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Marius Ackerman lost 15.3kg

Up until the age of 24, Marius lived with his parents – something more and more young adults are doing these days. He had a normal upbringing, eating authentic and wholesome traditional “boerekos” every day. Being an active child, while taking a special liking to fishing, Marius remained slim and athletic all through his school career. Running events were his forte, as he competed against fellow scholars all across Gauteng. His mother has always been a dedicated Weigh-Less Member, which is probably why the food he ate at home kept him so healthy. Trouble began to brew when Marius decided to leave the nest and forge his own path in the world. Taking a job where he had to work shifts was good for his need to be an independent adult, but bad for his eating habits and overall health.

I feel as though I can actually conquer the world after losing 15.3kg.”

I’ll just get take-aways.

Nobody wants to cook dinner at three in the morning after a twelve hour shift, and neither did he. Fast food outlets became the go-to place to get the sustenance he vitally needed for his taxing occupation, and he began using the line “I’ll just get take-aways” a few times too often for his own good. Marius continued on this path of ill-health, even after numerous concerned calls from his mother worrying about him not eating healthily enough to sustain himself. He was on a downward spiral into the dark place many of us go when we forget that what we put into our bodies actually matters and can have drastically negative effects on our lives in general. A routine doctor’s visit turned serious very quickly for Marius, as his cholesterol was found to be 190/90, so high that his GP asked if Marius had all of his affairs in order. He knew that this question was only asked of people who were at serious risk of dying in the near future, and realised that if he did not make some serious lifestyle changes there were bad times ahead for him. He needed an intervention, and he needed it fast.

Welcomed with open arms

Marius’ turning point came when he went on holiday with his family. With many strangers around constantly, he suddenly became aware of his size and felt too embarrassed to swim in public. In this new age of loving yourself unconditionally – taking pride in who you are and your individuality – nobody should have to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. The irrational assumption that everybody was looking at him began to get to him, and he realised that a serious change was in order. After confiding in his mother about the insecurities he was experiencing, Marius agreed to attend one of the Group Meetings that she frequented on a weekly basis. From the first few moments he spent there, he was made to feel like he belonged.

The Group of Weigh-Less Members welcomed him with open arms, understanding where he was coming from – and where he wanted to go. His Group Leader promptly explained to him exactly how the programme works and how much weight he would need to lose. To Marius’ surprise, the food he was expected to eat on his journey was very similar to the foods he used to eat at home. The general idea he got from the Group was that if you work it with Weigh-Less, it will work for you. His weekly visit became a motivational power session, and was enough to get him through the rest of the week – he had found his happy place.

Shaky beginnings.

His first week proved rather challenging, as Marius struggled to abstain from the unhealthy snacks he so enjoyed. The human body struggles to recover from years and years of sugar loading – so when withdrawal kicks in, it can often be difficult to cope. The first week was shaky, the second – not as bad. When the hard times came along, he called on his Group Leader. Things got better the more Marius got used to his Eating Plan and Step Rules, and before he knew it, he was receiving his Goal Weight certificate. Marius recalls that once he had lost the weight, his work pants were hopelessly too big for him and kept slipping down. A lady whom he works with offered to take them in for him, and that is something he will never forget. Marius loves sharing his Weigh-Less food with his colleagues, and has even started a weekly support group where his fellow workers can talk openly to each other about issues they may be going through such as workplace stress and healthy living.

Before reaching Goal, Marius would struggle with simple tasks while on duty such as climbing stairs and performing CPR on his patients. He battled to kneel down next to them, and carrying patients out of their homes was problematic to say the least. He now scales flights of stairs with ease, is able to perform CPR effectively, can kneel down next to his patients looking them in the eyes, and has no issue with carrying them to the ambulance if need be. His cholesterol has dropped down to a perfect 4.7, and his blood pressure is normal. When asked to describe his Weigh-Less journey in two words, Marius stated that it facilitated a healthy lifestyle to follow and relish for the rest of his life. With this newly-obtained confidence instilled within him, Marius feels as though he can conquer the world. He now wears the clothes he has always wanted to wear, takes his shirt off wherever he may find himself without feeling self-conscious about his appearance, and is more confident when conversing with the people around him.

Achieving his goals.

Marius claims that, “My social life has been given a welcomed injection, as I now feel more comfortable to go out into public and meet new people.” Marius has allowed Weigh-Less to become part of his social life, taking friends and family who need the programme to sign up and begin their own personal journeys to holistic wellness.

“ Weigh-Less does in fact work, no matter who you are. Age is irrelevant, as the Eating Plan is tailored to the Member’s specific dietary requirements.” Although Marius does warn that in order to succeed, in anything really, large doses of dedication and discipline are necessary. For the days he has these in short supply, his fellow Group Members are there to keep him on track. Marius still weighs in once a week, despite only having to once every four weeks. When asked about the role his Group Meetings played in his achieving Goal Weight, Marius simply said that, “we are a family, and like most families we are there for each other – working for the common good of each and every person. Yes, losing weight was what I came here to achieve – but I have received so much more than that from these wonderful people”.

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