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💪 8-Week Body Transformation Challenge! 🥗

QA: Josh Hohbein – 70kgs down and about to run a half marathon.

It is not often at Sleekgeek we have new members from other countries with no expat ties to SA. There are always exceptions who we welcome with open arms!

Today we talk to Josh Hohbein who topped the scale at 170kg and was tired of feeling terrible all the time.

Name: Josh Hohbein
Location: North Dakota, United States of America.

What do you do? [Job]
I am a kitchen assistant and general manager of a bar/restaurant called Buffalo Wild Wings.

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I am a sponsored pro disc golf player.

I love running, cooking, adventuring and chasing my kids around! 


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
About two months now. 

How did you find Sleekgeek?
The one and only Badass Unicorn Jill Scottfound me on Instagram! She told me about this community. I love weight loss/health communities so I decided to check it out! 

Since starting my weight loss journey, I’ve become super interested in weight loss/nutrition/exercise etc but I don’t really have anyone in real life to “geek” out about over that stuff.

I love online communities like this because we all share the same interests. I also love helping others and providing, as well as finding inspiration. Sleekgeek is one of (if not the best) online wellness community I’ve found. And I’ve been a part of quite a few!

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Honestly, my favourite part is the “correct” way to lose weight is promoted. So many groups, especially in the USA are all about selling pills, shakes, diet supplements, meals etc.

They are all about shortcuts and making money off of desperate people, and they don’t work. 

Sleekgeek is different. No shortcuts, no BS. Eat fewer calories, eat better, move more.

Oh and everyone here will support and cheer you on too! What’s not to love?


Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
Oh man. I was almost 400lbs (180kg).

I still loved being active, but I loved food, soda and beer way more. I was addicted to food – ate whatever and whenever I wanted. My weight also got in the way of me being as active as I wanted to be.

I was lethargic, had sleep apnea and would even fall asleep at work.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
A combination of a few things.

One of my friends/coworkers passed away unexpectedly and he exercised all the time. Turned out it was a rare undiagnosed heart condition but it definitely made me question my mortality. I was also tired of feeling like crap all the time. It was getting harder to do simple things like tie my shoes. 

Mostly though, I was sick of failing. I’m super determined and I’ve been able to accomplish pretty much anything I’ve set my mind to except lose weight. I had no excuse for it and I had to figure out how to make it happen. So I did. 

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
Almost everything. Meal prep, track my calories, weigh my food, look for every opportunity for exercise and fun activities!

I still love food, but I changed the way I love food. Instead of inhaling everything I can, I see just how delicious I can make my daily allotted calories. My cooking skills have greatly increased! 

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with
Cravings for Chinese food! Probably the biggest struggle is eating when I’m overtired.

Unfortunately, part of my job is long/crazy hours. Sometimes it means a few days of 3-4 hours of sleep a night. And I have 3 kids so that doesn’t help the sleeping situation. 

Knowledge is power though, I know why my body is craving food. I know that me not sleeping enough is causing my cortisol levels to be out of wack and other hormones being released saying I’m hungry or craving bad food so it helps to combat the inner voice.. But it still isn’t easy somedays

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?

Just stay the course and don’t listen to that voice saying you need more food. You ate your calories for the day. You won’t starve.

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes, but not for a while.

I went from 380 (174kg) to 220 (99kg) and maintained that 220 for a bit. Then, in a span of 6 months, I opened two new restaurants and had my third child. Opening a restaurant consists of working 90-100h+ a week.

I fell back into eating fast food day in and day out and just eating/drinking whatever. I wasn’t able to keep my running regimen up. I basically ignored all the habits that made me healthy. I gained back to 280lbs. After the dust settled and I kicked my butt back into gear and I’m back down to 240lbs (108kg) currently and still dropping! 

What is better since you got healthy? 

I can tie my shoes, bend over no problem. I have so much more energy, I look better and feel better! I’m unstoppable! 


What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Running and disc golf. 

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Running: I started by walking a two-mile route from my house. I told myself one day I’d run this whole thing. It seemed like a far fetched dream.

Then I did the couch to 5k program from Zen Labs. I started a little over two years ago. I went from being barely able to walk two miles to being able to run a sub 30min 5k, a sub 60min 10k, and currently, I am training for a half marathon. I love running. It’s something I never ever dreamed I’d be capable of. 

Disc Golf: I started when I was 14 and just kept at it. It gives me something to be passionate about and I’m pretty damn good at it!

I love hiking and being out in nature, and being competitive. It bridges that gap pretty well! 

What does your typical workout look like?
Running 3-4 times a week depending on my goal. Since it’s half marathon training, I’m doing two short runs and one long run a week plus cross training. 

Disc golf – 100 putts a night, field work once a week, playing 1-2 rounds a week and then tournament prep for those weeks. Dynamic resistance workouts to improve flexibility! 

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Running 10ks and running hills! Challenging and physically demanding disc golf courses too! 

Least favourite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Treadmill running is the worst!

How does exercise make you feel?
Beastmode! I love feeling unstoppable! 

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I’d love to train with others but there are not too many runners around me, unfortunately. I do join friends at the gym for a butt kicking workout when I can but the majority of my training is for my specific goals instead of just working out. 

Most embarrassing training moment?
Falling down, ripping my pants pretty badly after tumbling down a hill and having to finish my route with my underwear in all their glory.

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Headphones and phone for podcasts and music. Running shoes.

Your next training goal?
Complete a half marathon in May! 

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I actually prefer to listen to podcasts currently, but music wise I listen to so many different things. I’ll click on my workout playlist and hit shuffle and post the first 5 that come on. 

  • Adrenalize – In this moment
  • Backstreet Freestyle – Kendrick Lemar
  • Makedamnsure – Taking Back Sunday
  • Sophie Needs a Ladder – Deadmau5
  • Nico and the Miners – Twenty One Pilots

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
It’s part of my identity.

Disc golf has introduced me to so many people and given me something to be passionate about and share my passion. 

Running has given me an outlet for stress relief and given me yet another reason to stay on top of my weight loss and nutrition goals. 


What’s your favourite meal?
Chinese food. All of it. Sushi, General Tso chicken, sweet and sour, sesame, potstickers, beef and broccoli, fried rice… everything! 

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
I’m in love with veggies now, so I combine my love for veggies with my love for Chinese food and make stir frys.

I still get the taste of Chinese food I crave while being healthy and getting all my veggies in! 

Favourite protein?

Favourite fat?
Peanut butter! And recently, avocado. I used to hate avocado, then something flipped and now I can’t get enough!

Favourite carbohydrate?
Brown Rice.

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Track your calories! It’s the only way to accurately know that you are meeting your weight loss goals (eating less calories than you burn).

Use a food scale! You need to know how much you are taking in in order for your tracking to be accurate. 

Meal prep! Being prepared is key! You don’t need to worry about what you are eating each day if it’s pre-made! Plus I prelog my food too. It’s pretty easy to stick to your calorie goals when two-thirds of your meals for the day are already accounted for. 

How many meals a day do you eat?
2 – 3

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
Make sure it fits my calories while indulging. Craving a sweet cake or doughnut? Share it! If I want Chinese food? Plan a few days ahead. I’ll eat a few less calories for a few days to make up for the surplus on the Chinese day. 

There is no such thing as bad food, just bad portions. You gotta live a little sometimes, just don’t over do it! 


Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Losing over 100lbs and becoming a runner.

My meal prepping gave me an opportunity to test recipes for a published book. My name is credited in a legit recipe book!

Just looking back to where I was and where I am now is mind blowing some days. 

Favorite quote?
The best time to plant a tree was yesterday. The second best time is now. 
– Chinese Proverb

Favourite book? 
I love Tom Clancy books and the Harry Potter book series! 

What inspires and motivates you?
Helping others and seeing other success stories.

My kids and family are a huge part of it too! 

For what are you most grateful? 
My wife for being super supportive and helpful.

The opportunity to better myself and getting to help countless other people on their wellness journeys!

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
The best time to plant a tree was yesterday. The second best time is now!

The time is going to pass anyway, 8 weeks are going to happen no matter what, so why not start making healthy habits and you’ll be amazed when you look back! 

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

  • Get a food scale
  • Track your intake 
  • Get moving! 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or inspiration! 
  • Don’t try to do everything at once

Start small and build healthy habits over time. I didn’t meal prep, track, run, and everything overnight. Try upping your water intake for a week, then walking twenty minutes a day next week, tracking food the next etc. If you try to do too many changes at once it will feel overwhelming and you might not be able to keep it up. Start slow, build small healthy habits over time and they will compound before you know it!

Don’t give up you have got this!

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