Stacey Holland has never been the kind of girl to step away from a challenge. The sassy Sunrise sports anchor left her successful career as a banker to pursue a career in broadcasting. “I decided to pursue a personal goal. Although I loved working at Investec, I knew that I needed to take the risk and so I took a yearlong spiritual hiatus. A year later I was deciding whether I would go back into the corporate world and an amazing opportunity arose: the chance to audition for what was then known as the eNews Channel, now eNCA, as a sport anchor,” She tells us.
“I had no media experience but loved sport, was quite a sporty girl in school and have always wanted to be a presenter so I prepared as best I could and went for it! Debora Patta gave the OK and that’s how my media journey began!”
When she decided to change her body in February she did it with the same vigour. Stacey has always been an active girl but a car accident when she was in University left her with debilitating back pain and unable to exercise. “I excelled at sport in school and constantly being the ‘new girl’ in school—because my parents travelled a lot due to work—sport allowed me to settle in, develop friendships and meet the most amazing people!” she says.
Which is why she was devastated when she couldn’t exercise anymore. “There’s a proverb that says ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick’, when you train and all you feel is pain and you see no improvement in your physique it knocks your hope to achieve results. “
As someone who has always looked very toned and healthy the subsequent weight gain left her feeling depressed and demotivated. And after years of being dissatisfied with her body the 29-year-old decided it was time to make a change. Stacy shares her journey to her new body.
When and why did you decide that you want to change your body?
We can either choose to react to life or respond to it. Reacting always leads to making excuses as to why you can’t do something: I wake up too early, I go to bed too late, I have kids, I have dogs, I don’t have money, I don’t have time! Responding to life is underpinned by the understanding that we are empowered every second of every day to make of life what we choose to. It’s understanding that every single person in this life has 24hours; all of us have to face some form of challenge.
I was at a stage in my life where I was just going with the flow. I was reacting to what was happening in my life. I wasn’t eating healthy because I believed it was more expensive to do so, I wasn’t exercising because I ‘didn’t have the time’ but I have always been a very self-motivated person and I got tired of not looking the way I was used to looking and feeling the way I was used to feeling: healthy!
Last year I created a vision board of things I wanted to achieve in my life and getting back into shape was one of my goals. I had reached a tipping point and decided to do something about it! It’s amazing that the first step is always the decision to change. Not flirting or considering the idea but committing to it! After that, it’s amazing how things fall into place and the internal motivation either kicks in or surges to another level!
What programme did you use to get into the shape you’re in today and what did it entail?
I trained with a personal trainer, Carol Anthony, at the St Stithians HPC in Randburg. I had two personal training sessions with her per week and attended a kettle bell class with her on a Saturday mornings. But eating healthy is what got me to where I am today.
Drinking more water, eating six small meals a day, cutting out all junk food or having only one cheat meal per week, and making smarter food choices. You can train all you want but if your eating is not up to scratch you will not see results or they won’t be as drastic as they could be!
How long did it take you to achieve your current level of fitness?
A good 6 months. I was never looking for a quick fix. I wanted real, sustainable change. Only by doing something consistently over a period of time can you break bad habits. You could probably get a new body in a couple of weeks, getting a new mindset takes a little longer!
Are satisfied with how you look or are the things you still want to change?
I have always been content with my body but knowing that there is room for improvement applies to my new physique as well. I would like to tone my legs a little more but other than that I am satisfied with my shape. Areas of improvement lie in my fitness: improving my 5k running time, working towards competing in a triathlon or even a fitness competition. These are the type of goals I have now set out for myself.
What is the best part about your new body?
Physically my abs and my arms, I have never been this lean and this toned!
What keeps you motivated?
My before pictures! LOL, pictures of fitness athletes motivate and inspire me as well as constantly challenging myself (e.g. taking part in events like Nike’s We Run Jozi Media Challenge or Reebok’s United We Stand CrossFit Celeb Challenge). Stagnation is tantamount to regression. My before pictures serve as reminder that if I let go in my mind, that’s exactly where I’ll regress to.
When and why did you decide to start your fitness blog and share your journey with other people?
I met Lauren Leigh Porter from Body Beautiful South Africa in 2011 and she asked me to be a part of a celebrity fitness challenge. when the challenge kicked off in February I didn’t document the process besides taking a before picture, however as my body began to change people asked me about what I was doing, where I was doing it and how, so I thought it just made sense to share the experience via my blog www.staceyholland.co.za.
Education is the key to success in any area of your life and it starts with information. Many people are reluctant to share information because if I know more than you it immediately makes me superior to you. Having experienced this throughout my career I have always chosen to share as much information with people as I possibly can —you open a door for someone, a door must be opened for you!
Has the way people treat you changed?
Yes! People are more open to me, perhaps because I shared the process with them. It’s not easy to share before pictures with everyone and although I consider myself warm and friendly my openness has made people warm up to me even more! I also feel a sense of respect when I chat about health, wellness and fitness because I am living proof that the process works. Many people have told me that I have inspired them and that is the greatest compliment!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to change their body?
Make the decision to change and to drop the excuses! Once you’ve changed your mindset you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve! Be prepared! Plan, plan and plan!
What are some of your other interests besides sport and fitness?
I am an ambassador for a dynamic NGO: The 4Change Foundation. I am the Editor-In-Chief for the organisation’s magazine— 4Change Mag. The magazine is aimed at inculcating a culture of reading in the communities we work with the ultimate aim of producing a fundamental mindset change within our youth. I am working on my golf game—my hubby is pro so it’s in my best interest to do so! I love reading and have a couple of business ventures in the pipeline!