Name: Pumeza Makaluza
Location: Port Elizabeth
What do you do?
I’m currently an intern at the Department of Health and also helping my mother on her business on weekends.
What else do you do?
I like cooking and playing with my kids and siblings.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I’ve been a silent member since 2016 then I started this journey in December 2017.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
I saw that a lady from my home town (Sanela Sifuba) was looking good I asked her how she lost the weight. She gave me the link for this group.
I think it was during the Summer Challenge but I could not enter because I was a student.
I took my time to read about the group and I stumbled across Team Asijiki and read through their page and after 6 months I decided to jump in with both feet.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
My favourite part about Sleekgeek is the support that they give to each other, the inspiration and motivation.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
Before I joined Sleekgeek I was not happy with my weight I was weighed over 112kg. I really was not happy with the way I looked…
My ankles hurt and I suffered from asthma. It would take me over 20 minutes to walk from home to school when others only took 10 minutes.
I knew then that I have to make changes. I don’t want to talk about the struggle of not fitting in your clothes and bras. The struggle of not looking nice when you find that one thing that still fits you.
Luckily when I started I had support from my mother who decided to join me. She went from size 42-44 to size 40 in 3 months without any exercise.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
I wanted to be beautiful like when I was a teenager.
The transformations on Sleekgeek are what motivated me the most. I knew that I have it in me but just needed a little push.
Today I’m glad that I took that first step. I went from size 18-20 to size 8-10 in a period of 8 months. It was not easy at all but my mother motivated me. She did not want to eat any pap any more ?.
I have lost a total weight of 35kgs.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now.?
After joining the Sleekgeek community I am more active and I choose what to eat.
I am able to save money because I do not buy unnecessary food or eat take away. I cook more now than before.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Choosing what to eat is very difficult when you are surrounded by people who are not on the same journey as you. Having to explain that you don’t eat this and that or that you don’t drink coffee with sugar is tiring.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
The advice that I would give to myself about my struggle is that I have to be disciplined. I know where I came from and the situation that I was in and I don’t want to go back. Self-control is what works.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
I remember in March 2018 I told my self that I was going to exercise every day for the whole month. I remember that I ran for 27 days, it was a short distance run like 2.5km every day. So at the end of the month, I jumped on the scale and to my surprise instead of losing, I had gained 5kg and went from 90kg to 95kg.
I was so shattered I wanted to quit but I read that when you do not take time off to rest your muscles you can gain weight but eventually you will lose again. That at least eased my mind. Even now I’m experiencing the same thing I’ve been stuck in 77kg for almost 4mnths now but I’m not backing down.
What is better since you got healthier?
Ever since I’ve joined Sleekgeek team Asijiki I’ve gained more confidence. I look good and young. I do not feel tired all the time.
What’s your favorite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
My favourite exercise is running but the exercise that I do most is skipping rope.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Since the beginning of my journey, I did some at-home exercises like skipping rope and jogging when I had time.
What does your typical workout look like?
Very easy because it does not involve going to the gym. I use a skipping rope and jog when I have time and in a safe area.
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
My favourite exercise is running because I feel free when I’m on the road.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
How does exercise make you feel?
Exercise makes me feel like I can do whatever I put my mind into. It also boosts my self-esteem (those soccer walks when you are done jogging ?).
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer training alone because having a partner have it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Advantages will include being motivated and inspired. Disadvantages are that you may be disappointed when your partner does not show up for the gym session.
Most embarrassing training moment?
I remember one morning jogging around my block, I felt my underwear sliding down, I had to make a knot for it to be tight and I carried on with me running as if nothing is happening.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
- Your training boots
- Water bottle
Your next training goal?
I would love to participate in a fun run, even if its 5km.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I do not have any, reason being is that I don’t think is safe for me to put on earphones while jogging on the road.
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
Training changed my life for the better, I feel good about my self. I do not suffer from asthma and ankle pain any more, My complexion has improved – I have a glow.
What’s your favourite meal?
I love Umphokoqo namasi (Mealie meal and Masi).
OK, now what’s your favorite healthy meal?
My favourite meal is something that I grew up despising. My granny cooked it like every day so I told myself that when I grew up and have my own money I would never buy or eat it but today it’s my daily bread…
I’m talking about cabbage and carrot with chicken hearts!
Chicken and pork.
Coconut oil and avocado.
Pumpkin, sweet potatoes and bananas.
What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
My approach is you eat what is good for yourself and your health.
How many meals a day do you eat?
I’ve started with 3 meals but now I’m down to 2 meals.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
I do cheat once in a while, after all, I’m not perfect ?
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
I never thought I would be this cautious about what I put in my mouth, I never thought that I would do 4000 skips within an hour, I never thought I would run 5km within 35 minutes and the best achievement is wearing a dress size I last wore in my teenage life (size 32-34).
“You can achieve anything you put your mind to.”
I do not have any.
What inspires and motivates you?
What inspires me is other members transformation, I would get up and do my skipping challenge even if it was a rest day.
For what are you most grateful?
I’m grateful that I found Sleekgeek at the time I did, I’m grateful for my health and the support I get from this community and people that are close to me.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
I want to say to them that it is never too late to change your life. This is about you and you alone. Stop thinking about what other people are going to say when you start this journey think about how are you going to feel about you after 3 months.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- This is your journey, not anyone else’s.
- People will tease you to stay focus.
- Your colleagues will criticize your food, just laugh because you know your why.
- Don’t rush your self, take it one meal or one day at a time.
- If anyone can do this so can you.