By integrating healthy habits into her lifestyle, she lost 15 kilos.
Time required to reach goal: 18 months
At age 19, Hannelize Wepener weighed 75kg. “I had big thighs, a wobbly tummy and never wore a bikini. But I refused to be called fat,” she says. So she made a promise to herself: she’d be healthier by the time her boyfriend came back from America in seven months’ time. “I wanted to be confident when walking next to my man,” she says.
Hannelize had never worried about her weight. She danced as a teenager and felt good about her athletic frame. But things changed when she went to varsity. “I ate chocolate at least once a day and indulged in large amounts of bread. I only
exercised once or twice a week – and didn’t push myself.”
“My boyfriend and I spent New Year’s Eve 2009 in Lambert’s Bay and I was ashamed to get into my bikini. I didn’t like the large girl staring back in photos,” says Hannelize. In May 2010 her boyfriend went to America. “I wanted to get him a ‘Welcome Home’ gift; the best I could come up with was a new me.”
Hannelize began morning workouts and returned for seconds in the afternoon three times a week. “In the morning I did spinning for 20 minutes to get the energy needed for the day and in the afternoons I did exercise classes,” she says. Hannelize made small changes to her diet too: “I swapped out white bread for low-GI and started eating more protein – like tuna for lunch. I can’t be picky about supper because I still live at home, so I eat whatever is on the table but in smaller portions.” And to ditch her chocolate addiction, she limited her treats to weekends.
“Weight loss has taught me that we don’t have to resign ourselves to a body that we are unsatisfied with; rather work on it and gain confidence,” she says. Today Hannelize loves looking in the mirror. “And going out to buy new clothes is so much fun!”
Exercise early “This gets you amped for the day and makes you want to go again.”
Create small incentives “If you lose five kilos you can buy that special dress as a reward.”
Set mini-goals “Every week I measured and weighed myself, then set realistic goals for the following week.”