By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
“I’m more in touch with myself than I’ve ever been”
Eloise Dreyer wasn’t an emotional eater, in fact she wasn’t an eater at all. But this approach can be as harmful to your body as eating all the wrong things. Here’s how she took her body from a fat-making machine to a fat-fighting one.
Weight before: 128kg
Weight after: 80kg
Occupation: Freelance writer and beauty editor
Time taken to lose weight: 8 months
Secret weapon: A new mind-set
Eloise picked up weight slowly, over a period of 13 years. Except she didn’t really eat herself fat, the way most weight-gain stories go. “I ate every two to three days,” says Eloise. “My body stored whatever I ate because it didn’t know when it would be fed again. When I ate it was completely the wrong types of food, like unhealthy carbs or fats.” As a horse rider, Eloise was active, but her eating habits didn’t change – so the scale never budged.
Eloise’s wake-up call came on 14 September 2015 when she lost consciousness and woke up on her kitchen floor. “I had crashed from not eating properly or frequently enough. A switch flipped in my mind,” she says. She instantly started eating better. Eloise also quit fizzy drinks and a 15-year smoking habit. Her decision wasn’t for weight loss. “I didn’t realise how sick I was becoming,” she admits. “My lifestyle change wasn’t for any vain or cosmetic reason; it was to improve my health.”
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Eloise started out with the Banting diet and lost 12kg in six weeks. As she felt stronger and had more energy, she took up exercise. “It changed my whole life,” Eloise shares. From there, she found a personal trainer and started training – initially two days a week and then quickly up to six days a week for two hours a day. Next, she ditched Banting for a high- protein meal plan devised by her trainer. Breakfast was oats with cinnamon; lunch was lean meat with steamed green vegetables.
“I’ve never really had a problem with confidence, but these days I have body confidence too!” she says. Eloise ignores the baggy clothes she used to wear. “I go straight for the sexier, more fitted items, because now I can wear them!” It doesn’t end there. Eloise honours her new body by rewarding it with what feels good. “On Friday or Saturday nights when my friends are partying, I hit the treadmill,” she says.
Make the decision. “Don’t think, just do. Once the weight starts dropping and you see results, you become unstoppable.”
Stick to your diet. “Find alternatives that work for you.”
Stay positive. “Whatever you think manifests itself, so love yourself.”
Need more inspiration to begin your own weight loss journey? Read how Nokukhanya lost over 15kgs without gym or an expensive eating plan, plus here’s how Michelle quit being a couch potato and lost 30kgs.