Faced with health issues, Bronwyn Mathews had no choice but to drastically change her life or risk losing it. With the help of a personal trainer, a dietitian, her sister and pure determination, this 46-year-old fought for her life — and came out on top!
Occupation: Skills Development Manager
City: Cape Town
Weight before: 148kg
Weight after: Current progress weight is 123kg
The time required to reach current weight: 6 months progress. The goal is #50by2021
The secret weapon to her weight loss: Consistent exercise, an anti-inflammatory eating programme with regular weigh-ins, 4-5l of water every day and a positive mindset.
Like many women, Bronwyn says been an emotional eater for more of her life. “[I] love food, especially during the emotionally times of my life. I’ve always turned to food for every situation and the weight just piled on because of that,” she says.
But it was when she experienced a traumatic event in her late 20s that Bronwyn’s weight started getting out her control. As a means to help her deal with stress and depression, Bronwyn ate sugar-laden foods and ordered take-outs almost every day. “At my heaviest weight, I couldn’t fasten my seatbelt, tie my shoes, and even getting dressed became a painful experience,” she explains.
Bronwyn says that there were numerous reasons for her wanting to change her life but mainly she wanted to be healthy and live her life to the fullest. In July of 2019, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and diabetes and was told that if she didn’t lose weight, she was at risk of getting a heart attack. “I had zero quality of life, being stuck on the couch and in a constant state of depression and not fitting into my clothes. I had given up on myself,” she explains.
Later that same year, she went on holiday but found herself struggling to fully enjoy herself, “while staying at a 5-star hotel over the long weekend and [I had] to climb steep stairs to reach our suite. It was absolute torture, and I knew that if I wanted to keep travelling, I would have to drastically change my life.”
The following month, Bronwyn stepped into Stature Gym to train with Meagan Classen and started seeing a dietitian to help get her eating habits in order. “It was an all or nothing approach,” she says. The dietitian had Bronwyn on an eating plan that would improve her PCOS by eliminating inflammatory food like gluten, soy, sugar and dairy.
As for exercise, Bronwyn and her sister began private training session with Meagan twice a week. The first month of training was mainly cardio but as their fitness levels increased so did the intensity of the exercises. Now that Bronwyn and her sister have gotten fitter, they train thrice a week, with the exercises focusing on strength and cardio training.
While Bronwyn’s journey is not over yet, she has smashed her goals and changed her life for the better — something she says she could not have done without her support system. “My sister has been with me on this journey from the start and has also achieved great results. Seeing her get up at 04:30 am to exercise with me before work, keeps me accountable and motivated. The other ladies at Stature who train with us have become friends and we are all in it together.”
Within 6 months, Bronwyn is 25 kilos lighter and half-way to her goal of 50 kilos by 2021. “I feel like I came back from death. This process has saved my life! I had completely given up, but now I have my life back. I’m able to do normal things like tying my shoes, walking longer distances without being out of breath or being in pain,” she exclaims. Bronwyn has also been given the green light by her doctor to stop taking some of her medications — talk about a major win!
- Enjoy your food: “Find healthy and delicious alternatives for your favourite meals. Believe me, you can have both. Consistently maintain a calorie deficit and you will see results.”
- Movement is key: “Exercising consistently is not only essential for weight-loss, but helps with stress, mood and mindset and plays a key role in making healthier food choices. Incorporate movement daily.”
- #Teamwork: “Surround yourself with people on the same mission as yourself to stay accountable. Get help, whether from a professional trainer and nutritionist or join a support group. Just get up, dress up, show up and never give up!”