Anyone who’s been through – or is going through – a weight-loss journey knows there’s no easy way to shed the weight. It’s all about consistency. Deirdre Tholet knew that if she really wanted to see a difference in her body – and her life – she needed to put in the hard work, and keep at it. So she did. Here’s how this mom of three dropped 30kg and gained a whole new lease on life.
Occupation: Owner of a marketing and communications consultancy
Weight before: 96kg
Weight after: 66kg
Time required to reach current weight: 18 months
Secret weight-loss weapon: Consistency
Deirdre was always a little chubby growing up, but after three pregnancies she found herself properly overweight and unhappy. A busy mom, she wasn’t exactly watching what she ate. “I ate whatever I felt like, whenever. I also tried to keep up with my husband and always went back for seconds,” she admits. Deirdre was an on-and-off gymgoer, but she got more serious after having her second child. Healthier choices got her to 78kg, but then she fell pregnant again and the weight piled back on.
After the birth of her third child, Deirdre was ready for a permanent change. “I became more disciplined and consistent,” she says. Soon after healing up, it was back to gym – but this time she showed up consistently. A combo of strength training and cardio fired up her kilojoule burn. “I started with weights, but always super-sets, so there was a little cardio in between,” she explains. She’d hit the gym at 5am and, even if she was strapped for time, she’d squeeze in a 20-minute sesh.
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As for her eating, Deirdre cut out all proceeded food, which “made all the difference”. She substituted sweets with fruit and stopped indulging in baked goods. “I limited my carbs to veg and occasional wholewheat wraps. I ate a lot of salad.”
Pretty soon, Deirdre’s commitment and consistency started paying off. “There were times when [the weight] fell off quickly and other times I really had to persevere,” she says.
Just because Deirdre has dropped 30kg, doesn’t mean she’s stopped her healthy lifestyle. In fact, she’s can’t do without it. “Nowadays I do a lot of cardio and find that if I don’t run at least three times a week I get quite grumpy. My body is addicted to exercise and I need to incorporate it into my routine daily in some or other way,” she explains. In addition, the oil-laden foods she used to love no longer appeal to her. She does, however, treat herself to the occasional chocolate – the expensive kind, and only on special occasions…
Having dropped from a size 16, Deirdre has rewarded herself with an all-new wardrobe in her new size 8. Her shrinking waistline wasn’t the only difference either – her body has become faster and stronger. “I can now run a 5.5k in 35 minutes. When I started, it took me over an hour.”
Deirdre is proud of what she’s achieved. “I’ve been consistent with my training and food choices and, thankfully, my body has rewarded me. I feel happy and healthy. I love to exercise and feel my lungs working. I’m a better role model for my children now,” she says.
Don’t second-guess yourself: “Whenever you argue with yourself about whether it’s worth it, the answer is always yes.”
Consistency is key: “Even if you aren’t seeing the immediate results you think you need to, keep going. Consistency is very important. Don’t stop after a week or two. You took years putting on the weight and it can take years to get it off too.”
Do it for you: “Decide what you want and go for it. If you’ve made the decision, hold yourself accountable to it!”