“I Stopped Letting Food Control My Life — Now I’m Healthier Than Ever”
Healthy weight loss can happen a lot of ways, but effortlessly is not one of them. Cleo Albertus learnt that consistency is a powerful tool in the weight-loss journey.
City: Cape Town
Occupation: Sports coach
Time taken to lose weight: Two years
Secret weapon: Consistency
“Sport has always been my love and passion and I played a lot in school,” Cleo says. She also runs and loves it. But, even so, she’s been through cycles of trying to maintain a steady weight for years and has struggled with anorexia. After her studies, Cleo worked at a hotel in the US for two months, where her crazy work hours left her without steady mealtimes. “Chocolates, chips and cookies were my staples,” she says. When she came home, she’d gained seven kilos.
Upon her return to SA in January 2016, Cleo found her energy levels completely zapped. “I couldn’t run 5km without stopping; my clothes were extra tight and I felt really sluggish,” she says. Then, in May, someone sent her a photo of herself and she didn’t like what she saw. “After seeing how much weight I had put on, I knew I didn’t look my best even though people told me I looked fine,” she says.
Exercise wasn’t foreign to Cleo, but her eating habits needed a revamp. “I had to change my diet and be more conscious of what I fed my body,” she says. Instead of an extreme approach, Cleo opted for balance. “I included more vegetables, protein and healthier carbs in my diet.” She also made sacrifices. “When going out to eat, I’d opt for salads or protein and vegetables even if I wanted that juicy burger,” says Cleo. She also supplemented her running with training at FitFreak gym in Cape Town.
“For the first time, my eating has stabilised and my weight is constant,” says Cleo. Added to that, she’s happier with her relationship with food. “I feel the strongest I have ever been and healthy overall. It feels great that food doesn’t have so much power over me. I definitely feel healthier.”