By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
“Determination, dedication and discipline make losing weight possible”
For Lerato losing weight was a self-reflective journey during which she learnt about her physical and emotional self. Here’s how she made a few simple changes to her lifestyle and shed an incredible 41 kilos…
Weight before: 119 kg
Weight after: 78 kg
Occupation: Brand Representative
Time taken to lose weight: 1 year
Secret Weapon: An action plan
The sight of food triggered Lerato’s appetite — even when she wasn’t hungry. “It all started towards the end of 2012,” she says. “I was so depressed and unhappy with my life and food became my only source of comfort.” In a short period of time, she gained a lot of weight. “I ate junk food like I was addicted to it — fast foods, sweets, soft drinks and a whole lot of alcohol — and it only led to more eating,” she says.
She wasn’t active either. “I was too lazy to do anything — even walking was an issue,” she admits and so the kilos piled on.
It got to the point where Lerato couldn’t look at herself in the mirror. “I was so uncomfortable in my skin,” she says. She was unfit and didn’t like the person she had become. “I couldn’t recognise myself,” she says. After that realisation, she decided to change her way of doing things.
“First, I wanted to clean up my diet and control my appetite. Next, hard as it was, I decided to drag myself to gym,” she says.
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Lerato prioritised what she ate and took action with her exercise plan. “I cut alcohol out completely. I ditched junk food, bread and starch. My new diet included fruit, veggies, skinless chicken, boiled eggs, fish and grilled meat, all in small portions, with snacks in between and tons of water,” she says.
Her weekends went from partying it up to two-hour workout sessions at the gym. “I did cardio, circuit training and ab classes, which soon became my obsession,” she says.
Everywhere Lerato went, people complimented her and would ask how she had managed to lose so much weight. They would also ask if she had any tips for them. “It makes me proud and happy to know that I inspire people to transform their bodies too,” she adds. “There is no greater reward than dropping kilos like it’s hot!” she says.
Train your brain. “Giving up along the way is not an option.”
Do it for you. “Don’t do it for anyone else but yourself.”
Less talking, more doing. “Put your words into action.”
Looking for more weight-loss advice? Here are five things you should NEVER do when starting a new diet.