Name: Debbie Godfrey
Location: Port Elizabeth
What do you do?
I am a pharmacist assistant.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I spend time with my gorgeous daughter.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Just under a year.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
Via Facebook. It came up as a suggested page and I have not looked back since… Joining the Sleekgeek group was the best decision I have ever made. It has absolutely changed my life for the better.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Definitely the feeling of being part of a family/community. The stories and transformation of some of the members have been absolutely phenomenal. It made me realize that I can also transform myself.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
The old me was grumpy and extremely angry at life. I lost my will to be happy after my divorce. I used it as an excuse to let myself go and got to a then-whopping weight of 103kg. I spiralled out of control and I, at the time did not care nor did I want to change anything.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
One day she asked me to play swing ball with her outside. Not only didn’t I have the energy but I had absolutely no interest to do any activities. I saw the disappointment in her face and a few days after that I realized that I needed to do something.
I found a PE Zumba page on Facebook and went to try a class, I absolutely loved it, couldn’t finish a class initially but it got better and I wanted to go more often. That was in April 2018, three years after the divorce.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
Wow. I am a whole new person. My whole outlook on life has changed so much. I am positive, energetic and most importantly I have learned to laugh more and have learned to love myself again. The Angry Debbie is gone .
My daughter and I do a lot more activities. She does Zumba with me sometimes. We exercise at our local park, walk on the weekends she is with me. She has a new, happy Mommy who she is extremely proud of.
I have learned to socialise again and not hide away from the world.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
I struggle at times to see the new me. I sometimes say to my Penny, my challenge buddy, friend and Zumba Instructor, my brain has not caught up with the physical change. And that is something that’s a focus point for me in the current challenge. To work on rectifying it.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Acknowledge your success and achievement.
Acknowledge how far you have come and be proud of yourself. Accept and enjoy the new you because you have worked damn hard to get there.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Absolutely, during the last challenge, my parenting responsibilities changed slightly. It was a positive thing in the bigger scheme of things but I battled to accept the change.
I decided to take all that hurt I was feeling at the time and focus on the challenge.
With the help of my amazing buddy challenge partner, we did just that and the challenge took a huge turn. Since then it has literally made us inseparable as training buddies.
What is better since you got healthy?
My energy levels, they are phenomenal at the moment. There are mornings we start training at 4m… I would NEVER have previously done that.
My approach to life has gotten better and I hope to inspire people to become healthy. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
Definitely my relationships, not only with my daughter but with most of my friends as well as my customers at the pharmacy… I constantly get complimented on my physical change and my positive attitude.
It just makes one’s day run so much smoother with that positive attitude.
What’s your favourite form of exercise?
Zumba -Fitness and Strong.
Cross fit, which Penny and I started 4 weeks ago and are LOVING IT even though we can hardly walk nor feel our arms afterwards…
Sand Dune running – the best part of my Sundays.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Just over a year, since April 2018. It all started with Zumba.
What does your typical workout look like?
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 4 to 4:45 am (high impact training), Penny and I are assisting two ladies who are doing the 8 Week Challenge for the first time. We inspired them to do the challenge. The from 5 to 6 am Penny and I do Crossfit. T
On Tuesday and Thursday morning we do Zumba Fitness and Strong.
But wait, there is more! LOL.
On Monday to Thursday evening from 6 to 7 pm, we do Zumba then on Sunday, I do Sand Dune running. After the 8-week Challenge, not much will change except for the training of the two ladies. We have literally created Fitness Monsters…
Zumba Strongs and CrossFit weight training.
Least favorite exercise?
Monday morning exercise… Hahaha.
How does exercise make you feel?
Empowered, happy, satisfied, it truly makes me feel amazing.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others?
Definitely, with Penny as we motivate and push each other to do better… it is too easy to find excuses not to train when you are having a bad day. We are only human and I prefer to have someone to be able to laugh with as well.
Most embarrassing training moment?
Slipping whilst doing a burpee at Zumba and falling flat on my face.
Peddling backwards on a stationary bike at Crossfit… to this day I still can’t understand why.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
- Arm Weights
- Pre-workout drink
- Skipping rope
Your next training goal?
To become a Zumba Instructor and to compete competitively in Crossfit.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
- Imagine Dragons – Believer
- AronChupa – I’m an Albatroz
- Cardi B – I like it
- Jonas Blue – Rise
- Daddy Yankee – Dura
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
It has opened up my eyes to a whole new world where being active is a MUST. No matter what activities it is.
It has made me realize how much is actually out there to do from a Trail run to running up a sand dune or just on the beach. It recharges my battery.
What’s your favourite meal?
Peanut butter jungle oats bar.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Eggs and my protein shake.
What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach?
I enjoy banting and it has become a lifestyle change.
I believe that if you are going to cheat on your eating plan make sure everything is in moderation and on Monday, after that weekend of giving in, have a kick-ass training session.
How many meals a day do you eat?
Breakfast: protein shake, a slice of banting bread and coffee.
Lunch: omelette or salad.
Supper: protein shake or chicken or steak.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
My cheat meal is pizza, but I try get the thinnest base with fresh healthy ingredients as toppings.
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Getting back into the ’70s with my weight.
Giving up is never an option.
I wish I had time to read!
The transformation of everyday people is what I love reading on the Sleekgeek Facebook group.
What inspires and motivates you?
My progress so far and people or friends making a change because I’ve inspired them. It is so awesome to hear.
For what are you most grateful?
That Penny and I crossed paths on our journey. She has been a huge part of my transformation in so many ways.
When losing my mom on 17th June, she made sure that I needed to do the challenge, to complete it and not give up and I am so grateful for those little things.
The remainder of my current challenge is dedicated to my mom and I am giving it my everything and more, I want her to be proud.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
With the support of Sleekgeek and the community/family/friends on the page, you can’t go wrong.
It’s everyday people changing their lives and I have so much respect for Elan and the team for what they have done.
They are passionate about what they do, which is so noticeable and absolutely amazing, it’s that passion that results in success.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- Remember, it’s a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
- You MUST want that change so much – It’s all about commitment and the right mindset.
- If you fall, get up and try again.
- Giving up must never be an option.
- Don’t wait for tomorrow what you can change today.