“I’m so much fitter than I ever was and I’m a lot more confident!”
Having once been the woman who only exercised when she was forced to, Mandy Vollmer now looks forward to training with friends three times a week – and she’s gone from size 16 to 10!
Time required to reach current weight: 1 year, 4 months
Lesson learnt: “There is no miracle diet.”
Secret weapon: “Know what your body really needs as fuel.”
Like so many of us, Mandy thought her lifestyle was healthy. She blamed her extra weight on the junk food she’d indulge in over weekends, but felt sure her week-day diet contained all the right things. “I didn’t realise that mixing rice, potatoes, butternut and carrots was a sugar and carb overload. I also didn’t eat regularly,” Mandy recalls. “I’d use low-fat milk at home, but never asked for ‘skinny’ when I went out. I never noticed that my pasta had full-fat cream in it, and although I always ate wholewheat bread, I overdid it,” she adds. Her lack of diet savvy, combined with an inactive lifestyle, made it difficult to shed unwanted flab.
“I’ve always hated my body,” says Mandy, so when she lost 11kg in 2009 while attending kickboxing classes with a friend, she felt motivated – especially when the compliments started rolling in. “It felt amazing!” One of her mom’s friends had achieved good results following the Sports Science Institute of South Africa’s (SSISA) Healthy Weight programme, so Mandy decided to sign up.
Mandy started exercising three times a week, doing a mix of cardio and toning. “I ate more regularly and found that small changes, like cutting out margarine, can make a huge difference,” she says. Although it was tough in the beginning, she learnt how to make healthy food fun and training in a group spurred her on. Thanks to her new active lifestyle and healthy diet, she lost another 11kg over 16 weeks.
“As my figure changed, so my perception of my body and how I treated it changed too,” says Mandy. “People are always asking me for advice and I feel great about it!” Mandy doesn’t deprive herself: “I still eat chocolate, carbs and all the stuff I love – I just have it in moderation and put in that little bit of extra effort at the
Enlist friendly support. “Make friends at gym – they’ll hold you accountable.”
Own it. “Find a gym or activity that works for you.”
Say no to cop-outs. “Find a lifestyle change that’s healthy, not a quick fix.”