By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Weight loss is like rebirth — once you lose the weight, you feel like a different person altogether.
“I feel like a brand new person. I’ve become so confident, loving and so much happier about life and almost everything else,” says Noncedo Ralijeje, who lost 20kg kilos in a short nine months.
Weight before: 78kg
Weight after: 58kg
Time taken to lose weight: 9 months
Secret weapons: Cut out sugar, jog and drink lots of water
Growing up slender and among family members who were just as petite meant Noncedo didn’t pay much attention to her health. She didn’t need to — or so she thought. “I used to eat almost everything — junk being my favourite — just because I could. I never gained weight, and no one at home was conscious about healthy eating either,” she says. But after her second pregnancy, things took a U-turn. “I couldn’t lose the baby fat after I gave birth to my second child,” she admits. Noncedo didn’t do anything about it, hoping her old body would return naturally in time — but that didn’t happen. Add to that the unhealthy food and lack of exercise, and the kilos kept piling on!
READ MORE: Do You Have A Food Addiction?
“I was in Pretoria for a year and my friend invited me to join her for a jog. I went, but what saddened me was the fact that I couldn’t even finish 5km without stopping and losing my breath along the way,” she says. It was a realisation of how much things had changed. “I was unfit and overweight; I had to do something about it — and fast,” she admits. So she joined a gym. “I went to Virgin Active and noticed an African woman instructor. She looked so hot and fit — that was all the motivation I needed,” says Noncedo.
She had to add some spice to her journey. “I took a course at Trifocus fitness, so I wouldn’t fall off the wagon and to make fitness fun for me,” she says. The rest fell into place automatically. “I was disciplined; I changed my diet — ditching sugar and all the junk. I jogged every day and went to gym often. I was hooked,” she admits.
READ MORE: 5 Ways To Get Fit With Skipping
“People were complimenting me everywhere I went,” says Noncedo. That was what kept her motivated. “I lost 20kg, and that called for retail therapy, so I bought myself new gear,” she exclaims. You go girl!
Your diet takes priority. “Cut out sugar and eat more greens.”
Water in essential. “Drink at least 1.5 litres a day.”
Jog. “Keep at it — Rome wasn’t built in a day”
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. Also, Check out how Nokukhanya’s weight loss journey.