My name is Dee Coetzee and I am 49 years old.
I was always a skinny girl, up to and beyond matric. I was one of the “lucky” ones. I could wear what I wanted, where and when I wanted, no problem. I was liked in High school, had quite a few friends at school, was a “goody two shoes” lol. I hated upsetting my mom in any way, so I completed my matric like a diligent student. I was the 1st child in our immediate family to complete and pass matric, something I’m immensely proud of. Small feat, but means a great deal to me. Wearing my pretty blue dress at my matric ball with my “Anita Baker” hairstyle, I enjoyed the night to it’s full content.
I finished Matric in 1988, and started working immediately after, as I wanted to help my single mom with providing for my siblings and I. We were 8 children, being raised by a single mom 😊 I loved my mom with everything I had and made it my mission for her to go through life with as little inconvenience as possible, this was my way of thanking her for what she did for my siblings and I. So I sacrificed me having a tertiary education in exchange for providing for my family.
I was 5yrs old when my dad passed on. I don’t remember much about him, snippets here and there, even though my mom always entertained us with stories about him.
After matric I worked for 1 year in Cape Town and thereafter left for Jo’burg where I was offered a nice Semi Secretarial Position. I made sure that I sent money home every single month, so my mom would not struggle.
I had my eldest daughter at the age of 24 and the youngest when I turned 36. Up until then I was quite happy weight wise. I weighed a comfortable 63kgs and picked up a measly 10kgs during my last pregnancy. After the birth of Tamia, my youngest, things fell apart….
Weight gain and quick fixes
I rapidly gained weight. I didn’t know how to handle this extra fat attaching itself to my body so I just jumped into any weight loss remedy I could think or hear of. I was a Weight Watcher, Weigh Lesser, Sureslimmer, Herbalifer, 3-day dieter, Soup dieter, Durominer, you name it, I tried it, hahaha!!! Thinking back to these days makes me quite sad, because I was so confused. I would try something for 1-3 weeks and then move onto the next “get thin quick” scheme.
The Holiday that changed it all
This continued until I reached a turning point in January 2017.
I went on holiday in Jan 2017 with my daughter and sister to The Wilderness 😊 . It was during these 2 weeks that I realized how uncomfortable I was weight wise. I had heart palpitations at the most ungodly hours. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my heart beating like a bongo drum, loud and fast. I knew something was wrong and I had to do something to fix it. I also started suffering from sleep apnea.
My daughters used to make jokes around my funny sleeping habits, but what they didn’t know was that it was worrying me immensely. I had trouble walking long distances, getting dressed and just doing simple things around the house. I would get breathless for no apparent reason. I knew I had gained a “bit” of weight… but did not imagine it to ever come to this point… Looking back at my holiday pics, I told myself “you are fat girl, you need to do something”. I hated taking pics, but did it, because I didn’t wanna feel left out.
This event, “the holiday” is what changed my whole mindset towards myself. It was during this holiday that I decided when I’m back in Cape Town I WILL do something about my weight. I hated the way I looked…
Enter Sleekgeek and results!
Back from holiday, I decided it’s time for a change. I scouted Facebook for some advice and by divine intervention I stumbled upon the SleekGeek Facebook Group, hallelujah!
I was a Silent Sleekgeek for a while. I read, read, read whatever I could. I went onto the website, read some more. I was thirsty for knowledge, how to get started, what to do, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. And then I read about Rebooting, saw awesome pics and stories about how people were turning their lives around and that is when I decided “Lemme give this SleekGeek “thing” a go. I decided to try the Sleekgeek Reboot for 1 month, strictly according to the rules and regulations and see where it takes me. No cheating, no shortcuts. Reboot for exactly 30 days. If nothing happens then the saying “weight loss after your 40’s is impossible” is true!! Right, shopping done, prep done, starting on the 16th of Jan 2017 until 16th Feb 2017.
The Sleekgeek Reboot yielded a lovely 7kg loss, Yay for me! I was ecstatic! So this is possible! Weight Loss post 40 years is indeed possible, I was soooo happy 😊
I then decided to have a complete lifestyle change. Change the way I eat, change the way I live my life on a day to day basis, just give myself a total body makeover. I started a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) eating lifestyle as well as being moderately active and by October 2017 I had lost a whopping 17kgs. I moved from 94 to 77 kgs in a matter of 9 months.
I then became stagnant, struggled to lose further, even though I was still following my usual routine of LCHF and exercise. In January 2018 I decided to take up running as an additional fitness regime. I met an awesome group of Sleeks who reside in Mitchell’s Plain and surrounds and together we formed an Informal Fitness and Running Group.
We run and gym on alternate nights and weekends we do the formal running events. This has helped me immensely in keeping focused. We also do the weekly parkruns if and when we can. They are a great motivating bunch and I’m so blessed to have them in my life
In January 2018 I won a FREE ENTRY into the New Year Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge and that’s where I found the focus, discipline and courage to shed an additional few kgs of my body 😊. Thanks to Elan, Eric and The SleekGeek Community for all you do for us “ordinary and normal” people. You guys are AWESOME!
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I am now 8kgs to goal or comfort, whichever comes first. I am living my best life, eating healthy, exercising moderately and keeping a positive mind. I have embarked on this journey for me and me alone. I am immensely proud of myself for coming this far. A total of 21 kgs lost to date!
My personal advice to those wanting to change their lifestyle and shed some weight would be:
- Start today, don’t wait till tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Today is your day!!!
- Start off by making small changes, eg less sugar in your tea/coffee, less bread, etc
- There are lots of eating lifestyles, eg. Paleo, Banting, etc. Do your homework and choose the one best for you.
- Try and stick it out for as long as you can. I gave myself 30 days when I started. It’s been 1 year and 4 months and I’m still hooked. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle 😊
- Become active, walks, parkruns, hikes and trails. Start slow and build from there
- Ask, ask, ask on the SleekGeek Facebook Group if you are unsure. A community of 80 000 + people are available to help you. There’s always someone online to help.
- Focus, determination and dedication is what got me to where I am today.
I am blessed.