LOVE, MARRIAGE & A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Eating well and exercising together is a big deal for singer Heinz Winckler and his wife, Aletté
Heinz Winckler and his wife Aletté dish on how they stay in shape – while juggling careers and three kids
IT’S a running joke that once married, couples tend to “let themselves go”. For many, it may be true. But certainly not for Heinz and Aletté Winckler. The pair, who have been married for nine years have a pact – to do whatever they can to be their healthiest and feel their best, for themselves and for each other.
As part of their healthy lifestyle, Heinz and Aletté like to shake things up and earlier this year, challenged themselves to a new, joint workout programme.
Five mornings a week, they see their personal trainer, Marijke Cilliers, who puts them through their paces in a 30-minute, high-intensity session at their home in Somerset West, Cape Town.
The fun-loving duo have a whale of a time in their daily workouts, constantly teasing and encouraging each other.
Singer Heinz (37), who is already quite fit from his energetic performances on stage, says their new programme has boosted his energy and strength levels even more.
“I’ve never trained so hard and as consistently as I have these past few months. I love it and I don’t want to lose it,” he says.
Initially, it was slow going for Aletté (35). She has her own stylist business to run and three young boys to look after – Lian (5), Simeon (3) and Reuben (18 months). She’s also overseeing construction of the family’s dream home in Somerset West. Finding time to take care of herself was difficult but she made an effort to carve time out for herself after Reuben was born.
“Because of this, my total weight loss after pregnancy is 20 kg,” she says. “I still need to lose about 4 kg to be where I want to be. I’ve also lost many centimetres and I feel fitter and stronger!”
Aletté has always been conscious of her weight and being in the public eye has made her that much more aware of it.
“You really get scrutinised. I remember just after having Simeon, I was still like a balloon when we had a big family gathering at a restaurant. As I walked in with Heinz, my sister overheard a woman saying ‘Oh that’s Heinz! Is that his wife? She’s like, this!’ ” gesturing size with her arms outstretched.
“I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve just had a baby, thank you very much!’ But you know what? You learn to smile.”
EACH pregnancy weight was a challenge to lose but by focusing on healthy eating, Aletté managed to shed the weight from her first two pregnancies too – 30 kg with Lian and 20 kg with Simeon, by the time both boys were 13 months old. “And by month 14, I was pregnant again!” Aletté says with a laugh.
The vivacious stylist even put pen to paper about her journey, in a book called Môre is Maandag (Tomorrow is Monday). “It’s about a normal woman’s struggle with weight after pregnancy,” she explains, “And so many people could relate to it.”
The community of women inspired by Aletté’s book encouraged her to create a Facebook group so everyone could share
‘My total weight loss after pregnancy is 20 kg. I’ve also lost many centimetres and I feel fitter and stronger’ – Aletté Winckler
their experiences. “It just made sense,” she says. “We all wanted to lose weight, why not do it together?”
So she created a group, called “Drop it coz you’re HOT!” and it now has over 3 000 members from all over South Africa. They’re all following different diets and weight-loss programmes, but they use the group to stay accountable, share their progress and keep one another motivated to keep going.
Aletté has also turned to the group for inspiration and motivation. With Rueben almost two and no plans for another baby, Aletté admits it’s taken longer to bounce back this time around.
“But I will never settle for not looking my best. I will get there, even if it is harder this time because I’ve had my third child and I’m even busier.”
She believes it’s all about making your health a priority – like committing to a standard time to work out every day, even if it’s just for half an hour. “If we didn’t have a standing appointment with our trainer, we probably wouldn’t work out as often because there are so many other things to do during the day.
“But the moment you get into it and you realise howmuch better you feel when you exercise, then it’s a great motivation to keep going.
“When I lose weight, I feel better, I have more energy to play with my children. It’s just worth it. Your quality of life is just so much better,” she says.
Feeling good about her physical appearance is also important to Aletté. “I want to be the most beautiful woman in Heinz’s life,” she says with a giggle. “Because that’s who he married.”
HEINZ says his wife has always been beautiful to him and he is her number one champion.
“I’m her biggest fan and she’s my biggest fan and we should support each other no matter what,” he says.
He adds that taking care of your health should be a two-way street for couples.
“There are many people who make the mistake of letting themselves go, especially after kids. It’s not just the women – men too. You get these unhealthy, beerbellied men who expect their wives to remain the skinny, hot blonde they were when they got married. But they can let themselves go. It’s this weird double standard.
“One of the values of our marriage is that we want to look our best for each other, for as long as possible!” he adds.
“But it’s more than that – you try to be the best version of yourself you can be.”
This doesn’t mean being ultra-skinny, Aletté explains. “Wherever your happy place is, wherever you feel confident enough to walk around naked in front of your partner, go for it!”