Our LagosMums mum of the month is Bunmi George. She is a mum of two wonderful children and a loving wife. She is a weight loss and fitness expert and also the founder of ShredderGang. We really enjoyed talking to her. Read about this amazing mum as she shares her obesity to fitness journey and her motherhood experiences.
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Bunmi George, I am a dietician and fitness professional. I am a mom, a wife, a lover of God, and a lover of the finer things in life as well.
Share one unexpected thing about you.
I’m actually very, very goofy; I can break out in a dance, a very goofy dance, I can jump up and down. People don’t usually expect that from me, maybe because of the way that I look, but I am a very goofy person.
Can you share all the hats/roles that you wear?
I am the firstborn, I am a daughter, and a wife. I’m a mom and a business owner. I am also a friend, a pastor, and counsellor.
Tell us about your beautiful family.
My family is made up of my husband, myself, and we have two children; Teshe, who is about to be five, and Tony, who is three years old. And we are a very tight knit family. We are a type of family who sits down at the table to eat at least three times a week together. Our family really believes in oneness and wholeness. We also are very big on celebrating the little things.
I find ways to create happiness out of whatever it is that we have. I make sure that my children understand that it is not about having things in abundance, but it’s just making do and being content with what you’ve been given. So my hashtag is “create your happy”, that I like to push to say, ‘you know what’, wherever you are, no matter what it is that you have, you’re able to be happy in that circumstance.
Why did you start @Shreddergang?
I started Shreddergang out of my own personal struggle with obesity, at a very young age. Then, I was 130 kilograms at the age of 18, and had gone away to university; I remember the very day I was trying to go up my registrar’s stairs, and I couldn’t. By the time I got to the top, I just told myself, “Bunmi, you have to take control of your life”. I tried previously, to do things to lose weight; for many years I would gain or I would lose. But that day was the pivotal point in my life, and so I started.
After I lost 55 kg in 14 months, I decided that I also want to start helping people lose weight. I wanted people’s journeys to be easier than mine; a lot of people want to lose weight, but they don’t know how to go about it. And I wanted to help show them how to do it, and not by doing ‘trial and error’ like me.
What are the top two things people want to achieve when they sign up with you?
The top two things that people want to achieve when they sign up with Shreddergang are; firstly, they basically want to get in control of their weights. So a lot of people especially women because we deal with a lot of them; they have their weights like a Yoyo, going up and down, and so they really want to get a firm grip on a weight level. And lastly, they want to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Some people don’t know what to do; What to eat? How to eat? What to cook? Can I eat this or not? Do I have to eat salads all the time? Do I always have to have smoothies? So, we kind of teach people the ‘Hows’.
Can you share some of your tips on healthy living?
I will say that your healthy living starts with your mind. And I always tell clients all the time that your body will not go where your mind hasn’t gone. So a healthy lifestyle starts with an open mind, a mind that is ready to try new things, a mind that is ready to go the extra mile. The second thing is to start small. Most people when they want to change their lifestyle, they start out too drastic; they’re cutting out every sort of food group that they hear is bad, they’re waking up and running two hours a day, and those are not what you need.
Start slow, take baby steps, make changes, maybe in two things this for this month; like deciding to swap eating regular rice for, maybe brown rice or ofada rice, and setting that as a goal for the month. And another goal, exercise-wise, making sure that you work out three to four times a week for 35 minutes. And that’s how you start and set yourself up for success.
Thirdly, is to enjoy life while doing it. Life is for living, So a lot of people just want to live a healthy lifestyle and they think it’s boring; you can enjoy every single day, doing what you love, and just incorporating a healthy lifestyle into that.
What are some of the biggest challenges of losing the baby weight?
New mothers should not believe they have to lose every gained weight in the space of two months as it took me nine months to gain the weight. So they should take the pressure off themselves is what I would say.
One of the biggest challenges is sleep. Mothers tend to get very tired, your baby wakes up five times last night, and trying to wake up to workout can be a bit challenging. Another challenge is eating a lot. A lot of women when they’re breastfeeding, they’re lactating, so they tend to eat a lot. So those are some of the challenges that they face. But those things are easy when you know what to do.
What has surprised you the most about motherhood?
For me, it has to be how tasking it turned out to be. Growing up, I saw my mother flawlessly train myself and my four brothers, and it seemed like a walk in the park. And you see a lot of women and they’re just doing this motherhood thing so easily. So I think one of the things that surprised me was how much intentionality I had to put into being a mom. Because of the type of person I am, I believe in being present and being intentional; so, I didn’t understand that this was going to take my entire life, being and everything that I am, goes into being a mom.
What also surprised me was the fact that not a lot of people talk about motherhood and how “stretching” it can be. So motherhood has taught me good and bad things about myself, it has taught me first of all, see that I sometimes lack patience. For example, when my child wants to do something and I say don’t do that if he keeps pestering and I might get a bit annoyed, as opposed to being patient and actually understanding what it is my child wants.
It has also taught me that I am complete and enough as a person. Children are just so amazing, they are just full of love and nothing that changes how they feel. And that teaches me that love is so pure and that I can give pure love to another individual with no strings attached.
Can you tell us some of the funniest things your children have done?
One time, we were on vacation in Miami, my oldest son got a tub of Vaseline, and I was probably making lunch. My son then takes the whole tub, puts his hand in it, and starts rubbing it on over his little brother’s head, and his little brother has a lot of hair. I think it was like three minutes later before I noticed and I was like ” oh my goodness, how do you get this thing washed off?”, it was so much. So it was really funny and everybody started laughing.
Another funny thing my boys do is they’re very goofy, just like me. So they can break out in a dance, just out of the blue, the funniest type of dance. Always funny to me and to people around as well that they do that.
What’s one thing you think your parents got absolutely right raising you that you would like to pass on as you bring up your own children?
My parents raised me to be a very compassionate individual and someone who does not get easily angered. So, for me, I feel like that’s a very important life skill; to show compassion to others, people are going through things that they may never talk about. I am always compassionately thinking about the next person, before myself. And I was taught that from a young age because I grew up with four older brothers; and we were always taught to look out for your brother, look out for your sister. Also, not being easily angered, is always making sure that I kind of process the entire scenario before reacting.
I hope to bring my children up in that same way, some of these attributes that I have and I can pass on to them as well; that good life skills as it kind of helps me process life very well.
How do you balance work and parenting?
I would not say that I have a balance, I will say that I have a rhythm. For me, I put first things first, and everyone has their own different truths, but the truth is that I’m a parent first before my work. I have decided, as a mom and as a woman that I would always choose my family first before my work; everyone has their own truth, this is my truth and that’s what I would do, in that way I find rhythm around my life.
I have a very good support system as well, at home, that helps me; domestic staff that is very reliable, that helps me with my kids, my husband as well is very involved in parenting. When it comes down to things like homework, extracurricular activities, I find that we both work together hand in hand to make sure that everything is synergized, and we’re all working in a rhythm. Of course, we can go out of rhythm, but we come back, everything is working organically, kind of like a recycling process. That’s how I balance or how I make it work for me with parenting and my work.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your Tribe? What kind of support do you have now?
No man is an island, especially as women we cannot expect that we can do everything on our own; especially in the fast-paced world that we’re living in for me as a business person. In my domestic, I have two nannies that work with me, they support me in the homefront with taking care of the children, cleaning, cooking, here and there. My spouse is a big part of my support system; if I take my spouse out of my support system, right now, it’s going to be very wobbly. And also, I have good friends that I trust that, who I can trust with my kids.
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home?
Love! Love should not be missing from every home, it is what binds us and keeps us together.
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time on yourself?
I believe that a healthy and happy mom means a healthy and happy family; if I’m not happy, and I’m not healthy, I don’t believe that I can function as a mom, or as a wife. Every single day I spend time with myself, the first 10% of my day is given to me; people don’t believe in that, but that like I said, that is my truth. So you find me going for a run, or I’m doing some sort of exercise, in the first half of the first two hours that I wake up; I exercise for an hour, I come back home, take a shower, and I spend time with God.
But I do have the times where I book a spa session or just end up spending some time with my girlfriends; maybe, go for lunch, dinner, or brunch. I always make sure that I have time for my friends as well.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
I love to take care of my skin and my body; I work out five times a week for an hour or an hour 10 minutes, I drink lots of water and eat very healthy. For me staying stylish, I love fashion. If I wasn’t doing Shreddergang, I would probably have gone into fashion. I like buying and pulling pieces together; and so I have decided to own my own style, where I’m not allowing the world to dictate to me what my style should be. If I want to wear check on check, I’m going to wear that, if want to wear trainers and a dress, I’m gonna wear them. So I just own my own truth and that’s how I stay stylish.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I love LagosMums so much, I’m probably on LagosMums page four to five times a week. Whenever I come on Instagram I try to see all the new things that are coming up all the events especially before COVID, and so much valuable information is shared there. I also check on things about the community; all the women that come up and chat in the comment section, always learning something from someone’s experience as well. We can never know everything, so LagosMums gives that avenue to learn.
Another thing I love is that LagosMums add value, there’s always something that they’re doing every week; that makes sense for you as a mother, a woman, or even as a person in general. There’s somebody that’s going to speak about something that’s going to add value to your life. That’s why I’m always on their page, so I love LagosMums.
N1million or More sleep?
- More sleep.
Go on a Shopping spree or All expenses paid trip to your top destination?
- All expenses paid trip because I love traveling.
Homeschooling or Traditional school?
- Traditional school, please.
A Spa day or Eat out?
- I think it really depends on the season, but right now I’ll say a spa day.
Read Motherhood experiences and journeys of other mums in the Mum of The Month Category