While she’s no stranger to intermittent fasting, Fitness Expert Sonja Moses has never fasted for the entirety of Ramadan before – until now.
Sonja Moses shares her Fasting and Fitness diary with A&E over Ramadan
Talking through her experience of fasting for the first time along with her high pace career in the fitness industry – Sonja Moses is Barry’s Bootcamp ME’s Director of Performance, a Muay Thai Boxer, the Creator of HIITBOX and a Spiritual Sports Coach – the Dubai resident shares her experiences, struggles and lessons learnt week-on-week.
And for the first instalment of Sonja’s Fasting and Fitness diary, she discusses the motivation behind her decision to fast, what she’s reflected on in moments of struggle and the surprising thing she misses the most.
Week One: Sonja Moses’s Fasting and Fitness Diary
During my years in the fitness industry and whilst cutting weight for fights, I have experienced a lot of fasting methods combined with training. Intermittent fasting is definitely up there as a safe and effective way to regulate sugar levels and therefore body mass – although one size does not always fit all.
As a fighter, I have had to make weight many times and still be fast and powerful to fight. There is a to the letter formula that I follow that enables me to cut as much as 7kgs in six days, all of which is water weight. But with that, there is light at the end of the tunnel because I can eat and drink sensibly before I fight.
This weight cut process also helps me become mentally ‘fight ready’ due to the suffering I put myself through on the lead up to win. I always start to question my why at this point and each time I deprive myself like this I gain more mental toughness for other areas of my life.
However I have never experienced fasting for a prolonged period as such as Ramadan so when asked to write on the subject, I think it is only right that I speak from experience so that I fully understand the process.
Also, a lot of my clients are fasting and still attending sessions with me so it is imperative that I am able to give advice from living the experience that they are going through. I have always travelled a lot with work and wherever I go I always feel a lot of joy to immerse myself in the culture surrounding me because there is always something for me to discover and learn. After recently moving to the region in October and now calling Dubai my home, I take great pride in learning about the culture and the essence of Ramadan.
The main challenge I faced in week one was starting after coming back from leading a fitness and mindfulness retreat in Thailand and being dehydrated and tired from the flight. I went straight into teaching two classes and was really missing water as my throat was so dry from teaching. However, after a few days settling back into my sleep routine and waking up for Suhoor to drink water and eat for energy during the day, I was finding my feet.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but I am used to structured routines for a purpose (fight camp) and knew it would take a few days to adjust. What I wasn’t prepared for was the extent of hunger and dehydration. Whether some of it is psychological, only my diary entries over time will tell but come 2.30pm I am starving and so thirsty.
At this point, I always reflect that others in the world do this without Iftar insight because they have no choice and still work for survival. The past week has been a really humbling and reflective experience and has allowed me to connect with myself to see how mentally strong I can be. My biggest discovery this week has been that I am actually a coffee addict and struggle without it in my life!