“I Went From The Couch To An Active Lifestyle With The 80/20 Rule”

by | Mar 3, 2020 | Weight Loss

We’ve all struggled to get up off our butts and commit to an active lifestyle. Stuck between excuses and poor life choices, we forget what’s most important…

But getting fit is about more than just physical exercise. Weight gain seriously affected Linda Phukubye’s self-confidence and quality of life. Push came to shove when she began to feel depressed. Being a mother, she also felt the need to set a good example for her daughter. This is her story.

Linda Phukubye

Occupation: Medical representative

Age: 28

City: Johannesburg

Weight before: 72kg

Weight after: 64kg

Height: 1.68m

Time required to reach current weight: 12 months  

Secret weapon to your weight loss: The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule) and relentlessness

The gain

After the birth of her daughter, previously petite Linda started piling on the kilos. “I put on weight gradually as I developed bad eating habits and lived a sedentary lifestyle,” she says. She’d been eating unhealthy foods like takeaways and street food, along with pap at every meal. Her love for fizzy drinks also wasn’t doing her waistline any favours. 

Soon Linda’s eating habits caught up with her — a BMI test showed she was overweight. And this was what finally pushed her to make some much-needed changes.

READ MORE: “Barre And Clean Eating Help Me Managed My Chronic Pain” 

The change

Linda started with her diet, ditching the cool drinks, opting for sparkling water and going sugar-free. When she needed a treat, she would “eat a small burger occasionally.” 

She switched to an active lifestyle guided by her aerobics trainer, Nomawoti Bafana, who motivated her to continue — no matter what. “I remember leaving class after 20 minutes and Noma ran to me and the others and said, Why are you leaving?” Though it was hard in the beginning, she stuck to the training. The result? “I got better with classes and as I lost weight, I saw the need to tone up and I started with weights.”


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Transformation Thursday. Belly into abs. Ask me how.

A post shared by Linda Phukubye (@goldenfitlee) on

The results 

Linda swears that focusing on 80% nutrition helped her the most — switching to a healthy diet motivated her to get active. (The other 20% of her lifestyle turnaround was exercise.) Her daughter is super-supportive of her progress. “We now go to the gym together and when I feel lazy, she gives me strength,” says Linda. 

READ MORE“I Went From Never Exercising To Running My First 5k – And Lost 17kg In The Process”

She also feels much lighter and sexier! As she slowly shed the extra kilos, she regained confidence. “I definitely dropped a size and had to take most of my clothes to the tailor to reduce the size because I couldn’t afford to get a new wardrobe,” she says.

A positive attitude

Her current exercise routine involves training three to four times a week. The classes with Noma are “move, step, pound and shape” group sessions. From struggling with her rhythm in the beginning, she’s proud to say: “I’m now in the advanced side of the group.”

“I felt anxious to see the results, but I was both excited and scared of failing,” she says. As for people commenting on her transformation: “[Some] people were encouraging and some were discouraging, so I [chose] to filter opinions and do what resonated with me, and kept my eye on the goal.”

Healthy takeaways

  • It’s important to love and nourish the body.
  • Discipline and consistency are key.
  • Your body goal is what is acceptable to you, only.

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