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QA: A 34.5kg weight loss for JHB Sleekgeek Tania Fredricks.

Name:

Tania Joy Fredericks

Age: 

49

Location: 

Bryanston, Johannesburg

What do you do? [Job] 

I’m a teacher by profession. 

Currently, I’m working as a Marketing and Admissions Officer at St Stithians College on a part-time basis.

I manage the database for student admissions. I’m currently assisting in setting up an online shop for the school as well.

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

So many, so little time: 

  • Crocheting and knitting for charity
  • Scrapbooking
  • Reading
  • Photography
  • Bible journaling
  • Exercising
  • Painting
  • Upcycling
  • Cardmaking
  • Pocket letters
  • Project life
  • Cooking

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I’ve been a member since the 11th of January 2017.

How did you find Sleekgeek?

I saw the group pop up on Facebook when I needed inspiration the most.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

I truly appreciate the honesty of every single Sleek. There’s no judgment and competition. People are all there to support each other and help you become the best possible you.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

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

I need to start with a confession. I HATE food. I find eating a waste of time and totally pointless. I eat because I have to, and then I take revenge on the food!

I’ve been everywhere from anorexic to obese, and Olympic fit (in my opinion) and as well as unfit and a dead leaf (not meaning to insult the leaf).

I was very thin almost my entire life. I’m 1,75m and I was underweight for most of my life. This was not by choice, but rather a combination of genetics and extreme physical activity. I weighed between 45kg and 55kg. I lived on coffee, coke, chocolate, and crisps (my 4 C’’s)

In 1992 I turned to the dark side. I was a Physical Education major and finals were looming. I was determined to ace the exams and I made the conscious decision to starve myself. I did not want to have any body fat. I achieved that goal and I weighed 45kg. This unhealthy lifestyle sent me into one of my worse bouts of depression and anxiety. With the help of a therapist and friends and family, I emerged stronger than ever. For the next few years, I was healthy and fit.

I got married in January 1998, this was when my journey with oral contraception began. It was not a happy journey! I gained 25kg in three months. I was devastated! I needed to change! So I stopped taking the contraception, started exercising excessively, and joined Weighless. I lost 35kg. Yes, the cycle had started again. I actually left my group because I knew I was underweight and this is frowned upon by the company. What happened next was to be expected, the depression and anxiety came back with vengeance. Back to therapy, I went! I was such a master at hiding what I was actually doing that nobody really knew what I was up to! Anyway, I started gaining weight, taking my meds and taking back my life. I eventually became a Weighless Group Leader and I appeared on the cover of one of their magazines.

For the next few years I gained enough weight and I was happy and healthy again, or so I thought! Again I went off my meds cold turkey.

In October of 2005 I had a Bell’s Palsy, (temporary paralysis of the face). Unfortunately, this did not resolve in 48 hours (as is the norm) with two sessions of cortisone. I eventually had physiotherapy and dry needling twice a week for three months. Needless to say the weight started to pile on. This time I was good and followed an eating plan with a dietician.

In 2009 I hurt my back in a spinning class. I need extensive treatment for 10 months and I wore a back brace. Once again, I was in control and I maintained my weight with the help of a personal trainer.  

Then 2011 I changed schools. I went from a Grade Three teacher at a boys-only school. I coached all sports and I was active every day. My new job was as an ITC teacher in a Junior School with no extramural activities. Along came the fat, unhealthy, unfit train again. By 2016 I had gained 45kg, 25kg which was the excess. I joined Weightless again because we were going to Mauritius in December and I was not going to look like a beached whale. I was gentle on myself and lost 27kg. I had a fab holiday with my family.

Fast forward to January 2016, now I have a plantar fasciitis (heel spur)! Oh, my word! I have a very high pain threshold. This was torture. Needless to say, I stopped training and began to enjoy life a little too much. 

Then in February of 2017, I injured my meniscus in my right knee. The extra weight did not help. The weight kept on finding me. Even once I had fully recovered!

In 2018 we flew to Australia. What an unpleasant experience! This was the turning point for me.

In January this year I realized I HAD to get healthy, GET HEALTHY, rather than loose the weight. This is when I discovered the Keto Lifestyle Changing program.  And just like that I started my FINAL journey to a healthy life.  

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

I have suffered from migraines all my life. This year none of my meds or therapies were helping. They would go on for weeks at a time.

I love traveling, but this became a chore, rather than an adventure. I was actually miserable when we were traveling.

I had the most horrible heartburn in the middle of the night. This affected my already poor sleeping patterns.

General beauty routines like painting my toenails become an issue.

I love to bath, but this became a dangerous undertaking. Twice I slipped and almost knocked my head.

But the one thing that scared me straight, was when I went to the doctor for my annual health exam and my blood pressure was high. It’s NEVER been high in its life!

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

I sleep so much better. I am acutely aware that I want to be healthy, rather than thin.

This is a lifestyle change and not a diet, so I’m less motivated by the scale and more motivated by feeling healthy and happy again.

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

My biggest struggle is stepping away from the scale. I have put the scale away and hubby takes it out when we need to weigh in, which is once a week. However, there are days when I will look for the scale to check my weight.

Eating full cream dairy products! Still such a struggle. I have been consuming fat-free products since the age of 11. This is such a mission, but I can do it!

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

Trust the process! It’s working!

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

I stalled for three weeks at 85kg. I went back to basics and increased the intensity of my exercise routine.

What is better since you got healthy? 

I am sleeping so much better. Even my fitness watch has stopped telling me to breathe and be calm in the middle of the night.

No more heartburn! Such a blessing. I’m saving money! I can give myself a pedicure. I haven’t had a migraine in seven months. Shopping is no longer a slog, even though I still hate the task itself. I can’t wait for our next road trip!

TRAINING 

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

At the moment I’ve turned hubby’s bike into a stationary bike (shhh I can’t ride a bicycle) because I love spinning. I’m not ready to go back to our private gym yet.

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

Spinning, yoga, and pilates and running have always been my favourite forms of exercise. So I’ve been active for a year.

This year I have stuck to the bike since lockdown and I do yoga and pilates via YouTube. 

What does your typical workout look like?

I train at any time of the day. Depends when I have a moment to spare.

20 minutes deciding what to wear. You still have to look good even if it’s you on a bike in the garden!

8-10 minutes for warmup, 20 minutes for interval training and 8-10 minutes for a cool down. I use YouTube workouts for the bike.

Yoga every other day. The routine depends on the video I choose. Sometimes I do a flow workout, other times its more meditation. 

I enjoy Deepak Chopra for my morning mediation.

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

Any core exercise.

Yoga: Savasana 

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

NO hesitation here. BURPEES! Pure torture

How does exercise make you feel? 

Refreshed, energized, and empowered.

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

Depends on my mood; someday I enjoying training with a trainer or my hubby, but other days I like my own space. I’m an ambivert, with slightly more introvert traits.

Most embarrassing training moment?

Uppercut when doing boxing drills. My poor trainer got a few on the chin. 

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

  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer, even before Covid-19. I’m a germophobe.
  • Two clean towels

Your next training goal?

I started boxing two years ago, I want to start again.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • In the stone – Earth Wind and Fire (start of the cardio part of the workout)
  • This Girl is on fire – Alicia Keys (when I need motivation)
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars (for when I’m feeling good)
  • Blurred lines – Robin Thicke (great pacer beat)
  • Jesus take the wheel – Carrie Underwood (the last five minutes when I need to be helped up)

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

I can walk to work and I don’t have to depend on a lift. (I work and live on the same Estate). I think more clearly. My brain is less foggy. Exercise is empowering too. I can choose to carry my own shopping bags.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

Baked sweet potato with butter.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Pork belly roast, nutmeg roasted red and white cabbage with a mustard seed leaf pesto.

Favourite protein

Fish

Favourite fat

Avocado pear

Favourite carbohydrate?

Sweet potato

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

If you want it, HAVE it, but in moderation.

How many meals a day do you eat?

Normally two meals and a snack. There are days when I have one meal or three meals. I listen to my body.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

No. If I plan to cheat, I WILL cheat. Thus I have a snack when I feel like it. I find I cheat less when I don’t plan to cheat. 

MINDSET

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

Being gentle on myself and focusing on weight loss, but rather healthy living.

Favorite quote?

With God all things are possible. Matt 19:26

Favourite book? 

Eric – Doris Lund

What inspires and motivates you?

Seeing results.

For what are you most grateful? 

Having a husband who is on this journey with me.

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

Just start! Start small, make one change. Replace a bad habit with a good habit. 

You have EVERYTHING to gain because you are stronger than you think. 

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

  1. Do the research. It’s not a once size fits all situation.
  2. Be gentle on yourself. If you fall, get back up and start again. We would not be able to walk if we fell as babies and stayed down.
  3. Ask for help. Speak to your doctor, other professionals, people who have walked the road and who can talk the talk.
  4. Rather be the tortoise than the hare, after all, it didn’t take you one month to develop unhealthy habits, how can it take you one month to change them.
  5. EAT, please don’t starve yourself. Just be mindful of what you consume and read the labels, learn to identify those hidden nasty ingredients, and learn which foods agree with your body

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