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💪 8-Week Body Transformation Challenge! 🥗

QA: Cece goes from 166kg to 85kg!

Name: Cebi Mabandla (Cece)
Age: I prefer not to reveal my age
Location: Mpumalanga (Nelspruit)

Occupation: Artist motivational speaker, voice-over artist, MC (events), theatre- performer, dubbing (cartoons).

I’m gym freak very obsessed with going to gym hence I exercise 5 times a week. I am a person who is very cautious when it comes to the food I put in my mouth. I enjoy cooking healthy food and being creative around the kitchen.

Reading inspirational /motivational books is something I do in my spare time as reading challenges your thinking capabilities.

I enjoy doing outdoor/indoor activities that keep me fit healthy and happy. Creating content that focuses more on healthy lifestyle makes me happy.


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I joined the Sleekgeek group in July 2019.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
I came across this group, through my social media specifically, Facebook.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
My favourite part about this community is the motivation we get from other people who are also embarking on their weight loss journey. The love and encouragement that is shared amongst the members are beyond amazing. I also got a chance to be opened minded about things, and to be able to learn from other people since the struggle is real as this is not an easy journey.

I also enjoy the setbacks that are shared amongst the members, because they motivate me to pull myself together when I fall off the wagon. Oooh my goodness and the cheering they give, when one shares her transformation pictures is like a cherry on top.


Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I was not a happy person with my physical appearance. I was a couch potato person lazing around and watching television was my favourite thing to do. I joined gym but I was not invested in it mentally and physically.

I joined a gym in 2013, but I was not consistent at all. I would go to my gym sessions and come back home and eat anything that I want. I was such a huge fan of snacking with unhealthy options. I then decided to get help from my dietician, which was an eye-opener for me.

My first weigh-in was just too shocking because I was a 166kg. I literary hated walking, either short or long distances because my body was not in shape and I would run out of breath.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
Most of my late family members were affected by different diseases, which ended up costing them their lives. The most common ones are cancer and high blood pressure.

Losing my dad to cancer was one traumatic experience, and it became an eye-opener for me that I should change my life for the better and start living healthy.

We are surrounded by a lot of stereotypical people, who always sees the worse instead of the best. People who are always quick to judge without having valid facts. I wanted to live a healthy life and be able to inspire others that, it possible for them to change their lives for the better.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
There are quite a number of things that I can do better than before for an example I can run up the staircase and also run on the streets without a juggle.

This lifestyle has changed my life in such a positive way; it has also aroused interest in me for cycling classes at the gym. Now I am able to wake up very early in the morning, for my 5 o’clock sessions without drag and look forward to challenging myself more.

What I love most about the new me, is that I always look forward to planning my meals and smoothie packs with ease.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
We are humans and we are surrounded by a lot of temptations when it comes to food. Living with people within the family, who do not believe in eating clean is a struggle. They expect you to cook food that doesn’t go along with the kind of lifestyle one’s living, which causes one to end up preparing different meals a healthier and an unhealthy option.

There are those days when I really do not feel like exercising at all, hence I end up postponing which set me backwards and delaying my progress. Lucky for me I have my twin sister who’s also embarking on this journey and she is my support structure the one I draw my inspiration from.

There are other exercises that are challenging, but I’m still figuring them out since giving up is not even an option.

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
I must not be too hard on myself and approach life with another angle. I must always do me, walk on my path and learn from my mistakes. I must always listen to my body and walk on my own lane and then the rest will fall into place. 

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Definitely! I got stuck a lot of times and this made me questioned my journey.

I remember when I started, I shifted my focus and attention more on the scale and this derails my progress because the numbers were not moving. This demotivated me, which made me complain to my trainer about my weight being stagnant. He suggested we get a dietician on board. I am happy to say that was the best investment ever because I never looked back. 

What is better since you got healthy? 
I can walk distances without falling out of breath. I am open to challenging myself more with different exercising activities without being scared of falling and hurting myself.

I can walk to any shops specifically the junk shelves and pass with ease without the fear of temptations. It is easy to listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry and not for the sake of eating. I have increased my water intake and cut off sweet sugary drinks that are not healthy.


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

  • Running /Jogging
  • Indoors cycling
  • Boxing and Kicking
  • Skipping
  • Climbing stairs
  • Any exercises that revolve around cardio whether (indoors or outdoors) 

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I have been training for 6 years now, can you believe it?

I started training with my twin sister and we would get de-motivated because we needed the inspiration to get out of our comfort zone. We decided to sign up with a personal trainer, just to show us the ropes.

That was the best decision we have ever made.

What does your typical workout look like?
It depends because each day of the week is dedicated to the different part of the body. 

For example, on Monday I usually focus more on exercises that target the lower body part . The following day, my focus shifts to targeting another part of the body and so forth…

Favourite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Any exercises that challenge my strength, the reason being they push me out of my comfort zone and I’m expected to be present at that moment.

Exercises that focus more on my upper body are my favourites because they require me to go full force to attain results.

Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Any exercises that require me to carry my body especially movement that targets the legs.

How does exercise make you feel? 
Exercising excites me because I feel ready to conquer anything that is thrown my way. I always refer to the gym as my happy place because after excising I feel rejuvenated and ready to start my day.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Whether I train alone or in a group it makes no difference to me, because at the end of the day we all have the same goal either to lose weight or to keep fit and be healthy.

I also believe its fun to be surrounded by other people as you will be motivated to push harder.

Most embarrassing training moment?
The first time I step on the treadmill was the horrific experience ever because my body was still adjusting to this route of exercising. I was literally in tears because couldn’t even walk for 30 minutes but it felt like I was on that machine the longest hour of my life.

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?

  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Headset

Your next training goal?
My next training goal is to be able to do lifting and challenge myself with more exercises.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • Davido & Chris Brown – Blow my mind
  • Burna Boy – On the low
  • Tebello Sukwene – Ofana naye
  • Amanda Black – Ndizele wena
  • Press – Nkeke kao siya

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
Exercising gave me a second chance in life because I am more open-minded and looking forward to any challenges that come my way. I am happier and comfortable in my own body.


What’s your favourite meal?
Chicken livers paired with spinach and rice

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Grilled salmon fish paired with any green leafy salad

Favourite protein?
Salmon, white fish, eggs, chicken breast

Favourite fat?
Avocado, seeds, cheese, nuts, oils.

Favourite carbohydrate?
Brown rice, quinoa, beans, sweet potatoes/potatoes

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Nutrition is key when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. You can gym as many times as you want, but if you not willing to sort out your nutrition you wasting your time and effort.

How many meals a day do you eat?
I eat six meals in a day portion controlled. (Breakfast/lunch/supper with snacking in-between my meals).

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
Always plan your cheat meal ahead of time, and always try to keep it either on weekends or social occasions.


Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
I remember all my life I was a big girl weighing 166kg. I never ever in my life thought I would be able to transform my body into what is today.

Reaching a target of 85 kg is the highlight of my life because this proves that anything is possible to achieve when you set your mind to it.

Favorite quote?
“Your body is your most priceless possession take care of it “
Jack Lalane

Favourite book? 
“Do it because you can. From busy-ness to business”
by Doctor John M Tibane.

What inspires and motivates you?
I’m always inspired by life in general, and to always challenge myself more every day. That is by continuing to dream big and push hard in making sure that my visions do come true.

For what are you most grateful? 
I am grateful for life because waking up every day in the morning is not a mistake but God’s grace.

I’m also grateful for the people that I have in my life, they are always there to support me through all odds.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Always remember why you want to embark on this journey, and who are you doing it for because at the end this is your story to tell.

Never underestimate your body because it can carry you through all odds only if you believe.

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

  • Drinking water is key
  • Never compete with anybody but yourself
  • Be consistence with your meals and workouts plan 
  • Surround yourself with people who are full of positive energy
  • Exercising is vital 

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