Slimdown Slamdown Winner
Prudence Ogunlade, 32, Fourways
Occupation: Management consultant
Time required to reach current weight: 12 weeks
Secret weapon: Portion control and weight training
Lesson learnt: “Falling off the wagon once in a while doesn’t equal failure”
While Prudence Ogunlade has always had a sweet tooth, netball and gym sessions kept her figure and health in check throughout high school. But motherhood put an end to those activities and by the end of her second pregnancy she was tipping the scales at 106kg. The shock of her mother being diagnosed with diabetes provided the impetus Prudence needed to shed the weight. By the time she entered Slimdown Slamdown she’d already lost an impressive 21kg, but progress had stalled. Following the challenge helped her lose another 9.4kg and turn her life around.
Two kids, a husband and a full-time job didn’t leave Prudence much time to exercise or eat properly. “I’ve been a food addict most of my life,” she confesses. “It was bad, especially when I was hormonal – chocolates and starchy food like warm bread and slap chips were my drug.” As she continued to ditch the gym and give in to her cravings, the kilos slowly added up. “My clothes started getting tight, so to accommodate the ‘new’ weight, I went shopping,” says Prudence. It was the first time she’d tried on size 40 clothing. “I was shocked to see my waist size. I couldn’t believe it had gotten to that level.”
The turning point came when her mother was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in October 2011. Having watched other family members struggle with the disease, both Prudence and her mom were devastated. “My mom couldn’t come to terms with it. It was the first time I ever saw fear on her face.” Determined to avoid the disease and its complications, Prudence decided it was time to take control of her health and waistline.
Prudence knew she had to learn healthy habits, not fall for fads. With nutritious eating and exercise, she got her weight down to 85kg, but needed help shifting more – and that’s when she entered Slimdown Slamdown. “Being selected for the contest actually forced me to start thinking differently.” For the next three months, Prudence split her hour-long sessions between cardio and strength training four to five times a week to rev her metabolism. To curb her sugar and starch cravings, Prudence overhauled her diet. “I ate three meals a day with two snacks in between. Typically these would include a portion of protein, whole carbs, veggies and salad. Snacks would include fruit or a protein shake. I also drank at least three litres of water a day.”
Three months later, the scale flashed 75.6. Prudence, who once feared she’d be on prescription meds for diabetes, had dropped three dress sizes and felt great. “For once in my life I feel really good about myself,” she says. “I still can’t believe I can wear size 34. I’m overwhelmed by the slimmer version of me.”
Be mentally ready. “Any ‘diet’ works if you’re committed, but if you aren’t mentally ready it won’t.”
No more excuses. “Sacrifice to make time for exercise. Even 30 minutes a day is something.”
You are in control. “Seventy percent is food, 20 percent is exercise and 10 percent is genes. That means you control 90 percent of your body.”
See Prudence's before pics here.