QA: 63 year old​ Heidi Stevenson loses 8kg & improves her mind, body and spirit.

Heidi_S

Name: Heidi Stevenson
Age: 63
Location: Capri, Fish Hoek, Cape Town.

What do you do [Job]
Retired

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I am on the committee of False Bay Handicraft Centre and in charge of the library at the Handicraft Club. I also teach some handicraft classes at Craft Club. I am a Secretary on the Capri Neighbourhood Watch Committee and I am a member of Zone Fitness gym where I attend Core Burn, Pilates, Yoga and Body Ball Balance classes on a regular basis (usually attend 6 classes per week). I am also a matric exam invigilator.

My hobbies include various crafts and reading. I am always willing to try and learn something new. I am a grandmother to 2 boys – 12 and 7 years old. 

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I have been keeping an eye on the Sleekgeek Facebook page from 2015.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
I can’t remember but I think my daughter is a member and it was through her that I learnt about it. She doesn’t post anything though.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
To see the incredible transformations in people’s bodies from eating correctly and exercising. It’s inspiring and it caused me to think and pause and finally decide that I also needed to do that.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
The ‘old’ me was feeling uncomfortable in my clothes. I was starting to look for and wear clothes which would hide my stomach etc.

I put too much food on my plate and not enough vegetables. Fortunately, I do not have a sweet tooth but in winter, on a cold night, I could easily eat a whole bar of chocolate.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
My tight fitting clothes and the fact that there were some that I loved and didn’t want to get rid of.

My GP also told me that I should lose 5kg in order to help bring my blood pressure down. By the time I started taking care of my food intake my weight had increased by 8kg. Putting on weight like that scared me – I could either continue to get bigger or make a change. I didn’t want to become a ‘Tannie’ who wore shirts over T-shirts to hide the belly rolls.

Both my son and daughter are very much into fitness – that also inspired me to change.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I can do physical work without aches and pains afterwards (eg. worked a 5-hour stint in the garden – previously I would have been full of aches and pains the day after but the 5-hour stint didn’t affect me at all!)

I put less food on my plate and eat more veggies (usually 3 different vegetables with dinner). I avoid eating too many carbs and if I eat carbs then I look for the better carb.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
I can honestly say that I don’t have a struggle with the way I am now. Sometimes I am tempted to have a chocolate bar – but it’s not a real struggle at all.

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Look at the photo of the ‘old’ me.

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
A plateau hit before I lost my last kilo to get to my goal weight, but once that was lost, I lost another two without even trying!

I slid backwards over the festive season and put on 2kg, but that put me at my ideal goal weight. In the last month, my weight is once again reducing (below goal weight) – without much effort on my side.

What is better since you got healthy? 
I sleep better, have more energy, my blood pressure has reduced (although have got to reduce it a wee bit more). I feel good about my body – dare I say – proud of my body, especially at my age.

TRAINING

What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Core Burn, Pilates, Body Ball Balance.

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I joined the gym in March 2018 and immediately started with the classes mentioned above.

My son was a member of Zone Fitness, now moved to Virgin Active. I went to chat with Zone Fitness and discovered that, as a pensioner, my monthly fee was only R178.

What does your typical workout look like?
Tuesday: Core Burn then Yoga
Thursday: Core Burn then Pilates
Friday: Body Ball Balance
Saturday: Pilates (sometimes treadmill first)

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Core Burn, Pilates and Body Ball Balance give me equal enjoyment. Yoga comes 2nd to all of those.

Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Yoga – I don’t dislike it but would prefer a ‘more demanding class’ (there is no option because that is all that is offered at the gym. Having said that, I am certainly no yoga fundi, so appreciate what I am learning in that class).

How does exercise make you feel? 
Alive, invigorated, stimulated.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer to train with others because watching others gives me a yardstick with which to measure myself and see if I am progressing according to those who have been doing that particular exercise longer than I have.

When training with others I can learn the correct way to do an exercise – what’s the use of doing various poses etc when you are not doing it right?

Most embarrassing training moment?
Farting in Core Burn (that day there was no music playing! Oh dear!)

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Water and towel.

Your next training goal?
My goal is to tone/firm up my body and build muscle.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I don’t have any since music is provided in the various classes.

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I feel, and believe I am, physically stronger plus my posture has improved.

My body is getting toned. I feel good in clothes that many ladies my age would not be able to wear because of their menopausal bodies (I’m FAR from perfect and ageing cannot be stopped but one can still make an effort to look better).

It takes away any stress (yes – although I am retired I do have stress).

I am invigorated after exercising.

My husband told me that he has noticed how exercise has changed me for the good in terms of mind, body and spirit.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?
Steak with salad and some chips on the side.

Favourite protein?
Steak

Favourite fat?
Avocado

Favourite carbohydrate?
Sweet potato

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Eat lots of different veggies.
Carbs (even simple carbs) are not necessarily harmful, as long as you eat them in moderation.

How many meals a day do you eat?
Two.
11.30am then 7.00 or 7.30pm

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
Not specifically but an awareness of carb/sugar intake automatically kicks in when I fancy a custard slice/pastry etc. If I have anything like that I make sure that I cut down/out on carbs in other meals.

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
I honestly wasn’t sure if I could lose weight like I have – even though it was only 8kg since I am aware that the older you get the less active your metabolism is.

I also dreaded Core Burn thinking that I was too old to participate in such a class but being in that class has been so beneficial to my physical toning.

Favorite quote?
If you don’t try, you don’t know
Try, try and try again.

Favourite book? 
Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolynn Myss

What inspires and motivates you?
Seeing what others achieve – it challenges my thinking. Motivation comes from seeing and wanting to achieve similar things

For what are you most grateful? 
At my age I am most grateful that I am healthy and not riddled with illnesses brought on by ageing (although I have arthritis in my hands – but there are people younger than me with rheumatoid arthritis/bad arthritis/fibromyalgia etc).

As difficult as it was and I NEVER want to go through it again – I am grateful for having experienced many financially hard years in the past. Those years didn’t allow us to have any luxury foods or snacks/sweets in our house. We got into the habit of not drinking cool drinks, no snacking etc.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Take that first step no matter how small it is. Then take the second step. Don’t give up – give yourself a month and see how you’ve moved forward. 

What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?

  • A balance of food intake is key in terms of quantity on your plate and a combination of veg and protein.
  • Don’t go for a quick solution. Rather take it slow and allow the change to become a way of thinking and lifestyle.
  • Fast foods are totally out of the question. Make everything you eat from scratch, then you will know exactly what goes into it (preservative free etc).
  • Exercise no matter how – walking, swimming etc. Every little bit helps.
  • Love yourself enough to start doing it.