Inspiration: I lost 42 kg!

By admin
16 July 2013

In a three-part blog series, readers share their stories of inspiring life transformations. First up is Celeste Vandewalle, a hairstylist from Blouberg, Cape Town, who lost 42 kg in nine months when she changed her diet.

In a three-part blog series, readers share their stories of inspiring life transformations.

First up is Celeste Vandewalle, a hairstylist from Blouberg, Cape Town, who lost a whopping 42 kg in nine months when she changed her diet.

The motivation

My motivation to lose weight started with my husband, Jonathan, when I was at my biggest, 102 kg -- he was on a weight-loss journey and had already lost 70 kg. That was March last year. It was a major wake up call to actually weigh more than 100 kg. And even worse I weighed more than my husband. It inspired me to make the change.

My children, Hayly (6) and Gina (5) were also a motivation as I wanted to be fitter and healthier to be able to do more with them.

My husband brought home a new bathroom scale (we didn’t have one). He weighed himself and was 98 kg then I got on the scale thinking that it would be fine I should be about 89 kg, what I used to be. Was I wrong . . . it hit me in big bold numbers: 102 kg. When had this happened? How did I let myself go like this? So I got off the scale, had a good cry and said “enough is enough”, I had to do something. And I don’t know what was different but for the first time ever I really felt I could do it. I was determined and nothing or no one was going to stand in my way.

It was during puberty that I started picking up weight from bad eating habits. When I was 18 I started dieting and lost about 20 kg and then gave up and picked it all up again. I fell pregnant at 19 in 2005. I put on weight again, thanks to the “eating for two” excuse. Our second daughter was born 20 months later, and I was a stay-at-home mom looking after two kids. My excuse then was that I didn’t have time and that it was normal to have baby weight. I just plodded along eating everything in sight.

I was miserable. I probably appeared happy on the outside. I would have a good laugh with friends but always felt self-conscious. I don’t think in the past two years before I began losing weight, that there was a day that went by that I didn’t cry about something, sometimes irrelevant silly things but subconsciously I know it came down to my weight. I always wanted to lose the weight but didn’t have the drive to put the effort in. I was a total yo-yo dieter -- I tried every diet you can think of. I would lose a few kilograms, then think it’s enough to get comfortable and slowly put it all back on and more. I tried and failed a new diet every few months.

But this time I think the main thing that kept me motivated was setting small goals for myself, I would always aim for the next 5 kg mark so I didn’t look at it like a huge mountain to climb. I didn’t focus on losing 42 kilograms because how on earth was I going to do that? Five kilograms at a time was more realistic and good for the mind to have small goals. I think another thing that kept me going was that this change was not for a few days or months, it was for life.

The old me

Breakfast: I would normally drop my kids off at school and go to the nearest drive-through or petrol station café for breakfast. I’d have either a burger or a toasted sandwich and always with a Coke or Fanta. I had to have something sweet afterwards so I would have a doughnut or muffin or chocolate.

Snack: I would snack non-stop all morning on chips, chocolates, cupcakes, col drink and toast.

Lunch: Lunch would normally be another take-away or a pie or two and definitely a fizzy cool drink or milkshake to go with it, and again chocolate afterwards.

Snack: More snacks and copious amounts of cool drinks in the afternoon.

Supper: This would be mainly a carb-based meal, one of my favourites used to be a few baked potatoes topped with a whole packet of bacon smothered in cheese sauce and cheese. Also with more fizzy cool drink and ended with something sweet such as a cake or doughnut.

Snack: I would then snack watching TV in the evening usually a big packet of chips and a slab of chocolate.

The new me

Breakfast: At about 11 am I will have a protein shake with coconut milk and flaxseed powder in it, a boiled egg, almonds and blueberries and pineapple.

Lunch: At about 2 pm I will have a salad with trout or tuna and half an avocado.

Snack: Biltong, almonds and another boiled egg.

Supper: I will have chicken, fish or steak with lots of veggies.

Snack: If I am peckish later I will have Essene bread (sprouted grain bread) with Macadamia or almond butter.

The result

I am happy for the first time ever. I am confident. I feel focused and driven, I am healthy, my children are healthier and are learning healthy eating habits.

I am fit and have energy; I used to be tired all the time. I feel amazing about myself now. I used to look in the mirror and hate what I saw; I hated the fact that I had to buy the biggest size clothing I could find, and even then it would sometimes be too tight. Now I can go into any shop and try anything on and sometimes even the smallest size is too big, it is a truly powerful feeling.

Emotionally I was a mess before; I would cry constantly and was miserable all the time. I hated life; I moaned about everything, I didn’t want to go anywhere. Now I could not be more different. I am high on life. I am happy. I’m full of energy. I’m not scared to try new things. I’m a total different person inside and out.

Psychologically it did take my mind a while to connect or catch up to my body. So even though I had lost the weight I would still look in the mirror and see a fat person staring back at me. I had to train my brain that I am beautiful and I should be proud of what I have achieved.

-  Written by Faiza Mallick

Celeste is a proud member of SleekGeek and an active role-model in the Sleekgeek health and fitness social community.

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