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Q & A : Over 24kgs down for Theresa as she reclaims her life.

Name:

Theresa Wernich

Age:

38

Location:

Cape Town

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

Start weight was 123kgs
Current weight is 98.2kgs

What do you do? [Job]

I’m a Criminalistic and Crime Scene expert in the South African Police Service holding the rank of Captain.

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

I play piano, guitar, and viola. I like hiking and trekking and have been to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2018.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

Since October 2020

How did you find Sleekgeek?

I was told many years ago by friends about the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge. I never really bothered to find out more since I was not interested in running or exercise at that stage.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

I must admit my favourite part is the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge, where I could join a team and do the exerfcise roadblocks. The team I’m in is so supportive and motivating. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been where I am today.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

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

I was very skinny up till 2007 and weighed 63 to 65 kgs. In April 2007 I was in a horrific motor vehicle accident. I fractured 7 vertebrae and my left arm.

It was a long road to recovery and I became an emotional eater. I am still struggling with back pain and I’ve had 5 operations on my left arm. This made me very depressed as I was very active before the accident. And thereafter I couldn’t do much.

After 3 months in a step-down facility and home rest, I went back to work and weighed 96kgs. That was the beginning of my terrible weight issue. I ended up at 123kgs last year and decided to make a change.

I was eating more, sleeping more, and doing fewer activities than ever before. It was tiring and very difficult for me to move around.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

The fact that I’ll be 40 years old next year. I cannot go into my 40s looking the way I did and being so unhealthy.

Last year I was taking insulin, a tablet for blood pressure, and a whole lot of allergy meds. The medication was just too much and it was also a tipping point.

I went to the Doctor last week and he said we can stop with all of those meds. My insulin levels are 100%, my blood pressure was 117/70 and my heart rate has gone down from 145bpm (Resting) to max 85bpm. And I don’t have any allergies anymore.

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

I love going for walks in the mountains and walking / jogging with my dogs. I eat healthier and I’ve learned to control my emotional eating. The more time I spend exercising the less time I have to be emotional. My work is also very stressful and being more active really helps with coping.

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

I struggle with time management. I don’t have enough time for me to do meal preparation for the following day or the week ahead and I struggle to have time to go to the gym. With this in mind, I do home workouts and walks over weekends.

It’s also difficult to make my family and friends understand that I’m a new healthier version of me and that I don’t eat the things I used too.

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

Make time for yourself and stop putting everyone’s needs before your own.

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

I won’t say I plateau or got stuck, but the closer I get to my goal the more difficult it is to lose weight and I need to work so much harder for the same result as 12 months ago.

What is better since you got healthy?

I feel much better health-wise. I feel younger, the best I’ve felt since 2007. And stopping all those meds is a huge achievement.

TRAINING

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

Hiking, walks, jogs with my dogs, and yoga.

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

I’ve been training since October 2020 when I joined the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge. I just started off by walking short distances. And progressed to where I am now.

What does your typical workout look like?

Typically I would go to the gym and walk / jog on the treadmill for 30 to 40min. I would then do the roadblock exercises daily. When I know I won’t be able to go to the gym after work I get up earlier than usual and do a home workout with online trainers on YouTube.

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

My favorite is definitely hiking in the mountains. I won’t look so much as to how far I hike but rather the time spent doing it. I usually make a day of it.

The other daily exercise is walking and I do between 5 to 6kms. I also enjoy the different roadblock exercises.

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

I absolutely hate start jumps.

How does exercise make you feel?

It makes me feel energized and happy. It’s definitely a feel-good mood lifter.

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

I prefer training alone as I can do it at my own pace. I hate it when people rush me or have to wait for me.

Most embarrassing training moment?

Slipping on the treadmill and almost falling off it. I don’t think anyone saw it.

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

Water, earphones, and my active watch.

Your next training goal?

I want to start toning and getting my muscles stronger so I’m gonna start weight training in the new year.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • Climb – Milly Cirus
  • My head & my heart – Ava Max
  • Sweet but a psycho – Ava Max)
  • Diamonds – Rihanna
  • Cheers – Rihanna

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

It’s changed my health (not taking insulin or blood pressure medication anymore).
I spend more time enjoying nature and fresh air, I’m sleeping less and hardly have time to watch TV.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

Pizza

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

High protein with peanut butter and banana smoothie every morning for breakfast.

Favourite protein?

Fillet steak

Favourite fat?

Avocados

Favourite carbohydrate?

Sweet potato

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

Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are 80%full. Don’t overindulge and don’t do shopping when you are hungry.

How many meals a day do you eat?

2 meals

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

When I really crave something for a few days I’ll have it. But much less than before and not every day.

MINDSET

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

The trekking up to Everest Base Camp

Favorite quote?

It’s now or never (Bon Jovi song – It’s my life)

Favourite book?

Left foot, Right foot by Robby Kojetin

What inspires and motivates you?

Looking at old photos of myself and being able to compare them to new ones. And when people actually notice that I’ve lost weight and compliment me.

For what are you most grateful?

That I can walk.

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

Just go for it. If you don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for you. It’s your body, so start moving it.

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

  1. Don’t set unreasonable expectations. The only way to, “eat this elephant” is bit by bit.
  2. Don’t reward yourself with food when you’ve achieved a goal.
  3. Be consistent
  4. Make time for yourself, be selfish. Don’t put other people’s needs before your own.
  5. Learn to say “NO” to temptation and unhealthy food when going out with friends, to parties, or get-togethers

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