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QA: Charmaine made the most of lockdown.


Charmaine Stuart-Steer


36 years



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

I lost quite a lot of weight before joining Sleekgeek so in total I have lost about 10kgs.

What do you do? [Job] 

Preschool teacher

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

I’m a qualified hairdresser and so I cut hair in my spare time. I enjoy crafts and gardening. 


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I joined during the challenge in October 2020, I think it was October. 

How did you find Sleekgeek?

My friend Keshni invited and sponsored an entry for me in the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge. 

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

Everyone is so supportive of each other, no judgements just building up of characters. There are no hardcore rules to follow, rather to find what works for you personally.


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

The old me had to rest a lot and couldn’t get too active outdoors with my children. The new me decided when lockdown level 5 started that I wasn’t going to let a virus steal my happiness, I found a passion for jogging which I never had. In fact I used to believe I couldn’t run so I didn’t try. I also started training at home.  Now when I struggle with my illness, I rest when I must and then I get back out there. The new me wants to reach high, I don’t want to hide in the corner and feel terrible. 

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

I suffer from a few diseases and when Corona arrived I decided I had to get my immune system as strong as possible. I also wanted to have long lasting memories with my children and I wanted to be able to do the things they enjoy doing outdoors too. 

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

I don’t drink strong coffee after 1pm. I don’t stay up very late even though I study at night. I love me for me. I’m going through a transformation period within my marriage. I’ve learned to not rely on others for my happiness. I do more activities outdoors with my children and even the children in my class. I run and I love it. I run against me, I’ve never run alongside others, the opportunity just hasn’t been there yet. I compete with myself and I set realistic goals. 

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

Water – I struggle with the water intake during the day. 

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

Remind myself that my body will thank me in the evening. 

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

During December / January my health took a turn for the worse, so running didn’t happened as I would’ve liked and I was resting alot. But I’m not giving up.. I’m up and ready to go again.

What is better since you got healthy? 

I don’t struggle with my breathing when walking anymore, I also sleep so much better. My kids think I’m fun, and I like to think I’m fun too. 


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


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

Since April 2020.

What does your typical workout look like?

Stretching, running, and more stretching. 

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

Running 5-10km.

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

21kms is tough but I’m getting there. 

How does exercise make you feel? 

Wonderful! Like superwoman 💪. 

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

Only ever trained alone… I live in the bush, so I’m a bit far out. 

Most embarrassing training moment?

I fell down a steep walkway while jogging, on our property at least. 

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

To be honest, I’m not in any good financial position. So I use pretty straightforward items. But definitely, water, I have to drink water after my runs and before. The strava app. And good shoes. Thankfully someone gave me their old shoes. 

Your next training goal?

To do 21kms twice a month. 

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

I actually just use Spotify and play the running albums. 

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

Much better. I gained self-respect. Also family members who never seemed to give me the time of day are more present. Which makes me wonder actually… I’m able to do things with my children. I can study better because I’m not exhausted from lack of energy. 


What’s your favourite meal?

Chichen salad. Salad from my garden and chicken breasts from our farm chickens. 

Favourite protein?


Favourite fat?

Dark chocolate

Favourite carbohydrate?


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

Eat the best I can using what I have and not feeling burdened. 

How many meals a day do you eat?


Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

On a Friday I cheat with my children. We have pizza, and I don’t feel guilty about it. 


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

Run! And so far even just moving faster on land is huge for me. Plus I received a comrades medal for last year’s virtual run. Something I would’ve laughed at if you had told me previously. 

Favorite quote?

Sometimes life will knock you on your ass, get up, get up, get up! 

Favourite book? 


What inspires and motivates you?

My children.

For what are you most grateful? 

I am grateful that this year I will be 7 years clean from heroin and crack, that I can be a mom to my children. I grateful for restored relationships and the opportunity to kick my diseses, be it addiction or my illness in the butt. I am alive!

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

Just do it. Do it for you! 

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

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. 
  2. Set realistic goals. 
  3. Be kind to yourself. 
  4. Persevere. 
  5. Reward yourself.

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