Even as a child, I had a round tummy. My parents got divorced when I was young and so, my grandmother raised me. She was my mother and she controlled my food – making sure I eat healthily. Having a sweet tooth caused me to sneak off to the café for chocolates and sweets and gobble them up before I got home. I was my grandmothers’ world – probably because she felt sorry for my situation.
In standard 2 I started Judo, meaning I had to manage my weight to compete. My grandmother made me jog 10km every night – she tried everything to control the situation. The signs were there that she was not coping. I found her one morning in a pool of blood – she tried taking her own life. I felt like it was my fault – I started eating my emotions. It however was not her time – I had to still get through matric. I kept on eating – when I was happy or sad. By high school my gran put me on Weighless – I hate weighing to this day still. Monday was weigh day. After a while I started drinking Easy Slim. It gave me heart palpitations – but I wanted to continue eating like I did, just sad it didn’t work like that. I told myself I was eating correctly – but I was actually lying to myself. My gran did everything she could to raise and support me. She even resigned from her job. In standard 5, I made the team and was chosen to represent at the South African championships. I also went to gym in between, however I ate as usual – too dumb to realize anything different. In standard 9 I stopped Judo due to schoolwork.
Shortly after finishing matric, I got married and left home. This meant I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted to. From there I just picked up weight – tried dieting, but it failed. I was always the fattest person between my friends. I tried diets and pills – nothing worked. My biggest downfall was bread.
At the age of 21, I weighed 89kg – still thinking it was OK to eat whatever I liked. By the age of 22 I weighed in the 100s. My husband never complained but I felt useless. I had to buy bigger and bigger clothes – at some stage maternity wear, and after that Donna Claire. In 2004, I was diagnosed with bipolar 2. The pills helped, but my eating habits didn’t change. I joined Sure Slim and lost 20kg – the moment I stopped, I gained back all the weight and more. I always believed I would start on Monday. Monday then came and went and by Tuesday I would slip up. I just kept on gaining weight. My scale could only weight up to 120kg – after that I just got an error.
I had known Marianda Geel for 24 years. I had lost her contact details – but found her on Facebook. This was in early 2015. I couldn’t believe her photos and her amazing transformation. She told me about Sleekgeek. I immediately thought – another diet ☹ I almost stalked her – but was amazed by her transformation. I eventually joined the Sleekgeek group and read about everyone’s successes. For 8 months, I browsed around, started asking Marianda questions – and through time got answers. I realized – if she can do this – why not me? Knowing her as a friend made it more personal and helped me to make the decision to try. It took 8 months to get my head ready – but I did it. I followed the Sleekgeek page religiously.
I remember always being sweaty – as if I just went for a swim. Marianda suggested I go for an insulin resistance test. The test came back positive and the doctor put me on medicine. On 1 January 2016, I weighed myself on someone else’s scale that could only weigh up to 150kg. I weighed in at 149.5kg – and that made me decide – now or never! My first move was to cut sugar and starch. I was scared as I had failed so many times before. I also purchased protein powder through Marianda. She asked – how much weight do you want to lose – I remember my number clearly – 60kg.
I started having my whey for breakfast and supper. I had protein and vegetables for lunch. For snacks, I had seed crackers, cottage cheese, fruit or nuts – all per defined portions. If I was invited for a meal – I asked what was on the menu. I was selfish and thought of myself – I decided what I wanted to eat and when. If I had to, I took my own food with. I started walking for exercise – even though I initially sounded like a train. I later did longer walks and park runs. When I did the first Pick and Pay walk I complained about the big t-shirt. By the finish line I was so impressed with myself – I made it. I remember a day visiting Marianda – she gave me shoes and said – come, we are going for a walk on the promenade. I nearly died – but I did it.
I took photos in the beginning – regardless of how much I hated it. It was all psychological – in the beginning I thought “wow 60kg”, but I just took it day by day. I broke it into attainable 5kg goals and kept taking pictures. Marianda and the Sleekgeek family were my biggest supporters from day 1. And more so my Heavenly Father. I had friends, but they all gave up on me as per my previous failed attempts. Elan asked to take a photo early in my journey – I nearly died – today it is one of my before photos.
Progress and Success
By April 2016 I had lost a total of 28kg and lots of centimeters. By December 2016 I had lost 47.6kg. As at May 2017, I had lost 60.2kg and I am never turning back. I encountered a lot of negative people – this time around I was stronger and smarter. I changed their negativity into encouragement. I learnt to get up when I fell. As Marianda taught me – I will and I can. I changed from a couch potato to someone that walks up and down all the time. I bought myself a Polar Loop to monitor my steps. The Sleekgeek page and talks kept me motivated. The only thing they never warned me about – buying a whole new wardrobe. I feel better and have more energy. I was on blood pressure medicine – I am now off all my meds.
I still have lows – I am human and humans make mistakes. If I eat something wrong the scale increases, but my centimeters always showed progress. A scale can lie. I also sometimes have to say no – especially when people around you eat junk, it stays my choice. I also prefer to prep my food, or to have healthy snacks at hand. I once had wine gums – I was so sick after that. I used to buy only junk at the shops and eat it in the car – that has stopped. I now buy a bottle of water – water is so important!
I only showered – I was so scared I would get stuck in the bath. I now love my baths. My clothes are all too big, I gave them away as there is no turning back. I went from a size 28 to a 16. I feel like another person. I have received comments like – “your neck has excess skin” – I just feel like bugger them all – I am super proud of what I have achieved. You need to build up your confidence. I worked very hard to get where I am and to get over my emotional eating. I changed from the inside out. This is not a diet. My stomach is no longer a garbage bin. I had a complete change of mindset. I stick to my daily goals. I dealt with my past as I cannot change it. If I can do it – anyone can. In January 2017 I won an entry to the Sleekgeek Ultimate You challenge. This was a great experience and my team Trimtones really made it a great experience. My Sleekgeek family is my favorite!
- If you cheat – do it with something you enjoy – make it worthwhile.
- Don’t keep your ‘fat’ clothes.
- Take it day by day. Weeks change into months and before you know you’re halfway over the mountain.
- I want to live!
- Stay active – whatever your activity – love yourself enough to do it.
- A lifestyle change – forever.
- You cannot grow if you are not willing to change.
- Dream big, work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people.
I WILL FIGHT FOR IT
I WILL NOT GIVE UP
I WILL REACH MY GOAL….
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL STOP ME!!!!!
"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.