2017 – A year of change

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Its was the middle of December 2016 and I was wasnt feeling great. I had swollen feet and daily headaches which had landed me in my GP’s rooms. After a general check-up he found that my blood pressure was dangerously high … I was hypertensive. My GP had also run several blood tests which indicated that my cholesterol, insulin and sugar level were all slightly elevated. HE immediately put me onto chronic medication and gave me a stern talking to.  Looking back, it was obvious that l was in denial and as a result had let my weight skyrocket and my health deteriorate.  I mean like my weight was at an all time high of 108kg.

My wake-up call had arrived and I realised it was time to be brutally honest with myself. It was time for a lifestyle change and there was no denying it. So after some serious reflection, I made a promise to myself to improve my health and take back my life.  I owed it to myself and to my kids.

I immediately made a few small changes and cut out alcohol and increased my water intake which made a considerable difference to my life.

So on 1 January 2017 l did what almost everyone does.  I made a New Years resolution to join the gym and get moving.  And just like the masses, l signed up at Virgin Active and started hitting the gym. I changed my eating to a low carb diet and cut out sugar. I started eating 5 small meals a day and drinking 2 litres of water a day. The biggest change was actually getting more rest; I forced myself to go to bed earlier to ensure that I was getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep.

To my surprise, the weight started falling off at an unbelievable rate. My energy levels had increased; I was sleeping better and I was less grumpy. I started enjoying being at the gym and started doing the one thing I hated, I started running. Well okay, I call it running but its more like walking and maybe a few seconds of jogging. People at the gym started to notice my weightloss and often came up to me to congratulate me on my progress. I must admit that it was a great motivator. Not long after, friends and work colleagues also started to notice the change. It was 6 months since I began the journey to a healthier life and I was down 15kg and needed a new wardrobe. I was on a roll and nothing was going to stop me this time, or so I thought.

I was experiencing pain on the right lower side of my abdomen. The pain felt worse whenever I exercised or ran. Several trips to the GP and ER had yielded no answers. I was so frustrated but determined to continue exericising. I continued training hard, but I had failed to listen to my body. This resulted in me ending up in the ER yet again, but only this time I was admitted for a week. Countless tests were carried out and eventually the specialists found a cyst. They operated and the cyst was successfully removed. The doctor ran additional blood tests and my cholesterol, insulin and sugar levels had returned to normal. My healthy lifestyle was paying off.

Great news indeed, however, having an operation meant my usual training was on hold. This was a setback and I was rather down. Seeing as I self-confirmed comfort eater, I started to slip back into my old eating habits. This was indeed a huge setback and meant I would not achieve my original weightloss goal by my 40th birthday.

Three weeks post-op and I received the all clear from the doctor to start with mild exercise again. No weights and no running but I was allowed to walk. I started doing Parkruns with my family and registered for 5km races every weekend where possible. Each weekend saw me achieve a personal best in terms of my running. I started to enjoy something I once hated. I was able to run for longer periods and I started losing centimeters again.

I made the decision to go public with my journey to a happier and healthier life and changed my Instagram account into a fitness diary so to speak. I figured that making use of social media provided a sense of accountability. No more being in denial. The truth would be out there for the world to see, horrific before photos and all.

Its almost the end of year and Ive managed to lose 15kg and well over 100cm. Ive dropped from a size 44 to a 38. So all in all its been a successful 11 months and lm well on my way to living my best possible life.

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