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Jo Rhodes decides enough is enough! [You can live life well]

From a little girl I was always a little chunky. Looking back at my school years I wasn’t active at all. I didn’t have a sport that I played like most kids.

After school it was off to college where me being active remained dormant and the partying till 5am began and we all know alcohol and it’s not so hidden calories and the pies at 2am (good old Engen).


From this lifestyle I moved on to what I thought was a totally new lifestyle.

I started as a Sales Rep for a Medical Device company which meant many hours driving and not much active movement in my day. My week nights consisted of dinners, couches and DVD’s!

My weekends were either on a South African Police Service Shift or a Metro Ambulance Shift where dinner was generally after 10pm and was typically some form or take away with lots of sugar loaded energy drinks to stay awake and the bad habit of smoking began.

That moment of realization didn’t happen when my pants size went from an 8 to a 10 to a 12 to a 14 and almost beyond. It came when the Sea Rescue (NSRI) magazine arrived where my station (Hout Bay) was featured and one of my friends asked “Hey, why weren’t you in the photo?” when in actual fact there I was, totally unrecognizable!


I went home and cried and realized, this is it, something has got to give! With tears streaming down my face I removed my “once fitted don’t fit anymore jeans” and placed them on the laundry basket, and there it was: goal one!

Down the stairs I went and removed all the foods that were going to stand in my way from the fridge and pantry and handed them over to security at my complex (boy were they happy)

I started slowly, not really knowing how or where to start but knowing that I had to! I changed what I ate, how much I ate and when I ate and started walking for half an hour Monday to Friday.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, 3months into my new lifestyle I had to undergo a knee op with a ligament repair. It was really tough. But it was something I could no longer work around. The op went well and I started the recovery.

6 weeks later I still hadn’t managed to give my knee the benefit of the doubt and start training. I was in the “we’ll start tomorrow won’t we routine” …. Well, eventually tomorrow came!

I climbed on the bike and started cycling. It was tough and sore but it was time. I hopped off the bike 25mins later and that was that.

I went from not being able to run because of my knee to only not being able to run because I was unfit! I soldiered on and eventually after only being able to run for no more than 30seconds, I finished my first 21km in 2:43.10

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I lost a total of 28kg’s over a 9month period and started feeling like a different person. I then saw the “Crossfit” word on Facebook and started getting butterflies every time I read something Crossfit related.

I signed up for a beginners class at Crossfit Tokai and I won’t lie, I stood outside, knee’s shaking, (*insert vomit face here*),  watching the 6pm class of machine’s  thinking “One day when I grow up I want to be like them, but I think I am going to die tonight.”

It was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made.

It takes everything you have emotionally, mentally and physically and breaks down all the barriers you have put up. I will never “can’t” myself again!

The leaps and bounds I have made prove to me that there really is nothing that isn’t possible.

From smoking 30 a day for 9 years to not having smoked for 3 whole months, to lifting weights that I never thought I could and just generally being someone who respects them self and therefore ours more.

I have met some incredible people on this journey, people with so much knowledge and good advice. The Crossfit and Sleek Geek Communities [Join the Facebook Group] just prove that the real beauty of the human spirit is out there.

We just have to stop moaning and complaining and go out there and see it. You will never met a happier more cheerful bunch of people in your life.

Picture 2116


My High: Knowing that I made a lifestyle change and that yes I might fail from time to time, but it’s not just a “fad diet” or training programme. It’s who I am now

My Low: Ahhh that dreaded plateau! We all reach it, and man is it soul destroying! The solution is simple: Remember where you came from and change it up. Your body gets used to your routine so change you work out.

Best Advice: Stop rewarding yourself with food! You are not a dog



  • Jo Rhodes is a 29 year old medical rep from Cape Town





Jo wins a R500 voucher courtesy of our sponsor for the “YOU CAN live life well” series Wellness Warehouse to be spent on their online store with free delivery nationally.

I believe very strongly that ordinary every day people like you and I derive great inspiration from the achievements of people who seem similar to us. If they can do it.. damn.. so can I! Right?

So through this program we will continue to tell people’s personal stories.

I want to great an archive of hundreds of stories of people who have changed their lives while others believe they cannot.


Submit your story to with the Subject line “You can live life well”

We require:

  • Your story in your own words covering at least (How you got to a point of change, how you made the change, tips and advise for others)
  • A selection of before and after photos
  • As many words as you need to tell your story

In advance, we regret that not all stories may be published. Your story is as important as anyone’s story but we can only publish one a week and the editor will make decision on this.

If your story is published you will receive a R500 voucher to the Wellness Warehouse online store with free national delivery.

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Over R100,000 worth of prizes up for grabs

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