Voices of The Village: Celeste Anthea got out of her marriage, off the couch and hit the road. And said “bye-bye!” to 22kgs, too.


” On the topic of weightloss:
I have never been a skinny girl. I am rather solidly built with muscles, but with a figure that showed every extra kilo. Singing: I got it from my Papa!

Anyway, I gave birth for the first time, when I was 26 and from there my weight … just went downhill. ( Or the weight just went up, which does make more sense.) The thing everyone needs to know about weightloss, is that it creeps up on you. One day you’re a size 10 and before you’ve actually finished dinner …  you’re a 22.

Another thing, is that emotional eating is a real thing. The lonelier I felt in my marriage, the more I ate. I understood it was was wrong, to turn to food for the comfort and happiness that I craved, but comfort eating happened. I am still working on it. I am not with my husband anymore, but I do still LOVE food!

I have been to Weighless so many times I should own shares, I’ve taken shakes that made me shake, I’ve taken drops, been on vibrating machines at diet clinics. You name it…..

So 2016 came along…..I wrote in my diary “It’s gonna be MY year” Guess what? My sister died unexpectedly at 42, leaving behind her husband and 3 month old twin babies. My husband decided he wanted a divorce, I moved back to SA (not because of the divorce – that happened after we returned, but close enough.) I left my eldest child behind, alone, in a foreign country to study with no family –  the first time in 18 years that we were been apart. And then. More. I suddenly had to undergo a surgery (I’ve never been sick before!). So much for MY year, right?

But I am good at motivating people, so in September 2016, I decided that if life wasn’t going to make it my year, it would be up to me. I would do the hard graft. I got up, gathered my strength, got all my cousins to start exercising with me. The company and the laughs alone, were so motivating and still are. But my body and I needed more than that.  I joined the gym and went 5 times a week. In December 2016 I did Muddy Princess with my then 12 year-old. All while being a triple number weight!

I was on my way.

But in 2017 I suddenly had to have another 2 surgeries and was out…  for the rest of the year. Another hurdle. Another potential excuse. But no.

In 2018,The Tribe, (my friend group,) and I, decided that we all were going to seriously commit to being more healthy. I wrote down all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight. After I’d done it and read what I’d written ……it came down to only one. I was terrified of dying. So my reason, and my only reason was to be HEALTHY.

The pictures are a year apart. The left one was my 1st Parkrun, 12 May 2018 and the right one was the Safari run last week, 1 May 2019 . I can safely say I have been at a 2 digit weight for the last 4 months. First time in almost 15yrs! What changed? Nothing but my mind . My mind is where it should have been all along. I don’t aim for a fast loss or big numbers, I aim for loss. Some weeks I lose nothing and some weeks I lose 1.6kg. I’ve gone mostly plant based (5 days out of 7) , limited carbs and almost no sugar (because I haven’t got a sweet tooth anyway.)

What I’ve learned:
You can drink all the smoothies, eat all the salads you like, but if your mind isn’t where it needs to be, that excuse-making, fearful. put-it-off-for-another-day mind of yours is is going to win.

My progress might be slow but hey. Progress is progress! I have a long way to go but I’m not giving up. You celebrate the small wins, and before you’ve finished dinner … they’re a bigger win.

I’m divorced, at a 2 digit weight, I will be 50 in 2 years time. I never expected any of that. I can honestly say, what happened to me turned out to be for the best. Of course, at the time I didn’t think so. But no-one does when things are tough..

I have 2 beautiful daughters. The youngest takes part in events with me (she did Muddy Princess 2016 with me as a 12 year -old!), The eldest is the one who make sure I don’t trip over my own feet, checks my grammar and spelling, give advice on fashion and style. I don’t need the comfort eating. I don’t need the marriage that made me comfort eat. I’m happier than I’ve been in a very,very long time!

My journey has taught me a few things so far:
Get your mindset right, first, if you want to lose weight
Go for slow weightloss, set small goals, you’re more likely to reach them and keep the weight off.
You must want to do it for you, no-one else.
Neither being skinny doesn’t mean that you are necessarily healthy or fit. Or unhealthy or unfit. Everyone has their own shape. The shape they are meant to be. Our job is just to treat our body as well as we can.
Being Plus-size definitely doesn’t mean you are equate lazy or unfit
It’s really important to surround yourself with likeminded people. People who cheer you on. A good, honest support structure really helps.
If you can’t find those people, set your goals, work hard towards them and clap for your damn self when you reach each of them!

Good luck. I’ll be cheering you on at the finish line!

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