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Carlette Oswin is no longer the “fat sister”

YOU-CAN_LOGOThe past 8 months have been the most rewarding of my life. I went from 93kgs to 70kgs by eating correctly and working out like a machine.

Sounds wonderful and easy right? Well, let me take a step back and share my story with you.

Most of my life I was the chubby child, with the nickname BOOM BOOM (to some). I was once referred to as “the fat sister” by a family member who couldn’t remember my name. When I was younger I wasn’t very overweight, but I was definitely not as thin as my siblings or my cousins.

Throughout school, I played sport but had an unhealthy relationship with food. During my matric year, I went on the cabbage soup diet to lose weight for my matric dance which lead to me being a skinny malinki. I loved the feeling. I craved that “thin feeling” and soon turned to any weight loss method you can think of: shakes, pills and even laxatives. In conjunction with that, I would workout really really hard. I was skinny – life was great.

Fast forward to varsity, where I did NO sports! I fell in love with an amazing man and somehow just got lazy and the weight started piling on. During our 11 year relationship, my weight sky rocketed from 60kgs to 93kgs. The heaviest I have ever been in my life. I was comfortable but uncomfortable at the same time. Comfortable with the fact that I was in love and happy and everyone and everything around me seemed great. Uncomfortable with the fact that I always had to shop from the back of the rail! I never liked being in photo’s and always opted to be the photographer. Dressing for an event was a nightmare – I hated it but tried not to show it to anyone. I managed to make it work for me. I was trying to embrace my thickness and my curves….but I was unhappy with my weight. Spiritually something was lacking.


Enter the season of change

I knew that I needed to do something different to change my situation but I just wasn’t sure of what to do. I had reached my chubby, unhealthy, clothes-don’t-fit threshold. Eating right and working out didn’t seem like the easiest option. I mean, I came from a life of shakes and pills so I was chasing a quick fix.

My Aunt Natasha suggested I try the “Daniel fas”t for some spiritual guidance. I scoffed at the idea. Until I met a group of South Africans in the USA in Jan 2013. They too told me about the fast and I thought, well let me give it a try. I returned to RSA with a new zest for life. I did it for the month of January and felt amazing. I didn’t lose much weight, but somehow my “sense of self” starting feeling a little happier.

The Daniel fast is a “biblically based partial fast” that’s follows a spiritual discpline. I am by no means very religious but I appreciated the principles of this fast.

During this period, you follow a vegan diet that has slightly more restrictions. The fast is observed over a period of 21 days where you primarily eat food that is as natural to the earth as possible. No animal products, no processed foods, no sugar.

Since participating in this fast, I have adopted a tweaked version of a vegan diet. For a few months at a time (3 months), I observe a full vegan diet and really enjoy how I feel eating this way. I allow some indulgences for about a month in between each 3 month period. I’ve never been a big meat eater so this eating plan works really well for me as I no longer have a bloated feeling or tummy cramps after eating meat.


As I said, I never starve! My daily meal plan looks something like this:
Oats, nuts and dried fruit with honey and some soy
Fruit for a mid-morning snack such an apple or a grapefuit with nuts and honey
Lunch is either a baby spinach salad with roasted veggies OR a lentil dish with vegetables.
Dinner will either be a Lentil dish, Roasted butternut with chickpeas Or wholegrain couscous dish with spinach and corn

During my 3 month vegan stint, I don’t consume any alcohol. At the moment, I am mentally (and I guess physically) preparing myself for a Fitness Bikini competition that I would like to enter in the second half of 2014 🙂 Entry to this competition will require some serious discpline from myself along with a very strict eating plan.

 This feeling was exciting.

During this time, I lost my Aunty to cancer. Her death put things into perspective for me. I had this body that I could do anything with so why treat it like a rubbish bin? This was my turning point, I realised that I wanted to live my life the best way I could. I wanted to be healthy.

The combination of this loss and the hunger for change lead to me doing a complete 360 with my life. I went from being a lazy girl, always taking the escalator or sleeping in on weekends to being the girl who runs up stairs for the fun of it and does something fun and active with every waking moment 🙂

In the past 8 months I have lost 23kgs and many cms 🙂 I have managed to drop 3 dress sizes going from a size 18 pair of jeans to a size 12/14.

It hasn’t always been easy but it has been thee most rewarding thing I have ever embarked on. I have met thee most amazing people on this journey: at gym, on the road and even online! I have an amazing supportive group of people in my life – some whom I know and some whom I have never met (strange I know but social networking platforms such as Facebook can be wonderful at times)

Picture 291

Get active

I run 🙂
I participate in crossfit
I enter races like Warrior and Impi – these are a great way to actually test my fitness levels and also allow me to train for something
I hike…

Am always open to trying new things 🙂

The fun part is playing dress up – I LOVE shopping now. I love taking care of how I look. I no longer shop from the back of the rail 🙂 I love fitness. I love the fit community and how supportive everyone is.

I have learned recently that I have motivated people to want to make positive changes in their lives. This blows my mind! It humbles me and keeps me motivated to keep going. I want to inspire people to make positive healthy changes.

Weightloss is not about eating lettuce everyday or cabbage soup, or starving yourself! It should be about wanting to be healthy. That means eating a balanced diet and working out (that’s the “secret”). And most importantly, believing that you can do it!

I have learned that the mind, is a beautiful and powerful tool when used correctly. I turned “my can’t into can”. It didn’t happen overnight. I motivate myself daily by envisioning what I want for my body. It keeps me going.

I am ultimately chasing health and being a spiritually whole woman!

Tips for staying motivated

Surround yourself with like minded people .. like the Sleekgeek community for example who are all on a similar mission

  • Try new physical activities to avoid boredom
  • Take a walk or run outside – the fresh air will do you good
  • Track your journey – write down what you eat and take pics of yourself often. Comparing my before and during pics kept/keep me motivated
  •  Believe that you can do it
  •  Be grateful for your health

Ditch the scale

The other thing I did was ditch the scale and instead opted to measure my body weekly using tape measure. I realised that with water retention, monthly female cycles and other nonsense, the scale could decieve you! It can also be very depressing if your weight fluctuates by 2kgs in the space of 24hours. The tape measure became my best friend. The way my clothing fit was my guage for whether I was progressing or not. It was only closer to the end of last year that I stepped on a scale just to see how much weight I had lost.

Carlette, Johannesburg




SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher


Carlette 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 with the Subject line “You can live life well”

We require:

  • 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.


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