Hi! I’m Alexa but people call me Ally and my maiden last name means ‘the cat’. I’m thirty something years awesome and live in beautiful Cape Town. I love Jesus, fitness, food, the outdoors and living life. I also have a talent for finding a bargain. The aim of this blog is to make being healthy easy and affordable. I’ll also share some of my experiences of doing cool things with very little money – bawlin’ on a budget. I’ve got recipes, life hacks, reviews and tips. Every now and again I have a more serious rant. I hope to help you live your best life!
You can follow me on twitter @alexalechat and instagram @AllyCatWellness and check out our Facebook page Ally Cat Wellness too.
Three important things you need to know…
1) In 2015 I was diagnosed with a sadly all-too-common thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an auto-immune dysfunction that causes your body to destroy your own thyroid tissue. The list of symptoms is long but mine included inexplicable and chronic fatigue, thinning hair and nails, a constantly unsettled gut, uncharacteristic social anxiety and an inability to lose weight in spite of a fit lifestyle. You can read more of my Hashimoto’s story in later posts. As a result, all of my recipes are gluten and dairy free, low in sugar and generally healthy. I also like to find activities and venues that support a healthy lifestyle. This won’t just help you if you’ve got health problems. I think everyone can do with more ideas on how to be healthy and not feel deprived.
2) I was never a sporty kid. I dabbled at basketball in primary school but when the self-esteem wobbles of adolescence kicked in I decided throwing and catching a ball left far too much room for error and that was the end of that. I actively avoided any and all school sport at high school (quite skillfully I might add). What I was fully engulfed by from age five was dance. I attended ballet classes throughout school and ended up continuing to dance at university. I identified myself as a dancer and as ‘bad’ at sports. Cut to age 25 when I was no longer dancing as intensely and wanted to lose weight. I picked up a twelve week ‘learn to run programme’ and the next thing I knew I was a runner. After completing the Two Oceans I felt like the bucket list had been satiated and I started looking for something new. Enter the dumbbell. I started with a rather pathetic squat up and down a wall with a Pilates ball behind my back and now I can squat with 80kgs on my shoulders. The gym has possibly been the greatest journey of self-discovery for me. The ‘not-sporty’, delicate dancer learnt that she could out run, push, pull and lift some guys and the more I do it, the stronger I get. As it stands my regular activities are now at road and trail running, cycling, hiking, competitive Latin and ballroom, ballet and five days a week of picking heavy things up only to put them down again. It is quite remarkable that the girl who would volunteer to do admin instead of run at sports day is living this life. It came down to a new-found self-belief. I thought I could – and I think you can! Read my tips on starting fitness from scratch in another post.
3) The final and most important bit of my story is my walk with God. I was fortunate to be taught about Jesus from very young and chose to follow Him as a child. The young adult years were a bit rocky but God, through His grace brought me to where I am – sinful and in need of Him but subservient to His rule over my life. I would be a very different person without Jesus; selfish, anxious and materialistic. My relationship with Jesus helps me live better in this life and ultimately, get to the next. If you’re a Christian reading this I hope you will be encouraged. If you are not, that’s great, I hope that my experience might get you to think about where you stand and maybe do a little digging into what this Christianity thing is all about. Here’s a good place to start: John 10:9.