“My Heart Issues Helped Me Turn My Life Around And Lose 46 Kilos”


Zinhlezonke Zikalala |

Even though Amukelani grew up slim, she ended up overweight,  like her mother.

This happened only after she fell pregnant. “I drank at least 2 litres of Coke every day and I loved my pap,” she says about her weight gain. Here’s her story.

Occupation: Attorney
Weight before: 135 Kg
Weight after: 89 Kg
Height: 1.76m
Time required to reach current weight: 2 years 9 months

The Gain

Amukelani’s love of unhealthy food was her biggest downfall. “I had no knowledge of eating the right kinds of food,” she says about her weight gain. “I ate carelessly: fast foods, burgers; you name it. I drank at least two litres of Coke every day and I loved pap. I could eat it every day as breakfast lunch and supper.”  Added to that, exercise was never on the menu. “I never even owned a pair of running shoes until I started this journey,” Amukelani adds.

Read More: 5 Easy Exercises For A Healthy Pregnancy

The Change

Doctors’ orders! “12 days after I gave birth, my legs became swollen,” says Amukelani. “I could hardly breathe and was rushed to hospital. An X-ray showed a very large, swollen heart. I was immediately admitted to ICU. My heart was failing,” says Amukelani. She was placed on a low-salt diet and was told to stay away from fizzy drinks. “The doctors told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I’d die,” she says. It was a turning point in her life. “It was a huge struggle, but I was determined to lose it. From that day, I paid attention to what I ate,” she says.

The Lifestyle

Amukelani spring cleaned her diet first. “I feed my body what it needs: vegetables, no junk food,” she says. To make sure she doesn’t stray from her weight loss plans, Amukelani eats less at restaurants and prepares her own meals. She now has a new-found love for running. “I joined a running club and in the beginning I ran 2km, three to four times a week and the mileage increased as I dropped the weight. I recently ran my first marathon in April 2016!” she says proudly.

The Reward

Amukelani couldn’t have her life any other way. She’s happy – and saving money. “I have regained my confidence and eating clean is less expensive,” she says. So every now and again she’ll spoil herself with a race outside Gauteng. “I feel healthier, I can run 32kms and finish it comfortably, I’m a size 35 now,” she adds. Now that’s a success story we love.

Read More: Yes, You Can Get Hooked On Running!

Amukelani’s Tips

Weight loss is a personal journey
“Do what works for you.”
People will criticise you
“Ignore them and move on.”
Losing weight requires discipline
“If you lack discipline, don’t even waste your time because you will keep on going back to your old habits.”

Looking for more real-life stories to inspire your own transformation? Check out the changes Xolile made to boost her self-confidence and lose 14kgs, and take a look at Clarissa‘s inspiring story.

Watch ON: Real Women Success Stories Weight Loss Weight Loss Tips