Tilana Van Der Merwe
How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
Start weight: 105kg
Current Weight: 83.5kg (Lowest weight 67kg, but attained that weight with a crash diet, now trying to reach that weight in a healthy manner, lifestyle change. As I did with the first 20+ kg)
What do you do? [Job]
Surgical Sales Representative in the Cardiovascular field. Qualified Professional Nurse.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
Weird I know but there is nothing more satisfying and relaxing than organizing my home, cleaning out cupboards, and re-organizing them.
Gardening is one of my newest hobbies.
Reading my most favourite thing to do.
Any activity with my kids.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I think just over 2 years
How did you find Sleekgeek?
One of my friends shared a post from Sleekgeek which made me curious and I joined.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Every person that shares their journey whether it is a major achievement or slight improvement. The positive attitude with which the community embraces everyone is amazing. I have never seen such great team spirit and support in any other group ever. Especially taking into account it is a social media platform.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
The old me would tell you I was happy with my body, even if I was obese. I had convinced myself that I was fine with being obese.
Although I could not exercise or fit into any of the newest fashions and was constantly telling anybody and everybody that I was FAT.
I basically body shamed myself and then if anyone tried to address this tendency I had, I lost it.
I started picking up weight after high school and mostly during university and I just could (would) not lose it. I was obese going into both my pregnancies and it just escalated from there.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
It was a combination of things but one thing that sticks out in my mind was the fact that I was so overweight/obese that I could not pick my toddler up and walk ten steps up with him. My knees started to hurt daily, and my back pain was constantly there at the age of 28.
Both my pregnancies had also been very difficult, not that I had medical issues, I just struggled with all the weight on my joints and back.
I decided enough is enough. I am too young to have so much pain and discomfort. I want to be a positive role model for my kids.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
The small things changed my life and if you do the small thing the change might just be bigger than you think.
I drink water.
I do not drink sugary beverages (huge issue for the old me).
I do home-cooked meals (healthy for the whole family as much as possible).
I weigh myself not to demotivate but to motivate me and make sure the scale is going down not up or actually no movement is best.
I take the stairs, always take the stairs. Even if you do not want to.
I stay active in various unconventional ways because I hate the gym.
Intermittent Fasting has become my friend and Carbs the enemy.
Saying no thank you to food is not rude.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
After 4 years on my weight loss journey, somedays being consistent gets tiring. I still get demotivated at times and I still wish there was a magic trick or pill. But there is not believe me been there done that and it did not work.
I also still have a massive sweet tooth. Cringeworthy binge type of sweet tooth. But I will prevail.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Just don’t give in and when you do it is okay but don’t make a habit of it.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Some many times I have lost count but if you persist you win.
What is better since you got healthy?
Everything, I have a better quality of life and mentally it has been freeing. I rarely have back pain and my knee pain is totally gone.
I feel proud no matter how many twists and turns my journey has made.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Pilates and spinning.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Off and On for 2 years.
As mentioned not a fan of a gym. I like doing my own thing and with two kids schedules do not allow for hours of exercise.
That’s why I firmly believe in getting active in any way possible. Take the stairs, park further away from the mall entrance (if safe) take a brisk walk. Luckily my occupation warrants a lot of walking and climbing hospital stairs, dashing through parking lots.
So even if you don’t like to exercise there are other ways to get active.
What does your typical workout look like?
Pilates 3x per week and spinning alternating days.
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Spinning on my bicycle with my tunes on.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Push ups…the lack of muscle in my arms is the laughing stock of my family.
How does exercise make you feel?
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Most embarrassing training moment?
Going for a stress ECG just to hear my heart is aces, I am just so unfit…
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Water, tunes, and towel
Your next training goal?
I would like to eventually start running.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
Depends on the mood.
ASOT( A State Of Trance) normally does the trick.
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
It has helped so much with strengthening my core.
It has allowed me to have an outlet for stress.
Changed my mental strength as well as my physical strength.
What’s your favourite meal?
Beefcor Sirloin Steak with avo, and chips
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Beefcor Sirlion Steak with Avo
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
Low carb high fat
How many meals a day do you eat?
Used to be 3 times a day, now varies from 2 to once a day.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
No treat strategy but if I really want to have something like lemon meringue, I will eat it.
But only once not allowing it to snowball into weeks of binge eating to my heart’s content.
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Going from a size 48/50 back to a size 38
Vreet die Helfde Minder…Quote directly from my mum
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck
What inspires and motivates you?
Feeling my clothes get too big for me.
Seeing other people succeed in their weight-loss journey
For what are you most grateful?
My Husband and Kids and our Health
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
You have nothing to lose.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- Start with one small change
- Focus on one step at a time
- When you fall get up and carry on
- Set small attainable goals every day, week, month and before you know it, it snowballs into a massive achievement.
- No better day to start than today…