When I was approached to share my story I was quite taken aback as didn’t think my journey was all that awe-inspiring. It forced me to think about my past choices and also to figure out the reason for me picking up weight. I realized that it was almost like I had given up on myself…
Here is my story.
My name is a Jeanette and I’m married with three children. I have 9 grandchildren, the oldest of whom is twenty.
Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have weight issues growing up. I was always lean, as were my siblings, and even after having three children, I remained the same. It’s only when I got older and hormonal changes became a factor, that I noticed my body becoming sluggish and it became more difficult to keep the weight off.
We encountered difficulties with one of our children from the teen years and this situation altered me forever. Looking back, I can now see that I had become an emotional eater and a complete carb addict. This was my way of dealing with the hurt and confusion within me. It’s only the last 8 years or so, that my weight became an issue.
Food was always a big part of my life growing up, as my mother was a phenomenal cook and weekends she cooked up a storm for the Sunday table. We would have parties and the neighbours were always invited, where she prepared all the food for everyone. My connection with food was and is a happy one and mom instilled the love of food and cooking into myself and my siblings, hence the fact that my obsession with food remains to this day. I love feeding people and entertaining and I’m sure I have custard running through my veins!!
I have always taken pride in my appearance and I have an eye for fashion, so it wasn’t difficult to hide the extra weight as it gradually crept up on me. But, my husband and my one sister started to hint that maybe there was a little more of me to love than before!
My husband, on a few occasions, said that he thought that maybe ‘WE’ should go on a diet, or cut back on ‘OUR’ eating, when of course he meant ME, because he was not overweight. I took offense and told him he could if he wanted to, but that I was quite happy the way I was, which of course was a lie. Looking back, I realized he was trying to help me. One thing I have learnt over the years is that if you’re not ready to do it, no amount of persuasion by anyone can make you do it.
One day my sister phoned me and told me she started Banting/low carb. I couldn’t understand why because she is very tall and thin, but did have ‘middle aged spread’ around the midriff we all come to expect at a certain age with hormone changes. She explained her reasoning behind it and I wished her luck. Weeks passed and she contacted me again telling me how much weight she had lost. She told me that the low-carb lifestyle was also helping with stabilizing her blood sugar and her carb cravings and she urged me to give it a try. I joined the LCHF Facebook page, primarily because I was nosy, but once I saw the results I became intrigued. Being a foodie, I immediately took it as a challenge to reinvent some traditional recipes and to make them low carb. My hubby and I would then have my ‘experiments’ for dinner to taste test them and also because that was the meal I had cooked and we had to eat it! I started to realize that I was stronger than I thought I was, in that I could fight the urge to eat bread, which is my Achilles heel. I keep bread in the house because I occasionally make sandwiches for my husband for work, but I know that if I have a slice, there will be no turning back.
I remember when I first started to eat low carb, I used to lie in bed and think to myself: “Well I can always have a slice if I really couldn’t cope with the craving” but I never did….Having bread in the house was like a security blanket to me. Now I walk past it and I don’t even notice it at all. I do, however, on occasion, bake a low-carb version for myself, when I make burgers, but it’s very rare that this happens.
After a while I noticed my clothes becoming loose and so I found myself buying smaller jeans. It was then that I climbed on the scale for the first time. What I saw was quite horrific (to me) but by then I was motivated and there was no going back.
I lost about 16kg, but much more in cm’s. I have come down from a size 20 (44) to a size 14 (38)
We both continued on the Banting/low carb journey and my love of food resulted in me starting a very successful Facebook page as well as a blog for my recipes.
I’m very happy with my results and grateful that I’m feeling fitter and healthier than before. I have stopped taking medication for GERD (reflux disease). As a result of the weight loss, I no longer have this problem.
I feel good, and I have more confidence in myself and my abilities.
I have had bad days when I have fallen off the wagon, but I keep on going on regardless.
I joined the Sleek Geek Facebook page a while ago because I thought I could share my recipes to help others on their weight loss journey, but instead of that happening, I found myself motivated by all the success stories on the page. I was never a lover of exercise and was pretty much a couch potato, but Sleekgeek and the people who run it inspired me to get off my couch and to get back to speed walking.
I walk 2.5km six days a week followed by some Pilates. It feels good to get a little fitter and healthier, which helps me to cope with the ongoing stressful situation I’m in.
I leave you with a few tips that work for me.
1: Be prepared with healthy ingredients available in your fridge/cupboard
2: You eat with your eyes, so plate your food so that it looks pretty and appetizing
3: I always have berries and cream or sugar-free baked goods available in my fridge, although I don’t have a sweet tooth, you just never know!
4: Even if you don’t feel like exercising, do it anyway.
5: Don’t do it for anyone else but yourself.
6: Be grateful for the small things and victories.
7: Be proud that you started this journey because you could have still been where you were, on the couch like me!
"Falling off the wagon"
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