After a tragic accident left Helen Bowes feeling stressed and anxious, she decided that it was time to take some extra care of herself. With the help of an online training programme, expert guidance, and determination, this 55-year-old grandmother of two, lost 14 kilos in just four months. Here’s how she did it.
Occupation: Practice Manager
City: Cape Town
Weight before: 79 kgs
Weight after: 65 Kgs
The time required to reach current weight: 4 months
The secret weapon to her weight loss: Discipline
Like many of us, Helen says that the excess weight crept on after years of indulging in food and alcohol. Although she frequently cycled, her eating habits prevented her from having the body she desired.
After a tragic accident where her house burned down, Helen found herself renting a place and eating out every night. Understandably, her situation caused a lot of stress and took its toll on her. “After our insurance company turned down our claim for our house fire, I had gone through a lot of stress and decided it was time to focus on myself,” she says. She started doing the JEFF programme which she says gave her the much-needed change she was looking for.
“My new diet involved smaller portions, of healthy foods including carbs and protein, and lots of vegetables and salad. Three balanced meals a day plus two snacks,” explains Helen. She also upped her water intake and was only allowed to have alcohol on the weekends. The JEFF programme also had Helen take most of her workout days to the gym. The program was specifically tailored to her needs, so in order to facilitate weight loss, Helen did a combination of cardio and full-body workouts. “Each week these exercise programs changed and became more challenging as I became stronger. I also cycled my bike twice a week,” she says. To help keep Helen accountable, her trainer, Johno, checked in with her every day to see how she was doing with her eating and exercise habits. She adds that this made all the difference as it made her more aware of her eating habits.
Helen admits that she was quite surprised when the weight started falling off- something she says she could have never achieved on her own. “I was very disciplined with both the diet and the workout part of my program. It was easy to follow, the coaches were very interactive via WhatsApp and email, plenty of encouragement so overall I found it very easy,” says Helen. She adds that has the weight fell off, her energy levels increased and she could finally enjoy a proper nights rest. “I’ve lost almost 15kg, dropped a dress size and feel like my teenage self! It’s a great boost, especially when you are 55 and a grandmother of two,” she exclaims.
- Don’t let age stop you: “Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you are over 50, you should accept extra weight. You don’t need to, you can reboot your metabolism and get back into your skinny jeans.”
- Get expert advice: “Joining JEFF [was] simply the best thing I have done for myself in years”.
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet: “Limit alcohol to just a day or so a week and eat healthy foods — try to cook from scratch, then you know what you are eating.”