Q&A with Lea Maybe


Lea Maybe (Signature name: Queen Lea).


52 years young.


Currently Woodstock, Cape Town.

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

38,5 kgs (Started at 103 and now 64.5).

What do you do? [Job]

Help others to transform in wellness.

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

Inspirational speaker, counselor, writer, fitness, singing, reading, running, walking, hiking, being creative, braiding hair, cleaning, cooking, gifted in my sixth sense, prophetic, born again since the age of 5 years old.


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?

I have just joined when I was introduced to the community at a recent Sleekgeek walk.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?

Making people present and visible. It made me feel non judged or stereotyped when I attended the walk. Sleekgeek made me feel welcome. I sensed a community feeling.


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

My old self was very negative, toxic and suicidal. I was sick and overweight. After misdiagnosis and being hospitalised I had 15 procedures done on my little body. I was trapped and out of control and fighting battles as an adult orphan and family outcast. I was on medication 24/7 and suffered from childhood trauma for years. I faced a flare up of abuse mentally and emotionally, so my focus was on flight mode.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?

I raised myself, my siblings and alcoholic mom. My dad constantly abused my mom resulting in her near death. I survived drowning at the age of 2 years old and had a full body burn from head to toe with boiling water when I was 3. I have experienced the nightmares of living on the street.

My father was so dominating that he would keep my head under ice cold water hoping I would drown. I was kidnapped on a few occasions, but an angel would always have my mom find me. I grew up being exposed to drugs and alcohol every day of my life and yet I never consumed either. I was given away as a young child until I reached my teenage stage. I had to live with different families with no stable home.

I know what it is to live on the street but I choose to do the best with the worst. I promised myself never to connect my personality to my pain. Through this roller coaster process I got stuck in trying to just evolve. I survived, colon cancer, womb cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, rectal dysfunction, polyps, irregular syndrome, chronic anemia, heart palpitations, ulcers, food allergies, asthma, respiratory infections, piles, a knee operation. My whole system was compromised due to the medication. More than 10 suicidal attempts due to depression and anxiety failed. I was a ticking time bomb.

I started to take an inner view not wanting to give any one control of myself and giving myself another chance. All my failed suicidal attempts became my inspiration to change, and I just wanted to be healthy. I took a chance on myself. I have become my greatest motivation.

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

I started to think like a winner, giving myself options and not demands. Do not allow what has been to affect what will be and what can be. The past is a testimony not a treasure. Do not focus on the rear-view mirror for too long, we just need to check every now and then to see your distance from where you’ve come from, but do not dwell. There are so many new undiscovered opportunities ahead that are inviting us to take the chance. Forget the former, the new wants to give birth. We have a soul responsibility to move ahead. We transition from faith to favor. We are instrumental in our success daily.

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

Unemployment is my only struggle. I lost my job during Covid lockdown.

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

Just because you are going through some reconstruction does not mean that you have lost your value. Value is not connected to conditions or climate change, it is the essence of believing in your ability that your quality has no expiry date.

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

I second guess my potential often and don’t believe in my greatness as I should. Being in the fitness industry it is highly competitive, and the income is low.

What is better since you got healthy?

I am cancer free and no more medication or doctor’s appointments, no more scans, blood tests or MRIs. It is a liberating feeling to not have to go for further medical examinations. It is 8 years later, and I have no complications.


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

I love instructing Zumba, Shape, Core Training, hiking and running.

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

I have been back on my fitness journey since 2019, my overweight health issues had me start to get my life back.

What does your typical workout look like?

I start with a run, then core then Shape, Power Pump, Pilates, Zumba and stretches.

Favourite Exercise?

My favorite exercise is to connect with people. I love running, I have done races by myself. Running from Bayside run to and from Melkbos. I ran from Bayside to the Civic Centre in Cape Town.

How does exercise make you feel? 

It makes me feel alive and in-control. It is the release of endorphins.

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

I love training by myself, but I appreciate it more to workout with others. Being a witness to change and transformation. Other people’s transformation gives me hope.

Most embarrassing training moment?

Falling off a stepper while someone was making a recording.

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

Character, consistency and commitment is key.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

1) I am a Survivor.

2) Shivers.

3) I can buy me flowers.

4) Count on me.

5) Don’t give up.

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

My life changes to help change the lives of others and I am much healthier in thought and action.


What’s your favourite meal?

Vegetable stew with rice.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?

Vegan bowl.

Favourite protein?

Chickpeas and Spinach.

Favourite fat?

Peanut butter bomb smoothies.

Favourite carbohydrate?

Future life cranberry bread.

How many meals a day do you eat?

Three meals, if I am not fasting. I fast often, intermittent fasting is my favourite.

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?

I eat bread and spookies.

Most memorable personal achievement to date. Something you maybe could never have imagined.

I used mind over matter. Shedding so much weight and becoming healthy has become my priority. I never thought I would be alive to tell my story.


Favourite quote?

“Be the change that you want others to be.”

Favourite book?

The Shack.

What inspires and motivates you?

Never to give up on myself. Me becoming my best role model.

For what are you most grateful?

I am most grateful for the change I have been afforded to change and help others change.

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

Others need your story; you are the author of your own life transformation. Don’t give others a main role in your story.

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

  1. Forgive yourself.
  2. Connect with yourself.
  3. Do not thrive on contracts but push for commitment.
  4. Success is in failure.
  5. Have a covenant relationship with yourself because this is your journey and not the opinion of another. Life has turns but continuation depends on you.

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