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!!!!!