A USN Body Makeover starter pack changed Emil Visser’s life

Emil Visser from Rawsonville in the Western Cape is a sales rep, which means he spends a lot of time on the road.

For the ill-prepared, this is a recipe for disaster because their on-the-go lifestyle means the easiest source of sustenance is generally take-aways and convenience foods.

Fast-food was my go-to meal. Needless to say, my lifestyle wasn’t very healthy and I was soon gaining weight at a rapid rate,” recalls Emil. Weekends weren’t very different for him as he ate and drank whatever he could get his hands on.

Unhealthy and unhappy

The end result was an unhealthy, overweight, unhappy and ashamed man who was about to get married.

Our wedding was scheduled for November 2016, but by July I was at my heaviest ever – 124kg. I had to lose some weight for my wedding and managed to shed about 13kg.”

After the wedding, Emil confided in his beautiful new wife that he needed to change his lifestyle.

My clothes were too tight and I knew my health wasn’t what it should be for a 30-year-old newlywed. I was ashamed of myself and I hated to be in photos. My father’s untimely passing at the age of 46 was also a big wake-up call for me.”

Emil began his transformation by exercising regularly and trying to make healthier meal choices.

Although I was active in the gym, I wasn’t following a strict diet. I thought that if I trained hard, I wouldn’t have to stop eating unhealthy food and drinking. Needless to say, this approach didn’t yield the results I wanted.”

Finally, a plan!

Then, in January 2018, a New Year’s resolution prompted Emil to purchase a USN Body Makeover Challenge starter kit from Dis-Chem in Worcester.

USN is a big and renowned homegrown global brand, which is what attracted me to the starter pack. When I read the instructions on the box, I saw that I could dramatically change my life in just 12 weeks. I knew this was what I needed to achieve my goal, so I purchased the starter kit!”

When he started his USN Body Makeover Challenge journey, Emil says he was determined to put in the hard work and persevere, so he made sure he ate and trained according to the plans provided.

Emil's weight loss stack

Emil also stopped sleeping in and got up at 04h30 every morning to start his day with abdominal exercises. He hit the weights in the evening and on weekends participated in trail running events. This kept his exercise plan varied, interesting and fun to do.

It was changing his diet that proved the biggest challenge for Emil because he permanently craved the fast-foods, sweets and treats that previously characterised his on-the-road lifestyle.

But we made sure there was none of that in the house, which helped tremendously to keep me on track with my eating plan. I also did my food prep for the week on Sundays, which made it easier to stick to my eating plan while out on the road.”

Finding support

Even with his own potent blend of self-discipline and perseverance, Emil sought to bolster his resolve by engaging with other USN Body Makeover participants and previous winners.

He also found support from friends and family and his fellow gym members. “I train at a small gym on a farm with about 30 other people. We’re like family there. Everyone motivated and helped me tremendously, but it was my wife who always pushed me and never gave up on me.”

Based on his experience, Emil whole-heartedly believes that no-one should go through a lifestyle transformation alone. “Ask for tips and help. This will make it easier.”

Emil also drew daily inspiration from a bible verse – Philippians 4:13 – which reads: ‘I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me’.

It has been a motto I’ve lived by for most of my life and one of the things that has helped me tremendously throughout my transformation.”


Living his best life

When Emil started the challenge, he weighed 108.8kg and, after 12 weeks, had lost a staggering 25kg.

I weighed a fit and healthy 83kg and by sticking to the same routine and lifestyle, which I’ve come to love, I’ve managed to lose another 10kg.”

Emil believes that this is important because if you enjoy what you do, it is so much easier to follow the plan. Going through this lifestyle transformation also helped Emil to realise that nothing is impossible.

I’m a new person, with a new mindset and new goals for my life and my health. I have more self-discipline, a better self-image and confidence, and I’ve never been this healthy in my life before. My faith is also stronger, my marriage is awesome and I feel good about myself every day. What’s even more exciting is that I feel like my journey has just begun.”

Emil’s advice for transformation success

  • Set goals for yourself and keep your eyes on the prize.

  • Know that you will fall and that you’ll need to get up and keep pushing forward.

  • Trust yourself and your abilities.

  • Be patient.

Catch Emil on Instagram: 

Fast facts

  • Age: 32
  • Career: Marketing & Sales Manager at Du Preez Estate
  • Starting weight: 124kg
  • Current weight: 73kg

Emil’s weekly workout split

  • Monday: Abs & weight training
  • Tuesday: Cardio & weight training
  • Wednesday: Abs & weight training
  • Thursday: Cardio & weight training
  • Friday: Abs & weight training
  • Saturday: Running outdoors
  • Sunday: Abs & weight training