Milnerton, Cape Town
How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
Started at 94 and I am currently 71 ( total loss of 23kg).
What do you do? [Job]
Officially a full-time Beauty Therapist, in a home salon called Trés Belle Âme with my mother. We are a mother-daughter team.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I have a 3-year-old toddler, Isabelle, who keeps us very busy. I also enjoy creating jewelry through my small business called Ruby Skye Designs. Anything artistic or creative. I am currently studying to make my own pure Aromatherapy products.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Gosh, I actually don’t know, it has been very long.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
One of my friends kept posting her transformations and I kept seeing them pop up, so I decided to see what it was all about.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
It has to be the non-judgment, and how great I feel when I get all the positive feedback. I also love seeing other people’s progress and helping out where I can.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
When I was 21 I got diagnose with Hypothyroidism Disease. I think I cried for about a week because I saw what it has done to my Mom, the weight gain, the aching muscles, the depression, etc. Shortly after diagnoses, I gained 40+kg in just under a year, I was in a very toxic relationship too, which took my depression and anxiety to a level I never knew possible. I, at that point, was heavily medicated to manage the anxiety and the utter fear that consumed me. Nearing the end of this relationship I developed Agoraphobia and suffered a hell I would never wish on anyone, simply opening the front door was a full-blown anxiety attack.
When the relationship finally ended with him treating me terribly about my weight gain and how unattractive I was, I spent the next 6 months rebelling against the world. It was easily the hardest time of my life. I lost my flat, my animals, my job and I was smack bang in the middle of a serious addiction to my prescribed narcotics, of which no one should be taking so many of.
So my mother, seeing all of this, and us being like chalk and cheese, we struggled to come to some kind of arrangement that would help save me. At this time my weight was 94kg. I felt ugly, useless, a waste of space, unloved, unwanted by pretty much everyone. It’s strange because I remember still feeling hopeful, even though I was horribly broken.
I had met someone new, and he was amazing at making me feel whole again.
My mother booked me into a wellness clinic, I was there for 3 weeks, the things I saw, the utter rawness of each person’s battle was a wide eye awakening. I was there because I needed to get off of my narcotics which were really just a basic tranquilizer. I was scared, I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t want to leave my mom. I saw some hectic crazy heartbreaking things in those 3 weeks but I freed my soul. My new partner was such a help, he visited me and made me feel like I could be loved, that my size, was not important – which of course I thought was a lie, but I loved how he made me feel.
This man built me up, I pushed him away because I didn’t understand how he could love me, this fat blob who constantly looks for the worst in him, because of how badly I was treated. We broke up twice, but 7 years later and we are still together. What can I say? I needed that strong love.
I went from 94kg to 60kg in a space of a few years, I felt amazing! Flash forward to 2017, and our miracle happened. We were planning our wedding to be in 2017, after being engaged for 2 years. During these 2 years, I had been thinking a lot about having a family, Dr’s told me I had next to no chance to get pregnant without hormone treatment, I now also had Hashimotos. We really could not afford IVF, so I prayed. I really had such a close relationship to God and I believe he saw my heart, the truth of my heart.
In December 2016, I got pregnant.
It was a CRAZY ride, with some excitement, some really good ups, and downs, but I had what I wanted most! Something I thought I would never have!
So during my pregnancy, which was high risk, was in hospital every week basically for tests, etc. It was a HORRIBLE pregnancy, I had severe morning sickness for 7 months. And this is when my weight became an issue again.
I shot up to 101kg that was a 40kg gain in 8 months!!! My daughter came early, through an emergency cesarean.
I only weighed myself again 1 month after having her, this was August 31st 2017. I was 92kg, which means I had really really gained a lot during the pregnancy.
Its been a long journey to 2020, full of ups and downs. Most of my changes happened this year. I just had ENOUGH. I had studied personal training, nutrition, yoga, and really enjoyed testing my body. So with this new information I formed my army. And we are winning the battle.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
With having this thyroid issue, I am naturally lethargic but being heavier makes it so much worse, I hated feeling listless all the time, I wanted more for myself, I wanted to help people who also have a journey to walk.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I don’t starve myself, and I don’t deprive myself, I follow the 80/20 rule.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Finding the time to exercise, or having the energy for it, I love to exercise but I’m often with my daughter who needs my full attention, I do try to get 6 days a week but mostly it’s only 3.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
That as long as you are trying and never give up, you got this. Do your best.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Oh yes! More than I can count, it happens all the time, but I always get back up.
What is better since you got healthy?
My confidence, its weird but I feel like I have more control over my life, that the things I could do back then I can do now but even better than then. I also can do so much more with my daughter.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
I love Calisthenics.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Since January 2020. We have a home gym so I worked out a daily routine which made life easier.
What does your typical workout look like?
I would do a warm-up that would include jumping jacks, high walking, rope skipping etc. And then I would do a focus group. So either chest with arms, legs with bum, abs with hips.
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Favorite would be the Sumo Squat.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Lunges! I have bad knees so I need to be very careful with my posture, it’s an excellent pose which is why I still use it but I don’t like it lol.
How does exercise make you feel?
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Alone, I am a very focused, driven person, I don’t want to focus on anything else other than what I am doing. I do enjoy Zumba which is in groups, but I am not really good as a gym buddy unless I am training you.
Most embarrassing training moment?
Lifting up a 15kg dumbbell and having it fall on my foot! I was like, I am sure I can pick this one up, Nope!
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Sweat Towel, Bottle of Water, and my Post-workout shake.
Your next training goal?
To become leaner.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
- Tiesto & The Chainsmokers – Split
- 2 Chainz – We Own It
- Meduza – Piece of Your Heart
- Sofi Tukker – Purple Hat
- Lizzo – Good as Hell
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I have so much more zest for life, I want to get up and exercise, I want to go on walks with my daughter, I want better things for myself, it’s been incredible to see how much I can do now.
What’s your favourite meal?
Salad, I LOVE salad!
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
I literally eat salad every day I LOVE salad.
Butternut & Potato
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
Don’t deprive yourself, I strongly believe in 80/20
How many meals a day do you eat?
3 with 2 snacks
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
Yes the 80/20 rule
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Losing 23kg in 6 months!
Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
I don’t think I can choose, I love cookbooks.
What inspires and motivates you?
Me, Myself and I.
For what are you most grateful?
My partner who accepts all of me, while I build myself up and my daughter who is my proudest accomplishment.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Unless you try, you will never know, draw strength from others, it’s better to fail and try again that to never start. Once you start, it will be hard, but if you stick with it, I promise you, the world will be your Oyster.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- Set reasonable and achievable goals
- Meal prep, get advice on the correct nutrition.
- Don’t follow Fad Diets!! All you need is good nutrition and exercise.
- Take time to heal yourself, this journey can be hard and emotional.
- Never deprive yourself to the point of binging. If you really want something make it your cheat meal.