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December 17, 2018

Body building will not make a woman less feminine — champion and fitness guru Jane Mukami

Jane Mukami
Jane Mukami

She is best-known for her 10-day detox plan, which many of her followers use to restart their system for many reasons, including poor eating habits, which leads to a bloated feeling. 

Jane has been open about her fitness journey, and those who follow her ‘21 days of change’ page on Facebook have seen her share about her weight gain and loss journey as she encourages others to reach their healthy living goals.

Jane gained a considerable amount of weight after losing her brother to suicide. She resorted to comfort eating, but was able to shed the weight, and her Facebook page acts as like a support group, with members sharing their journey.

There are many facets to Jane Mukami, and one of them includes body building. She recently won an award at a Georgia championship.

While many women shun body building because they think muscle is not feminine, Jane credits it as a weight loss tool, adding that one will only end up looking masculine if she overdoes it.

The Star caught up with Jane to talk body building, fitness and weight loss.

The Star (TS): Tell us about the body building championship you participated in recently.

Jane: Body building is something I got into in 2010, when I was looking for a weight loss solution. I got introduced to weight training by a body building trainer and nine months later, I got into the sport. I participated in five competitions in the US between 2010 and 2013, and after a five-year break, I decided to give it a go this year.

TS: There is a perception that body building makes women look less feminine and unattractive. What’s your take?

 Jane: Natural body building will not make a woman look like a man. It’s the women who participate in more muscular categories that consume anabolic drugs to make them overly masculine. But this is not the case for other categories. I’m drug-free.

As far as when is a body too toned, that’s a personal choice. It’s like asking how big a bust should a woman have. It’s a personal preference thing.

TS: The perennial question: How does a woman lose weight?  

Jane: Weight loss is really fat loss. To lose fat, nutrition must change. Working out is not a must for weight loss to happen, but it does have a lot of benefits. I work out because of how it makes me feel, the energy, mental clarity and positive vibes.

TS: What foods should people eliminate to avoid the bulge?

Jane: Foods to be avoided or consumed in moderation are: wheat products (madazi, chapati, pasta), alcohol (this contributes greatly to weight gain), and carbohydrates (These give energy. Unfortunately, our staple Kenyan foods are very carb-heavy. They should only be consumed earlier in the day and not at night). Drink more water, eat more vegetables and keep active.

TS: What advice do you give people going through a difficult time in their lives? Rather than turning to comfort food, alcohol or drugs, what can they do?

Jane: Stress eating or drinking is a coping mechanism. Whatever it is that is causing the stress, address it head-on by working to find a solution, instead of masking it with food or drinks. Once you’re done with drinking or eating, the problem will still be there. Escapism doesn’t eradicate problems, it simply delays the inevitable: working to find a solution. 

People should also be open to asking for help. No man is an island and we all need each other, so please don’t suffer alone. Reach out to a friend, family member or counsellor.

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