Inspiration: Exercising the weight off

By admin
16 July 2013

In the second of a three-part blog series in which readers share their stories of inspiring life transformations, Mary-Anne McCormack, a medical personal assistant from Randburg, tells us how exercise helped her to shed 59 kg over two years.

The beginning

My journey began in January 2011 but it was only when I saw photographs of me on the beach in Thailand in July 2011 that it finally hit me that “enough was enough” and the “real journey” began.

I think I got to the point of desperation; desperate to feel better about myself. No obese person can tell me, honestly, that they feel great about themselves.

My personal trainer was relentless in fighting with me to change my “I can’t” or “I’ll never get there” mentality.

When I started seeing the results and the reactions from people who were floored at how much weight I had lost I realised, that man, all this hard work is working. I started feeling better about myself and found I had boundless amounts of energy and motivation to keep pushing myself.

Some of the initial challenges included getting over my total lack of self-confidence and my fear and embarrassment of walking into a gym. It was a big challenge getting over the fear of what people will think when I tried something that I perceived to look ridiculous. It was difficult changing my mind-set from “I can’t do this” when my personal trainer gave me something to do that was new or particularly difficult to do. Actually, I am still working on this one!

Dumping old habits was tricky, such as stopping the bad eating habit that developed over many years. And learning to say no when offered things to eat that I knew were yummy but illegal was tough.

The old me

I have had a weight issue as far back as I can remember but it became progressively worse from my early 20s. I was so morbidly obese and depressed that I lacked self-confidence and was embarrassed about being me. I hated going shopping for clothing I couldn’t find. I hated going to malls, I was embarrassed about the way I looked and I was hardly mobile. I weighed 158,6 kg. It made me feel unworthy of being liked/loved/respected.

Eating: I would eat everything I wasn’t supposed to eat. I was a junk-food junkie. I lived on my own, so I was terribly lazy to go home to cook a proper meal, so I would order junk foods. I was far too lazy to take the time to prepare healthy meals. I was the laziest person I knew. I was a very depressed person and a huge comfort eater. I fooled myself into thinking that nobody could see me.

Exercise: I always used the elevator regardless of how many floors. If I needed to get to the shop, which was only a block away, to buy bread, milk, or a newspaper, I would use my car and then drive around the parking lot until a parking bay closest to the entrance I needed opened up.

On weekends I would sit/lay on a couch and watch TV, movies or read. But nothing that ever involved too much effort or much moving around.

While at work I would get the cleaner to go to my car if I needed anything – I would actually send the office cleaner on all my errands while I sat behind my desk.

The new me

I have my life back! Although I haven’t reached my goal weight yet I feel so much healthier and fitter. My self-confidence has done a turn around and now I can’t stay out of the gym. My personal trainer has to gently remind me every now and again that I am over-training and need to take a rest day or two. I am a stronger person and don’t allow people to take advantage of me and walk all over me. I do things that make ME happy and I certainly voice my opinion far more now than I ever have before.

My exercise regime

Mondays: High intensity 45 min spinning classes in the morning and evening.

Tuesdays: A personal trainer session /kettlebell class in the morning and a high intensity 45 min spinning class in the evening.

Wednesdays: High intensity 45 min spinning classes in the morning and evening.

Thursdays: A personal trainer session /kettlebell class in the morning and a high intensity 45 min spinning class in the evening.

Fridays: A personal trainer session /kettlebell class in the morning and a high intensity 60 min spinning class in the evening.

Saturdays: High intensity 60 min spinning class or road bike training in the morning.

Sundays: High intensity 90 min spinning class or road bike training in the morning.

I also often participate in charity spinathons and have completed three four-hour spinathons to date. I just completed the Emperors Palace Classic Cycle race – it was my first road race, I completed 50 km in an hour and 55 minutes. I am working hard towards my first 94.7 Cycle Challenge in November.

I still see myself as overweight but I am proud of myself and what I have achieved to date. I can look in the mirror now without flinching and looking away. There is absolute NO stopping me and I am so excited about the future and finally achieving my ideal weight and all the goals I have set myself. Mentally and emotionally I have never felt stronger. I have my bad days but who doesn’t? I am super excited about the future and only believe that I will move from strength to strength.

By Faiza Mallick

Read the first transformation story: Inspiration: I lost 42 kg!

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