2017 – My Year in Review

2017 was supposed to be the year of adjustment for us. Having relocated to Gauteng in September 2016, the plan was to take things slowly, settle in and find our feet in the City of Gold. Life however, had other plans for us and we hit the ground running (both literally and figuratively).

When I set out on my weightloss journey on the 4th of January 2017, all I ever had in mind was losing weight and improving my health. That was it, the goal was pretty simple. So I did the New Years resolution thing and the kids and I joined the gym. I mean, who really continues gyming after the first two to three months anyways?!?! Well, I did. We gymed 6 days a week and this became our everyday normal. There were no excuses and it felt great to be exercising again. I started becoming obsessed with exercise and never missed a session. If you were looking for me at 5am on Saturdays and Sundays, you would have to find me at the gym where I spent no less than 2 hours training.

I initially considered a personal trainer but later opted to see a biokineticist instead. My weak core and issues with my back meant I needed to focus on those areas before anything else.  Tasneem designed a training program specific to my needs and wants, and after a few short weeks I was no longer experiencing any back pain.  I was losing centimeters and gaining muscle.  Yay for gains!!!

Progress not Perfection

Thanks to my friend Heidi Shrive, I attempted running.  She got me to join her for a night run at Steyn City.  I did the race because I hadn’t seen my friend in years and was more excited to see her than to actually run, but I was prepared to take one for the team all in the name of friendship.  Now let me tell you that I absolutely hated running. I didn’t get it. My mind refused to even consider the possibility of running. I guess my hatred for running stemmed from my days in the Airforce were I was forced to run for 3 months straight while being shouted and screamed at. (I don’t take to well to being ordered around). On a side note, I think I need to write a blog about my experiences with basic military training. Anyways, I went from that one night run with Heidi (best decision ever) to weekly Parkrun’s and 5km races. I started out walking a 5km in just over an hour, to achieving personal bests week after week with my best time being 40.59.

Jumping for joy after completing the Discovery Run Series with a PB

I stuck to my diet like a legend and consumed no carbs and sugars. I also gave up alcohol and in 4 short months I had achieved insane results. My approach to eating was aggressive and not something I would be able to maintain long term because I’m a foodie through and through.  After several months I adopted a more sustainable 80/20 approach to my eating. Everything in moderation!

Jan to April 2017 Progress Pics

Just as I was hitting my stride, I fell ill. In May I was experiencing a lot of pain and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was really frustrated because the pain was impacting my energy levels, moods and training. After several days in hospital I was discharged with the fact that the doctors thought I had cancer and were awaiting the results for the associated tests. I was pissed off to say the least and despite being sick and in a tremendous amount of pain, I decided to do the Discovery 947 Run. My Instagram post read “Despite being sick and in a lot of pain, tonight I needed to do this race. I needed to remind myself that I’m no quitter, that I don’t lose and that I’ve overcome so many obstacles. So whatever the future may hold, I will take it in my stride and I will be okay!!!”

Discovery 947 Run smashed!!!

So its turns out it wasn’t cancer after all, but the doctors did thankfully find the cause of my pain. I had this huge cyst which had to be removed. It meant an operation which inadvertently meant no training or running.  This was a huge set-back and I wasn’t eating right either.  I guess I was feeling sorry for myself, but that meant I had put on 5kg.  As much as this was a set-back, it was also a wake up call.  It made me realise that life is never going to be perfect.  It has its ups and downs, and set-backs are actually the things that make us stronger.

I had the operation in July which saw me celebrate my 3rd wedding anniversary in hospital.  Exciting right , well actually yes!  I’m blessed with amazing friends and I just want to say, “Thanks Sonya for making that a special day for us.  We really really appreciate it.  Love your stacks!”  Balloons, flowers, yummy food and non-alcoholic bubbly sealed the deal and we had an awesome anniversary dinner despite being in hospital.

I started training as soon as I received the all clear from my doctors.  I went back to gyming, running and attended many cool events like Fit Night Out and Muddy Princess.    Due to time constraints imposed by my mummy duties, I moved from exercising at the gym to home workouts.  I had no intention of slowing down and there was no room or time for excuses.   Then Woolworths started the #startswith challenge in September and I was keen to give the challenge a shot.  It was a truly amazing experience where I learnt to find balance in my life.  Below is my submission for the last challenge that pretty much summed up my #starstwith experience.

View this post on Instagram

Dear @woolworths_sa and my #startswithme fitfam. Words enough cant express how truly grateful l am for the past 7 weeks of pure inspiration, motivation and encouragement. This has been a life changing experience which has impacted my life in the most remarkable. . Ive learnt so much more than what l could squeeze into those 30 seconds 😅😅 but l hope you enjoy this video and how the #startswith challenge has helped me . Dear Tracey aka @fitnessgirl_za you have been a rockstar of a motivator. Thank you for being so inspiring, motivating and givingof yourself . Keep at it lovelies because "YOU GOT THIS" . Much love … FitLikeMummy 😘😘😘 . #fit #fitness #keepingfit #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney #fitfam #fitmom #weight #weightloss #weightlossmotivation #weightlossjourney #dedication #commitment #routine #homeworkout #hiit #exercise #fitspo #fitspiration #noexcuses #health #healthspo #healthylife #workout #workoutmotivation

A post shared by Natasha Kisten-Skuce (@fitlikemummy) on

I turned 40 in October and I was rather chuffed with myself.  Over the year I’ve lost 15kg and I went from a size 44 to size 38.  I have learnt to prioritize myself and I am living my best life.  I made the lifestyle change that improved my health, self-esteem and well-being.  Best of all I stuck to the promise I had made to myself and hit the beach in a bikini. No sarong, shorts or long t-short to hide my body.  Turning 40 saw me realise that self-love is the key to happiness and a well-balanced life.  I don’t give a shit what people think about my appearance (wait, did I ever??).  Okay so let me rephrase that  …. I don’t give a shit about the so-called perfect body.  I don’t have any intentions about waiting to be the right size or right weight or right anything.  I’m perfect at this very moment, jiggly thighs, stretch-marks and all.  I am immensely happy with who I am.  I’m prouder than ever of myself for persevering and achieving so much in just 12 months.

2017 wasn’t only about the serious stuff like lifestyle changes, fitness and weightloss.  It was also about adventuring.  We definitely are that family who’s constantly chasing the next adventure and we love exploring our country.  Here are some pics of what we got up to this year

Through this journey I’ve met so many inspirational and amazing people who have truly motivated me.  I’m so so appreciative for these connections and absolutely love this federation of strong women.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank my family and friends for their amazing support this year.  I really couldn’t have done this without you.  Just know that there will be no letting up as we will be hitting 2018 harder than ever.  2018  will be the year we achieve our full potential while we live our best lives.

Happy New Year FitFam

Much Love


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