The first time I became aware of my weight was at the tender age of 14, during my gymnastics costume fitting. My mom noticed that I had picked up weight and immediately put me on a diet. The weight came off easily and quickly, so when I reached goal weight I went back to my old eating habits. It wasn’t long before I picked up the weight again and the second time, when I tried to correct my diet, the weight didn’t come off easily at all. When I eventually quit gymnastics, my weight became a real problem and I basically just gave up.
During my early 20s, I had a lot of things I needed to deal with. My mom died unexpectedly. This completely shook my world. I also got involved in a physical and emotionally abusive relationship. Everything seemed so overwhelming and somehow, I found comfort in food. During that time, I constantly obsessed about food and I ate all the time. Dr’s diagnosed me with depression and prescribed anti-depressants, the kind that causes weight gain. After about 4 years of abuse I finally got the courage to walk out of the relationship. Before the age of 30 I was divorced and completely broken, I felt like a failure. I started drinking a bit more than I should. Every weekend I would go out and party to the early morning hours, followed by a super-sized McDonald’s meal. The depression became more severe and intense, up to a point where the anti-depressants didn’t help anymore.
In 2013, I decided I needed to make a change. I couldn’t carry on the way I did and I was sick of feeling sick. Initially it was tough, slowly but surely I started to pick up the pieces of my life. I finally dealt with everything that happened to me, and by God’s grace I found the strength I needed to forgive and let go.
Unfortunately the damage to my body was severe. I remember watching my friend’s wedding video, looking at myself and thinking is that really me? Imagine my shock when I finally got onto the scale and realised I had gained 25kg. Immediately I started with a healthy balanced diet. The weight came off slowly, but it stayed off. I then joined the gym and went whenever I had time. At the end of 2014 I found Sleekgeek. One of my Facebook friends liked photos on the page and the transformations were amazing. The photos and stories were so inspiring and motivated me so much. I changed to a high protein diet and started to train at least 3 times a week. I did a combination of cardio and weight training. The weight came off steadily and it wasn’t long before people started to notice. It felt great! It is so rewarding to see the change in my body and to see how strong I am getting. It’s amazing to be able to do things I couldn’t a few months ago.
So far I have lost 16kg and I still have 9kg to go, but I’m ok with that. It is such a blessing not to feel depressed and sick anymore. I have more energy than I have ever had and I can honestly say that I love myself again. Exercise and healthy eating really changed me and helped me to become a positive, balanced person. When I feel down, I go train and afterwards I feel great. So to everyone out there struggling with something, whatever it may be, know that there is hope. Whether you want to lose weight, whether you have lost a parent, whether you’re caught in the dark hole of depression of whether you’re in an abusive relationship. There is hope, there is a way out. Start by making small changes and take every day as it comes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you have a bad day, remember tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities.
Try again and never give up.
SUBMIT YOURSTORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher
Jurese 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.