'How I lost 36 kg in a year': YOU reader shares her story

By Kim Abrahams
10 May 2017

Sometimes, old school is the only way to go.

Losing weight is an issue most women have dealt with at least once in their life.

Quick-fix diets offering instant results or herbal teas that supposedly suppress the appetite – they’re readily available and accessible on the market.

But often, these quick-fixes lead to rapid results that are short-lived.

Tamaryn Muniz (37), from Johannesburg, decided to fix her weight problem the good old fashioned way: healthy eating and exercise.


Here is her story:

"Growing up, I was never overweight. In school, I was the slender girl with the banging bod that every other girl wished they had. I was an athlete – I never stopped running or doing sports!

My food was controlled by my parents. Up until I left home, my mum still dished my food and I would eat whatever was on my plate. I never asked for more because your dished portion was your meal and it should be sufficient. At 19, I moved into a flat of my own.

That was when the problems with my weight started.  Suddenly, I could eat anything I wanted, portions were not controlled and, well, it was easier to get takeaways or even eat a whole pot of whatever creamy concoction it was that I made.

That, coupled with zero exercise, loads of alcohol, partying basically every night and not caring what I put into my mouth saw the weight come piling on.

Strangely enough, not once did I caution myself on the increase in clothing size whenever I had gone shopping.

A few years later, I met my husband, got married and had 3 gorgeous children.

I joined a weight-loss programme countless times. Within six months I lost around 12kg. I was so chuffed!

My success on the scales was short-lived and I always fell off the bandwagon again.

For 12 years I journeyed through this Start and Fail dynamic repeatedly; fad diets, tablets – you name and I had probably tried it.

Eight years ago, I injured my spinal cord while playing netball. I slipped 3 discs, which were in a complete prolapsed state and for 6 years I fought to avoid needing a spinal fusion.

The pain was so intense that I couldn't dress. My six-year-old had to help me dress when my husband wasn't home. I eventually decided that I needed some sort of surgery.

Two years ago I underwent the surgery.  Exactly 19 staples were put in my back. I underwent the recovery, only to find my back wasn’t healing – it was worse! Demotivation and pain were my constant companions.

I revisited my surgeon and his words were: shed weight or you’ll need a spinal infusion.

A spinal infusion was the one procedure I fought against.

I knew I had to do something.


One night, while out for dinner, a friend and I were chatting.  She mentioned a personal trainer she went to who really helped her on her journey a few years back.

She suggested I accompany her to one of his classes, see if I like it and then make a decision on joining.

I will never forget the day: 16 May 2016 I walked into the gym and my life did a complete 180.

I learned that there’s always a way to get something done if you really want to.

Excuses are a delay tactic. I stopped making excuses and made the change!

I lost 36kg in 12 months with sheer determination, dedication and discipline. A good support system is also imperative. Without my loving husband, Eric, and my dear mother-in-law Beverley, I would never have been able to achieve it.

I hope my story inspires you to make that change."

This is how I did it:

  • 05h00 – cardio session for 30 minutes (high intensity where my heart rate is above 80%)
  • 07h30 – meal 1 (consisting of oats and egg whites with grapefruit or a smoothie with berries and yoghurt and whey protein)
  • 10h30 – meal 2 (chicken or fish with veg and rice)
  • 13h00 – meal 3 (chicken or fish with veggies like butternut or sweet potato)
  • 14h30 – meal 4 (fish and veg)
  • 17h00 – meal 5 (mince or lean steak with salad)
  • 18h45 – gym session (consisting of weight training with my coach for 45 minutes)
  • 20h00 – meal 6 (tuna and salad or steak and veg)

Find Love!