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“I Lost Over 20kgs Because I Fell In Love With Running”

Posted on: by Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Lungile's weight-loss running journey

By Zinhlezonke Zikalala

The trick is finding an exercise regime that excites you so much you jump out of bed to do it.

“With weight loss you quickly learn that it’s not just a 3 month diet or a 2 week detox, it’s actually a lifestyle,” says Lungile. Here’s how she went from couch potato to marathon runner.

Lungile Malinga

Occupation: Equity Research Analyst
Age: 25
Weight before: 80 Kg
Weight after: 59 Kg
Height: 1.55m
Time required to reach current weight: 2 years
Secret weapon: Eat better and move more

The Gain

Lungile’s weight gain was a gradual over a period of 1 year. “I was a student who had no time to cook — in short that’s how I gained weight — it was the food. My meal plan was all burgers and pizza, with zero exercise,” admits Lungile.

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She says that she used to be “cute and a bit chubby”, but lost all that baby fat in high school when she got involved in sports, “I captained the netball and basketball teams and participated in cross country,” she says . Fast-forward a few years to varsity and the weight started to creep back. “Fried bacon and eggs with toast were my breakfast, burger and chips for lunch or KFC dunked wings and dinner would be some form of take away too,” she says.

The Change

It was around October 2014 when things started to change. “I was out shopping for a dress to wear at a wedding, I walked into the change rooms with mirrors that reflect all angles of your body and I was when I saw how scary I looked,” she says. She didn’t look her age and she couldn’t buy the dress she wanted.

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She used that day as motivation to do something about how she looked. “First step was to see a dietician to give me guidance on what foods to eat and avoid. Then take gym seriously,” says Lungile.

The Lifestyle

Lungile kept the promise to herself — she got serious about her workouts and started eating clean. “I went to gym 3 or 4 times a week,  and opted for healthier meals with snacks in between during the day,” she says. Her grocery shopping list also got a makeover, “My diet involved oats, nuts, fruits, plain yogurt, salad, wraps, lots of veggies, lean meat and fish,” she says.

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In the gym she did kick, shake or spinning classes every time. “With all that I discovered a trigger workout — running. I loved it so much I started training for a marathon”.

The Reward

“In 2016 I ran my first full marathon and I’ve never looked back since,” she says. She’s happier, healthier and a lot less moody. “It just goes to show how great life can be when your health is on point,” she says.

Lungile’s Tips

Small things add up.
You might not see the difference now, but it will soon add up.
Envision your dream body.
It helps at those times when you feel like giving up.
Find an exercise that you enjoy.
Find something that excites you so much you jump out of bed to go do it.

Looking for more inspirational weight-loss stories? Check out how Zamazindela lost 23 kilos, and how Belinda transformed her life and became a personal trainer? 

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