“I Lost 64 Kilos By Using This Well-Known Weight Loss Method”

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Weight Loss

When your life gets turned upside down, it can be very easy to throw in the towel and count your losses. But Thobekile Gwamanda, it presented her with an opportunity to change her life for the better. Sick of feeling uncomfortable in her own body, this 40-year-old challenged herself and ending you living her best life. Here’s how she did it…

Thobekile Gwamanda

Age: 40

Occupation: Projects coordinator, group exercise instructor, fitness coach

City: Pretoria

Weight before: 139.3 kgs

Weight after: 75 kgs

Time taken to lose weight: 4.5 years

Secret Weapon to weight loss: Healthy eating and consistency

READ MORE: 6 Better Ways To Lose Weight, Recommended By A Psychologist

The Gain

When Thobekile was younger, she was heavily involved in sports, “dancing was one of my main activities. I also did gymnastics, netball and table tennis”. The weight gain started when she developed a false tumour in her eye. “The increased intracranial pressure caused swelling of the optic nerve and result in vision loss. I was put on heavy steroids to reduce the swelling of the nerve. The medication helped with my eye temporary but did a huge damage to my body”, she explains. Added to the weight gain from the medication, Thobekile was not allowed to exercise during treatment.

While on medication, Thobekile fell pregnant which added to her weight gain and by the time she delivered her baby, she was weighing 110 kilos. “[Having a baby] was such a bittersweet moment, where I had a bundle of joy but looked horrible and hated being out of my house. I lost my confidence, self-esteem and I forgot how to smile and be happy anymore”, she says. Theobekile says that she tried to get back to exercising but it wasn’t doing much because of her eating habits. “As much as I tried going back to the gym, my eating habits were unhealthy. I ate a lot of sugary stuff, bread, fried food, pasta, and rice. My weakness was dessert, chocolate and alcohol”.

READ MORE: “I Used This Weight Loss Programme And It Totally Changed My Body”

A year after having her baby, she says that her weight had only escalated, and her it felt like everything around her was falling apart. “I was getting bigger and bigger, my marriage was falling apart, [and I] had no confidence to start all over again. I hated shopping because nothing fitted unless I go to the large male section or fuller figure side. At 31 years old, I looked 10 years older and I was [weighing] 139 kg”, she explains.

The Change

When Thobekile left her marriage, she decided that she needed to make other changes too. “I told myself that enough was enough, I needed to take back ownership of my life. I needed my happiness back. I needed to bring up my child in a healthy and happy environment”, she says.  She started by completely cutting out her favourite foods,” it was very hard, especially cutting on bread, amagwinya (fat cakes), desert, fizzy drinks, basically all my happy food.”. She says that quitting all those foods at once was not the best idea because it led her to cheat often.  With the guidance from a trainer, Thobekile was told to allow herself a weekly cheat meal in order to keep craving at bay. When it came to eating healthier, Thobekile completely changed her eating habits. She started by eating six meals a day and meal prepping. Her new eating plan was more balanced, ensuring that you had all the nutrients her body needed. For breakfast, she would have a smoothie or oats, lunch and supper would be a combination of healthy starch such as sweet potato, greens and protein. In between those she would snack on fruit, nuts and raw vegetables.

READ MORE: “I Lost 22 Kilos With This Simple Eating And Exercise Strategy”

As for exercise, Thobekile jumped right into it. “I did lots of cardio exercises.  Since I’m not a fan of jogging/running, aerobics classes played an important role in my beginning stage. [I would do] at least 2 classes a day. This included kick and step class, as well as spinning”, she says.

The Lifestyle

Thobekile admits that weight loss and healthy living is not easy by any means, but with hard work and consistency, anything is possible. “It took a while but I was consistent”. Her consistency eventually paid off and in less than 5 years, she has dropped over 60 kilos! She’s still sticking to the basics of meal prepping and keeping active. No longer feeling the need to focus on her weight, she’s now shifted her focus to maintaining her weight and toning up. She does weight training four times a week, and cardio in the form of boxing, step and kick class twice a week.

READ MORE: “Here’s How I Took Control Of My Eating Habits – And Lost 46 Kilos”

The Rewards

Thobekile says that she is now a better version of herself. Added to the huge weight loss, her confidence and happiness have skyrocketed. For Thebokile, what started out as an effort to become healthy, has become a lifestyle- one that she now shares with others. She shares her knowledge through her job as a fitness coach and group exercise instructor. As for what’s next for Thobekile, she says that she is committed to self-improvement every day, “My journey has not ended. I’m a better version of myself but not perfect. One day when I’ve worked hard enough, I would love to capture that moment with a professional photo shoot”

READ MORE: The 9 Best Apps For Weight Loss, According To Experts

Thobekile’s Tips

Have a team– “Get friends, colleagues, family members to walk the journey with you. The journey is better and easier when you do it as a team”

Keep your head up and give yourself a pat each time you reach a milestone – “Dropping weight is your own individual story, so write it and write with a smile. As I said at the beginning be patient with yourself, it’s not just the body, it’s also the emotions and the psychological challenges that you have to overcome. Go for it”.

Document your journey – “ It is amazing what comparing before and after picture does to your confidence. It also encourages you to push more after seeing what you are capable of. Most importantly before pictures remind you where you come from and what made you start in the first place”.

READ MORE ON: Real Moms Real Women Success Stories Weight Loss Weight Loss Tips

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