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QA: Ronald sheds 33Kgs and finds a passion for fitness.

Name: 

Ronald Smith 

Age: 

35

Location: 

Hillcrest, Durban

How much weight have you lost on your journey so far? 

LOST: 33.40kgs

START: 113kgs

CURRENT: 79.60kgs

What do you do? [Job]

Manager. I work in air-conditioning. We supply, install and do maintenance. 

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]

Singing, reading, cooking, running – everything fitness. 

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I’m actually not 100% sure. I know I’ve always scrolled through the page for over a year. I only joined (clicked a button) I think recently. And that was because of the Virtual Run link. 

How did you find Sleekgeek?

Facebook 

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

The community, everyone is supportive and encouraging. 

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?

The old me… well, I got there by eating an endless supply of McDonald’s meals. The worst thing that could ever have happened to me was a drive-thru. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. I was there. I would always stay at home. Never go out. Never wanting to socialize. Always trying the “new” diet out. My weight would be up and down. And so would my emotions. Definitely not the happiest time in my life. I would always be envious of the fit guys with shirts off at the beach. I had no confidence and self-esteem. 

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

Two of my uncles underwent triple bypass surgery. It was a huge wakeup call to take notice of my own health and what I was doing to my body. 

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?

The new me is conscious and cautious about whatever food I put into my body. Right down to a cappuccino. I am more aware. Not because I have a complex about calories. I am just more educated on the nutritional values of food. The new me has a newfound confidence and zest for life. I am 98% a new person. The other 2% will always be the old me. 

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

I will always have a love-hate relationship with food. It will always be a struggle. That is something I will probably live with my whole life.

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?

Don’t beat yourself up. You will have good days. You will have bad days. The most important thing to remember is that tomorrow is never promised. So embrace each day as a chance to be better. 

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey? 

Of course. I would constantly slide backwards into bad habits. I’ve just learnt how to bounce back a lot quicker. I’m only human. I think that’s what we tend to forget. We are human. We have faults. We can expect to “fall off the wagon”. 

I always looked at my weight loss as an end goal. I need to lose 10kgs. That’s where I made mistakes. I would punish myself to lose that 10kgs and be unhappy during the whole process. I would lose the weight and then put it all back on again. 

What is better since you got healthy? 

My happiness. I am genuinely happy and comfortable in my own skin. I am happy being me. Before – I was an introvert and hated being out in public. I disliked who I was. 

TRAINING 

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

Running all the way. 

How long have you been training and how did you get started?

I started on Christmas Day 2017. Went for a 5km run with my sister. Come January 2018 I entered my first 10km.
6 months later – 32kgs down. 

What does your typical workout look like?

A mixture of long and short runs. At different paces and intensities. Combined with weight training, stability, and core work.

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]

Would definitely have to be ultra runs. Nothing like a good battle of the mind on a 56km. Also enjoy short distances. Love to smash out a fast-paced 10km. 

Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]

PLANK / BRIDGE without a doubt.

How does exercise make you feel?

There are days I don’t want to do anything. When I do exercise… I feel amazing. Energized and motivated. It really does change my mood. Great for stress too. 

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?

I generally like to train alone. I like to get lost in my own head. Then again – I train a lot with my baby sister. She’s the same, so it tends to be a very quiet training session. 

Most embarrassing training moment?

Passing out while running on a treadmill. Not a great feeling when flying off a treadmill in the middle of a packed gym. 

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

Resistance bands, Skipping rope, Foam Roller

Your next training goal?

100km on the 9th of August in support of TAFTA

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • AC/DC –  Thunderstruck
  • Beenie Man –  King of the Dancehall
  • One Republic – Love Runs Out
  • Rihanna – Only Girl (in the world)
  • DJ Snake – Magenta Riddim

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]

I have never been an active person. Never participated in sports at school. My life now is the complete opposite. I am all about an active lifestyle. 

I have gone on to start a registered running group / club with my sister called RUNNING KIN. Where we encourage people from all walks of life to join in regardless of fitness level. It’s about family and community. 

We also have started Bootcamp classes called KIN FIT. And I am now onto my diploma in fitness with Trifocus Fitness. 

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

Has to be a juicy burger and chips. Always been a burger guy. 

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Favourite nutritional meal has to be toast with almond butter, sliced banana, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious.

Favourite protein?

Nuts or nut butter.

Favourite fat?

Avo.

Favourite carbohydrate?

Oats.

What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]

Stay clear of processed foods. Whole foods and you are good to go. 

How many meals a day do you eat?

3 Meals. 2 Snacks. 

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

YES! I firmly believe in a cheat meal. NOT a cheat DAY. And I believe you have to work for it. So only have a cheat on a day that you train. For me – after I have a cheat, and I’ve fed the craving, I feel more determined to work harder. It’s sort of like playing a little guilt trip on yourself. Reverse psychology. 

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do? 

I would say, Comrades, never would I have ever thought I would be able to complete a comrades race. More recently,  it would definitely have to be running 4km in a time of 16:02 – that’s running under 4mins per km. 

Favorite quote?

Don’t let what other people think decide who you are or what you can do. Prove them wrong. 

Favourite book?

Ross Edgely – The Worlds Fittest Book 

What inspires and motivates you?

OTHERS. I am most inspired by people who have struggled with weight issues their whole life and are able to achieve their goals. I can relate to people like that. I know the struggle and the feeling of achievement that goes along with weight loss. 

For what are you most grateful?

I am always most grateful for being able to do what I do. Inspire others and continue on my own fitness journey. Tomorrow is never promised. And I never take that for granted. 

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?

All it takes is a want. A desire to lose weight. Remember there is no magic pill. You are the magic. You will have ups and downs. Always remember that consistency is key. 

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

1. Set small goals. Reach those goals. Set new ones.
2. Do it for you.
3. Variety is the spice of life. Change up your training.
4. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. Knowing nutritional values plays a big part.
5. Go easy on yourself. Baby steps. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the “expected” results. Just be consistent.

Can I just add that I wasted a chunk of my life trying to live up to the image of “fitness models” 

Mainstream media has definitely had a negative effect on my life. We have been conditioned to believe that to be beautiful and healthy we need to look a certain way. It is all smoke and mirrors. This way of thinking accounts for the countless cases of body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Me being one of those cases.

So if there was a number 6 in top tips it would be:

6. Never compare yourself to others. You are one of a kind. Let’s keep it that way. (Corny romcom line) 

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