The idea that your happiness is in your control is truly powerful and takes practice to understand. This has become abundantly clear since I made the decision to apply myself and lose weight in March this year.
I have lived a very unhealthy life for almost ten years. I’ve battled with my weight since before childbirth and never fully recovered from a very depressive existence.
In March I weighed 102kg, largely brought on by terrible binge eating, copious amounts of alcohol drinking, partying etc. I had no desire to better my life, I didn’t even notice how big I was. It couldn’t possibly be as bad as the photos indicated.
I smelled like death
I was constantly choking my happiness with self-sabotaging behavior, my pants were a size 20, my shirts looked like sheets. None of this mattered to me as long as I had a bottle of vodka.
The turning point happened on a Sunday afternoon at the beginning of March. I’d gone away to a festival. I woke up with one of the worst hangovers known to man in a steaming hot tent, covered in mud. I couldn’t remember anything from the night before but knew that it must have been insane because all my money was gone, my phone battery was dead, I had scratches on my arms and legs and smelled like death.
In this moment I realized that I honestly couldn’t live this life anymore. I refused to live that life anymore. I decided that it was time for change, in all aspects of my life. Change in the way I viewed food, the world, time to change the people I associated myself with, time to change my life, for me. Plan 1 was to stop drinking, it would no longer be an activity in my life.
So I instantly stopped drinking. The next day I plucked up all the courage I could muster and joined my local gym. I had no idea what I was going to do but knew that I needed to start somewhere. I also saw a dietician who worked out an eating plan for me. At first I would gym at night. All I could do was walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I couldn’t breathe properly, I felt self-conscious, it was as if all these skinny beautiful people were staring at this hippo on the treadmill.
The negative thoughts would bring me to tears some nights but I’d push through. I’d tell myself that I got myself into this mess and that it was up to me to get out of it. I committed to gym 6 days a week. No exceptions. No excuses.
No matter how much I fought it. I did mainly cardio based workouts for the first 3 months as I was too scared to walk into the weights section. I started researching everything I could about weight loss, eating plans, workouts, it was important that I informed myself about my body. I tried all sorts of things in an attempt to find one thing that worked for me.
The next change happened one evening when I realized that the weights section couldn’t possibly be as scary as I thought. I changed my gym sessions to mornings, found a bench and altered my focus. The changes started happening within 2 weeks.
In June I saw a link for the SleekGeek 8 Week Winter Warrior Challenge, I was terrified but decided to give it my best shot. The bikini picture was terrible! It mortified me even though I’d already lost roughly 22kg. Taking that photo forced me to decide that the after would be a better picture and so it was. I won the ladies transformation section of the SleekGeek challenge. Magic! [Join Sleekgeek Facebook group]
In August I entered and ran my first road race, got my first ever medal for anything in my life. It was only a 5km but I cried at the finish line in any event. From a girl who couldn’t walk up a hill without planning her funeral mentally to finishing a race. Running and obstacle racing has become my new happy place outside of the gym, I have a goal to run the comrades marathon in 2016.
Achieving goals is possible, I’m now 34kg down and can tell you that I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishing goals I set for myself because it really is possible to achieve and do anything you set your mind to.
Journeys aren’t meant to be easy, if they were easy you wouldn’t learn anything and where is the fun in doing something if you don’t learn from it? Don’t give up on yourself and your dreams. It is possible to succeed.
You need to remember that you have this one very special life and Facebook isn’t going anywhere so if you (like me) are one of those people that cringe at being tagged in photos you’d rather burn them perhaps it’s time for you to make a decision.
Perhaps it’s time for you to think about what you value in your life and what you would like to achieve. Start living your life to the fullest from your insides out.
Words fail me when it comes to gratitude, happiness, love and peace but I’m experiencing all of those things daily, they used to be dreams I didn’t think I deserved in my life and to see that I’ve had them within my reach all this time is the epitome of realizations.
My life is better
Losing weight has made me a much better mom, I’m proud to be an example to my children. I can play outside and run around after them. That is something I’ve never had. Being able to say goodbye to intense sadness over what a mess my life was is part of this process. I’m no longer that scared girl on the treadmill in the XXL tshirt but rather a very excited gym devotee constantly on a mission to see her triceps become awesome!
It’s nice to know that I stuck to a decision no matter how much criticism I received. People are generally rather intimidated by success so just know that you’ll be called obsessed, crazy and boring. Don’t let that change your mindset. Stay focused and remind yourself that you are bettering your life for you.
SleekGeek is a community full of people on the same path as you, like-minded individuals who don’t think that eating sweet potatoes is crazy. You’ll make new friends, learn something new every day and find the support that you need. I value the people who supported me regardless of the ups and downs, the ones who encouraged me, gave me uplifting ideas and honest friendship. [Join Sleekgeek Facebook group]
I blogged my progress on www.thepixiemeatgrinder.wordpress.com
- Elismha Lubbe is from Port Elizabeth and lives in Johannesburg
SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher
Elismha wins a R500 voucher courtesy of our sponsor for the “YOU CAN live life well” series Wellness Warehouse to be spent on their online store with free delivery nationally.
I believe very strongly that ordinary every day people like you and I derive great inspiration from the achievements of people who seem similar to us. If they can do it.. damn.. so can I! Right?
So through this program we will continue to tell people’s personal stories.
I want to great an archive of hundreds of stories of people who have changed their lives while others believe they cannot.
Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line “You can live life well”
- Your story in your own words covering at least (How you got to a point of change, how you made the change, tips and advise for others)
- A selection of before and after photos
- As many words as you need to tell your story
In advance, we regret that not all stories may be published. Your story is as important as anyone’s story but we can only publish one a week and the editor will make decision on this.
If your story is published you will receive a R500 voucher to the Wellness Warehouse online store with free national delivery.