Bloemfontein Sleekgeek Shaun King played competitive rugby and after injury lost his way. He shares his story on finding his way back to a healthy lifestyle in his own words.
As a child I used to be quite active; I played rugby since I can remember up until high school. Therefore, I never had a problem with my health and weight. As a student I continued playing rugby and never really had to worry about what I ate, because I was very active and had a fast metabolism.
My weight gain started after I suffered an ankle injury. Unfortunately, this was also the time I had to go for the final round of trials to join the Griffons rugby union to play in the Currie cup. I wasn’t able to do any physical activity for 6months. As a result, I fell into a period of depression. I gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of confidence. This had such a negative impact on my self-esteem and my happiness as a whole.
I was in denial for a long time. BUT THEN… my journey officially started when I realised that I have to take responsibility and make huge changes. The number on the scale was so high and it was shocking.
From January 2018 I made the decision to take ownership of my life. I started jogging 3 times a week for the 1st month. In February I noticed that I’m not getting the results I wanted so I consulted a dietician. My family supported me so much by also adopting healthy eating habits.
In the 1st month, with the help of the dietician, I lost 5kg. This motivated me to start training more aggressively. Therefore, I began incorporating weight training and increased my cardio. Eventually I managed to run 5km comfortably and my time improved to a personal best of 31min. My abs also became visible again.
Sticking to a strict diet is very difficult for me personally so I’ve learned that it’s all about making healthy choices. Throughout this whole process I’ve learned that just going on a diet will not benefit you in the long run. It’s about changing your lifestyle and taking on a holistic approach which includes making healthy eating choices, training smart, and most importantly changing your mindset and having a positive attitude.
Starting this journey, I just expected to lose weight and get fitter. But I’ve gained confidence and I’m much happier.
The most valuable tip I can give to the Sleekgeek community is
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
- Enjoy the process
- Celebrate every goal reached
- Get enough sleep
- Be as active as possible
- Drink enough water
- Stay disciplined.
Since starting my journey in January I’ve lost 16kg thus far.
My goal is to lose another 3kg. Once I’ve reached this goal I will be the same weight as I was when I played competitive rugby.