You’ve probably seen some progress or before and after photos of my journey on here or on Instagram, but have your ever heard/read the whoooole story…
Well here goes nothing:
From being an athletic girl in high school, all about running and sport, I left for a gap year in Germany and London after high school. This was the first time I dealt with actual weight gain. I didn’t really own a mirror in London, and to be honest I didn’t care. I’ve always eaten what I wanted and how much I wanted and was underweight. (That being said, I was training hours a day in high school) I thought I was just getting a mature, womanly body, and to be honest, I was loving it.
I came back, and my family and friends had quite the reaction. I’ve never been fat shamed or called ‘fat’ before. (My domestic worker did not mean that personally, but it did make me realize something.) But after being back in South Africa over December, back in the sun I dropped the weight quickly, just in time for my studies in heath and fitness that would start in January.
Those 2 years I experimented with every diet and fad the fitness industry had to offer. Fitness college is EXTREME! Boys having timers on their phones, and class getting interrupted because they need to have their meals or protein shakes, to there being at least one girl per class that was anorexic. I was living off boiled eggs, chicken and broccoli. With meal replacement shakes and fat burners as well.
I was also training 2 hours a day before class, doing spinning 5 days a week and weight training an hour after. But when you compared it to your class mates, you still felt like the weakest, slowest person that trains the least. I was surrounded by national swimmers, cross fit athletes and body builders training twice a day. I struggled to keep up.
That being said, after 2 year of fitness college I was probably the skinniest I’ve ever been, and feeling really good about myself, ready to take on the fitness industry in London. One way ticket was purchased and I made my way there in Feb 2014.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of the pressure, the hours and the loneliness I experienced being there with no friends or family, but the lifestyle was not really social friendly as well, everyone you meet in the gym is either a trainer you are competing with for clients, or a potential client. It was a rough situation to be in and I just focused on work. As the months went on I gained weight again, even while spending 17 hours a day in a gym, eating meal prep food and having no social life. The pressure just got too much and I couldn’t control it. I spent all the money I made to go to Germany over the weekends and that’s where I climbed on a scale for the first time in a while, in a bikini at a swimming pool, and I have gained 15kg… in 3 months. I was mortified and felt like the biggest failure, failing my career, failing myself, failing my studies. How can I help other people lose weight and keep fit when I can’t even do it for myself?
I applied for another job in admin online, quit the fitness industry right then and there and started working in a office. I just needed a break from the pressure, I needed a stable income, a salary, but I promised myself I’ll never quite completely, this was just a reset. I booked a holiday to Croatia at the end of my 3 month contract at this company, and spent the 3 months hardcore dieting to get bikini ready for this trip. I went vegan, I would only have half a hummus bowl and packet of carrots per day, I would skip breakfast and maybe have a smoothie for dinner. (Those store bought high sugar one’s, I didn’t know any beter) All of this starving and effort just to lose 1kg before the holiday, only 1. I was so frustrated and disappointed in my body. Did I officially break my metabolism? Is this my 20’s now? Will I never get my body back?
And then even on this holiday at a festival, I ended up in the medical tent for dehydration. I have absolutely no idea how to take of my 21-year-old body that was probably fighting to keep me alive.
Those 15kg haunted me for a while, winter came around again and I have moved to Germany, was learning German full time so sitting in a class again the whole day, no sport because you could barely move outside it was so cold, and I just ended up living off more fast food or cooking frozen meals at home. I went to South Africa over December and lost some weight before that, I was feeling good, and dropping about a 1kg a week here just because our lifestyle here is so active compared to sitting in the freezing cold in Germany. So I think at this point I was maybe 6kg lighter than before, but I had about 9 to go.
In March 2015, I felt good about my weight loss, clothes were getting looser, but when I started working in a gym, I realized I needed to get back into shape, really this time. My first inbody measurement told me I was at 30% bodyfat… I was 15% when I was studying and was very unhappy about that, but 30%… how did I double that and not even really realize. Little remarks of the girl with the big butt already started spreading between the boys on the gym floor (I know, 2020 that would not be aloud, but back then, boys and men said and did what they wanted) So I was determined to get that body fat lower, but I wouldn’t rush it but do it in a maintainable way this time. And I did, but it took me a year with a lot of plateaus in between. I would lose 2-3 kg and then really be stuck there for a few months and then progress further etc. But FINALLY after a year of weight training and slowly increasing my muscle and dropping my body fat I got back to my pre europe weight, and I was so happy. (My body fat has never been as low again as when I was studying fitness, but I also don’t want it to be)
Since I’ve shaken the big 15kg in 2015, I’ve never gained that much back that quickly again and have found my happy place and balance.
I don’t strive to be a certain weight or look that is not maintainable, I know I can do/eat what I want, to a certain level but I can’t spiral out of control or the past WILL repeat itself.
I have about a range of 5kg that I fluctuate between, which doesn’t bother me at all. When I’ve lost I know I need to build some muscle, and if I’ve gained then I know to taper down the treats and portions a little bit.
I’ve roughly been the same weight since then and I am really happy with that.
And that is how I came up with the CWF Collective, putting 9 years of my own experience, and personal training experience and qualifications in one program to help the average girl who wants to become the best, most athletic version of herself!
Since I’ve shaken off all that ‘weight’ physical and metal, I ran a 25 km obstacle course run, multiple 10km races with ease, a half marathon, squatted more than my body weight, improved my relationship with my body and food, and YOU can too! You can also do all these amazing and fun things, don’t let YOU be the thing to hold you back. All there amazing adventures await you!