For two decades, Rebecca Adendorff carried a weight of over 100kg and struggled with her self-esteem, while relying on anti-depressants and avoiding her reflection in the mirror.
In April 2022, a pivotal moment occurred at her workplace as a Christchurch real estate agent when she noticed her shirt had come undone between the buttons. This was her breaking point, prompting her to declare, “I’ve had enough of this.” Fueled by sheer determination and supported by her family and friends, the 45-year-old has since shed an impressive 45kg, with running becoming her newfound passion.
Formerly a couch potato, she is now training for her very first official half-marathon, scheduled for the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon in November. Remarkably, she has also ceased taking anti-depressants and can now confidently face the camera with a smile.
Reflecting on her journey, Adendorff expressed a desire to have made this transformation earlier, though she acknowledges it might not have been possible without the necessary foundations.
Adendorff’s struggle with weight began in childhood, where she was often compared to her sister as “the chubby one.” Despite a healthy weight of 67kg in her early 20s, she began to gain weight, eventually reaching a peak of 119kg. Compounded by heart surgery at 19 and ongoing back issues, exercise was not part of her daily routine.
During her lowest moments, she would find solace in comfort foods like chips and excessive toast consumption. However, once she committed to change, she joined a boutique boxing gym, hoping that channeling her frustration into boxing would help. Her journey eventually led her to a run/walk program, which, though initially challenging, quickly became her primary form of exercise and an addiction she embraced.
However, the true key to her weight loss success was altering her mindset and adopting a healthier diet. Adendorff followed a calorie deficit diet, tailored to her daily activities. She made sure to eat her last meal before 4 pm, ensuring she didn’t go to bed on an empty stomach. She also transformed her eating habits, shifting from a minimal breakfast on weekdays to a larger breakfast, a moderate lunch, and a smaller dinner.
Alcohol and chips were eliminated from her diet, and her weight gradually dropped to 69kg by April. Adendorff allowed herself an occasional alcoholic drink and some indulgent treats, acknowledging that this transformation was more about a lifestyle change than a strict diet.
The results were remarkable, and small, unexpected changes had a significant impact. She no longer needed to lift her stomach to fasten a seatbelt, or lean forward to rise from the couch. Climbing stairs became effortless, and her back problems disappeared. She also took pride in her shapely legs.
Despite the challenges, Adendorff found running to be both enjoyable and mentally rewarding. She now runs for the pleasure of it, but also for the thrill of pushing her limits. She no longer relied on anti-depressants and was set to conquer her past by participating in the Queenstown Marathon events, aiming to put the last of her demons to rest.
Reflecting on her past struggles, Adendorff recalled a difficult period when she battled mental health issues and moved in with her parents in Queenstown. She associated that time with painful memories, marking it as one of the lowest points in her life. It was precisely for this reason that she chose to participate in the Queenstown Marathon, as a symbolic triumph over her past.