I am not sure where to start – so I will kick off with my childhood. Hailing from a Greek family, one of our cultural expressions of love was food. You could eat as much as you wanted and it was considered a celebration of love especially in my family! Through this expression of love I have an adult man’s appetite (hmmm wait I could put a man-sized appetite to shame!!!). Each day and weekend was a food extravaganza! Aunts bringing in their best cooked fare to add to my mother’s already heavy food laden tables! How could a growing girl NOT BE FAT and well rounded?!?! I was a very full young girl! I remember being ostracised from groups because of this but I was filled with love and my family had instilled a confidence in me that I didn’t really notice the “wrongness” until I entered high school. I never really had a place where I fitted in at High School but that is a whole other kettle of fish! This is where I picked up the nasty disease of bulimia. It suited my lifestyle where I could eat ALL the manner of foods available to me and then purge!
I met my husband when I was 20 and at that time of my life I felt like I was an obese blimp wearing a size 10. I was at the gym 3 times a day and purging myself of all my food laden sins! As the relationship with my husband developed, I finally took control of my bulimia. I finally managed to end the dangerous cycle of bulimia as our relationship flourished. In light of food = love; My husband and I would explore the tastes of different restaurants in the KwaZulu Natal area whilst getting to know each other.
Fast forward into my adult life and after being married for a few years, moving to two different countries we decided it was time to start a family! Queue a rollercoaster journey of IVF cycle after IVF cycle. The hormones being injected into my body created havoc with my mind and body and I fell into a severe depressive state. Five failed IVF cycles over a span of 8 years led to drinking binges, and food binges between failed attempts but NO purging! I had come to a crossroad in my life where I saw no point, as this crazy quest to become a mother left me no longer feeling like a woman. I let myself go I spiralled into terrible eating and drinking habits! I would spend hours at work then leave with my work colleagues to go drinking and then stop on my way home at all different fast food restaurants. KFC, Burger King, MacDonald’s, Nandos, pies and pasties -Life was just too difficult.
Sadly, my lowest point was when I contemplated suicide. I was at rock bottom – had pushed my husband away because I could not manage to become pregnant and give him the child we so desperately longed for. This is when I decided counselling is what I needed and met an incredible woman who listened to my story and told me that taking the time off of work was the right choice for me to make while I worked on recovering and focusing on IVF.
I took a year off and tried a few cycles away from the stress of work. I gave myself and my body a few months off the junk and booze and then dived into IVF again. After failed attempt number 4 in the UK I relocated myself to Greece for 6 months. In Greece, the expression of love is food and not only was the IVF drugs I was injecting into myself a catalyst for becoming a large bodied lady but the food! The FOOD! THE GLORIOUS FOOD!!! OMG THE FOOD!!! Oh the Food! How I love food! I am obsessed! FOOD! I love it! I hate it! I want it! I dream of it!
When we found out we were pregnant and pregnant with TRIPLETS no less, my Dr instructed me to eat at least 3000 calories per day to help grow the babies! As one to never shy away from a challenge, I ate. It was like letting an alcoholic loose in a pub and I gave it my very best shot each day! I ate and ate and ATE! The best part was I did not feel one ounce of guilt! No GUILT AT ALL! I was growing three babies! I was doing it with gusto and proud of it too!
The best day of my life came on February 17, 2013! My Tripolatas were born! I am not sure when I stood on the scale next, but in my head I thought once the babies were out of my stomach my weight would magically return to “normal”. A few weeks later the scale screamed 120kgs at me. I wanted to stick my finger down my throat so badly but I was once again guided by my Drs that if you wanted to breastfeed you need to EAT and up your calorie intake daily. I ate slabs of chocolate and was careful to not eat foods that would make the milk not taste right! I was told by other mothers you will lose the weight when you breastfeed, so eat! Six months later I had lost around 10kgs!
Around this time my amazing brother and his awesome wife introduced me to the Reboot community. I was skeptical to say the least! My brother was never one to waste words and was never into fads. Phil posting publicly, promoting a way of life and him preaching that his insulin was reduced dramatically was enough for me to sit up and take notice. My brother was an extremely private person and for him to share his views and to publically encourage people to make better choices for their health was inspiring for me! I witnessed his gorgeous wife Helen’s transformation and well…..I wanted some of that gorgeousness too. I looked into the SleekGeek SA and Reboot community and low and behold my school friend Seone Maskell was the author of one of the first articles I read. I was rather impressed and inspired but my mind could not get over the thought of no sugar, no dairy and no carbs! LIFE IS FOOD! FOOD IS LOVE!
So I decided one meal a day would be ok! Then as I grew more confident a few weeks later I added in the second meal! By the time I was ready for my first Reboot I was a semi seasoned pro! Then I happened across Prava Ramphal and her delicious meals. Prava has taught me that good food can taste amazing. Her passion for cooking is inspiring. The support of the Reboot community is a key driver for my success. I am around 3kgs away from my goal and each time I post that I am inching closer to it the level of support rallying around me is just unbelievable.
My weight just after the birth of my children was a staggering 120kgs. At the start of my Reboot journey 110kgs. I am now weighing in at 68.7kgs. My goal weight 65kgs. I could work out more, but I have 19 month old Triplets; I also work 3 days a week and travel in to London by train. Gym is a difficult act to juggle but I cycle to the train station and I run not very well or often but I can now RUN thanks to an awesome group of ladies hidden in TSRGFGWASTCR.
Now when I stand naked in front of the mirror for the first time in as long as I can remember I love the image looking back at me! I love every stretch mark on my body. I now finally realise that my relationship with food can either imprison me or free me. The Reboot community, Sleek girls, SleekGeek SA and Elan Lohmann have given me a gift where I have unwrapped the true me. I have unwrapped myself slowly over the last 15 months; ME – a new healthy ME! A person that makes healthy choices, a person that fights the food demon on a daily basis. I have an addiction to food, I now know this. I now have support; I have a lifestyle that will allow me to imprint a healthy well balanced eating style for my children. For this, I will always be thankful to my brother Phil, his beautiful wife and the awesome Sleekgeek reboot community. Thank you for giving me, me back.
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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)
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