I am sitting in front of my laptop having to write my “weight-loss” story for Sleekgeek and I realise it’s not possible to write it without telling my life story. How do you however share and bare your soul to thousands of strangers? Easy I guess – because I hope I can inspire and motivate just one person who may read this.
Growing Up A Nerd
I grew up in an Afrikaans family in a small town. I was a typical nerd that was great at academics, but didn’t participate in any sporting activities. I knew nothing about exercise and was thus heavier than most of my friends by high school. I know I weighed around 71kg in Matric and for a girl of 1.64m tall, that was definitely overweight – but as I said, nothing I even attempted to change.
Who Am I?
Ironically first year at university was responsible for the first 10kg weight gain. I was however more confident and happy in those 4 years at varsity than most of my school career. The biggest reason for the weight gain – eating unhealthily and still not having a clue about exercise, except walking to classes. I started working and gained about another 7kgs. I was still extremely dedicated and soon had a career where I spent most of my days either in meetings or sitting behind a computer. I started experimenting with diets and some exercise – but nothing permanent.
I met the man of my dreams and started getting more serious as there was a wedding dress to fit into – I even tried Duromine (major fail). I got married weighing in at 83kg and feeling very pretty. In our first year of marriage my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes and being a dutiful wife we joined a gym and went to a dietician. This started a cycle of 4-6 months of trying some diet with exercise and losing weight, and then life as normal with gaining all the weight back. I made all my efforts linked to my husband – whenever he gave up, I gave up.
Here I need to add a little story – which I feel is part of my being. I was adopted as a baby and although it never explicitly impacted me – somewhere there is a need of wanting to feel accepted and loved. In the year I turn 30, my biological parents find me, and I suddenly have a great big loving family – my beautiful parents that raised me, my biological parents (each with their own families) and 5 siblings from all these families. A circle is completed – a girl now knows who she is.
Becoming a Mom
After 5 years of being married and not falling pregnant, we eventually sought the help of a fertility specialist, and after two cycles of IVF and a frozen embryo transfer I fell pregnant. The months of additional hormones and chicken mayonnaise sandwiches, with a weight gain to over 100kg made me develop gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension with a scare at around 22 weeks. I went to a dietician and because the baby I was carrying was my only concern, I did not gain any weight in my last 14 weeks of pregnancy. Our son was born at 36 weeks and is a healthy boy. Two weeks after his birth I had lost 14kgs and was beyond chuffed. Then started the late nights and little sleep and I ate and ate, gaining 8kgs back within 4 months. By the time my son was almost 1 year old, I was at my highest non-pregnancy weight of 99kg and couldn’t lose weight – didn’t matter what I did. I was unhappy, wearing a size 44 denim and hating my body.
The Penny Drops
By July 2015 I see a promo for a Danette May programme and decided I might as well try it – it’s just 30 days. It’s basically a form of Paleo and I lost 8kgs in my first month – even avoiding cake at my boys’ 1st birthday party. Something clicked – I realised the secret behind enough protein, healthy carbs and fat. I changed my mindset – I changed for me, not seeking approval from my husband or friends. I also joined a Facebook support group and this tribe of women motivated me and pushed me. I did my first Ultimate You Challenge in Jan 2016. By May 2016, I was tired of restricting eating plans, cutting calories and not seeing results. I find the world of If It Fits Your Macros and a coach that is willing to teach and not just take my money. I started logging all my food on MyFitnessPal and trying out some weight training at home. The fact that I can train when my son is sleeping, allows me the flexibility I need. I lost minimal weight the rest of the year, but upped my exercise, added some running (which I have learnt to love), that changed my body shape. A friend that became a trainer helped me with additional training plans. I learned that people are willing to help you on your journey and support you. The internet is laden with free information – you must be open to learn.
This Is Now
In February 2017 I won an entry to the Ultimate You Challenge and I decided to reach my final goal weight. I decided that to achieve something I have never had, I need to do what I have never done. I cut my grains and dairy – as per the Sleekgeek Reboot and exercised consistently – and I achieved my goal in the 8 weeks. Again, having a strong team helped me keep focussed. I have lost 32kgs in 2 years and am planning my next big goal. I still struggle with my head and matching the woman in the mirror, now being the thinnest I have been my whole adult life, to the woman in my head. My favourite part of being a thinner me – being able to play and run with my son and the clothes… don’t get me started on the clothes 🙂
– Support from family and friends is just as important as your inner voice.
– My husband helps me by allowing me time to train. Use your support systems.
– Plan and use your time efficiently – we are all busy – be smart about your time.
– I have learnt balance and use tools like MyFitnessPal to log my food and mathematically see what I can allow in a day.
– I have always loved to learn and use this to my advantage.
– I train in ways I enjoy and would love to push my body harder.
– My Fitbit and Vitality goals and rewards motivate me to move.
– I avoid my triggers and know already that a weekend with family will mean bad food choices – which I balance with enough good choices surrounding this.
– One small treat and then back on plan – it’s about consistency every day.
"Falling off the wagon"
What if it was actually an important part of the journey?
Let us show you how to turn failure into the most valuable feedback ever.