QA: Tania Redelinghuys smashes the 8 Week Challenge!

Tania-5

Meet Tania, a former self-confessed chocoholic who could out drink any guy and preferred Coca Cola to water.

Now she is climbing indoor rock faces, running numerous kilometres a week and spends her time researching how to live healthier.

Tania was in heat one of the Sleekgeek New Year 8 Week Challenge. She smashed this challenge but is disappointed because “everything is so baggy and now I have to go shopping for new clothes!” 🙂

Our New Year 8 Week Challenge is still running and the rest of the heats are about to finish in these next couple weeks. We cannot wait to see how well the rest of our entrants do and find our winners.

Did Tania do enough to place as a finalist? We do not know yet.

And we are excited to let you know that we have opened the VIP Waitlist for the next Sleekgeek 8 Week Transformation Challenge!

If you want to become the best version yourself and produce as awesome results as Tanya and our other entrants, sign up for the 8 Week Challenge VIP Waitlist. By signing up you will save R200 on your entry fee!

Now let’s find out more about Tania!

Profile

Name: Tania Redelinghuys
Age: 27
Location: Johannesburg

What do you do? [Job]
The shorter question would be: what don’t I do?

I work for a water treatment company as an office manager. However, I am more of everything – doer. I help out where I can and “it’s not my job” is not in my vocabulary hence the everything – doer!

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I love singing, dancing, painting/drawing, crocheting, blogging, editing videos that never see the light of day (haha). A new fun activity that I like is rock climbing. It is so much fun!

I also absolutely love spending time with my kids and husband – just playing around the house. I also love spending time with my family laughing till my stomach hurts. 

Reading the Bible and getting to know God has become a huge priority in my life, right along with my health and general wellbeing.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Oh gosh, I’m not entirely sure? I have been lurking in the shadows for a while, but I’d say probably around 2017.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
I was looking for health groups on Facebook and came across the awesome Sleekgeek Health Revolution Group.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
I love all the positivity!

There is more than enough negative vibes out in the world and to have one place, where I have not seen EVEN ONE nasty comment, is absolutely amazing!

Everyone is so uplifting and encouraging.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
Oh boy! I was a friggen tired, lazy chocaholic who drank my weight in coke! Ok maybe not my weight, but it was way too much. I barely drank any water.

I watched a lot of T.V and would prefer to do that and eat sweet things rather than be active.

I was still the same happy – go-lucky girl (on the outside at least) that I am now. Before having my kids I used to be the absolute life of the party (I still, am, but I just don’t drink). I would out-drink the guys and never really cared about what I ate.

I weighed 60kg since grade 6 and have always been self-conscious about my weight. I’d try to be strict and cut things out, but nothing ever stuck, I’d manage about a week or a month at most and then go back to old habits.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
Honestly, I don’t know.

I have always been intrigued by the human body and what it can do. I followed fitspo, strong is the new sexy/skinny etc. Around December 2018 I was looking for more healthy food inspiration and training ideas and I started seeing the promotions for the next Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge.

I can’t remember the exact date, but I was ready to make a change. Something about THIS time felt different. It was like everything was coming together just at the right moment – opportunity, eagerness, readiness, motivation. I signed my name to that VIP list, and with huge anticipation, waited for sales to open.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
When I say I’m going to do something I do it.

I am a lot more active. I joined the gym and actually go. Instead of lounging in front of the TV I am either prepping healthy meals, playing with the kids, researching ways to improve our lifestyle and now actually follow through with them.

We eat at home most of the time now instead of takeaways. I eat slowly (as often as I can – kids allowing). I try not to eat while I’m doing something like working on my laptop, watching a movie or on my cellphone. We eat a lot more vegetables, which sadly was almost nonexistent previously.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggle with?
I still struggle with the motivation some days, but the new me says screw it. And I do it anyway!

I allow myself that treat and then move on. For some reason, I always have that feeling in the back of my mind: “eat more of this yummy stuff coz you’ll NEVER HAVE IT AGAIN!” My inner voice is VERY dramatic.

Most of the time I am good and can walk away/ say no, feeling content other times I cave in – but and this is a very big but – I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. Where I would wallow in guilt (I even developed an eating disorder (bulimia) in my teens from all that guilt). I now say: “oh you bad girl, you’re gonna suffer in the gym tomorrow!”

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
You are a human being, stop aiming for perfection and just do that 1% better! 

Ate chocolate? Great! Move on and go do something active!

No motivation? Fantastic. No one is always motivated! You’re normal. Now go kick ass in the gym because you know you’ll feel better afterwards.

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
I was delusional at the beginning of my challenge! I was so ready, so willing to hit it so hard that I almost fell right back into my old patterns – going all out and then failing. 

I took a step back, re-evaluated everything and realised that this is a balancing act. Realistically I’m not going to be able to run 10km every single day and work in a weight training session. I have other responsibilities to my husband and kids, and work and to my soul! 

So I sat down and worked out a plan. When I would exercise, what I would do, how we would eat, scheduled in some cheats and checked my progress along the way. Yes, there were days that went by with no movement on the scale or the scale went up.

There were also days that I completely ate like an absolute fool. One day my husband was away and I was alone at home with a 3yo and an 8-month-old and a bunch of birthday party snacks… That was a horrible backslide, but I got to the gym the next day and ran my heart out and ate well and healthy.

I try to have 1 or 2 small treats during the week so I don’t go full-on crazy girl on the weekends.

What is better since you got healthy? 
I wish I could say my sleep! Haha, but I have a baby… so… life *shrugs*

I am in such a good mood most of the time and I am genuinely happy! I find that I have more patience with my kids.

My body looks amazing. I feel better and have fewer tummy aches. I am fitter, I can run my 5km in 27 minutes now! I run a 10km in an hour (which I never dreamed would happen). I am reaching and smashing goals.

I am stronger, I can lift and carry my daughter in her car chair without feeling like my arms are about to fall off.

I can keep up with my sister at the gym. I used to cry. I am not even kidding! She hated working out with me because it was a constant: “I can’t do this” then I would cry, “it hurts,” more crying. 

FOOD! Oh my word, vegetables taste so much better! I never knew how sweet they were!

TRAINING 

What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
It definitely has to be running or any cardio based body weight/ free weight training.

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I literally only started properly training on the 11th Feb 2019. I’ve been running on and off for about 4 years, but it was just the occasional run and nothing very serious.

I’ve been properly training now for almost 9 weeks and the 8-week challenge is what lit the fire under this butt!

What does your typical workout look like?
I don’t really have a “typical” workout as I like changing it up a lot or I will get bored.

Sometimes if I’m only running, I’ll do 5km run as fast as I can while being able to breathe properly, take a 5 min fast paced walk and then do another 5km as fast as I can.

I’ll do intervals and run as fast as I possibly can until I can’t breathe anymore then walk fast for 2/3 minutes until I catch my breath. Then I will run super-fast again repeating that for about 45 minutes. Then I stretch with some light yoga for about 15 minutes.

If I’m doing a HIIT workout or something similar I’ll run on the treadmill for 10-20 minutes and get straight into it. My favourite (I call it favourite because I do them a lot – I don’t necessarily like them) exercises are:

Squats (all variations), pushups, burpees (there I said it), plank (all variations), box jumps, bridges, lunges, Russian twists, star crunches, crab toe touches, in and out plank jump.

The list is endless really. I like trying new things, no matter how ridiculous I look!

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Running 5km. It is just short enough to not feel like I am doing this forever, breaks out a great sweat and leaves me feeling absolutely amazing afterwards. I also love the Crow pose in yoga! 

Least favorit exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
BURPEES! I really hate burpees.

How does exercise make you feel? 
Like I can do anything! I feel amazing; less stressed, more patient, more confident and energetic. The feeling after exercise even makes me want to eat better.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer to train with others because I love to talk! And you also have someone to push you harder.

I’m very competitive, so if we’re training together, I’m trying to beat you! Hahaha! My sister is a bad-ass training partner, so I like training with her as I push myself hard.

Most embarrassing training moment?
I have not been training that long to actually have a good story but…

About 2 weeks ago I took a walkabout around the gym. I saw a machine that looked kinda cool and I wanted to give it a go. I sat on the wrong place, thinking “whoah, this is really a crap machine, I’m so uncomfortable.” A kind gentleman walks over points to the actual seat and says “you’re supposed to sit there.”

I burst out laughing and so did he. You gotta learn somehow! 

Please, people – if you see someone using equipment incorrectly- help them. I’d rather someone point it out and help me than sit and laugh at me. I also want to laugh at me.

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Number 1 will always be my phone because without it I ain’t got my music yo!
2. My earphones – once again to drown out that inner voice saying “I can’t go any further.”
3. Water. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Your next training goal?
I’m seriously still working on my abs – I know that’s probably not exactly what this question meant to prompt, but I’m focusing on training my whole body to get it leaner, toned and stronger!

I want to bring my 10km time down to around 45 minutes (I can’t believe I just set that goal! Damn it! Now I have to do it…)

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I don’t really have specific songs. I like listening to upbeat playlists that were created on YouTube. Songs I can’t help but hand-dance to when they come on (yes, on the treadmill, I don’t care who’s watching) are:

  • There is an upbeat version of The Weekend – Starboy, which lyrics I have changed to “I’m a M***F*** STAR RUNNER” It works and it’s awesome!
  • Tiesto – Boom

Actually, go look for this playlist on YouTube and thank me later:
Best Remixes of Popular Songs 2017 Party Club Charts Hits Remix Dance MixMelbourne Bounce.
It is OFF.THE.CHAIN!

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I don’t suffer from random aches and pains – specifically my knees. I always used to joke and say I might be 20 something but my knees are at least 80! Since training more regularly they don’t hurt at all anymore.

Sciatic nerve pain. My back would always hurt, but since training more often, my posture is also better and I don’t suffer from sciatic nerve pain anymore.

I take the time for myself, which has been amazing for my mental health. I used to give my everything to my kids without filling my cup (my soul), which left me short-tempered, snappy at my husband, grumpy over silly things. I now take care of myself and can take better care of the people who are closest to me.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?
Sushi. I’m sorry but sushi will always be number 1 here.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Still sushi! Hahaha!

It would be something we make at home. My husband is an amazing braaier– seriously next level braai ninja. He’ll braai chicken and I’ll whip up a salad. That is an awesome meal. Or we’ll have some steak with butternut and broccoli and brown rice. That’s also one of my favourites.

Favourite protein?
Biltong? Does that count? Because if yes- biltong, if not then steak.

Favourite fat?
AvO – avoiously! Or coconut oil.

Favourite carbohydrate?
Butternut

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Right now I’m busy re-building my relationship with food. I used to follow a ketogenic diet, which cut out a lot of foods I really liked i.e fruit. So right now I’m just saying to myself: nothing is evil, just eat less in general and more real food! If humans made it or it has a label, it’s not real food.

How many meals a day do you eat?
I have about three small meals/ “snacks” a day. However, I practice intermittent fasting, so those meals all fall within a 5-hour period. My meals will probably be considered a snack to some people but they are packed with nutrition! Good amounts of protein, healthy fats, leafy greens, vegetables or fruit. 

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
Yes, listen to your body! If I’m craving something I’ll have some water first and get busy with something else. If that craving comes back and I can’t find some healthy alternative I will have it. It is all good and well if I try a healthy alternative or don’t have the cheat, but if I try eat it away with something else, I might just end up eating the healthy alternative AND the treat.

I usually try to limit treats to once or twice a week. If those cravings come up I will try and remind myself why I am doing this (I look at my newly developing abs) and tell myself to try and stick it out till tomorrow. Then the next day I’ll say the same. Sometimes I don’t have it, sometimes I do. But I try not to give in to that “craving” too often because I’ll just end up where I was. 

I also try to eat more fruit, which of course because it is naturally so delicious, I am happy and satisfied with it.

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Birthing my daughter at home unassisted with only my husband there and son asleep in his room. Yes! This has got to be one of my most memorable, most amazing achievements. I never in a million years thought I’d be able to do it, but I did!

And then of course with my training – running a 10km in an hour (with inclines). I was so proud of myself! Holy crap, I literally yelled YES! Throwing my hands up in the air at the gym. This has got to be one of the best training achievements.

Favorite quote?
Stop comparing yourself to others and be the best version of yourself.

Favourite book? 
The Bible

What inspires and motivates you?
My family and being the best version of myself for them and of course to make my life easier!

What motivates me is having an able body, waking up every morning with new opportunities, new possibilities! It is so exciting! Life is so exciting!

For what are you most grateful? 
Once again my family. The Lord has given me my heart’s desires. I have an amazing husband, the sweetest little boy and a wildflower little girl. My mom and sister are also so extremely supportive and always there.

I am grateful for my health and our home and my job. I am also extremely grateful for the amazing people in my life – both physically and virtually.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
JUST START! NOW! Don’t wait for Monday, don’t wait for next week, don’t wait for the motivation, or the money or the right gear or whatever your excuses are. I know the excuses, I’ve been making them for years!  “I don’t have time, money, work, kids” etc.

Just do it. It is much easier to kick it up a notch than to have to start from scratch. Just start slow. Improving one thing at a time and don’t over complicate it. It is not complicated! Just start. NOW.

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

  • Be realistic. Set goals that are hard enough to push you past your comfort zone, but are reachable.
  • Don’t give up at the first sight of “failure” or when things don’t go exactly your way. Move past it, learn from it and keep going.
  • It is not easy. It will never be easy. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. Take the road less travelled, put it the work, you deserve it. You are doing this for you!
  • Schedule it in! Yes, make time! Otherwise, there will never be time.
  • Love yourself! Your body is just one part of you. If you are not happy inside, a newly transformed body will not make you happy. Love yourself, love your body and accept that life happens. We all make mistakes, but get up, dust yourself off move on and keep loving yourself, because, “beautiful” is not based on size.


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