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Ethel Snyman lost 40kgs and built a fit lifestyle

I never thought two years back that I would be telling my weight-loss journey to you.

Firstly, I am no writer, so don’t expect too much (hehe). Secondly, I am no expert in weight loss either, so my experiences might not work for you.  

I was a perfectly normal teenager weighing in at 63kg in high school. I only played a winter sport – other than that, not too active.  

After school at one time I started exercising evenings at home.  It toned my body well and I looked great. Unfortunately we moved to a smaller place, which meant I didn’t have place to exercise anymore.  I just started to pick up weight. More and more every time. I ended up weighing in at 122kgs. I was shocked. You actually don’t realise how big you really are until you see yourself.  

I reached a point where I just decided enough is enough! I reached a state of desperation.

I decided to eat healthy.  Cut out bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sugar.  Didn’t and still don’t do very well with water, but that didn’t bother me too much.  

I started by joining a tug of war club in Bellville.  I participated in my first league competition on Saturday the 14th of April 2016.   I enjoy the social aspect, the competitive side and meeting new people in the process.  

Never ever thought that 2 years ago I would be doing all these things like running, gyming, sports, just having a active life.   Even though I suffer at times I still love it. I feel alive for the first time in a very long time.


For everyone out there reading this, please don’t give up.  Consistency IS key. You have to stick it out and fight for your goals in fitness, just like in real life.   You are not on diets anymore, you make a lifestyle change. Once you understand that part you will automatically relate to consistency.  

Don’t wait for a friend to join you, otherwise you will not start.  When I joined Gymbox, a small gym in Kuilsriver, I was so shy. I had to do burpees, but couldn’t even bend down to try and do one.  When I tried planking my boobs would hang on the floor (lol). It was horrible. I couldn’t walk for 2 weeks straight, it hurt so much, but I went every evening from Monday to Thursday.  

I would go home and practice burpees at home because I was too shy to do it in the gym, until I got it right.  I started to love crossfit and my gym and all my gym buddies.. the coaches where positive, patient and persistent with me.  It was the best decision to join that gym and R350 well spent on a monthly basis.

Off course without my family and friends this journey would not have been so bearable.  When I ate something my mom would as “mag jy dit eet? (Are you allowed to eat it) and I would say yes mom hehehe I love her for that.  

Do what is best for you and your family.  They still need you to be around for many years to come.

Herewith,  my 5 tips for the readers:

Be honest with yourself.  Accept that you are overweight – see the reality and seriousness of the health situation you are in.

Don’t be shy – I know a lot of people laugh at overweight people exercising, but don’t let it put you off – what you don’t realise is that there are even MORE people that actually admire your courage and willingness to do something and work on a solution.

Be consistent – don’t make excuses.  go to gym every day, 4/5 days a week, even if you really don’t feel like it.

Reward yourself – not with food, but with new and smaller size clothes.  Never store the bigger size clothes, then you are already telling yourself you are going to pick all the weight back up again.

Start loving yourself again – most important part of the process.

THIS IS A LIFESTYLE CHANGE – what you start with is to continue for the rest of your life!


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