I can honestly say that doing Zumba every Tuesday has tremendously helped me with my fitness goals.
It’s always been important to me to be able to enjoy whatever workouts I do.
Because I love to dance, Zumba was a natural fit.
And the music it’s the type of music I party to — soca, reggae, pop and hip-hop.
So not only am I having a ton of fun, I’m burning about 600 calories each session.
Last week, Jasmine and I went to a soca party and actually started doing one of the routines in the party!
So needless to say, I am a Zumba fanatic and recommend it to anyone who loves to have a fun, high-energy workout.
Today, I trained with Don Peden at Olympic Club and we both noticed how loose my gym clothes are.
It was actually kind of embarrassing to be jumping rope and having to stop to pull my pants up.
I know that it’s a good sign because I’ve definitely lost a dress size, but I was like ‘man!’
I have an extensive wardrobe and so many of my clothes are simply too big.
But of course I’m not at all complaining.
It feels great to pull on jeans and have them loose in the waist.
On Friday night, I wore my “tight” jeans and they ended up being baggy.
So I guess it’s time to shop for new clothes!
Stay tuned for my final blog on Friday!
MONDAY, MAY 28: It is the final week of my bikini body challenge! I’m so excited about that but before I get into my excitement, I must tell you about my weekend.
A new gym, CrossFit BDA, opened on Market Lane on Saturday. My friend and Zumba instructor Jasmine DeSilva told me about the launch and insisted I go, so I RSVPed for the free 11am class and didn’t put much thought in it.
I arrived at the gym at 10:45 and saw people sitting around looking pretty beat up. Jasmine did the 9:30 class and as soon as I saw her she said, “You are going to die.”
But I said to myself, “You can do this.” I had no idea what “this” was.
After signing in, the coaches - Derek, Mat and Chantal - introduced themselves and took us through the moves. It was a timed 30-minute workout where participants had to do a 1km run, 100 pushups, 150 sit-ups, 200 squats and another 1km run.
When I realised that’s what we had to do, a look of horror spread across my face. I immediately thought there was no way I could even begin to finish this workout.
The coaches put the 30 minutes up on the clock, blasted music and told us to head out for the run. I am by no means a runner but the run was fine for me. I was sore from my workout the day before but knew I had to push through the pain.
When I got back, there was hardly any space left inside the warehouse-style gym so many of us had to do our workouts outside on the pavement with ab cushions.
I started with pushups then segued into situps and finally squats. I broke them up so I would do maybe 30 pushups, 50 or more sit-ups and then 50 or so squats and repeat.
I’m not entirely sure if I completed all the pushups because I lost count but as the clock was ticking down, I got up to do the run so I could finish.
I ended up finishing the workout in 28:30. It was such a sense of relief to have finished something that three months ago I wouldn’t have been able to do. CrossFit definitely tested my fitness levels but made me realise how far I have come.
FRIDAY, MAY 25: So I have a week left and I feel all sorts of amazing!
This week was a bit hard for me with the holiday.
I didn’t get a chance to work out yesterday unfortunately after having a great day in the gym on Monday, Zumba on Tuesday and a ton of dancing Wednesday night.
But I more than made up for it in the gym today.
We will get to that later as yesterday I went to the parade with my son and my nana.
Now I have to say this: I am a fried fish girl.
Anytime there is a holiday and there is fried fish being sold, I’m all over it.
And, yes, I always get French fries to go with my fish.
Yesterday, I knew I would get fish from Leopard’s Club because, in my opinion, it is by far the best.
But instead of fries, I only got fish and shared it with my son and nana so I wasn’t too bad.
As I walked along the parade route, I got a lot of compliments from you, my readers, who have been following this blog from day one.
It felt so good to have people notice how hard I’ve been working and compliment me on my much fitter frame, so thank you very much!
Now back to the class today.
Since my trainer Don Peden is still away, another trainer at the Olympic Club, Melissa taught a class in the place of my regular boot camp class.
It was called “Just Do It” and featured interval-training workouts.
We did squats, lunges, weights, abs, jumping jacks and more to a mix of 2012 soca, my favourite workout music.
We used the step aerobics as well.
The class was really good and I was soaked afterwards which is always a plus.
Tomorrow, I am going to the new Cross Fit Gym as they are having their grand opening.
They are offering two free classes at 9:30 and 11am.
If you aren’t up for the classes, you can stop by and just check it out.
It is located on Market Lane off of Serpentine Road.
For those who can’t make it, I will have a full report for you on Monday.
MONDAY, MAY 21: 12lbs lighter and I have an extra week to shed more
My trainer Don Peden at The Olympic Club is away all week — which is both good and bad news.
Bad because my fitness challenge has been stretched out for another week — there only so much pain a girl can take, you know — but good because I have more time to get closer to my weight loss goal.
I was upset that Don wouldn’t be here for my last week but he suggested we tag on an extra week, which makes a lot of sense.
So my challenge has been extended to June 1.
Yes, I probably could have trained with someone else this week, but I need Don for my final week, to push me and encourage me on the home stretch.
Hopefully you guys won’t be too upset with me for extending the challenge.
I got on the scales yesterday morning and I’m down 12 pounds!
I’m very excited because I’m that much closer to my goal. I’m hoping to lose another five pounds by the end of next week.
While it won’t be 20 pounds it will still be amazing.
I’ve built muscle so I know that a total of 17 pounds lost will still be good.
Today, I went to what I thought was Don’s boot camp class taught by Nerseh, another trainer. I was wrong.
Nerseh’s friend Kate was down from the UK. She is a trainer and taught a class called Thump.
To say this class is amazing would be an understatement. It was mostly boxing kind of workouts where everything is done in three-minute intervals.
Everyone is partnered up and while partner A does one thing, partner B does another and then we swap.
We did punches with weights, planks, burpies, crunches, running on the spot, high knees and so much more to high-energy music.
The class was super intense but SO good.
Two or three months ago, I would have died with this level of intensity so it felt good to be able to push my body through such a tough workout.
I’m really hoping that Nerseh decides to add it to her classes. Everyone loved the class and while it was challenging, it was an excellent workout.
Maybe someone can talk Kate into teaching it again before she leaves.
This week I will be taking advantage of the classes at the gym.
The only one I do is Don’s boot camp so I plan on trying out the other ones since I’m not doing any personal training.
FRIDAY, MAY 18: To say I have had a rough week would be an understatement.
I’ve been dealing with personal issues and have been a bit stressed at the office.
And on top of that, both my body and my mind are exhausted.
I want to pretty much escape for two days but since I know that won’t be happening, I think I will settle for a bubble bath this weekend.
I am in a ton of pain right now thanks to really rough workouts.
My trainer Don Peden will never ease me up, and he shouldn’t.
His goal is to make me the fittest that I can be.
And my goal is to be the fittest I can be.
So even when I don’t feel like training, I still have to push through it and go hard.
And guess what, by the end of the session, I feel better than when I went in.
Today I didn’t want to do boot camp, but I had to.
Don is away all next week so I had to get a great workout in especially when I didn’t want to.
I picked up heavier weights today and pushed through whatever was bothering me and I felt amazing.
I know this is going to sound vain but I look at myself while to do my weights and what not and I like what I see.
My body has changed and morphed into more of an athletic frame.
I am definitely thinner but not only that.
I see muscle definition in my arms and legs and it looks so good.
Honestly, I never thought I would be so into building muscle.
My main concern was losing weight and being thinner.
But now that I see that all the weight training I’ve been doing is paying off, I want more.
I want my arms to be more toned and my legs to be more defined.
We are still working on the stomach.
It’s getting there, slowly but surely.
So overall, I feel confident and amazing and can’t wait to pull on a bikini!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16: My bikini body challenge is due to finish in eight days.
That means I only have just over a week to sort myself out!
I started my countdown at the one-month mark and I keep saying how scared I am.
But I don’t think I’m scared anymore.
I’m more nervous than anything.
All this time, the only place I saw results was my face.
Even though I look at myself multiple times a day, I could see that my face was noticeably thinner.
As for everywhere else, I thought, ‘nothing is happening’.
On Monday, my perception drastically changed.
My co-worker and photo editor Gary Skelton told me to look at his computer screen. When I turned around, he had the latest set of pictures that were taken last week and the pictures we took the first day side by side.
To say my mouth dropped open would be an understatement.
I was seriously floored.
I hate to say it, but I was fat. I never thought I was fat but I was!
In the photo, you can see how much weight I was carrying around my belly and I was just shocked.
While I feel like I’m not there yet, I certainly have made headway and will be proud of myself by the time this challenge is complete.
Looking at those photos certainly gave me a big boost.
So I’m still trucking on with my vegetable and protein diet.
I’m getting bored of eating mainly chicken and vegetables but it is what it is.
I’m also working out twice a day for the most part.
Monday got super busy so I only got to workout unfortunately.
But last night I did Zumba at Magnum and salsa dancing afterwards so that constitutes two workouts.
On a normal day, I do a kickboxing DVD and then do my training with my trainer Don Peden at The Olympic Club.
Don has upped the intensity and started to do “blitzes” as he calls them.
Basically I don’t have time to stop and breathe or anything.
It’s go, go, and go for 30 minutes.
Most of the time I feel like I’m about to die but once it’s done, I know it’s all worth it.
MONDAY, MAY 14: So I’ve got ten days to go in my bikini body challenge and I am getting increasingly nervous.
Even though I see the changes, I still feel like maybe it’s not enough.
I know it sounds silly but I am very body conscious and hate to admit it but am a bit of a perfectionist.
But I know I’ve been putting in the hard work so I need to get over myself and enjoy feeling fit and healthy.
So I survived Mother’s Day without going to brunch.
Instead, I burned 500 plus calories doing 45 minutes of kickboxing.
I think I punched and kicked out my aggression because I really wanted to go to brunch.
I love brunch so much but I settled for having a vegetable frittata and a cup of tea.
And, yes, it was worth it.
So let’s recap a bit.
I went to my trainer Don Peden’s boot camp at The Olympic Club on Friday in the torrential downpour.
I really didn’t want to go out in the weather but I knew that I had to.
And I’m glad I did.
It was a rough session but I really needed it.
The weights were heavy, the cardio left me breathless and the ab routines were painful, but it was all worth it.
I felt amazing once we were done like usual.
I took Saturday off but still watched what I ate.
Yesterday, I did my kickboxing and went to a barbecue in the evening.
All in all, it was a good Mother’s Day and I’m proud of myself for sticking to what I have to do.
FRIDAY, MAY 11: Yesterday was probably the funniest day I’ve ever had in the gym.
I went upstairs of The Olympic Club to get ready for my training session with my trainer, Don Peden. I was equipped with my new gym bag and news clothes courtesy of Style Bermuda.
I got all dressed and went to put on my sneakers when I realised I didn’t have them! I frantically began to pull everything out of the bag and nope, no sneakers.
Then it hit me.
I had packed my gym bag on Wednesday night, but took out my sneakers yesterday morning to do my morning workout. I never put them back in.
I couldn’t help laughing at myself but I had to get a workout in. So I did what any girl would do: I worked out in my $260 Marc Jacobs ballet flats!
Don kept laughing at me the whole workout. I couldn’t do any cardio so we did a series of weight training and ab workouts.
Regardless of not having my shoes, I still managed to get a pretty good workout in. This morning, I made sure I had my sneakers for boot camp today!
The countdown is on. I’ve got something like 12 days left. I feel really good and finally am seeing the difference.
Working out more than once a day is definitely helping me to trim up faster. I’ve exercised eight times this week and have to get in two more workouts today.
I am definitely slimmer than I was when we started. And because I’m 5ft 10ins, I’m starting to look longer, if that makes any sense. My stomach is relatively flat but still needs some work.
I’m starting to feel really good about bikini season.
And I have to thank everyone for the continued encouragement. It feels really good to know that I’m inspiring people to live healthier lives.
I’m off to boot camp. Stay tuned…
MONDAY, MAY 7: I’m still working out twice a day and super tired as a result.
This weekend was really hard because I aggravated an old injury in my knee last week. On Saturday, I woke up very sore after boot camp on Friday and had a lot of pain in my knee.
Basically, I was hobbling around and that was difficult. I had planned to try a Zumba class at the new gym MBS but I couldn’t do anything. I sat and iced my knee and it felt better but I didn’t want to push.
This weekend was torture on the diet end as well. Let’s get one thing clear: I love Mexican food. In fact, I would eat it every other day if I could.
As Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, I should have been out guzzling margaritas and stuffing my face with tacos, guacamole and all things Mexican! Instead, I stayed at home, made some guacamole and had carrot sticks with it.
I made tacos for my son and allowed myself to have one with no cheese or sour cream, just fresh pico de gallo and guacamole on top. It was a bit tough but I think keeping myself away from a bar or restaurant helped.
Another form of torture was a baking order I had. I made two dozen red velvet cupcakes and a pan of blondies, my two favourite things ever. But because it was an order, I knew I couldn’t have any so I was fine.
Today, my trainer Don Peden totally kicked my butt in the gym. The workout was extremely intense and I felt faint close to the end, but I managed to push through and get it done.
I did a 20-minute workout earlier so I was a bit tired but because I know it’s good for me, I was able to dig deeper and get it done.
Although I am tired, I do feel amazing and my smile couldn’t be bigger.
FRIDAY, MAY 4: My big reveal is coming up in a few weeks and to say I’m nervous is an understatement. But I’m so confident I will be bikini ready that I’ve put money on it.
This guy at my gym Will bet me $50 that I wouldn’t be bikini ready by May 24. When he said that, I started laughing hysterically. Obviously, he doesn’t know me at all.
First of all, I’ve been working so hard for the past two months to have a healthier, more fit lifestyle. Second, I am fiercely competitive and will hardly ever back down from a challenge.
So basically, this will be the easiest $50 I have ever made! And it just gives me more incentive to stay focused. Not that I wasn’t focused, but it just ups the ante.
Let’s recap this week.
Jasmine was sick on Tuesday so I did Zumba at The Olympic Club with Bertha. The class was vastly different but I enjoyed it and worked up a sweat.
When I got back to work after Zumba, there was a gym bag on my desk. I was confused at first. Then I opened it and saw it was filled with workout clothes from Style Bermuda.
So a big thank you to Shiona Turini, editor of Style Bermuda, for my new gym gear. It is definitely needed and I will be rocking the clothes next week.
As far as training goes, my trainer Don Peden is not easing me up at all! He continues to push me harder and harder to the point where I can’t do anymore. And it feels so good.
I’ve reached the point where the pain no longer matters because I know it’s totally worth it. And I like what I see when I look in the mirror.
One of my very good friends Jamila always says, “People don’t work out to be healthy, they work out to be vain.”
At first I laughed at her but she’s so right. Yes, health is a large portion of it, but we all want to look amazing and working out and having a great body is a much larger part.
I’m off to boot camp.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2: I have 22 days left to complete my bikini blog challenge.
That terrifies me but I know I will finish and be proud of my accomplishment.
For the month of May, my trainer Don Peden at The Olympic Club has me eating only vegetables and protein. To say it’s hard is an understatement.
But I’ve figured out how to make extremely healthy food taste really good.
On Monday night, I roasted mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus and pumpkin with a little bit of olive oil, pepper and onion powder.
To go with it, I marinated chicken breast in lemon juice, a little olive oil, garlic and onion powder. It was the best healthy meal I’ve had in a long time.
For breakfast, I’m alternating between eggs and oatmeal. I do my oatmeal with agave, cinnamon and a little bit of soymilk.
Usually, I scramble my eggs with whatever veggies I have on hand. Yesterday morning, I made frittata in muffin tins with broccoli, turkey and sriracha, an Asian chili sauce.
It was so good! I felt like I was eating something unhealthy because it was full of flavour and amazing.
For lunch, I’m alternating between chicken or fish and salad or stir-fry.
Snacks have been the most difficult but I’ve narrowed it down to carrot sticks with peanut butter or a butternut squash puree that I made at home.
I’m going to try lettuce wraps for tomorrow.
Don says I should be hungry all the time and I find that I am. I have to eat every two hours or I feel famished.
So that’s the diet.
Let’s discuss workouts.
Last week I started doing two workouts a day. It’s not easy but I find it’s worth it.
Yesterday I woke up and did my 20-minute Turbo Jam kickboxing DVD and then trained with Don in the afternoon. I had a great deal of energy and burned about 650 calories.
So the workouts are going really well. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m addicted to exercising.
I get very upset when I can’t find time to fit a workout in so I schedule everything the Friday before so that I have set times for everything.
I never want a day to come where I have no idea what time I’m going to exercise or what I’m going to do.