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QA: 19kgs down for Kat

Name:
Kat Darvall

Age:
51

Location:
Cape Town

How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
The start was 76kg when I joined Sleekgeek and got to 56.4kg during this last 8-Week challenge.

What do you do? [Job]
Currently Home Executive 😉

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
Gardening, art journaling (I’m an artist and previously taught art), running, gym and studying.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Since 23 September 2018

How did you find Sleekgeek?
A sponsored post appeared on my Facebook timeline and I joined the SGHR page.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
I love the motivation and encouragement given to everyone regardless of their stage of health journey. Also, the inspiration of the achievements of normal people with whom everyone can identify. The Sleekgeek code of Respect / Uplift / Inspire keeps the community pages supportive and a pleasure to have on my Facebook feed.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I had “let myself go” over a period of time. Life got in the way and I remember looking at photos of myself, shocked that I was looking so overweight. I had always considered myself to be active having swum the Midmar Mile a few times and cycled a few races. I had previously managed to lose weight from my first pregnancy so thought it would be easy to do again. I started hiding my body behind others in photos and cropping the pics so that it was less noticeable but I was miserable about it.

As far back as 2017 we started doing Parkruns and periodically over the next couple of years we tried home workouts and boot camps. I got fit but no smaller. So I gave up.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
We relocated from Durban to Cape Town, into a duplex and I really struggled to get up and down the stairs. As I spent my days at home, alone and unemployed in a strange city, I struggled with severe depression – and then I received a malignant melanoma diagnosis. This was my wake-up call – only I could change my circumstances and my health became my motivator. Luckily with 2 surgeries, I was declared cancer-free and I had done the Sleekgeek 30 Day Nutrition Challenge and my first 8 Week Challenge. It was the beginning of my new life.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
My husband, Edward and I modelled our new life around everything Sleekgeek – we eat differently (generally healthily), we are extremely active with running and going to gym and are trying to improve other areas of our lives by doing the Sleekgeek Group Coaching.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
I still binge eat when stressed or depressed.

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
To develop coping skills that don’t revolve around food (I’m working on this in the coaching).

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Definitely – I found that between every 8 Week Challenge (I have done 7 consecutive challenges) I would slide back a bit again. However, never as far back as the start of the journey. I also plateaued in the middle of a challenge and had to change things up completely to keep losing again.

What is better since you got healthy?
My state of mind, I have fewer depressive episodes and not as bad. I have far fewer and less intense migraines. My joint pain has disappeared and I have way more energy. I also no longer have insomnia – I generally sleep soundly.

TRAINING

What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Running and more recently, weight lifting.

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I started running around my neighborhood at the beginning of 2019 to get to know the area. I was then gifted an entry to the FNB12 Run Your City and bought my first set of proper running shoes with an adidas voucher won during the 8 Week Challenge.

After Elan invited Edward and I to adidas Runners when he was presented with his free t-shirt and we became avid adidas supporters with me having achieved aR Gold Status last year.

This year I started weight training with a 3-month gym voucher Edward won when we ran a half marathon in our tiny garden during hard lockdown (198 loops).

What does your typical workout look like?
When not injured and petrol allows, we run with adidas Runners Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, then we do adidas Virtual HIIT and mobility training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

I try to get to the gym at least 3 mornings a week where I will do a warm-up run between 2 and 10km on the treadmill (depending on the legs) and then an upper body and abs session, a lower body, and abs session or full-body session (1 of each per week).

I also run with friends when the opportunity presents and Sunday is often a “long-run day”.

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Running and squats

Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
HIIT workouts and AMRAPS

How does exercise make you feel?
Energised and strong.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer to run with others – it pushes me to do more but I prefer to gym alone (with my music in my earphones) or with my daughter (bonding time).

Most embarrassing training moment?
I have had 2 bad falls whilst trail running which left me grazed and my ego bruised but nothing else luckily.

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
My water bottle, gym towel, and music.

Your next training goal?
To run a full race marathon (we have entered the Cape Town Marathon for later this year) and to try the squat rack.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I have a very eclectic choice in music but I enjoy.

  • Anything Linkin Park
  • Eminem – Til I collapse
  • Most 80s Music
  • BTS – Mic Drop
  • Benny Benassi – Satisfaction

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
My social life revolves around running get-togethers and has enabled me to make friends and connect with people from all over. It’s given me a new lease on life.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?
Anything tomato-based – but I love pasta

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
A good veg curry

Favourite protein?
Eggs

Favourite fat?
Avo

Favourite carbohydrate?
Sweet potato

What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
Always start again with the next meal and if you keep slipping up, keep trying.

How many meals a day do you eat?
2-3

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
If I crave something, I have it and then try to move on.

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
I can run! I still find it difficult most of the time but I have never regretted a run and after being told I would never be able to, due to a serious knee injury and multiple operations, it’s a revelation to me.

Favorite quote?
The Cheapest one (hahahaha) no really, “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

Favourite book?
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

What inspires and motivates you?
Anyone who moves out of their comfort zone in an effort to improve their life or people who work at change no matter how hard.

For what are you most grateful?
My awesome husband who really is my biggest fan and supporter and my family.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Reach out – this is a helpful community just waiting to cheer you on. Try a free 21 Day Reboot and just start to make small changes.

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

  1. Eat less (eat to 80% full and try to eat only when hungry)
  2. Learn to eat healthier (do a Sleekgeek Reboot)
  3. Move more (count your steps and set goals you can improve on or walk a little further every day)
  4. Sleep more (this is where the magic happens – when you are tired you tend to eat more)
  5. Be prepared to move out of your comfort zone – if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got

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