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QA: Gavin loses 38kgs!

Name:

Gavin Cairns

Age:

60

Location:

Edgemead, Cape Town. 

How much weight have you lost on your journey so far? Please provide start and current weight thanks 

The Starting point was 126Kgs – present weight 88Kgs – total lost 38Kgs. 

What do you do? [Job]

I own an office automation and signage and branding company. 

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

Avid PC Gamer and online poker player.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

About 2-3 years

How did you find Sleekgeek?

Mario Talotti introduced me to Sleekgeek.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

The information shared and the inspiration to all by the members. 

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

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

I developed diabetes 10 years ago and due to the medication, I gained a morbid amount of weight (approx. 28Kgs)

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

Found it difficult to walk, was constantly in pain (knees and ankles), and generally disgusted with myself every time I looked in the mirror. Especially so as I was a competitive bodybuilder when I was in my 20’s. 

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

Able to walk again and enjoy myself as I’m not a slave to any diet. Life is definitely better with less pain and my activities have increased tremendously. 

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

CHOCOLATE!!!! 

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

Hang in there… it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon so just keep on keeping on.

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

Yes, both. I plateau’ d at 101/102Kgs for about 6 months. Nothing moved every time I weighed myself. I shifted my diet slightly and suddenly I started to inch downwards again. Got down to about 94Kgs and suddenly went back up to 99Kgs, I spent almost a year between 97 and 99Kgs before slowly starting to lose again. Quite honestly lockdown has been the best thing that’s happened to me as I lost a further 6Kgs during this time period.  

What is better since you got healthy? 

Movement…. the pain was at times unbearable. 

TRAINING 

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

Weightlifting!! 

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

Been weightlifting since I was 15….my father was a bodybuilder and instilled the love of weight lifting in me. 

What does your typical workout look like?

Mon – Back, Biceps and shoulders

Tuesday – Chest, Triceps and Abs

Wednesday – Legs

Rinse and repeat. 😊

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

Bench press and triceps

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

Running – utterly hate it, I find it mindless. 

How does exercise make you feel? 

It’s an escape for me, take your problems to gym with you and after a tough workout, they become SO much smaller!! 

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

Alone, as I said it’s an escape for me so I like to retreat into myself when training and don’t like distractions. Which is why I try to train as late as possible so there are fewer members at the gym. 

Most embarrassing training moment?

Tried to get clever and bench press ONE more rep early on Saturday morning with an empty gym and it came back down on me. No fun having to roll 120Kgs off your chest and over your legs before being able to get it off you. Damn, I hurt everywhere afterwards!! LOL 

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

Towel, Water bottle and a pair of gloves.

Your next training goal?

To get myself down to 85Kgs which is what I weighed when I played U20 rugby. 

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • Ain’t no rest for the wicked – Cage the Elephant
  • Shakin’ the Tree – Peter Gabriel and Youssou n’dour
  • I still haven’t found what I’m looking for – U2
  • Military Man – Deep Blue Something
  • Humdinger – JJ Cale

And one more that I just can’t leave out   😊

Can’t find my way home – Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton. 

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

It’s enabled me to continue to be active at an older age (I’m now 60) 

It’s also given me direction and discipline forcing yourself to do knuckle down and go train when you don’t actually feel like it gives one a sense of achievement when you finish a great workout which you didn’t want to do in the first place. 

As I said earlier it’s also an escape for me – a place to go to when your head is full of problems.

And of course, it brings with it camaraderie as you get to know members at your gym.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

Pork neck steaks

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Veggie bake done on the grill

Favourite protein?

Pork or chicken

Favourite fat?

BACON!!!!!!!! 😊

Favourite carbohydrate? 

Basmati Rice

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

Eat smaller portions, drink more water, eat veggies more often and if you’re not hungry DON’T eat!

How many meals a day do you eat?

Normally 2 – I don’t eat breakfast as I’m rarely hungry in the morning and depending on how the day goes I may not even eat lunch either. I’m not a strict follower of any diet but I can identify with the “Caveman Diet” where you only eat once a day. After all, that’s how man originally ate. 

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

No – if I feel like something I eat it. I don’t believe in depriving yourself of any pleasures but of course, things always need to be done in moderation. 

MINDSET

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

Broke all the school records for javelin and represented Natal. 

Favorite quote?

“I don’t want no pardon for what I was and am

And I won’t be reconstructed, and I don’t give a damn”

From the Book – The Outlaw Josey Wales (read it when I was 15 and it made such an impression on me, I’ve lived my life by it ever since.

Favourite book? 

Wilbur Smith – Shout at the Devil

What inspires and motivates you?

People – I love hearing about success stories bred from adversity. 

For what are you most grateful? 

My late father who was a total inspiration to me. He was superman in my eyes. 

My wife, she’s the most wonderful woman on the planet and I’ll fight anyone who says different!! 

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

As they say – your journey always starts with that first step… just take it! 

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

  1. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself – set goals and go all out to achieve them then set more goals once you have.
  2. Do it in a slow and controlled manner – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Realize from the start that your body takes time to react so don’t be disappointed if you don’t lose weight or gain fitness immediately. Give your body time to adjust to the new things you’re doing with it. 
  3. DON’T GIVE UP!!! When things are slow or you’re feeling down – talk to someone, get help, find inspiration, do anything but just keep on going…I promise it will get better!
  4. Have fun. Try to always enjoy yourself in what you’re doing – discover new exercises, try some new healthy recipes, take up a sport you’ve never done before…..do all sorts of things to make the journey enjoy life while you’re busy building a healthier you.
  5. Give back – no matter how short your journey into getting healthy has been always be prepared to help others to start theirs. Nothing is as rewarding as finding out that you have been a help/motivator/inspiration to get someone started on their own journey. 

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