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Jaclyn Kibur changed her life and lost 42kg

“But you have such a pretty face!” – I’ve heard that one more times than I care to mention.

I was always the fat one, at school the kids gave me the nickname Jaclyn “Fattis & Moni’s” Kibur. I would always laugh with them as they sang it to a tune and giggle. It was not until later years that I realised, this was one the first instances of me being bullied because of my weight!

I was a fairly average child, with the weight starting to pack on from when I was 5, maybe 6 years old. I used to think it was fun to try on my sister’s clothes and they fit me! She is 8 ½ years older than me.

My sister and I were avid dancers, modern and tap were our favourites. When I was about 7 my dance instructor told me that she was going to pop me with a pin if I didn’t suck my stomach in nicely. And believe it or not, she literally had a pin in her hand.

My mom was killed when I was 10, and my dad was crushed. My sister was 18 at the time and had her own issues to deal with, not least of which was first year at tech and trying to have a life! She certainly didn’t need a 10 year old to deal with. My gran moved in with us shortly after my mom died as my dad just couldn’t cope. She took over the cooking and believe me when I say, would you like some fish with your oil?

I vividly remember my dad sitting me down one evening after dinner, I must have been about 12 years old, and looking me in the eyes and saying “You are fat!” Really? But yet nothing changed, eating habits remained the same, I did zero exercise and I mastered the art of couch potatoery.

I could carry on for days but fast forward a bit, to my Matric year. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I loved fast food, pizza and pasta, burgers and chips, you name it and I ate it. Vegetables? Yuk! Give me pudding! When you are 17 and in a size 40 / 42 pants, surely you realise there is a problem? Not this fatty! There was nothing wrong with me! Or so I thought.

In 2007 I moved to the USA to become an au pair for a year. You know the statistics about America being the fattest nation? I can understand how that happened! Convenience over healthy choices. Everything came out of a box. Mac and Cheese, potato bake – and don’t even get me started on the fast food options! I must have picked up about 20kgs during my year there.

I never stood on a scale, I avoided them at all costs. My sister and I would sometimes go on a “fitness” kick and take up Taebo. This lasted for maybe a month and then we were done. Commitment to any form of exercise was non-existent. Yes I was on the larger side, but it wasn’t that bad. Was it? This is what I would tell myself when I looked in the mirror.

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My transformation journey started in January 2012 by accident! My best friend was getting married and I was a bridesmaid. She convinced me to join her for a 6 week Biggest Loser challenge. 1 hour a week strength and conditioning with a bit of cardio. Whaaaat?? With a bad attitude and a smug look on my face, I begrudgingly agreed to this. I was wearing a VERY tight size 44 jeans at 27 years old. I stepped on the scale, 118.6Kgs.

Okay, so that’s a little heavy but still, not that bad! I mean really, when I think of it now, that should have been an in your face wakeup call. In my head, I didn’t want to lose weight and I didn’t need to lose weight. The wedding was in March 2012 and I managed to drop 4 or 5 kgs and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, it felt good! All of a sudden, my shift in attitude happened.

My sister had jumped on the bandwagon and by July 2012 I had lost 10kgs through cleaner eating and training a few times a week. Taebo, Zumba, Bootcamp. In August we made the decision to take on the same Biggest Loser challenge with a trainer. We added spinning and yoga to our training.

I don’t think I have ever been so addicted to something, and so committed to a goal. By December 2012 I had lost 30kgs and I felt incredible! The amount of energy I had was amazing and I was doing things I couldn’t even have imagined I would be able to do.

In less than a year I was a completely different person, I was 30kgs lighter, training 6 days a week like a demon, and eating all the good stuff! I loved the person I was transforming into!

By the end of 2013 I had lost 42kgs! That is a small person! The reactions you see from people who hadn’t seen you in a while were classic, I loved it. I still love it. My best is when they ask you what pills you were taking or what surgery you had. The look on their faces when you say, I changed the way I eat, I started exercising, and I changed my mind-set!

Please, there is no quick fix or magic solution.

This journey is by no means an easy one! My biggest lesson was to take things slowly, set small and achievable goals! 42kgs didn’t just fall off. I had to work for it, and hard! I took it 5kgs at a time, and trust me that’s hard enough!

Don’t be put off by the amount of weight you need to lose, it can be daunting. Focus on the small goals! Take it meal by meal if you have to. We made small changes to start off with, we cut out the bread for lunch, no more white pasta, and more veggies and unfortunately for me… NO CAKE!

I don’t follow any particular plan. No Paleo, No Banting, No counting calories, and I have never attempted a reboot. I figured out what works for me, and what doesn’t. I am still not the greatest veggie fan but I do try. I stick to a higher protein, lower carb plan and I try not to have carbs at night. It gets easier once you get a feel for it. My downfall is baked goods, cake, cupcakes, and oh goodness don’t show me a tinkie! Find yourself what I like to call a “cake-nazi”- someone who simply won’t allow you to have cake (or whatever it is that you crave the most) My sister is that for me!

Make the decision and COMMIT to it. It certainly isn’t an easy one. Surround yourself with people who understand why you are embarking on such a life changing journey. These will be the people to push you, motivate you and support you. I am the luckiest person alive to have the incredible support from my family, my friends and of course the love of my life.

Get moving, it doesn’t matter if it’s a 1km walk or a 10km run. My sister and I started with walking around our hilly neighbourhood and it was torture! I was gasping for breath after the first climb and wanted to throw in the towel. We carried on and we can now run 5km nonstop.

I scroll through the SleekGeek SA as well as the Sleek Girls pages daily and I cannot tell you how much inspiration and motivation I find from these unbelievable groups of people. I don’t post much at all actually but I am there, in awe of this most amazing movement. I have met many Sleeks along the way (AND YOU CAN TOO) and the positivity oozing from these incredible people is infectious!

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Challenge yourself, don’t be afraid! In the last 6 months with a gentle push and some questionable pep-talks from my amazing boyfriend, I climbed Lion’s Head on New Year’s Day and jumped off the arch at Moses Mabida stadium. I run 5 km’s every week at the North Beach parkrun where I get to see our rocking KZN sleeks! I have started functional training classes (Crossfit) 3 times a week, even though I can’t do a handstand… Yet! We began weight training this year and I must say, lifting is invigorating! These are challenges that the old me would NEVER have embarked on. EVER.

I have learned courage, confidence and commitment! Most of all, Love. My journey is not only one of the body, but most certainly one of the mind. Believe in yourself, you can do whatever it is that you need to do. Your mind is a powerful tool.

I love that I got a chance to share my story on the Sleekgeek site, if I get to inspire just one person, I would have achieved greatness!


SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher

Jaclyn 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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