By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
“It’s not cool when your belly is so big that waiters start to mistake you for a pregnant woman…”
Having been on a weight-loss journey for some time, Nelly quickly learnt that in order to succeed, she had to be disciplined and consistent in whatever she did to aid her progress – because in due time, it would all be worth it.
Weight Before: 82kg
Weight After: 70kg
Time required to lose weight: 6 months
Secret Weapon: Cutting out carbs and working out consistently
While her maternal family includes a few slightly overweight members, Nelly didn’t inherit those genes – but she wasn’t skinny either. It was actually during varsity that she gradually packed on the kilos. “I didn’t even notice I was gaining weight,” she admits. Nelly fell into the ‘student life’ trap. “I was eating anything at any time with no care in the world.”
Fast food were her favourite. “There was a time where I was so into McDonald’s burgers, I’d have one almost every day,” she confesses. And, because she was asthmatic, she didn’t bother with exercise. “My only exercise was walking to and from the taxi rank.”
“On Valentine’s Day this year, my boyfriend took me out on a date and the waiter ‘congratulated’ us on a ‘non-existent’ pregnancy,” explains Nelly. The embarrassment alone was enough to push her to change her lifestyle and, critically, her eating habits.
“It’s not cool when your belly is so big that people start to mistake you for a pregnant woman and, as angry as I was at the waiter, I was angrier at myself. I realised how big I’d become. I was also always running short of breath when I had to take steps,” she says.
First, she tackled her biggest downfall: her diet. “I cut down on carbs and started to eat a whole lot of greens,” she says. Later on, she was introduced to Herbalife products, which helped with muscle gain and kept her energised. “I eat more proteins now and have a shake for breakfast every day.”
Next, she fitted exercise into her lifestyle. “I started off with running as I wasn’t new to it, then later went on to other forms of exercise, like squats, lunges, sit-ups, crunches, mountain climbers and planks.”
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Never mind the fact that Nelly dropped 12 kilos and a couple of dress sizes in just six months – she says she feels refreshed too. “I feel so alive and light.” She’s also fallen in love with some interesting new hobbies: “I do things I would never have even dreamt of with my previous weight – like horse riding, where you need to weigh less than 80kg.” Nelly also ran the Soweto half marathon – a whopping 21km!
Set a goal. “Stay true and determined to seeing that goal through.”
Make your journey a lifestyle. “Don’t do it just to lose weigh.”
Be realistic. “Losing weight doesn’t happen overnight.”
Looking for more inspo? Here are five basic rules you need to follow to lose belly fat.