Only you can change your life
Life sometimes has this way of forcing you into situations you might think, at the time, you are not ready for. Vryheid’s Gerda Grobler knows all about this. “I was very young when I had my daughter and for years I wished that I could turn back the clock and bring her into my life when I was ready.
In hindsight, she arrived at the perfect time. And now I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn and grow with her. She is the light in my life and the reason I strive for success.”
Born and raised in Vryheid, Gerda has a close-knit family who give her their full support in every decision she makes. “I’ve come so far in the last five years. I think it’s important to always keep your wits about you, no matter how difficult your situation might be. Take a step back and evaluate your life. Make the changes you need to and turn your situation around. Five years ago, I found myself in a dismal place. I didn’t have a good job, I weighed 111kg and I was truly unhappy. One morning I woke up and decided today I’m going to change my life. And that’s exactly what I did. I started off taking a diet pill and cutting sugar and starch out of my diet.”
I was teased a lot at school and I was even bullied because of my weight. People just don’t understand what a huge struggle it is for an overweight child
She wasn’t on the diet pill for more than three months before she decided she was going to take her weight loss into her own hands. “I’m not going to beat around the bush; I personally think diet pills are extremely bad for your health. Although it did give me the boost I needed, I knew I was not going to allow pills to act as a crutch for me. I would have to carry on the battle by myself.”
Gerda battled with her weight for most of her life. “I was teased a lot at school and I was even bullied because of my weight. People just don’t understand what a huge struggle it is for an overweight child.”
One of the main reasons she decided to shake off the kilograms was because she looked at her daughter and couldn’t imagine what her child’s life would be like if something were to happen to her because of her unhealthy ways. “I knew for the sake of my little girl, Mariska, I would have to make this sacrifice.”
She lost 26kg within the first three months. “It was hard; losing that much weight is not an easy task. Some days were harder than others, but when you step onto the scale and you can literally see the results of your hard work, it’s a wonderful motivation.”
I want to eventually be a fitness model. I still have a lot of hard work to do to get there, but I feel that if I could lose almost 50kg why can’t I also accomplish this?
She also joined a gym to help her get into shape. “It’s become like a hobby for me; I just don’t feel like I’ve accomplished all I need to in a day if I don’t go to the gym.”
Her love for exercise has given her a new goal, something new to work towards.
“I want to eventually be a fitness model. I still have a lot of hard work to do to get there, but I feel that if I could lose almost 50kg why can’t I also accomplish this?
I’m also going to further my studies in a completely new field. I’m preparing to study for a personal trainer.
I think because I know what it is like to be overweight, I know the struggle of losing weight and the insecurities that come with that.
I’m in a great position to help others achieve their weight loss goals.”
She not only lost a whole lot of weight, she also managed to build on her professional career. “I’m working in the insurance industry at the moment. It’s a wonderful place to be and I feel very fortunate to work with such wonderful people. Soon Mariska and I will be moving out on our own. It took us a little longer than planned, but I think we’ve come so far in such a short time, everything happens at just the perfect time.”
We’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years, but my family has made everything bearable with their love and support
Weekends, when she is not jogging or training, she jets off to the seaside. “Mariska and I love the sea; we have close friends in Margate that we absolutely love to visit.
I simply adore the sea, but most of all I love spending time with the people closest to me. My daughter and I play netball on weekends, we go on adventures and we just enjoy life together.”
This Vryheid woman is excited about the future. “We’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years, but my family has made everything bearable with their love and support. Last year we lost my father and it was a terrible blow to our family. But it made us pull even closer together.
I love them with all my heart.
Maybe the future will take my daughter and I somewhere else, perhaps a place with more opportunities, a city maybe. As long as we are together, we will find a way to make things work, to enjoy life.
Life is too short to be stuck in a rut, wishing things were different.
The only way to change your situation is to get up and make it happen yourself. It’s never easy, but with hard work and a whole lot of faith, there is always a way.”
Northern KZN Get It June 2017