A petite 52kg when she got married, Madeleine Ray had never struggled with her weight before she had kids. She certainly never dreamt that just seven years after her wedding she’d be squeezing into size 50 pants. And when she started struggling to get out of bed in the morning, she realised she had to make a change. Since then, she’s lost 81kg.
Time required to reach current weight: 5 years
At 21, Madeleine gave birth to twins who suffered from colic – a challenge that took its toll on her body. “I got so caught up in not sleeping and being at home all the time that I fell into a black hole of despair,” she says. Add lack of exercise and a poor diet, and the kilos started accumulating. She ate fast food, downed fizzy drinks and finished her children’s leftovers. “I didn’t exercise because I was too embarrassed to be seen in public,” she explains. The unhealthy cycle led to her weight peaking at 163kg.
By April 2007 Madeleine realised she had to do something about her weight if she wanted to see her children grow up. “I wanted to do things and go places with them,” she says. She saw a photo of herself and was shocked. “Seeing myself the way others must have seen me made me feel extremely depressed.” But instead of giving up, Madeleine transformed her negative mindset and began her weight-loss journey.
Madeleine joined Curves fitness centre for women and started the SureSlim weight-loss programme. Not only did she lose 11kg in two weeks, but the confidence boost helped her overcome her jitters about being seen in public. She attended Curves’ sessions five days a week and joined a local gym. “I was enjoying exercise so much, I couldn’t get enough of it.” The next step: signing up for Adventure Boot Camp for Women (she’s since completed 11 camps). The complementary diet involved eating every five hours and never after 9pm. “I cut out all carbs, sugars and spices and drank two litres of water a day. It was hectic!” But the support from her trainer, family and friends kept her going.
Although Madeleine hasn’t reached her goal weight yet, she is well on her way. She weighs 82kg, her pants size has shrunk from a roomy 50 to 40 and she wears a size 34 shirt. After five years of dedication, she’s got her self-confidence back. “I feel as if I can do anything,” she exclaims. And to prove it she recently took the plunge, literally, and went skydiving with her sister.
Baby steps: “Think one kilo at a time – 100kg seems much less attainable.”
Eliminate possible relapses: “Give away your ‘big clothes’. Don’t keep the back door open.”
Kilojoules in, and out: “You have to burn more than you consume.”
Ready To Transform Your Body – And Your Life?
Join women of all ages and fitness levels across SA as they take on the Adventure Boot Camp 12-Week #MYJOURNEYTOSUMMER programme. It’s cheap, flexible, includes access to a dietician for nutritional advice, and much more. Also, it starts on 24 September! Keen to give it a bash? Check out the Adventure Boot Camp website for details and to sign up – and let them know you heard about them from Women’s Health. You’re welcome.