Question: What motivated your journey?
I have always yo-yoed in weight between 50kgs – 54kgs, in December 08, I reached 55kgs for the first time. At that point I knew that if I didn’t do something now, 55 will turn into 56, and then to 57 and so forth. I come from an obese family and was scared to fall into their bad habits. Something in my mind clicked and I knew that I was ready to change.
Question: What did you find most challenging when you first started?
It was a combination of the diet and finding time to go to the gym on a regular basis. Mostly finding time, or should I say making time!
Question: How did you feel prior to starting your exercise/healthy eating program?
Before starting the gym I felt tired, lethargic, and constantly disappointed with myself when I would look in the mirror, because another day had passed and I had done nothing to achieve the look I wanted. I felt like I didn’t have the ability to change my diet or exercise patterns.
Question: List three things you have learnt since you started?
- Not to fear the pain of exercise, muscles are supposed to hurt while you are working out
- I have learnt a lot about food, what is good for me and what’s not, I have learnt how and when to eat what food to help me achieve my goal.
- I have learnt that a “can do” attitude is essential if you want to succeed.
Question: What advice would give someone who is afraid to start an exercise program?
Have the right attitude before you start. Once you have accepted that there is no quick fix or easy option to achieve your weight loss goals, you will find the strength and courage to push yourself. You need to apply yourself and give everything to your exercise program if you want to succeed. Most times you will be surprised at what you can do when you apply yourself and that self satisfaction will only grow from there as will your fitness levels.
Also, start your program knowing that there will be lows with the highs and don’t let those lows stop you from continuing on, they are the bumps in the road to success!
For me there were three things.
Determination, I believed that I could do it, instead of believing that it was too hard.
Responsibility, having a personal trainer meant knowing that there was someone there to hold me accountable for not reaching my goals for that week, this pushed me to stick to my diet, and go to the gym each day.
Education, learning about and understanding my diet helped me make the right choices when I went out.
I have joined so many gyms in the past and quit within 6 months as I felt lost, I was never sure if I was doing it right, what to eat, and with no one to notice that I hadn’t been going, skipping workouts became the easier option.
Question: What do you notice different about your life now that you are healthier & fitter?
I have more energy, my skin looks healthier, and I feel proud of myself.
Definitely the achievement, I got the look that I wanted, I feel a great sense of confidence because I didn’t take short cuts or look for an easier way out, I put in the hard work and it paid off. I love knowing that I didn’t quit.
I often look back to when I first started I struggled to run for one minute, now I can run 13 kilometers in 90 minutes, I also loathed salad, now I actually enjoy and look forward to eating it. I have definitely changed for the better.
Question: How do your friends and family feel about the new you?
They cannot believe how healthy I look, they were all worried when I told them that my goal weight was 49kgs, they thought I would look sick not healthier. They all comment on my skin as well, since eating healthier my skin is a lot clearer. A lot of people say that they admire my ability to stick to a diet and exercise, I often hear people say, wow I could never do what you did. The funny thing is I was once one of those people.
Another difficult thing for me was the peer pressure to eat food that was not in my diet. Peers and family would always tell me “I was being silly”, and “of course you can have a piece of cake”. I received some great advice from Bec that I want to share, and that is to tell them you don’t want it because you don’t like the taste of it, or that particular food makes you feel sick in the stomach, and they will generally leave you alone.
People feel better about eating food they know they shouldn’t be eating if everyone else is eating it too. Once I stopped letting others make me feel guilty for eating healthy to achieve my goals I was able to stick to my diet and lose the weight I have wanted to get rid of for so long.