Today I am featuring one of the people who inspire me. Her name is Ropafadzo Amanda Banhwa and this is her story.
This journey started off as a joke. I never noticed that I was this big until it was already too late. Imagine hitting 135kg. I am sure I even weighed more than that. The sure road to going fat lies in JUNK FOOD, PROCESSED FOODS, FAST FOODS, FIZZY DRINKS, AND NOT BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
Before I gained weight I was never skinny. Maybe the smallest size I ever was was a size 38. I was always the bigger one amongst friends. However; I played sport so I always managed to maintain my body around a 38/40 size. Then it happened I stopped basketball and taboom I hit 135kg. I realised it when I went to South Africa for shopping and I couldn’t find anything that I could fit and I didn’t even use the shopping money.
It was time to make the change I had obviously been avoiding over the years. The trip to South Africa that brought me back empty handed motivated me to lose weight. People had tried to tell me that I was big but my EXCUSE was that I was big boned and it was a family thing. (Yeah right, everyone has an excuse and very silly excuses in most cases). I decided to go on the Internet and research about losing weight. All the articles I got were talking about vegetables, water and fruits. I decided to give it a try. Though I was too drastic on myself it worked. After 2 weeks living on fruits and vegetables and 10kg was gone. I felt so excited.
I read more about weight loss and the best ways to do it which were not harmful. They stated”
- being active for at least 30 minutes a day,
- using stairs instead of an elevator,
- walking more often than driving
- eating smaller potions and eating more frequently; 4 to 6 times a day,South Africa
- eating more vegetables and fruits; 4 to 6 potions ( eating 2 different fruits and 4 potions of vegetables). Drinking a lot of water; 1l for every 25kg.
The most difficult part for me was and is still the food. I am seriously dedicated to exercising but food is my enemy. In order to lose and maintain weight the secret is to watch 80% of what you eat and 20% is regular exercise.
I never gave up; weight loss is a journey and your body will reach a stage it will plateau, you will gain, you will lose all you need is believe in yourself. Love who you are. Chose an exercise that you enjoy and it won’t hurt as much.
I have a few tips that you can follow that might work for you as well.
- Watch what you eat. I realised I was eating a lot of bad food. I totally erased fast foods and junk food and starch. I did it drastically which is not recommended but I did it. I started eating only vegetables and fruits and water. No fizzy drinks nothing sugary and in 2 and 1/2 weeks I had lost 10kg
- Check your physical side. I was as lazy as a toad. I started with what I could manage and that was a stepping stone.
- Don’t do too much too soon. Don’t push yourself beyond your limit. Remember that Rome was not built in a day; the same way you did not gain weight overnight is the same way you won’t lose it over night, it takes time, be patient.
- Change your routine of exercise because if you stick to one thing your body will get used to that. Try swimming, Zumba, skipping, running, jogging, power walking, steps, stair climbing, yoga, dancing. Anything you can think of in terms of exercise. All u can do in terms of exercise. Don’t isolate the body and say I just want to lose my tummy because your body is not isolated.
- You need to know your blood group because whatever you eat should at least be linked to your blood group. People are not the same and what works for me won’t work for you. When I discovered my blood group I made changes.
- Consistency is the key. The problem we usually have is that we want quick fixes but that only works for a while.
- Eat well balanced meals rich in vegetables and you won’t go wrong.
- It all boils down to consistency and determination.
When I started running I could only run as far as 2km but now I can run 42km nonstop. I love running and using the stairs.
- I exercise between 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes of running 3 or 4 times a week.
- 30 minutes stairs and 20 minutes weights at least once a week.
BUT I REST AND ALTERNATE MY WORKOUT ROUTINES
- I also do a lot of sprinting especially hill sprints and most of my runs are on hilly roads.
- I aim at 1 hour of exercise a day. But I range from 45 minutes.
- I’m eating well these days but I also cheat at times. Remember it’s 80% eating well. But my motto is 80% eat well 20% spoil myself.
When I had lost 30kg (in 4 months) the weight started being hard to drop. I started making sure I was extra cautious with eating healthy. Here is a sample meal plan:
Morning snack – green tea and fruit
Breakfast – whole wheat cereal with fruit and yoghurt or 2 slices of bread with polony/cheese/ham/bacon
Lunch – 1/2 potion of mixed vegetables 1/4 potion of starch and 1/4 meat
Snack – fruit/nuts/corn
Supper – vegetables and meat
Snack – green tea
2 years down the line I am a size 36/38 from a size 48/50!!!! I have lost 49kg from 135kg. My hip was over 60 inches nowit’s 46. Upper waist was 44inches now it’s 33. Lower waist was 48inches now 36. Boobs were 48 inches now 36. It’s funny and all crazy. My BMI is currently on 27. I am 85.8kg and I’m 1.77m tall.
I have not accomplished my goal yet. Yes it’s been 2 years since August 2013 till now but I am so proud of the work I have done so far.
If you would like to get in touch with her for health and fitness issues details are below:
Facebook : @amanda.banhwa