This Man’s Transformation Story Proves Weight Loss Is All About Discipline

You have to work hard to maintain your weight loss.


Megan Flemmit |

Willem Stander has always had a sweet tooth. Growing up, his diet consisted of chocolates and greasy food, and it showed. “I was just living to eat.” To build the six-pack he always dreamed of, he had to cut out the junk.

Related: “I Picked Up Weight When My Rugby Career Ended – Here’s How I Shed 20Kgs”

Knuckle Down

Willem’s desire to enter our Belly Off competition was threefold. He wanted to be healthier and fitter. The idea of winning the prize money only sweetened the deal.

The hardest part was starting. “A friend once told me, ‘Even if you go to the gym and walk back, you have beaten the couch potato that you once were.’” In a matter of months, Willem radically changed the way he ate and started exercising.  “I did loads of cardio – running, swimming, cycling.”

Related: The Leg-Day Workout That Counts As Cardio, Too

Entering the competition showed him how beneficial it was to be healthy. He lost 11kg, and 18cm around his waist. “A healthy body gives you a healthy mind and it makes everything better. It’s made me a healthier person and it makes me feel like a man, a damn good one as well.”

Back To Square One

But while he ditched the weight, he couldn’t kick his eating habits. Willem slowly started piling on extra kilos and continued to consume sweets. His struggle to eat clean week after week became the biggest threat to his new-found weight loss.

He needed to find the discipline to stick to healthy eating.  “My eating habits were bad my entire life, so going back to what I knew was easy. I decided  to start over, from then on I became stronger and kept going.”

He ate clean during the week and allowed himself a cheat meal over the weekend, making sure not to over-indulge.  Treating himself to small rewards helped him stay on track during the week. “I still love the foods I grew up with but I am much better disciplined now.”

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Through his journey he became fearless. He sought out challenges that would make him stronger and fitter. “I know now that I can do anything that my mind is set on doing.” Taking part in the Virgin Active Grid Games and the Bodybuilding.com 250K challenge.

To keep in shape for these challenges, Willem mixes cardio with weight training. The biggest lesson he had to learn was knowing when to lift heavy and when to keep it light.

The combination of eating right and constant exercise has left Willem feeling great about himself. “I feel good about my weight loss journey. The best feeling is not being out of breath after doing something. It  just makes you feel better about yourself.” The journey is one thing he won’t be giving up anytime soon.

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