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Q & A: 50kgs down for busy career mom Heidi!


Heidi Hudson-Bennett




Somerset West, Cape Town

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

50 kgs

What do you do? [Job]

I am a Preparatory School Technology Teacher. 

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

Mom of 3 teenagers and 1 husband keeps me pretty busy. I have recently discovered “the gym” so that has become my ME TIME.  I love all things tech and geeky so spend some of my time upskilling myself and keeping up with the latest in Educational Technology.


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

Joined in April 2014 (8 years)

How did you find Sleekgeek?

I think it just popped up on my Facebook Newsfeed.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

I love how everyone is on a journey and there is no right or wrong way.  We support one another and it really is the only group on Facebook where there is no judging or shaming or hate speech. The only complaining that ever happens is when we moan about the price of Avo’s or our sore legs after doing too many burpees! 


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

I was always overweight and remember going on a “weight management type program” from about the age of 10.  I never ate a lot of food and the joke was I just had to look at a doughnut to gain weight. I tried every single diet under the sun, and lost lots of weight but promptly gained it back again as soon as I stopped dieting. Nothing was sustainable and I always saw it as a punishment. I was never comfortable and just thought it was my destiny to always be fat. 

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

I don’t really remember but I had quite a few medical issues and my weight was becoming a liability.  

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

I no longer diet, it is a lifestyle. This has been really helpful in not feeling deprived and feeling as if I am punishing myself. The “new me” also exercises. This is a very recent addition to my lifestyle and I am loving it.

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

Eating the right amount of food. I was so used to eating very little that I sometimes need to force myself to eat the correct portions. If I undereat on my proteins then I don’t lose any weight. I also struggle with my meal prep, as a working mom I sometimes go for the easy option and this is not always the best choice for me. 

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

Take some time to prepare my meals in advance. 

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

Oh yes, quite a few times in fact. Covid and Lockdown were definitely a struggle and emotional eating was a very real thing. The one thing that I have learnt though is not to chuck the whole plan if I have eaten badly. The old me used to derail the rest of the week and have the “I’ll start again on Monday” mindset. Now I just start again with my next meal. 

What is better since you got healthy? 

I can buy clothes pretty much anywhere. When I was at my biggest I could only shop in a certain shop that was super expensive and I didn’t even really like the clothes. I have now been able to develop my own sense of style… pink hair and all!

I am also no longer on medication for my insulin resistance.  


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

The Assualt bike at the gym and I’ve recently been introduced to spinning classes. 

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

I joined the gym in October 2021 because my son wanted to go with his mates. It was cheaper if I joined as the main member so decided to give it a go. I booked some sessions with a personal trainer at the gym because everything looked totally overwhelming. This was the best thing I could have done for myself.  

What does your typical workout look like?

I am still very much in the “little bit of everything” stage. I go to spinning classes twice a week. On the other days, I start with a walk on the treadmill or some time on the Assualt bike then do various strengthening exercises. My current goal is to build up the strength in my legs and shoulders. I have had rotator cuff surgery so the shoulder work is a slow process. On Saturday I do an aqua fitness class. This one is a little harder in Winter! 

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

I love the Assualt bike – because who wouldn’t love being cooled by a giant fan while you’re sweating? 

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

I currently don’t have a least favourite as I’m still getting the hang of it all so It is all still pretty new and exciting for me.  

How does exercise make you feel? 

I feel good. I feel energized and I also feel proud of what I have achieved.  The old me would find any excuse to avoid any type of exercise. The new me parks as far away from the entrance to the mall as possible and see it as an opportunity to get some extra steps for the day. 

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

I loved my time with my PT as he motivated me to keep going even when I was exhausted. I love the spirit and fun we have in the spinning classes but sometimes I just need to have peace and quiet and train alone.  

Most embarrassing training moment?

I haven’t had one yet although I’m sure if anyone was watching me learn how to do burpees they may have been entertained. I am not the most coordinated person on the planet. The best thing about that though is that I no longer care what I look like because I’m doing it for me and no one else.

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

  • Waterbottle
  • Watch to track my workouts 
  • My mask (I have a genetic immune deficiency so have to be extremely careful)

Your next training goal?

I want to run the ABSA 10km in 2023… I have never run in my life so working on building up the courage to try it.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

I sometimes train in silence or just pick a random playlist. If I’m walking on the treadmill I usually choose a podcast to listen to.  

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

I definitely have more self-confidence and energy. I am happier because I have found something that I do entirely for myself.  As a teacher, wife, and mother I give a lot of myself to others. My exercise is my time to re-energize both mentally and physically. 


What’s your favourite meal?


OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Still pizza, but I am more mindful of the toppings, choose a thin base and only eat a few slices and not the whole thing.

Favourite protein?

Air-Fried Chickpeas.

Favourite fat?

I generally avoid it at all costs but do love Avo.

Favourite carbohydrate?

A baked potato (another Air Fryer winner).

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

I no longer deprive myself of anything. If I have a craving, I have a little bit as opposed to denying myself and then binging.

 How many meals a day do you eat?

I try to eat 3 meals a day with no snacking in between. I really struggle with breakfast so often have to make a very concerted effort to eat it as I know that my body functions best on 3 meals a day. 

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

I  no longer refer to my meals as “cheat meals” because I have had enough guilt around food my entire life. I definitely prefer to call them a treat. I will often decide if the “treat” is worth it or if I could save it for something nicer on another day. 


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

I never ingrained I would ever get onto a spinning bike or wear a size 12 pair of jeans! I think I last wore a size 12 when I was 10 years old.

Favourite quote?

It’s not about waiting for storms to pass, it”s about learning to dance in the rain. 

Favourite book? 

Don’t have one. 

What inspires and motivates you?

The Sleekgeek community really inspires me because it is made up of so many real people, I feel comfortable enough to post a pic or an achievement no matter how small. 

For what are you most grateful? 

I am grateful for each new day and the opportunity to try again.  

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

Don’t wait for the “perfect day” or “next Monday” to start anything. Just give it a go and set yourself small achievable goals. Even something as simple as trying to walk 100 more steps than you did the day before. 

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

  1. It is a journey – not a quick fix!
  2. Realistic goals take TIME.
  3. Be kind to yourself if you feel you’ve messed up.
  4. Choose your path for your journey and if you find it isn’t working – don’t give up, perhaps try another path.  
  5. The scale is not the best way to measure your success (I used to be fixated on the numbers and didn’t notice the other changes and would be so disappointed)

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