“I’ve learnt the importance of eating healthy and being active.”
Boikanyo Kekana comes from an overweight family, and even though she was quite lean growing up, she started piling on extra weight when she hit puberty. She says she only played shot put when she was in grade 7 and 8 — that’s it.
Weight before: 94,2kg
Weight after: 77,5kg
Time taken to lose weight: 2 Years
Secret weapon: Clean eating and exercise
“In high school I was a size 32 for a short while, then soon became a size 34.” While a student, she had managed to gradually put on weight because of the food she was indulging in. “All I ate was junk food. All. The. Time,” she admits. She also got pregnant in 2011 and started to gain baby weight. This didn’t bother Boikanyo much though, because it was normal. “I had the mentality that I was going to lose all of it again after I had given birth,” she says. Her attempts at trying to lose the weight were futile. “I tried eating clean — but that only lasted until I lost a few kilos, then I went back to my old habits of eating take aways. Even the way I prepared my food at home was unhealthy,” she admits.
“In 2014, after giving birth to my second baby, I gained even more weight. I was a size 42 and felt very uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body.” Boikanyo would turn down invitations to go out with her friends because she felt unattractive and had a low self-esteem. “That really hurt me. I didn’t love what I saw in the mirror. It was that feeling that caused her to make a commitment to changing her life for the better.” From that moment on, Boikanyo started making dietary changes, did morning walks and jogged an average of 7 km’s a day. Eventually she felt fit enough to sign up to the gym.
She cut down on carbs, sugar and fizzy drinks and starting using supplement like shakes and teas to help her detox. “I bought a digital skipping rope and I’d push myself to skip every week… even more the next week. It wasn’t easy but I had to keep going (even though sometimes I felt like quitting),” she adds. She is now very aware of what she puts in her mouth and makes sure that she keeps her body in good shape with very frequent gym visits and road running.
Boikanyo says she now feels healthier and so much happier since running her first 10km race. “I feel more confident and my energy levels have improved significantly. It feels amazing to go shopping for new clothes,” she admits. She rewards herself at least once a week to eat something delicious, just to indulge for a bit, and then goes back to clean eating.
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.
> Start small. Small changes repeated daily, make a big difference.
> Be patient with yourself. Everyone is different, therefore our bodies respond differently to training and eating plans.
> Push yourself beyond your capabilities. The body does what the mind believes
Looking for more? Here are five basic rules you need to follow to lose belly fat.