From overweight mom to competitor and show promotor, Candice Whitehead personifies the word ‘go-getter’. In between her busy schedule we caught up with Candice to find out about her never-say-die attitude.
How much weight did you manage to shed from when you started to train up until where you are today?
I weighed 92kg when I started training in October 2014 and I have lost 24kg from eating healthy meals and exercising on a regular basis. Back when I was at a heavier weight I never measured my body fat percentage although my medical aid check-ups indicated that I was obese with a BMI of 33. My current body fat percentage sits at around 6 to 8%.
You had bariatric surgery in 2011 and lost 25% of your total body weight at that stage. Please explain the surgical process and would you recommend it to anyone?
The procedure is called the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and it is basically when a new stomach pouch is created by stapling off the access to the existing stomach. This rearrangement of your gastric system contributes to weight loss. I am a huge advocate for this surgery because it saved my life! Prior to the surgery I had been on every diet and nothing offered a permanent solution. There is however no quick fix! I view the surgery as a valuable tool to assist you in reaching a healthier weight. I have seen people who have had the surgery more than once and have eaten themselves back to where they originally started. It is just a tool in your journey, you are the manipulator, use the tool to your full advantage if you choose to invest in this option.
A lot of women struggle with health-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure. Prior to your transformation you also battled with similar issues. What advice would you give others who suffer from the pain poor health creates?
Yes. I suffered with all of the above and some. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take back your life. I lost 95% of my chronic illnesses along with the extra weight. You can join a support group on social media and get positive encouragement from like-minded people who know what you are going through. Take on a 12-week transformation challenge and take before and after photos even if the changes are small – forward is forward! Keep a food diary and set training goals. Hire a coach or personal trainer.
You have learned from the best in the business (IFBB Pro bodybuilders Marius Dohne and Andrew Hudson) when you prepared for the Supashape 12-week Online Transformation Challenge. What are the most important lessons you have learned from them?
Lessons from Marius Dohne:
- If there is something in your plan you have never heard of before don’t be shy to ask questions. Don’t just take things for granted, get educated!
- I don’t like egg whites!
- I like to lift!
Lessons from Andrew Hudson:
- You can have nice wholesome food with flavour and still reach your goals.
- Your coach should always have your health at heart first and foremost.
- You can have a cheat meal a week but differentiate between a cheat meal and a cheat day!
We often use our busy lifestyles as excuses for our inactivity. What handy tips can you give people to balance everything in their life?
Everyone wants to be fit and fabulous but not everyone is willing to work on maintaining such a lifestyle. Prepare your meals and keep them with you. This will eliminate the urge to buy the first thing you get your hands on when hunger strikes! Invest in a meal management system – there are many out there that cater to all budgets. Plan and participate in outdoor activities such as park runs, fun walks and gym visits. Get a fitness tracker. Many of them have networks where you can invite friends and track their activity too. Always take the stairs. Always make time to exercise.
You are competing in your first comp on 29 April. Tell us more.
That’s right. I am so excited! I now finally understand the reason athletes speak so lovingly about Peak Week! I will compete in the Body Fitness category at the Gauteng North Novice Show. It is such a beautiful division. It really personifies #Strongwomen
Candice, do you still give into cravings now and then?
I am allowed one cheat meal per week. I can choose between sushi, a burger or pizza. I believe you need that cheat meal to reset for the following week. I have a few tricks to cheat myself into believing I am having a cheat meal. You would be surprised what you could do with whey protein, casein and some baking powder! Always try to keep your food interesting and tasty.
What is the biggest weapon in your arsenal for leading a fit lifestyle?
A strong mind! Your body will do anything your mind tells it to do!
Candice – quick facts:
Occupation: Self-employed. Co-owner of Mr Safe-T, Co-owner of Champagne Productions, IFBB show promoter.
Living in: Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg
Martial status: Married and mom to 3 boys (aged 3, 6 and 15)
Heaviest weight: 130kg
Current weight: 68kg
- Mon – Back
- Tues – Legs
- Wed – Chest and Shoulders
- Thurs – Legs touch-up and Abdominals
- Fri – Arms
- Weekends – Barbell complexes for fun.
Cardio: Alternating each day for 6 days a week: Fasted cardio 50min and HITT 25 min (Candice prefers doing HITT on a spin bike or stepper). 5min warm-up followed by 30sec sprint and 30sec cruise.
Motto in life: This is a marathon, not a sprint! Don’t tell me I can’t! I will show you I can! Be your own success story!
Read more about her story when we first featured her in our special issue of Fatloss
Follow Candice on Instagram: @hotmamagp
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.