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Kim’s transformation success ignites fitness career

It was soon after her second pregnancy that Kim Naidoo from Shelly Beach in KwaZulu-Natal decided to take back control over the way she felt and looked.

“I went shopping for an outfit that would fit my post-pregnancy body for a wedding that I was attending. While standing in the fitting room, I realised that it was the worst I had ever looked and felt.

The desire to change

Kim blames her unhealthy diet of chocolates and slap chips for her weight gain, while early-stage PCOS was affecting her health and wellbeing.

“My weight gain had both physical and emotional effects on me. I felt uncomfortable and I chose to hide myself under clothes and in photographs.”

Kim’s family also suffers with hereditary chronic diseases, so she wanted to reduce her health risks by changing her lifestyle.

“I also wanted to help motivate those closest to me to make healthier lifestyle choices. These numerous reasons motivated me to start my transformation journey.”

Never give up

A few failed attempts at weight loss followed that moment in the fitting room but after Kim relocated to Durban and became a stay-at-home mom, she started realising results.

“I suddenly found myself less distracted with work demands and had more time to focus on myself and my family without the long commutes.”

Getting active

Planning her day, logging her meals and training, and scheduling her training sessions were essential to Kim’s ultimate success.

“I started waking up earlier in the morning to exercise because I found my day got too busy once the kids woke up.”

Kim and her husband initially joined Bodytec for six months. The EMS training helped her to significantly reduce her body fat percentage. The couple then joined a gym, where Kim attended group classes, ran on the treadmill and worked through the weights circuit.

“When I returned to work after my maternity leave, the company I was working for was promoting healthier living. They introduced incentives for staff who engaged in health and fitness activities. which motivated me to work towards something. So I started walking around the office building during my lunch breaks, which surprisingly won me R5000.”

Later on, when Kim was a stay-at-home mom, she purchased a fitness watch and set a daily step goal.

“Even if I didn’t get a chance to exercise, the watch ensured I still kept moving to burn calories with housework or playing outdoors with the kids.

Kim says her husband and children played an important role in her ultimate success. “Training together as a family helped me reach my goals and we all benefited. My four-year-old daughter even became a master at the plank.”

Taking charge

After moving to Shelly Beach, Kim bought a treadmill. She used her time productively by catching up on her favourite Netflix series while she walked on the treadmill. “I still look forward to these sessions.”

She also registered to complete a personal training course after deciding to take charge of her transformation approach.

“I practiced and implemented a lot of my research and learning on myself by creating my own workout plans. I decided to create a challenge that would suit my needs and I trained myself for nine weeks, following a 3-day on, 1-day off structure.”

Kim’s workouts consisted of running, HIIT, yoga and strength training. “I tend to get bored quickly so I had to get creative to remain motivated. I challenged myself like never before in those nine weeks and discovered exactly how much more my body can accomplish.”

Diet makeover

Kim’s lifestyle transformation extended to her diet as well. She chose to prepare home-cooked meals rather than eat take-out food. She also cut out sugar and focused on portion control.

“Before I gained weight, I enjoyed eating different foods, especially the traditional spicy Indian curries and rice. There was always room for second helpings!”

Completing her fitness course empowered Kim to create a healthy meal plan, which consisted of three nutritious meals and two light snacks a day.

“My last meal for the day would never be later than 6 pm. I now prepare meals more consciously for myself and my family and teach my kids about good and bad foods while monitoring what goes into our bodies.”

New body, new life

This transformation process not only reshaped Kim’s body but also changed her life.

“This has been the most positive experience in my life. I feel more comfortable with my body and the way I look. My new-found confidence has made say ‘yes’ to more life-changing experiences and moments that will positively impact my life and the lives of others. I even plan to compete as a Bikini athlete once we return to normal life.”

Kim has also put her experience and acquired knowledge and qualifications to good use by pursing a career in fitness as a qualified personal trainer and nutrition advisor. She is also in the process of completing a life coaching course.

“I have learned so much through this journey and met such amazing people. I found my passion in fitness and I have inspired and helped so many other people who are experiencing similar challenges and struggles. I finally feel like I have a purpose and feel overwhelmed by the positivity that has come from this experience.”

Quick facts

  • Kim’s favourite healthy dish: Plant based burger on wholewheat seeded bun (with fresh ingredients)
  • Kim’s favourite training routine: Skipping. It’s a quick full-body workout that burns calories and has mental and physical benefits.
  • Kim’s top diet tip: Keep meals healthy, balanced and exciting. Add more plant-based meals and consume foods that are good for your mind and body.

Connect with Kim on Instagram.

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.

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