By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Losing weight is hard, maintaining the weight is hard, but being over-weight is hard too
Amanda Pruissen puts the eternal weight struggle so well. “Losing weight is hard, maintaining the weight is hard, but being fat is hard too. All you have to do is pick which hard you want to live with,” she says. It’s really not rocket science.
Weight before: 120.3kg
Weight after: 76.2kg
Time required to reach current weight: 1 year
Secret weapon: Be honest with yourself about what you put into your mouth.
“I’ve been overweight almost all my life; I knew I was different, and not in a good way either,” explains Amanda. Her earliest memory regarding her size was when she was taken to a Weigh-Less meeting at the tender age of 11. Since then, she’s been an emotional eater. “At some point in my life, food became my solace,” she says, admitting that she would often binge in secret.
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“On a Friday, I would buy as much food as I could carry and ensure that it was eaten before Monday morning,” she confesses—and it wasn’t exactly healthy food either. “Fast food and junk food had become my norm.” And with zero exercise in her daily routine, the weight just kept piling on.
Amanda’s self-esteem plummeted and she began to isolate herself from people, then ate even more to cope with her loneliness. “On Christmas day in 2015, I swore to myself that I won’t ever isolate myself and not participate in life because I’m too ashamed of my weight—instead, I decided to do something about it,” she says.
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And that was the moment her weight-loss journey began. “I focused all my energy on a lifestyle change,” she says. “I cleaned up my diet, cut out junk food, started preparing all my own meals and began exercising,” she says.
“I make sure that my way of eating and training has become a way of life, not just a ‘fling’,” says Amanda. She now eats small portions regularly throughout the day—healthy foods that she’s prepared herself, of course. She trains between four and six times a week, depending on how hectic her schedule is. Which is fair enough.
READ MORE: Which Is Actually Better? Cardio Or Weights?
“Besides running, I do both weights and cardio and I’ve discovered I’m quite a mean cardio queen—anything that makes me sweat and gets my heart rate up makes me incredibly happy,” says Amanda.
“I am the happiest now that I’ve ever been in my life,” she says. Amanda is able to do things she never thought possible. “I went from being a hermit and a sloth to running 10km races for fun on a Saturday morning,” she says.
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“I no longer dread going shopping – I went from being a size 22 to a size 12,” she adds. That definitely calls for retail therapy.
Get active – even if it’s a brisk walk. Get out and get your heart rate up.
Be accountable – even if it’s to yourself. You are the one who has to live with you, after all.
Surround yourself with encouraging people – those who understand your journey.