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Charlene Ferreira took back control and lost 26kg!

I’ve been skinny my entire life. My mom always said that it looked like one could put your hands right around my collar bones. In 2006 I met a boy, we started dating and in no time I was pregnant, living with him and unemployed. All I had to keep me company during the day was a fridge and TV. Until he came home and brought more food. Not that I blame him for feeding me, it was my choice to eat and besides who argues with a pregnant woman? 01_Christening 2008

2007, Baby Boy came and I stayed home with him and was kept company by my old friend the fridge. At my sons christening the next year I weighed my heaviest, 108kg. I reached a size 20 jean and refused to buy a size 22. But my jeans still didn’t fit so I proceeded to wear skirts, they’re less restrictive and didn’t remind me I’m fat.

6 Years later in 2013 I was single and still looking awful. In March I started online dating but they all stopped emailing after I sent a recent photo. I then got asked to be a bridesmaid at a beach wedding in August of that year and decided that that was it. That was my deadline, I refused to be huge in a shiny dress on a beach!! I put down the cigarette in my hand and the slice of pizza and turned my life around. I started eating healthy, de-cluttered my kitchen and got rid of all the bad foods in my house. In the 5 months that followed I ate healthy Paleo style and quit smoking, lost 22 kg.

I ate loads of eggs, fish and chicken and made everything fresh. I would prep all my food for the week on a Sunday evening. Boil my eggs, make chicken livers, vegetarian lasagna (using eggplant as pasta sheets) and loads of other freezable meals. Drank lots of water and when that became boring I’d squash a few apple slices into my glass or slice up some strawberries. I made smoothies & everything in bulk to freeze them in containers and alternate them through the week.

Reading inspiring stories by others and tips on what to do helped me stay on track. That’s when I joined sleekgeek after hearing about it from a friend – a friend I met online who is not only my biggest supporter and motivator, but now also my boyfriend.

My advise to anyone who is demotivated or looking for a reason give up is just don’t, don’t beat yourself up when you have a bad day. If its an isolated event forget about it. Life isn’t about punishing yourself if you slip up…It’s a lifestyle that can be awesome but if you feel guilty when you indulge, it will feel like work and you will resent the lifestyle and give up. When I feel like indulging, I simply Google that food item with the word Paleo in front. I am yet to find an item I want to eat that I couldn’t find a paleo recipe for.

I still have a way to go though, about 12kg before I reach my goal but I’m in no hurry, slow and steady does it. I’ve bought a treadmill, so I’m finally including exercise in my schedule. I’ve lost 26kg in total and I am a size 14 all with just eating right.

My size 12 jeans is there hanging in my cupboard, waiting for me.

Charlene copy

SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher

Charlene 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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We’ve put together a list of some of the healthiest foods that you can easily and immediately start adding to your diet to help you build a solid foundation of good health.

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