Karen Schoeman refuses to hide from the world and gets her confidence back

female before and after transformation weight loss

“You cannot love others or give to others if you don’t love yourself first”

Suffering from sadness after a miscarriage, followed by postpartum depression a year later after giving birth to her son, led Cape Town mom Karen (42) to become an emotional eater, instantly grabbing for comfort foods when she was feeling down.

Constantly feeling fat and ugly she found she didn’t want to go anywhere, she didn’t want to socialise, and just felt useless to everyone around her but the day she heard one of her son’s friends tell him that his mommy is fat, destroyed her. She never wanted her family to feel embarrassed by her, she felt enough embarrassment on her own.

She was tired of hiding from the world and decided to start her weight loss journey. Unfortunately, after trying diet after diet, she was convinced that nothing would work until her doctor (Dr. Wayne Kretchmer) proposed the Slender Wonder Medical Weight Loss program.

She opted to try the program because she was determined and had a specific objective in mind.

And, while it was difficult for her at first as she struggled to figure out which foods were allowed, she quickly witnessed results that gave her even more desire and determination to continue.

My mom is a great cook and helped me prepare meals which I was able to freeze making it easier to follow the program as I found that if I did not prep my meals it was that much easier to slip up and eat wrong”.

One of the most difficult challenges she faced during the program was that as an emotional eater who suffers from depression, it was difficult not to turn to junk food when she was struggling, but she gave herself 7-9 months to reach her goal and budgeted accordingly, knowing that if she didn’t achieve the end goal, she had failed, so she gave away all her large-size clothing so there was no turning back! “If I started picking up weight again then I would have to make a plan or have nothing to wear”.

Karen loved the program’s simplicity and was amazed that she did not feel hungry despite the minimal food quantities. She stated that seeing your doctor every two weeks makes a big impact since it helps with accountability as well as any worries or issues you may have, so you don’t feel alone.

The program is realistic and as close to ‘normal’ eating as one can get especially when you take into consideration the add-on products you can have such as the Protein bars, soups, and jellies. I found the program easy to follow and although weekends were a bit tougher, I especially enjoyed it during the week as it fit so well with my lifestyle. And I absolutely loved the shake, its so tasty there is no way one could consider it punishment”.

Karen is now in the stabilisation phase after losing an incredible 33kg with no intention of ever regaining it. She is sleeping better at night and is no longer taking antidepressants as struggles less with depression and her anxiety is more manageable. She has fewer flare-ups of lower back and joint pains, and her skin glows with no more pimple breakouts. She now enjoys hiking and being in nature, something she used to find exhausting, and tells herself that the packet of chips or piece of chocolate cake will never taste as good as what looking good feels like, “I love how I look now”.

I used to be such a social person and loved people, but being overweight made me hide from the world, I didn’t even want to look people in the eye. But I have my confidence back, look people in the eye and enjoy seeing friends again. My marriage has improved as I no longer try and hide from my husband feeling inferior or like a failure”.

Karen recommends that anyone who is unhappy with letting go for any reason consider this program since it is life changing. When asked if she had any advice for those dealing with similar struggles, she said, “Don’t think you are a failure, get your mindset right, and don’t be scared. Food is an addiction you must be in control of food and not the other way around. Don’t give in to temptation and learn to love yourself no matter what stage of the journey you are at”.

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