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Shana’s Desire to Change Helped Her Lose 10kg!

Thank you for allowing me the amazing opportunity to share my journey with you. If it was not for Sleek Geek and the community of family and friends I have made, I doubt I would be where I am today.

So, I am 29, I live in Bothasig in Cape Town with my amazing boyfriend, Sean, and we are both recovering drug addicts. I mention this at the beginning of my story because it’s the only reason I am still alive today, because of recovery. I have a son who is turning 9 on the 31 August. He lives with his dad and I see him on weekends. I am the manager at a cleaning company called Marvellous Maids in Table View. In total, since starting I have lost just over 10kg, but my transformation is completely different to a weight loss one. 

I’ll start from my child hood. I’ve always had a very unhealthy relationship with food. My mom is also a recovering addict and my father worked until the early hours of the morning, so life growing up was very difficult. My mom hated cooking so most of the time we had take-out for dinner. Pizza, KFC, McDonald’s, Spur… this was the norm in my house. I watched my mom yo-yo with her weight and diets, she spent thousands of rands on injections, pills, magic remedies and nothing worked. She hated herself and she made sure everyone around her knew that! So because of that I also developed a very unhealthy self-image and I started self loathing at a young age.

I was very active at school. I played tennis, hockey and cricket and competed in all the athletics events. Even though I was active I was still the “ugly, fat” girl. I developed bulimia at the age of 14. I did it for 2 years and I collapsed in the school bathroom at one stage. My friend at the time found me lying out cold on the floor. The school contacted my parents and help for me was sought. I stopped the bulimia and turned to drugs, crystal meth to be exact. This was all a coping mechanism for me to deal with life and was never about the drugs or the food or the weight.

Throughout the years I started turning to drugs and alcohol for almost anything and everything. If I was happy, sad, excited, angry, it didn’t matter what I felt, I used. I basically stopped eating and would only have a few McDonalds burgers and chips in the week to keep me from passing out. The meth took my appetite away so I struggled to eat. I never exercised! Partying and using became my life. I actually drank a lot to try and keep weight on so my parents would not know that I was using drugs. So I drank a lot! Eventually my boss caught me using and sent me to rehab.

I got clean and with getting clean I had to start looking at my health. So, coming into recovery was the opening of my eyes to how unhealthy I was living. I met my boyfriend in Narcotics Anonymous. He started telling me that he really wanted to go to gym and how he always wanted his ex to gym with him and he’d love it if we did it together. So I took the plunge. We signed up together with a local gym and we started eating healthy meals. In the beginning it was extremely difficult because I knew nothing about healthy eating and gym life. Nothing! I also never had time to sit and research gym programs, recipes etc. So I sort of white knuckled it for the first year. My weight yo-yo’ed again and every time it went up I got demotivated and wouldn’t go to gym for 2 weeks and I’d binge badly! I discovered binge eating. It was even worse than using meth! I spent so much money behind my boyfriend’s back on pizza, Bar-One and Scores energy drinks. I’d be posting broccoli pics to Facebook for breakfast when in actual fact I had a large bacon and avo pizza on a thick base in front of me. I was driving to pizza shops out of my area because they started recognising me and my order and I didn’t want my boyfriend to find out. I then got to a point where I couldn’t anymore.

I joined Sleekgeek and my life changed! I started the Move More Challenge in August 2016 and it seriously changed my life. The amount of support and love I got from the group just made me want to push and push. I wanted what everyone here had! I wanted freedom from myself! I found my amazing coach in Sleekgeek. Tammy has been nothing but absolutely amazing. She knows what it’s like to be addicted to food! She knows when to be hard on me but she knows when I need a friend. Today I’m 2 months binge free! That’s the most amazing transformation for me. I don’t rely on food to make me feel anything anymore. My weight training coach, Jean is like my saviour. He has completely transformed my training and because of him and Tammy, I want to be a Competetive Powerlifter one day! This is a goal we have started working on. I adore my coaches so much and I’m so excited for the future we have together.

This journey is super tough though. I want that Bar-One! I want that KFC! I want junk food all the time. I’ve had to learn to ask for help when I am in that state, I can’t do this alone. A few tips I can give you are as follows:

1. If you feel like you going to crack, reach out! Even just posting a post to Sleekgeek Facebook page. The support you will get will pull you out of your rut, super fast.

2. Don’t weigh yourself everyday. The scale likes to lie. I’ve had to learn that the scale does not define me or how I look.

3. Don’t ever give up! If you stumble or even fall just get up and start over. Be consistent! Do this enough times and it will become a habit.

4. Get a coach! If you are struggling with emotional eating then nothing you do on your own is going to help you. It’s unfortunately the truth. You need help! You need someone to teach you how to not depend on that fix from food.

To end off my story I want to say that I get all my inspiration from Sleekgeek Facebook group. If I ever feel down, if I feel like giving up, I log onto Sleekgeek. I want to also thank my coach Tammy and Jean for never ever giving up on me, no matter what! Because of them I am a better person today.

Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you all.

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