Tarien

Being overweight my whole life and suffering from a hormone imbalance called “Leptin Deficiency” I struggled since baby stages to keep my weight intact. Congenital leptin deficiency is a condition that causes severe obesity beginning in the first few months of life. Affected individuals are of normal weight at birth, but they are constantly hungry and quickly gain weight. My weight problem became a reality to me when I hit a high weight of 116kgs in 2014.

I gained back 35kgs after my wedding in 2012 because of a rocky marriage and from there it just escalated. I always blamed being an emotional eater to my weight gain, but somehow I had to get the mind right for the body to follow. It was hard to make that mind shift because I used to fall back every time, I was just used to being fat, losing and gaining back weight. All my life. Like it was a second nature to me.

I was that person that tried everything on the market, from injection diets, Simply Slim, Duromine, every diet fad, pill or meal replacement shake out there, name it. I did it, and I lost weight just to gain back double the weight after I stopped and ate “normally” again. Thousands of Rands were wasted on always looking for another easy way out. And because of my hormonal imbalance I was just never full and satisfied, I would go dish up for 2nds even 3rds in one sitting.

In September 2014 a friend of mine, Gen Brand, introduced me to Craig Brown from CSB Body Fusion who is a well-respected nutritional coach in the industry. Gen lost 47kgs post pregnancy with the help of a coach. I saw myself in her, I could relate and she quickly made me realize that no pill or injection is going to be more effective than just having the right nutrition at the right time with the sufficient amount of exercise daily, this was what everyone said all along, but as we do, the easiest way was always the better option. Nevertheless, I got my mind into gear after a lot of consideration, signed up with Craig, got my diet and training and just went at it. Daily. Consistently. I needed to create my own journey and story to inspire others. It was a personal preference not to use any supplements to prove to myself and others that it can be done with real food, I would have whey now and again as an emergency meal when being out, but stuck to eating real foods only, although I have nothing against anyone who chooses to make use of supplements while dieting down. I quickly learned to trust the process and not to lend my ears to others’ opinions and to stay consistent. Stay focused, stay committed. No. Matter. What. Just don’t give up.

After the traumatic experience of having to deal with divorce a year into my journey, September 2015, we still managed to keep everything under control. I took about 3 months off during the divorce period just to deal with life, didn’t eat on the healthy side and gained some weight again, but in January I decided that I needed to get back on track and set myself a goal which would be to do transformation at Rossi. I would not be able to do it without a coach leading me. We started prep on the 4th of January and I can honestly say, getting my mind back on track was the hardest thing for me throughout this journey, but the decision was made and it was done.

All it takes is to get up one day, make that decision, and just do it. No more excuses. I would never want to stop, I love my lifestyle, the fitness, my improved health and the whole journey has taught me so many valuable lessons. No, I don’t have a sad story that I can, unfortunately, blame my weight loss on, but one thing I do know is that I worked hard, I worked consistently and I made that decision to better my health and life. I stayed determined throughout. Keeping that mindset is a transformation in itself.

Craig supported me through the mental challenges of dieting and he tweaked my diet and training as needed according to MY goals, which is what kept me going. The results in the mirror.  My family, and friends in the industry, has been a great support structure, and I hope to be bikini ready and compete with the rest of the girls one day, for now, one goal at a time and I am happy and proud with the progress I have made so far. A big lesson I’ve learned is… Work your ass off, but always stay humble and Don’t. Give. Up. Fall 7 times, get up 8.