When Noni Mbete had her first child, she was overjoyed about her new bundle of joy but the excess pregnancy weight left her feeling self-conscious and sad. Tired of feeling physically and mentally exhausted, she embarked on a journey of self-love and discipline — and lost 19 kilos while doing it! Here’s her story.
Occupation: Finance Business Manager & Content Creator
Weight before: 69kg
Weight after: 50kg
The time required to reach her goal: 2 years
The secret weapon to her fitness journey: 80% Nutrition and 20% Fitness
A sporty teenager, Noni says that she’s been petite her entire life — that was until she had her daughter. “I fell pregnant for the first time and I got a complete shock with the amount of weight I had put on. Then I started the breastfeeding journey, goodness me. This was the most beautiful part of motherhood for me, but I gained more weight from it,” she explains. She adds that while she wasn’t overeating, she feels that she was not eating the “correct foods”.
Noni says that the extra weight took “an emotional toll” on her as she wasn’t happy in her body. “On the day of her 1st Birthday, our breastfeeding journey ended. That’s when I began strict clean eating and full exercise,” she says.
Noni began working with a nutrition supplement where her breakfast and lunch were replaced by shakes For dinner, she would have protein paired with two types of vegetables. She also made sure to drink two litres of water and started training five days a week. Noni began working out at home and joined the gym so that she could have a good balance of strength training and cardio.
Once Noni’s healthy eating and exercise habits became a lifestyle, she gave up the shakes, “I didn’t want to be too dependant on the shakes, and I needed to know I wouldn’t start picking up the weight I had lost from using them”. After giving up the shakes, Noni stilled managed to keep the weight off as she says she kept a close eye on her eating and never skipped a workout- a strategy that led to her dropping 19 kilos in two years!
When Noni fell pregnant again in 2018, she says that her healthy lifestyle made all the difference. “After my last pregnancy, I only picked up 5kg and lost that additional 5kg by 3 months post-partum. I breastfed my son for a full 16 months and didn’t pick up any weight. I have stayed at 50kg ever since,” she explains. She adds that because she knew better, she ate well and continued to the gym until the day she gave birth. “Literally moments before I pushed him out, I was dancing”.
Other than major health benefits, Noni explains that she is a lot more alert and productive. “[I have] an enormous sense of well-being. I do make time to just rest, relax and give myself well deserved TLC (Tender loving care) because that’s extremely important for my overall health as well. I’m still very consistent and I have learnt to love my body so much more. The benefits of this journey have been much more than how I look, but a lot more about how I feel about myself”.
- Slow and steady wins the race: “Pace yourself, start slowly and ease into it. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and find that you have given up before achieving your goal.
- Always cater for yourself: If you have a braai with friends always pack your own healthy snacks to avoid giving in to anything that will derail you.
- Stay hydrated: Drink a lot of water and remember its 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.
- #selfcare: Get enough sleep, give yourself love and rest.