Tracy’s triumphant fitness consistency


Tracy Wagasa Shirao poses for a picture while holding dumbbells at Thabiti Fitness and Health Center in Syokimau on January 5, 2024. PHOTO | BONFACE BOGITA | NMG

Tracy Wagasa was reluctant to give up her version of a healthy meal plan. But her coach convinced her to ditch intermittent fasting and other methods that promise weight loss within weeks.

The 30-year-old switched to portion control and calorie deficit eating, but never misses a meal.

“I am conscious of what I eat. Instead of having French fries every lunch time, I changed to eating them once a week,’’ she says.

Ms Wagasa's weight loss journey was inspired by her sister when she left for Australia to study for a Master’s degree.

“We were very close. Coming home every day without her presence left a void that I had to fill.’’

At the same time, she was uncomfortable with the way she looked in the photos she took. She had previously started going to the gym in 2019, intending only to lose a few kilos, but instead, she says, “I kept gaining, which demotivated and finally stopped going altogether.’

When Covid-19 broke out, she had even more reason not to go to the gym.

But since resuming last year, the advocate of the High Court of Kenya says she has lost more than 20 kilo.


Tracy Wagasa Shirao does renegade row workout exercise at Thabiti Fitness and Health Center in Syokimau on January 5, 2024. PHOTO | BONFACE BOGITA | NMG

“I was so curious to see if it could work for me because I have several friends whose transformation journeys I had witnessed.’’

She recalls going to her local gym after work and paying for a membership to get started.

“I was fortunate to have a coach who has been with me all the way. Simon Mwangi (the coach) is the building block of my consistencies,’’ she adds.

Imposter syndrome

It is better said than done, Ms Wagasa says of her early experiences.

“The first day at the gym was strange, I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered what I was doing there. It did not look achievable, I felt discouraged, especially when they did my body composition analysis.’’

She goes on, “I was so intimidated when I walked into the gym and saw other fit women still working on what I can only call their perfect bodies. I had no sense of belonging, I had no idea of where to start.’’

But her trainer would not let her wallow in her self-pity.

“Simon reminded me to always show up. I have always been consistent, trying my best to just show up and do what I can, even on the days when I don’t feel like it.’’

Hours of cardio sessions helped her loose the excess fats.

“I feel more confident than ever,’’ she laughs. “Honestly, if I had known this is what confidence looks like, I would have started working out long before this. It has become a lifestyle. It’s almost like breathing for me,’’ she sighs.

For Ms Wagasa, being fit means more than just looking good, “the mental benefits are exciting, I did not expect to see the gym as a therapy facility and not necessarily because I am going through something.’’

The benefits have grounded her in the journey, ultimately allowing her to release frustrations and gain clarity on things she needs.

Lifestyle change

She has also had to change her perception about weight lifting.

“For a very long time I was one of those people who were very sceptical about women lifting weights, so I had to get used to being comfortable as one of them. I had always been of the opinion that “you must be muscular”.’’

“I also had to adjust my daily routine where I cannot be lazy, I have to show up at the gym, it’s something that has become compulsory,’’ she adds.

Besides that, Ms Wagasa says she has made healthier choices. Even after a good weekend, she needs to balance and release the toxins in her body.


Tracy Wagasa Shirao does leg extension workout exercise at Thabiti Fitness and Health Center in Syokimau on January 5, 2024. PHOTO | BONFACE BOGITA | NMG

“I never thought drinking meant anything until my trainer occasionally challenged me when I came back after a good weekend out. The struggle was real,’’ she says clearing her throat.

“I am not just living; I am living consciously.’’

It’s never an easy task in any trail.

“I have had my fair share of indiscipline and a lot of mental dialogue as to why I have to do it. Everything about my lifestyle had to change.’’

Did weight gain affect her?

“Honestly, I have never received external shame or made uncomfortable. I was always the inflictor of body shaming to myself because I had a lot of self-doubt. I never felt good and beautiful enough even when no one gave me reasons to doubt myself,’’ she says.

Hoping on the Stair Master machine, she lets her twisted braids down.

“Even when you are working out, you can still look good. I will always put on lipstick, sometimes I wish I could have been born with red lips. You can trust me to have my mascara and my lipstick on. It’s almost like my identity,’’ she laughs.

Launching gym wear

Ms Wagasa also describes her gym attire as improved: “I started with promotional shirts. Then I didn’t see the need for proper gym sets because of my size.’’

She is now almost ready to launch her line of gym wear. “The way you look does contribute to your attitude in the gym,’’ she says.

Her biggest concern now, she adds, “I don’t want to lose any more weight, it has become a trend.’’

Is she a morning person?

“I have respect for those who work out in the morning, I don’t like interfering with morning routine. My body takes time to adjust in the morning as opposed to evening when I have had a lot of movements,’’ she laughs.

Despite her success in fitness, Ms Wagasa insists, “I would strongly advise beginners to get a trainer who’s going to be with you all the way, it’s going to make a big difference. Find a trainer who can get you fit, not just lose weight.’’

“Having the right mindset is not easy. Choose a system that motivates you to stick with it. Make friends at the gym so you have accountability partners. Do the right things consciously to get the results. That means eating well, complaining less and actually doing what the programme tells you to do,’’ she advices.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.