I have always been the chubby kid, I was never very involved in sport or any activity of any kind and I think that was my biggest downfall with regards to my weight. I have always been aware of making good food choices as we were raised in a household where junk food was not easily available and we used to pick vegetables from our own garden, meat and 3 veg was a staple in our home.
I then met my husband, fell in love and moved to Jo’burg. We started a family and I had a very easy pregnancy with normal weight gain and went back to work after my maternity leave was up. I was obviously carrying a few extra kilo’s and had heard from a friend about these wonderful diet pills where I could shed the weight easily, and I did. 4 months after my son was born I weighed less than I did before I fell pregnant and felt on top of the world. On my son’s first birthday I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and this pregnancy wasn’t as easy. I had gone from working to being a full time stay at home mom as my son was a sickly child, and my eating just went out the window. I gained a large amount of weight and when my daughter was born I found myself in the triple digits!
I had 2 children under 2 and at that stage of life I was just trying to keep my head above water and my health was my last priority. I did try some fad diets weigh-less, Eden Life, Sure Slim … you name it and I have tried it. They all worked for a short while but once I came off them and went back to my old habits I gained it all back and then some. I eventually went to go and see an endocrinologist who diagnosed me with a fatty liver and PCOS, I was also insulin resistant and my count at that stage was 17. My weight was 113kgs I was obese and I was facing a life of possible diabetes and lifelong medications at the age of 31. This was my lowest point. I remember phoning my husband sobbing asking him how had I let it get this bad? Up to that point I was honestly in denial.
In July 2016 I was put on a twice daily insulin injection and the most rigid eating plan, the doctor then said to me that we will do blood tests again in 6 months and that’s when I realised that this was all up to me. I could just give up or I could fight and believe in myself. I decided to make a goal of losing 30kgs in 1 year and slowly and surely I did!
I had never set foot in a gym before January 2016, I was dragged in there by a friend who wanted the joining discount and I am forever grateful to her that she did. I started off walking on the treadmill 3 times a week for 20 to 30 mins until I felt brave enough to attempt some of the classes. I actually found myself enjoying it and wanting to push myself further. I then got in touch with a wonderful personal trainer and between weight training and boxing with him and attending spinning, shape and grid classes, I was training 6 days a week. It is hard and there are days when you want to just call it quits and eat a pizza but pushing through those days gets you the results you are after and makes you stronger than you ever knew you were.
I would not have been able to do any of this if it wasn’t for the incredible support of my husband who has never once lost faith in me. I am inspired daily by all the members of Sleekgeek and during my first 8-Week Challenge I have met the most incredible group of ladies, the Dwindling Divas and every day we share our struggles or just have a laugh and knowing that I am accountable to someone makes me push myself further.
It is awful that I had to hit such a low to realise that I needed change but I am forever grateful for that moment. I am fitter, healthier and stronger than I have ever been and my confidence has gone from zero to 10! I might even achieve one of my most terrifying goals this summer, wearing a bikini in public. I have done 1 Warrior Race and have already entered my second, I have found a new love for hiking and being outdoors and I can now be a good example for my kids and hopefully help them make better choices than I did. In total I have dropped 32kgs and lost 2 dress sizes in the space of 1 year. I still have my ultimate goal to reach 75kgs but I am happy in my skin for the first time in years and yes, I may not be perfect but I am perfectly me ☺
My most valuable tips are:
- Get your mindset right before you begin, I am my own worst enemy some days but if you make a plan and stick to it and just try keep as positive as possible.
- Take one day at a time. I find when I’m having a rough day I try focusing on small goals like have a healthy lunch or only have 3 cups of coffee today. We all have bad days/weeks but try not to beat yourself up and get back on track as quickly as possible.
- Find like-minded people who share your values and goals, having someone rooting for you really does help a lot.
- Believe in yourself, set small goals and once you’ve achieved it get ready to smash the next one. One day you’ll wake up and be amazed at what you have actually managed to accomplish.