QA: Kath places 2nd in our Women’s Weight Loss Challenge!

KATH_FEATUREDIMAGE

Name: Kath Stevens
Age: 38
Location: Hilton, KZN

What do you do?
Stay at home wife and mom to 4 kids between the ages of 2 and 7 by day, and baker and cake decorator by night.

What else do you do? 
I love running and have been trying to get back into it ever since having my kids. I also love board games and going for walks with my family.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I have been a member of Sleekgeek since early 2016.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
I think it appeared on a couple of my friends’ FB timelines.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
It was only when I won an entry to the Winter 2016 Challenge that I truly saw how different Sleekgeek was. Although there is still healthy competition in the challenges, there is a very genuine sense of team.

We are all in this together, and we celebrate each others’ victories, big and small.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I was always very active and healthy (and skinny although I didn’t think I was back then) and 52kg used to be my ‘fat weight’. I remember in university days doing 1000 crunches a day.

The weight started to creep on in my late 20s, and when I got married in my early 30s and fell pregnant soon after, I gained weight a lot faster. I ate to avoid awful morning sickness, and the habit was really hard to break later on, especially with a colicky baby that slept 15 minutes at a time.

We then had 2 more little girls in quick succession, and the baby weight became harder to drop every time.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
This is a long story!

In early 2016, with 2 toddlers and a newborn, I weighed more than I did in my last few weeks of pregnancy. I was tired of only fitting into bland maternity clothes, and was desperate to run again but my knees hurt every time I tried.

Discovering Sleekgeek gave me the community I was searching for to encourage me through my journey, and I lost 31kg over probably 7 months and started running again. I was at my goal weight for a few months until I discovered in early 2017 that I was pregnant again.

I gained all the weight back again during my 4th pregnancy and it took a while to get my motivation back again (more honestly, it took longer to adjust to having 4 small kids).

And then I entered the Summer 2018 challenge again, and slowly started on my journey to losing my excess weight and all the maternity clothes, and regaining myself and my health. 

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I am a far more conscious eater. I think about whether I am genuinely hungry or not – and if I am not hungry but still want something, I think about whether it is actually worth it or not. I also move a lot more consciously – I am quicker to go outside and play with my kids and I park on the far side of the parking lot when I go shopping. 

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Emotional eating.

When I am stressed or upset, I really struggle to not snack… and sometimes I eat ALL the things! And then keeping up with my new habits when not on the challenge!

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Always ask first – is it worth it? Is it really and truly worth it?

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide back a bit on your journey?
Yes. I am very much an all or nothing person. I have learned so many lessons with every Sleekgeek Challenge I have done (Summer 2019 will be my 4th challenge), but I still backslide in between challenges.

This challenge should take me back to goal weight though, and I am counting on that (and the lessons I know I will learn along the next 8 weeks) to kickstart a more permanent change.

What is better since you got healthy? 
My body hurts less and I am able to run and play with my kiddies! Huge win! 

TRAINING 

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

I would love to swim again, but its not an option at this point in time. I also regularly do core strengthening exercises to repair my diastasis recti (abdominal split), which I have had for at least 3 years. I have seen both a women’s health physio and a biokineticist for help with this. 

How long have you been training and how did you get started? 
I used to run 15 years ago, and loved the post-race high!

I feel like I have spent the past 3 years getting back to this, and I was running regularly in 2016 and had slowly built up to the point where I was just about ready to attempt a half marathon again before my little Pip made her presence known!

We now have a treadmill, so I run on there a few times a week so that there is less opportunity to make excuses!

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
At this stage, I am still very much a run-walker!

I look forward to running 10km – 21km distances again. And I would love to take up some weight training as well, but I am restricted to home exercises for now.

How does exercise make you feel? 
Exercise is a huge mood stabiliser and encourager for me! I love the feeling of accomplishment and victory after a good training session.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? 
Running with others is a great distraction and makes it easier to run further than I would otherwise. But I usually run faster if I am on my own.

Your next training goal?
Run a 10 km race, and do some weight training over the next 8 weeks!

Top songs on your training playlist?

  • Rachel Platten – Fight Song
  • Sandi Thom – I wish I was a punk rocker
  • Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
It has made me a better mom. I am more flexible, enjoy playing with my kids more and can play with them for longer.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal? 
Curried mince with sweet potato mash. Really. And then curried anything. My truly favourite meals really are healthy!

Favourite protein?
Egg or fish.

Favourite fat?
Avo with salt.

Favourite carbohydrate?
Sweet potato

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Eat when you’re hungry.

I love reboot, simply because I like the definite boundaries and it switches my focus onto real, unprocessed food. 

How many meals a day do you eat?
Depending on how hungry I am in a day, 2 meals and a fruit as a snack, or 3 meals.

I find I often alternate between 2 and 3 meal days.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
On challenge, I don’t cheat. A cheat for me would be eating beyond 100% full.

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do? 
After having my 1st daughter via C-section, I had unmedicated VBACs with my next 3 babies. My absolute best was my 3rd baby being born at home with only my doula in the room – the midwife was still on her way and my husband was making tea because he didn’t believe she was really coming that quickly. I caught my baby myself as she rocketed into the world.

Favorite quote?
“She believed she could so she did.

Favourite book?
There is not enough time to read any more! I love Christian fiction.

What inspires and motivates you?
My children. Living a better life with them.

For what are you most grateful?
So much! The quickest answer is – my family.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Just do it. Waiting until the time is right is just going to leave you older. Start now, and do what you can do. Small changes add up!

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

  1. Find a way of eating that works for you. Don’t assume that what works for someone else is what you need to do – we all have different preferences and lifestyles so find what appeals to you.
  2. Small changes add up. Drink a glass of water and do 10 squats every time you go to the toilet. Park on the far side of the parking lot. Drink a glass of water before eating a meal. It all adds up.
  3. Eat real food. Choose nutrients and health.
  4. Keep an eye on your eating habits – eating just because it is lunchtime, snacking because you’re bored, devouring your entire fridge because you’re hangry. Figure out your triggers so you can be mindful of them.
  5. Prioritise sleep.