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April Laugh Fitness Testimonials
Meet Esther (A.K.A. Star Queen)
Star Queen had always been overweight since her secondary school days and had struggled with managing her weight. She couldn’t even fit into her wedding gown and had to lose some weight for her wedding. However, in 2013, she added all the weight she lost and more! She was then weighing about 126kg and with this came a package of severe health issues. She would feel sudden sharp pains in her heart and when this became too frequent, she feared for her life and went for a checkup. At the hospital, the doctor announced to her that she had fatty liver, hypertension, and arthritis. All of these at 40 years old. By February 2019, her physical health had affected her mental and emotional health. She was consistently angry, depressed and irritated. While she battled with this, she started having intense pains in her lower abdomen and upon going for another checkup, the doctors confirmed that she had kidney stones and would need surgery. At this point she knew she had to do something different.
This was January 2020 and she was 136kg. She tried to join some groups but got discouraged because they only collected her money and did not offer her accountability or thorough follow-up …until she saw our LIVE workout sessions via the IG algorithm. She was attracted to our program because it involved everyone working out TOGETHER. She joined our group and not only found accountability and inspiration, she was also able to give the same to other women. According to her, ‘I saw more results when I joined your program.’ She started to lose weight little by little – 5kg at first, and even lost 9.4kg in a month. By November 2020, she had lost 51kg! She admits that the difference between her previous efforts and this, was that we offer a complete lifestyle change as opposed to just weight loss.
She weighs 85.5kg! Her arthritis is about 70% gone. The high blood pressure is gone! The depression is gone! Fatty liver? Gone! And like she says, ‘I’m fine! I’m fine! I’m fine!’
“My journey with you April has been definitely worth it and more. From weighing over 120kg in November to 93kg in March with no starvation and restrictive diet. I think what made me push through this journey was the meal plan and how I got to enjoy my bagels, spaghetti meatballs, veggies prepared in an absolute delicious way. Haha.. foodie here😂
The daily exercises and trainers are just the icing🤗. The way they push us on the live sessions is something else. Sometimes you never know what the body can do till you place demands on it and that is exactly what the trainers do.
I just hope my progress motivates any one second thinking to join your program. Because only if they are committed to the program and coachable, a better health, body, glow and overall wellness awaits them.
And if I can do it, everyone can do it 😊. I was the head of the team no movement association and couldn’t even do 10 jumping jacks when I started, talk about burpees. But now I am crushing it. Thanks for helping my life April. God bless you.”
“You are at the risk of having a heart attack before you turn 35”
My story starts with a case of stubborn hormone-induced acne. It was a really bad condition as the acne filled my entire face and just wouldn’t leave irrespective of what I tried. They were painful and would oftentimes, bleed. I couldn’t go out unless I really needed to and even at that, I would have to coat my face with about 4 layers of makeup. This went on for two years and I had been taking a lot of medication but they were not working. I finally saw a specialist who recommended that since the other medications were not working, I’d have to take a different kind of medication. This medication, however, was so extreme that I’d have to carry out some tests to determine if I was fit enough to take it. So, I carried out the tests; blood work, heart rate, blood pressure and so on.
When the results came out, I was called to see the dermatologist for a consultation but as soon as I walked in, I knew something was wrong. I sat across from him but he wasn’t saying anything. Instead, he was repeatedly looking at his screen, which had my results, and looking at me as though he was trying to compare the results of the tests with my age. Finally, he said, ‘You’re not old.’ And I replied, ‘No, I’m not old. I’m only 33’ and then he said, “You’re 33 but your heart, your cholesterol and everything is off the roof. I’ll be straight with you: You are at the risk of having a heart attack before you turn 35’’
When I first heard the news, I was so emotional because genetically, my family has a history of diabetes, high blood pressure and so on. I was so sad that I had found myself in this position and I just cried.
Of course, they couldn’t put me on the medication. I was on like a 6.6 cholesterol level so they asked me to go and change my eating habits and return.
I made some mistakes in my first few attempts to ‘lose weight’. I bought some stuff off IG from a vendor that promised quick results; I was supposed to mix it with 7Up. Because it tasted really bad I would mix it with up to two cans of 7Up each night. By the time I returned to the hospital that month for check-up, it was no surprise that not only had my condition not gotten better, but it had also actually gotten worse with my sugar level spiking.
I also tried herbs that people swore by. I would go to the toilet but nothing really changed about my health or weight. The doctor told me again to take it seriously and go and work on myself. So I registered to a gym.
Somehow, I was always so busy and it was easy to push the gym to the back burner. Even when I would go, I would do like a 30-minute workout and spend the rest of the time in the steam room or spa.
After a month, I returned to the hospital, and there was no improvement whatsoever.
At this point, I knew I needed to sit up and get real help. I had been following April for some time so I thought, ‘Maybe I should join this live workout. Maybe it’ll give me the motivation I need’. So I signed up. At first, it was really really hard and for some reason, April was particular about me so I couldn’t give up. I kept trying and struggling. For the first time ever, I would see the weight drop on the scale every week.
After a month, I went for my hospital checkup and the doctor had a different reaction. He said, “Hmmm… good job.” and then “You no longer have to go on the medication” So just as a result of my lifestyle change, my skin got better and I did not need the medications again.
For context, I started off at 93Kg when I got in on July 5th, right now I’m 78kg. But the exercise did not just affect my weight. Immediately after I started working out, one of the first things I noticed was that my acne was not as painful or sore as it used to be. I no longer needed the paracetamols nor did I get flare ups.
I’m just so happy about my health right now. I’m healthy, fit, energetic and happy!
Pastor Anya's Testimonial
My healthiest weight was before I got married; 26 years ago.
My journey started in mid-2021. I attended a church conference and during the sermon, we received a prophetic admonition about our health. We were told that, as pastors, if we would live long to do what God had called us to do, then we had to live healthily. I take all prophetic admonitions very seriously but for some reason, this one resonated deeply with me. I knew, in my heart, that God was talking to me and asking me to undergo a lifestyle change – to make healthier choices.
On the 30th of July, I was praying and having my devotion. Yet again, I was reminded of this instruction. Anyone who knows me knows that I do whatever I set my heart to do, more so if I receive it as an instruction from God. But somehow, my initial response to this was, “But I’m fine. I am not sick. No one is looking at me. I already have children, of course, I put on some weight. It’s no big deal”. Nevertheless, in spite of the excuses, I could not resist the urge within me to get fit. So I decided to obey and take on the challenge.
The first thing I did was conduct some preliminary research. Most articles online had negative things to say about physical fitness for the 50s and above. They all kept cautioning me: ‘there may be hormonal issues’, ‘watch out for menopause’ and so on. But I rejected it all and told myself, “You will be the one to scatter their theories”. In my mind, I figured that despite the warnings, there were still 50+ women and men who took on this journey and succeeded. Why couldn’t I be one of them? I had conquered so many other things in life and this was going to be one of them. Moreover, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
My next step was to find a coach. I didn’t want to embark on the journey without having a plan and a guide. And I didn’t want to work with just anybody. Weight loss is a spiritual, mental, financial and life investment so I had to make the best decision. So again, I prayed about it and was led to conduct a social media search. A lot of profiles came up but April’s own struck me the most because, unlike others, she wasn’t prescribing teas, belts, or pills that promised rapid transformation. Also, I did quick searches on many of her clients and I could see that they had not only lost weight one time, but they were also keeping it off and living fit. In fact, some of them had gone on to start teaching other people too. Additionally, April was not just a coach who ‘taught weight loss’, she practiced it too. She was living a healthy lifestyle and it was obvious. So I chose April. And I am confident that it was my best decision for this journey!
Note that at the time, my healthiest weight was before I got married; 26 years ago. In the first three months of my workout, I lost 17kg! Right now, 13 months later, I have lost 60 pounds! And I have gone from a dress size 18 to a size 10. My daughters and I wear the same dresses now!
I’ll be honest to say that it wasn’t easy when I started. But I started small and decided to make incremental progress. Right now, it is impossible to start my week without doing a workout. Even when I’m tired, the least I’ll do is go for a walk.
I learned to detox and be faithful to a healthy eating lifestyle. I can’t take anything that is too salty or sugary now. I just can’t. I don’t eat any baked food that wasn’t prepared in my kitchen. I am selective about what I order from menus at parties and restaurants. I drink a LOT of water. At some point, I was drinking 4ltrs of water per day! These habits are not easy, but when I think about the fact that nutrition alone is 85% of weight loss, it encourages me to go on.
But here’s the best part of it: My family has joined me in my weight loss journey. All that April has taught me, I have taught and shown my children and they are living such a healthy life. Previously, I would keep telling them to eat healthily, cut back on sugar and exercise but they never seemed to follow my instructions. I think the reason why they never did, is obvious; the person giving them the instruction was also not carrying it out. But as soon as they noticed my consistency and the results of my lifestyle change, they picked up these good habits too. In fact, we now compete as a family. My son goes for runs. My daughter lifts weights. They eat in portions. They control their salt and sugar intake. They have found healthy alternatives to substitute unhealthy baking ingredients. Every weekend, we buy fruits together. If you see me and my children, you would think we’re siblings. And I am grateful for this gift I get to give them; the gift of a good example.
This is why I believe that your weight loss and fitness journey is not just for you. Your story will inspire others. All you need is to decide what your why is. For me, every waking moment, I think about how I want to fulfill God’s dreams and purposes for my life. I want to be here long enough to do what I need to do. I want to die empty. I don’t want this temple of the Holy Spirit to be treated without care or respect. So I take care of my body. I often think: If we spend so much time cleaning our houses making them beautiful, how much more care should we give to our bodies, where God lives?
If I had to advise anyone contemplating whether to embark on a lifestyle change, here’s what I’ll say:
- You need a community: I belong to the April Laugh Fitness accountability group and the motivation that the group provides is so good that I have decided to remain there for at least a year. It helps you see what others are doing and be inspired by them. The Bible says that a companion of fools will be destroyed. It only goes to mean that a companion of wise people will have life. Find a community!
- When you set your goals, achieve them: Don’t make empty promises to yourself. When you say, “I will eat more healthy foods” or “I’ll cut back on fizzy drinks”, honour your own word even when no one is watching. Be your own coach even when you have a coach.
- If you think the fitness journey is too expensive, then try sickness: The cost of sickness is more than the cost of getting a coach or choosing to live intentionally. Sickness will not only affect your pocket but that of your loved ones. Invest in your health.
- If you think you’re too busy to lose weight, know that a spirit without a body is a ghost: Only someone who is alive is able to work. If poor health choices make a person sick or take their life, they can’t be busy anymore.
Finally, remember that you are here on a purpose. Don’t allow laziness to rid you of achieving that purpose. As for me, I am continuing my fitness journey and enjoying every bit of it. I love my transformation and new energy! And I will keep challenging myself!