“I Gained 21 Kilos And I’ve Never Been Happier”
Body shaming can happen to anyone, and when it does happen, it’s not a great feeling. For Dineo Masenya, many years of body shaming led to her feeling insecure and lacking confidence. Wanting to experience more self-love, Dineo set out to challenge her body and discover just how strong she could be.
Dineo Pearl Masenya
Occupation: Floor manager
Weight before: 42kg
Weight after: 63kg
Time required to reach goal: 1 year
Secret weapon to your fitness journey: Consistency and discipline
The Body Shaming
“Growing up I have always been very skinny and underweight at 42 kilos. I used to be mocked and body-shamed all the time and I would wear baggy clothes just to hide my body in an attempt to look “bigger”. In my teen years it started to bother me a lot,” she explains. In an effort to gain weight, Dineo says that she started to turn to unhealthy food such as takeaways and junk food. When that didn’t work, she decided to do some research. “I came across an article in a magazine that spoke about building muscles through weight lifting. Seeing results from the people who did it really motivated me to start my own fitness journey,” she says.
Using the tips she learned from the internet, she started doing home workouts which yielded some positive results — results that left her wanting more. “I decided to join the gym in October 2016. I followed the tips I got from Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube videos, and within 6 months I started seeing results”.
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When came to gaining weight in a healthy manner, she started meal prepping and upping her protein intake. “Fitness is 70% about your diet, so I added more protein as it is vital for muscle growth and development,” she says. That meant eating more chicken breast, pork, and red meat. She says that her key to staying disciplined has been meal prepping, “sometimes you get home from work and you are too tired to prepare something to eat, so it’s great to just pull out my ready-made meal and dig in. It’s better than getting fast food”.
Fit For Life
Dineo says that fitness has integrated itself to every part of her life, even turning simple everyday things into a workout, “everywhere I go there is a workout I can do. I would rather take the stairs than the elevators, walk than drive or even go as far as walking in lunges,” she explains. Besides turning everything into a workout, she goes to the gym at least 5 times a week, focusing on body weight training and weights rather than cardio.
For Dineo the gym has become more than just a place to build muscle — it has become her happy place. “It really doesn’t matter what I’m feeling or what I’m going through because when I go to the gym I’m like a brand new person,” she says.
Start small: “Starting off with exercises at home is great. This helps you become consistent. Once you’re dedicated, you can move onto the gym”.
Stay consistent: “Get into the routine of building good habits. So, set reminders to stay hydrated or commit to doing your workout at the same time every day”.
Substitute: “Find substitutes to replace your unhealthy foods. Like, have a smoothie in the morning instead of a greasy breakfast. Or instead of having a slab of chocolate have an energy bar”.