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QA: 31.7kgs down for Karen Sheilds!

Name:

Karen Shields

Age:

53

Location:

Uvongo, Lower South Coast, KZN

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

Starting weight 98.6
Current weight 66.9

What do you do? [Job]

Retired. Ran a holiday rental business from 2009 to 2016.

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

Cooking, beading – making costume jewelry, painting furniture, and playing social bowls (old man’s marbles). Participating in our pub quiz.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

Been a member since June 2019.

How did you find Sleekgeek?

It popped up on Facebook as something I would be interested in based on my search criteria – health/lifestyle/diet etc.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

The support structure, the teams and the vast amount of knowledge that get’s shared by the founding members, team leaders and all participants.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

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

Obviously fat and miserable. The more I thought about being overweight, the more depressed I would get. I was of the mindset that nothing will work! So just eat more and be a miserable couch potato!

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

Hubby and I booked a walking tour of Portugal. How the hell does a fat overweight person manage such a feat? So that was the beginning!

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

I’m very mindful of what I eat and I will tweak my plate to fit in with my goals. Exercise has become like a drug, it has to be practiced every day regardless of what the day entails. The new me is definitely a more positive happier person. No more being the jovial fat girl!

Plan ahead for meals and exercise.

Prepare as much in advance as possible so it’s not a last minute rush that could de-rail the best made plans.

Drink more water and less dry white wine (although haven’t given it up)! Just switched to extra light dry white wine with plenty of ice.

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

Feeling fat and sluggish. Looking in the mirror and hating what is looking back at you! Clothes shopping … nothing fits! Just being uncomfortable in your own skin. Then along came our Portugal holiday, I had to improve my stamina/fitness levels (actually it didn’t exist, so finding it was a start). Hence I signed up for the Winter 2019 Challenge.

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

Do it for yourself. You’ve got to want it badly enough to make the commitment. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your weight didn’t pile on overnight, so one day at a time.

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

Nope, funnily enough, Sleekgeek has made me accountable and I really cannot be a failure. We all know that the weight can fluctuate up and down on a daily basis so weighing once a week is a good indicator.

What is better since you got healthy? 

Is this x-rated? OK, I’ll skip that detail. Being able to get my steps in and exercise every day. We might eat out once every couple of weeks. Hiking – who knew this could be fun. Being outdoors and enjoying nature around me. Appreciating being alive and healthy. Able to shop in the “normal” section again. Feeling confident in yourself.

TRAINING 

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

Swimming / aqua aerobics in Summer
Rebounding / stepping / treadmill in Winter

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

On and off for a million years! Since Sleekgeek I’ve taken off a few odd days here and there. I’ve always been a “gym bunny” so really enjoy it once you get back into the swing of exercising AGAIN!

What does your typical workout look like?

Every morning (weather permitting) I do a 7.4 or 8.5 km beach walk – depending on the route.
Then home to do an hour on the treadmill or step machine or rebounder. The stationary bicycle hasn’t seen much action yet! I end off with rowing.
Going to start introducing Hiit and weight training.

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

Most definitely my daily beach walk followed by aqua aerobics for that full body toned effect.

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

Running!!! I always said my rear end was too large to carry around while stomping on the tarmac! Even now that I’m smaller, still not keen! I can wog and that’s enough. My excuse is it’s less strain on my joints!

How does exercise make you feel? 

Lekker! Like I’ve really accomplished something afterwards. Its very seldom that a day goes by that I don’t do some form of exercise. It’s addictive – in a good way and as long as you don’t incur any injuries

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

Back in the day when I had a corporate job, I’d train with others and we really enjoyed working out together, catching up on the day’s events and skinner! Now living in a sleepy hollow, on my own is way better. I do what I want when I want and enjoy it. Besides our gyms down here aren’t great.

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

Water bottle
iPod with headphones
Chewing gum

Your next training goal?

To do more weights and HiiT – I’d like to tone my tummy, thighs and bum. I wouldn’t mind developing some muscles in my arms either.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

I mainly listen to George Michael, Simply Red, Robbie Williams, and Black Eyed Peas. 

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

I now search for various outdoor activities to do especially those that were out of bounds due to my weight. Just being able to get out there and do stuff is so rewarding. I’m definitely more positive and happier. And it rubs off on those people around you. Confidence is right up there!

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

I’m a carnivore through and through – roast lamb, beef, pork or chicken. Yum!

What’s your favourite healthy meal?

I’m loving wraps stuffed with lots of veggies and protein. My dilemma is how to fold and hold it! Fortunately I have two hands!

Favourite protein?

Lamb

Favourite fat?

Avocado

Favourite carbohydrate?

Potatoes

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

Everything in moderation. I do try to be more carb clever and swop out the whites for browns as better health options.

How many meals a day do you eat?

2.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

A cheat meal would be pizza! Love cheese, chili and garlic. As a treat every other day 2 pieces of dark chocolate. Yum!

MINDSET

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

I joined Weight Watchers in 2009 and lost 32kgs. Piled it all back on again, then joined Sleekgeek in 2019 and re-lost it, never to be found again. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and history cannot be repeated.

Favorite quote?

Keep It Simple Stupid and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Favourite book? 

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Steven Covey

What inspires and motivates you?

To be the fittest healthiest version of myself that I can be. My life matters to me as well as my hubby and my family. I never want to be a burden on any of them. How does the saying go – happy wife, happy life. Old age is creeping up so you can’t slack off we’ve got to keep osteoporosis and bone density issues at bay.

For what are you most grateful? 

First and foremost that even as an obesely overweight older woman, I’ve always been pretty healthy. I hardly ever get sick besides migraines which I’ve lived with since I was 13 years old. I used to be on Eltroxin for an underactive thyroid, but it didn’t help in any shape or form so stopped taking it. So basically I’m grateful for my health and now my slimmer body. I am a work in progress!

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

Just do it. Don’t self doubt! Your health and happiness are in your hands. You have mountains of support from everyone. Sleekgeek is the platform where you have all the knowledge and support at your fingertips. You are accountable for your own journey, don’t over think it!

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

  1. Don’t wait for the right day – the right day in NOW. If you haven’t got your health, you have nothing.
  2. There is no such thing as perfection, don’t judge yourself negatively or compare yourself with others – your journey is yours alone, no 2 are the same.
  3. Surround yourself with supportive people, people who love you for who you are not what you look like. There are always people that would like to jeopardize your efforts. Be strong, be inspired, be beautiful – be you
  4. Acknowledge the small wins and reward yourself for reaching milestones. You deserve to be positive and happy. Set yourself goals and plan ahead
  5. Drink water!

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