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Fit mom, Manisha Ramdhin

Hi I’m Manisha, here’s my story. I hope I can inspire someone!

It was early 2013 and I had just had my son, and you hear of so many stories where women don’t lose their fat after giving birth. We had a big family wedding later in the year (August 2013) and I didn’t want to be the person that everyone says “nah she just had a baby” I had refused to buy “fat pants” or bigger sizes. I wore only stretchy or really elastic clothes because I didn’t want to see big sizes. I wanted to fit back into my old clothes and just by looking at that, I could see I wouldn’t.

I always felt thinner than I actually was, and didn’t feel too bad….until I stepped on the toilet seat to take a pic of my son in the bath, and it broke! Then I knew I had to do something fast!

Whilst buying nappies at Game, I picked up an issue of Fat Loss, and I remember my mom saying so clearly, “but why , you have so many magazines, don’t waste your money” but I insisted and in the magazine was the Supashape 12 week transformation competition. I didn’t just sign up, I first set myself a personal weight loss goal to achieve before the cut-off to enter, because I wasn’t even sure I would actually be disciplined, and it was difficult for me to part with the money, being a single mom.  I entered the week before the deadline after I lost 5kg through following various exercises in the same mag. I researched all the coaches and chose Tammy because her journey appealed most to me.

My coach sent through an eating & exercise plan, and I stocked up my fridge accordingly. I thought it was weird I had to prepare and freeze all my food but I learnt quickly that when I didn’t prepare my food, I quickly went off course and would eat the wrong thing.

I still kept sugar, milk, sparkling water in my diet and I stuck to my plan but found it very difficult to say “no” when we went out, or attended events or family get-togethers.

I was carrying a lot of extra weight, so when Tammy said sprint, I was walking really fast, if she said 15 lunges a side, I did 10 lunges a side. I was not confident to go to gym, and wore baggy clothes, also because of my son being 4 months, it was difficult to leave the house, so I adapted the exercises and did what I could in the time I had. When he slept, I did lunges down the passage. I did squats whilst watching Isidingo, I walked my Husky morning & evening. I’ve always been a gym person and pretty healthy, and had a good mindset, but after trying so many things on the market and being a know-it-all, it was only after having the right coach, the right tools, and the correct knowledge which made a difference to my journey. I was motivated from Day 1.

I also put a picture of my coach, what I want to look like and what being healthy represents for me, in the shower, in my room, in my office wall, in the car. I made myself eat, breathe, live fitness.

Strangely enough, I ate more than I had eaten my whole life. I had to train myself to eat that much. Eating 6 meals a day, every 2 to 3 hours. I initially really battled to eat everything on my plate, and would often leave things out, or make my own substitutions.

It was very difficult to make the time to train. I also had to research everything online. A lot I was familiar with, but I remember sitting every night, googling and using You Tube to see the proper technique.

Also, even when I did make it to gym, I was too shy to go into the weights section, so there were plenty exercises I would just cut out.

I exercised at least 3-5 times a week and I never fitted in exercising twice  day as instructed so I always had to do my cardio straight after my weights, and I had to squeeze it all in one session which was hectic and tiring. There were plenty times I missed workouts or not completed them.

Ifbb pro Tammy Jackson (Dreyer) was my biggest inspiration. Everything about her wowed me. Her lifestyle, her values, her family life, her balance in everything, her achievements. She was honest enough to let me know when I was messing about or not pushing myself hard enough, but she was mostly encouraging, supportive, experienced and professional. Month to month, I could not see much difference, but she was always delighted at my progress. I kept on comparing myself to the vision I had of me, and was continuously disappointed. This was one of the ways I would set myself up for failure. Tammy believed in me, gave me hope and helped me achieve goals I never thought possible.

All I ever wanted was to be comfortable enough to wear a bikini with my son when I am on the beach. The wedding later in that year was a definite goal for me. manisha side dec 9 53.2kg

Now I want to be the best version of me. I thought I would always have a big bum and hips but after months of training, I can see that it is going down and I just want to get up on that stage, not even to get a placing, but just having my body at that level is good enough for me!

Making the time to make my health my first priority regardless of what anyone was telling me or what was going on around me.

It’s very easy to say, “not now, later” or to wake up early to get your morning cardio done in the middle of winter when its dark. It’s easier to sit in front of the TV and say its cold outside in the evenings, or to sit indoors when it’s raining. It’s easier and more economical to eat what everyone else eats. It’s easier to go with the flow and listen to everyone around you, trying different things out in the market.

I made the time to do my research, to prepare my meals weekly, to plan my workouts, to finish every last rep because that is what makes it count. I chose to sacrifice my tv time for exercise and to get outside and jog, even when there was light rain.  Those were the moments which counted, those were the moments which made a difference, those were the moments that brought about my biggest change. 5 minutes is better than no minutes. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and if you want something bad enough, believe me you will make the time for it.

You need to take responsibility for your actions and what happens to your body. You are the way you are, because of your past actions. You may not like what you see, but just know it’s a process and this is you now, and that it’s taken you ages to get this way, so don’t be hard on yourself by pushing yourself harder and punishing yourself when you don’t look like the vision you have in your head. You have to really love yourself, stick it out, do the prep, do the work, pick yourself up when you have a bad day/ week/ month. Stop making excuses – just make a change, even if it’s a small one.

For the first time in my life, I am well balanced and was able to be disciplined and committed, not only with my health goals, but it has helped me achieve the same in all areas and for me this is massive and noteworthy.

Manisha You CAN


SUBMIT YOURSTORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher

Manisha 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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