Inspiring stories reach us all the time – stories about grit and perseverance. And this story of how one woman lost half her bodyweight is for sure one of them. Here’s how school teacher Tanya Laubscher lost a whopping 105 kilograms – and kept it off.
At 157 kg, Tanya Laubscher felt completely out of place in her own body. She’d avoid planes, social gatherings and strategically plotted her movements to avoid looking in mirrors as much as possible. “I think for someone at that size, [there are] struggles and things that they don’t realise. It’s tough to go for a hike with your friends when you’re that big or go on picnics,” says the 34-year-old.
Added to that, her health was in jeopardy: she was struggling with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes as well as depression. So she saw a doctor who recommended bariatric surgery as the best way to help her lose weight and reclaim her health.
READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise
How she lost half her bodyweight
In March of 2020, Tanya’s journey began with bariatric surgery. Thereafter, she needed to completely overhaul her lifestyle to see results and slim down. To start, she worked with a dietician and opted to cut out refined foods, choosing to down protein shakes in the morning and snack on fruit and healthy foods throughout the day. Since her stomach had shrunk due to the surgery, Tanya prioritised protein and vegetables to give her body the nutrients it needed.
She followed the advice of her psychologist to deal with emotional eating and identified her triggers, then found ways to avoid or work through them. She also needed to stay active to burn fat stores. To do that, she committed to walking at least 10,000 steps daily and cycled 10 kilometres twice a day on her stationary bike. It was no easy feat, but she kept at it. “[It] was quite difficult in the beginning but as you consistently do it, it does become part of your routine. And as you lose the weight, that also becomes a lot easier to do,” explains Tanya.
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Over a year and a half, Tanya saw the fruits of her efforts and lost 30 kilograms, then 50, then 75. With each milestone, she made a point to celebrate in different ways. For a big reward, she flew to Cape Town to conquer Table Mountain; her very first plane trip. “That was a big one. I’d never flown before because I was too scared of fitting into the seats,” explains Tanya. Other rewards included getting a new piercing or a new tattoo.
Now at 105 kilograms lighter and countless hours spent exercising, Tanya is the happiest she’s been. Not only has she lost over half her bodyweight, but she’s happier, too. She no longer avoids mirrors and can hike to her heart’s content. “I walk and can go everywhere and I move freely,” she says. “And I have this joy! Spending some quality time outside, dancing and not hiding away from the world any more – those are the things that make life worthwhile.”
READ MORE: Walking For Weight Loss: Does It Work? Plus, 9 Tips To Get You There
Tanya’s weight loss tips
Try A Specific Diet
Tanya found that sticking to a specific way of eating helped her shed kilos. “If those are things that are possible for you, I would suggest applying that to your life.”
Make Yourself Accountable
“Tell people what you’re busy with, why you’re doing it and ensure that your goals are set out for you. Most importantly, stick to them.”
“I made sure to reward myself at the end of every milestone that I hit. It was a big thing for me.”