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QA: 6x Challenges and 38kgs down for Ilka!

Name:

Ilka Breytenbach

Age:

43

Location:

UK England

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

38kg

What do you do?

I am a carer

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

I love going for walks, reading, watching movies and spending time with my family.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I think I started September 2019 so I nearly have my 2 year anniversary.

How did you find Sleekgeek?

I found Sleekgeek on Facebook.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

I love being part of a team that support you along the road even when the Sleekgeek 8-Week challenges have ended.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

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

I started picking up weight when I started high school. After boarding school, finding a great job, marriage and having our two adorable girls thinking of me was not as important as putting my family first. We did everything we enjoyed doing including eating what we want and having many family days just watching movies, having picnics. We could afford luxuries and I enjoyed seeing the smiles on my families face when we could have anything we wanted and enjoyed. Looking at our figures and being healthy was the last thing on our minds.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

After we moved to East London from Pretoria in 2014, I was at my highest weight ever which was 131kg. I went for a doctor’s appointment at my company as I hurt my knee (again) and when I climbed onto that scale I nearly died of shame. I have had bad knees since I was a teenager, but I also knew that the more weight I put on it the worse it got, and I knew I had to make a change.

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

I used to love long distance running when I was in primary school and now I love walking park runs (5km) and 10km again. – It will unfortunately take a while before I can run again but that is my aim. I love the fact that I enjoy my healthy food and that Sleekgeek gave me a better insight to what are healthy foods and I was shocked to see that I eat almost everything on the green list (REBOOT).

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

I struggle in maintaining an exercise routine and still just enjoy eating all sort of sweet treats when possible. I also love my weekend drinks and beer is unfortunately my favorite drink – Once the Sleekgeek 8-Week challenges are over I feel like I can let go.

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

If you exercise you can enjoy a treat and enjoy drinks with family and friends but change to whiskey and water with a dash of sprite zero (I enjoy that and do this while I am on challenges). Make it a life changing choice and not only when on challenges.

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

Yes, most definitely, it happens all the time – but you need to be able to bounce back which most people struggle with. Sometimes months went by, and I gained many kgs but then I remind myself how good I actually feel when I am being healthier.

What is better since you got healthy?

I don’t feel so tired and drained anymore, I have so much energy and my knee is improving as the kg’s disappear.

TRAINING

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

I LOVE running but can’t do it yet, so I walk – I also enjoy fat burn sessions especially kick boxing workouts.

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

I started by joining park run in 2014/15 and then moved on joining all sorts of 5 and 10km and even did the full surfers which was probably also the toughest run ever done but I was so proud of myself – Since corona hit us and we have immigrated to the UK I need to find these runs and start over.

What does your typical workout look like?

I have set my Fitbit to at least 10,000 steps daily which I achieve, and I can remember the time when 1,000 steps were too many.

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

5km runs are my absolute favourite – especially trying to do Parkruns in as many different venues as possible. I also absolutely love swimming and when I started Sleekgeek I used to swim 1km in the morning before work but now I need to find a swimming pool again.

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

Lunges and squats but only because of my knee otherwise I would probably enjoy them.

How does exercise make you feel?

I feel full of energy afterwards and am so proud of myself.

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

With others as we motivate each other to do better.

Most embarrassing training moment?

I think that was my first park run when I came last and took me way over an hour.

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

  1. Water bottle
  2. A swimming pool
  3. A towel

Your next training goal?

I would love to be able to run again – 5 km runs.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

I don’t listen to music when I exercise – maybe I should start that and if I do it would probably be songs like:

  • Dynamite – BTS
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • Cold heart – Elton John, Dua Lipa
  • Bad habits – Ed Sheeran
  • All songs by Tones and I

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

The fact that I can walk without being in constant pain and that I can walk up the stairs without breathing like mad.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

I LOVE PASTA.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

I love sardines on wholewheat toast.

Favourite protein?

Egg.

Favourite fat?

Avo.

Favourite carbohydrate?

Bread.

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

I enjoy eating between 10am and 6pm – does that count.

How many meals a day do you eat?

The last year I have started eating breakfast at 10am and then I have another meal before 6pm so mostly it’s 2.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

I count the calories on MyFitnessPal and if they fit in I have it.

MINDSET

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

The full surfer’s marathon

Favorite quote?

You can do anything you put your mind to,

You only fail when you quit.

Favourite book?

I am a complete Danielle Steel fan so any of her books – I collect them and brought two full boxes over from SA.

What inspires and motivates you?

My teammates from House of Athena from the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge – I absolutely love all of them and they motivate me daily especially my dear friend and leaders Lauren (chicken) and Kim you guys rock the team and keep us on our toes – Absolutely love and miss you loads – Wish I could meet all the others personally but just being on a group with you means the world to me.

For what are you most grateful?

My family and my health – I am so grateful to wake up in the mornings and know that I can make a difference in other people’s day (being a carer is so rewarding).

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

Never doubt yourself – you can achieve so much more than you believe you can. One of my clients always tells me – The Journey to a thousand miles starts with the first step and this is most definitely your first step to a lifetime of positive changes.

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

  • Join a team that will support you along the way if you join the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge
  • Start with a reboot challenge as they really open your eyes if you not doing the 8-Week challenge
  • Read through the info Sleekgeek has to offer as it really is beneficial to your journey
  • Try get your family to join you as it is so much easier than doing it alone
  • Don’t keep treats in your cupboards as then you will not be tempted to eat it

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