Today we speak to Cape Town Sleekgeek “live wire” Courtney Strauss who has not only lost 45kgs on her personal journey but also popularised herself in the community. She is a 8-Week Challenge team leader and known for sharing her workout videos in the Facebook group.
Name: Courtney Kelly Strauss
Location: Parow, Western Cape
What do you do? [Job] Operating Theatre Practitioner
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc] Play Softball, sing and gym has become a hobby. I like reading as well as a good movie or series.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Since September 2017
How did you find Sleekgeek?
My Sister introduced me to Sleekgeek. I joined but hardly interacted. I suppose at first I never really knew what it was about.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Meeting new people and sharing weight loss tips.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
The old me was a takeaway junky – everything I saw I ate even if I was not hungry. I guess I was pushed over the edge with my mother’s passing.
I lost all motivation to remain health. I soon started working and earning my own money. Then I began eating and eating and eating….I buried issues I suppose? – Depression being one of them.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
Honestly, I was getting dressed one day and my daughter says to me, “Mommy you have a big tummy.” – that broke me.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I stay away from takeaways…??? Savoury snacks is my downfall so I steer clear of them. If I do indulge in a cheat meal it will be one day and one meal, not the whole day.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Remaining motivated to eat healthy everyday – it’s a constant battle making the right choice.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Take it one meal at a time.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Oh yes! Many times, I have been trying to lose weight for years and I kept giving up because my progress was slow.
What is better since you got healthy?
I have more energy. I am more productive at work. I’m not as moody…lol. My skin has improved – I use to get pimples, but they are less now.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Weights, squats, lunges
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I have been seriously training for 2yrs now. I felt that doing home workouts was not giving me the results that I wanted, so I joined a gym….best decision ever!
What does your typical workout look like?
Mondays: HIIT (High intensity interval training)
Tuesday: Upper body weights
Thursday: Legs weights
Weekends I do sport.
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
How does exercise make you feel?
Like I’m on top of the world….you can say it’s my ‘drug’.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Both! I can motivate myself to train alone and I love training with others – it motivates me to push harder.
Most embarrassing training moment?
When I started out with my weight training I was still very green and no one told me that eating boiled eggs before gym was a bad idea! Well let’s just say the gym was filled with interesting odours at the end of my gym session??????
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
My headphones, my skipping rope and my SG branded hand towel ?
Your next training goal?
Calisthenics! I want to be able to use my bodyweight to do handstands, human flag…etc.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
Anything by Daddy Yankee
Lose yourself – Eminem
Pink (any song)
ACDC Highway to Hell
Get Ready – Mase
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life?
In sports I am the second fastest player in my team. My kids look at me and say they want to be as strong as me.
Last year I was chosen to play softball against an American team. I can easily do a 1 hour softball training session without passing out haha!
What’s your favourite meal?
Steak, Spinach and feta and sweet potato.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Steak , Spinach and feta and Sweet Potato hahahaha
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
I basically just incorporate the four food groups….Carbs, protein, healthy fat and greens
“Have the four, you will soar” – Corny I know.
How many meals a day do you eat?
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
On a Sunday I treat myself to ice cream, I make sure my other meals are just below my calorie deficit when I do indulge in the dairy goodness ?
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
I did my first pull up last year. My dream of having enough upper body strength to pull myself up…awesome!
“The only way from Rock Bottom, is UP!”
What inspires and motivates you?
For what are you most grateful?
My second chance…
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
It’s a stepping stone to a better you. If we are afraid to walk into the light, we will always be in the dark.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- One meal at a time
- Don’t complicate things, keep it simple
- Ask for help in the gym, people are willing
- Don’t give up, its slow progress, but it’s still progress
- Enjoy the journey