Find your grind: helping hand to get active
It's 5am and Jasmine DeSilva is breaking a sweat.
The working mother has learnt to use the early hours when her husband and daughter are still asleep — it's her only opportunity to work out.
Staying fit has become a way of life for the 31-year-old. It all started with a huge weight gain while she was a teenager at boarding school.
“I gained 15 to 20 pounds. I was 17, it was summer time, I wanted to come home and wear my cute clothes and nothing fit. I called my mom crying and she said, ‘Well, what are you gonna do about it?'.
“That's when I started on the treadmill. Five minutes, literally. That's all I could do.”
She had always been a dancer. Over the years she reshaped her body through running, nutrition, circuit classes and crossfit. Last year she took part in a bodybuilding competition.
Her brainchild, a dance cardio workout class called Fierce Funk Fitness, has been going two years strong.
She is also busy promoting others through a wellness sharing site she started with her cousin, Kyle James.
Their aim is to make Find Your Grind the go-to directory for gyms, trainers, boot camps and nutritionists.
“Kyle would come home and we would have conversations about fitness and where we wanted it to go on the island,” Mrs DeSilva told Lifestyle.
The pair looked on as gyms, classes and studios began competing for attention with the bars and restaurants that had always featured prominently on the social scene. They hope it is a trend that is here to stay.
“It's a significant trend,” Mr James said. “It's due to the emergence of social media and more visibly fit people. It's created a want for the specific look.
“The only problem is people want to do anything that's easy to get that look.
“You've got to be able to create a sustainable lifestyle and that's what we want to create with the resource.”
He cited statistics indicating that more than 40 per cent of residents do “little to no exercise in a week”.
“It's really alarming,” he added. “As a country, we have some really bad health stats.
“You know that vegetables are good, but maybe you don't know they can help combat disease. If people really understood the benefits, then they would want to make steps towards it for lifestyle changes.
“What we want to do is show people that there's so much more than just gyms. Not many people know that we have a rock-climbing community, or surfing and kitesurfing. Everybody has to find their own grind.”
Mr James had always been active, but his fitness was usually seasonal: beef up for the beach before summer and deflate in the winter.
“I guess it got to a point where it wasn't sustainable,” said the 29-year-old, who works for the Bermuda Tourism Authority and is also a fitness instructor.
“I had been that guy who was doing 300 sit-ups and wondering why I didn't have abs. I used to leave the gym and eat a 14-inch pizza and three beers.”
He discovered callisthenics and began to focus on what he put in his body. Suddenly, he was “shredded”.
“I didn't have to worry about cardio; I surfed for three hours a day,” he said. “ I got to see what it was like to do the callisthenics — the surfing and eating well at the same time.”
The pair hopes their site will bolster all the good fitness services on offer.
“There are tons of people being innovative on the island. We want to bring those passionate people together,” Mrs DeSilva said. “It's not just about aesthetics. Yes, that's what started us on our fitness journey, but it's about community, it's about support, and that's what we want to create. If you don't have the internal drive, if you don't set goals for yourself, you need community.”
Mr James added: “Just as people look to The Royal Gazette for news, or eMoo for second-hand, we want the same trust to be in the Find Your Grind website.”
•Jasmine DeSilva teaches Fierce Funk Fitness on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Island Physique at The Old Berkeley Institute, www.facebook.com/FierceFunkFitness Kyle James teaches Body Pump at Studio One, Cumberland House, Victoria Street, www.studioone.bm For more information: www.fygrind.com and Facebook: Find Your Grind