Sibongile Tantij Ran Off 15kg!
Home Town: Terenure, Kempton Park
Occupation: Project Administrator
Time Required: 1 Year
Even though I’d tried to tuck in my tummy when the picture was taken, I still didn’t like what I looked like in the photograph of me at a function, or how it made me feel. I had no excuse: it had been two years since I had given birth, and I had yet to lose my ‘baby’ weight. My health was deteriorating, because I lacked iron, always felt tired, and suffered from painful gallstones.
But the ultimate wake-up call came in the form of a hurtful comment from a friend: “I’m not usually friends with fat people, but I’m making an exception for you because I love you.”
I started running – 3.2km, at least four times a week, and every Saturday I ran my local parkrun. I increased my distance gradually, to the point that I was able to participate in 10-K and half-marathon races. I set my fastest half-marathon time at the Soweto Half Marathon (2:15), and I can run 10km in under 60 minutes.
I also overhauled my dietary habits to include leafy greens, lots of water, and healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts.
At first, fitting in a daily 30-minute training session was challenging. The solution? I prepare my kids’ lunch the day before, which frees up my mornings for a guilt-free run.
Running is a full-body workout that has improved my health, helped me lose weight, and cleared my mind.
Running has taught me to be patient: training for a race is more about the journey than the destination, and the same is true of life. I’ve managed to maintain my current weight for the last three years, and I’m still going strong. I’m fit enough to play with my kids, and I’m confident enough to wear what I want, instead of what I think will cover unwanted weight. That’s why wherever I go, I carry my running gear with me.