Weight Loss Transformation of the Day: Esther lost 111 pounds. Our sista from Zimbabwe experienced weight gain over the years and didn’t take notice until she faced health challenges. After suffering with debilitating and embarrassing bowel issues, she did her research and changed her lifestyle to lose the pounds and get healthy. Here is what she shared with us about her journey.
My name is Esther and I’m from Zimbabwe. My weight loss journey started in 2012, but I fell off the wagon and I gained again for a year and a half. I started again in a serious way towards end of April 2014. Had it not been for the serious health challenges that I encountered, I wouldn’t be the way l am today and wouldn’t have realized I needed to lose weight. I knew very well that I was overweight. I was use to being told to do something about my weight by almost all the doctors that I consulted with, but I had silly excuses to defend my state.
I grew up being a very skinny, tall girl. The biggest size I wore was size 32 (UK size). I started gaining weight a few weeks after my marriage and told myself that it’s very normal to pick up weight while nesting. I felt it was normal to even gain more with pregnancy and that it was a sign of good living. Besides, everyone in my family is big, so I got the genes from my family.
When I was pregnant, I remember resorting to tailor made maternity dresses because I could not fit dresses in most shops. After giving birth, I’d gone from a size 28-30 that I was before marriage to a size 40. Then it went on and on, until I reached size 46-48 and that’s when my health got bad. I watched my health getting worse every single day and saw so many danger signals and warnings that I did not bother attending to. I fed myself with so much poison. I was just not prepared to start a new lifestyle, especially changing the type of food I was eating that I loved so much. l went to hospitals and visited different doctors with due to my health challenges. When they said anything that had to do with my weight, I would immediately switch to another doctor and continue with my usual lifestyle. That was the case until my body started fighting back and throwing different kinds of sicknesses at me. Most of them were life threatening.
I survived 13 Surgeries (5 Laparoscopies and 8 Laparotomies). In April 2012, just after my 10th surgery, I weighed 125.5 kg (276.6 pounds). My Gynaecologist decided to refer me to a Nutritionist, but I didn’t follow the eating plans I was given and was not consistent at all. However, within the following 2 months, I was on her eating program. I lost 10kgs (22 lbs) which I gradually gained back when I stopped the program. Also, I’d accepted constipation to be part of my everyday life, it got to a point where l was not worried at all with it. I resorted to self medicating myself with different types of laxatives which could work for a short time. Eventually, my system ended up not responding to any laxative. I hated drinking water so much and could hardly finish just a glass a day. I loved fizzy drinks and loved eating oily, refined or sweet foods and junk foods.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2013: I had a bowel obstruction, my intestines stopped working completely and I ended up having to live for the whole year with a colostomy bag. Okay, now I was squeezed in a corner to choose life or death. The wisest thing I could do was to admit that I needed to do something about my weight and start taking action. Having to live with the pouch is not something that I would wish for anyone. I completely lost myself due to the frustration and stress. The humiliation was just unbearable. This was my turning point.
After the reversal of the pouch, my action plan was to start a new journey. My surgeon had warned me that the chances of the condition coming back are very high, judging from his experiences with other patients that had the condition. Just imagining having that pouch again was reason enough to push me to start the new journey.
In 2014 April, I started with the 13 Day Metabolism diet, weighing 117.9kgs (260 lbs). I decided to stop eating sugar and stopped drinking tea, fizzy drinks and juices. I struggled to stop eating starch and would fall off the wagon, but I’d pick up where I left off and carry on. I eventually managed to eat right more than 85% of the time. I googled and learned that knowing your blood type and eating according to your type helps and it definitely worked a great deal for me. According to my blood type, wheat is like poison, so I stopped eating bread and most of the foods that contains wheat.
I joined the gym and fell in love with running, skipping and exercising in general. I became very active, going to the gym at least 3 days a week for at least 30 min to an hour and a hal. If I’m not going to the gym, I exercise at home by either running, skipping or doing cardio. I also joined a number of weight loss groups on Facebook. Now, I do a lot of research on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Currently this is the food that I eat; veggies & fruits, boiled eggs, meat in moderation (boiled or grilled) and fruits & veggie smoothies. I drink more than 3litres of plain water
or warm water with lemon every day. I also drink sugarless green tea. The reason why I
drink so much water is because I sweat a lot. Meals: I make sure to have my breakfast (fruits most of the times or boiled eggs), lunch, supper and healthy snacks in between my meals. If I feel like spoiling myself or eating out, l don’t go to just any food outlet. I choose restaurants where I will be able to order what I like and not just buy what’s
already prepared. If I feel like having a heavy meal, instead of eating mealie pap, I replace it with butternut, sweet potato or red rice. That works perfectly for me. There are certain foods that if I try to eat I now get stomach cramps, so I know that specific foods aren’t good for me at all.
This is my lifestyle now. No quick fixes for me, because I do not want to go back to my old self. Yes, it hasn’t been a smooth road, but I can say that I have managed to control and manage my cravings and I do not regret the decision that I’ve made. It’s actually one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I am a free and happy individual. I am now a fit, confident woman and a living testimony.
I survived the worst only by grace, therefore I don’t take waking up and breathing for granted. I have thought of a way to encourage other women in my area to live healthily and fit. I’ve started a Netball Club and I have plans to visit hospitals and encourage women that are going through what I went through.
It is possible and doable to live a new life and be a better, healthier and happy woman if you are willing to change your lifestyle. I haven’t reached my desired goal yet but I am definitely not the person I was before. From 125kgs in 2012, I am now 75kgs (165 pounds, height: 5’5″) and hoping to reach my goal of 65kgs soon (143 pounds). Don’t wait until you get sick as I did because not everyone survives what I went through. Most people were not given a second chance to live again and tell their stories as I am doing now. I value the 2nd chance that God gave me.
Do it for yourself not for the person next to you or your family. Love yourself 1st, then others will learn from you. Value life so much that you love and treat your body as a special and precious gift. You are the manager of your life and you can choose to abuse/destroy it or build it.