“I Stopped Indulging In Takeaways And Lost 25 Kilos”
Sisanda Mkiva knew it was time to get back in shape when she looked at photographs of herself next to her slimmer sister.
Clearly unable to blame her weight problem on her genes, Sisanda decided to combine regular exercise with a healthy diet, and in less than a year she lost a whopping 25kg. Not only that – she’s also taking part in races and learning how to swim.
Time required to reach current weight: 13 months
For Sisanda, losing weight meant breaking ingrained cultural eating habits. “I’d consume mostly meat and too much starch. We Africans eat a lot of pap, and I’d often indulge in takeaways,” says Sisanda. “I started putting on weight when I was a teenager, during high school.” Although she played netball, that wasn’t enough to cancel out the kilojoules she was taking in. But it was only after matric when she stopped working out altogether that the kilos really piled on.
Sisanda’s weight peaked in October last year, and it was on her sister’s birthday that she realised how self-conscious she’d become. She usually avoided cameras at all costs, but for her sibling, she made an exception. “That’s when I decided it was time to do something about my weight,” she explains.
“In addition to running two mornings a week, I started attending my local five times a week. I also hired a personal trainer and we’d focus mainly on cardio and resistance training,” she says. To complement the exercise, Sisanda joined Weigh-Less to help her with meal plans. “I eat small portions six times a day, including more fruit and veg, less red meat, mostly chicken and fish, and no junk.” She believes the combination of exercise and eating well is what melted her unwanted kilos. Her new exercise regime also encouraged Sisanda to take up other fitness challenges. “I competed in the Two Oceans five-kilometre trail run and I’ve been learning how to swim!”
Sisanda is not only slimmer, but also more confident. “I’ve dropped three dress sizes. I was an 18; now I’m back to a 12. I feel sexier and comfortable enough to wear whatever I want.” In need of a brand new wardrobe, she went on a shopping spree, then celebrated with her sister. Not only does she feel better about herself, she’s a lot more energetic and much healthier. “I now know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it,” she says.
Halt hunger. “Eat small portions throughout the day.”
Pack a lunchbox. “Plan your meals to make sure you stick to your diet.”
Cut carbs. “They take longer to digest, so don’t eat them for supper, which should be before 7pm.”