How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
When I started taking action in December 2016, I was weighing 94 kg at a size 42. Since then, I weigh 72 kg at a size 36. So I’ve lost a total of 22 kg to date over a period of 4 years.
What do you do? [Job]
I work at a media company doing mainly administrative and copywriting duties.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I’m really boring…it used to be watching movies but now I just joke and say sleep is my hobby. On a serious note, I love journaling and writing. I’ve been working on a memoir and I’m really enjoying that.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I believe since late 2016.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
Through a very good friend of mine who was my colleague at the time. She talked on and on about Sleekgeek and I eventually gave in to her persistence and joined. I was such a different person mentally back then. I was not at all bothered about my health even though I knew was skating on thin ice as I was prediabetic and seriously overweight.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Reading members posts and being inspired on a daily basis. Some of those people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them randomly and I engaged with them and some I’ve just seen at the supermarket but have been too shy to walk up to them.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I love eating, still do but then I never gave a thought about what I put in my mouth and how much of it. I ate out a lot as I was always going out on dates with myself. Honestly, that was the best part of my late twenties. I felt like I was treating myself. My sister even pointed out that I spend most of my salary on food, this was eye-opening for me.
I started gaining weight once I was diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder in 2004. The doctors failed to warn me that I would gain weight considerably. With the increased appetite from the medication, I was always hungry therefore I kept eating. Only when the damage was done was I instructed repeatedly to lose weight. I felt blindsided as they had not warned me about the possible weight gain and to watch my diet. I was mad about that but yet I was still inactive. The ball was in now my court so I faced the music and put in the work.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
Being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2018 changed me. I took my health more seriously and intentionally.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I took a look at my food groups and educated myself and made adjustments accordingly where I could.
I schedule my exercise routines on my phone and keep track of them. That’s how I stay on point.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Food, food, food!
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Mind what you eat Chuma!
Learn discipline, you are serving yourself.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes, in the first week of this year. Nothing had changed about how much I love working out or how willing I am to do it but I felt almost paralyzed inside. So after some introspection, I meditated and that got me out the door. I stopped sabotaging myself and making excuses. I’m the best version of myself again in this regard.
What is better since you got healthy?
My cholesterol is at its best. My diabetes is controlled. I’m happy at my current weight although I aspire to “goal weight” and other personal body goals.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I’ve been exercising on and off and got down to 80 kg at some point but I’ve been consistent now for 3 months
What does your typical workout look like?
I brisk walk for a maximum of 1 hour 40 min around my neighborhood.
I take leisurely walks in my area for a maximum of 2 hours
I’ve attempted hiking on the weekends with a group of hikers, hopefully, that will become a habit of mine.
Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
How does exercise make you feel?
Too good. Those endorphins work miracles.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Alone because I want to go at it at my pace and I blast my headphones while doing so, oh and did I mention singing out loud? No time for chit chat. That’s ME time in a sense.
Most embarrassing training moment?
Hiking isn’t easy, I was far behind.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Gallons of water, a towel, and a healthy snack
Your next training goal?
Since I’m an outdoor training person I realise that won’t be possible in winter so I’ve planned to embrace home workouts and aerobics throughout winter.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
- Nicki Minaj
- Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry”
- Kirk Franklin
- Benjamin Dube
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I’m fitter. I can run for long now without panting.
What’s your favourite meal?
I can’t single out one because my mom is a great cook. Her food, any day which is why I can’t wait to go back home for a visit in March.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Does sushi count, considering I don’t eat rice except in sushi?
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
Eliminate as much sugar as possible. On a daily basis, I use sweeteners, sometimes honey. Where I can I try to steer clear of sugar.
How many meals a day do you eat?
Most days 3, sometimes 2.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Completing several marathons.;
Nelson Mandela quotes in general.
The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers.
What inspires and motivates you?
My relationship with God.
For what are you most grateful?
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Choose your hard constantly…healthy vs unhealthy
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- It helps to keep a food diary to keep track of your meals.
- At least exercise for 30 min a day.
- Find the best exercise method for you, it’s important that you do what works for you.
- Pat yourself on the back for your achievements.
- Reiterate the lessons you learn on your journey.