Here’s a quick catch up with Zani de Wit, our first place winner in the ladies’ weight loss category in the 2016 Summer Ultimate You 8-Week Challenge.
- Give us a short history of your journey to health & fitness before the challenge?
A year ago I was a different person than I am now. Going from morbidly obese to overweight and a size 46 to a 38 over the course of 2016 has taught me that there are no limits to our dreams and capabilities. I was fat my whole life – throughout childhood, most of my adolescent years and as a young adult. I remember that at my heaviest my aunt’s scale (going up to 150kg’s) could not produce a reading and gave an error. When I unexpectedly fell pregnant in 2014 I knew my body was in no place to take the strain and weight of a growing being and I really could not afford to gain any more weight. I changed eating habits, ate fruit as snacks and drank more water and actually lost some weight during my pregnancy. The first year of having a baby was rough and my own health as a priority took a backseat and the healthy habits adopted during pregnancy were out the window.
When my son turned one I realised that I needed to make changes for our family. How could I raise a healthy child without being healthy myself? I wanted to be happy. I wanted to spend many more years with my parents. I wanted to grow old with my partner. And I wanted to be healthy and strong throughout my life. I realised that I needed to be the change I wanted to see. So, in 2016 I was on a mission to prove myself to myself; to prove to others and very important; to inspire.
- What prompted you to join the Ultimate You Challenge?
After winning the previous challenge I was on a roll with my journey and it just made sense to continue on this path. Before this challenge, I was not anywhere near my goal so for me this was another important stepping stone in reaching it.
- Give us a quick overview of the nutrition & eating plan you followed for this challenge.
My main source of food was from lean protein which was mostly chicken. I eat protein at every meal. Breakfast consisted of eggs. Lunch and dinner was chicken breasts and steamed vegetables or green salad with no cheese. For the challenge I restricted dairy products and completely eliminated carbs (except for some found in veggies or avo). As the challenge progressed I found myself hungry less often and thus I did not eat unless my body said so. But also importantly I was never hungry (except in the first week while my body adjusted).
- Give us a quick overview of the training plan you used for this challenge.
I trained at least 5 days per week and some days I would have a gym session in the morning and an afternoon jog. There were also many times that I did my own training at the gym and in the evening train with my partner at home.
- Did you use any supplements in this challenge?
I use a multi-vitamin, calcium supplement and omega-3 supplement.
- If you could give three pieces of advice to future challengers, what would it be?
The first advice I would give is that even the strongest fall and make mistakes. Success lies in how fast you get up. When you make a mistake, skip a workout, have a bad meal, don’t wallow in that space. Learn to move on as fast as possible and get right back on track. If you get stuck in that negative space and keep on making mistakes that is where damage happens.
Do YOUR best every day. Don’t compare yourself and your progress to those around you because then you may get discouraged. As long as you can end a day knowing that you gave it your best regardless of what happened then you are a winner. And if you do this every day, soon you will start seeing a new you.
Change may seem slow when you are living the process. My last advice is to not give up and be consistent. All the little things you do each day either brings you closer or further from your goal. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.
- What did you find most valuable about your experience?
The main reason I partake in these challenges is because it provides me with a great sense of focus so that I can reach my goals in the best time possible. But it would not have been the same without having my family (partner, Dad and sister) by my side throughout this experience.