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“Ginger Jo” transformation: courage and strength inside and out.

Hi everyone!

An inspirational story from the heart …

Joanna Barber, affectionately known to us as “Ginger Jo”  has become a well known figure on the Sleekgeek community. She is a person who has given of herself and shared via her results inspiration and progress with the rest of the community. I have had many young ladies in the community inform me how Jo has inspired them and given time to assist some on their journeys.

I have personally adopted her as one of my “sisters” in my life and like most of us Jo has been and still is on a journey.

They say that “Strong people don’t put people down.. they lift them up” … Jo is a living proof of this..

She achieved some amazing results in the 2012 Winter Warrior Challenge. This was achieved in just 8 Weeks. Many were blown away. She came in 3rd place in the “Ladies transformation/toning” category. [See other winners here]


This is her story in her own words… a read that will leave you with goosebumps..

And watch this space because she has agreed to share her eating plan in the near future so please respect her privacy and do not contact her directly for that 😀



My journey

At the time of meeting Elan (creator of SleekGeekSA) I had just finished a business degree and had been through a hard family death (which left me in a bit in a rut) not knowing what to do next. My job was going great, but I needed more… something completely different. So one Sunday I met Elan for lunch and we chatted about life, fitness, eating healthy and that was it, a new friendship was built.

He encouraged me to do the Winter Warrior challenge however I said to him – really… me? I didn’t see any point, with my confidence level at that time I didn’t see any point of doing it, because in my mind I never thought I could accomplish the results I actually did.

 But I thought about it and did it! So I embarked on this journey and it was the best, most life changing 2 months I have ever experienced in my life. I was in it to maintain it – my weight and lifestyle to a degree (that was my goal) however I worked out hard and I ate very clean and the results were more than I ever expected. I felt like a new women, I started living my life for me and living it in the way I wanted to and stopped trying to impress everyone else but myself. I ate what I wanted and trained as hard as I wanted to, I put myself first for the first time in a long time.


But there was a deeper side to this challenge and my accomplishments, and this is the first time I am ever sharing this, although I have always been a lover of being healthy and fit in my 20s I never quite had a great handle on it. I was a bit of a binge eater & emotional one too & in my late teens I was verging on being anorexic but never admitted it! I overcame all this in my late 20s on my own but once I finished the Winter Warrior challenge and came third, my life changed forever and for the better, physically and emotionally too. It pushed me to accomplish a dream, which I thought at the time was getting a 4 pack but actually it wasn’t, it was so much more than that. It was looking in the mirror and saying – congratulations Jo. I’m so proud of you. You did it but you did it better than expected & look at you, you pushed beyond your own personal boundaries – what an accomplishment!!!


This challenge made me realize I could now do anything I put my mind to. This was the confidence I had been searching for, for years as a women, even though I have always been a strong women, I lacked self confidence in some aspects in my life. After accomplishing a fitness challenge like the Winter Warrior one, I finally found it feeling comfortable being me, the real GingerJ0.


I must also mention I had a really great support system in place and the biggest one is my personal trainer Elzanne De Kock (one of the best trainers I have ever trained with) she pushed me to a level I thought I could never reach and she was by my side every time I needed her, mentally and physically. She trained me like she trains herself and I loved every minute of it and still do. I have now made a great friend for life and physical life coach too! She is more than just a Personal Trainer to me, she is a friend and someone I highly recommend to push you to that level you never thought you could reach but you will and you will love it. I still train with her and will do for as long as I can…


In conclusion, what this challenge made me realise: We all try and seek affirmation, appreciation, happiness from outside of ourselves when, if you just try something completely outside of your comfort zone and start feeling that affirmation, appreciation, happiness within – that is when you truly start loving yourself and enjoying life the way you should. Having a healthy mind and body to allow you to be the best you can be. Last but not least remember we are human beings so trial and error should also be apart of your lifestyle – finding out what works for you is what this journey is all about, being a SleekGeeker 😉

 Kind regards,



That’s a snap of Jo and I playing silly buggers a few months ago 😀

















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