“I stopped letting food control my life - now I’m healthier than ever”

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Cleo Albertus learnt that consistency is a powerful tool in the weight-loss journey
Cleo Albertus learnt that consistency is a powerful tool in the weight-loss journey

Healthy weight loss can happen a lot of ways, but effortlessly is not one of them. Cleo Albertus learned that consistency is a powerful tool in the weightloss journey.

Cleo Albertus 

City: Cape Town

Age: 26

Occupation: Sports coach

Time taken to lose weight: Two years

Secret weapon: Consistency

READ MORE: “I lost 76 kilos, And now I’m finally living life to the fullest”

The gain

“Sport has always been my love and passion and I played a lot in school,” Cleo says. She also runs and loves it. But, even so, she’s been through cycles of trying to maintain a steady weight for years and has struggled with anorexia.

After her studies, Cleo worked at a hotel in the U.S. for two months, where her crazy work hours left her without steady mealtimes. “Chocolates, chips and cookies were my staples,” she says. When she came home, she’d gained seven kilos.

READ MORE: 5 surprisingly easy ways to stop “stress eating” and lose weight 

The change

Upon her return to SA in January 2016, Cleo found her energy levels completely zapped. “I couldn’t run 5km without stopping; my clothes were extra tight and I felt really sluggish,” she says. Then, in May, someone sent her a photo of herself and she didn’t like what she saw.

“After seeing how much weight I had put on, I knew I didn’t look my best even though people told me I looked fine,” she says.

READ MORE: “I lost 50 kilos by giving up sugar and carbs” 

The lifestyle

Exercise wasn’t foreign to Cleo, but her eating habits needed a revamp. “I had to change my diet and be more conscious of what I fed my body,” she says. Instead of an extreme approach, Cleo opted for balance. “I included more vegetables, protein and healthier carbs in my diet.” She also made sacrifices.

“When going out to eat, I’d opt for salads or protein and vegetables even if I wanted that juicy burger,” says Cleo. She also supplemented her running with training at FitFreak gym in Cape Town.

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

The reward

“For the first time, my eating has stabilised and my weight is constant,” says Cleo. Added to that, she’s happier with her relationship with food. “I feel the strongest I have ever been and healthy overall. It feels great that food doesn’t have so much power over me. I definitely feel healthier.”

This article was originally published in Women's Health SA

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