Bernadette Schouw

“As my weight increased, my health and professional life began to suffer. My cholesterol escalated until my doctor had to prescribe medication in order to stabilise my condition.”

– Bernadette Schouw

After the birth of her second child and transferring to an office job, Bernadette was convinced that her pre-pregnancy figure would never return.  She stopped exercising completely, whilst consuming fast food on a regular basis, seeing her balloon to a hefty 92kg. When the thought of buying a larger dress size became too much to bear, she turned to Weigh-Less for help. Find out how this woman tackled her weight with Weigh-Less, and went on to embrace a healthy lifestyle, which she still maintains today.


Letting myself go

During my pregnancy with my first daughter, Anousjka, I picked up a lot of weight, and found myself 20kg heavier by the time she was born. Afterward, I lost a few kilograms, but I was unable to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. Seven years later, I fell pregnant with my son, Cameron, and this saw my weight escalate again, this time by 30kg. Much to my dismay, I did not lose any of my excess weight. What made matters worse was transferring out of the navy, where I was frequently subjected to fitness tests and had access to gym facilities, to an office job which kept me desk-bound for most of the time. This, combined with my tendency to choose fast food over home-cooked meals, and my reluctance to exercise, was what largely contributed to my weight-gain. As my weight increased, my health and professional life began to suffer. My cholesterol escalated until my doctor had to prescribe medication in order to stabilize my condition. I often felt very stressed and self conscious about my size, especially at work, where I was required to look well-presented and professional. I began wearing over-sized blouses to work, which were comfortable and up to standard, but unfortunately gave my weight more room to grow.

My turning point

My friend had joined Weigh-Less one year before I decided to do so, and I noticed how much weight she had lost through the programme. She frequently urged me to try it out, but I would put it off because I thought that nothing would be able to remedy my weight problem. It was only when I went to the shops to buy jeans, and saw that I had to wear a size 42 (more than double my regular size), that I became truly angered by my excessive weight gain, and decided to kick it to the curb once and for all. I realized that I was fed up with standing at the sidelines while my husband and children were able to enjoy outdoor activities together, and this further urged me to make a change.

As a person who never really found the will to stick to a diet, I was a little uncertain about where to find a concrete answer to my weight problem. My best friend brought Weigh-Less to my attention, and she boasted about how effective it was in helping her reach her Goal Weight. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and the following Wednesday, after my resolution at the clothing store, I signed up and joined Weigh-Less.

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  • Height: 1.65m

  • Weight then: 92.6kg

  • Goal weight: 70.4kg

  • Weight lost: 23.8kg

  • Time taken:  7 months

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Getting over the first-week-hump

I joined the group in Parow on August 24. I was apprehensive before my first meeting, but more skeptical than anything else, because I believed that it would be impossible to return to my ideal weight. I had also never really believed in diets, so I felt as if I was ‘selling out’ due to desperation.

I weighed-in at 92.6kg, which further shocked and depressed me. Tersia sat and listened to me as I confessed to her my love of fast food and tasty treats, and I expressed my lack of faith in my ability to reach my Goal weight. After pouring out my heart, I decided that since I had nothing to lose (apart from my excess weight), I would follow the Weigh-Less programme and take it one step at a time.

A new and improved me

Since reaching my Goal Weight, there has been no shortage of blessings in my life. I now have more passion and drive for my career, thus making me more focused and less prone to stress. My cholesterol is stable and I am much more eager to participate in outdoor activities with my family. I also take greater pleasure in spending time with my children than I did when I was overweight. My daughter and I like to exercise together, and she remains a strong source of motivation as well as discipline. As a family, we often take evening walks around the neighbourhood and catch up on the events of the day.

Weigh-Less has become my lifestyle as it has equipped me with the tools I need to live and eat healthily. Whenever I choose to eat something that conflicts with my Eating Plan, I do my best to ensure that I do not allow one moment of weakness to demolish what I have worked so hard to achieve. I have also found that I no longer have the stomach for too many unhealthy treats at a time, and this causes me to resume my healthy eating habits soon after I have ‘cheated’.

Joining Weigh-Less has been the best decision of my life! I chose to be a part of it not only for myself, but for my family as well. Losing weight comes with changing your mindset and striving to live a healthy lifestyle. Once you have made those steps, the weight loss will soon follow.