“Watching Myself On TV Inspired Me To Lose Weight”
There’s nothing like the sight of yourself on TV post-weight gain to spark a lifestyle change.
ENCA sports anchor Wardah Hartley became the youngest national TV news reporter in the country at age 19 and, now, she has not only changed her own life, but she’s using her experience to inspire others.
Time taken to lose weight: Two years
Secret weapon: S.W.E.A.T. 1000
Lesson learnt: “Pure determination has shown me what I’m capable of.”
Wardah’s weight issues began at age 25. “I wasn’t really into exercise,” she explains. She also had a weakness for oversized Cape Malay dishes. “My portion sizes were far too big in relation to the amount of activity I was doing: all those stews and curries every day, plus I loved my carbs – loads of potatoes, rice and pasta.”
The kilos crept up so slowly that it was easy to live in denial. “Then, in 2011, I saw myself on air and it was a big eye-opener,” Wardah recalls. “It didn’t help that the camera adds a few kilos too.” Wardah went for a medical check-up and discovered she was dangerously close to getting type-2 diabetes. “I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” says Wardah. It was the reality check she needed.
Wardah confronted portion distortion with eating guidelines prescribed by her doctor. “I started eating five to six small meals every day. My meals were high-protein with either a good carb or a good fat to accompany it.” But a food makeover was only part of the equation. “A big part of my weight loss was finding a highly effective activity that I truly loved. I started doing S.W.E.A.T. 1000 classes three or four times a week.” Soon, she was sweating off a kilo almost weekly.
Wardah has run several 10-kays, obstacle races and three half-marathons. She’s also completed two Cape Town Cycle Tours and a 94.7 Cycle Challenge. “I’ve got the energy, determination and discipline to take on more work. I started my own health and wellness events company called FabuFit. This would never have happened had I not gone on this journey.”
Know your body. “Get a full health assessment done by your GP; you’ll have a clearer picture of how to approach your transformation.”
Be consistent. “It’s only through creating a habit that your body will begin to change and maintain the changes.”
Get a training buddy. “Try to find a buddy who is slightly fitter and stronger than you so that they can push you to improve and keep up with them.”