My journey to healthy and 59 pounds down

I put on most of my weight in 2013 after I had my daughter. I went through a depression phase that unfortunately went untreated and I turned to eating. I was unwell mentally and food somehow gave me the comfort I needed so I ate more and more. Fast food fried chicken, sweets and soda was my go to food.

NAME : Zinzi
BEFORE WEIGHT : 96kg/211lbs
AFTER WEIGHT : 69kg/ 152lbs
POUNDS LOST : 27kgs/ 59lbs

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  I hated taking photographs and I would simply refuse to be in pictures. As a result I have very few photographs with my daughter or husband during her growing up phase from 2013 and up.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  Around March in 2019 my husband, my brother in law and myself went to a poetry concert. We managed to get backstage after the concert and I was so excited. My husband took pictures of me with my favourite South African poet at a poetry concert. I remember some ladies that were there calling me cute, I couldn’t understand it and cute isn’t a bad word but it was the way they said it, it just didnt feel normal or right. When I finally saw the pictures my husband took, I couldn’t believe what I saw in the pictures. I couldn’t even post the pictures anywhere. I was ashamed of how I looked, I not only looked big but my posture was horrible as well. I was even embarrassed for my husband that he had to be seen with me. He tried to reassure me of course told me the pictures were beautiful but I just didn’t believe him, this time I could see for myself.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  Shockingly, for a couple of months after that I just felt sorry for myself and tried to figure out how I had gained so much weight. I ate even more unhealthy food, drank more soda. Then one day in July I just decided I was done. If I wanted the weight to go, I needed to do something. I looked for groups on Facebook that dealt with weightloss, googled information online. There was a lot and I was confused but I knew I had to start. So I went cold turkey on the fast food, soda and junk food. I felt the withdrawals, I would get the shakes, headaches and I honestly felt weak but I kept on it. I looked for short exercises that I could do and downloaded an app with 7min exercise.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  I started seeing results less than a month into starting for example, I could go up stairs and not feel out of breath, I could walk for longer without needing to sit down. But my results became more evident physically around 2months when the fat surrounding my midsection shrinked alot.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  I did not like exercise and I hated vegetables. I also ate my food really fast and I loved putting salt in my food. I had to unlearn all those bad habits.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?  I definitely wanted to give up so many times but, my husband and my little girl were always my motivation. I wanted to be happy to take family pictures and be proud of them. I wanted to run around and play with my daughter. They definitely kept me motivated and on track, they would even join in on some of my at home workouts. They would go with me to the gym over the weekend. They definitely had my back.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  I hit a plateau when I got down to about 75kgs and I had to switch up my workout routine. I joined the gym and I got a personal trainer for 2months. I started learning about weights and he helped me get comfortable in the gym.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  I lost most of my weight in 2 months.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  My elder sister in South Africa had bought me a beautiful black evening dress that I couldn’t fit into. The day I tried on the dress and it fit, I was happy. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, jump or dance. It felt great!

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I was an emotional eater, i would eat to hide my feelings. I would eat when I felt sad, when I was happy. Unhealthy food seemed to be my answer to everything. I hated veggies, rarely ate them. I would even pick out the tomatoes and lettuce from a burger when I would eat a burger. I would go through 3 or four packets of sweets in a day. I ate sweets like they were popcorn.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I increased my workout time to 30mins every morning while I was on the Terry Starks diet. I had tried the normal aerobics classes but I didnt like them much and I knew I needed to find something fun. I had always liked dancing and I thought maybe that could work for me. I came across a channel called pop sugar on youtube and found a hip hop tabata session by Keira LaShea. I found I loved working out to this particular workout and I didnt get bored. The more I did this workout the better I got. When I was heavier I had to constantly take breaks and pause the video and sit down. I also did most of the workouts on the modified level. But the more I did it the better I got until eventually I could do the entire workout without stopping and I could do the steps without switching to modified.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Stay away from the scale, rather go by photo comparisons or cm’s/inches lost. The scale sometimes takes a while to catch up with all the work you’ve put in.
  2. When you decide you want to be healthier and lose weight start any day of the week, don’t wait for Monday or Sunday, just start.
  3. Surround yourself with like minded people or people that will push and help you in your journey. Theres nothing like being on a weightloss journey to show you just who your true friends are.
  4. Drink lots and lots of water. It’s good for you, really it is.
  5. Your mental and spiritual well being is just as important as your physical. When the mental and spiritual is healthy the physical being will fall in line to. Meditate, go to church, read your bible, burn sage, say affirmations, read positive books and definitely get help if you need it. Do whatever it takes to heal your soul and mind as well.