Tracey-Lee Lusty has turned her weight loss battle into inspiring a healthy lifestyle in others. Picture: Supplied
A Cape Town fitness and health blogger Tracey-Lee Lusty has turned her battle with weight loss into a tool of inspiration for others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Like many who want to lose weight, Lusty, 25, has struggled with weight loss until she had a health scare.

She started a blog, Fitnessgirl, where she shares how she battled with her weight for most of her life.

She has tried fat-free and high-fat diets. But since she dropped the fad diets for a healthy lifestyle Lusty has seen a more sustainable weight loss.

Some 18 months after changing to a healthy lifestyle, she has lost more than 30kg, and now she is using social media to inspire others.

The fitness guru now has 15 000 followers on her Instagram page, where she shares her inspirational stories of weight loss and motivates others to shed extra kilograms.

We spoke to her to find out how she did it and how she maintains her new lifestyle.

Who are you, and how did your weight-loss journey start?

I am an attorney from Cape Town. I also own the brand, Fitnessgirl, which comprises a website blog and a successful Instagram account.

I have battled with my weight for much of my life but my weight problems became a serious health concern in 2016, when I was pushing 120kg. Throughout my life I was what you term a serial “yo-yo dieter”. I have tried every single fad diet out there. I have had periods in my life where I have been very thin, and other periods where I have been very big.

But it wasn’t too serious until my weight spun out of control during my articles of clerkship and I knew I had to make a serious commitment to change my life. I was pre-diabetic and struggling to do basic tasks like walk a couple of metres without breaking a sweat. It was very humiliating when walking with clients to and from court and not being able to hold a conversation with them.

ROLE MODEL: Tracey-Lee Lusty has turned her weight loss battle into inspiring a healthy lifestyle in others.

What is the Fitnessgirl concept all about?

I started my Instagram account (@fitnessgirl_za) as a commitment device to hold myself accountable and to track my transformation. I never intended it to get the attention that it has received over the past 19 months. I am so humbled that my story has resonated so much with so many people. Initially, I used Fitnessgirl to share my weight loss results. But it was only when I really started opening up about the struggles, the real life issues, and the hardships that come with being overweight, that people really started listening and following with keen interest.

Today, the Fitnessgirl mantra is really about loving your body through every season. So whether you are 100kg or 50kg, self-love starts within.

The goal posts have recently shifted from a weight-loss space to include not only weight loss and progress, but to also inspire women to love and appreciate their bodies no matter what their size, as long as they are committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle.

What is your daily exercise and diet like?

At the moment I am following a 12-week programme, and I’m on week nine, having already lost more than 30kg. The aim of these past four months has been to try build as much lean muscle mass as possible and try to “tone up” as much as I can.

I keep my diet quite balanced. I don’t believe in cutting out “carbs” or any food group, for that matter. Our bodies need everything in moderation. I have a healthy dose of fruit and veggies in my diet.

For breakfast, I keep it lean with an egg white omelette, tomatoes and mushroom. For lunch I usually have a tuna or chicken salad and for dinner I’ll keep it lean again with some fish and veggies. In between snacks include fruit and protein shakes. Exercise-wise, I like to do 30-40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day, followed by 30-45 minutes of heavy weight training.

What is the most important aspect when trying to lose weight?

You have to make the commitment every single day. You can’t stick to your diet for 4/7 days and think that that is going to cut it. It’s not. Losing weight needs to be the highest thing on your priority list. It is something that needs your undivided attention. Preparing your own meals and limiting eating out is key to weight loss, too.

What keeps you motivated?

My progress and knowing I am inspiring a nation of women. There is nothing more motivating than seeing the results of all your hard work staring back at you in the mirror. It makes all the early mornings, late nights and hours of food prepping worth it.

What fitness trends do you love?

At the moment I am loving that the concept of fitness is moving away from being confined to a select few “enthusiasts” or “athletes”, to a more inclusive concept offering something to suit every person’s lifestyle. I love that I am seeing more women in the weights section at the gym and there is a move towards group fitness vs one-on-one training.

Does the mind contribute to weight loss?

Our minds have the power to help us achieve anything If I didn’t make the serious commitment to change my life mentally, I would never have been able to follow through physically.

Your final words?

Start now If you’re serious about changing your life, only you can make that commitment.