‘I’m feeling good!’

Posted on 10 October 2014

"It’s taken me 10 years to figure out what a healthy body and lifestyle are all about."

- Lloyd Cele

When Idols veteran Lloyd Cele caught a glimpse of his chubbier side in a music video, he knew his life had to change – that’s when his young family and supportive wife gave him the boost he needed to shed 20kg.

Words Amanda Killick Photographs Ivok

It’s taken me 10 years to figure out what a healthy body and lifestyle are all about,’ says Lloyd Cele, top local musician, South African Music Award-winner and Idols season six runner-up. But he’s done it! With the help of his wife Janice and the support of his family and children Levi (5) and Zoey (2), the 31-year-old entertainer has shed 20kg and is on track to firming up, trimming down further and getting healthy.
This down-to-earth celeb’s journey to a more fit and slender physique began in 2001 when a bad bout of tuberculosis (TB) left Lloyd’s once bulky 1,7m frame thin and emaciated. ‘I’d just started studying at tech when I was diagnosed with TB. I was very sick and the disease ravaged my body,’ he says. ‘It’s like I just wasted away and was left skinny and weak. That’s when I decided I needed to start learning about how the body works and come up with a plan to get myself back up to a proper weight.’

Growing up in KwaMashu’s K-Section, and later Phoenix, in KwaZulu-Natal, Lloyd admits he had the wrong perception of what a good body should look like. ‘All the guys I knew were eating huge amounts of carbs six times a day and lifting heavy weights at the gym to build bulk,’ he says. ‘So I wrongly believed that’s how you create a healthy body.
‘I don’t come from a “fat” family but I watched my granny pass away from the after-effects of two strokes, which, I’m told, were brought on as a consequence of being obese – she was basically bedridden because she was so big. I didn’t want that to happen to me.’

Lloyd also saw what the long-term effects of taking the wrong supplements could be. ‘The moment you stop training – whether it’s because it gets too expensive or you tire of the routine – you see the weight start piling on. At that point, I’d abandoned the gym but hadn’t changed my shockingly bad eating habits. By the time Idols came along, I had big biceps, but looked like a chubby round ball everywhere else.’

The last straw…
Lloyd says that Idols was an incredible experience but, where his weight was concerned, he was just getting bigger. ‘Wherever we went after Idols, to do shows, TV appearances, whatever, there was food available – and I ate like a king! I couldn’t help myself,’ he confesses. But, he says, it began to affect his performance – and confidence.‘I’ve always been athletic and sporty, and love to dance but I was getting so fat and unfit that shows were harder work than they should have been. I thought that because I was tall, the excess weight didn’t show so badly – that was until I saw myself on TV.

I weighed 103kg and had to admit I was fat! People had started to comment about it – even on Twitter – and it was getting more difficult to brush off the comments. That’s when Janice sat me down…’
In 2012, Janice had just given birth to daughter Zoey and suggested that they embark on a weight-loss programme together. ‘In the first month, she’d lost 4kg and it was so inspirational for me to see her being so disciplined,’ he says. ‘We didn’t join a gym or see a nutritionist; we just started reading up on healthy eating habits that included more proteins, raw salads and smoothies. The plan was the complete opposite of everything I’ve ever done, but it’s working.’

Today Lloyd has lost almost 20kg by increasing his activity level and watching what he eats. ‘My weight loss is 70% exercise, 30% diet. We have a small multifunctional home gym with a bicycle where I train for 30 minutes, three to four times a week, and I also run. I’ve learnt that discipline and consistency are key to weight loss. Don’t be too hard on yourself but set realistic goals – and be proud of any progress, no matter how small. If you think you’re too big, it’s vital to commit yourself to losing the extra weight. Take charge, get educated and get involved in changing your own life – no one is going to do it for you!’
Lloyd continues to maintain his weight loss, but says it’s difficult and ‘the weight creeps on without you realising it’. Then, it’s a matter of getting back on-programme. He also enjoys the boost in confidence and creativity that comes as a side effect of feeling good. He says: ‘I’m right where I’m supposed to be and enjoying every minute of my family and career. Janice and I are very aware that kids learn their eating habits and food choices from us, so we’re making sure to set a good example.’

The experts weigh in
Dr Kobus Hugo, a GP with a special interest in sports medicine, and Harry Wiltshire, a biokineticist, are both based at the Lowmed Health and Sport Performance Centre in West Acres, which is affiliated to Mediclinic Nelspruit. They’ve seen many overweight patients with similar stories to Lloyd’s kick-start their weight loss through simple lifestyle changes. Here’s their advice:

If you’re overweight, what problems or injuries can you expect when starting a weight-loss programme?
Visit your GP for a full medical checkup before starting any new long-term diet or lifestyle change. Overweight people often have underlying diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia and thyroid abnormalities that could influence their progress negatively. Patients over the age of 35 should also get a stress ECG to exclude underlying cardiac arterial disease.
The main issue that overweight patients have to overcome (aside from poor dietary choices) is that they’ve usually been inactive for an extended period of time and this has most likely left them with weak core muscle strength and poor posture. If you don’t ease into an exercise programme, you may sustain overuse injuries to the shoulder, lower back and shin splints, depending on the type of exercise programme you’re following.

What’s considered ‘healthy’ weight loss?
About 500g to 1kg per week or 2kg to 4kg per month is healthy and realistic. There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss and keeping it off – we advise patients to avoid taking any kind of appetite suppressants or natural weight-loss products without supportive research trials. Your old lifestyle caused you to gain weight, so it’s only logical that a lifestyle change will get you to lose weight again. Diet is one part of a healthy lifestyle, which should also include regular exercise, good sleeping patterns and a reduction in stress.

How many kilojoules should you eat in order to lose weight?

An important factor to consider in a kilojoule-controlled diet is to make sure that what you assume has few kilojoules in it, actually does. Eating healthy and eating fewer kilojoules are two different things. For example, fresh fruit is healthy but its sugar content will contribute greatly to your day’s kilojoule count. Rather seek professional nutritional advice to achieve your weight-loss goals.

The information provided in this article was correct at the time of publishing. At Mediclinic we endeavour to provide our patients and readers with accurate and reliable information, which is why we continually review and update our content. However, due to the dynamic nature of clinical information and medicine, some information may from time to time become outdated prior to revision.

Published in Exercise

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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