When Nicolette Heydenrych started working, she found herself falling into unhealthy habits. Garage store pies, fried chicken and a sedentary lifestyle left her weighing almost 100 kilos at the age of 21. When she saw how much weight she gained, she decided to make some MAJOR changes.
Here’s how she did it…
Occupation: Procurement administrator / Student
Weight before: 98kg
Weight after: 65kg
Time required to reach current weight: 3 years
Secret weapon to your weight loss: Patience
Nicolette admits that her weight gain was mainly due to her not knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle. “I was very uneducated with regard to healthy living and eating. After school, I started an office job and became very inactive, which made me gain weight quickly,” she explains.
She says that her daily diet usually consisted of fried chicken, pies, pizza, pasta and alcohol. “I used to drink throughout the week, so the only cure [for a hangover] was bad food. My mornings usually started with a big muffin or a pack of cookies. I LOVED chips, so I ate big bags of it every day.”
In 2015, Nicolette celebrated her 21st birthday but when she saw the pictures of the big day, she felt less than joyful. “I felt sick when I saw the photo of me on the camel, it was a big milestone in my life and I was huge! I felt ashamed. Stepping on the scale the following week made me realise that I needed to do something. I was 21 and weighing in at almost 100kg,” she explains.
This was enough for her to make the change, “In 2016 I started working with Marlene, she gave me a 12-week plan that included changing the way I eat, creating healthy eating habits without restrictions.”
As for exercise, she started out in the gym but found that wasn’t working for her, so she hit the road… literally. “When I started running things turned around for me. I realised what my body was capable of and the more I ran, the more weight I lost and the more I just wanted to jsut keep going,” she says.
Nicolette says that her weight loss was going really well until 2018 when she hit a bit of a speed bump. “ I went through a dip, then I came to realise I need to stop now or else I would be back in the overweight pit! I began studying personalized nutrition and educating myself on calorie intake,” she explains.
This allowed her to take control of her eating outside of an eating plan. “I was very strict with what I ate but didn’t put restrictions on my diet. I would still eat pasta or chips but in moderation and only if it fits into my macros. I also fell in love with intermittent fasting, a healthy tool to lose weight if you do it right,” she explains.
“It took a while [to lose the weight] but I kept in mind that time will pass. Unhealthy habits are hard to break especially in the early days when fake hunger strikes. I just kept on pushing through and I’m glad I did,” she says. Her pushing through paid off with her losing 33 kilos, dropping four dresses sizes and running her first 21K half marathon. She adds that she is much happier now, “I’m happier and more spontaneous. Losing weight really helped me build confidence! [I’m] doing my hair, nails, and eyebrows, I feel really good about myself,” she exclaims.
If you want it, work for it: “I hear women complaining about wanting to lose weight, but they don’t do anything to begin. If you really want to, you need to make a plan.”
Start now: “Don’t wait for Monday or next month. There will never be a right time. The sooner you start working on your goals the sooner you will achieve them.”
Have faith: “Never stop praying, pray through the days when you feel like giving up. I prayed so much throughout my journey, especially when I wanted to give up. And having a goal in mind I still pray for God to help me. Keep in mind that your body is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift back.”