How I went from Being Large to Living Life Large
How did I become overweight?
I have carried extra weight ever since I was a child. If I look back at photographs now, I don’t really look overweight, but I was always the “biggest” in the class and that came at a price. I have never been a lazy type of person, having always enjoyed sport and other activities.
When we were married in 1994, I weighed in at around 79Kg.
We had our first child in 1996. I saw a dietician throughout my first pregnancy as I was petrified of ballooning while being pregnant. I actually lost weight through my very healthy pregnancy and was able to swim and do aqua aerobics right up until baby was born. All went well until I stopped breastfeeding. My weight started to pick up drastically. Doctors discovered I had picked up Post-partum Hypothyroidism…..which is quite common after giving birth. I was put onto medication to help control this, but the weight gain continued.
So, the under-active thyroid, coupled with subsequent pregnancies on excess weight, lack of exercise and bad eating habits, low self-esteem etc. all added up to a very unhappy scenario.
I also struggled with ongoing urinary tract infections, receiving endless courses of antibiotics, sometimes up to 7 courses in a row.
Up to this point I had been on various weight loss programmes and had tried every pill, shake, program, fat-shrinking gel, body wrap – desperate for that “quick fix” – just to my own detriment – losing some weight and then gaining that lost weight (plus more) every time.
What was my turning point?
Weighing in at 160Kg, something drastic needed to happen!
A quiet desperation started to set in – knowing there was a child on the inside longing to be let out….. to dance, to run, to do cartwheels and handstands, and to feel sexy again…
On Thursday December 29th 2011 – a huge defining God moment in my life – I was on my way to the kitchen and had this unwavering sense of it being a “new day”. I said to myself “I am not going to have bread today”. With that came the following…”Well if I am cutting out bread, then I am not going to have wheat or sugar”.
I do believe it was an answer to prayer. I had tried this so many times before in my own strength, but somehow this time it was different.
And that is where my true weight loss journey begins….
How did I lose weight?
The secret to weight loss – is that there is no secret! The key is making small changes that you can consistently maintain over a period of time and setting SMART goals along the way to help motivate you.
I cut out wheat and sugar. Almost immediately I noticed I had more energy, less inflammation in my body and less water retention (my feet used to swell terribly). I then decided to cut out dairy and other carbohydrates and reduced my fruit to 1-2 servings per day. I made sure that I had a moderate protein serving at every meal and snack and included healthier full fat options.
I had the grace to literally go “cold turkey” and the results were incredible. Little did I know that I was unofficially following a “Low Carb High Fat” lifestyle that was soon to become a revolution.
I was swimming at the time as this is all I was physically able to do. Friends clubbed together for my birthday to send me for a spa treatment in the April of 2012. I used this instead towards ten functional gym training sessions with a personal trainer. As more and more weight dropped off, I started to introduce more activity – my body was craving it. I started Latin Zumba dancing, walking and continued with the gym and swimming.
Exercise became a priority which I needed to schedule into my already very busy day. But anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I found that if I went more than two days without exercising, my body would go into revolt.
This is the motivation board I created for myself. I had this stuck up in front of my desk. Some of the things I either enjoy or longed to do again, like ice-skating.
I would set myself small attainable goals along the way – my first being to reach 150Kg.
I would track my progress in terms of the number of blocks of butter I had lost i.e. 10Kg = 20 blocks of butter. You can imagine my surprise once I started to lose all my children (in terms of their body weight – at the time – Emma 22Kg, Samuel, 28Kg, Jonathan 50Kg and Josh 72Kg).
My 9 year old son would love to throw his arms around my waist to measure how far I had come. At first he couldn’t get his arms around and then would express so much excitement at having reached his fingertips, then his wrist, then his arm, then his elbow – my own little human tape measure.
I had to get organised! If I didn’t have what I needed in the pantry or fridge, I would reach for the wrong food, or not eat at all which is even worse. Putting your body into “starvation mode” is never good.
I allowed myself little treats along the way, but not for the first 6 months…A gentle warning though….one treat can lead to another….it can be a slippery slope!
How much weight did I lose?
I lost 75kg and have maintained that since July 2013. I am still keen to lose another few kilos but am taking it very slowly.
How did it change my life?
I am loving life, I can now do things I couldn’t do before, such as fit in a regular bath, climb stairs with ease, fit into my first pair of jeans in 17 years, not worrying about breaking someone’s patio furniture, fitting in an airplane seat and buying a wet suit to go body boarding with my kids.
My life has completely changed and each day I now make an effort to embrace it as the blessing it is.
Some other milestones achieved
• Achieving exercise / strength goals – e.g. Planking – from not being able to get off the floor to now planking with ease
• Doing a handstand with my kids in the garden
• Wearing a sleeveless top to dance class – not my husband’s extra-large t-shirts
• Shopping in “regular shops” and wearing items of clothing that have an “M” on the label….not XXXL
• Buying my first pair of pants with a zip and button
• Going on holiday and feeling more confident in a swimming costume
• Been able to click the seatbelt on the plan – without having to ask for an extension belt
• Sitting on plastic chairs and not having my circulation cut off
• Not needing to sit on the aisle at meetings because I would need more space to move
• Living life without the weight restrictions e.g. phoning the amusement park to first inquire about weight restrictions on a ride so I knew if I could go or not
• Going ice-skating
• Going super tubing with my kids
• Body boarding and body surfing in the ocean
• Taking part in my first Impi Challenge in April 2014
• Getting a wet suit for my birthday in April this year
• Committed to riding for charity in the Argus in March 2015 (not a cyclist)
Living with a grateful heart
I am thankful for all the love and support and encouragement that I have received along the way. I am grateful for every compliment.
I am humbled and thankful that my progress has inspired others to start their own journey. I always believed that there was more to my journey than just me and wanted to help others in some way. In August 2014 I became an
accredited Banting Coach
and member of the Banting Buddies Network, trained by the co-author of the bestselling book The Real Meal Revolution, Sally-Ann Creed.
I am thankful to God every day for blessing me with the initial impetus needed to get me started and for the grace to keep me going.
It has been a joy – a real fun ride.
Every choice I make has consequences…..and I do allow myself the odd indulgence, but know that I am on this journey day by day… for the rest of my life.
Carina Van Zijl
The Banting Buddies Coach:
I was one of those who was taught, that in order to run a 10km race, I had to fill up on potatoes, pasta, bananas & other carbs. I also used to eat at least five different fresh fruit types per day, loved my sweetened yogurt as well as at least one or two sweet treats per day such as a slice of cake or chocolate. In addition, I avoided any form of fat and oil intake because I grew up with the notion that fatty foods will lead to extra weight gain.
Over the last couple of years, I slowly gained at least one kg of weight per year until I was about 6 kg overweight. I further experienced health issues such as pain in my finger joints, extreme sinusitis, my cholesterol level kept rising and my thyroid got enlarged. Needless to say that my doctor prescribed lots of medication to treat each of the above conditions. I further took a hand full of supplements per day to ‘make up’ for the lack of nutrients in my unbalanced diet.
Having researched the LCHF Banting diet concept, I knew I had to give it a go. To the disbelieve of my general practitioner, I informed him of my decision to cut all medication and to start with the Banting diet.
Once on the Banting diet, I lost one kg of weight per week and reached my goal within six weeks. Further benefits I experienced was that my cholesterol level decreased from 6.8 to 5.2 and the pain in my finger joints as well as my sinusitis completely disappeared! My poor husband was obviously ‘forced’ to be on the Banting diet by default. His cholesterol level dropped from 8.5 to 5.1!’
The Banting Buddies Coach:
In conversation with a woman my age she mentioned she was “Banting” and had lost 18 kg in the past 6 months. I voiced my envy at her steady weight lost admitting that I too was following the “Banting way of life”. Her immediate retort was that I clearly hadn’t been sticking to the diet if I had only shed 9 kg in six months. This is a matter of opinion. What Banting has done for me is a slow but steady reduction in weight. Do I stick to it rigidly? No, I sometimes cheat and discovered earlier on that I had an unnatural craving for bar-ones! They simply leapt into my open handbag begging to be eaten. Having never craved chocolate before I introduced an apple to my fat bombs most mornings a week. The bar-ones beckon but have lost their agility and appeal to find their way into my stomach. So its been an interesting learning curve.
I have the expertise of a trained Banting nutritionist at my beck and call who has been both supportive and full of invaluable wisdom. For me this is imperative as I have been subjected to an avalanche of “it will never work” when people discovered how I was shedding the extra kilos.
Banting way of life is a breeze – I seldom divulge that I am adhering to their philosophies simply leaving the baked potato uneaten on my dish but indulging in a large portion of roasted veggies to satisfy any hostess. I eat well but seldom feel hungry. That slurp of cream in my one cup of filtered coffee each morning wards off the hunger pangs and following my nutritionist’s recommendation, I keep 4 hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator ready to devour should the necessity arise. When avocado pears are in season what an easy way to have a meal on the run. It is satisfying and helps budge the weight.
Am I pleased with this choice of life? – yes, indeed. My energy levels have increased; the arthritis in my fingers is there, but not nearly as painful; I have gone from size 40 to 36 leggings. Need I say more. It’s easy, it’s practical and for me although slow, I am shedding those kilos.
From a satisfied 70 year old.
The Banting Buddies Coach:
28 July 2014 – 16 March 2015
Hi Karyn so it’s taken me forever to get to this point but thanks to the knowledge you’ve given me along with intermittent fasting I’ve lost 10 kilos since the beginning of my weight loss! I started at 75 and now I’m 65.2…. I still have rocky days but that’s life, thank you for all your help!! And for sending motivational images. You are truly such a blessing and although I only saw you a few times you have no idea how much you have helped me! Thank you thank you thank you!!! I’m still a little flabby but it’s getting better as I go… I always expected things to happen overnight and I got so disappointed in myself and I hated myself for getting so big but I take each day as it comes and today I was feeling fat and demotivated so I looked back and only today did I realise how far I’ve come…. Thank you so much! Means a lot. I came to Sweden to gather my thoughts. Been here for 2 months now and I’ve realised I would like to go on a path that you have and to serve others and help people the way you have helped me. I will complete my psychology studies and I will do a nutritional course, I like the paleo as dairy just didn’t work for me but you’ve led me here so thank you again for helping me find my purpose!
The Banting Buddies Coach:
Having tried every weight loss method in the book I approached “Banting” with some sceptiscm. I first bought RMR and consulted with my friends who were new converts. Armed with this new knowledge I attempted to embark on this new life ! Big mistake ! I put on weight and felt terrible. My GP said that I was not a candidate as I am on statins and am genetically predisposed to high cholesterol . Just as I was about to throw in the towel and give my RMR away an ad in the Lose it magazine caught my eye for Banting Buddies .
It was just what I needed, someone to hold my hand , debunk myths and give me The Dummies Guide to Banting ! Enter Janita Bold. She has lived up to everything she promised to do along with expert guidance , an astute understanding of the whys and wherefores and how- to’s of this new LIFE STYLE which has saved my life. 7 weeks down the line I am totally at ease with the nitty gritty of Banting and it has fitted seamlessly into mine and my husband’s daily life. The benefits for me were almost instantaneous. I felt more energised, no afternoon slump, NO SUGAR CRAVINGS, and no need for sleeping tablets, a remarkably reduced appetite and feeling of satiety. My rheumatoid arthritis pains are vague niggles now, my fibromyalgia has calmed down dramatically and I have lost 7 kgs and 19 cm in total.
The ongoing What’s app messages from Janita, Merle and the group keep me motivated and give me access to new recipes. Sharing is definitely caring on this platform .
Thank you to Banting Buddies and to Tim Noakes, Sally Ann Creed and Jono Proudfoot for starting me on this journey which is life changing for me and hopefully others who really should take heed of the LCHF lifestyle.
To contact Janita for a personal consultation or to join her and Merle’s Banting support group programme, please email Janita@bantingbuddies.com
This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at www.bantingbuddies.com