Francois Hugo recently placed 4th in Men’s % Weightloss in our Sleekgeek New Year 2023 8-Week Transformation Challenge. Today he shares his incredible story about how he is conquering all against the odds!
On 22 August 2022, I fell through a ceiling. It was an impact fall, and I broke my foot and ankle in
three places. When I got to the hospital, I was first treated for a skyrocketing blood pressure,
that registered at 267/169.
The doctors were more concerned about a stroke than a broken foot. I have been on crutches for 12 weeks and thereafter in a moon boot for 6 weeks. The doctor had me believe that I would fully recover over time.
On 10 Feb 2023, I went to see a different doctor about my injury as six months had passed. I still had a limp and endure pain daily and drink tremedols, painkillers and high blood pressure medication every day.
I felt something was wrong. The doctor explained after looking at my X-rays and CT scan that I
would never be able to jog or run again and I had a small chance of walking normally. I would also
need to go for physiotherapy. All this information affected my mind, body and soul.
Reality set in when I learnt that my foot was reshaped when I collected the inner soles that were made to help with the recovery of my injury. I could not believe that not one pair of my “OLD” shoes fitted and were useless. The only shoes I can wear are the “crocs” with soft soles, that my fiancée (Beverley) bought me in January 2023 for comfort.
The 6 months before the SG 8-Week Challenge was devastating and hard for me. Firstly, I suffered a lot of financial loss because of my injury and couldn’t perform optimally anymore. Secondly, I started to believe that I am “NOT” the same man anymore. I needed to rely more on loved ones and people around me.
Certain things I will never be able to do anymore.
This caused emotional eating during this period, and I stopped caring. I consumed more beer instead of hard liquor and this also contributed to the weight gain. Added to this I complained every day and gave off negative energy.
My fiancé told me about the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge and that we needed to do something about our eating habits and our general health conditions. We joined Heat 4 of the Challenge which started on 27 February 2023. I read up about SG a bit and I understood that the only person who could help me here is MYSELF secondly if I continued like this, I would regret it in 10 years.
I didn’t like that I was grumpy, unhealthy and would possibly become an overweight 61-year-old person who thinks the world owed me something and spread negative energy wherever I went.
I understood that we get so used to what we do daily, we don’t even recognise anymore that what we do is not benefiting our health. We want to do something when something seriously goes wrong, impacting our mental state. Then we want to take drastic measures and want to jump in and fix things.
So, I decided to enter this competition for myself and try to restore my confidence in my abilities to become healthier. I decided to put myself first.
My goals for the competition were to lose at least 8kg, to be lighter on my feet, to take one week at a time and make changes as I proceed. I wanted to rid myself of my terrible sweet tooth because it creates inflammation which causes unnecessary pain.
Finally, I wanted to FINISH the challenge and push myself as hard as I could. The alternative is that I would live in regret had I not achieved my goals. On 27 Feb 2023, I weighed in 103.7kg and STARTED the challenge. I was focused, disciplined and pushed me day by day. I imagined running The Comrades and needed to finish otherwise I would not get a medal.
My plan was, (me and my Crocs) to step in front of my mirror in the lounge daily to see how I can improve my steps and rhythm because I could not walk on the road. Within one week I slowly started seeing improvement in my overall health, especially my energy levels. I pushed myself hard every day, bearing in mind that I could previously not walk 500m continuously. When I started to see significant changes in my overall behaviours I was on “auto-pilot”.
As I finish this morning 24 April 2023, I am really happy about the results for the following reasons:
I weighed in on 27 Feb 2023 (103,7kg) vs 24 April 2023 (88.9kg) = weight loss (14.8kg) =14.27%.
I feel like a completely new person given that over the last month, I have achieved a lot outside of this competition. I changed bad habits and feel in the best shape I have in 23 years. Finishing the competition with my best step count day at 31500 per day = (+- 22km) was quite an achievement with my broken leg. My zeal and energy levels for work are just unreal.
Sleekgeek, you have changed my life forever.
A huge THANK YOU to my Sleekgeek Team! I do not have enough words to thank you for
crossing my life. I have appreciated your input and put into practice all your encouraging emails and support during the challenge. I was fortunate enough to meet Eric Chowles in person and have an awesome pic of the two of us at the Two Oceans Volunteers water point where Beverley and I helped.
To my fiancé, Beverley I want to thank you, for all your support and encouragement to push harder every week, eight weeks of waking up in an empty bed in the morning, me stepping in front in the lounge before work, I love you so much, thank you for being part of helping me be a CHAMPION again!
Lastly, to my team, Mountain Movers 2, thank you for your encouragement and efforts to make
the team work so hard. What an absolute privilege to be part of the team!
My advice to anyone who wants to make a change in their own life – it is very simple:
- Firstly, believe in yourself.
- Be prepared to work hard. Everything in life that is easily achievable is temporary.
- Continuous hard work and effort will result in great rewards.
- Master what the Sleekgeek team teach you about health and wellness. Practice it and you will see astonishing results. I’m a living example of what personal dedication and discipline look like.