‘How I lost 36 kg in a year’: YOU reader shares her story

Tamaryn Muniz. Photos: Supplied

Tamaryn Muniz. Photos: Supplied

Losing weight is an issue most women have dealt with at least once in their life.

Quick-fix diets offering instant results or herbal teas that supposedly suppress the appetite – they’re readily available and accessible on the market.

But often, these quick-fixes lead to rapid results that are short-lived.

Sometimes, old school is the only way to go.

Tamaryn Muniz (37), from Johannesburg, decided to fix her weight problem the good old fashioned way: healthy eating and exercise.


Here is her story:

“Growing up, I was never overweight. In school, I was the slender girl with the banging bod that every other girl wished they had. I was an athlete – I never stopped running or doing sports!

My food was controlled by my parents. Up until I left home, my mum still dished my food and I would eat whatever was on my plate. I never asked for more because your dished portion was your meal and it should be sufficient. At 19, I moved into a flat of my own.

That was when the problems with my weight started.  Suddenly, I could eat anything I wanted, portions were not controlled and, well, it was easier to get takeaways or even eat a whole pot of whatever creamy concoction it was that I made.

That, coupled with zero exercise, loads of alcohol, partying basically every night and not caring what I put into my mouth saw the weight come piling on.

Strangely enough, not once did I caution myself on the increase in clothing size whenever I had gone shopping.

A few years later, I met my husband, got married and had 3 gorgeous children.

I joined a weight-loss programme countless times. Within six months I lost around 12kg. I was so chuffed!

My success on the scales was short-lived and I always fell off the bandwagon again.

For 12 years I journeyed through this Start and Fail dynamic repeatedly; fad diets, tablets – you name and I had probably tried it.

Eight years ago, I injured my spinal cord while playing netball. I slipped 3 discs, which were in a complete prolapsed state and for 6 years I fought to avoid needing a spinal fusion.

The pain was so intense that I couldn’t dress. My six-year-old had to help me dress when my husband wasn’t home. I eventually decided that I needed some sort of surgery.

Two years ago I underwent the surgery.  Exactly 19 staples were put in my back. I underwent the recovery, only to find my back wasn’t healing – it was worse! Demotivation and pain were my constant companions.

I revisited my surgeon and his words were: shed weight or you’ll need a spinal infusion.

A spinal infusion was the one procedure I fought against.

I knew I had to do something.


One night, while out for dinner, a friend and I were chatting.  She mentioned a personal trainer she went to who really helped her on her journey a few years back.

She suggested I accompany her to one of his classes, see if I like it and then make a decision on joining.

I will never forget the day: 16 May 2016 I walked into the gym and my life did a complete 180.

I learned that there’s always a way to get something done if you really want to.

Excuses are a delay tactic. I stopped making excuses and made the change!

I lost 36kg in 12 months with sheer determination, dedication and discipline. A good support system is also imperative. Without my loving husband, Eric, and my dear mother-in-law Beverley, I would never have been able to achieve it.

I hope my story inspires you to make that change.”

This is how I did it:

  • 05h00 – cardio session for 30 minutes (high intensity where my heart rate is above 80%)
  • 07h30 – meal 1 (consisting of oats and egg whites with grapefruit or a smoothie with berries and yoghurt and whey protein)
  • 10h30 – meal 2 (chicken or fish with veg and rice)
  • 13h00 – meal 3 (chicken or fish with veggies like butternut or sweet potato)
  • 14h30 – meal 4 (fish and veg)
  • 17h00 – meal 5 (mince or lean steak with salad)
  • 18h45 – gym session (consisting of weight training with my coach for 45 minutes)
  • 20h00 – meal 6 (tuna and salad or steak and veg)