When Mariska Potgieter got married, she was friendly and outgoing. But she soon fell into the habit of eating whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted and quickly picked up 30 kilograms.
Mariska felt like she had somehow lost herself, and the weight gain increasingly took its toll on her marriage as well as her health.
But it was only when an office weight-loss challenge forced her to confront the scale that she decided to take action.
Although she had no interest in participating, when Mariska stepped on the scale, she discovered that her weight had shot up to 110 kilograms. This was the reality check she needed to change things for the better.
READ MORE | Lebo Learns The Basics On Her Path To Success
Doing it for more than herself
After deciding to become more active and eat more mindfully, Mariska lost 15 kilograms. A few months later she found out that she was pregnant, which provided further motivation to continue changing her life for the better.
“I wanted to live a long and healthy life for my son and my husband as they deserved the best version of me.”
Mariska and her husband joined Planet Fitness but she did not know where to start.
“My husband suggested that I get an online coach to help me with an eating plan and exercise program to follow in the gym.”
Addicted to the lifestyle
It wasn’t long after adopting a more structured and informed approach that Mariska became addicted to this new healthy lifestyle!
“I wasn’t only addicted to training in the gym but also with eating healthy and making good choices. The more I saw the scale drop, the happier I became,” she recalls.
The change was not just physical but mental, too as Mariska’s entire life started changing for the better.
“I had more energy, felt good about myself and gained confidence.”
READ MORE | How Kim Created A Fit Body For Life
A drastic yet rewarding change
To date, Mariska has lost 42.1 kilograms. She credits her husband when it comes to supporting her, which made the process easier. He even joined her in leading a healthier lifestyle.
She also gained the confidence to tackle new challenges. After deciding to dive into the deep end by entering a transformation competition, Mariska took her new toned physique to the stage to showcase all her hard work and dedication. And the decision paid off as she won the competition!
Simplicity is the key to success
When it comes to eating healthy and getting active, it’s all about setting a goal for yourself and staying dedicated to that one goal, says Mariska.
“If you need to set smaller goals along the way to reach it, then do it! Stay dedicated and do not depend on motivation, because no one is motivated every single day to go to the gym or eat what you are supposed to. Staying focused and dedicated will get you to the finish line!”
READ MORE | Megan Bounces Back From Successive Baby Bumps
There is no magic pill
“I wish people will stop thinking that weight loss is in a magic pill, coffee, juice or shake. Crash diets and relying solely on fat burners are unhealthy and unsustainable approaches. You might lose weight, but what happens when you ditch the fat burners? I know girls who advertise it proudly ‘I lost 15kg in a month using only this pill/shake/coffee’. Don’t be that girl!”
Offering some perspective from her experience, Mariska says it is important to remember that you did not gain weight overnight.
“So do not expect your body to lose it all overnight. It is unhealthy and you are putting your own life at risk.”
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.