"Here's how I took control of my eating habits and lost almost 46 kilos"

Roxy before and after weightloss
Roxy before and after weightloss

When it comes to losing weight, it’s about way more than just the physical – it’s a total mind shift too. And for Roxy Strydom, weight loss changed more than just her body – it changed her life. The best part? She did it all from the comfort of her home. Here’s how this 25-year-old took control of her eating habits and lost 46 kilos in the process.

READ MORE: “I lost 60 kilos by making these simple changes”

Roxy Strydom

Occupation: Qualified chef currently working as a receptionist

Age: 25

City: Durban

Weight before: 115kg

Weight after: 69kg

Height: 164cm

The gain

Roxy wasn’t always overweight. In fact, she was really active growing up. “If I wasn’t playing netball or cricket, I was either in the streets skateboarding/BMX-ing my heart out or in the ocean riding waves. Even at a much younger age, I did karate and placed a few times,” she says.

The problem started at age 14. She fell into a deep depression and dropped her team sports and hobbies. “I started to turn to food for comfort. It felt easier to mask everything I was feeling with food rather than trying to speak up – the good and the bad,” she explains. By 16, she was morbidly obese.

READ MORE: 4 things that make you think you’re hungry (when you’re not)

Roxy was also a serial breakfast and lunch skipper, but she was an excessive snacker. “Throughout the day I’d ‘steal’ sweets and chocolates from the family cupboard and hide them in clothes pockets in my wardrobe and between objects in my room… Without fail, my days would always consist of a big bag of crisps and one to two litres of fizzy soda.”

When she did eat a meal, it was usually toasted cheese sandwiches or two-minute noodles drenched in sauces. “Come dinner time, my plate would be overflowing with food and doused in sauces,” she says.

Roxy also confesses to having been “the laziest person ever”. “I was uncomfortable 24/7 and I hated sweating, which I did profusely, so if any bit of physical activity was going to get me sweaty, uncomfortable or bring me out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t going to do it.”

The change

Roxy clearly remembers the day she decided to change her life. “I’d just received pictures from a New Year’s party (31.12.12). I felt sick to my core… There I was, stomach protruding as if I was about to pop (I have no kids) with either a drink or food in my hand. I’d known I was big, I knew what my dress sizes were, yet somehow, I still indoctrinated myself into believing I was a much smaller version,” she explains.

Roxy started by drawing up a list of why she needed to make a change. “I’d started to hate myself. Rather than fixing the problem, I developed binge eating disorder. Over time, I’d become severely depressed and suicidal. I was getting to the point of ‘squeezing’ into size 50 pants/skirts, and was told I was on the brink of a heart attack, and probably wouldn’t make it to 30 – 25 if I was lucky.”

READ MORE: “I finally discovered the key to weight loss — and lost 30 kilos”

She started by “cleaning up her nutrition”. First to go was her beloved sauces, butter and fizzy drinks. She started drinking more water and eating three meals a day. To help make snacking less tempting and to ensure that she stuck to meals, Roxy started meal prepping. She did her research, adopted a clean eating lifestyle and tracked calories.

READ MORE: Okay, what is your metabolism — and can you actually make it faster?

Roxy also started doing 20 minutes of Zumba at home. “I jiggled to that dance DVD six days a week without fail, and eventually my workout time progressed to 45 minutes or more.” The weight fell off: “In one month I’d dropped two dress sizes and 10kg!”

The lifestyle

Today, Roxy is 46kg lighter and still doing what helped her drop the weight – just a modified version of it. “Today I follow flexible dieting/IIFYM (if it fits your macros) – I plan and eat according to my daily macronutrients, whilst still being able to make alterations to allow for treats in moderation. This prevents me from feeling deprived and makes my goals just that much more attainable,” she explains.

As for exercise, she’s still rocking it at home – and she’s added weight-lifting and bodyweight workouts to the mix.

The rewards

Losing such a huge amount of weight impacts more than just your body. For Roxy, the process has helped her mental health too. “I’m happy to report no depression meds so my mental health has been on the mend too,” she says. She’s dropped eight dress sizes, no longer requires an asthma pump and her irritable bowel syndrome has cleared up. “I’m a completely different person – I believe in myself fiercely now, which I never did before.”

READ MORE: “I stopped letting food control my life — now I’m healthier than ever”

Roxy’s tips

Upgrade yourself: “Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.”

Do it for you: “Ignore what everyone else is doing – break your own limits and outgrow yourself. You are in competition with no one.”

Be the best version of yourself: “Let go of expectations around how quickly you should see results. Rather focus on doing what makes you feel your best each and every day.”

This article was originally published on Women's Health.

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