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Johan removed his mental block and improved his life
NAME JOHAN DUVENHAGE
JOB DIRECTOR OF COMPANIES
TIME REQUIRED 11 MONTHS
WEIGHT BEFORE 184KG WEIGHT
Aged 19 and in the army, I was in great shape due to constant physical training. Things changed when I was stationed at the Namibian border with Angola and contracted cerebral malaria. This is often fatal, but I was fortunate – after a sevenday coma I regained consciousness and made a full recovery. The problem with malaria is that for many years afterwards, one might get a mild annual attack, lasting no more than a couple of days. My case was no different and I had regular, mild attacks until, at 26, I had a bout which lasted more than two weeks. After that it seemed the dreadful hangover feeling would never leave. I started to eat irregularly and, without even noticing, was consuming up to five or six big meals a day. I became addicted to food and the more I wanted to stop the more I ate. I picked up a weight problem which had devastating effects on my life. I tried various diet programmes and ended up gaining more weight every time. It carried on until I reached a weight of 184kg, almost 85kg over my comfortable weight.
I remember sitting in a restaurant with some business associates when the chair I was sitting on collapsed. Everybody laughed. I couldn’t handle the abuse and mockery any longer. Even children referred to me as the fat man. I was pretty messed up emotionally and had very low self-esteem. After my divorce, I got up one morning and made a decision to change my life
I realised that before I could commit to a diet plan, I needed to have a professional body analysis done to understand how my body functions and the damage my lifestyle was causing it. The most important step I took was to abandon any quick fixes. I devised a slow, reasonable plan so it was easier to discipline myself to follow it. I started gym for an hour daily and ate mostly salads and proteins, avoiding carbohydrates. What made it easier was that I removed my mental block and visualised myself back at 102kg. The first three weeks were critical and hurt like hell. But I persevered. I also joined the Cape Town Skydiving Club, and that helped with my transformation. After 11 months I’d lost 81kg
My fitness levels improved, my energy levels were restored and, most importantly, my self-confidence grew daily. In the business environment, I made wise decisions simply because I had the courage to take charge and no longer worried about my appearance. Today, I truly enjoy and value the fantastic opportunities that life is offering me.