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QA: 58kgs down for dancer Nolene!


Nolene Pretorius




North West

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

At my heaviest, I was weighing 127kg. That was in 2012. For the past three years, I’ve been maintaining between 69 and 72kg. So around a 56/58kg loss. 

What do you do? [Job]

I’m a dance teacher (yes, we can become overweight), I teach Fitdance, Shuffle, Twerk classes, and I do couples dance classes for wedding dances. On weekends I moonlight as a nail technician.

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

I garden, do some beekeeping, and I love to read. 


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I think about 3 years now.

How did you find Sleekgeek?

By accident, and as I recall also at a time I really needed to know I’m not the only one struggling to lose my bulge.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

There is no right or wrong way. Everyone has a different journey, and we all have a different thing that works. I love seeing all the ways people tackle this journey, while not forcing their opinion or journey on someone else. I LOVE how nobody offers me miracle tea or coffee.


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

I suppose I fell into the classic, “you can’t out-train a bad diet” trap. I was so active, I just ate everything. I drank so much alcohol. I thought nothing of polishing off 48 mini doughnuts in a sitting. The weight sort of crept up. I only really realized how bad it became when I saw holiday photos. 

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

I didn’t want to be the lazy couch slob. I wanted to be “The dancer.” If I had kept up my diet then, it wouldn’t have taken long before I wouldn’t be able to safely dance on pointe.

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

I don’t eat takeaways. I stopped drinking completely. I stopped eating three bags of chips while binging series every night.

I always used the excuse of,  “I’m tired”. I may be tired, but that was a really lame excuse just to eat junk. I now allow myself to eat what I like, but always in proportion, and only if it fits into my calories.

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

I’m an emotional eater. This often leads to stern conversations with myself under my favorite tree. I am still learning binging on food will NOT make me feel better.

I love fizzy drinks. I’m not a huge fan of water, but I’ve managed to make real progress on cutting down the fizzy and upping the water.

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

Don’t emotionally abuse yourself over every mistake. If you made bad choices today get over it. Don’t become obsessed with the scale. Throw it away.

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

Yes, more than once.  I lost about 56kg. Gained around 15kg again, and had to work that down again.

Maintained at 69, then the lockdown happened, I got very ill, and it took me almost 8 weeks to get back into things. I gained about 5kg around that time, but have also managed to shake it off again. Somedays I just want to give up and eat ALL the cake. Then I realize how far I came and I keep pushing.

What is better since you got healthy? 

I have hip problems, 30 odd years of dancing will run a number on you. Less weight means easier walking, sleeping, and dancing. My self-respect is increased. I’m happier. I don’t suffer from depression, which is an easy hole to get into. 


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

Dancing and I found a love for weight training I didn’t expect. As a ballerina, you must have smooth lines. Weight training wasn’t something that was encouraged back then.

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

I have been dancing forever. I saw the swan ballet as a toddler. Told my gran I wanted to do that. I was 3 when I did my first ballet class. It led to a whole lot of other styles. Weightlifting for the past 4 years. It made a huge difference.

What does your typical workout look like?

I do 2 hours a week on the treadmill. 3 hours a week weights. Dancing takes up about 4 hours. As I don’t actively dance while teaching unless I am doing something new (this is so I can see the class and make sure they are keeping up), I need to keep up with my own program. 

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

Definitely Shuffling. Best cardio I’ve ever done.

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

Staggered Deadlifts! My bum hurts just thinking about it.

How does exercise make you feel? 

Like I can conquer the world.

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

I don’t mind training alone. But I love to have someone sharing the misery of a good solid plank session.

Most embarrassing training moment?

I always fart when I do reverse crunches.

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

  1. Water enhancer so I don’t resort to the bad stuff
  2. Extra socks
  3. Deodorant

Your next training goal?

I want a full sixpack. It can be faint, but I want 6, not 4!

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • Shake that – Eminem
  • Power – Little Mix
  • Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  • Pour some sugar – Def Leppard
  • Freaks – Jordan Clarke

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

I don’t need pills for depression. Probably the most significant one. I have enough energy to fight Ceasar. I’m stronger than I ever thought. 


What’s your favourite meal?


OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Oats and yogurt

Favourite protein?

Chicken (the other vegetable)

Favourite fat?


Favourite carbohydrate?

Still potatoes lol!

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

Put less in than out.

How many meals a day do you eat?

2/3 depending on my day. 

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

I have a cheat on Friday’s occasionally. I don’t blow the bank. I stick to my 1800. But I make bad choices. And I don’t hate myself for it. It helps me stay on track if I can relax my rules a little once in a while.


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

Shoulder muscles!

Favorite quote?

Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Favourite book? 

The Shining by Stephen King

What inspires and motivates you?

Seeing others conquer their mountains. If they can, how can I not?

For what are you most grateful? 

My health. My legs.

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

If you don’t jump, you can’t fly!

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

  1. It’s not a straight line.
  2. You will have bad days
  3. Don’t just look at scale numbers.
  4. Even a bad day is better than your old habits
  5. Start slow, find something you love

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