‘MY NUMBER ONE RULE IS THAT EVERYTHING I DO, I DO FOR MYSELF’
ANWYN HAWKINGS LOST 34KG
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.’
ANWYN BEFORE: 111KG