RESILIENT STRENGTH: How I Overcame Obesity and C-Section Weight Through Fitness

My name is Frieda Kimanga and I am 38 years old.

I am a mum of 3 kids, a Girl 10 years old and twin boys aged 3 years.

Before I adopted a fit and healthy life, I feel like I had a boring life. I went to work, came home, ate and slept. That was my typical routine. Going out for events was such a challenge especially when trying to find something to wear. My self-esteem was so low.

Challenges and Obstacles:

One day in February 2018, my daughter asked me if I had a baby in my stomach, and I was not even pregnant! my knees also started to really hurt. I thought something was really wrong and I went to hospital, only to be told I was obese and the weight was affecting my legs.

After the birth of my twins in 2020 I continued to gain weight, at this point I was 30kgs heavier and obese.

Eventually at some point in 2021, I mastered some motivation to go to the gym but the pain was so intense. I then started jumping from one fad diet to the next which at some point sent me to hospital because my body started breaking down. I knew I had to look for something sustainable both in terms of diet and a fitness routine so as to make a permanent change.

Nutrition and Fitness Routine

I made up my mind to have no excuses. Along the way, I learned that real change requires a lot of discipline. Now, I work out 5 times a week. I started with aerobics and with time I started running at least a kilometer.  I now run half marathons and started to lift weights which am loving so much! because my body has really transformed with strength training.

I also hike occasionally, am a summit chaser…those trails mesmerize me. Now I find great joy in working out.

Nutrition and Diet:

At first, it was hard having to prepare different sets of meals and finding time for the gym but I was determined to come up with a routine and stick to it. I had to eliminate somethings especially sugar. At some point, I even enrolled for weight loss programs and support groups for motivation and learning purposes. This really helped my transformation journey. I also became serious with meal prepping which really helped in staying on track and not bingeing on unhealthy stuff.

Mindset and Motivation:

Sometimes I didn’t feel like I was making progress and staying motivated was not easy. I came to learn that motivation can fail you, but discipline is truly what keeps you on track. Especially during that plateau phase which is part of the process. Discipline is what unlocks the next level. Waking up at wee hours to go the gym or a morning run while you slept a few hours because of nursing babies at night and work during the day is not easy.

Also, when people are all over your regimen with comments like how you have overdone it, or going for family events and them criticizing how you choose to serve or the portions and everyone has an opinion about you can be frustrating. I had to make it clear that am doing what I deem best for me and I’m choosing what I want for me.

Impact on Family and Relationships:

I am lucky to have a supportive family, so it’s been easy on my side, for example, I would wake up at 5 a.m. to go for morning jog when the twins were 6 months or at 4 a.m to go hiking while they were 9 months, and my husband would take care of them before handing them over to the house-help later on. When I register for runs, sometimes my brothers dropped me and am lucky everyone stepped in.

My transformation has challenged most of my close family members to change their lifestyle from eating habits to exercises. For example, my kids can do tea without sugar, they find soda to be bitter and they take green smoothies. My mum now works out and goes hiking, my friends want me to help them to achieve what I have, women online reach out to say I inspire them and want me to help them reclaim themselves especially when they see am a twin mom, who had a C-section and I can flaunt some abs.

Achievements and Milestones:

My self-esteem has skyrocketed to 100%. Being able to lose 30kgs, reverse my health status from obese to healthy in all aspects has made me a happier person as well as mentally and physically strong.

It feels good to see women say I inspire them and say I have restored their faith that it is possible especially after kids. I’ve been interviewed by BBC AFRICA on my weight loss giving hope to many women that you can transform to a better you even after having children.I am starting to think of going to school and become a certified coach and nutritionist because of the growing requests of help that am getting.

Parting Shot

To all mothers out there, nothing is impossible as long as you are determined, dedicated and disciplined. It is your journey, take it one day at a time, because it is not easy but very doable because AGE is not a factor as people have been saying, proven and tested. Don’t wait for illness to start valuing wellness. Don’t wait until you are forced to do it. Do it now and the process will be much easier. Fit mums don’t have time, they create time. No more excuses.

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