“My Strong Sense Of Self-Belief Helped Me Lose 14 Kilos”
By Zinhlezonke Zikalala
Self-belief was what helped Xolile Zulu conquer her weight-loss journey – and lose 14 kilos. “The most important lesson I learned was to believe in myself, no matter what it takes,” she says.
Height: 1.56 m
Weight before: 68 kg
Weight after: 54 kg
Time taken to lose weight: 6 months
Secret weapon: Perseverance
Xolile had been a size 32 all her life – until she got pregnant. “I picked up a lot of weight during my pregnancy and it was so hard to lose the weight after that,” she says. Aside from that, her lifestyle wasn’t healthy. “I ate everything I laid my eyes on, mostly fast food: pies, fried chips, burgers, alcohol, fizzy drinks – the works,” she says. And exercise? It didn’t exist.
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Relocating from Jozi to Durban in 2013 was a turning point for her. “Everywhere I went I would see people I grew up with, and they would make horrible comments about my weight,” she says. The discomfort and embarrassment drove Xolile to lose the baby weight. “I decided that I won’t live an unhappy life.” The decision was turned into action. “I stopped drinking alcohol completely, I reduced my food portions, and avoided junk food at all costs,” she says. Then she committed to exercising. “I joined the gym, and I try go there at least five times a week,” says Xolile.
“Losing weight is not easy at all,” says Xolile. For the first month, she struggled because she didn’t see a difference in her body. To keep her motivated, she decided to avoid the scale until she saw actual progress. To help her along, she quit junk food. “I started preparing my own food from home – instead of fries, I have a salad.” At gym, she focused more on her immediate goal, which was to lose belly fat. “I made sure all my workouts include a 30-minute ab workout.”
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The process was slow, and people continued making comments about her healthier lifestyle. “As soon as you mention you’re trying to lose weight, they make comments about every single thing you do, but they are also the first to mention when they see the change – which is great,” she says. The results speak for themselves. “I have lost three dress sizes, feel confident in everything I wear – I love my new body,” she says. You go girl.
Make a decision that you want to lose weight.
Keep at it, whatever it takes.
Don’t listen to what everyone has to say.
Stick to your lane. Always!
Don’t give up.
You started for a reason.
Looking for more real-life weight-loss stories to inspire your own transformation? Check out Clarissa’s story… she managed to drop dress sizes by making little tweaks to her diet. And the key to Nokutela’s transformation? Her determination.