My name is Khayelihle Sabelo Malimba, I am a 22-year-old engineering student at the University of Pretoria. I am also a self-employed business man. Between my studies and my business, it has always been hard finding time to squeeze in a workout. It was only when I began changing my mindset about fitness that I started realizing that making excuses would not get me the body I’ve always desired.
For me fitness had not always been about understanding what effectively makes a body healthy, the right way to fuel one’s body, or the release of endorphins that comes with exercising. And I had not always seen the gym as place to push myself beyond the limits.
As a child I had an unhealthy relationship with food and thus I battled with weight. I was overweight for most of my adolescent age, which led to feelings of discomfort in my own skin as well as self-consciousness. I played sports, but I didn’t like it. My involvement in sports was all in hopes that my weight would drop but I continued my unhealthy eating habits. I followed many diets and momentarily those diets produced results that I was happy with, but somehow, I would always go back to my unhealthy habits and find myself right where I had started.
When I found the USN Makeover Challenge I was at a point in my life where I was unhappy with what I was seeing every time I looked at the mirror. I wanted to change and not only for a short while, but I wanted to make a change that allowed me to maintain its results, the USN Body Makeover Challenge therefore felt like a stepping stone into making a lifelong improvement. The beginning of the challenge was difficult as I had to make a commitment to change and stick to it, this took me out of my comfort zone. As the challenge progressed I began to fall in love with fitness, I started to understand my body better, the science behind it all as well as what it can achieve. Fitness not only became a hobby for me but a way of life.
When my Mom became ill, I knew I wanted to live a healthier life, to understand my body better and treat it the best I can, because I started to realize how everything that happens to our bodies is highly affected by what we feed our body as well as whether or not we exercise our body.
Staying disciplined and committed took a lot of motivation and my biggest motivator was my mother, she is the true definition of hard work pays off. When I look back at my mom’s life I realize that she didn’t grow up in very favourable circumstances, but she did not let her situation and upbringing limit her ability to work hard and succeed. She taught me that regardless of the obstacle you may encounter or the environment that you are in, hard work and determination will always pay off. So, whenever I am in despair or have self-doubt she is a constant reminder that anything is possible just as long as you put in the work.
The second thing that motivated me to continue putting in the work were results, the more I saw an improvement on my body as well as my overall health, the more I wanted to achieve more. I wanted to push myself beyond the boundaries that I had originally created for myself.
The USN Body Makeover Challenge truly helped me become goal orientated and result driven, it gave me a different outlook on life and what a fit and healthy lifestyle entails. It introduced me to a whole know world of health that I wasn’t aware of. I can safely say that because of the USN Body Makeover I am now a better version of myself, I am focused and disciplined, and these are lifelong skills that I will carry with me as I continue to better myself, and better the lives of those around me who want to find themselves as I did. I have now found what I believe to be my purpose in life, and I will carry this experience as I attempt to help others make better and healthier life choices. This is my way of playing my part, changing the world one body at a time!
Body Makeover 2017/18 Finalist
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