By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Squats, push ups, burpees and cycling were things Lebo never thought she could do – but now, it’s her life and she loves it.
“My weight loss journey taught me that I’m capable of doing anything that I put my mind to,” she says. Here, her story of how she took up cycling for weight loss.
Occupation: Program Coordinator
Weight before: 131 Kg
Weight after: 97.9 Kg
Time required to reach current weight: 9 months
Secret weapon: Commitment and support.
Lebo always thought her body was really proportionate. But 13 years ago, the way she looked at herself in the mirror changed when she gave birth to her daughter. After giving birth, she kept gaining weight. “It was all because of my bad eating habits and being inactive,” she confesses. Her job required lots of travelling, and with that came a lot of fast foods, which she ate regularly. “Fried chips were a must with all my takeaways, I ate white bread, deep fried eggs, pasta’s and Fanta Orange was my favourite,” she says. “I never drank water or ate vegetables.”
There were a few incidents that triggered Lebo’s weight-loss journey. “I looked so different in pictures, I could hardly recognise myself,” she says. “I went on a Safari Blue excursion in Zanzibar with my daughter last December and I couldn’t do the water activities because I was so big – in one incident I had to be carried by four men because I couldn’t carry myself out the boat (Dhow)!”, she says. “To say I was humiliated is an understatement.” But the final straw was when she was at a party on New Year’s Eve, when one women looked at her in disgust and went on and on about how big she was. “The next morning, on 1st of January 2016 6am, I walked my first 5km and I never looked back,” says Lebo.
That first 5km walk was followed by many other walks, gym sessions and cycling. To start off, she’d go for brisk walks in the morning. But as she became stronger, her workouts intensified. Now, she does tons of cardio and strength training, with a schedule she follows. On the weekends, she does cycling outdoors. She also changed up her diet completely. “I cut out carbs, fizzy drinks and junk food completely. For breakfast, I had a smoothie, a salmon salad for lunch and a fruit for dinner,” she says.
As it turns out, cycling for weight loss is not a myth. With this programme, Lebo lost an incredible 33 kilos, dropped three dress sizes and finished a 10km race! She rewarded herself by investing in her new fit life, obvs. “I spoilt myself with two pairs of expensive training shoes and a bicycle,” she says. But the biggest reward? Being happy in her own skin. “I look younger, I don’t get tired as I used to, and I don’t have foot or back pain anymore”! says Lebo.
Most people tend to think starving themselves is the solution. Eating healthy is the solution.
Be active the house, park at the far end of the mall, use your car when really necessary.
Surround yourself with positivity
Follow fitness bunnies on Instagram. Read up on other people’s weight-loss – it’s very interesting.
Looking for more inspirational weight-loss stories? Check out how Zamazindela lost 23 kilos, and how Belinda transformed her life and became a personal trainer? Want to kickstart your own weight-loss journey for summer and beyond? Get our Lean Body Blitz 12-week meal and fitness plan to turbo-charge your slim-down!