First Lady sheds ki­los

Tobeka Madiba Zuma dropped six dress sizes in a year and is much health­ier

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

One First Lady is a slen­der shadow of her for­mer self. She says that when she saw TV images of her­self look­ing enor­mous dur­ing her hus­band’s state of the na­tion ad­dress in 2013, she was shocked, and she de­cided to do some­thing about her weight. A year af­ter mak­ing that life-chang­ing de­ci­sion, she has dropped six dress sizes – from size 44 to 36. She has lost more than 30kg, and has kept it off. But it wasn’t an easy jour­ney. “I had to be dis­ci­plined and stop eat­ing some of the foods I like. I also had to com­mit to ex­er­cis­ing at least three times a week,” she says.

Although Madiba Zuma vol­un­tar­ily went on a weight-loss pro­gramme, she ad­mits she would not have changed if her hus­band, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, had not opened her eyes.

“Pres­i­dent Zuma was speak­ing about obe­sity dur­ing the state of the na­tion ad­dress, and he men­tioned that some peo­ple are get­ting big­ger and big­ger ev­ery day.”

At that mo­ment, she says, “the cam­era shifted to us [all four First Ladies] and images of us flashed on the screen. I saw how fat I looked and de­cided there and then to do some­thing about it.”

With the help of a nutri­tion­ist, Madiba Zuma started fol­low­ing a healthy eat­ing plan. She ate five small meals a day con­sist­ing mostly of veg­eta­bles and lean meat. She also ex­er­cised three times a week.

At a can­cer-aware­ness event held in Sun­ninghill, Jo­han­nes­burg, ear­lier this year, where she was a key­note speaker, Madiba Zuma looked fab­u­lous. She was much slim­mer and her skin was ra­di­ant.

Madiba Zuma is a pa­tron of the Can­cer As­so­ci­a­tion of SA and founder of the Tobeka Madiba Zuma Foun­da­tion, which fo­cuses on rais­ing aware­ness about breast and cer­vi­cal can­cer.

She told her au­di­ence in Sun­ninghill that she could hardly ad­vo­cate healthy living when she had been living an un­healthy life. “I have to be an ex­am­ple to South African women.” Since los­ing weight, she has also changed her wardrobe and is of­ten seen wear­ing fig­ure-hug­ging dresses sim­i­lar to those of­ten worn by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Tobeka Madiba Zuma

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