Nadine Du Toit has lead a life full (literally) of ups and downs. She suffered from the loss of her father in her early life, became an air-hostess and lived a hedonistic lifestyle and then found God and fitness to pursue her dreams and more latterly those of others through her project GloryGirl fitness.
Tell us a little about yourself and your journey into fitness?
I was born and raised in the northern parts of the South African bush in a small town called, Phalaborwa. I grew up to passionately love the wide variety of nature and wild animals of the area. To this day I can’t wait to return home and “Bless the rains down in Africa” as the band Toto once sang.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
In the album of life’s childhoods, mine was also filled with a few setbacks and obstacles to overcome. Growing up without my father was one of the very hard facts I had to face since my infant years. He was seriously injured in a car accident and suffered from brain damage as a result.
My mother had to work very hard to keep us three siblings – big sis and lil’ bro and me fed, clothed and educated. We practically raised ourselves. In my eyes my mother is a ‘hero’, who with her limited time and income, raised three children and we have all made huge successes of our lives today.
A rock on Whom I could hold onto
In difficult times my only salvation was God (now don’t you stop reading!). I learned how to completely rely and trust on a Father who loved me so much, that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die a real death and rise from the grave, for me, to have life in abundance!
My faith is the foundation of my life, that’s the package that I come with. My love for fitness has always been a part of me, my dad was a record holding sprinter and amateur bodybuilder before I was born. There is still a whisper in my heart, the desire to make him proud and follow in his footsteps.
Since I can remember (not unlike most South Africans) I’ve been part of different sports teams throughout school and university (I had to study hard for a scholarship for uni, as there was no money for extravagances such as tertiary education).
I knew that I was a talented athlete, but with no support from my parents in that area, I didn’t know what goals and hard work towards a reward meant, so I never pursued my desires in achieving something. I kept myself busy with books and dreaming about the independence of the day when I’d be grown up.
How did you get into fitness?
The first fitness book that I read as a young girl, was Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty and Fitness Book (published in the 80’s!) and ever since I’ve been devouring all the information I could get my hands on regarding training and nutrition. Fast forward a few years later, I accepted a dream job as flight attendant n the Middle East where I enjoyed the world as my play ground for close to seven years!
Now being a flight attendant really is not the easiest job in the world (the actual working part), it is demanding physically and emotionally, especially with the customer and culture profiles that we were working with every day. On the days in between flights there are no real responsibilities, enough money to live comfortably and enough junk food joints who deliver their poison at no charge, I met my sugar tooth Utopia!
Needless to say with my first two years of independence with the world literally at my feet and no family or friends to keep me grounded, I lived a hedonistic life when it came to food. I ate whatever I felt like and definitely did not do any kind of exercise as the jetlag was so easy to blame my fatigue on.
I remember an episode where I gobbled a half liter of Haagen-Dazs ice cream every night for two weeks in a row. I got out of shape… badly! The whispers in my heart, the desire to want to dream, reach and achieve rebelled against this floating around way of life.
Every time I tried to stand firm and be disciplined about nutrition and training, I came crashing down in flames a few days later and this process would repeat itself over and over for two years and slowly nibbled away at my self-belief.
How did you get out of this mess?
It took faith. Faith that there is a plan and a purpose in God’s Kingdom for my life and faith that I was created to live a life worthy of bringing glory to our altogether lovely Creator. It also takes one person to believe in you, to stand by you, to support and sometimes say no to you.
I had a best friend who saw my true potential, who encouraged me to develop my talents, to pursue my passions, to win this battle against my small minded past. Someone who showed and taught me what discipline is and what hard work towards achieving your goals is. That someone is my one now. He is my husband whom I love and respect with all my heart.
I walked a steep path of unlearning a lot of negative habits over the last six years (oh yes, there were tears and frustration in the process, so many dark days) and of course replacing it with new fruitful habits. I’ve acquired different skill sets, which fall beautifully in line with what I believe my calling, my ministry and my purpose is.
It is to be a glory girl, reflecting the glory of our Creator in whose image we were made. According to 1 Corinthians 6:20: I am bought with a price therefore I glorify God in my body and in my spirit, which are God’s.
I also want to be a “someone” for any woman who needs support, encouragement and motivation in the journey of living her life and doing so strongly! As I know how important it is to have the right back up at the right time. Hence GloryGirl fitness’s philosophy – everybody needs a somebody.
Who has been your biggest motivation?
A whole team of people, it could never just be one person. My husband first of all, my friends or “favies” as I call them, my clients and also my past and present mentors and coaches.
Read more in part 2