By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Ripped and strong
Losing weight isn’t just about dumping unwanted baby weight or slimming down for an event. Sometimes, it’s a process of food discovery — the kind that leaves you nourished, happy and inspired. Here’s Matshediso’s journey.
Weight Before: 83kg
Weight After: 57kgs
Time required to reach current weight: 6 months
Secret weapon: Power-circuit training
“At first, the weight gain was gradual, but by the last trimester of my pregnancy, I had moved from 58 kilos to 83,” Matshediso admits. Even though she was relatively active at the gym, being pregnant meant that she had a huge appetite and strange cravings. “I ate all kinds of junk food. I’d have vetkoek for breakfast, cookies and chocolates for snacks and pap for supper. I’d then have more cookies and chocolates,” she says. With this high-sugar, high-carb diet, she gained a large amount of weight.
In April 2014, Matshediso attended a friend’s wedding and didn’t recognise herself in the pictures. “I looked more like her aunt than her best friend,” she says. “I was uncomfortable and I didn’t want to go out after that — my self-esteem was really low.” In that moment, she made the decision to change her lifestyle to something fitter and healthier.
“The starting point for me was being active — I jogged for half an hour three times a week,” she says. She changed her diet too and swapped out vetkoek for the Special K diet. To stick to her fit resolution, Matshediso combined her running with power-circuit training and other high-intensity workouts at the gym. She also evolved her eating habits and moved towards wholefoods, such as fruit, eggs, tuna, chicken and avocado — and she found the variety endless. But she admits it wasn’t easy. “I relapsed a few times along the way, which set me back,” she says. “But I told myself that I would keep going to the very end — until I reached my target. And that’s what I did.”
People started to notice her transformation and she began to get requests from other mothers to help them lose their baby weight. “I started FitMomz SA, a lifestyle brand that’s dedicated to motivating, educating and supporting other mothers who are looking to get in shape,” says Matshediso. To her, that’s the biggest reward. “Now, I’m able to give 100 percent of myself to all other parts of my life.”
Ready to transform your life too? Sign up to Women’s Health’s expert-approved eating and exercise plan — Lean Body Blitz — and watch the weight disappear.
> Set a goal. “You don’t need to get to a size 30,but set a goal and commit to it.”
> Push yourself. “When it looks like nothing is changing, you need to keep going.”
> Be consistent. “To get results, you always need to eat healthily and exercise.”
Looking for more? Here are five basic rules you need to follow to lose belly fat.