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QA: Shelly loses 35kgs and takes on diabetes


Shelley Thomaides




Centurion, Pretoria

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


What do you do?

Caretaker for Kosmosdal ext 66 HOA

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

Spending time with friends and family


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

Gosh, about 4 months

How did you find Sleekgeek?

Through a friend on Facebook.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

The way everyone in the group uplifts one another. There is so much positive energy, and I love it.


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

After having my kids, I really struggled to lose weight. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) about 3 years ago. I hit a slump and was in such a negative space that all I did was eat, eating made me happy. I completely ignored my health and continued to eat. March 2020 was an all-time low for me, I went for one of my check-ups and my Dr told me that my sugar was so uncontrolled (even though I was taking my meds religiously) and she warned if I didn’t change my lifestyle and eating habits, she would have to put me on insulin. She also warned that if I do go onto insulin, I’d gain even more weight.

This was a wake-up call, one I really needed. I decided then and there that I need to change my lifestyle and become more active.

Fast forward to March 2021, I’ve lost 35kgs, I’m in such a positive space and I just feel so much more healthy and energised.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

My health scare.

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

I really am more vigilant with what I put into my body.
Having IBS and Diabetes, I am now forced to really watch what I eat.
I completely cut out bread, crisps, and sweets.

I try to eat raw veggies as much as possible. If I do eat pasta (which is a treat for me), I eat brown pasta and I’ve learned to watch my portion sizes. I do have a cheat day, which is usually on a Saturday and I’ve also taken up hiking and try to do it once or twice a weekend.

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

On the cheat day, sometimes I do tend to go a little overboard.

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

Think about your health Shelley, do you really need to eat that? Think about the consequences of eating that.

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

Yes, it did.

What is better since you got healthy?

My whole outlook, I’ve become so much more positive and confident of body and who I am. I have a lot more energy and just feel so much better.


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

Hiking, I’m not much of an exercise freak so hiking is my go-to. I also take walks in the evenings as well.

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

I’ve been hiking avidly for about a year now.

What does your typical workout look like?

3 x 2km walks during the week
2 x 10km hikes on the weekend

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


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


How does exercise make you feel?

More energized.

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

As a family.

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

Water, clean pair of socks, and/or another pair of shoes to change onto. Wet wipes and towel.

Your next training goal?

I’d like to try a 15km hike sometime.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?


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

My energy levels have increased so much, and I feel so much better and more positive after a good hike.


What’s your favourite meal?

A whopper meal from burger king.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Air fryer chicken with roast veggies and a green salad

Favourite protein?


Favourite fat?


Favourite carbohydrate?


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

Everything in moderation. I don’t believe in starving yourself and if your body is craving something, have it, BUT in moderation. Moderation is KEY especially when you change to a healthy lifestyle.

How many meals a day do you eat?

Being a diabetic, I need to eat regularly in order to control my sugar levels.
My day looks a little like this:
08.00 – Breakfast – Weetbix with some fruit (banana, berries etc) (NO SUGAR)
10.00 – Snack – Fruit (apple, banana, or citrus or some full-fat natural yoghurt with some honey)
12.00 – Lunch (usually consists of what I made the previous night (Protein with a salad)
15.00 – Snack – something savoury like peanuts or rice cakes etc
18.00 – Dinner (Protein, veg, starch, fat)
19.00 – Smoothie before bed (Full-fat natural yoghurt, a banana, and some peanut butter)
This is my favourite at the moment.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

Yes, Saturday is my cheat day but I choose what meal I want to cheat, I try not to cheat the whole day. I do sometimes fall off the wagon though haha.


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

Losing these 35kgs that I have so far.

Favorite quote?

Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get.
Forrest Gump

Favourite book?

Angels vs Demons Dan Brown
The DaVinci Code Dan Brown

What inspires and motivates you?

My family, staying healthy for them keeps me going. I saw first hand what diabetes can do to a person if not controlled properly. I lost my dad at the age of 69 due to this, and I promised myself that I will do a better job at living a healthy life, not only for me but for my husband and kids.

For what are you most grateful?

Losing these 35kgs, and the support of my hubby and kids throughout this transition.

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

YOU CAN DO IT, you just need to start! Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. We all have our own paths. Celebrate every victory, even the little ones! They all count.

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

  1. Have a look at your diet, see what you can improve (healthy eating)
  2. Drink LOTS of water – it’s so good for you.
  3. If you aren’t an exercise freak like me, try hiking and getting out in nature, it does the world for your mind, body, and soul.
  4. Everything in moderation.
  5. Don’t give up!

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