Hendrik de Wit was our 2nd place winner in the 2016 8-week Ultimate You Challenge. Here’s our Q&A with him, where we learn a little more about Hendrik’s road to success.
- Give us a short history of your journey to health and fitness before the challenge.
Even though I was overweight as a younger adult I was very active and played Boland rugby. As I got older exercise and being fit became less and less a part of my daily life. After a few years I gained a lot of weight but because I could still function as I always did, it was not something that bothered me and so making differences in eating and exercising was not a priority. When my grandchild was born I realized I would not be able to enjoy him to the fullest at my current size. At this stage I was already diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and was using insulin daily. I wanted to change so that I could be more mobile and live a healthy life for my years to come. I have not used insulin injections for the past 2 months.
- What prompted you to join the ULTIMATE YOU Challenge?
My eldest daughter approached me to join her in the Winter Challenge. I did well but wanted to improve my results with the Summer Challenge.
- Give us a quick overview of the nutrition and eating plan that you followed during the challenge.
I followed my own a high protein eating plan which included minimal carbs. I cut out all sugars and fizzy drinks. I realised that if I drank my 3 litres of water a day I did not crave any other liquids. I followed this way of eating for 6 days of the week and on the 7th day I had a controlled cheat day.
- Give us a quick overview of the training and exercise plan that you followed during the challenge.
I went to the gym 5 days of the week for at least an hour. In the 4th week of the challenge I got a tennis elbow and could not exercise with weights. In that week I only lost 1kg so I went old school back to my roots (I am a firm believer that if you burn more than you take in you will loose and this worked for me). For the remainder of the challenge I woke up at 5AM and went for a 5km walk in addition to my exercise at the gym. On some days I even went for a morning and an evening walk.
- If you used any supplements, what were they?
I did not use any supplements. I believe in achieving results and goals naturally.
- If you could give 3 pieces of advice to future challengers, what would they be?
The most important thing is to get your head right as this is where it starts.
You are doing this on your own which means achieving results is your own responsibility. Others can give advice, guidance and support but at the end only you can use these as tools to make changes.
I don’t believe in starving yourself. You should listen to your body and eat something healthy when you feel hungry. This also means eating only when you are hungry and not necessarily 3 times a day with snacks in between. This is what works for me.
- What did you find most valuable about your experience?
As we grow older and the children begin creating their own lives you don’t spend as much quality time as you would like to. This challenge was very special because both my daughters competed with me and we were also part of the same team. I am proud because we all did great. I would recommend for families to enter these challenges together so that family bonds can be strengthened and the whole family can adopt healthy and sustainable habits. We will definitely be back.