The Gym VS my Body

The Gym VS my Body

I use to be one of your typical “gym-junkies”….. intensive fasted cardio in the mornings followed by a hard-core weight session in the evening.

I worked out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week & believed that it was what was required of me in order to maintain a certain “look” the health & fitness industry wanted. It was what I expected of myself as well in order to feel satisfied & happy in my body.

This is my story of why I dumped the gym in favour of my body. As you may guess (or have experienced yourself) this can become very time consuming & physically exhausting. My body became completely depleted, it plateaued often & I never had enough energy for the important things in life. 

My friends, family & the ability to LIVE LIFE suffered! I was just living for my “rest day” so that I could sleep & recuperate to start it all over the next week.

Working out became a chore & I started to dread it. That’s not what I had envisioned when I started my fitness journey. I started out loving what I did but as time passed I started hating it. I was influenced by the wrong people, wrong role models & wrong information.

Before I even continue, I just want to say that I am NOT discrediting the gym environment and the people there who help change lives by getting individuals fit and healthy, NOT AT ALL!

I celebrate & encourage these people and I believe we all have a preferred choice for our fitness journey. However, I want to share my story of extreme behaviour and limiting beliefs that nearly killed my physical & mental health. I want to share this with you to show you that there is another way to achieve amazing confidence, health and freaking gorgeous body and you don’t need to do it by breaking yourself physically or emotionally! So, if you are relating to what I have said above, this story is for you!!!!

I started at a very young age in fitness, 14 to be exact. I used fitness as escapism and a way to give me strength and courage because I was bullied a lot through my school years. Fitness was what I was good at and this gave me self-confidence and self-belief when others were tearing it down.

As time moved on & I transitioned from a small town studio to a big international gym, I very quickly felt the pressure to look a certain way at all times. There was a lot of competition in the field & I constantly felt scrutinized by eyes from those who felt threatened or superior to me. As a young woman, this was very pressurizing & I quickly got sucked in.

As I got older & gained more experience by working with different women of different age groups, I quickly learned that these struggles were felt by MANY others! It wasn’t just me in my field of work… was everywhere!

All the women who were trying to achieve their fitness, body & life goals had experienced some form of pressure, intimidation or scrutiny. It wasn’t just from those working in the fitness industry, it was literally every women who stepped through a gym door!!!

I’ve had MANY women come to train with me in the past & say they would do “ANYTHING” to look like I did…..they didn’t care what it took. The thing was, I knew what it took & I cared about what it would do to them (& those around them).

Don’t get me wrong, having an average of 12% body fat with some serious muscle, felt good (& let me just add I had an insanely strict diet….it wasn’t just the training). The truth was, it was killing my soul inside. Even though it was incredible motivation to my clients, at the same time it was very unrealistic for them to expect the same results for themselves. No working woman, with kids & a husband/partner, can spend 2 hours a day in the gym, & eat the way I did. You can’t, it’s just nuts!!!

I wanted to be able to enjoy life more, take it a little easier without losing my mind that I might be falling 10 steps back from my progress.

In 2010 I started competing and this is where the shift actually started to happen in my mind. I was exposed to very different side of fitness. I learned of many weird, crazy & down right dangerous methods of creating the “ultimate fit body”. Over the next 6 years, I experimented with different training techniques and methods and slowly found something that was working for me. As much as it was a challenge, I enjoyed that time of my life and learned valuable lessons! I started to LISTEN to my body more and respect and appreciate it’s power AND limitations.  

In 2015 I chose to go completely plants based for my health & my personal beliefs. It gave me incredible results however, I was still not finding that balance I needed and my body was tired. In all honesty, my soul was tired.

  Then in 2016 I experienced my 1st anxiety attack. 1 year later I was completely broken and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and anxiety disorder. It was the beginning of a long journey to discover I had EBV causing an autoimmune condition in my body.

I was literally forced to stop…..I believe it was the universes way of telling me “it’s time to change Jody, as much as this has served you, it no longer serves you anymore”.

And so I started my journey of change. This is when I quit the gym & the conventional fitness mentality & I went all the way back to my body……just my body.

I stopped fighting & battling with it & rather allowed it time to heal. I started to BELIEVE in who I was & I began to fall in love with all that I was. It’s not the ego-driven “love” I am talking about……but rather a deep love that knows no boundaries of size, shape or stigma. Every woman should feel that at least once in her life because it will change her life forever!


And that is what I was learning…..our bodies travel through seasons. There is a time & place for everything, but me must be willing to adapt & change with those seasons……Not to try cling & hold onto something that is just not serving you anymore, NO MATTER WHO is telling you differently!!!

This is why I quit the gym in favour of my body. It was no longer serving me & it was not helping me achieve the health & happiness I was yearning for.

No, I am definitely not as lean or as defined as I was 10 years ago but I am much stronger & much more confident in a completely different way.

I now do regular yoga & bodyweight exercises called BODY BASE which I incorporate in all of my programs. I also enjoy hiking, beach walks & regular meditation & breathing. All of this helps me manage anxiety as well constantly give me gratitude & love to my body.

There are so many ways to get fit & healthy without having to destroy or manipulate your body. I encourage you to choose something that brings you joy every time you do it. It should not feel threatening, demoralizing or hopeless. It should be invigorating, uplifting & absolute pure enjoyment, even during the physically challenging parts.

YOU DESERVE to have a body & life that is abundant in health, happiness & confidence. You DESERVE to feel gorgeous & beautiful in the skin you are you…….& YOU deserve to feel love for yourself every day.

If you feel you are wanting to break free of restrictive beliefs, exhausting training routines, and destructive thought patterns, I encourage you to start here with me!

I have been where you are, so allow me show you how to get WHERE I AM TODAY!



The body & life of your dreams is waiting for you, it’s up to you to reach out & embrace it!



The Fitness Road Less Traveled

The Fitness Road Less Traveled

There is always that one point in our lives where someone or something gets us going on our fitness journey. Often we don’t always know better and fall into the trap of believing it’s the only way to achieve a body we will love & the “happiness & confidence” that comes with it.

I started my fitness journey many years ago in a quiet little “aerobics” studio where I had little influence from the outside world. Looking back, it was the best influence and advice I learned during my 2 decades this industry. It took many trials & errors before I chose the fitness road less traveled.

The biggest change & challenge came in July 2010 when I was asked by someone to support a small town fitness and bodybuilding competition. This was the start of a 6-year competing career & one that would teach me more about myself than I ever would have believed.


For an entire year, I prepared myself. I researched the diet I needed to follow and the training I needed to do to get on stage in “peak condition”.

Very quickly I could see a common and repetitive pattern to what a diet & training schedule would need to be to get ready for a “bikini comp”.


The motivation was insane, something I had never experience before. I was driven every day to push as hard as I could. I would wake up at 04h30 for an hour of fasted cardio and then finish off the day with an intense weight training session which was normally up to 2 hours long.

My diet was narrowed down to dry tuna, steamed chicken, boiled rice, oats in water, egg whites and any veg that had a minimal amount of carbs possible. One day a week I could eat whatever I wanted or as many referred to it as a ‘cheat’ day!

Whey protein was my go-to meal replacer and I would have a concoction of about 16 different vitamin pills and fat-burners that I would take daily. What I also came to learn was that for many athletes, this would also include cycles of steroids and growth hormones. I was so ignorant at the time but quickly my eyes were wide open.

I would live for my cheat days over the weekend but come Sunday I was full of regret and disappointment. Powered by the mentality that “I will never do it again”, I would head into the new week with belittling self-talk of how I would “punish myself” to get back on track.

 Monday would be the only “high” and a steady downhill slope of exhaustion and fatigue until the next rest and cheat day came around.

The truth is, this is how 90% of people train and prepare for the stage. There are variations, but it’s kind of what I would call the industry “norm”. In the collage about, from 2010 to the end of 2013, this was how I lived. It was exhausting. I was exhausted and my mindset was broken.


After the first year  & a half, I began to HATE IT! I loved competing and being on stage, but I hated what I had to do to get where I needed to be. It didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t see myself being able to maintain it & I would wonder how the top athletes kept it up.

Nothing was fun anymore. It was all about punishment, manipulation & constant self-doubt & criticism. I felt a fraud. We were supposed to be athletes representing the perfect body of health….but in reality, it is the most messed up and unhealthy mental & physical relationship one can have with your body and life.

I get it, we all have the right to choose how we want to live & what works for us… but for me, it was a false representation and downright lie of what well-being should be.

There was nothing “healthy” about this obsessive way of living on a physical, mental or spiritual level. I kept telling myself that we weren’t made to “suffer” to feel and look good. It should be a process that is enjoyed & celebrated.


So in 2013, after 3 ½ years of grueling prep, I decided to take a different approach. This was the start of my “fitness” road less traveled. Little did I know it would take me on the biggest journey of my life. I would be forced to overcome my greatest fears & become the most vulnerable I have ever been. And it has been a 6-year journey!!! Nothing fast or “instant” like we see on social media….it’s a slow & long road but it is worth it.

I gently transitioned into a plant-based way of eating with loads of variety, flavour & more carbs. Dumping that “carbophobic” mentality was the best thing I could have done for myself. I also slowly moved away from those hours of cardio & machine-based training to a more functional, body-weight way of exercising.  

I went back to keeping things simple and basic and that basically came down to just using my BODY! Not only has it been more fun but more effective as well! And I save about 2-3 hours in my day!!!

It didn’t come without some challenges. Embracing a plant-based way of eating was pretty unheard of 6 years ago in South Africa, especially in the competing arena. Along with an unconventional method of training, I was exposed to some judgment. I would often be bombarded with sarcasm, offensive jokes and pessimistic attitudes towards my journey. 


There were times I questioned my own decisions… It’s hard to stick to a path when most of the people around you are doing things completely differently. Like many things, when you take the road less traveled it can be HARD, really HARD. However, it was during these moments where I learned what inner strength courage & faith was.


I never wanted to follow the herd, I wanted to lead my own way.

And that’s what I have been doing. Forging my own path to discover an incredible relationship with myself and my body.

One of my greatest accomplishments has been setting myself free. Free from restrictive diets, body breaking workouts, and destructive thought patterns. I call it BODY FREEDOM because for the first time in my life I truly feel FREE from within.

Before I made this transition & started my fitness road less traveled, I had come to believe that there was only one way to achieve a body & life you could love & be happy with.

I believed it required pain, punishment & struggle. If it wasn’t hard, I wasn’t working hard enough. If there was any pleasure, then I was “slacking off”. Unfortunately, many women believe this to be true. They think they need to kill themselves in the gym & starve themselves in the kitchen in order to achieve a healthy, fit & sexy body.

Maybe it works for some women, which in that case, I encourage you to continue doing what works for you and what you love. However, for many other women, it doesn’t. It really doesn’t. Having a family, career and/or business can be challenging enough & to try to keep up an “athletes” way of training and eating is nearly impossible. I am here it to tell you there are many other INCREDIBLE WAYS to achieve optimal health and a rocking hot body.


It’s not about achieving a ripped square midsection and it’s not about bench pressing and leg pressing crazy weight to get results. It’s not about starving & obsessing over every morsel of food that passes your lips


It’s about becoming conscious & in tune with what & who you are from the inside. Loving & understanding who are & healing the relationship you have with your body, is the first step to body freedom!

Women are more pressurized than ever to achieve so much in their lives that often important things suffer. Their health, their career or their family suffer and sadly sometimes all 3. I can reassure you that you can have and enjoy all 3 when you take a fresh perspective & a different approach.

So if you are someone who feels the pressure from the social media & the fitness industry to take a specific path to achieve the “body of your dreams”, I am here to tell you that there is another option. That option is the fitness road less traveled! This road can get a little bumpy sometimes, but what you will get in return is 1000x worth it!!!


  • You DON’T have to conform to the crazy methods and expectations of the fitness industry and social media. Whoever claims it’s the only way to achieve a body you will love & accept, they are talking out their ass. Be inspired by those who are real & honest.
  • My life is completely different from what it was & both roads I have traveled are neither “wrong” or “right”. They were necessary to become who I am TODAY. I still have ups and downs & I am still learning lessons because it’s a lifelong journey of growth & discovery.
  • If you are prepping for a show & you want to go extreme, go for it but understand there are consequences on a physical & emotional level. It’s definitely not a “lifestyle” solution to achieve inner happiness & self-love.

The “Fitness road less traveled” is what I specialize in.  If you are keen to find out more, drop me a message by CLICKING HERE

Pin It on Pinterest