LOSE IT! - - Contents -

An­wyn Hawk­ings tells us about her jour­ney to bet­ter health

For An­wyn, the big­gest ob­sta­cle to weight loss was be­liev­ing that she was worth it.

‘Obe­sity runs in my fam­ily. My mom’s weight yo-yos; my dad weighed 150kg by the age of 19; my un­cle had a gas­tric by­pass… There are weight is­sues on both sides of the fam­ily.

When I was in Grade 2 I was mo­lested. That was my weight wa­ter­shed: after that, I be­gan to put on a lot of weight.

I feel as if I have di­eted on and off for most of my life: Her­bal­ife, WeightWatch­ers, even star­va­tion. Still, it comes as a shock when you ‘see’ your­self as re­ally fat for the first time. For me it hap­pened when I re­ceived the pho­to­graphs of my grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony in April last year: I was ap­palled to see how big I looked.

My mom’s friend had lost 15kg on the Banting eat­ing plan and, mostly want­ing to please my par­ents, I gave it a try.

I wasn’t in the right frame of mind: I wasn’t do­ing it for my­self. I lost a bit of weight, but hated the diet, so I stopped. And put the weight back on. My mom’s friend then lent me The Real Meal Rev­o­lu­tion and told me to get my butt into gear. I de­cided to give Banting a sec­ond try.

This time I was in a bet­ter headspace. I con­tacted a per­sonal trainer at Vir­gin Ac­tive, CarolJoy Rösener, and she took all my mea­sure­ments. I weighed 111kg. I re­mem­ber just bawl­ing: I had no idea I was that heavy! That re­ally got me go­ing: I be­came ded­i­cated to Banting and ex­er­cis­ing with Carol-Joy. I must ac­knowl­edge that this was ac­tu­ally the first time that I had truly been com­mit­ted to a life change. In pre­vi­ous ef­forts I would do things like hide sweets and fast food from my par­ents: I was in de­nial.

At the start of my banting jour­ney I vis­ited a psy­chol­o­gist and a san­goma. Both helped me re­alise that my weight was con­nected to los­ing my in­no­cence so young: I was feed­ing my in­ner child in or­der to com­fort it. That un­der­stand­ing was im­por­tant; eat­ing as­sumed a dif­fer­ent mean­ing, and los­ing weight got eas­ier.

To­day, I weigh 77kg. Be­fore, I was eat­ing McDon­ald’s for break­fast, tea with two sug­ars four times a day, and snack­ing on chips, bis­cuits and sweets through­out the day. I’d have a burger and chips for lunch, dig into my se­cret sweet stash on re­turn­ing home and then have din­ner with my par­ents. Now, I start my day with ba­con, avo and eggs topped with home­made mayo. That keeps me full un­til lunch, when I have a small chicken salad with feta. For din­ner I make cauli mash with a good pro­tein and some green veg­gies. If I need a snack I nib­ble on some bil­tong or nuts.

My fam­ily has been so sup­port­ive through­out. My mom’s started Banting too, and my par­ents help me keep away from the sweet stuff.

Banting has be­come my over­all life­style. I now do weight-based train­ing with my per­sonal trainer, and car­dio on the days in be­tween, and I set my­self a goal weight for the week. I have ac­cepted that what works for others doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily work for me. If I meet my goals, I al­low my­self some­thing spe­cial, like a smoothie, and that helps me keep go­ing.

My num­ber one rule is that ev­ery­thing I do, I do for my­self. You will not lose weight if you are try­ing to do it for some­one else. With banting you don’t feel as if you’re be­ing de­nied any­thing any­way; the food is de­li­cious.

I am in such a happy place right now, and for the first time ever, I truly love my­self. A month or two into my weight-loss jour­ney, my brother gave me a beau­ti­ful bracelet for Christ­mas. It is en­graved with the words “She be­lieved she could, so she did”. I re­ally be­lieve that.’

‘With banting you don’t feel as if you are be­ing de­nied any­thing any­way; the food is de­li­cious.’



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