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Margie le Roux, aged 67 loses 42kgs!

My name is Margie (Margaret Ann) le Roux and I am a 67-year old female, widowed since 1994.  I have three beautiful, grown-up daughters, all married and I have four grandchildren.  I have been living in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town all my life.

My success story started on 1 May 2014, but back to basics:

I have been overweight since the age of 11 (1961) and have been battling with my weight ever since.  At school I could not take part in all the physical activities and it was so hard when forced by the PT Teacher to run twice around the rugby field – they did not have any mercy for us overweight kids!!!  

When games were played at school, where running was involved, the children always chose the ones who could run the fastest to be in their team.  Because of the above, I excelled in my school work, trying to obtain the best possible marks – one field where I was able to deliver to the best of my ability and leave my mark!!!  Well, that paid off!!!

Being an Afrikaans speaking family, my mother always used to prepare “regte boerekos”, which mainly consisted of rice, meat, veggies and potatoes.  We also regularly ate desserts and cakes, but the biggest cause of my weight gain could have been an underactive thyroid.  At the age of 26 (1976) my thyroid was partially removed (due to it being terribly enlarged) and at the age of 46 (1996) the rest of my thyroid was removed. (Your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism, amongst other body functions.)  Since then I am taking Eltroxin on a daily basis.  I tried various diets, lost, picked up, lost, picked up …. the normal yo-yo dieting!!!  

During April 2014 me and my best friend decided to take a boat trip to the Portuguese Islands, which was scheduled for 3 February 2015;  and that was the turning point.  We had to fly from Cape Town  to Durban, from where the MSC ship departed.  I decided to lose the weight as I did not want to battle with the safety belt on the aeroplane and also wanted to be more comfortable and mobile on the ship.  

The amount of weight, which I planned to lose, at first seemed impossible, but once I got started, there was no turning back.  My mind was set and I focussed on the end goal.

Always, but always, have a goal in mind:

I started my healthy eating plan on 1 May 2014 and aimed to lose 37 kg (in order to reach a certain weight) before 3 February 2015, the date of departure.  When I put my mind to something, I stick to it!!!  I was so dedicated to lose the weight and stuck to my healthy eating plan in the best possible way.  

Even at my age, I have a hectic social life, but decided:  I could not put my social life on hold, because of my diet, nor could I put my diet on hold because of my social life, so I decided to make the best possible food choices at all times.  

I went out a lot during this diet period and went away for weekends, but tried my best to stay “on plan”.   Wow, what a surprise:  I lost the 37 kgs in just under 8 months, i.e. from 1 May 2014 to 23 December 2014!!!  

After the 2015 New Year I lost another 5 kgs before our boat trip on 3 February 2015!!!  I felt so proud of myself, having achieved such wonderful results – having dropped quite a few dress sizes and felt so fantastic, portraying my new image.  

Planning is of utmost importance.  Plan, plan, plan!!!  

See that you have the correct foods in your cupboard – this is the only way of surviving a healthy eating plan.  When you have upcoming functions, try to even be more aware of what you eat before the function.   When you are invited to dinner, for example, cut out your breads/starches at breakfast and lunch, in order to enjoy some during supper, staying within your daily quota.  Protein (eggs) for breakfast also lasted me longer during the day, than having cereal or yoghurt for breakfast.  Experiment to see which foods suit your body best.  Also set small goals and dates to reach these.

When your mind is right, it is quite easy to stick to a healthy eating plan.  The first and most important thing is to get your head in the right space.  Write down short-term goals, draw a graph and fill it in every week – by doing that you can actually “see” the weight dropping, and also know whether you are still on track!!!  If not on track, you know you have to work harder in order to achieve the end goal – and keep the end goal in sight and know “why” you want to lose the weight. Do it for yourself, and not for anybody else.  My doctors have previously advised me to lose weight, but I could only do it once “I” made the decision to do it.

Support and results

During this journey I was supported by so many people, including my relatives, friends and colleagues, who could not wait for my weekly weigh-in, to get the latest results, and I learned that you can still enjoy life while eating healthy.  

 I ate 3 meals per day.  My 2nd and 3rd meals followed 5 hours AFTER my previous meal and no eating in between.  I drank 2 litres of water per day.  I did not eat bad starches – I only ate good starches, good proteins, good veggies and two fruits per day, which included an apple.

My blood levels have dropped tremendously:

  • My cholesterol is now normal for my age.
  • My glucose levels also now normal for my age.
  • My BMI dropped from 41 to “in the 20’s”!!!

My G.P. is very proud of me, for losing that huge amount of weight and now being able to manage my weight.

At my age, I am very blessed to still have a half-day job, as personal assistant to our CEO, with offices on the 6th floor of the building.  Seeing that I have never done any exercise previously, I switched from using the lift to walking the stairs – 6 floors UP every morning and 6 floors DOWN every afternoon – that was my only regular form of exercise, apart from the occasional walks around the rugby field opposite our offices.

It is all so worth it.  From previously having had to buy size 24 (even up to size 28 at one stage) clothing at a very expensive, well known ”outsize ladies’ boutique”, to now being able to walk into any clothes store and not having to look at the end of the rail for the bigger sizes, is such a bonus!!!  What an amazing feeling – feeling so much more energetic.    Can you imagine carrying 84 bricks of margarine all day and every day with you?  Well, that was my situation before losing the 42 kgs!!!   I just wish I had done this dramatic change much earlier in my life – but it is never too late to change!!!

My tips for healthy weight loss are the following:

  • Get into the right frame of mind – wanting to lose the weight “for yourself”!!!
  • Stick to your eating plan to the best of your ability – try to not fall for temptations, but if you perhaps do, try to recover immediately and not wait for Monday to start again – it is easier to lose “weight recently gained”, than to lose “old fats”!!!
  • Drink your quota of water per day, to flush out your system.
  • No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • No more excuses – you are so worth the effort.
  • Keep your goal in mind and go for gold!!!

Since having lost the weight, I have now discovered bones in my body which I never knew existed!!!  ☺

Good luck on your personal journey and see on the Sleekgeek Facebook Group

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