“I Feel Amazing Now That I Can Take Long Walks Without Getting Tired”
“I’ve built lean muscle to replace the flab”
Sad but true: there’s no magic pill for losing weight and keeping it off. “It takes hard work and sacrifices,” says Sharron Ritchie. “When you put your mind to something, you have to do it properly.” That’s the mantra that helped Sharron shed more than 10 kg.
City: Cape Town
Occupation: Client Servicing Consultant
Height: 1.65 m
Time taken to lose weight: 12 months
Secret weapon: Commitment and support
There was a time when Sharron was active. “I used to go to gym and do spinning and aerobic classes, but it became too repetitive and unrewarding.” That, coupled with three sons and a busy career, meant exercise took a serious backseat. Sharron also traveled a lot and often found herself grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go. “I ate chips, sweets, bread and especially chocolates,” she confesses. As the weight piled on, Sharron tried to convince herself that being out of shape was all just part of getting older.
Early last year Sharron went on a romantic holiday with her husband, who jokingly called her “Plumpkin” (gasp!). That was the moment that reality hit — and Sharron decided to make a change. “I looked fat and unhappy,” she says. Sharron (and her husband) joined Huba Fitness, a functional gym in Cape Town.
“It was tough in the beginning. I’d always look for reasons not to go to training, but I went,” she admits. It was the trainers who continually encouraged Sharron to keep at it. She did weights to build muscle, cardio to get the sexy abs she has now and an occasional beach workout, which made exercise fun instead of a chore. Initially Sharron trained three times a week but these days she hits the gym five times a week — how’s that for a convert? Sharron’s eating habits have also changed — she’s started Banting and eating whole foods, while cutting out unhealthy snacks and alcohol.
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Sharron loves the compliments she gets almost daily. The best part? “Trying on clothes that I haven’t worn for a while. And even those are too big!” She’s dropped three dress sizes, takes long walks without getting tired and enjoys life’s simple pleasures – like playing with her nieces and nephews without getting short of breath.
> Eat proper food. “A good breakfast will keep you fuller for longer.”
> Exercise with a group. “Surround yourself with healthy, positive people.”
> The hardest decision is the decision to start. “Never give up, push yourself.”
Looking for more? Here are five basic rules you need to follow to lose belly fat.