Francois Steyn is an utter inspiration in the Sleekgeek community. He came into our lives in September 2012 and has subsequently lost 87kgs through the last 4 of the 8-Week Sleekgeek Challenges. He wrote us a testmonial we published in February 2013 when he had lost his first 23kgs. [Read that here]
I thought it was time to get an update on this story since he has achieved so much more in 2013 … so over to Francois..
When Elan asked me to write my updated story I was hesitant at first but If this story can Inspire just one person to change his lifestyle and become healthy it was all worth it.
My struggle for weight loss started so long ago I can’t even remember when, I was always a “chub-ball” growing up and it was a part of normal life for me being the big boy everywhere.
I wouldn’t say I was a fit “fatty” but I could still endure more than most healthy people. My health back then didn’t bother me much, maybe it was my age ( In the back of my mind I always said – You are young, there’s loads of time to get healthy still ). Turning 18 and going to University was the best time of my life but probably also the worst time for my body.
Fast foods, breads, anything that’s cheap and unhealthy did the trick. And of course then there’s the little thing called ” Alcohol”. I had a great few years. Then one morning it all came crashing down.
I was admitted to hospital, the doc thought it was my heart taking strain because of my physical size. They ran A LOT of tests and the doc put me on a strict diet. I really hate the word diet. No one has ever gone on a diet and kept the weight off. It should be a lifestyle change. Diets are short term. And so was my weight loss.
Still I was putting on weight, even while I was eating clean. I went to a few specialists over the course of a year or two. No one could give me a reason for this. There were CAT Scans, MRI Scans, Nuclear Injection Scans. The one possible diagnosis that each doc had for me was a small brain tumor about the size of a needles head. It’s news like this that changes a man.
You always hear of people that are diagnosed with tumors but never consider it might one day be you. To cut a very long story short the result is that I have a Pituitary gland in my brain that creates no growth hormones. Growth hormones promote weight loss and a lean physique. At that stage I weighed in at 210 Kg’s –and as you can see with all the odds stacked against me.
It’s then that I also moved down to Cape Town. Possibly the best decision I ever made.
I couldn’t walk more than 100 Meters without needing to rest a minute and burst out in a sweat. Life was not as much fun anymore. It was a struggle. Struggle with my body, my health, the simple things like going out to buy a t-shirt would become a mission – research had to be done as to where to get very large size clothing.
Then last year, the year that started it all. I decided that enough is enough. The time is NOW. Not tomorrow, or next week.
I joined up Virgin Active. Man oh man, was I scared ‘sh#tless’. I always had this idea in my head of how the gyms would look inside. And that large people like me don’t fit in there. WRONG!
I also got the help of a Personal Trainer (PT). He was really great with me. Gentle, yet firm. He knew when to push me and when to let me rest when I needed it. What in the beginning felt like torture became my drug of choice. To this day, there’s this awesome feeling walking out of a gym or coming back from a run and totally being covered in sweat. Maybe that’s the part of me that was always missing. The active me!
When I lost my first 5 kg’s it felt like I just concurred Mount Everest. Another 5 kg’s dropped down pretty quickly. I unfortunately had to move to another area and had to give up my PT. (Matthew Norman – Virgin Active Table View – YOU ROCK SIR )
One night while I was surfing the net and checking out Facebook I stumbled upon SleekGeek’s Facebook Group. I immediately asked to join. While reading all the comments and advice I saw people just like me, with the same problems I am having. This was meant to be. [Join Sleekgeek Group]
The Sleekgeek Challenge
The 2012 Sleegeek 8-Week Summer Body Challenge was already open and before I could blink my eyes I was entered for Heat 7. Let’s do this. It was life changing. I dropped 22.6 Kg’s in 8 Weeks by Eating Clean and Training Dirty.
Since then I have taking part in all the challenges and have been getting good results.
I am following the Paleo lifestyle.
I used to eat loads of carbs. Allot of bread, potatoes, pasta. Also crazy amounts of cheese.
I cut out all dairy, breads, potatoes, and pasta. No Sugar. No fizzy drinks. You wont die drinking only water and
black tea 🙂
Now my meals consist of: eggs, eggs and more eggs. Love the little buggers. I eat a ton of vegetables – mostly try to eat the green one’s. Oven roasted veggies are my favorite.
Chicken has become a huge part of daily protein intake. I still treat myself to a nice steak 2 times a week.
If I can give advice to anyone is to try and follow a lifestyle that accommodates with your body. I found mine and it works like a dream.
I discovered I love to run
BOOOOM!! During my journey I also discovered my passion for running. I LOVE IT!! One afternoon I just decided that I am going to put on my shoes, and go for a slow run. I have never looked back. Ok I must admit my first run was only 2 km long, but that’s 1900 meters further than what I could do 3 months before. I set myself a goal of doing a 5 km race. This goal sounded crazy to me.
I started runner a bit longer and faster every week and on the 3rd of May this year I ran my first 5 Km race. Elan, the founder of Sleekgeek, ran this race with me and it was one of the best moments ever.
My first 10 Km was in August and did a 20 Km walk a few weeks ago.
I made this medal display for myself to motivate myself even further.
My body got used to running, and since May to now I have completed 11 Races.
My ULTIMATE goal is completing the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 2014. My entry is secured and I am training hard for it.
Elan made me a deal that if I lost 80kgs this year he would run the 2 Oceans with me.. and he hates running J … so we are going to represent Sleekgeek and do this together.
My total weight loss up to date is 87 Kg’s. This is all thanks to the amazing support around me.
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. Pain is temporary, pride is forever”
- Francois Steyn is a Load Control Agent at Lufthansa, working in Cape Town.
SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher
Francois 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 email@example.com with the Subject line “You can live life well”
- 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.