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Nikiwe Bikitsha’s Aha! Moment

- Article by Lauren Mc Comb, The Oprah Magazine (May, 2011)

Nikiwe Bikitsha

Nikiwe Bikitsha

It wasn’t until I saw a promotion that CNBC Africa had done for our coverage of the Polokwane conference [in 2007] that I realised how overweight I had become. I thought, Are those my hips? Obviously, TV adds a bit of bulk, but I still couldn’t believe that was me. It was a few months before I would turn 30, and I knew I didn’t want to stay like that. Suddenly, the possibility of being a frumpy 30-year-old seemed like a nightmare I was headed towards. It had never been my intention to gain so much weight, but when I had my son five years ago, it piled on. After his birth, I swam and walked on the treadmill; I did everything I was advised to do, but stayed big. I lost the weight eventually, but there were five kilograms that just wouldn’t budge. I ended up making peace with them, but over the years, without me even noticing, another five joined the party. The shock of seeing my hips that day spurred me into stepping into a gym. I approached the first guy I saw that resembled a personal trainer: “How much do you cost, and when can we start?” I demanded.

My desperation to not be fat at 30 led me to consider other goals. I had reached this milestone age with the career I had always wanted, but I knew this was not all I desired for myself. There were so many other boxes to tick, so I set about revisiting my abandoned dreams. But my primary focus was to lose weight, so I prayed for strength and hit the treadmill five times a week.

To my surprise, as the kilograms dropped off, so other areas of my life began to change, too. Before, I didn’t have the energy to complete my to-do list. Now I know time was never the problem. With my renewed motivation, I’m finding the hours to study towards my honours degree in journalism, be a hands-on mother, read realms of research for work and (goodness!) maintain a social life!

When I turned 30 in May 2008, it was a celebration of my new-found drive and confidence. Seven months later, I have defined muscles and I can run 10 kilometres. I’ve reconnected with the promises I made to myself and the ambitions of my starry-eyed earlier years. But my happiness doesn’t just come from the veneer of looking good – it comes from how I feel.

I am invigorated by the realisation that there is so much to savour.

- Article by Lauren Mc Comb, The Oprah Magazine (May, 2011)