Ok, so, my name is Monique and I am a sweetie fiend…
…no really. Ask anyone. I grew up with a sweetie cupboard, a coke machine with constant supply of cream soda, fanta, lemonade and coke. I love sugar. With all my heart. One of my many nicknames was The Sponge – for obvious reasons. I had THE best lunches (thanks mom!) and school outings were like Christmas! In actual fact, one of my friends from America who went to primary school with me messaged me and spoke about the awesome treats I had packed for outings! No wonder I have such bad teeth. And no wonder I was the biggest girl in class, always. Not that that made me sad, or uncomfortable in any way. I just really loved sweeties.
Since I can remember I have been on diets I did the cabbage soup diet, detoxes, Weigh-Less, went to numerous dieticians… And every time I would lose weight, and then I would put it back on along with some extra.
Eventually I weighed 117kgs.
There wasn’t really one “moment” which made me decide I needed to change my lifestyle, it was more like a hundred different life changing things happening at once, break up, best friend break up, not knowing whether I had a permanent job or not for the next year, being part of 3 weddings, denting my car while reversing… you know, everything just happened at once and it felt as if everything was just going wrong. Then one day I thought hell no. Something’s gotta give, there’s got to be more, life can’t be a series of events that just happen to you. So I took back control of my life.
I had finally come to the stage in my life where I realised I can change my situation and my life and all I needed was me. Is that what growing up feels like?
I used all the knowledge I had gained from my unsuccessful diets (I should have a degree after all the training I’ve had) and made myself a meal plan. I changed my portion size, ate more vegetables, LESS sweeties, gymmed every single day, and then increased that to twice a day.
My eating plan consisted of everything I wanted, and I mean everything, including my sweeties, just a lot smaller or less. I stopped buying gassy drinks for home and started drinking coffee and water. Fruit juice on the odd occasion, and if I went out, I would have a glass or two of Coke.
I know from my past, that whenever I cut things out I ended up eating ten times more as a result. Now, if I eat those cupcakes, I make a point of being active the next day. I literally take those calories and burn them up the next day. It just makes so much sense that if you are going to eat extra, you have to use that energy up otherwise you’re just going to gain weight.
As for exercise, I would go to gym right after work and the first trainer I had told me to do one hour per day of only cardio. Which I did for 3 months solid. I hated gym in the beginning, but I’m very competitive so it quickly became a passion. Then as I began to lose weight, I had more energy, and felt fitter, which made me want to push myself even harder and I did. Then came weight training. I changed my routine, woke up at 4:40 am to do my cardio in the morning before work, and then weight training after work… and maybe a little extra treadmill if I ate something I knew was not the best choice calorie wise. (I did mention I love sweets, didn’t I?) Hiking is also something I do often – it’s so amazing being fit enough to climb a mountain. And not only to climb it, but to really enjoy it.
I changed my whole frame of mind. I empowered myself. Now here I am, mentally stronger, physically stronger and the thinnest I have ever been in proportion to my height. What an achievement!
I think the key to it all is understanding yourself and what works for you. For me, it’s allowing small “cheats” but compensating for that in the gym. For you, it might be something different. As long as you focus on healthy choices and consistency, you’re well on your way.
I’m still amazed that people tell me I have INSPIRED them to make the change and live a healthier lifestyle! Wow. I never thought I could be a role model. It’s the best feeling in the world.
I have to thank everyone that has complimented, encouraged and challenged me on my journey, my friends, family members, Sleekgeeks and even the shop assistants. You have all made a valuable impact on my life. This journey is not an easy one, it is tough, and frustrating, and tiring. But the most amazing thing I could have ever done for myself is sticking through and persevering.
PS. I did say I love sweeties right? 😛
SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher
Monique 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.