I want to start off by saying that I am a trained health professional, trained extensively to treat disease processes. During my time of medical school training, we weren’t taught much about health as I have come to understand it today, neither about nutrition or exercise.
I know…. quite astonishing!
My journey to health started with major depression compounded in a health system falling apart. I had just graduated with a Masters in Medicine in 2013 at the age of 32. The harsh realities of working in a toxic environment broke me down. I came in wanting to make a positive contribution. The more I tried the more it took of me. I started to question my future in medicine. I couldn’t balance my work and life.
Something felt wrong. I should’ve been happy especially after adopting our little girl after a 5 year long wait after bringing home our son. Work consumed my every thought and it broke me. Today I can say that I am happy that it did, otherwise I would have never had woken up!
My thoughts were constantly fretting the past or worrying about the future. I remember sitting at the kitchen table during my sick leave and started crying because I couldn’t remember what the taste/sensation of jam and toast felt like. It dawned on me the importance of presence. Presence in this very simple moment, presence in my life and in my beautiful little family.
My journey never started with a need to change my body. All I knew was I wasn’t happy with the way my life was going. This journey has and is leading me to discover myself and that is what I appreciate the most!
The most beautiful part of my fitness journey is how it has brought my husband and I closer together. We have been through some tough years facing infertility. Overcoming that together made us realise that we could do anything together. Life is a strange but beautiful creature. We spend our lives dreaming and creating a picture of what it should look like. Infertility/Depression stripped us of all the bullshit and made us grateful for everything we have and the gift of adoption it has given us.
To us, the Sleekgeek community symbolises the pursuit of wellness in all its aspects.
I started to notice I couldn’t breathe well. I couldn’t keep up with my 2 year old. I found the Sleekgeek Facebook Group and I loved that I wasn’t being sold shakes and supplements. I loved the idea of the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge and signed up.
I was shocked when I took my pictures. “Not the fok can you look like this Kaashiefah!”☺. I was excited for change and I needed it! One thing that got me through tough experiences in my life was and overwhelming determination and grit to finish whatever I started.
I was excited to see what I could accomplish in 8 weeks. My advice to anyone embarking on this journey would be to start off with the 8-Week Challenge . I advocate it to all my patients who are in a similar situation. You could call me a “Sleek Geek Doctor” ☺
- I made myself the most important priority in my life
- I saw a psychiatrist and got onto antidepressants. (this was particularly hard as a health professional seeking help)
- I started seeing a psychologist
- I signed up to the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge . I think this is a great start to anyone embarking on their “wellness journey”.
- I had a little green book in which I started journaling my behaviour, routines and aspirations.
- I kept it simple.
- I ate whole, fresh food (not processed) and portioned my food. I tried the “banting” diet thinking that it would be a quick fix but I could literally feel myself going nuts without carbs. This led me to the astonishing realization of “listening to your body”. I know it sounds cliché but when you take the time to notice and feel the effect of not only food but other factors/environments you get to understand what is good for you. I had to switch autopilot off and actively direct my choices.
- I had this UFC training program I would follow twice a day at home. I didn’t feel comfortable at gym. My hubby would laugh at me when he saw my “fighting” moves but later after seeing my results he started joining me☺. We had so much fun!
- I would get home after work thrice a week and went walking/running. At first I couldn’t run for 20 secs straight. I would use lamp posts as markers of my progress and every time I push a little harder. There was this little hill that would kill me and back then I thought it was crazy to think I could run up it but over time I conquered. Running melted the fat away. My body started having curves! I started feeling better about myself. Then all of a sudden the world noticed! ☺
- I started feeling strong mentally and pushing my body made me feel like a BEAST! Today I am able to run a 5km under 30 mins and on the 23rd September, 1 year later I will be attempting my first marathon!
- I joined the gym about 1.5 years ago. I still feel a bit out of place in the weight section but almost as if God is listening to me. I won fitness training sessions that will hopefully make me more comfortable with weight training. I have been doing a lot of body weight training.
- My husband and I constantly inspire and push each other to do better. We have loads of fun in the process and especially getting our little family outdoors. We have climbed Table Mountain and Lions head with our kids. Getting the kids to do park runs and fun walks.
- Don’t be afraid to do new things! Get out of your house and enjoy the beautiful fresh air. Enjoy this beautiful country we have been given!
My Husband, my husband and my husband ☺ he is my rock! With him at my side and cheering me on has made my life beautiful. I am sure from my Sleekgeek posts you can see that I love this guy! The key is to have fun, be silly and focus on your path. By doing this you won’t have time to pay attention to the naysayers.
Make the circle bigger
My extended family has all jumped on board and getting fit. My parents stopped smoking. My little sister is getting her postpartum bum into shape! Overall our family has become stronger through fitness.
My support network has grown over the last 2 years. I love the running community! I think runners understand the power of enjoying the journey even if it’s hard. I never would have thought of myself as a runner but it has completely changed me.
I would like to say thank you to founders Elan and Eric for this wonderful Sleekgeek community. You lead by example and showing us “the good, the bad and the ugly” and owning it! I love people who are sincere and real. The Sleekgeek community supports each other like wildfire!!!
- My first Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge.
- Running my first “under 30min” 5km
- My first 21km done all alone ☺
- Being able to do a handstand again
- New sexy Wardrobe (size 40 to 32)
- Acro Yoga with my husband ☺
Lows: serious challenges
- Dealing with toxic people (TIP: kindness honesty kills them)
- I still can’t wake up at 5am! ☺
- Zinger wings and doughnuts (instead of having 8 I will have 2)
- Self-esteem issues
- Confronting my own demons
Some valuable tips
- Be honest with yourself. Get help when you need it. Health is not only a great body but good mind and happy Heart! Depression is serious and can kill you. Speak out and remove the stigma.
- Keep it simple. Listen to your body. Notice how you feel when eating certain foods. Get educated and just start. Put yourself first. That means being selfish, slow down and doing right with yourself first before anyone else.
- If you are in a relationship, do it together!
- Have fun and don’t be afraid to try new things even if it scares you!