Before July 9, 2019 (the day I embarked on my transformation journey), I had been considering a return to the gym, but I dreaded the challenge of getting back into shape.
That morning, however, I made a pivotal decision - I decided to take a simple step and go for a walk. The hour-long walk felt amazing, as it allowed me to reconnect with my body. The very next day, I pushed myself to cycle for 30 minutes, and though it was tough, that moment marked the beginning of a significant change. From then on, there was no looking back. I set my goals and developed personalised fitness programmes for myself.
Prior to this transformative phase, I had faced bullying and ridicule due to my weight while playing rugby as a prop. After leaving the rugby scene, I realised the toll that my weight had taken on my health and lifestyle. By mid-2019, I had gained even more weight due to unhealthy habits like overeating, excessive drinking, and smoking.
However, since then, I am proud to share that I have achieved a remarkable feat - losing 34 kg and reshaping not only my body, but also my entire outlook and career. I even established an award-winning fitness brand called YNOT, which is dedicated to bringing innovation and enjoyment to the fitness scene in South Africa.
My own journey toward transformation began with a low-carb diet, focusing on high-protein and high-fat meals consisting of meats and vegetables. This approach yielded remarkable results. I later adopted a plant-based diet for a year and a half, incorporating plenty of vegetables and sprouts to ensure essential nutrient intake.
Now, I strike a balance between the two dietary approaches, making sure that I get all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Additionally, I allow myself occasional indulgences in cheat meals like chocolate mousse or cheesecake, as I believe that it's essential to enjoy the journey while learning and growing.
Staying motivated and inspired is crucial for me. I hold a clear vision of the version of myself I aspire to become, and I won't stop until I achieve it. I draw inspiration from motivational videos, quotes, and the strength I've gained from conquering past challenges. The unwavering support of my immediate family and the people I meet on my journey plays a significant role in keeping me grounded and motivated. Encouraging messages I receive from strangers on Instagram also serve as a powerful driving force. This support system is a constant reminder of what truly matters - the people in our lives. During the highs and lows, they stand by us, providing a sense of calm amidst the chaos that can accompany an entrepreneurial journey. When facing difficult decisions, their advice holds great weight, and I trust in their counsel.
My journey of transformation has been a life-changing experience, and I'm continually motivated to become the best possible version of myself. I've learned to strike a balance in my nutrition, embrace occasional indulgences, and draw strength from a supportive community. With each step forward, I feel a growing sense of purpose and fulfilment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yanga Ngcayisa is the founder of YNOT Fitness, which brings innovation and enjoyment to the South African fitness scene. For more information or to get in touch, follow him at @yanga_ngcayisa on Instagram, or contact [email protected].