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Home >> Blog >> Guest Blogger >> Inspiring Runner 2017: Marianda Geel

Inspiring Runner 2017: Marianda Geel

  • Half Marathon
  • Medical
  • Training

Scarred by relentless childhood teasing, Nurse, Marianda found solice in food. After years of yoyo dieting and roller coaster weight loss, Marianda gave up on herself. Finally, at a whopping 208 Kg, a weigh in on an industrial scale, was the final straw. Marianda made the decision to change her life. For her!

How I went from fat to enter #OMTOM after losing 121 Kg

5 years ago I made a decision that totally changed my life.

When I was younger, I was always seen as the bigger girl in school. Facing a lot of remarks and nicknames did leave scars. Scars which changed me. I had no real care for myself or my body.

After numerous different diets during my lifetime and roller coaster weight loss, putting it back on and living with a lot of excuses and always giving a lot of different reasons for my severe obesity, I gave up on myself.

A little comment from my husband set off a trigger in my brain. He had won a trip on the MSC Opera and the first thing he told me after receiving the news was that I won't fit in the seat of the aeroplane to Durban. But still I didn't change my life. Then I went for a weigh-in on an industrial scale because no other scale could take my weight....a whopping 208 kg!!!! 

And I kept that secret inside me. Until one day in 2012, I started a new job beginning at a doctor's practice after being out of the nursing profession for a few years.

Being a nurse has been my passion since I left school and I qualified at Tygerberg Hospital. I realised I was given a chance in life again because for so many years that I was obese, my weight was THE factor that counted against me when applying for a new job.

I was thinking about losing weight, but didn't start immediately. A friend of mine suggested an eating plan with a protein shake in the morning and evenings, and eating my main meal at lunch. Also cutting down on carbohydrates and sugar intake.

Then, in the heart of winter, in the middle of the week, a patient came to me to give him advice on following a diet for his diabetes....and as he left I realized I am not an example to any person crossing my path. And the very next day, July the 15th 2012, I started to change my life.

In the beginning it was difficult giving up certain foods. I was hungry, because one reason for my obesity was that I was used to eating a lot! But I didn't give up. I realised this is a change....not just for now...but forever!

Slowly but surely, my weight started to drop. It was awesome to feel better, even while I was still sweating profusely, huffing and puffing while walking, and waddling like a duck.

By February 2013 I had lost 50 kg and we went on our boat trip.

Up until now I have lost 121 kg, my view of food has changed drastically.

I am eating healthy but I am still a normal human being. I still enjoy a piece of cake, tart or a koeksister on a special occasion. As much as I loved chocolates and sweets, I gave it up completely.

I gave up food like pasta, potatoes and bread, previously part of my daily survival package. Now I am constantly aware of what I put in my mouth. Due to my severe weight loss I had to have plastic surgery. 3 operations later and I don't regret my decision. Not for a second.

From the beginning of my journey I was following a motivational group on Facebook called SleekGeek Health Revolution and all the inspirational posts of people losing weight kept me going. 

Exercise became part of my life after I lost 80 kg. I started with walking and grew a passion for fun-walks. The 5 km was a challenge for me but then last year, that was not enough anymore and I started taking part in 10 km walks. I am working long hours and had systematically built up an exercise area in my garage.

Last year with the Gun Run, I decided to try running a little bit and after the Gun Run a friend convinced me to enter the #OMTOM2017 with her. I took a leap out of my comfort zone and entered! After losing all that weight, running was a huge challenge for me. I have always thought that I am too heavy to do that. But here I am!

With my journey I gained confidence, I dropped the self-hate I had, I learned to talk to people about their weight problems, I stopped hiding behind a mask and could show people the real me.

I also realised that nobody will ever really know what I went through on my journey. All the sacrifices, all the tears of disappointment when my weight stalled, all the pain I went through after my operations.

I am excited about my future. Last year my website www.mariandag.com went live and now I strive to inspire and motivate other people like me.

I live out my motto, The best is yet to come!  I am looking forward to my first ever Half Marathon.


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