From an early age, I loved food. Food was a time for celebration, a time to be with friends or family or even when life wasn’t so great. My mother was incredibly health and weight conscious and would always watch my every bite. I think she realised that if I didn’t watch my weight I would have a problem.
I grew up in a household where, the most exciting cereal was All-bran. Although I was incredibly spoilt and was very lucky to have most things in life. I always felt, like I was missing out in the food department.
I would go to friend’s houses and they would have junk food like chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chips, chocolates, biscuits etc. I would go completely crazy and indulge. It was like Christmas. I of course felt sick and swore that I’d never do it again.
To give you an example, my school lunch consisted off. A small whole wheat sandwich with tuna and Tomato, a small date & bran muffin, celery/carrot sticks and a bottle of water. All I ever wanted was a peanut butter sandwich and Niknaks.
However, I am so grateful that my mother pushed me to be involved in a lot of sports, I did swimming, surf lifesaving and hockey. I trained very hard and kept in shape. When we moved from Durban to Cape Town, things changed I wasn’t as involved in sport and then the kgs began to climb.
I then decided to go and study Hotel Management, I was introduced to the student life of pies, coke, cream sodas, two minute noodles, tequila, vodka and beer. Which I loved but my body didn’t. I did no exercise and started to gain even more weight.
Only in my mid-twenties, did I get very big and unhappy. Every time I was depressed I ate and break ups did not help either! I also went to America in 2012 and ate myself silly.
In 2013, I decided enough is enough. I tried every diet possible. HCG, X Diet, Banting, The Drinking Man’s diet, Sureslim, Weighless. Herbalife. Yes, I lost weight but I began to yo-yo. 1 year I was looking good, the next I looked like the OROS man.
When my father passed away it was a turning point
Then in 2017, my worst fear came to light. I lost my most favourite person in the whole world, my Dad. The two years before that had been very hard for me, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and I was in a very dark place. So when I lost my dad, I thought that the wheels were going to come off and I would need to check into a clinic.
Instead, I thought about how that would upset my father. He wouldn’t want me to crumble, he would want me to be happy. I knew that the only way I could be happy again, was if I took charge of my life. I had the “enough is enough” moment again, but this time I didn’t want to be fat and unhappy anymore.
I decided to make small changes, find exercises that I would enjoy and to go see a dietician.
No more starvation diets, no more diet pills, just hard work and being kinder to myself.
I joined the gym, started with walking on the treadmill, Weight Training, Swimming and the circuit. Later on I joined classes, did some boxing and then I joined Body20.
I also addressed my nutrition.
Then suddenly, weight started to fall off. I felt more confident and began to love my body again.
I currently do Intermittent fasting, I do not eat from 8pm until 12pm the next day. At 12pm for lunch, I eat a 3 egg omelette with mushrooms, spinach, peppers, celery and bacon (I change the type of filling every day).
At 5pm I eat raw almonds or lean biltong, I make sure I drink 3L of water a day. Only drink alcohol on the weekend and 1 or 2 drinks.
For dinner, I have anything green (veg/salad) and any meat/fish steamed, poached, grilled or roasted without sauce/basting.
I have one cheat meal a week, where I have whatever I want.
I currently go to Body20 once a week, I do 1 bumble class at gym and I do 1 boxing session once a week. I make sure that, for another 2 days of the week, I either do the circuit at gym, resistance training, or I walk on the promenade or do a yoga class. I like to mix it up, to prevent getting bored and to insure that I’m constantly pushing my body in a good way.
Throughout my journey, my parents and closest friends have been incredibly supportive. Sometimes, I still get frustrated with my mother but I know it’s only because she loves me and sees my potential and that’s why she always push so hard.
My achievements to date
I am currently down 41.9kgs. I have gone from a size 18 to 14. I haven’t had asthma attack or needed to go to hospital in 2 years. My skin has cleared, my PCOS is under control and my period has regulated naturally. The rash on my arms has gone and I no longer get short of breath when I run.
I am not super fit but I am at a level where I can enjoy a good workout, I no longer struggle to do burpees, lunges or planks.
Although my journey is not over, my goal is to drop another 30 kgs and get down to a size 10. Even then my journey will not be over, then I need to maintain and live a healthy life forever.
I also want to share that this is not a race, you are not in competition with anyone else. Do this for you. My journey has not been easy, I fell off the wagon plenty of times and would sit at home in my pyjamas eating junk. I would order a large pizza and ice cream, coke etc. and just eat my feelings.
My biggest thank you is to Sleek Geek community for the constant inspiration and thank you to the staff at Body20 Claremont.
You’ve changed my life!!
I have learnt ten things from my weight loss journey:
- Only you can lose the weight
- Don’t worry about other people
- Do this for you
- Food is your friend, not your comfort
- Exercise because you love body, not because you want to punish it
- Be kind to yourself
- If you think you’re drinking enough water, you’re wrong. Drink more!
- See the light in the world and things you desire, shall come to you.
- Diet pills, crash diets will never work
- You can still be social, even though you are picking a healthier lifestyle.