I was told that I would look fat in my wedding photographs. I will remember that comment for the rest of my life.

For Ashley, 22-years-old and over 100kgs, this was the turning point. She knew that she had to change her relationship with food and her lifestyle dramatically. A diet wasn’t going to cut it. Simply eliminating sugar and carbohydrates wasn’t working. She needed much more than a crash-diet that wasted her time and compromised her health.

This is how the happily married legal receptionist found herself on Genoeg – a television programme that is broadcast on VIA, DSTV Channel 147.  Launched on 15 January and airing until 9 April, the show follows the journey of 13 contestants who are put on The Diet Everyone Talks About, a scientific carbohydrate controlled 10-week lifestyle programme. Health experts Gert Coetzee – pharmacist and founder of The Diet Everyone Talks About and Pierre Spies – a performance coach and personal training specialist provide guidance to these participants on how to live healthy lives, while making sustainable and effective food choices.

So effective is this guidance that Ashley shed an impressive 7kg and 8.8% of her body mass throughout the process. Not only does she feel lighter and more self-confident, but she no longer struggles with migraines or energy dips.

“I am ready to take on my day-to-day life with plenty of energy,” she says.

While Ashley had tried to change her lifestyle before the show began, Genoeg was the support that she needed to reach her goal weight. She says, “The show gave me the assistance that I did not have in my day-to-day life. I got help from professionals.”

Before the show, Ashley had finished her matric year with a shocking diagnosis: a tumour had been found in her neck. She was put on all sorts of medication and was emotional and stressed out. Before she knew it, her weight had ballooned by 40kg. She says, “This emotionally destroyed my self-confidence. I went from being a bubbly person to being quiet and withdrawn. Weight can destroy a person’s life.”

After being hospitalised for over six months and then discharged, Ashley began to lose some of the weight. But it was Genoeg that gave her the guidance that she needed to keep going. Not only did she reach a healthy weight, but when she married her high school sweetheart, she was not in the least bit concerned about how ‘fat’ she might look in her wedding photos.

“My family cannot stop talking about,” Ashley explains, “Most of my family members saw me last when I weighed over 100kgs and then saw me for the first time just before my wedding. They were amazed at my weight loss.”

Following this weight loss, Ashley feels more comfortable around people, her friends are amazed and brag about her to others, while her relationship with her husband has become stronger. She’s also thriving at work, because her company values fitness and health. She laughs, “Losing weight has only put me in the good books!”

It was with the support of her husband, family and friends, however, that Ashley could achieve such incredible results. While she would like to lose a few more kilograms, she knows that she will maintain her healthy weight easily by being on The Diet Everyone Talks About.

Even better is that while Ashley has always done resistance training, cardio and weight exercises, she now has energy for even more exercise. Following the show, she has also maintained a personal trainer who she says trains her hard.

Genoeg is the inspiration that many South Africans need, showing how people like Ashley can achieve incredible results with little effort. She says, “The diet was not difficult to follow and learning new ways of cooking and preparing food was really great. There was plenty of choice, which could be managed on a budget of R1500 a month for two people.”

With delicious recipes on the menu such as mince muffins filled with mushrooms, spinach, onions and green peppers, there was also no going hungry.

She advises others who are looking to lose weight not to give up. “It’s not always easy, but it is so worth it. You can do anything that you set your mind to, but you have to find what works for you.”

Genoeg is broadcast on VIA, DSTV Channel 147 and plays every Monday at 17:30 with repeats on Sundays at 15:00.  There are different participants on the show every week.  The show airs from the 15th January 2018 until the 9th April 2018. For more information visit VIA.