When Meg approached me to tell my story of my transformation, I was so flattered, but it quickly gave way to doubt, doubt that I was worth it, that I’ve really accomplished something worthy of a story.
This is the hardest part of my journey thus far, not eating correctly, not working out, not saying no thanks to sugary treats.
Doubt. The monster that lives inside our heads, tells us that we are not worth it, we haven’t done great things, we aren’t capable of doing even GREATER things.
And this monster doesn’t go away, but every time I tie my laces on my sports shoes, or stack another weight on the bar, or hear another calorie scream as its burning, I slowly tame that monster, and occasionally I can squeeze him back into a cage. I hope to one day throw away the key to that cage.
WHERE IT BEGAN
My history with food is a torrid affair, I would pull it closer as life got me down, push it away when things were looking up, but then if things got too good, I would also reel it back in, to come and join in my celebrations.
I was an overweight child and an overweight teen. When I got to grade 6 though, I was tired of being fat, so I decided to stop eating. Great plan, hey? I got thinner and sicker, and the thinner I got the more confused I got.
I was angry at my body for betraying me, I was thin, but still it didn’t make me happy. My weight dropped to an all time low of about 53kgs, (I am 173cm tall) and I was hospitalized.
The following years my weight fluctuated, between 70 and the 100s. After I had my son my weight settled at 126kgs.
Fast forward some more years and my weight was quite constant at about 103. As a beauty therapist, my weight counts against me, we are meant to be perfect. Still, the ridicule and judgment from employers was not enough to push me to change.
Then, 3 years ago, my mother died, and I drowned my grief with food, my weight shot up to 118kg in less than 2 months.
I moved to Bahrain, to come and manage a salon and rebuild my life. Moving to Bahrain was my turning point, my healing could begin.
I jumped in, no holds barred, with the 2 month Insanity program from Shaun T, swearing at him as he told me to Dig Deeper. Oh, it was hell, my body was heavy and tired, it’s the most active I had ever been. I went on an extreme diet, one that I would not recommend, but I lost weight and felt better.
My weight dropped to 112, and stayed there for some time. At this point I have to mention my close friend Anthea Swartz, she joined me on this journey, and together we have fallen and gotten back up. She pushes me, listens to me when I complain and inspires me, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have other great friends here and back home, who believe in me even when I don’t.
I’ve grown so much on this journey, emotionally and physically, I’ve realized my body is capable of so much more than I ever thought possible, that my mind is so expandable.
I know now that I do not need to be perfect, but that I do need to be accountable, to myself, to my son, as a single parent it lies even heavier on your shoulders. My choices have a ripple effect on those around me, and I try for them to be as positive as possible.
Sleekgeek has been invaluable on this road to recovery, seeing that there are other people struggling with the same issues, hitting milestones previously thought impossible, pushing us beyond our own self imposed limits.
My current routine looks a bit like this: I do weight training 3 days a week, I follow one of the programs from the Ultimate You Challenge, cardio (treadmill, jogging, stepper, tabata) 2x a week and I will be joining a UFC gym (dream come true, so watch this space!) at the end of May.
I loosely stick to Banting, and a typical day may look like this: Protein shake before my workout. 2 Scrambled eggs about an hour after workout. Lunch is my biggest meal of the day, it will be a protein portion, vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber, tomato and avocado. Dinner will mostly be the same as lunch, just a smaller portion. I have fruit about 3-4 times a week.
Yes, I do fall off the wagon, (currently, I’m dragging the wagon behind me,) but I have goals that I’m not willing to negotiate on. For those feeling stuck, or just getting started, this is what helped me along the way:
- create short term, TIME SPECIFIC goals, e.g in 2 weeks time I will have no sugar in my coffee by reducing the amount just a little every day.
- know why you are doing this, what brought you here (for me, it’s not wanting to die prematurely from health related issues).
- find a support group. Sadly, it may not always be the people you expect it from, thus enter Sleekgeek!
- be prepared for the bad days, have a plan. When it’s that time of the month, I’ve found that having a healthy fat curbs my cravings, so I make sure I have some pecan nuts handy most of the time.
My total loss stands at 27 kgs, from my heaviest at 126kg, to my current 99kg, the majority of which I’ve lost in the past 2 years. I hit 98 some time back, but hey, I’m human!
I absolutely love all things MMA, this is without a doubt my favourite form of training, followed closely by weight training. Cardio takes the back seat, but I still do it.
Looking forward is the next Ultimate You Challenge, and the Spartan Race in November in Abu Dhabi, and all the following ones after that!
I’m still pushing onwards, and I won’t stop. Neither should you.