Today we speak to the popular and hilarious Jill Scott who has lost 18kgs with Sleekgeek Coaching in the past 6 months. She candidly shares about her journey including her pearls of practical advice and top tips for success.
Name: Jill Scott
Location: The most beautiful city in the world. Cape Town.
What do you do? [Job]
I am a Djembe Drum Facilitator and have been running my own business in and around Cape Town for the past 9 years offering drumming as an extra-mural activity at schools and I also host and run events for corporates and private functions such as birthdays and end of year work functions and/or teambuilding. My job keeps me very active during the year.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I enjoy being creative, while listening to music, adding more plots to my never ending book I have been working on for the last 15 years. (It’s a romantic fantasy adventure of course).
I enjoy spending my free time with people that share the same interests as me such as hiking, camping, hunting for treasure, going on wild adventures, hanging with people who like to play board games at restaurants and who are willing to go through great effort to get our hands on cookie dough Ice Cream and don’t mind if I zone out occasionally due to daydreaming. I’m a big dreamer so I can keep myself entertained for hours.
I enjoy taking photos, making new friends, hosting parties, social events and spending time networking and connecting with interesting people from all over the world.
When I meet someone special and we connect, it makes me happy.
I meet a lot of special people so I guess that’s why I am always so happy. ☺
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I have been a member when they were still making smoothies with an old fashioned blender and Nutribullet sounded like some kind of diet pill.
I think 2013?
How did you find Sleekgeek?
A friend said to me : “Hey Jill, you like hiking right?”
Friend: There is this guy organising a hike. Do you want to go and join them?
That’s how I met Sleekgeek Founder and “bossman” Elan. I got his number from my friend. Saved his number as “Elan Hike”. It stayed like that in my phonebook for years.
The worst thing Elan has ever done to me is make us dance in front of an entire Ct dinner.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
My favourite part of Sleekgeek is the people that bring it to life every day.
It’s a very safe space. You are quite protected from online bullying which as we all know is a huge problem on social media platforms today.
Sleekgeek’s zero tolerance to bullying and their code of “Uplift, Respect and Inspire” has helped create the culture where people can share their journeys and receive support, advice and encouragement without having to be worried about being subjected to online abuse or judgment.
The Sleekgeek community also extends beyond the web. I have literally made hundreds of friends, including meeting my best friend through social events hosted by SG.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
This is easy. You are young. You start working. You start earning your own money. You start taking more and more shortcuts in your life. You don’t do school sports anymore, so you don’t exercise anymore. You don’t have mom telling you to eat all your veggies before you can leave the table.
You actually have money to buy take away every weekend if you want.
You quickly develop a taste for the fast, convenient and tasty options that present themselves to you as an adult.
Being lazy, going to work, braaing, partying, eating, binge watching movies, drinking while being young helps develop a pattern that I am sure many adults can relate to and watch the bad habits repeat themselves for many years as was the case for the best part of my twenties and one day you, like me, wake up 25kg overweight wondering how you let it get this bad. Except every year you vow this will be the year to fix it, yet every year you end up gaining even more weight.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
It was the time that I started hitting the triple digits on the scale. The only time I ever want to see 3 digits on a scale is if someone is offering to pay me my weight in gold.
I was struggling to do basic tasks. Years of neglect and ignoring the damage of the bad habits I had developed saw me reach my heaviest last year at 118kg.
I had once again reached a point of absolute discomfort. Tying shoe laces was physically impossible. Climbing the flight of stairs to my flat would leave me gasping for breath. My job left me physically exhausted and I struggled to keep up with the energy required to do my job properly. Going out for an evening would be a recipe for “how to make a fat girl feel depressed”.
Nothing fits, I look shit. I feel shit. I feel uncomfortable. The worst is putting on the outfit you thought in your head you could pull off but you might as well be staring at a big fat “f*** you” when looking in the mirror. This would be followed by tears, horrible accusations that my bf doesn’t love me anymore and “We are staying f******* home because I have nothing to wear”
I remember waking up in the mornings, flailing about trying to get up with a lot of effort, placing my feet on the floor and just feeling “unwell”.
I just got to a low point of just feeling so tired of feeling tired and “unwell” and never having the motivation or energy to do the things I knew I loved. I would prefer to stay indoors over weekends, eating copious amounts of junk food and escaping.
My depression was also at its worse during this time.
I went to the doctor and I knew the results were going to be poor.
I expected the concerned lecture from the GP regarding the extra 52kg of obesity weight that I was carrying.
I expected the high sugar reading and the mention of diabetes type 2 and again medication was advised.
I knew the headaches, fatigue, depression, joint pain, back pain and overall poor health was all related to my poor nutrition.
What I wasn’t expecting was the scary high blood pressure reading. I have never suffered from HBP.
So this is what a reality check looks like.
You would think “diabetes type 2” would have been enough the first time scare me into changing my lifestyle and it did. I have tried to lose weight for many years and using different methods too. I have tried it all.
Except the snake diet. I refuse to drink my own pee.
Unless you were willing to pay me my weight in gold.
Anyway, I walked out that doctors rooms that day with my list of doom and I went straight to the Sleekgeek Facebook Group and I made an accountability post that I was going to fight for my life and health starting from that visit.
That was 6 months ago.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
The biggest and most important step I took was signing up with Precision Nutrition to do their certification. I not only took up the course to study it for myself to educate myself but I signed up with a full year of Sleekgeek Coaching with Sleekgeek co-founder Eric – (Sleekgeek teaches the Precision Nutrition system).
The Sleekgeek Coaching in a nutshell is a coaching style program that focuses on making small consistent healthy choices and therefore helps you build new habits to replace the years of bad ones.
This was a crucial stepping stone as I suffered from years of emotional binge eating. I could lose weight. I knew what to do. But I could only stick to things or routine for a few weeks at the most. The binge eating would always trip me up.
I was quite resistant to the coaching in the beginning as it required daily input, but this was the most simple effective tool that helped me break the “pattern” of me only lasting for a few weeks as having to rock up every day for the pn lessons taught me that true success to weight loss is sustainability and consistency.
Trying to always choose the “better” choice every day becomes the lifestyle. Not some diet that you try stick to for 10 weeks and then fail on.
The coaching taught me that sustainability can include cake.
Interested in Sleekgeek Coaching?
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1) Read more about the coaching here
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What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Believe it or not but still rocking up every day and doing my Sleekgeek Coaching lessons, studies and staying committed to my training program.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Suck it buttercup.
You always liked a challenge anyway?
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes. I actually have been maintaining over December and January which is amazing as this is the first December I didn’t derail and gain all the weight again but I have been on a plateau for the last 3 months of which I am hoping to actually shake up a little bit with the current Sleekgeek 8-Week Transformation Challenge.
What is better since you got healthy?
Here is my list of top nine things that got better since I got healthy and lost some weight along with it:
- My clothes started fitting better and felt more comfortable.
- I had more energy to do my job.
- My headaches stopped.
- My depression bouts became less and less and a trip to the gym would usually help if I do feel low.
- Walking for hours at the mall is no longer tiring.
- Sex is great. Giddy up cowboy!
- My running time on trails is improving and it’s nice not dying on the trails anymore.
- I can reach the top of the steps and greet my bf without having to wait 5 minutes to get my breath back.
- I can shave my legs without worrying if that’s my kidney or spleen that’s been crushed in the process.
I just FEEL so much better.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Trail Running and Powerlifting.
’Strong Girls lift each other up’
Nothing is more attractive to me then a woman who can carry her own bags if need be, can change a tyre, lift heavy shit and could give you a run for your money if you had to arm wrestle with her.
Strong is sexy.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I have been messing around with trail running for about 3 years now. I say messing around because its 3 years later and I still seem to be where I was 3 years ago. I am a very slow runner and years of tripping up and setbacks has never seen me make any true progress.
Despite this, we have done some crazy trail events that honestly I don’t even know what drugs I had to take to make it.
My PW time. (Personal worst ) for a 21.5 km Trail over a mountain was just over 6 hours.#
I am being quite hard on myself. I have been staying jogging fit over the last 6 months and I am currently running a 5km in about 42 minutes which is still very slow but this is the fastest times I have ever had and managed to maintain for a period stretching more than just a few short weeks.
I was also introduced into the world of powerlifting through a 6 month competition I won and entered my first powerlifting competition in 2016. I had a lot of fun. I came last but as a complete newbie, I was pretty happy with my 70kg bench press. So along with trail running, I have always included weight training in my training from this powerlifting experiencing and if you ask me what’s better to lose weight, my answer for woman is always lift heavy shit.
Leave the cardio for when you chase your husband to unpack the dishwasher. 😛
What does your typical workout look like?
Sustainable looks like this:
Running: 2 – 3 times a week (15-20km a week)
Weight Training: 2 – 3 times a week. (40 mins)
Swimming: Every Monday. It’s part of my active recovery.
Rest day: 1-3 depending on the week’s activities.
Running: 4 – 5 Times a week
Weight Training: 4 sessions a week.
Swimming: When I can
Rest Day: 1
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Powerlifting: Picking up anything heavy that feels like you could get away with dragging a body into the woods by yourself.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Don’t tell me do to anything that makes my t-shirt fly up as my belly tries to escape.
Burpees, skipping, jumping, Jumping Jacks. Mountain climbers, sit-ups.
These are all shit for women with tummies unless you wear a fricken costume or customize a sleeping bag with holes for your legs and arms.
How does exercise make you feel?
It makes me feel tired.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I enjoy either. I like doing my own thing and being my own boss means I can go to the gym any time any day. So I prefer to not commit to having a gym buddy etc I love training with my friends but we all have a great understanding of when and how we train.
I love helping people and would love to help woman become more confident in the weight section of the gym.
Most embarrassing training moment?
Just have a convo with me. I have this weird condition where I think faster than the words can come out my mouth which means sometimes I say things that make no sense and also I sometimes get words mixed up. Instead of lawn mower, I will say mawn lower. I also really struggle to pronounce big words. Nicola is going to be laughing a lot when she reads this section of the interview.
I’m extra special this way.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Your next training goal?
2019 is one action packed year.
In April we are very excited to announce our first official Sleekgeek Trail Team that will be travelling and partaking in the Augrabies 2-day stage race. I am currently training for that.
Then we face Mount Kilimanjaro in September!
Myself and well know Sleekgeeks Nicola Davidson and Hermien Elago are raising funds for our chosen charities, to create awareness for diabetes and depression.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
Immortality – Cartoon
My Heart – Different Heaven
You me- Disclosure
Dirty Paws – Monsters and Men
Best Female Vocal Dubstep Mix (Colab)
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life?
It has definitely helped me get stronger. With trail running, the strength training has been a huge advantage and also with my job as I carry a lot of equipment.
I think also as a woman living in a world where we feel we always need to be on our guard and alert, I feel more confident as I grow in strength and having the knowledge that I could run or jog for 10km over tough terrain in any weather is empowering.
What’s your favourite meal?
Just give me meat. LOL!
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Hands down. I love the stuff.
But add avo and those bacon croutons. Haha.
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
“If you want to weigh less, eat less”
“Sustainability includes cake”
How many meals a day do you eat?
Gosh. To be honest, I don’t follow a set eating meal routine. As per the Sleekgeek Coaching I eat when I’m hungry.
Some days this means I eat maybe two meals during the day. Some days it means I ate 3 or 4 times. Sometimes I wake up hungry and will have a big breakfast. But most mornings I don’t eat breakfast and I only eat after 12. Sometimes I’m busy all day and only eat at 9pm.
But I always eat slowly and mindfully and try get my macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) in.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
No. I don’t believe in good or bad food.
I just try make better choices.
If I’m going out for dinner to a restaurant at night, I would tend to have a very light lunch, something like some protein such as a shake or an egg or tuna or biltong and keep macros aside for the evening out should I wish to have some wine or carbs or dessert or all three!
It’s about balance.
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Completing my first half Marathon in 2017 and the Drakensburg 2-Day Trail in 2018 at over 100kg and not having had a long time to train due to an ankle injury were massive cause for celebrations in Jill town.
“After Winter, must come Spring”
Fantastic Mr Fox! By Roald Dahl
What inspires and motivates you?
Music inspires me as it’s the heartbeat of all my dreams.
I visualise and then set goals to help reach those dreams.
Music plays a huge role in how much passion I feel towards certain projects and goals.
It’s why I train and jog with music 99% of the time. At home I am plugged into music 80% of the time.
Lyrics move me. Songs inspire me.
Legends never die.
For what are you most grateful?
I think I am most grateful for having the chance to have been loved and loved.
And im grateful that my cat doesn’t leave hair everywhere.
Wait…was this answer supposed to health related?
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Come to the dark side. We have chocolate here.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- You are not going to be able to give up sugar for 21 days like you tell yourself. Same goes for any other food group you have decided to place the blame on for making you fat (be it bread, pasta, chips, coke)
- There are no good or bad foods.
- Ditch the saying “I’ve fallen off the wagon again’.
- Have the chocolate but then have the veggies too.
- If you want to look good, focus on nutrition. If you want to look good naked, then exercise as well.
Have some fricken fun man. You only have one life.
Laugh from your Belly!
Die with peace.
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