Angelo de Sousa is a 24 years old from Goodwood in Cape Town. He has lost an astounding 90kg over the period of a year.
Angela is engaged to be married and works a normal Monday to Friday 8-4 office job.
What inspires him? Normal people like you and me that work hard every day at becoming something. Those who know that the world owes them nothing and they need to make things happen for themselves.
His favourite snack is biltong and nuts and my favourite exercise is playing soccer (fives). His least favourite exercise are burpees!
This is his story in his own words
“I was a 190kg bully’
All my life I have been overweight. I remember as the years went by I just got bigger and bigger. From playing soccer when I was 13 to playing rugby in high school to becoming a lazy chain-smoking junk food-eating bully. When working and finally earning a salary and being young I would always buy take- aways, ALL THE TIME!
People always told me I need to be careful I could have a heart attack or “dude you’re getting really huge” etc – but that just annoyed me more than anything! Like worry about your own life you know? You don’t notice it at the time and you don’t think of it until one day it hits you.
I remember I hated shopping malls because all the nice clothes never fitted. I could only shop at certain places that made 5xl or 6xl which made me sad. At 160kg I joined gym, all excited and bought my wholewheat bread and my “low fat” items etc and fell off the wagon after about 3 weeks. I ate and ate and didn’t care. I was shy of females and I had no confidence in myself whatsoever. I became an introvert didn’t like going out any longer and just kept to myself and threw my little pity parties and continued being the rude horrible person I was.
At my heaviest weight of 190kg my doctor started getting worried and started sending my blood and urine for tests. This started making me worry too. I was also always sick with phlegm and a sore chest. I remember walking out the bathroom in my underwear where we have this long mirror on the wall and I saw myself and just stood and stared for a few minutes. I was totally shocked and disgusted in who I had allowed myself to become. I don’t know what it was but something inside spoke to me and said “dude this is not you, you are far greater than this”.
The next day strangely enough at work someone mentioned the Banting diet to me – “no exercise required buddy!” – So me being the lazy person I was, decided I had nothing to lose. I did some research and equipped myself with the “do’s and don’ts” with regards to what I should be eating on the Banting diet. After preparing I told myself that Monday I was starting.
I basically cut out ALL carbs and ALL sugars. I got used to drinking rooibos tea with no sugar or milk and I ate more proteins and started trying veggies as I never ate them before. I was very consistent in what I ate. For example: eggs for breakfast meat and veggies for lunch then meat and veggies for supper. After losing 4 kg in my first week I was very motivated to keep going. It was as if my body and mind went into auto-pilot and I just took the stairs instead of the lift.
It wasn’t all rosy though. I was always surrounded by people around me eating junk food especially because I was working in a call centre environment. The temptation was too much and I had enough of being this fat unhappy person. I made a massive decision to leave my job and focus on my health. After putting everything in place and speaking to my mom about how I felt I left my job and started the journey to a new me. She was a great support in dishing me food without the carbs or on occasion making me separate plates.
I would wake up every day at 8 and walk to the field close to my house and walk a few laps, jog one lap walk another jog half a lap etc just basically break a sweat. As time went on I would start off with 5 laps then it became 10 laps and so it increased to sprints etc as I saw the results coming. I could not afford gym or a personal trainer so I made use of the open world and what was around me. I made myself dumbbells using 2,5L water bottles with sand inside and did lunges etc using that.
I was losing on average 7-8kg a month by just sticking to my routine of eating the RIGHT foods and a bit of exercise. A year later and 90kg later I could never have imagined my life to be what it is today. Besides the fact that I feel amazing and full of energy and full of life, I am fit! Mentally it made me stronger because I realised you can do anything you put your mind to; you just need to stay focused.
Preparation, consistency and education
I get flooded with messages regularly about what my secret is or how I did it. People look at me as some kind of Super-Hero because of what I achieved not realising that anyone can do it too, you just need to do it! Actually try and stick to it! There is no secret or quick fix magic pill. Your body is like a car and if you feed that car cheap oil and car parts it will break. Same with your body, when you eat the wrong carbs and sugary food etc we will always be sick. You want to eat healthy forever. You will become a complete different person. The most important thing I learnt over the year than I was losing weight is PREPARATION, CONSISTENCY and EDUCATION.
You need to prepare your meals beforehand so it’s like you going into war with your weapons. If you go to work or wherever with your meals prepared when you’re hungry you have something healthy on hand! If you don’t you are going to go to the shops and be surrounded by unhealthy options then potentially buy something bad and then who are you going to blame? “Oh no, the shop never had anything healthy so I bought a pie”. That could have been avoided if you came prepared! You understand?
We blame everything around us except ourselves, we need to just make better decisions and be consistent! Don’t after 3 weeks give up then say “you tried” because you did not. Set a goal for 2 months and be consistent and you will see results AND that will keep you motivated to keep going. Educate yourself on how the body works, how certain foods help or harm the body. Do your research. For example, did you know that cayenne pepper is beneficial to your digestive system? I learned that and now I use it often.
Compared to a year ago where I was that overweight rude aggressive depressed call centre agent to where I am now, I would not have believed it. I went for my SAFA soccer coaching license and I coach soccer. I play soccer too five times a week. I feel as if I am making up for all those lost years, I’m starting free fitness/boot camps in my area in order to try help people get healthy and get fit but also using it as a platform to educate them that it is 80% what you eat and only 20% exercise! I also met the most amazing female and I am engaged!
My Monday to Friday looks a bit like this:
Breakfast = 2 slices of toasted whole wheat bread with 3 boiled eggs, a can of tuna and avo
Snack = 1 x chicken breast
Lunch (previous night’s supper) normally majority protein with good carbs and one veggie
Snack – 2 slices whole wheat bread with peanut butter/ peanuts/ biltong etc
Supper- I have a shake + 3 fruit and biltong or peanuts etc
I eat the same pretty much every day, the only thing that differs is my lunch every day and also my lunch is my biggest meal of the day. I have a shake for supper because it is cheaper for me and I take my mom’s supper she made to work the next day for lunch (we on a tight budget) but it works! Everyone is different.
My advice to anyone wanting to lose weight/build muscle get healthy is:
- Eat a BIG healthy breakfast because it sets the tone for the day and if you start your day healthy chances of you cheating or falling off during the day is less. Also I have observed many people who don’t eat breakfast and start off with coffee filled with sugar etc tend to have headaches later in the day and become moody not realizing they having sugar withdrawal symptoms!
- Prepare and plan! I go to work with about 6 different Tupperware’s because I have my snacks and lunch etc pre-packed. I have a full week’s eating plan which I created myself.
- Set goals and stick to them. Challenge yourself for the next 2 months and stick to it fully! If you can’t then you’re not ready or you’re wasting your own time.
- Eliminate yourself from temptation and focus on YOU! Your friends want to go for sushi? “Sorry I can’t I need to be at gym at 5”. Don’t lose focus because people around you are not on the same mission as you are – they doing what they doing; You do what you need to do!
What stood out for me the most was the response I got from people I know. My old school friends who see me and tell me how I inspire them and how they can’t believe they speaking to the same person. One friend told me “I can’t believe this is you Angelo!” So I want to inspire, motivate and help others.
It’s amazing that people now look at me as an inspiration and not as a bully. Anything you want to achieve in your life you can. You just have to put your mind to it and focus and don’t allow yourself or anyone around you to derail that. Surround yourself with people who support you and those who don’t are not the type of people who you can grow with. Most importantly, help others. Don’t be selfish once you learn or conquer. Help other people so that they can help other people and when you look again we changed the world one person at a time. But first get it right with YOURSELF!