Fourteen months ago, Tamaryn Muniz was bordering 130kg. She found herself in constant pain and not living life to the fullest. Her love for unhealthy food and lack of exercise had her piling on the kilos and, before she knew it, her weight was out of control. Sick of feeling unhealthy, this mom of three decided to completely change her lifestyle and embark on a fitness journey that would have her reaping all the benefits.
Occupation: Branch manager
Weight before: 126.8kg
Weight after: 87kg
Time required to reach current weight: 14 months
Secret weapon to your weight loss: No excuses
After moving into her own place at 19, Tamaryn’s weight troubles began. “I could eat anything I wanted, portions weren’t controlled and it was easier to just get takeaways or eat a whole pot of whatever creamy concoction I’d made,” she says. Her favourites were creamy pasta and potatoes. Her go-to snack: chips and dip. “I’d eat a whole bowl of dip and a big bag of crisps without a second thought,” she says. Along with the overindulging, Tamaryn was partying hard, and that was all the exercising she was getting. A marriage and three kids later, Tamaryn found herself locked in a constant battle with her weight – a fight that would continue for years.
Eight years ago Tamaryn injured her spinal cord during a netball game. “I slipped three discs which were in a complete prolapsed state, and for six years I fought to avoid spinal surgery. The daily pain was so intense I couldn’t dress myself. My six-year-old had to help me dress when my hubby was at work.” Two years later, after surgery which resulted in 19 staples in her back, Tamaryn still found herself in constant pain. Her doctor blamed the excess weight. At first she was reluctant to believe that her weight had anything to do with it – but ultimately she realised she “had to do something”.
“I will never forget the day, 16 May 2016, when I walked into my coach’s gym (Body Fanatics) – that’s the day my life changed for the better,” says Tamaryn. She switched bad carbs for good ones like sweet potatoes and rice. She upped her protein intake and stuck to a strict eating and exercise plan. She exercised for 30 minutes in the morning and did 45 minutes of weight training at night. Once she was in the right mindset, losing weight wasn’t as daunting. “The mind is powerful and once you have your mind on your side, the rest becomes a lot easier”.
Tamaryn’s first strategy was to “stop making excuses”. She explains that making excuses is a delay tactic and that “change comes with hard work. You need to be prepared to work hard to reap the rewards.” Tamaryn eats six smalls meals a day. Her first meal of the day usually consists of oats with egg whites and grapefruit, or a berry smoothie with added whey protein. She ends her day with tuna and salad, or steak and vegetables. Since the beginning of her journey, Tamaryn’s eating hasn’t changed much, but she has switched up her exercising. “I do cardio in the morning and weight training at night four times a week – so now I train a minimum of 12 times a week,” she says.
It’s taken 14 months of hard work, determination and dedication, but Tamaryn has lost an amazing 42 kilos! And she shows no signs of stopping. “I refuse to call my pictures before and after because I’m not done yet, not by a long shot,” she exclaims.
She’s also reached many milestones along the way. “I’m proud that I fit into a size 12 or 14 jeans and not a 28, and a size 10 or 12 shirt, not a 26.” From wearing a bikini in public to completing a 5k in under 35 minutes, Tamaryn is smashing all her fitness goals and inspiring others. “But I couldn’t have done this without the help, support and butt-kicking from my amazing husband Eric Muniz, and my inspirational and amazing coach June Odendaal,” she says.
And the bonuses keep piling up… Because of her new healthy lifestyle, her husband and kids have been living healthier lives too. And her back pain is a thing of the past. “My back hasn’t been this strong in eight years – I can pick up heavy things, I can bend to tie laces, I can do everything I could before I injured myself,” she says.
Stop making excuses: “Excuses only hold you back from where you want to be.”
Get a coach: “Find someone to help you with meal plans and training programmes.”
Believe in yourself: “You are amazing, you are gorgeous and you can do it. Believe it and do it.”
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