“I Lost 50 Kilos To Prove To Myself That I Could”
A passing remark, rather than a health diagnosis, turned out to be the catalyst for Angelique Venter to transform her lifestyle and her body.
“I am a woman who had more than 50 reasons to lose weight. I’m very proud of my new lifestyle,” she says.
Time taken to lose weight: 19 months
Lesson learnt: “I am a lot stronger than I ever thought”
Secret weapon: Complete change in lifestyle
Angelique’s diet was a heart surgeon’s nightmare. “All I ate was bad food. The greasier, the better.” Every meal was chased with at least two litres of Coke. “After anything savoury, I needed something sweet: lemon meringue, chocolate, fizzers. But then it got too sugary, so I had to nibble on some chips to balance it all out.” “Exercise” was flicking through the TV channels. In December 2010, Angelique was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial pressure. “Basically, it’s crippling pressure in your head. It affects mainly women of childbearing age who are a little on the heavy side − I believe ‘morbidly obese’ was the term used,” says Angelique. After being diagnosed, she went home and had a rib rack-and-steak combo.
“One evening, I was getting ready for a night out. When I came out of my room, I thought I looked damn fine. My younger brother turned to me and said, ‘I sincerely hope you’re not wearing that – I can see the hail damage on your legs through your pants.’” Angelique didn’t go out that night. She reflected on what had been said, which was what people were thinking but never spoke out loud.
Initially, Angelique’s lifestyle change was fuelled by one simple thought: I’ll show him! “I started with my diet: I slowly replaced my usual Family Feast meal with a Streetwise Two, my two-litre Coke with a one-litre and my slab of chocolate with a mini bar, until eventually I got to the point where I’d eliminated that type of food completely. Then I started eating five or six small meals that were high in protein, fruit and veg,” she says. With her improved diet eliciting weekly improvements on the scale, Angelique turned her attention to exercise – with the help of that same little brother. “He’s a personal trainer so he put together an at-home routine for me. I did a minimum of 30 minutes each day of old-school training – crunches, star jumps, push-ups, squats, lunges… the good stuff!”
As her weight came down, Angelique’s motivation went up. “People commented throughout my process and still do. I encounter people who literally walk past me because they don’t recognise me. Five dress sizes smaller and seemingly free of my initial ‘pressure disorder’, how could I not feel healthier and happier?
I’m rewarded daily!”
Don’t wait for Monday. “If you decide you’re going to make a change, start immediately. Every day you wait is a day further away from obtaining your goal.”
See the bigger picture. “Having a piece of cake is okay. But that doesn’t mean the day is ruined and you get to have a cheese burger and hot chips for dinner. Get back on track as soon as possible.”
Look ahead. “Take pleasure in the simple things, like a bubble bath. Let something else consume your thoughts.”