Sanet Van Rooyen
Sanet conquers her demons
While spending the better part of her childhood negatively comparing her looks to those of her younger sister and school friends, Sanet attempted to conceal how she felt about her weight beneath a mask of musical talents and an outgoing personality. However, it was only when she battled to keep up with her active 5-year old daughter, that she finally committed to undergoing a physical transformation through losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. Find out how Sanet turned to Weigh-Less, and successfully lost 24.6kg!
“I often cried when I would see how my slim friends were able to wear the Matric dance gowns of their dreams, while I had to settle for second best because of my size.” – Sanet Van Rooyen
The fat sister
I had always been a little chubby as a child, but what made matters worse was that I had a slim and beautiful, younger sister who always seemed to walk in the spotlight while I was merely regarded as ‘the fat sister’. Despite this however, I frequently indulged my sweet tooth and heaped generous food portions onto my plate at meal times. I hid how I truly felt about my weight behind a mask of musical talents and an outgoing personality. Fortunately, I at least had those qualities which I could rely on whenever I felt insecure among my peers.
In a desperate attempt to get my weight under control, my mother signed me up for Weigh-Less when I was 16 and weighed 63kg. Unfortunately, I did not fully commit to the programme, and would often duck out of weekly weigh-ins and Group Leader talks. This did not did not have the desired effect on my supply of personal motivation, and I promptly dropped out as a result. I often cried when I would see how my slim friends were able to wear the Matric dance gowns of their dreams, while I had to settle for second best because of my size. Still, I did not make much effort to lose weight, and by my first year of university, I weighed a hefty 80kg.
As I began my third year of university, I decided to give Weigh-Less another go, hoping that this time around, I would be mentally strong enough to persevere to the finish line. Sadly, because I was juggling my studies along with part-time work commitments, I made too many excuses for my lack of self-discipline, and I once again discontinued the programme. I weighed 104kg, and a consultation from my doctor confirmed the negative impact that my weight was having on my body.
I was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid and I had developed a benign tumor in my colon, which needed to be surgically removed. Although I was reassured by my doctor that my condition was curable, this scare gave me a momentary wake-up call, and over the first few weeks following my diagnosis, I did my best not to overeat, and successfully brought my weight to 82kg. I was able to maintain a weight of 82kg until I married my husband, Reynier. However, I was unfortunately an overweight bride who could not fit into her favourite wedding dress.
I went on to have three children: Ane , Clarise and Reynard . I experienced severe nausea during each of my pregnancies which caused me to temporarily lose some weight after giving birth. After my pregnancy with Clarise, I dropped down to 68kg, but after months of persisting with my unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, my weight began to gradually build up again. By the time I gave birth to Reynard, I was back up to 86kg.
Realising the need to change
Every year I watched as my weight gradually robbed me of everything from my beauty, to my health, and even my talents. I would always go to bed on a full stomach and as a result, I developed an acid reflux which had a negative impact on my vocal chords. Up until that time, my singing voice had been my pride and joy, but now my weight had robbed me of that too.
As my children grew, they began to feel embarrassed by being seen in public with me. I remember the heartache I felt when my daughter, Ane, bluntly asked me, “Mommy, why are you so fat, when all the other mommies are so beautiful?” I received my final wakeup call on our family beach vacation, when Ane asked me to climb up a sand dune with her. As my little girl raced towards the top, I struggled to keep up with her and by the time I reached the top, I was out of breath. It was then and there that I decided that enough was enough, and that I was through with allowing my weight to dominate my life whilst enabling me to be a bad role model to my children. That moment also made me realise that Weigh-Less would be the most sustainable cure to the physical and emotional symptoms of my weight.
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FACTS & FIGURES
Weight then: 80.6kg
Goal weight: 56kg
Weight lost: 24.6kg
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Following the road to Goal Weight
I joined the Meyersdal Group in Alberton on January 9, with a renewed sense of hope regarding my commitment to lose weight. My Group Leader, Elize Du Preez, welcomed me with enthusiasm, and I immediately warmed up to her. However, I was a little skeptical when she told me that my Goal Weight range was between 56-64kg, and I momentarily doubted my ability to lose that much weight. When I returned home that night, I wrote these words in my diary, ‘I promise myself that by the end of the year, I will be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.’
Because my Menu Plan offered tasty food options, I found it quite easy to stick to the program at first. However, I did not allow myself to become complacent as I knew that I would soon encounter challenges along the way. Sure enough, my old demons came to haunt me, and I struggled to avoid snacking in front of the TV for hours at a time. My body went through a rather unpleasant adjustment period where I had to force myself not to rummage through the pantry after my last main meal of the day. With the help of my wonderful husband, I strategised a plan of action to effectively combat my unhealthy urges. I booked a personal trainer and began training with her from 7-8pm twice a week, while my husband took care of our children. On the nights that I wouldn’t train, I would do my best to keep my mind and hands busy by playing games with my children, working on music projects, or searching the internet for healthy and innovative tips and advice.
After I lost my first 15kg, my friends, family and colleagues began to take notice. I am a TV presenter for a show on KykNet, so I would frequently receive encouraging emails from my viewers telling me how beautiful I had become. They would also ask me how I was steadily losing weight and keeping it off. I used this opportunity to encourage others to transform their lives through healthy living and eating. I would admonish my viewers that ‘quick-fix-diets’, although temporarily effective, are not a profound enough cure for being overweight. By this time, I had managed to pick up a team of healthy, new friends from my Weigh-Less Group, and together we aimed to perform strength and resistance training twice a week and attend boot camp on Saturdays. I was amazed by how much I was enjoying my workout routines, as exercise used to be a dreaded pastime when I was overweight.
On October 2, after nine months of persevering through the Weigh-Less program , I reached the bottom of my Goal Weight range, weighing 56kg.
Without the chains of excess weight, I am free!
Since reaching my Goal Weight, my whole life has changed for the better. I am a much more confident and positive person, who wakes up every morning with a new zest for life. My thyroid condition has stabilized, and my acid reflux has diminished completely. I am happy to say that my singing voice has returned! Being at my best physically has also allowed me to improve professionally, and I have been promoted as a result.
Although I have always been a self-confessed socialite, I now have more energy to positively interact with those around me. My family and I take great pleasure in entertaining guests in our own home and I tingle with excitement at every opportunity to dress up and flaunt my figure. The romantic aspect of my marriage has also improved tremendously, as my newfound confidence gives me the freedom to let my hair down without worrying about my physical flaws. My children are now proud to walk alongside me, and often brag to their friends about my success with Weigh-Less.
Although I occasionally treat myself to sweet treats and snacks, I regard my Weigh-Less filo as my bible, and religiously stick to its principles in order to effectively maintain my weight in the long run. Weigh-Less is a lifestyle which has liberated me and shown me how to be the best version of myself. Perhaps the best reward of all is how Weigh-Less helped me keep the promise I made to myself, thus assuring me that I have the power to achieve anything I set my mind to.
Sanet’s three unbreakable rules to keep you at a healthy weight
There is no quick fix! The only way to stay in shape is through a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Avoid unhealthy, quick-fix diets, as these will only confuse your body further.
If you feel as though snacking has become your hobby, change your hobby! Make a healthy lifestyle your new hobby!
Food is not the enemy, but your desire to overindulge in unhealthy food is. Make healthy food fun, by experimenting with healthy, Weigh-Less recipes.