Sleekgeek Angelique du Plessis has lost 55kgs to date. She lost 30 of those on the Sleekgeek REBOOT program. Her BMI went from 51.5 to 31.2 and waist size from 126 to 81 cm.
She is a hero. Not only that but she is married with a 4-year old daughter. She is from JHB originally but lives in Cape Town where she works as a project manager.
What inspires her? She says “Life inspires me. I think we take for granted what a privilege it is to be alive and live this beautiful gift called life. We complicate life by chasing after success and money and status, but if we would just be still and look around we would see how truly beautiful life is and that we don’t need to kill ourselves chasing it all we just need to learn to enjoy and be grateful for what we have.”
Angelique’s fave snacks are biltong, nuts and a naartjie. Currently her favourite exercise is running, and least favourite is a burpee and a push-up.
This is her personal story in her own words.
How it started
Ever since I can remember I have had an unhealthy relationship with food. I remember being about 6 years old and sneaking to the fridge at night to steal food while everyone was sleeping. It was a very real addiction and looking back I recognise that the cause was due to an emotional trauma which I had experienced – and food was a great source of comfort to me.
My emotional eating became worse and worse the older I got. In fact I remember that my parents used to lock the fridge so that I could not overeat. (This obviously was not the right way to handle it but they thought they were doing what was best.) In primary school I was the fat girl, with no friends who everybody used to make fun of.
When I went to high school things changed slightly, I started playing more sports. I loved hockey and netball and while I was significantly overweight throughout high school I was fitter and healthier and had a more stable relationship with food. This changed drastically when I left high school and year after year I continued to gain weight and was not physically active at all.
I always had the desire to want to change but never acted on that. I don’t think I had the tools or know how, and besides food was my coping mechanism. If I did go on a diet it was for a 2 – 3 weeks maximum before I went back to my old ways.
It was not until one evening in 2011 sitting in my in-laws house around the TV when my father in-law suffered a severe stroke in front of our eyes. We did CPR to the best of our ability and when the ambulance arrived it was sadly too late and he had already passed away. I remember that day how we all felt – that memory is forever imprinted in my mind. I promised myself that day that I would take care of myself that I did not want my children one day to have to go through something similar. However I was pregnant at the time and a diet at the time was not possible.
In 2015, 4 years later after my father in-law’s passing I woke up one morning on my birthday and looked in the mirror and realised I had not kept my promise to myself. I was the heaviest I had ever been at 143kg. I was unhappy and unhealthy and knew I needed to make a change. I coincidently that day I saw a picture of Sleekgeek Gen Brand’s Transformation and remember thinking if she could do it I am sure I could. That day I looked in the mirror and made a choice.
It was the best gift I have given myself. I looked at my daughter running around our house and decided I owed to her to look after myself and teach her by example to be healthy. That day I made a choice and there was no turning back, I knew the time had come.
I found Sleekgeek on the internet and the Sleekgeek REBOOT 30 Day Real Food eating Challenge seemed like exactly what I needed, and so I decided to do my first REBOOT. I did my shopping and prepared my meals which I found very challenging, but I was determined. I stuck to my first reboot and lost about 12kg in 30 days. At first I was not really able to exercise at all.
After my first reboot I realised I needed to do some form of exercise and I had an old “Tae Bo” DVD which I decided to pull out and I started doing Tae Bo every 3rd day. I could barely do the exercises’ correctly but I just did what I could. I followed my first REBOOT up with another 2 months of REBOOT and managed to lose a total 30 kg after 90 days of REBOOT. Reboot rocks!
While I had come across Sleekgeek online I never added myself to any of the Facebook pages or really participated in the community at all, to be honest the first 3 – 4 months of my journey it was just me. My husband showed no interest at all in changing the way he ate. I found it very discouraging and continued to hope he would jump on the “band-wagon”.
I received a Sleekgeek Newsletter about free fitness classes being offered at Huba Fitness in partnership with Sleekgeek. It was right around the corner from my house, and I realised I didn’t have an excuse not to go. I was so scared and worried I hadn’t been to a gym in years. I stopped making excuses and decided to sign up. It was the best thing I could have done. I got to meet and interact with all the amazing “Sleeks” with whom I am still friends. The staff at Huba was amazing and helpful and I found myself going to class every Saturday.
I loved being part of the Sleekgeek community and wish I found this support base earlier in my journey, it would have made the first few months so much easier.
My husband and I won entries to the Couples Challenge for the Sleekgeek Ultimate You 8-Week Challenge in October 2016. This is where things changed for my husband and he became motivated and it was exactly what he needed, having him on board with me was the best thing ever and he went on to lose 12kg in those 8 weeks of the Challenge. [Enter Challenge]
I then decided to review my eating plan and wanted to be a little less restrictive and decided to give Banting a go, and it really worked well for me. I found it easier to prepare one meal for my entire family than 2 separate meals each night and this meant this lifestyle would me more sustainable in the long run.
I lost a further 25kg whilst following a Banting eating plan, bringing my total weight loss to 55kg to date. I signed up at at Huba full-time which is a functional fitness gym and I also more recently developed a love for running and am very proud to say that I recently completed the FNB One Run – my first ever official race.
There have been many challenges along the way, I think the two greatest challenges for me have been learning to have a healthy relationship with food and not having food control me. There were days where I would give in and emotionally eat, but I have never let it continue for longer than a day. It is an ongoing journey of healing and it gets better with each passing day. Now when I recognise the signs of emotional eating and I put on my running shoes and go for a run which is the best cure ever.
My second challenge has been weekends – pretty crappy seeing as though there is one every 5 days…but weekends are the toughest. Many a weekend I have thrown away a week’s hard work for a moment of indulgence. Now every time before I put anything in my mouth I think of how hard I have worked and that the moment of indulgence does not justify the price I will pay.
My life has changed drastically since I have started putting real food in my body and exercising. I can honestly say I am no longer depressed or have extreme mood swings, I find myself to be a better mother and wife not only because I feel better, but am able to run around and play with my daughter and my confidence has increased and it shows in my actions. I have learnt and continue to learn to love myself and treat my body with the respect it deserves.
I think the best advice I could offer anyone from experience especially those with a vast amount of weight to lose is:
- Take one day at a time and each day do what is possible in order to improve your health and your fitness. Don’t focus on the mountain in front of you, one step at a time. If you resolve each morning to wake up and do the possible, days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before you know it you are half way up the mountain and the impossible is looking very possible. Remember time will pass regardless so you might as well put it to good use.
- Be prepared. Throw out all the junk in your house; you cannot eat what you do not have. Have healthy alternatives everywhere, at work in your draws, in your car. If you are prepared then there is much less of a chance you will eat junk.
- Have a reason and remind yourself of it every day. For me it was my family, I wanted to be there for them, I want to see my little girl grow up. And each day I wake up I say remember why you’re doing this.
- Be accountable, this one is tough but so important, find a friend, a group, a community like Sleekgeek and anyone to be accountable to. Someone you can be real with. My best friend and I do this each Monday we report our weight and talk about the week and where we went wrong or what we did right and it helps to keep you focussed. It has been a great help.
- Ps thanks to our “Transformation Tuesday” sponsors Wellness Warehouse. All the health products you will ever need under one roof.