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Q & A: Gerrie’s – Updated story – 60kgs down!

Name:

Gerrie Opperman

Age:

35

Location:

Cape Town

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

Started my journey at 160KGS and went down to 85KGS (wanted to be half the man I used to be) when I competed in the transformation divisions of Body Beautiful and Rossi classic. Current weight: 99.4kgs 

What do you do?

I’m an operations manager for a company which supplies equipment to Sub-Saharan Africa in the mining industry.

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

  • Love to travel (I was booked for Switzerland and Germany before the pandemic hit so I am waiting for those regulations to ease a little)
  • Building and restoring classic Pickups (busy with a 1951 Ford F1 Pickup)
  • DIY (Anything wood that I can fix, restore and paint and give a second chance)

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

Since December 2014

How did you find Sleekgeek?

My sister shared my journey on Sleekgeek as I was still shy at that stage.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

Definitely, the love and support one gets from the community even if you have a backfall like I did. So many members / friends kept on supporting me through darker times when I had my surgeries and health issues from 2018 until now.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

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

160 kgs – The friendly fat guy with a supermarket, that was me, I had terrible eating habits as I used to eat whatever was baked or fried every day. And on top of that, I had a sugar addiction.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

My divorce with the final words “you will always be a fat slob and you will never find anyone with your size!” It stuck in my head until now.

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

I started training again, I’m focused on portion control and I speak to my friends and family when I need support because this journey is a difficult one alone.

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

  • Sugar.
  • Late-night snacking.
  • Weekend socials with family and friends because that is my happy place, so I eat.

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

Just set firm goals and work towards them every single day.

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

After my last set of surgeries in both hands, I had a terrible
backward slide as I had terrible results with mobility and functionality which drove me to overeat and stop training as I used to. (I was rendered disabled and fingers had to be fused due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands)

What is better since you got healthy?

Functionality is still the same, but being the person that I am, I’ve learned to deal and adapt to my situation and train with it.

TRAINING 

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

Love cardio and doing the plain old circuit.

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

Since 2013 but on and off. Started with a daily routine again in 2022 with the support of Sleekgeek members and friends.

What does your typical workout look like?

1. Start with 80 min to 100 min cardio in the morning followed by the circuit in the evening.
2. I live in an Eco estate so I enjoy walking some evenings before gym, just for a change in scenery.

Favorite exercise? 

7km to 10km walk in nature, it’s good for the soul.

Least favorite exercise? 

Planking or Burpees

How does exercise make you feel?

Clears my head of daily struggles and brings me peace especially when I walk where birds are chirping and animals are running. (I am from the farm, so that is my happy place)

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

Alone. When I have firm goals I want to reach, I put in my earphones and block everything out and focus on achieving that goal.

Most embarrassing training moment?

Splitting my pants when I was bigger down the middle and with the smallest possible gym towel that covered half that needed covering.

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

1. Earphones
2. My Fitness Tracker
3. Gym Towel and Bottle

Your next training goal?

Dropping all the weight gain to my old competitive weight and building lean muscle.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  1. Numb – Feat.Cour
  2. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
  3. White Flag – Bishops Briggs
  4. Fatty – Intent to Sell
  5. Sweet but Psycho – Ava Max

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

I went from 160Kgs, not being very mobile, struggling to walk, and getting up out of chairs to being able to walk for hours and enjoy the fresh air.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?

Pepper Fillet with Mash, then Malva pudding and Rooibos Ice cream.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

I enjoy a Chicken Cobb salad 

Favourite protein?

Chicken

Favourite fat?

Avo

Favourite carbohydrate?

Basmati Rice

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

Eat every 3 hours, either meals or snacks, I wait 3 hours between each.

How many meals a day do you eat?

6 Meals (includes snacks)

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

Yes, I spoil myself every Sunday with a steak and all the trimmings.

MINDSET

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

  1. Winning Body Beautiful Transformation Division 2015
  2. Placing 3rd in the Rossi Classics Transformation Division

Favorite quote? 

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.- Confucius

Favourite book? 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

What inspires and motivates you?

 Friends and family and the thought of being the best version of myself.

For what are you most grateful?

My family, it’s been a long and difficult road but they stood by me and supported me through everything.

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

Begin small, set proper goals and be realistic with what you want and can achieve at the moment without hurting yourself and work at it on a daily basis.

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

  1. Set firm goals
  2. Plan how you are going to achieve that goal.
  3. Get a support network to help and motivate you.
  4. Track your progress monthly
  5. Remember the scale doesn’t define you, it just helps to keep you accountable.

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