From an early age, I loved food. Food was a time for celebration, a time to be with friends or family or even when life wasn’t so great. My mother was incredibly health and weight conscious and would always watch my every bite. I think she realised that if I didn’t watch my weight I would have a problem.
I grew up in a household where, the most exciting cereal was All-bran. Although I was incredibly spoilt and was very lucky to have most things in life. I always felt, like I was missing out in the food department.
I would go to friend’s houses and they would have junk food like chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chips, chocolates, biscuits etc. I would go completely crazy and indulge. It was like Christmas. I of course felt sick and swore that I’d never do it again.
To give you an example, my school lunch consisted off. A small whole wheat sandwich with tuna and Tomato, a small date & bran muffin, celery/carrot sticks and a bottle of water. All I ever wanted was a peanut butter sandwich and Niknaks.
However, I am so grateful that my mother pushed me to be involved in a lot of sports, I did swimming, surf lifesaving and hockey. I trained very hard and kept in shape. When we moved from Durban to Cape Town, things changed I wasn’t as involved in sport and then the kgs began to climb.
I then decided to go and study Hotel Management, I was introduced to the student life of pies, coke, cream sodas, two minute noodles, tequila, vodka and beer. Which I loved but my body didn’t. I did no exercise and started to gain even more weight.
Only in my mid-twenties, did I get very big and unhappy. Every time I was depressed I ate and break ups did not help either! I also went to America in 2012 and ate myself silly.
In 2013, I decided enough is enough. I tried every diet possible. HCG, X Diet, Banting, The Drinking Man’s diet, Sureslim, Weighless. Herbalife. Yes, I lost weight but I began to yo-yo. 1 year I was looking good, the next I looked like the OROS man.
When my father passed away it was a turning point
Then in 2017, my worst fear came to light. I lost my most favourite person in the whole world, my Dad. The two years before that had been very hard for me, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and I was in a very dark place. So when I lost my dad, I thought that the wheels were going to come off and I would need to check into a clinic.
Instead, I thought about how that would upset my father. He wouldn’t want me to crumble, he would want me to be happy. I knew that the only way I could be happy again, was if I took charge of my life. I had the “enough is enough” moment again, but this time I didn’t want to be fat and unhappy anymore.
I decided to make small changes, find exercises that I would enjoy and to go see a dietician.
No more starvation diets, no more diet pills, just hard work and being kinder to myself.
I joined the gym, started with walking on the treadmill, Weight Training, Swimming and the circuit. Later on I joined classes, did some boxing and then I joined Body20.
I also addressed my nutrition.
Then suddenly, weight started to fall off. I felt more confident and began to love my body again.
I currently do Intermittent fasting, I do not eat from 8pm until 12pm the next day. At 12pm for lunch, I eat a 3 egg omelette with mushrooms, spinach, peppers, celery and bacon (I change the type of filling every day).
At 5pm I eat raw almonds or lean biltong, I make sure I drink 3L of water a day. Only drink alcohol on the weekend and 1 or 2 drinks.
For dinner, I have anything green (veg/salad) and any meat/fish steamed, poached, grilled or roasted without sauce/basting.
I have one cheat meal a week, where I have whatever I want.
I currently go to Body20 once a week, I do 1 bumble class at gym and I do 1 boxing session once a week. I make sure that, for another 2 days of the week, I either do the circuit at gym, resistance training, or I walk on the promenade or do a yoga class. I like to mix it up, to prevent getting bored and to insure that I’m constantly pushing my body in a good way.
Throughout my journey, my parents and closest friends have been incredibly supportive. Sometimes, I still get frustrated with my mother but I know it’s only because she loves me and sees my potential and that’s why she always push so hard.
My achievements to date
I am currently down 41.9kgs. I have gone from a size 18 to 14. I haven’t had asthma attack or needed to go to hospital in 2 years. My skin has cleared, my PCOS is under control and my period has regulated naturally. The rash on my arms has gone and I no longer get short of breath when I run.
I am not super fit but I am at a level where I can enjoy a good workout, I no longer struggle to do burpees, lunges or planks.
Although my journey is not over, my goal is to drop another 30 kgs and get down to a size 10. Even then my journey will not be over, then I need to maintain and live a healthy life forever.
I also want to share that this is not a race, you are not in competition with anyone else. Do this for you. My journey has not been easy, I fell off the wagon plenty of times and would sit at home in my pyjamas eating junk. I would order a large pizza and ice cream, coke etc. and just eat my feelings.
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My biggest thank you is to Sleek Geek community for the constant inspiration and thank you to the staff at Body20 Claremont.
You’ve changed my life!!
I have learnt ten things from my weight loss journey:
- Only you can lose the weight
- Don’t worry about other people
- Do this for you
- Food is your friend, not your comfort
- Exercise because you love body, not because you want to punish it
- Be kind to yourself
- If you think you’re drinking enough water, you’re wrong. Drink more!
- See the light in the world and things you desire, shall come to you.
- Diet pills, crash diets will never work
- You can still be social, even though you are picking a healthier lifestyle.