43 years of age. Mother of 3. I gave birth to one girl and my sister’s twin girls.
How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
Lost a total of 54kgs to 56kgs, so far.
What do you do? [Job]
I’m a hairdresser by profession. I’m the owner of Exhilaration hair and beauty salon.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I absolutely love dancing, it started off with dancing salsa about 10 years ago then I grew to enjoy dancing Kizomba and Semba. Still do salsa though but it’s not my first love anymore. I always listen to Kizomba / Semba and Nigerian music. I love cooking and baking, trying out new recipes is my thing.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I’ve been a member of Sleekgeek since 2016.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
Started with Asijiki and not long after I joined Asijiki I joined the English version of it. I thought I’d fit in more with the Sleekgeek.
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
I love to interact with like-minded people, people with the same goal as mine, trying to change their lives. People who have a lot of empathy, people that are real, people that are always there to answer any questions anyone might have whether it be eating healthily or exercise.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
The old me used to sit, watch tv and eat all the wrong things for my body with very little or no exercise. I was depressed most of the time. Some days I’d cry myself to sleep because I hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I used to still go out to salsa parties but I was eating wrong and drinking a lot of alcohol.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
The reason I started was that I decided to go to a Kizomba festival in Kenya in 2019. This was at the end of March and the festival was in August. I wanted to shed a few kilograms before the festival. I did and I was very happy with my weight loss so I continued after the festival.
What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
The new me still loves going out and I drink much less alcohol. I still eat out but I’m more mindful of what I order. I try and make healthy choices. I take my dancing as my extra cardio. I eat for fuel now, not because there’s food I must consume to get rid of it. I’m happier. I enjoy going to the gym and doing my weight training.
If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Be kinder to myself and practice more self-love and appreciation.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Normally I’d lose the weight, I’d hit a plateau for weeks and then I’d slide back badly and pick up all the weight and more. In 2019 I decided I’m not gonna listen to the scale, I’m gonna push through no matter what the scale said.
What is better since you got healthy?
Since I’m healthier I have more energy and I’m always happy and ready to take on the world. I’m more patient with my children. I sleep much better, I wake up refreshed. I’m not so grumpy and ready for a fight anymore. I actually wake up and am happy to go to the gym.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
I enjoy weightlifting.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I run and walk outside but it’s definitely not my first love. I started with walking around a 5 to 6km block in my area, and then I bought an exercise program on Facebook and used that for a while. April last year I went to the gym. Started out with a trainer 3 times a week for a period of 6 months, and he did a variety of different exercises. Then after the 6 months were over I started using what the trainer taught me and also use youtube videos to try and add to my workouts.
What does your typical workout look like?
Monday leg and glutes, Tuesday biceps and triceps with shoulders, Wednesday I do chest, and Thursday I do back. Friday is again legs and glutes. 3 times a week I add core exercises.
Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
I hate cardio with a passion but I have had to change my attitude and do cardio on Saturday because I still want to lose more body fat. The gym is 2km from my house so most days I run or walk to and from the gym.
How does exercise make you feel?
Exercise make me feel absolutely fantastic I feel happy all the time.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer working out with someone. So that I can learn more from them and vice verser.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
I must definitely have my music, gloves, and water.
Your next training goal?
My goals are still in numbers, I need to lose 16kgs by the end of the year. My goals are still in numbers, I want to lose 16kgs by the end of the year.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
My playlist is anything with a nice beat. I’m not very fussy. I love Kizomba / Semba music.
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
Exercise did change my life for the better. I can’t imagine my life without exercise. It’s the best gift I’ve ever given to myself.
What’s your favourite meal?
I love eggs. Anything that’s got to do with eggs.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Healthy meal would still be a good breakfast.
Bread, freshly baked bread while it’s still warm spread some butter.
What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
I eat to fuel my body nowadays. Back in my old days, I used to eat because there is food, and most of the time I’d eat to comfort myself so nowadays I don’t use food for comfort. If I have a problem I deal with the problem head-on and do not use food to cover it up.
How many meals a day do you eat?
I eat 3 meals a day with one or 2 snacks in between depending on whether I go to the gym or not.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
A cheat meal is a very important part of my progress. Whatever I feel like eating or crave, I tell myself that I will get it on my chest day which is Sunday, which has kept me in check and always have something to look forward to. Come Sunday then I sit and think about what I really want or really feel like then I buy and enjoy it.
Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
My personal achievement so far has been able to lose this amount of weight and feel good about myself. Being comfortable in my own skin. And being able to run for 3 minutes nonstop on the treadmill without feeling like I’m gonna have a heart attack. Just generally feeling healthy.
“If it doesn’t kill you then I will make you stronger”, you cannot grow in your comfort zone.
I’m not really a reader, I don’t have favorite book. In my spare time, I listen to music. And I Google to check out my next exercise routines.
What inspires and motivates you?
The results for me have been my motivation. When I put the pictures side by side and see a difference, that has been my motivation. Not necessarily the scale for me, most of the time the scale stays the same or goes up. And also when I look in the mirror I love how my body has transformed. I surround myself with positive people with the same goals in life. I try and avoid negativity at all costs. I also try my very best to be that person that makes other people’s day. Like if I see a beautiful woman I make sure I tell her she is beautiful. We as women need to get into the habit of complimenting each other. If I see someone doing something good I make it a point I say it to them.
For what are you most grateful?
I’m most grateful for the gift of life, grateful that we’ve been through this Covid time without as much death in our family like others did. I’m grateful that my girls are doing well in school. I’m grateful for the fact that I have been able to hold on to this journey for this long and for the results I’ve seen in the last 3 years.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
I’d like to say to the community members that are hesitant to start, or even the ones that have fallen off the wagon, please start, take it one day at a time, if you trip and fall it’s ok, just do better the next day. I always say yesterday is gone, today is a brand new opportunity to do better, to be better. If you had a bad day yesterday it’s fine, that is in the past now, you cannot change your past, focus on today and make today the best day that you can. My motto is to take it one day at a time, sometimes I say one meal at a time and most especially one exercise at a time. Consistency is key. Just keep going. If you committed to exercising 3 times a week, you make sure you show up on those days no matter what. Trust me if I can do it, you’ve got it in you to be able to do it. Believe in yourself and never give up on yourself.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- Find the reason you want to start this journey for me it has always been, that I want to look and feel good about myself. And let that reason be your drive to keep going.
- Make a commitment to eat healthy / better. Be realistic and true to yourself.
- Make a commitment to exercise for instance 30 minutes, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Stay committed to that no matter how you feel or the rain is coming down you show up on those days. No matter what.
- Having a cheat meal it’s very important. Be realistic and don’t overdo it. But if you did it’s also fine tomorrow is a new day.
- Whatever you do never skip a Monday whether it is exercise or eating healthy. Monday has shaped my week for at least the past year. I make sure that I push harder on a Monday to set a tone for the week.