HOW IT ALL STARTED
Throughout my school years I was always made fun of. Whether it being about my height, my ears, my teeth, my weight never seemed to get left out. I told myself that I was big boned and that this is the way I was made, seeing that I come from a family with a bigger build. I can remember this VHS video my mom recorded of me in my swimming costume. I was 7 years old when she told me that I should pull in my stomach and that my bottom looked big. I never had an issue with how I looked, hence the bullying at school, until I reached my teen years. I was 15 when I went on my first diet. It didn’t work. Obviously. I was young and didn’t know anything about nutrition. I would always turn to food. Whether I was happy, angry, bored or sad, I would eat and not stop. Food was there when no one else was. An emotional eater if you will. When I was 18 I gave dieting another go and lost 10kg in 3 months for my matric farewell to fit into my dress. I exercised daily and barely ate. I weighed 80kg in matric after losing 10kg’s. After school, college happened and that’s where I discovered partying, fast food restaurants and alcohol. I come from a small town where there are no fast food restaurants. It was all new to me. I gained weight like crazy and I gained even more when I met my then boyfriend, now husband 5 years ago. I gained 27kg in total after school until last year July when I finally made the decision to change my life for the better, forever.
I hated my body. The bulges. The cellulite. The fat. The scale would read 107.8kg. I was so disappointed in myself! How did I let myself get here? Why did I let this happen to me? Why? I cried almost every week about my weight. Clothes not fitting, not being able to paint my toe nails because my stomach would get in the way and I could barely breathe. I didn’t want to be seen in public. I either stayed at home or waited in the car when my husband and I went to town. Everywhere I went it felt like people couldn’t help but stare. I was diagnosed with depression. The pills didn’t help. Trying to stay positive, exercising and trying to eat healthy didn’t work either. I gave up. I got married September 2015. I had made no attempt to lose any weight whatsoever for my special day. My wedding dress broke during the ceremony. I was too fat. Even my wedding photographer photoshopped my arm smaller in two photos without me asking. I was fed up. I had it. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and that I was the only one that could make a change, the only one that could help myself. I met this guy and he showed me his transformation, and I remember thinking to myself if he can do it, so can I. I asked him for guidelines and advice. I started googling more about health and fitness. I just started, on a Thursday. Not on a Monday as I would have in the past attempts. I wanted to be happy and I realized I am the only one responsible for my own happiness. No more excuses, no more tears. To happiness and a healthier version of myself.
For once my mind was in the right place. My vision was way bigger than what was in front of me. I would tell myself that I had to eat natural foods that the earth provides us with and not man made processed foods. I would set monthly goals of a specific weight that I would like to weigh and I would try my best to achieve it. I trained hard and ate even cleaner. It wasn’t easy, but I made it happen. I used my depression and anger to push through. Taking something negative and turning it into something positive. I train 5-6 times a week. In the beginning I only speed walked 5km’s every morning. Gradually I started jogging in between as I became more fit. About a month ago I started doing weight training and focusing on toning and building muscle. I downloaded home gym workouts and I follow them to the t for an hour in the afternoon. I also started participating in more fun runs on the weekends to keep active. I only ate natural, healthy foods. No sugar and no carbs. I only ate from the green list as I am Banting. I included more protein and veggies into my diet. I drink up to 3L of water daily. It keeps you hydrated. My daily routine consists of a 5km run/walk in the morning, followed by a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with cranberries and almonds, or an omelet with cheese and 1L of water. I would eat again at 11-12. My lunch includes a palm size portion of protein and steamed vegetables and for dinner I repeat what I had for lunch, a palm size portion of protein with steamed vegetables. I am very easy going when it comes to eating food that benefits my body. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s good for my mind, body and soul I’m happy.
MY SUPPORT GROUP
My mom has been my main source of support throughout my journey so far, even though she is the one who criticized me the most about my weight my whole life. My husband also plays a big part by showering me with compliments and often reminding me how proud he is of what I have accomplished so far. My mom exercises with me daily. She has also lost a great amount of weight. We both Bant and support each other by motivating one another. Then there’s the Sleekgeek community, of course. I can still remember my first post on the group. I wasn’t too keen, but I had to start somewhere. Elan was so nice and helpful. That stood out to me and I knew I was at the right place. That’s when I started relying on the group to motivate me even further by seeing and reading other people’s stories and seeing their success. I kept telling myself one day I want to tell my story to help motivate others to change their lives for the better. And here I am sharing mine. Dreams do come true. I am forever grateful for my support group. I don’t know what I would have done without my support group. A big thank you to all of you for helping me achieve my goals.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
My weight loss journey has taught me that you should take it one day at a time and that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. The results will eventually show, if you eat healthy and train daily. I have learned that you should stay positive no matter what obstacles life throws your way. If you gain 1kg or the scale doesn’t move in weeks, don’t let it demotivate you. Rome definitely wasn’t built in a day. It takes time and it’s totally worth it in the end. Your body will thank you in so many ways. I also learned that your body is capable of anything. It is your mind you have to train to keep your body pushing forward. What you set your mind too you will achieve. Anything is possible, you just have to believe in yourself. I started believing in myself more and have achieved things I never thought was possible. It turned out I was never big boned. I just lived an unhealthy lifestyle. It is truly a mind shift. I am forever grateful to myself for making the best decision. In the process I have learned to love myself more. I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to health and even more positive results.
The longest I’ve been on a diet was 3 months and I lost 10kg’s. When I passed the 3 month mark of eating healthy and exercising, I couldn’t believe it. I am actually doing this, and this time it’s for real. Previous attempts I would have given up a long time ago. When I went past the 10kg weight loss mark I was so excited. Mind blown! It all felt so unreal. I am actually doing this and seeing results. My body changing stood out the most, and motivated me even more. The kilos were dropping by the week. The feeling is like nothing I have ever felt before. I was on cloud 9! It drives you to achieve more and to do better. Doing it for yourself and no one else. No one can take this away from you. Reaching the 20kg weight loss mark felt surreal. I never in a million years thought I would achieve such a big milestone, and I did. I am so proud of myself. I have never been this happy and healthy in my entire life. I thank myself every day for making the best life changing decision ever!
Festive holidays and weekends have been the hardest and most tempting. All the sugary, carb filled foods and alcohol. The list goes on. Lead me not into temptation! I try my best not to indulge as before. When the cravings gets real bad, I would reward myself with a really small piece of whatever the food/drink may be, and that would be it. No second or third helpings. No guilty feelings either. This only happens on festive holidays and mostly Saturdays. I am human and it’s not always easy. I don’t binge eat. I continue eating healthy after having my cheat. I stay focused on my health and wellbeing. There are also days where I don’t feel like exercising. We all have them. Some more than others, but thanks to my support group I get the job done. I always feel better afterwards. These have been my only lows throughout my weight loss journey. I try my utmost best to stay focused.
I have definitely gained more self-confidence! I take pride in my body. I have gained more self-respect and I started caring about my appearance. The bond between my mother and I has also grown stronger as we both lead a healthy lifestyle, together. I am forever grateful for that. My health has improved as well. I don’t feel tired and out of breath all the time. I don’t know if I am allowed to say this, but my love life has improved a lot! I am no longer shy and reserved when it comes to the bedroom. I used to keep my shirt on and the lights off. I was disgusted with the way I looked. I would cry many nights asking myself how someone could love all the fat I carried with me. I felt unwanted even when I wasn’t. I am a whole new different person now! I am taking control of my life. This is the best decision I have ever made, and there is no looking back. I am also no longer shy to be seen in public. I go out more instead of staying indoors or waiting in the car. I want to be seen now. I want to show the world the new me. I have never been this happy in my entire life. Only good things to come!
*Don’t be so hard on yourself. Take it one day at a time.
*Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. This is important.
*Exercise at least 30 min daily 5 times a week.
*Think positive no matter what. Train your mind. Meditation helps.
*Eat clean, natural wholesome foods that the earth provides and not man made processed foods.
*Believe in yourself. You can and will accomplish great things when you put your mind to it.