I am Keshni Khadija Mahomed, a mother to 3 beautiful children- Joshua, Hanna and Aadam. I am 37 years old and work as an Occupational Health Practitioner.
All through my life, I have always been the chubby one. People would joke that my sister and I were the perfect “10” as she was tall and thin and I was short and fat. I have never been skinny but it didn’t ever bother me, until I reached 98kg after the birth of my last born.
My Sleekgeek journey is not so much about weight loss as it is about a complete life transformation. Yes, what started as the need to lose weight became a journey to living a purpose driven life.
Where It All Began
It all started in September 2016. Whilst doing research for a weight management program for the mine I work at, I stumbled upon Sleekgeek Health Revolution. I was deeply moved by Shana Grobler’s story and tremendously inspired by Jill Prins’ transformation. I saw immediately that Sleekgeek was about so much more than weight loss. Living healthy, living better and being the Ultimate You was the goal. This new angle to weight loss appealed to me and I decided to give it a try.
At that time I was in a very bad space in my life. From 2014, my life had begun a downward spiral. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. My life was actually in ruins. I had lost so much and was on the verge of losing even more. It felt like everything was crumbling all around me and I was powerless to do anything to change it. I had no control of anything in my life. I was overwhelmed, lost, broken, depressed, hurting, barely surviving and trying desperately to keep my life together.
I lost myself in my studies and work as a means to escape but I knew that unless something changed, sooner or later I would break as all my strength was fading and I was dying inside.
One afternoon in July 2016, I came home early from work as I was so emotionally broken. I remember standing at the kitchen counter and had to make a decision. The words from the old Tracy Chapman song came to me, “Leave tonight or live and die this way”. In that moment I knew that I did not want to and could continue to Live and Die this way. There had to be more. There had to be better. “Happy” could happen…I just needed to find a way. In that moment I decided that I was going to “Take back the Power” and change my circumstances. I needed to start living a purpose driven life. I didn’t know how I was going to do it or what I was going to do but I knew that I had to do something.
At that time, the only thing I could change was my physical body. After the birth of Aadam in 2015, I was 98 kg. Even after all my attempts at weight loss including starvation diets, juicing diets, diet pills and a whole host of other recommended programs, I was at 94kg in July 2016. I had literally tried everything to lose weight and had made very little progress.
What I Did To Change My Life
After stumbling upon Sleekgeek, I started to follow the Sleekgeek REBOOT food list. I ate foods from the green list and stopped eating the red list foods. I stopped sugars, carbs and dairy. I have never been a food person. I ate when I needed to or wanted to but food was not my escape. I could go days without eating. I remember one night my tummy was cramping and I was wondering why was my tummy cramping only to realise that I hadn’t eat a meal in almost 3 days!!
In addition to following the food lists, I started eating at least 3 meals a day- even setting alarms on my phone to remind me to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I then followed the MoveMore program as my exercise schedule with lots of support and guidance from Jana Du Toit and by the end of November 2016, I was at 84kg. I had lost 10kg from July to November with the bulk of the weight loss from September 2016 to November 2016 (3 months).
I started at Lifeline with Tammy Du Plessis in January 2017. Best decision I ever made. Tammy has me on a specific eating plan which I call the “Clean Green”. It’s mostly protein and vegetables. There is no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, no caffeine or red meat. But there is lots and lots of Green Tea!!! There is a weekly “Cheat Meal” and a “Freebie Friday” but she emphasises eating healthy and eating something of substance. She has taught me not to put junk into your body. Your body takes care of you, so you should take care of your body.
How I Keep It Up
My eating plan involves 3 meals and 2 snacks per day and yes, I have an alarm that reminds me to eat or snack at specific times.
Jean Du Plessis is my exercise coach. I typically do 2 cardio sessions and 3 weight resistance training sessions per week. My daily step target is 6000 steps as my job is mostly desk-bound.
I found that keeping a journal has really helped me. I plan my eating, exercise, activities, sleep, water intake and even some social media tasks in my journal and then I update it daily to see what I actually did against what I planned.
I also journal my thoughts as I found that writing down what you think and feel helps to deal with the emotions that weigh you down.
What Keeps Me Going
I believe that failure to plan is planning to fail. Especially when it comes to eating. Yes, I am one of the Sunday afternoon meal preppers. I make most of my food on a Sunday so that I am never in a position where I don’t have something clean to eat. You have to have healthy food available all the time because if you don’t then you will just put whatever junk is available into your mouth when you are hungry. I typically keep boiled eggs, tuna and tomato relish and chicken fillets in the fridge for times when I am unexpectedly hungry.
I do have my weak moments when I reach into the snack cupboard and my favourite vice is popcorn!
My motto is
-Keep it simple.
-Keep it real.
-Do what works for you.
-Do what you can do.
I have a new found passion for running and participating in races. Every month I try to participate in at least one Parkrun, one 10km race- either trail or road and one Obstacle Race. For this year I have done the GI Joe Race (January), Warrior Rookie (February) and Warrior Commando (March). The best part of the obstacle races is that my son Josh does the races with me. He tells me that he is so proud of me. Seeing the change in me has inspired him to change himself as well.
I plan on doing my first 21km at the Wally Hayward Marathon on 1 May and my goal is to eventually participate in the Comrades Marathon in 2019 (when I turn 40).
I am now a fitter, stronger, healthier person. I have lost a total of 21kg thus far and have come down from a size 40/42 to a size 34/36.
My New Life
This journey has resulted in a complete life overhaul. I started challenging my circumstances and slowly started working through them one at a time. The weight loss has been the pivot that sparked my life transformation.
I live on a natural high now. There is no depression or anxiety. I don’t allow life to happen- I make it happen. I have taken back the power in my life because now I have found the strength that I need to own my life.
I can say that I am not a human “being” but I am a human “doing”. I am no longer surviving- now I am living.
My circumstances have all changed. Most of the problems that I faced through 2014- 2016 have now mostly resolved because I finally had the strength to change my life.
My focus is on quality of life. Me and my family comes first. I make time for me because everything starts with me. If I am empty- what do I have to give to others? So I keep my cup full by making time to do the things that make me happy and I keep my batteries charged so that I can always give to my family and to my world.
One of the significant changes that I made was to quit my job a few weeks ago. I realised that I had a very unhealthy addiction to my job. I would leave home at 3am to go to work and still work until after 4pm. Sometimes work 14 hour days. I didn’t ever see my family in the mornings. I deserved better than to have to work so hard. So I decided to leave and am now working as a freelance practitioner. Now I even eat breakfast at home. I can’t remember eating breakfast home on a work day in over 10 years! Now I see my family every morning and get to kiss and hug them goodbye before I leave.
I have so much more time now and so much more energy. I feel so good about myself. When I look back to a year ago to what my life was like versus what it is now- it’s a complete transformation. And it all started with a decision to lose weight.
I am forever grateful to Sleekgeek and Lifeline for what I have been able to achieve. I don’t think I could have done it without the support of my Sleekgeek Sisters – Debbie Smith, Natalie Lazarus and Jenni Murray were my first support system from September 2016. They motivated me and pushed me. They reminded me of who I was and what I was capable of doing. Even now, they keep me on my toes and are always cheering me on. There are no words to describe the impact that their love, support and friendship have had in my life.
I am still on this journey, I am enjoying the ride. It’s hard work- you have to wake up every day and consciously decide to press on. You have to tackle your demons. You have to choose to be strong. You have to choose to do the right thing. It requires consistency, commitment, dedication, determination and the will to succeed.
I am not done. I will live a purpose driven life. I will be the Ultimate Me.