I was very close to the 80kg mark on the scale and 38% body fat, when I made the decision to take control of the downward spiral that my health had taken.
At 166cm tall, this was not a healthy place to be. I had no energy, I woke up exhausted, my sleep was interrupted, my general mood in life – miserable, and I had absolutely no motivation to change anything. Then one day I woke up and felt tired of feeling tired.
A happy song on the radio reminded me of the laughter in my heart that was missing from my daily life. I knew there was so much more to me than just the physical appearance that I loathed so much, but that was all consuming. I wanted to fall in love with me again.
I had been through several long, emotionally exhausting and physically devastating failed IVF cycles. I kept putting my mental, physical and emotional state down to the hectic impact of the hormones and loss that came with that journey.
I would have lost myself
But to stay there would have meant I would have lost so much more. I would have lost myself. That moment, when I reclaimed the joy of being me, was when it all turned around.
It was a long journey back, and not easy – but that makes the victory so much sweeter, and the determination to never go back there even more solidified. I had to dig so deep, there were times when I didn’t believe I had it in me.
It was at those times when my amazing support system I put into place (note – this was a conscious plan), particularly the most phenomenal personal training coach in the world, and my fabulous girlfriends, came to my rescue, literally talking me down from the pizza, or dragging me moaning into a gym or running session. The environment we live in daily is so confusing, with so many conflicting messages, filled with temptation, well meaning people whose advice is not necessarily wrong – but just not right for me.
A long and hard road
Probably the most critical element to my transformation was finding the right Endocrinologist. I went to 3 before I found someone who really knew their stuff, and who truly listened. I went through the mill with the first 3, tests which were so cursory, they couldn’t have seen the extent of the problem they needed to deal with. I mention this as it was not only costly, but soul destroying to keep being told that there was nothing wrong, or being given the wrong drug dosage to rectify an underlying thyroid induced auto-immune condition, Hashimoto’s. That took almost a year to rectify, 12 months wasted which I should have been healing my body, not fighting it.
I spent those 12 months trudging through the weekly torture that the strict eating plan and my gym sessions felt like, and the totally devastating checkins when nothing had shifted on the scale or in my measurements.
Finding Dr Ruder at Fourways Life hospital was a game changer for me. Within a week of being under his care I was able to lift my head, to hear the happy tune that spoke to my heart, that started me saying, I don’t want to feel tired any more.
Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge
In that week I joined the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge .
I decided to follow a Paleo eating plan from the Challenge Vault and so the Transformation began.
8 weeks later I had lost 5kg and many centimetres. In those 8 weeks I promised myself that when I got to my goal weight I would treat myself to a Sexy Makeover photoshoot. That, and the After photos that I knew Elan and Eric would be seeing, were VERY strong motivators to make sure I stayed on track. Believe me when I tell you, you NEED to be accountable to something/someone on this journey … we are human, most of just can’t do this on our own.
(FYI Note from Sleekgeek: For the record challenge photos are reviewed by a female freelancer and not Elan & Eric so don’t let that put you off ladies!)
After the first 5kgs shifted … and that was MASSIVE for me, it had taken almost 18 months to get to that point, it was like a light turned on for me, I started to listen to my body, what I needed, when I needed, and if I deviated I knew immediately how badly it impacted my sense of wellbeing.
This was the most important shift, it was no longer about losing the weight, it was about being able to function well, to feel vital, full of energy and to be able to enjoy my life.
I started running with the help of a 9to5Challenge, which taught me the discipline of consistent training and eating correctly. Even if it’s a light session, it’s better than no session at all. And you need to have fuel for your exercise, otherwise it’s really really tough.
A walk around the block gave me a sense of satisfaction no amount of comfort food ever gave me (believe me, I’m an expert on this one!). I also found out that I’m somewhat competitive… who would have thought!!! In May 2017 I won a pair of Skecher running shoes … my pride and joy – because they symbolised what I had claimed back – my health!!
50 and fabulous!
Fast forward to July 2018 … I turned 50 and have spent the past 6 months feeling the healthiest, most full of life and full of joy that I have in my entire life. I have travelled to new and exciting places, expanded my business in ways a didn’t think possible and connected with people in more meaningful ways than I could have ever imagined.
Probably the most important aspect of this #BIG50 year has been accepting that the journey is never over.
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I have the new fabulousness that is menopause!! (Inserts sticky out tongue emoji!!) … hot flushes and night sweats, hormone replacement therapy which added 4kg in 10 days (gasp, horror) and the delightful (not!) mood swings and foggy brain which accompanied this part of the journey made me feel like I’d taken 20 steps backwards. But I made a conscious decision that it will not take me back to the place where I felt powerless and an emotional wreck … and believe me it is a DAILY, sometimes HOURLY decision.
To sum it up in 3 points …
• Be consistent- get back on it with the next meal, don’t wait for tomorrow. (there are 21 meals in a week, you don’t have to mess up the other 20 just because you didn’t get 1 right!)
• Make it about your health, not about the weight.
• Be realistic – there are NO quick fixes. Consider how long it took to get to your worst place, it’ll take some time to get to your best – but believe me, it is the BEST possible feeling.