Lost 15kg in 16 weeks
Reduced blood glucose
Jonno caught up with Rut about her transformation, and here is what she had to say 🙂
Tell us about your approach to your health before engaging with RMR.
I was never concerned about my health – always just focussing on my weight – with which I had a problem since my early teenage years. I hardly ever visited my doctor since I seldom got sick and self-medicated where necessary
How did you see food?
Food was always a handy and much used tool to deal with life’s hurts and scares. I vividly remember how I, after a particularly hurtful moment, deliberately stuffed myself with anything that I could put my hands on, telling myself I just have to go to bed and sleep; afterwards it would not hurt so much. (By the way, it was during daytime). And it worked!
In other words: it was my drug of choice. And true to being a drug, it was also the cause of pain and shame because it made me fat and I had no control over my eating. I never enjoyed preparing meals or talking about food and recipes like my sisters and friends. Today I realise that it was because I knew I had no control. While preparing food I would eat nonstop and then still have a meal at the table. Or sitting chatting at a dinner table, after having dessert, I could not keep my hands off whatever stood in front of me – it did not matter if it was cabbage.
And this behaviour goes back a long way. After allowing my memory banks to open, I remembered an incident when I was about nine years old. After supper we had evening devotions around the table. While my dad was reading, I was constantly eating all the crumbs on the table within my reach. This incident stands out to me because after finishing the devotions, my dad made me eat the rest of the crumbs as well. Although very humiliating, it did not end my out of control behaviour!
How did your health make you feel?
Despite my obesity I was relatively healthy. Coming from a family with hypertension and diabetes, I always considered myself the healthy one despite the fact that I was ironically “the fat” kid. In fact, I think I was a bit arrogant!
How bad was your health, your energy levels?
Thinking back, I realise that I always had low energy levels – even as a child. I relied on what I proclaimed to be power naps to get through the day. It improved a bit when I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication. But I still shied away from physical activities whenever I could.
From around my 50’s my back started hurting progressively. I assumed it was just muscles because I had no injuries, so I used muscle relaxers when necessary. I tried numerous times to have a bust reduction done because I was convinced that it was my size EE’s that caused the problems, but my medical aid didn’t budge. X-rays early in my 60’s showed extensive degeneration of my lower spine.
How did your health impact other areas of your life?
Being an overweight teenager was not easy – especially in a time when Twiggy was the idol! And of course the memories and humiliations settled deep into my self-esteem and contributed to the forming of who I am today and the choices I made along the way. Not feeling attractive or desired is deadly to – an already low – self-esteem; a never ending spiral which had a negative influence on my marriage and even my career.
My back pain progressively impacted my life negatively and there were days that I had to sit in a chair, not moving my arms, waiting for the spasm(s) to dissolve so I could carry on with life.
My poor husband never had the energetic, adventurous wife that would join him surfboarding and just having fun in general! When we were younger because I was ashamed of my figure and later because of my low energy levels and back pain.
What made you decide to make the change?
A very stressful retirement, lockdown and the opportunity to have a bust reduction done, happened in a daze in the first half of 2020. I was very disappointed that my back pain didn’t magically disappear after the operation and it took me about four months of seclusion, playing with paint and charcoal and rediscovering my home to slowly emerge out of the very deep hole I was in.
During my time of seclusion, I really discovered YouTube and listened nonstop to people like Tim Noakes, Jason Fung and The Diet Doctor. I learned more and more about a keto-/LCHF-lifestyle, inflammation and insulin resistance. I also heard Jonno’s interview that highlighted the dangers of Covid for obese, insulin resistant people. By that time, I did not need any tests to know that I was insulin-resistant – all the evidence was very noticeable!
How did you discover RMR?
My first encounter with RMR was in 2018 when my younger sister, a diabetic, managed to get her blood glucose stabilised after joining RMR and making use of their tracker. It made so much sense to me that I immediately joined. I even started making some of Jonno’s delicious meals – and enjoyed making it. But I did not make much use of the tracker … and was over the moon that I have to drink cream in my coffee instead of milk and can eat droëwors and cheese. I made lots of allowances for birthday cake, holiday treats etc.!
Fortunately, one of RMR’s emails about a special on the 12-week online course arrived in my inbox early in February – at the time when I realised that my waistline was telling a dangerous story. I enrolled for the course with a coach.
What were you expecting when you signed up to RMR?
I thought I knew more or less what there was to know, especially with me listening to all those YouTube videos. I just needed some help with fine tuning then I will lose weight.
What did you actually get?
Doing RMR this way made a difference; I could handle the initial slow progress without becoming despondent. A less than expected weight drop was no longer a failure and proof of my inability (my limiting belief), but part of the process. The dietitian’s prescription gave me guidelines and confidence about what and how much I should eat and it dawned on me that five mugs of coffee with cream per day may be a bit much! The accountability to someone else also had a very large impact – not in the sense that I was “scared”; more in the sense that it mattered to someone else – somebody who knows what it’s about. The Mindset and Psychology of eating sessions gave me so much more insight in my behaviour and the dietician’s sessions helped me to understand the keto/LCHF way of eating so much better.
What are some of the significant changes in your life that you believe came from RMR?
I am now far more conscious of what I put into my mouth. I track my meals because at this stage I still can’t rely on my own body signals – but I am looking forward to the day when I can trust myself for that.
O think the big difference is that now I am willing to do whatever it takes to reach my goals (on which I have so much more clarity now). I now know that it is my only option if I want to have a healthy, mobile and happy old age. For the first time I have paid attention to things like glucose levels and the urgency of recovering from insulin resistance. I do not want to go the medication way, so I have no other option: I will lead a Ketogenic/LCHF lifestyle – and I enjoy it, I don’t feel deprived or that I am making sacrifices!
I am far more mindful about my sedentary ways and willingly make changes like buying a watch to remind me to stand up from behind my computer more often!
As my weight goes down, my energy levels rise. I am meeting long hidden parts of myself and actually starting to like and forgive myself.
What stands out for me is that as I am learning how to deal with life without numbing strategies, I feel so much more in control.
How did your experience differ from other health or diet experiences you have had before?
I have lost some weight over the last decade or so and came down from 125kg to 99kg (for about a week!). But it was always just diets (and I include the way I did “keto” on my own here.) After losing some weight I always went back to my old ways. And predictably picked up weight again – always either on a diet or picking up weight. I was satisfied with losing a few kilos – the most I lost on a diet was 16 kilos and I thought that was enough. I did not think it possible ever maintaining a weight under 100 kilos again and was very pleased with myself when I could keep it under 105kg.
It is so different now, mainly because of three factors:
Give us some physical stats. How much weight have you lost? What other physical or mental benefits are you experiencing?
I did not realise it, but when I tested my blood glucose for the first time on the18th of April this year, my fasting glucose was 6.8 – and that after being on RMR already for two months! So I can just imagine what it was before. At the moment it is between 5.3 and 5.5.
I have lost 15 kg. since joining RMR in February – 11kg in the first 12 weeks on the course with a coach and now another 4.4 in the first 4 weeks on the Hero group. I first broke the 100-barrier, and then the 90’s, because at the moment I am on 89.1. Yes, it’s not yet 16, like with a previous diet, but for the first time I can see myself breaking the 80’s and, who knows, maybe even the 70’s! I can imagine myself having a normal weight and I know I will stay on this path.
Very importantly, it is now about so much more than my weight: inflammation (the cause of my back pain – rheumatoid arthritis – ), blood glucose and insulin resistance, movement – all aspects that are directly influenced and improved by my new eating habits.
I know my journey has only started and there is so much more to learn, practise and become …
What kind of people do you think would benefit from RMR the way you have?
If you are the kind of person that dares to admit that your weight problem is not the only, or the real issue, but the indicator of so many deeper problems, you will benefit from a journey with RMR.
How has this impacted your confidence?
I realised how my confidence and sense of self-worth has grown when I recently was able to say no in a work-related situation: the kind of situation where in the past I would have thought it my duty to say yes. That in itself gives me such a sense of achievement!
And what has the impact been on your relationships, your career or your love life?
Apart from the obvious benefits of weight loss in a marriage, our relationship has also grown because I was able to set boundaries without feeling selfish about it.
End of interview.