Big Pun, Potter go from big to small.
The topic of wellness especially weight loss normally centres around women yet so many men have been and still are on the same gruelling path in search of their six pack.
In a society where people freely pass their comment, one’s personal journey of weight loss can be turned into a spectacle, riddled with both encouraging and dismissive comments.
Voice Woman shares the journey of two men who know too well both ends of being big and small.
“I was not always big, in fact growing up, I was a skinny child but as the years went on I gained weight. It was not a big deal as I was said to be “fresh” and as an adult I was your typical carefree corporate executive who was under the illusion that being obese is a sign of opulence, so I started exercising and detoxing my body with a Green Detox drink mix. I did not give my physique or my overall health much thought, ” shares Francistown born and raised, 34 -year -old banker Harold Matenge.
The Man United and Formula One fan had a change of heart following a routine check-up.
“ My previous employer had a policy that all managerial staff do annual medical check-ups and that’s where I got a rude awakening. My blood pressure was at record high levels and my heart was surrounded by so much fat it was struggling to keep me going. Shockingly I was ignorant to all of this though from time to time the tell-tale signs were there, the occasional sharp chest pains, struggles with breathing, etc.
“Potter” as many of his friends call him realised he needed to make some changes. He was certain that wellness was getting the right balance between physical and mental health and so his journey began. Though he admits that he has not reached his ideal weight he says he is just about there.
“It took a little over 16 months of commitment, discipline, and listening to my wife and her instructions. I gave up my power and allowed myself to learn from those that meant well. It was not always easy to make the right food choices and exercise but I soldiered on. It has become a way of life for me and it has been my greatest investment.”
Matenge admits that his well sculptured physique has come with benefits of being spoilt for choice when it comes to his wardrobe and the massive confidence boost.
“I don’t just get amazed looks but I feel and look at the top of my game. I attribute most of this to my number one fan, my ace and best friend; my wife Boipelo. I still rely on her to guide our lifestyles and we both enjoy our training sessions. We encourage each other and have fun at it. I also have a Personal Trainer, and I am an avid spinning enthusiast. My diet consists of oats, fat free yoghurt, meat, vegetables and I do indulge in starch especially on Fridays.”
Although physically he has changed he says he is still the humble lad from Bluetown who seeks to inspire others to live better.
“All you need is commitment and discipline. Oh yes, and to listen to your partner/ spouse. Believe me they mean well when they change our diets.”
Kagiso Kwelagobe is a 33- year -old, fun loving, ambitious, passionate son of God from Molepolole born and raised in Gaborone.
“I am an entrepreneur with business interests in various entities most notably Prophalt Botswana, a roads maintenance company of fairly recent inception which has reshaped the maintenance of roads in Botswana.
“Wellness is an important commodity in our lives. It is the fuel that drives everything and anything that enables a human being to function at their most optimum levels. To accomplish my life plans I needed the overhaul.”
Kgwelagobe underwent a procedure called Gastric Bypass. It is a surgery that assists you in weight loss and it entails changing how your stomach handles the food you eat.
“The procedure reduces your stomach in size resulting in you getting full quickly with less food. My ideal weight is 90kg, but my state of mind to lose the weight resulted in me overtaking that target and I now stand at 86Kg.”
Kgwelagobe says there is no difference between the Kagiso then and the Kagiso now.
“ The way I see it, it’s purely aesthetics. It’s the same soul, the same mind, the same heart, the same love. Those are ingredients that make Kagiso. However I feel like people don’t quite understand how much of an asset being healthy is. It truly has a positive impact on everything, mind, spirit and soul. That results in one having a completely different outlook of life purely because of one’s state of being. To be honest, I had suffered and toiled for so long setting up businesses with no success.”
“However having a “never give up” attitude paid off, my business partner and I finally got a break that paved the way for us to transform our company to one of the most recognizable brands in the market to date. That achievement gave me a renewed confidence that one can achieve whatever they put their mind to. So I then took the same focus, strength and passion that I had put into business and put it into my health, the results are equally overwhelming.”
To remain on track Kgwelagobe says: “I have all the support I could ever ask for; from family, my absolutely loving and stunning girlfriend and my ever encouraging friends.”
It’s been more than two years since Kgwelagobe embarked on a healthy regime.
Even though he admits he has not changed as what you see is what you get, he alludes to some benefits of being healthier and of a smaller frame.
“You have no idea how good it feels to fit in an aeroplane seat and drop down the meal tray without inconveniencing your neighbor next to you. The option to take the stairs in any building is indeed great,” he chuckles. Despite this milestone, Kgwelagobe says the response he received following his weight loss was bitter sweet.
“Bitter in the sense that there is a general perception towards sudden weight loss, people have the tendency to draw up their own undesirable conclusions which results in them arriving at their own independent diagnosis of the sudden loss in weight. Sweet in the sense that the pride and joy I witnessed in the eyes of those close to my heart made it all worth it.
Kgwelagobe urged everyone to make an effort in adopting a positive and healthy approach to life.
“Once the mind has cast its net on a particular vision, it is very difficult to deter it. You get accustomed to leading a healthy lifestyle that you realize that it is still ok to have a burger or pizza now and again…just not everyday.(And not a whole pizza). Although he follows a healthy regime that entails eating six portions a day he admits to a weakness like many of us. “I make sure that at least twice a week I indulge in a Twix Chocolate.”
Kgwelagobe’s typical meal plan
B/Fast: Two boiled eggs, slice of ham, sun dried tomatoes and some grated cheese
11am: Packet of nuts/almonds and some biltong
Lunch: Lamb chops (3 Pieces) with vegetables
3pm: An apple or orange
Dinner Chicken salad with low fat dressing
“In the evenings I walk around the block occasionally, but my exercises involve consistently taking the stairs as opposed to taking the lift when I visit office parks.