The transformation journey to regaining your body after pregnancy is fraught with challenges due to the impact it has on your body and your lifestyle, which was the reality that Anathi Gwele faced after she gave birth.
“I gained so much weight after my pregnancy that it changed my body shape. I didn’t feel comfortable with how my body looked, which affected my confidence. I also couldn’t accept that I had to get a new wardrobe.”
While it took a great deal of courage, faith and belief in herself to start the transformation process, Anathi knew that she could get her body back in shape through consistent hard work towards her ultimate goal.
- Age 28
- Qualifications: Diploma in Business Administration
- Career: Travel and Tourism
- Weight before: 95 kg
- Weight after: 65 kg
One step at a time
As a way to achieve this big, scary and audacious goal, Anathi took a pragmatic approach and broke down her plan into steps.
The first step on her transformation journey was a change to her diet. “I started by creating a plan so I knew exactly what and how much I should eat to lose weight.”
Anathi’s weight-loss diet entailed decreasing her food intake and cutting out starch and caffeine. She also increased her protein intake by including it in every meal.
“I make sure I drink as much water as possible throughout the day.”
Time to train
The next phase in Anathi’s structured approach was exercise. “After a week getting used to my new eating plan, I started jogging every day, heading out for a run in the morning and again in the evening.”
Anathi kept up the jogging for a few months, then four months postpartum, decided to take the next step by joining a gym.
“I was still breastfeeding at the time and would constantly feel hungry, so I needed to adapt my diet to include sufficient food to meet my energy demands without adding weight.”
Anathi also found the weight training challenging initially, as she was restricted in her exercise selection.
“As someone who gave birth via C-section, I was restricted to using certain weights and exercises, but I had a proper gym schedule that I stuck to.”
Anathi’s gym routine included five training days during the week and two rest days over the weekend.
Anathi’s training split
- Monday: Full-body workout
- Tuesday: Strength training
- Wednesday: Leg day
- Thursday: Upper body
- Friday: Cardio
Drawing inspiration from others
She also found a source of support and inspiration in her journey from her amazing gym partner, Tebogo Lala Tlala.
“Tebogo was constantly cheering me up and pointing out how much progress I was making towards my body goals.”
Anathi adds that Tebogo inspires her because she is successful in every area of her life and has achieved so much, despite her young age.
“At 31, she still has ambitions to achieve more, and she has a passion for lifting and impacting others as she rises.”
When her motivation levels dipped, Anathi drew additional inspiration from other women who have transformed their lives and bodies, and who have worked hard to become better versions of themselves.
A transformative experience
Since starting her transformation journey, Anathi says she has made a lot of progress after losing 30 kilos of baby weight.
“My first goal was to lose the excess weight and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which I did.”
But the benefits run far deeper for Anathi. She explains that the transformation experience has changed her life in a way that she finds difficult to explain.
“I have learnt to be patient with myself and I have my confidence back. I feel truly alive again.”
The process has also changed how Anathi perceives health and wellness, and has opened her eyes to how taking care of your health and body matters to your quality of life.
“Investing in a gym membership and a health lifestyle, and making the time to take care of my well-being are the best investments I have made in my journey.”
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Paying it forward
Based on her success, Anathi wants to share what she learnt along her journey and has developed a passion for helping others.
“My greatest ambition in life is to motivate, inspire and positively impact others in their journey to health and happiness. I want to encourage others to fight for what they want, and invest in their health and wellness, especially after giving birth.”
Anathi’s enduring message is to invest in yourself today, rather than waiting for an illness before taking care of your health.
“I understand that it is not easy, but it is possible. You just need a clear vision of the body and lifestyle you want to achieve, trust the process, and put in as much work as you can.”
Her approach now
Anathi continues to live according to the healthy lifestyle she has created for herself. “My diet has not changed. I decided to stick with what worked and I am still seeing results as healthy eating has become part of my lifestyle.”
Her focus has now shifted to toning her body while she continues to invest in her health and lifestyle.
“I constantly get inspired by seeing how much progress I am still making in my life. I find pleasure in seeing myself as someone who is better than I used to be.”
Anathi continues to achieve the goals she sets for herself, and is making progress in areas of her life that are not always visible to the outside world.
“Following my transformation, I am amazed at how ambitious and purpose-driven I am, and love the fact that I am now always present for every incredible moment in my life.”
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.