“I Gave Up Binge-Eating, Gained Major Energy And Lost Weight”
By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
“The clothes I used to wear are starting to fit again – I feel healthier, lighter and more energetic!”
Occupation: Marketing Officer
Weight before: 110.6 kg
Weight after: 92 kg
Time taken to lose weight: 3 months
Secret weapon: Healthy eating and regular exercise
“Babe, you’ve a gained too much weight, let’s do something about it.” This is what Thuli Mkhwanazi‘s boyfriend said to her. As horrible as that sounds, Thuli thought he was right.
Thuli used to be a binge eater, which was the cause of her tremendous weight gain over a period of only three months. “I went from being a normal-looking person in November to being obese by February,” she says. Her life became a constant battle between binge-eating and swearing that she’d try a fad diet the next day – only to give in and eat everything in front of her. When her car was stolen, she ate her trauma. “I ate my feelings right up to my heaviest [weight],” she says. “I only ate bad food – fast food was my number one temptation. I’d eat anything from burgers, ribs, deep friend chips, pies, friend chicken, you name it.” She also didn’t do any exercise, which added to her weight gain.
“I was looking overweight and miserable,” Thuli admits. Her boyfriend had suggested that they do something about her weight. It was embarrassing. She made a resolution to change her habits, but whenever Monday rolled around – the date the set for the change – she didn’t follow through. Things changed when she stepped on the scale one day and was shocked that she weighed in at 110kg. “My heart sank and I even cried,” she says. “I thought, ‘If I don’t start now, I might never do it’” she says.
Thuli made massive changes, starting with her junk food addiction. “I replaced it with fruits and vegetables and all healthy foods I knew,” she says. “I started making my own meals instead of takeaways and I did a whole lot of research on the net on how to replace the bad foods that I love with healthy options so I can keep eating what I like only healthier options”. She also started to incorporate more time for exercise. “Initially, I’d go to gym for 30 minutes, doing just cardio, then built it up to 45 minutes and as the weight started falling off, I was encouraged to spend two full hours at the gym doing cardio and weight-lifting” she says.
Read this: Do You Have A Food Addiction?
“The clothes I used to wear are starting to fit again,” she says. “I feel healthier, lighter and more energetic.” But the best part was the opportunity to reward herself with something that wasn’t food. “I reward myself with a bag or pair of shoes. I even reward myself by starting a new exercise I thought was too daunting at first!”
Document your journey – They’ll keep you motivated and give you a marker of your progress.
Be patient with your body.
Don’t compare your body with other people’s bodies. They are all different.
Never feel guilty about the food you ate.
Guilt is the red carpet to failure. Forgive yourself and move on to your next healthy meal.
Need more weight loss inspiration? Check out last week’s transformation – Sanelisiwe ditched her bread addiction and dropped the kilos.