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After years of enjoying a slim figure and the confidence that accompanied it, Christine Ledimo gained weight as a result of poor eating habits and a hazardous sweet tooth during three pregnancies. Her inability to dodge the scale at a work-related Health Awareness Day, served as a huge wake-up call regarding the unhealthy rut she had squeezed into. Determined to stride to weight loss success, Christine turned to Weigh-Less to help her lose 16kg, and fully embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Christine gets her own sweet revenge on her unhealthy habits and loses an impressive 16kg!
“My mantra was, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step’. Although at that time the journey ahead of me felt like a marathon, I knew that each moment of discipline and each day’s worth of dedication to my Eating Plan, was a step in the right direction.” – Christine Ledimo
My first pregnancy with my daughter, Agape, marked the beginning of turmoil for my physique. Prompted by the pregnancy weight gain, and the recommendation from a high school friend who looked radiant after her weight loss with the programme, I joined Weigh-Less. I managed to lose the weight shortly after giving birth. However, maintaining this healthy weight during my second and third pregnancies, with my children Zion and Eden, proved to be much more trying.
Running on empty
As my family expanded, my waistline followed. In-between running around after my kids and climbing up the corporate ladder at work, I couldn’t seem to make the time to plan healthy meals or to exercise. Simultaneously caring for Zion, a one-year-old, and Eden, a newborn, proved to be an exhausting juggling act. I resorted to my old, trusted friends, sweets and chocolates, to see me though this challenging time. These treats provided me with a temporary pick-me-up, but did nothing for my attempt to drop the post-pregnancy weight. As a result, I gained a great deal of weight after my third pregnancy, without having lost the weight I had gained during the second.
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Although my husband was always supportive of me during my struggles, my confidence also suffered. I am naturally introverted, and being overweight exacerbated this side of my personality. I became withdrawn and incredibly self-conscious. I avoided clothes shopping, which would undoubtedly involve time spent looking into the mirror, and I wasn’t keen on social events as I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing my ‘fat clothes’. Like my dedication to a healthy lifestyle, my beautiful, ‘thin’ clothes were out of sight and steadily gathering dust.
My mother, sisters and close friends were shocked at the amount of weight I had put on, and would send me pictures of myself when I was slim, encouraging me to try and pursue weight loss efforts. I eventually responded, and cut down dramatically on the amount of kilojoules I consumed, and in addition tried meal replacement shakes. These unhealthy attempts to lose weight affected my milk production whilst breastfeeding. My husband encouraged me to instead concentrate on my breastfeeding, and once I had stopped, to perhaps make use of healthier methods to reclaim my slim physique. After I stopped breastfeeding however, my once-strong resolve to lose the weight faded, and I tightly squeezed myself into both my clothes, and the unhealthy rut I had created.
FACTS & FIGURES
Weight then: 78kg
Goal weight: 62kg
Weight lost: 16kg
Time taken: 8 months
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My ‘Aha’ moment
My real, ‘Aha’ moment came when my company arranged a Health Awareness Day at work. We were required to jump on the scale to weigh ourselves, and once I hopped on, I felt like a deer in the headlights. I was fast approaching the 80kg mark! I decided that it was time to undertake serious weigh loss efforts. I was sick and tired of being overweight, I missed feeling beautiful in my clothes, and I wanted to start enjoying my life again.
My solution: Weigh-Less. I had tried it before, and I knew it worked. As my life was still very chaotic with young children and a busy career, I wanted easy-to-use Menu Plans, and detailed Food Lists, and knew that I needed a support system and plenty of guidance. I joined the Olivedale Group lead by Connie . I was nervous during my first meeting, but felt reassured by Connie’s warm welcome.
Off to a running start
My first week on the Weigh-Less Eating Plan was challenging. My mantra was, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step’. Although at that time the journey ahead of me felt like a marathon, I knew that each moment of discipline and each day’s worth of dedication to my Eating Plan was a step in the right direction. I woke up every morning with the goal of completing my daily Formula, and making consistent progress to where I most wanted to be. One week later, after hopping on the scale and noticing the decreasing numbers, I felt very motivated to continue my journey and make small steps that would eventually account for a huge loss.
The hurdles I endured on my journey to Goal Weight were many. Subduing my sweet tooth was a daily struggle. I travel to Switzerland a lot on business trips, and the temptation that Swiss chocolate represents for me is almost irresistible. Although there were times when I cheated, I generally managed these cravings by keeping my eyes on my end goal. I had something to achieve that was much more important than any amount of Swiss chocolate! Reclaiming my happiness was all that really mattered to me.
On my journey towards Goal Weight, I would kick off my day with Bran Flakes and fat-free milk. I would then have a green salad, some salmon, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and a portion of whole-wheat or rye bread for lunch. As I love my pasta, I would often enjoy it with cherry tomatoes, onions and chick peas for supper. I am not a great cook, and so I heavily relied on the Weigh-Less recipe books. These helped me create meals that tasted great. Little by little, these healthy practices turned into the habits that pushed me along the path to Goal Weight.
After a month back on Weigh-Less I felt that I had enough energy to start running and commit to an exercise routine. As I lost more weight and became lighter on my feet, my running became easier and I really started to enjoy it. I would run with my husband, and he supported and motivated me to run increasingly further distances, and consistently improve my times. Soon my colleagues, family members and friends started noticing my weight loss and complimented me. It felt so amazing to have my hard work acknowledged and this served to further motivate me.
During my journey towards Goal Weight my core support system really kept me on track. My mom, sisters and a few friends joined me as I shuffled towards Goal Weight, and we created a WhatsApp group to encourage and inspire each other to success. Connie was also such a motivating presence in my life, and really guided me during moments when I gained weight at a weigh-in and felt low. With an army of support and encouragement, I moved up my Weigh-Less Steps. After an eight-month journey, I eventually reached Goal Weight in March, and I was so proud of my achievement.
The finish line
Since reaching my Goal Weight, I have never felt so amazing. My husband loves my new, firmer body and I have so much more energy. I have been able to brush off the dust on my beautiful, smaller outfits and I truly look forward to any social occasions where I can dress up and flaunt my figure. I have also successfully completed a half marathon and my next goal is to run the Two Oceans Marathon in 2015, with my husband
With my encouragement, my children have also learnt more about a healthy lifestyle. Although before Weigh-Less our main meals were never terribly unhealthy, we used to snack on plenty of chips, chocolates and sweets. Now we tend to snack on cucumber and carrot sticks, which my kids absolutely love (really!). As my kids can tend to be a bit hyper-active, these healthier snacks have also helped regulate their energy levels, attention span, and have even improved the appearance of their skin!
I couldn’t be happier with my Weigh-Less journey and would like to encourage anybody who feels stuck in an unhealthy rut, to break-out and commit to a healthy Eating Plan to stride along the path to health and happiness.
Christine shares her meal planning tips for busy moms and career women:
Don’t create separate meals! It is not necessary to create separate meals for yourself, and for your family whilst following your Eating Plan. Use the Weigh-Less recipe books to create delicious meals for your whole family.
Ensure that you eat a carefully controlled portion of the meal that you prepare for your family.
Weigh and store your supper leftovers for your midday meal at work so that you are not tempted to snack on them during the evening!
The Weigh-Less branded products really simplify your meal preparation. At first, my husband was a little skeptical at seeing me use the Weigh-Less food products whilst preparing our meals, as he was not trying to slim-down. But once he tasted what I had prepared, he really started to enjoy them.
Plan, plan, plan! Remember that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.