Ve­gan fit­ness diet makeover

BE­COM­ING a ve­gan changed this young girl’s ca­reer... and life.

People (South Africa) - - Contents -

DAYNA YOUNG, 22, went ve­gan two years ago, not for en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons, but as a quick fix to lose weight, hav­ing never stuck to any diet or fit­ness regimen or change in the past for longer than a month. Grow­ing up, Dayna was never par­tic­u­larly sporty, but af­ter work­ing at a gym she would poke fun at girls who trained for bikini com­pe­ti­tions; her col­league told her she only joked about them be­cause she was jeal­ous and would never be able to achieve the same re­sults her­self.

The next week she found her­self a coach and com­mit­ted her time to prov­ing her col­league wrong. Dayna stopped bing­ing on any­thing she could find in the house, which would see her eat too much, and she swapped this for five small meals a day and be­gan train­ing five to six times a week.

Dayna went from 54.4kg to 44.9kg for her first com­pe­ti­tion in March this year, and now sits at around 50.8kg for com­pe­ti­tions.

“I used to think of my­self as a quit­ter and sort of a band­wag­oner. I never stuck with any­thing for long, no diet, work­out pro­gramme, or healthy life change,” she shares. “I would start with the best in­ten­tions and be over it be­fore the month ended.”

She adds, “Orig­i­nally my de­ci­sion to go ve­gan had noth­ing to do with an­i­mals or the en­vi­ron­ment. I started be­cause I heard that you could lose weight re­ally fast on a ve­gan diet. Although this is true, my ini­tial weight loss had a lot more to do with the fact that I didn’t know what I was al­lowed to eat other than vegeta­bles. I’m very glad I de­cided to ed­u­cate my­self, so that I could con­tinue the life­style in a healthy way. It’s been over two years and I have no plans to stop.”

Dayna ad­mits, “I used to be a binger; I wouldn’t eat all day and then I’d get home and just shove any­thing I could find into my mouth. A lot of the time I ended up eat­ing way too much. Now I eat smaller meals through­out the day so that I’m never starv­ing, and I know ex­actly how much is in each meal at each time.”

She adds, “In terms of ex­er­cise, I def­i­nitely pay more at­ten­tion to my body. In­stead of go­ing to the gym seven days a week and do­ing lame work­outs be­cause I’m so tired, I take rest days so that when I get to the gym I can push and ac­tu­ally make progress.”

Since go­ing ve­gan Dayna has found that she has bet­ter di­ges­tion, a lower gro­cery bill, clearer skin and a mo­ti­va­tion to help the en­vi­ron­ment. She is proud of her­self for stick­ing to her regimen, but she says that she gets mixed re­ac­tions from those around her.

“I’m very proud of my­self for find­ing some­thing that I’m able to stick with and that I can be so pas­sion­ate about. Be­ing ve­gan isn’t a diet, it’s a life­style and I get to be a part of some­thing that can make a change,” she says. “I get a lot of mixed re­views. I think this has to do with the fact that I’ve never been crazy over­weight. I was al­ways just a lit­tle chunky. Peo­ple tell me, ‘Oh, you looked good be­fore too,’ and ‘You went too ex­treme’. I un­der­stand where they’re com­ing from, but they can only see the phys­i­cal ef­fects of it, they can’t see how much bet­ter I feel about my­self and how much health­ier I am. Most peo­ple are re­ally sup­port­ive and happy for me though.”

Her ad­vice to oth­ers who would like to fol­low in her foot­steps is, “Find a good coach. Do in­ter­views, read re­views, talk to peo­ple who’ve worked with them. Look at the kind of things they say and talk about on their per­sonal Face­book and In­sta­gram pages.” She adds,

“Do your re­search. Your coach makes all the dif­fer­ence in this sport.”

Be­fore Be­fore Now Now

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