“I Focused On My Health Instead Of The Number On The Scale”
With a career as a personal trainer, Bianca Benade was used to helping her clients get the body of their dreams and better their health. When her own health started taking a back seat, Bianca knew it was time to make her own health a priority.
Here’s how this 28-year-old took back her health and changed her body.
City: Cape Town
Occupation: Sports massage therapist and personal trainer
Time taken to lose weight: Two years
Secret weapon to weight loss: A balanced lifestyle
Bianca’s weight gain happened over a period of six months. Even though she’s a personal trainer, she’d gotten to a point where she lost all drive to train herself.
“I trained clients in their homes, which meant a lot of time in the car, grabbing fast food in between and not wanting to exercise when my day was over,” she says. In the morning, she had coffee for breakfast and later, a fully loaded sandwich for brunch. She’d snack on fruit or chips and have a late dinner of pasta or even biscuits.
In 2014, Bianca quit her job because she wasn’t happy with the direction her life and health were taking. “I felt like my life needed reconstruction,” she says. A month later, she got a rude awakening when she visited her doctor after suffering heartburn for three months. “He bluntly told me I was carrying too much weight around my abdomen, which was very unhealthy for my age, and that I needed to correct it before it caused health problems, like cholesterol and diabetes,” she says. The doc also advised Bianca to start taking heartburn medication. “This didn’t sit well with me so I decided a change was much- needed,” she says.
Bianca took up running and slowly cut out “bad foods”, like alcohol and highly processed foods. Instead, she prioritised breakfast and ate oats or eggs on toast, snacked on nuts instead of chips and had chicken and salads for dinner. She also took up a new job as a trainer at gym and trained there twice a week. And she chose fitness goals to track her journey. “I entered my first marathon and ultra-marathon to keep myself accountable.”
In two years, Bianca lost seven kilos. But she hadn’t really been keeping track. “I never focused on losing the weight as I had tried this previously and failed,” she says. “I always thought that being skinny or weighing 55kg would make me happy, but on my journey, I learnt so much about myself and what my body was capable of.” Case in point: last year, she took on the Comrades– and finished. “I’m just enjoying the new me,” she says.