Here’s a quick Q&A with Jaco Roets who came 1st in the men’s weight loss category in the latest 8-week Ultimate You Challenge.
Give us a short history of your journey to health and fitness before the challenge.
I used to be a gym going young man in high school, doing powerlifting and playing rugby, but after school I neglected to always keep up the habits, resulting in a roller-coaster ride in terms of weight, going back almost 10 years. I never did stray too far from the 110kg mark, always staying above or below it, but in the last year I managed to go up to a whopping 134.7kg! Getting out of breath after walking up two floors to my office. Not healthy at all…
What prompted you to join the ULTIMATE YOU Transformation Challenge?
My sister, a SG Ambassador, previous contestant and coach “bullied” me into considering the challenge. You see, I use the word “bullying” very loosely, as at the time I did not realize the terrible state of health I was in, in my mind I was healthy and fit enough. Thankfully she managed to convince me to join the challenge, for which I am now extremely grateful.
Give us a quick overview of the nutrition and eating plan that you followed during the challenge.
My nutrition was very basic, sticking to low-point foods on the eating plan I followed, and filling up on zero point foods as far as reasonably practicable. I did have a trick up my sleeve though, as I learned through powerlifting that sudden shocks force the body to reconfigure, so I would eat perfectly clean and stay in a very big calorific deficit for almost 2 weeks straight, and then have a pig-out day where I ate just more than the amount of calories I am supposed to eat for my weight. This approach worked wonders for me. I cut out sugar completely and tried to eat clean nutrients, such as tomatoes, beans, corn on the cob, mixed fresh veg, ostrich steaks, chicken breasts and believe it or not, baked beans.
Give us a quick overview of the training and exercise plan that you followed during the challenge
As it was a weight-loss challenge I decided that I would not do any training other than the 8000+ steps I normally do a day at work, with the 10+ flights of stairs I came into contact with during these hours, as I believed that packing on muscle would defeat the whole purpose of trying to lose weight.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to future challengers, what would they be?
1stly, do not underestimate your mind’s ability to persevere, times might get tough, but if you have your “Why am I doing this?” right your mind will support you in this battle. 2ndly, the support of those around you and on social media cannot be underestimated, there were times where I contemplated quitting, but saw someone else battling through their struggle, and that made me keep pushing. and then lastly, get your strategy set up, commit, and keep committing, this is not for anyone else than yourself, be selfish for once in your life and commit to changing your habits and sticking to your plan.
What did you find most valuable about your experience?
For me the most valuable aspect, as mentioned above was the the support. Being part of an amazing challenge team, Inspirofreak, being able to follow other people’s journeys through the SG Facebook pages, the fact that my challenge buddies kept pushing me to do more, the support from my family and lastly, but most importantly, the support and belief in me by my amazing fiance. That is what made this challenge extraordinary for me.