By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
“I couldn’t fasten a seatbelt over my waist and it was the major wake-up call I needed.”
Losing weight is journey of perseverance, and no one knows this better than 32-year-old Leandie Williams. “You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off of your face,” she says. Here are the steps she took to reach her goal weight.
Occupation: Branch Administrator
Weight before: 125 Kg
Weight after: 80 Kg
Time required to reach current weight: 3 years and 6 months
Secret weapon: Nutrition and exercise
Leandie comes from a family who are genetically a little bigger, so when she gradually started gaining weight over a period of eight years she wasn’t that phased. Meanwhile, her weight gain was really due to a lack of activity and bad eating habits. “I used to eat in my car where no one could see me and survived on fast foods, chocolates and at least 2 litres of Coke,” she confesses. Exercising was non-existent in her day-to-day routine.
READ MORE: How Unathi Msengana Lost 28KGs!
There were many reasons that inspired Leandie’s transformation: “The key reasons were my health or quality of life and truthfully, how other people treated me,” she admits. “One morning I was booked to fly to another city for work and to my horror the seatbelt would not fit over my stomach. I battled to fit in the chair.” Leandie says she was so uncomfortable, and deeply embarrassed by the situation. “It was also at this time when I had bought the biggest pants I could find in a super-sized store, and it occurred to me that I would need to have my clothing custom made. I realised I had to do something drastic and fast,” she adds. And that’s exactly what she did — she changed her lifestyle.
Leandie dived right in — “I invested in a personal trainer, I wanted to know that I was executing the exercises correctly, and not wasting time,” she says. “I did hardcore cardio for 20 minuets and 40 minuets of light weights everyday and advanced with time.” She also gave her diet a complete makeover by consulting a nutritionist. “I consulted an online nutritionist who placed me on a high-protein, low-fat and carb plan,” she says. Even though she had equipped herself with all the right tools, it still wasn’t easy. She yo-yo’d through her diet plan, eventually settling on one that suited her body and was inclusive of good fats, diary and natural sugars from fresh fruits and veggies. No processed foods allowed.
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“For the first time ever, I feel good on the inside and the outside, no amount of money can buy feeling healthy and having self-confidence,” admits Leandie. She also threw out all her ‘fat’ clothes and started building a new wardrobe for herself. “The only thing I kept was the biggest pair of jeans that I owned” — a reminder of how far she’s come.
Get Professional Help — Consult a nutritionist and a personal trainer for the best results
Get and Instagram account — Follow people that inspire you, you’ll be inspired.
Be your own motivation — Don’t compare yourself to others no matter what. All our stories are different.
Looking for more weight-loss advice? Here are five things you should NEVER do when starting a new diet.