For the 42-year old Amanda Potgieter from Kameelfontein in Pretoria, losing weight was the only thing standing between her and her horse-riding dream.
“Our family competes in endurance riding with horses and although this sport has always been my childhood dream, I could never compete on the level I wanted to, because of my weight.”
But the true turning point for Amanda was when she unexpectedly ended up in the ICU with a mysterious heart problem after the birth of her little girl in 2016.
“During the 10 days in ICU my heart miraculously healed, but not knowing if I will survive, I realized how precious life is and how much I wanted to LIVE life to the fullest. I realized that my weight has always kept me from doing the things I wanted to and that I was my very own enemy.”
Amanda is the proud mom of three children, a sixteen and a thirteen-year-old boy as well as a two-and-a-half-year-old girl. After the birth of her sons, she never managed to lose all the weight she gained, but it was only after her surprise pregnancy with her little girl that it really became a problem.
“I had quite a healthy pregnancy although I picked up a tremendous amount of weight. My unexpected pregnancy was an excuse to ‘let go’ of myself and enjoy the last pregnancy. Food was my comfort zone and I lied to myself believing that ‘one day’ I will tackle the ‘giant’, not realizing how the ‘waisted’ years have passed me by until I was in an ICU bed not knowing if I would have time left to enjoy life.”
That is when Amanda really decided to make a change. She heard about Slender Wonder from a friend who lost a lot of weight on the programme a few years ago. Amanda also followed the ‘Slank’ television show on kykNET and even entered to be a contestant. Unfortunately, she was not chosen, but she decided to go on the diet anyway.
“I started in November 2017 and although this might have been a difficult time to start, just before Christmas and our holiday, I was determined to lose the weight before the riding season started this year in February.”
Amanda went to Dr Surene Fourie who has two practices in Pretoria, one at Sable Med and one in Garsfontein.
“Dr Surene and her staff at Sable Med (Patsy & Erika) was my absolute support-team. They have encouraged me so much during this journey, celebrating every kilogram I lost with me.”
For Amanda the first month was good and she was really motivated and determined.
“Over December the temptations were not getting me down at alI, because I had a strong mindset, but in January we went on holiday and to my surprise, I really struggled emotionally. Every time the family enjoyed something together, like ice cream on the beach or coffee & rusks (my favourite comfort) late afternoon while watching the sunset I felt deprived, rebellious and just sorry for myself.”
However, Amanda did not cheat on holiday even though it was difficult. She just realized how much food still impacted her life emotionally, but everything was worth it when she went for a weigh-in just after the holiday and lost another 2 kg.
“I felt such victory over myself and it made every sacrifice on holiday worth it. From there on till the end it was just downhill with the numbers on the scale.”
Amanda lost 20 kg on the Slender Wonder programme in only 4 months. She is on the Maintenance programme now.
“I was amazed at how my body reacted to the programme, weekly shedding fat which has been stored for so many years. I never believed in a diet that has the words ‘fast’ and ‘healthy’ in the same sentence, until I discovered Slender Wonder.”
After losing the weight it was time for Amanda to start taking up the reigns again and follow her horse-riding dream.
“I started training for this year’s endurance season and was blown away by my own strength, balance, control and endurance while on the horse, compared to how I felt previously. I won first place in three of the races I entered and also won first place at the Gauteng Championships in the 120 km category. This achievement would never have been possible if I hadn’t lost the weight.”
Amanda’s achievement with both losing weight and her performance with the horses gave her a lot of self-confidence and self-respect and she realised she should never doubt herself and her abilities again. She achieved the one thing she never thought was possible and the commitment and discipline she needs to enjoy and excel in her sport now helps her to maintain her weight.
One of Amanda’s biggest victories was when she fitted into her wedding dress after being married for 20 years.
“I never thought the day would come when I would be able to fit into that small waistline again. I even kept some of my favourite clothes I wore on honeymoon after all these years and the day I fitted into them I just broke down in tears, overwhelmed with both disbelieve and gratefulness.”
Her husband and children was also very supportive and proud of Amanda.
“The look on my husband’s face every day is a testimony in itself. He is SO proud of me and there is not a day gone by where he doesn’t tell me and my children how beautiful I am to him. My biggest compliment was when my husband told me I am more beautiful to him now, than I was 20 years ago and when my son said ‘Mom, you’re so small now you look like a teenage girl’.”
To Amanda the most challenging thing about the programme was to keep believing in herself, that she was capable to follow through with it. She was also afraid to disappoint herself and the people following her journey.
“I overcame my challenges by planning ahead and just focusing on the next weigh-in.”
Her advice to anybody who wants to lose weight is to stop doubting yourself, stop making excuses and stop believing the lie that food will comfort you.
“We all fall victim to a lifestyle believing that unhealthy food can make us happy and emotionally satisfied, when indeed it causes the exact opposite. It robs you physically and emotionally from the person you were meant to be and the body you were created to live with.”
Amanda reminds herself every day that she knows what all her favourite foods taste like so she doesn’t have to taste it again, but she doesn’t know what ‘victory’ tastes like when she fits into a pair of size 8 jeans.
“I don’t know how having self-confidence feels like or to look in the mirror and be satisfied and proud of what I see.”
With her previous lifestyle, when she ate anything she wanted, she experienced ‘temporary enjoyment’ for only about 30 minutes per day (10 minutes per meal). But for the other 23.5 hours of the day she felt depressed, disappointed and a failure to herself, never looking in a mirror or posing for any picture, always sweating during summer, always wearing big clothes to cover her overweight body and feeling exhausted and fatigued constantly.
“But when I make healthy choices during the 30 minutes per day I eat, I get to enjoy 23.5 hours of LASTING enjoyment. How can one compare 30 minutes to 23.5 hours of fulfilment every day?”
Amanda recommends Slender Wonder to anybody who wants to lose weight fast and healthy, regardless of age, health issues or excuses.
“If you’ve tried every diet on the market without success, try Slender Wonder before you give up on yourself. You might just be transformed.”