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Dawie Snyman got ripped!

Here is my transformation over the last 2-3 years, physically, mentally and to the depths of my soul.

As a kid I was always sporty and I would literally bunk school but still come to sports practise after school, so I loved it!  At that stage, as a kid, you eat what you want and I always had a great physique and someone once said to me (words that will stick with me forever), “you cant keep eating like this, you will one day get fat and struggle to lose it” to which my smug response was something like, “oh yeah, not me!”

Well, as the years passed and the eating, drinking and smoking got worse and I eventually entered my 20’s these words all came true, when I opened my eyes one day I was more than large and in charge and I tried to think back to how I got to this point…  Needless to say, this was not a deterrent for me, I liked the crazy lifestyle I was living and being young and naïve, I thought, hell, I can fix this at any time if a wanted to.  The fat jokes flew around our friendship circle but I never took it serious as all of us were quite overweight at that stage.

People noticed this change in my body but the person who noticed the weight gain the most and that was the most vocal about it was my mother.  She would at that stage, wake me up at 5AM in the morning and stick me on a treadmill (hungover or not), sometimes still tearing the left over Mcdonalds from the night before from my face.  She would later on be the person who sowed the seed to change my life as I always say, “you make a full circle and then come back to your roots”.  This training just made me hate training even more and ended up pushing me further away, but, the seed was sown now!

Eventually 2013 came along and didn’t quite start out the way you would want it too.  The girlfriend I had for around 7/8 years had decided this (me) wasn’t for her and there were greener pastures (my best friend).  Of course this took its toll and I plundered down a dark hole of parties, drinking, smoking even more and doing this 7 days a week, living on take-aways and generally going on like a 16 year old schoolgirl who just had her heart broken.  This carried on for a few months and things got worse, the worse I felt, the more I ate and drank, the more I ate and drank the worse I looked and the worse I’d feel again… vicious circle.

One Sunday evening around April/May 2013 I was sitting at a pub drowning sorrows when I decided that I wanted to get even with these two that caused me to be in this situation, and that sitting with my face buried into my 10th whiskey wasn’t going to help me do that.  This is the point I made the decision to be in the gym the next day, I was going to become hot and healthy  and make her so jealous she was going to wish she had me back!  So yes, sometimes inspiration doesn’t always come from the best sources but hey, inspiration is inspiration and at that point in my life this was better than nothing for me.  The fuel to my transformation fire was spite, which, turns out, isn’t always the worst thing, even the mighty Lamborghini was created out of spite for Ferrari!

This is where the journey actually begins… so, I’m back in the gym, big plans, big inspiration but a heart and soul still filled with sadness, hurt and anger, no matter im in the gym.  I started researching eating plans, supplements and training programs.  I stop drinking for a few months, head is in the game, focused on this goal to show this cruel world what it has been missing, June shows its face and I realise there is a bubble on my stomach, go to the doc and turns out it’s a Hernia… NO! Not now! This cant be! Ive worked so hard, im looking good and I just want to show myself off, ive still got this goal to make them jealous! All my pleads to Karma has now fallen on deaf ears and I have to go in for this operation to repair the Hernia.  10 weeks out, I drop down 13kg’s from not being able to do anything, im horrified, all the muscle I put on… Gone!! Im small and skinny, at the time I didn’t see this as a blessing in disguise, which it most certainly was as I was trying to build muscle on an already plump frame.

Demotivation kicks in, ugh, I want to give up on this goal, Ive worked so hard just to have to start from scratch all over again…

The last week of not being able to train comes around and with it, new motivation, I look in the mirror and much to my surprise im not looking too bad, just thin, I think to myself, this was a blessing in disguise all along, ive managed to lose 13kg’s of fat and unfortunately some muscle too but I can now start off on a lean frame and be better than I was before! Lets not forget, I still have to “impress the ex!”  Training and dieting start all over again and I carry this right through December entering into 2014, feeling motivated and better than ever getting ready for the day I run into them.

Eventually, D day comes around and I’m invited to a mutual friends birthday, now is my chance to show off and reclaim my dignity.   I make sure I’m a little late so that I can make an entrance (im dressed as a giant unicorn).  I enter and I see them see me, I dig deep to find an arrogant smurk but that’s not what happens, its not what I wanted, the reason behind my motivation is destroyed as the “in your face” feeling is not what I get, Instead, its just nothing, there is nothing.


In the coming weeks I start searching for new motivation as spite and anger and “I’ll show you” is no more. I like every fitness and bodybuilding page I can find, looking for my daily dose of motivational memes to keep me going, in this search I find new eating plans and training plans and as luck would have it, Sleek Geek!!  At first I had no idea what it was or what to do with it, so I ignored it.  My body is changing rapidly and im working my but off, I now have a picture in my head of what and where I want to be.  I put a picture on my phone and my laptop background and look at it everyday saying to myself, “im coming for you!”  At the same time I gave up smoking, this was my greatest achievement to date as any smoker would know, greater than the life change and body change was this change, it now feels amazing to classify myself as a non-smoker, damn, even ex-smoker sounds better than a smoker.  This had to happen as my transformation would not be complete if I still worked in 30 a day, Lezelle was a major contributing factor to this as I wanted to impress and she was a heavy non-smoker so I had to survive without it.

April comes around and I meet the girl of my dreams to fix my heart and soul where there still was a hole.  Most Sleeks should know her by now… hehe!  I had now managed to gain some knowledge and insight into what works and what doesn’t in terms of training and eating, which came in handy as when I met Lezelle, she too was on a path to transform herself and I could “mentor” and guide her into her meal and training plans.  I start seeing all these amazing transformations from normal people like myself going through my news feed on Facebook and I wonder to myself, what Is this SleekGeek thing ive gotten myself into?  Slowly I like a photo, then two, then three, eventually I find myself spending most of my day going through sleeks geeks page and seeing everyones valid questions and posts.  This drew me in and eventually I told Lezelle about it as well and how awesome it is!

As 2014 passes I feel like im stagnant and my motivation is fading, im not eating too clean and my training has become monotonous, so, im having a chat with my old lady and she tells me about a family friend of ours that I haven’t seen in years and tells me how amazing he is looking and he is posing in competitions.  I tracked him down of Facebook and wow, was I blown away with how amazing he looked!  He then told me who his coach was and I subsequently joined in June of 2014, this is where my major breakthrough came from, he changed my eating plan (not a diet) and set my training regimen which involved a lot more cardio than I was doing, which at that stage was zero.  I put my head down and worked hard sticking as closely to his advice as possible, I watched my body transform overnight, quite literally, I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and shouted out to Lezelle, “I think I have a six pack” which is something I haven’t seen since I was 16!

The better I looked, the better I wanted to be, I could see myself becoming that picture I had, had in my head leaving the heartache, pain and weight in the past with my new lady, new inspiration and my new body!  Some things that I learnt through this time of transformation was that persistence was the main contributing factor to my transformation, if you can stick it out no matter how tough and ugly things get then you will no doubt succeed, I had a problem that every time I was feeling down or had crazy amounts of stress I would run to the nearest garage and load up on feel good food, chocolates and milkshakes and yes, they did make me feel better because I didn’t know any better, I would feel ten times worse after that like I was back sliding to my old life, if im going through a tough time now, I wont run to the comfort food, instead I drink a shake and climb into some cardio, works everytime!

Some words of advice, life is hard and its unstable, but if you keep focused on what you have set out to do even after the feeling has gone in the moment you said it, you will achieve it, Motivation gets drawn from so many different places for so many different reasons, that even if the motivation is coming from a negative place, use it, abuse it and change yourself, you don’t need to be unhealthy and overweight and as much as people try to say that it doesn’t affect them, it does, it will and it has!  When you go through these massive changes in lifestyle and physique, something inside you changes too, your soul gets lit up or at least that what it feels like and you eventually become your own inspiration, drawing it from yourself, what a place to be!

My diet and training consisted of a carb cycling, which is tough as you have to plan your cheat days according to your carb days

Day 1 – No carbs (only protein, no salad or veg)

Day 2 – Low carbs (protein with salad and veg)

Day 3 – High carb (protein with white rice and oats)

I would do this for 6 meals a day, I’m not scared of carbs, =I am human and still have the odd boozy event on a Saturday night, being a wedding or a birthday, so sometimes I would stretch my no carb days for a little longer, like 3 or 4 days, this seemed to help being able to enjoy myself once a week and still get a six pack at the end!

I train twice a day, Cardio in the morning to shock the metabolism and weight training in the afternoon as I’m stronger having had a few meals in, I do this 6 days a week, its tough to get to the gym that often but its so worth the amount of calories that I burn!

Dawie You CAN


SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher

Dawie 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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