“This Fitness Programme Helped Me Lose Over 55 Kilos”
Nicola Davidson had lost massive amounts of weight before and was always on a lose-gain-lose-gain cycle. “But, because my mind wasn’t right, I gained all the weight back and more,” she says. In truth, it never happens overnight. “I’ve surprised myself every day with my commitment, dedication and tenacity,” says Nicola. “Now that I’ve made emotional wellness a part of my journey, the results have been overwhelming.”
Time taken to lose weight: 2.5 years
Secret weapon: Consistency
It started at varsity. “I’d turn to food and alcohol as coping mechanisms, rather than dealing with negative emotions constructively,” she says. Her go-to meals were instant, microwavable foods. “If it was full of trans fats and kilojoules, it went into my mouth.” And exercise? None. “Not unless you call walking from the car to the bar exercise,” she says. After 10 years, Nicola weighed 135kg.
Nicola was on a cocktail of medication for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure – all as a result of her lifestyle. “There was no ‘light bulb’ moment as such – it was more a realisation that I’d been playing about with this weight-loss thing for years – either I had to do it one last time and do it for real, or just give up and embrace being morbidly obese,” she says. In July 2013, she chose to get her head in the game once and for all.
Nicola signed up for an eight-week weight-loss challenge with SleekGeek, a South African online social wellness community. Added to that, she sought the help of a nutritionist. Her exercise regime wasn’t balls-to-the-wall from the start; rather, she focused exclusively on strength training twice a week to build muscle and burn fat. “As I lost weight and became fitter, I added more training sessions,” says Nicola. She started trail running two to three times a week and today she’s added spinning, Adventure Boot Camp, HIIT and conditioning training to her exercise arsenal.
With persistence comes reward: other than shedding over 50kg, Nicola has completed a 32km race in the Drakensberg. She’s also completely reversed her type-2 diabetes and is now off her high-blood-pressure and high-cholesterol meds. “I can fit into things: baths, aeroplane seats, seatbelts and cinema seats. I finally feel like I can fit into life, both physically and emotionally. I feel healthy, inside and out.”
Embrace commitment: “Understand that your willpower will fade – that’s where commitment will get you through.”
Know your choices: “Aim to make more healthy choices than bad ones – it all adds up.”
Love yourself: “Unless you start your journey by loving yourself, you’ll never reach your goal weight.”
Ready To Transform Your Body – And Your Life?
Join women of all ages and fitness levels across SA as they take on the Adventure Boot Camp 12-Week #MYJOURNEYTOSUMMER programme. It’s cheap, flexible, includes access to a dietician for nutritional advice, and much more. Also, it starts on 24 September! Keen to give it a bash? Check out the Adventure Boot Camp website for details and to sign up – and let them know you heard about them from Women’s Health. You’re welcome.