Mahikeng (North West)
What do you do? [Job]
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
Youth development, health and fitness coordinator, gardening and cooking.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Inactive member since 2016, active since 2019.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
Through Facebook suggestions.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Everything, the support, motivation and inspiration. The fact that I can interact with people who can relate to my fears, challenges and victories. The openness and honesty among group members.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I grew up a very active child but then life happened as I grew older and I just became lazy and inactive. I got caught up in life and other things took priority while my health and well-being took a back seat. The kitchen became my only place where I found happiness, I became very good at cooking and I tried out many different recipes most of which would end up in my tummy. I was very frustrated with my weight and the more I got frustrated the more I ended up eating.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
In 2017 I was at what I thought at that time was my heaviest, I weighed 110 kg. At that time I was dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy, I couldn’t walk or do much for myself. I just became sick and tired of being sick and tired and I needed to do something. My inability to do things for myself is what drove me to want change. At the time I didn’t have the resources or access to facilities to do what I wanted to do.
As soon as I was in a position to make change I started. It was just mostly me learning to walk again and learning to use stairs. In 2019 on 16 July I was not feeling well so I went to a medical consult and I was told my blood pressure was dangerously high. I weighed 117 kg, the nurse wanted to put me on medication immediately because she feared that I would have a stroke. I begged her to give me a chance to change my lifestyle before she put me on medication but she did not agree and gave me a referral letter to start treatment. I never went and instead went to buy Banting groceries and took out a gym membership. I changed my lifestyle the very next day after seeing her. I was determined to make a change and to not go on that treatment so I committed myself to change. I have never looked back since, my blood pressure stabilized and I don’t need treatment anymore.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
Mentally, this journey has reignited that spark and zest for life that I grew up with and because of that I am now pursuing all my dreams. I am in a very good place in my life.
Physically I am now in control. Food is no longer the center of my life, I can now differentiate between hunger, boredom and thirst. I don’t eat because I feel a certain way anymore, I eat to sustain my physical strength. I have learned that my body is capable of doing so much more than I ever thought. I now experiment with exercises I never thought I would ever be able to do. I am the food that I eat and wherever I find myself in life it is as a result of each and every choice I have taken.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
The lazy monster that keeps creeping up and I will go for days without working out, there are days when I go overboard with food even when I am conscious that I am overeating. That needs a lot of work.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
You are only human, just keep doing your best. You are un-learning a lifetime of bad habits, be patient with yourself.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
I became frustrated at one point when I went under the hundreds into the nineties and I plateaued for over 6 weeks, that was the worst 6 weeks of my journey because I was doing everything right but the scale just wasn’t moving. I read up in Sleekgeek where the community was advising on portion control and more activities and that’s what helped.
What is better since you got healthy?
I’ve gained a lot of confidence, my outlook on life has changed and I believe that I can achieve anything that I set my mind on. I look and feel younger and that feels awesome. I have come out of my shell. I socialize more and I am less self conscious. I am alive!
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
I fell in love with weightlifting.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
It’s been 9 months now and I must say it started out very messy and clumsy. I hadn’t been inside a gym in a very long time. I didn’t know what I was doing or what half the machines were for and I felt too big for the ones that I was familiar with. I was very self-conscious but I was bold enough to ask for assistance. I approached trainers and I asked for help and this one referred me to this one and so forth until I met my current trainer. He has been a lifesaver and my biggest and my biggest motivator, his faith in me is what kept me going. He got me started with cardio, I spent the first few months doing cardio only until he introduced weight lifting, we started at the very bottom and worked our way up . I can now do weighted squats with a 25 kg weight and I’m pretty chuffed about that.
What does your typical workout look like?
I usually start out with cardio, then some weight lifting, then some functional training and lastly stretches. When I started out I used to work out 5 days a week but now it has gone down to 3 days a week ( an hour and a half a session).
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
My favorite movement is lunges. Simply because seeing my legs being able to move like that simply amazes me and makes me feel proud after I suffered Peripheral Neuropathy.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Burpees, I think they were designed somewhere in hell.
How does exercise make you feel?
I usually feel very proud and happy after a workout. I am still at that stage where I want to tell the whole world that I finished a 5 km run on a treadmill without stopping, hoping to get over that soon.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer to try out new things alone because I take a while to learn the movements but I enjoy training in a group because it’s challenging.
Most embarrassing training moment?
When I first did the hip raises on the smith machine, now that was awkward, it felt like I was putting on some weird freak show, mind you I was still huge at the time.
I also found squats to be embarrassing, I had a funny shaped bum then, so the whole squeezing of the Glutes gave my fellow gym members a few chuckles. I started wrapping shirts around my waist just for squats, I’m glad they paid off, I am pushing a little something behind me #hides.
3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
- My phone for music and for tracking my progress.
- My towel because I sweat a lot.
- Comfortable shoes because my legs are still in recovery.
Your next training goal?
I’d like to run a half marathon this year and I am toying with the idea of becoming a bodybuilder.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
- Black Eyed Peas – Pump it
- Sia – I’m alive
- Mgarimbe – Sister Bettina
- Casper Novest – Remote Control
- Britney Spears – Womanizer
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
My nerves have recovered (not fully yet), I am much more confident which is something that I have struggled with all my life. I am less self-conscious and have a lot of energy. I can keep up with my kids and I am generally happy. I am in the best shape I have ever been in my adult life.
What’s your favourite meal?
A wholesome stew or oxtail and dumplings.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Cauliflower/tuna bread, bacon, avocado, tomato and cheese.
Chicken and tuna
Pumpkin and sweet potatoes
How many meals a day do you eat?
I started out eating three to four meals a day but now I only eat two meals a day
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
On days when I cheat I make sure I do a HIT session and I will spend the next day on intermittent fasting.
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
The first time I flexed and I actually saw some muscle definition, my first 10km non-stop walk, my first 5km non stop run on a treadmill are my top 3.
‘I AM, two of the most powerful words because what you put after them defines you’ – unknown
The World Changers Manifesto by Robin Sharma.
What inspires and motivates you?
Everyday people who overcome challenges, who defy the odds and push regardless of what they go through.
For what are you most grateful?
I’m truly grateful for my health and my ability to walk and run.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Its OK to be scared to take the first step, most of us started there . The saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. We rise, we fall, win some and lose some but it is your hunger for change and your determination to succeed that will keep you going. We are here as a community to walk this journey with you.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- Prepare yourself mentally before you you embark on this journey.
- Have a goal in mind.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Celebrate every victory and learn to bounce back after a failure.
- Always remember why you started.