At 36 years young, Jessica Viljoen from Centurion decided to take her health back into her own hands and joined the Slender Wonder weight loss programme.
Jessica is a loving mother and wife that grew up in Polokwane and has two beautiful daughters, aged nine and five. After both pregnancies she lost all of the extra weight by being conscious of her diet and committed to regular exercise. However, within the last three years she gained twenty kilograms and attributes the weight gain to bad lifestyle and eating habits.
Some of these habits included too much snacking, too much wine and big meal portions. Jessica’s weight gain happened gradually, “Many people were surprised to hear that I’d gained 20kg, but I hid it under baggy clothes and strategic photos!” But more often than not, the effects of bad lifestyle habits take months or years to even notice leaving many thinking that these habits needn’t be changed.
However, Jessica knew that she could no longer ignore her bad habits and health concerns. She had seen the Slender Wonder programme work with her mother, a fellow Slender Warrior. A close friend of hers also told her all about the programme. Seeing her mother and friend’s successes, Jessica felt that Slender Wonder was the medical weight loss programme that just might work for her too.
Her Slender Wonder journey began in July 2019 when she discovered that she only had two pairs of jeans that still fitted her and she insisted that she was not going to buy bigger clothes. “By the end of June, both pairs of jeans were just getting tighter and tighter, and I realised it’s time to do something proactive!” Jessica felt very uncomfortable in her skin which was strange as body positivity has always been very important to her.
“We need to love the skin we’re in!”
Jessica enjoyed the fact that the programme didn’t overly limit diet and food options. She is not one for eating the same meals all the time and was thankful for the Slender Wonder approved spices and herbs. Another favourite of hers was the Slender Wonder protein shake. “I love how convenient it is for an on-the-go meal, and then it’s so tasty, just like a milkshake.” She enjoyed the chocolate flavour the most and recommends adding a bit of decaf coffee to it.
Support is one of the most essential components to successfully changing your habits and life. Jessica utilised our Facebook support group and made a few Slender Warrior friends. They checked up on each other and were a great source of motivation to her. Her loved ones were hugely supportive of her too. “By helping me make healthy food choices at braai’s and restaurants, and telling me that chocolate is not nice at all, haha!”
Naturally Jessica faced some challenges on her Slender Wonder journey. She felt nervous about the daily injections but was relieved to find that the process was quick and easy. “ I woke my husband up, while doing a happy dance, and told him, ‘I can do hard things!’” Getting into a routine with her daily supplements was also a challenge for her, but thanks to her daughter she was able to overcome this. “My daughter even made a little sticker for me and stuck it to the bottle.”, reading “drink me”.
Weekends were a time of relaxation and indulgence for her and her loved ones and restructuring them was tough. She did all that she could to stick to her programme and commit to her health going as far as avoiding social events for the first few weeks, “Just so that I could know I was in control of my meals and my options.”
Jessica told herself every Monday that she would start a diet and by the end of the week she had already given up. However, we are pleased to report that with Slender Wonder she has lost 21kg in four months.
She feels that Slender Wonder is different because of the accountability that comes with it. Seeing her doctor every two weeks and being equipped with all the knowledge she needed about the programme and how to successfully stick to it also made a huge difference to her. “Dr. Ninnette de Klerk was really wonderful with her guidance, motivation and support.”
Thanks to the programme she has never felt better physically and even has increased energy levels and sleeps better at night. Psychologically she has regained her confidence and self-respect, “It’s always been important to me that I want to set a good example to my daughters, by living a healthy life, and now, finally I feel like I’m doing that.”
Jessica feels that if you are struggling with your weight and health it is important to remember your “why”. Keeping your “why” in mind makes taking the first step that much easier. “If I can do this, anyone can!” She believes that if you proactively commit to your decision to lose weight and get your head in the right place then your goals can be achieved.
Her motto is: Live, love, laugh.
“Yes, it’s not necessarily applicable to a weight loss program, but amongst all these things we want for ourselves or want to achieve, you need to enjoy each moment, make it count, love life, make memories and just savour it!”