Sylvia’s Powerful Story of Survival and Losing 48kgs!

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HOW IT ALL STARTED

My weight problems started early in my life. I was an anxious and insecure child who preferred to spend time alone for fear of judgement from others. I hid from people, birthday parties, socialising and anything that would make me vulnerable. By not being ‘part of’ groups and activities I avoided ‘having to fit in’ which I found very hard to do. I learned quickly how to have ‘parties in my mouth’ by myself. I went through primary school overweight and unhappy, always avoiding any gym class or sporting activity by hiding in the toilets! But the gym coach soon found out and after pulling me from my hiding place she made me do gym in front of every class for the rest of that day. She enjoyed her little power pluck, but my dignity was left in tatters and my hatred of exercise was fueled.

There was one person who made me feel worthwhile and bought me sweets everyday “because I was more special” than the other kids. He was the school caretaker (pedophile). He ruined the tiny smidgen of me that decided to trust someone and he caused a gaping wound in my soul. I told nobody. I found food soothed me, so I ate more and more often so that I never felt empty.

By the time I went into high school I weighed 109kg. Being the fat girl was hard and I struggled to go and face the ‘normal kids’ each day.  I was always sick, absent and trying to escape reality. Then my dad, whom I adore, was diagnosed with cancer and after a brief time he died. I think I just went straight into deep depression. So I was 16 and medicated for depression.

AFTER SCHOOL

After school I studied to be a chef. (Great choice to surround yourself with food when you are fat!) The weight piled on. Then started a series of hectic , self hating attempts to lose weight incl wiring my jaws, starving, liquid diets and many more harmful choices. None succeeded.

A NEW HOPE

Unfulfilled, bitterly unhappy and searching for a more meaningful existence I left catering and started looking after abandoned/ abused children. I found my purpose. When my children healed and thrived I healed and thrived. For the first time in my life I was fulfilled and satisfied. Then one day a 3 year old boy (who had been with me for over two years), had a massive seizure and never regained consciousness. He died but we resuscitated him, but two days later I gave permission to take him off life support due to no brain cortex response. Even though I knew he had AIDS and foetal alcohol syndrome, I had still believed in miracles and hoped he would make it, but life and death is out of our control. I became a wreck, shocked at how powerless we as humans are. I ate to stroke my heart and ease the grief. A numb, long feeding frenzy followed until I weighed in at 162kg.

Somehow in the midst of the chaos of life I lost myself completely. By this time I was looking after many children and my mom in a mechanical way, getting things done.

THE TRANSFORMATION

My children were being teased because their mom was fat. My health was a mess and I could barely move! I made a decision to lose weight because the children and my mom needed me to live. And so the weight loss began. I lost 15kg by cutting sugar. Then I found Sleekgeek and did the Reboot. My mood lifted and I felt the tingle of hope in my soul. I joined the Sleekgeek Ultimate You Challenge and loved it. Lost another 15kg. I carried on after the challenge with my 6000 steps a day, then 8000 steps a day and now 10 000 steps a day. I discovered a love for walking! Then I started SLEEKGEEK COACHING  with founder Elan as my online coach. The coaching digs deeply and thoroughly into the reasons people eat badly or have harmful behaviours and helps you to harness good habits to thrive.

I eat clean 80% of the time. I fall off the wagon sometimes but make an immediate u-turn and jump back on. I am consistent at doing what needs to be done to get where I want to be.

At this point my average week consists of doing 10 000 steps 3 x a week, training with a trainer 2 x a week and two rest days. I eat loads of vegetables, a bit of fruit, buckwheat, quinoa and sweet potato, lean proteins, olive and coconut oils and wholewheat rice cakes when I desire crunchiness. I use whey to supplement protein intake.

I have lost 48kgs of heaviness. I still have far to go – but I know I will do it because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel which is amazing because just a few years back I didn’t have the energy or inclination to even find the tunnel through the haze of my sugar/ junk food induced state!

I am now present, healthy and available for those who depend on me. I am also present, healthy and conscious of my own needs and tend to them regularly.

TIPS:

For those who feel overwhelmed and helpless,  just start small. Baby steps. Don’t compare yourself to others.

THROW IT OUT, NOT IN. If you tend to guzzle leftovers because you don’t want to waste food… don’t! You are not a bin. Throw it out or give it away.

Exercise is not negotiable: Every time you say “but i’m tired, “but it’s cold”, “but I don’t feel like it” your BUTT grows bigger!

Hydrate well.

No deadlines or stress. Enjoy the journey.


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  • Sylvia, I’m so proud of you! You’ve come such a long way and it’s been an absolute pleasure to watch your progress throughout the Sleekgeek Coaching program. You and Coach Elan make a great team!