Woman loses 100 kg and is “still far from done”

“I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want the whole world to know!”

Janja Wills, 33, has close to 6 000 followers on Instagram. She is a source of inspiration and wants to motivate others by sharing her success. Three years and six months ago she decided to change her life for the better. She remembers sitting on the couch eating bread, realizing she wants to change her life. “For a moment it felt as if I was having a heart attack. It just hit me: I’ve reached a turning point in my life.”

Wills is the mother of a seven-year-old girl. The two of them live in Kempton Park in Gauteng and she runs her own business named Freshly Veg.

She doesn’t believe in diet pills, diets or supplements and shed an astonishing 100 kg by just “getting active”.

“You tend to get so used to your body when you’re that big. You get used to uncomfortably tossing and turning at night. You make peace with the fact that you can’t walk more than a few hundred meters without panting.”

The biggest reason behind Wills’s decision to change her life, was her little girl. Zinike, 7, was four years old when her mother decided to get rid of her excess fat. Wills said she wanted to be a part of her child’s life. “I wanted to be able to play outside with her and just enjoy life. I no longer wanted to be the reason for her friends staring and whispering when I pick her up after school. She was and still is my motivation not to give up.”

Marek Zaldo, Wills’s personal trainer and friend, is the person who made it possible for Wills to continuously push through. “From the beginning I could always count on Marek. Every Sunday we took a walk around the block. During these hikes, I shared most of my inner feelings with him. The fact that I could talk about what bothered me and had someone who supported me, saved me from the abyss. “

Wills said that the daily walks through her neighborhood, together with her slow and steady adjustment to her diet was enough to lose the 100 kg.

“There is a reason behind every overweight body. There is a reason behind the eating. In my case, these reasons were things from my past. I was a shy kid and never talked about these things. Everyone deals with baggage in different ways. Others use drugs or drink. I devoured up to four loaves of bread a day.”

In the early stages of her transformation, Zadlo advised Wills to get rid of whatever was going on in her heart. He told her as soon as she made peace inside, it would be visible on the outside.

The only thing that stands in Wills’s way and daily reminds her of her overweight days is the loose, excess skin she carries. “I got approved for the surgery to remove the extra skin, but because of financial reasons, it’s nearly impossible. Can you believe the operation costs R138 000?”

Except for the excess skin, she’s not quite satisfied with her body yet. She aspires to become one of South Africa’s top fitness models. She wants to use her story of transformation to show others that it is possible to lose weight without diets or pills. “Changing small things in your life might just change everything for you!”

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