How much weight have you lost on your journey so far?
16.3kg (started at 83.3kg and currently at 67kg).
What do you do? [Job]
Clinical Nurse Practitioner.
What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc.]
Walking, dancing, reading and I love cooking and baking.
YOU AND SLEEKGEEK
How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
I joined the Sleekgeek group in October 2022.
How did you find Sleekgeek?
What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
Sharing of information and uplifting each other. I love all the different challenges they have to offer. I love reading people’s successful transformation stories. Finally,I enjoy the 5km walk every first Sunday of the month.
Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
My emotions went haywire and because of that, I became an introvert and emotional eater. Fast foods were my downfall and I felt comfort in eating chocolates and drinking cups of coffee.
I became anti-social. I developed severe headaches and heartburn. I am not a person for medication, because I believe in natural healing. I chewed bubble gum to relieve my heartburn.
These habits affected my health tremendously. During this time, I had a spike in my blood pressure and cholesterol. I knew I had to make drastic changes to my health.
As a health professional and overseeing to people with chronic diseases, as well as knowing where these conditions lead to, I decided it is either “live” or “die”.
What ignited your initial motivation to change?
Grieving my husband’s death brought on stressful events. I felt lost and lonely. At times I felt that I was busy losing my mind. I literally had to prevent myself from ending up in a mental institution.
What initially helped me to bring on change was when I attended a 13-week Griefshare program (August 2022) which helped me in my process of healing. During my journey, I was introduced to a 4-letter word called “DEER” which stands for:
D= drink E= eat
E= exercise R= relax
My Griefshare sessions ended in October 2022 and this word forever stayed with me and I knew this was my rescue remedy to improve my health which led me to the Sleekgeek Health Revolution 5km walk on 06/11/22.
What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Sometimes I still struggle with a bit of forgetfulness, but I remind myself that it is normal. Things will get better as time goes on.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Not to be hard on myself, but to be patient. Take deep breaths and remember, one step at a time.
Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
No, absolutely not, because the program did not allow me to do so.
I was and still am very consistent since the day I started this challenge.
I enjoyed every moment of all the other challenges I took on during my journey as well. Will definitely take on the next 8-Week Transformation Challenge.
What is better since you got healthy?
I see life from a different perspective. I love the new me. I feel healthy and full of energy. My mental health has improved. I eat, think and sleep better. I changed from being an introvert to an extrovert.
What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Walking, Zumba, core training, step classes.
How long have you been training and how did you get started?
Started with the 21-day Step Challenge with the commencement of the 8-week Transformation challenge on 07/02/23. I enjoy my training sessions so much that I can’t go without it.
What does your typical workout look like?
During the week (Mon – Fri) my daily routine for exercises starts at 5 pm which consists of walking/running for 1hr, followed by other exercises such as core, abs, waist, Zumba or step classes for 30min to 1hr.
Sat & Sun are meant to be my resting days, but I go for an hour walk or run.
Zumba and step classes at the gym are top of my list.
Least favourite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Anything to do with knees, e.g., walking lunges, burpees and sit-ups.
How does exercise make you feel?
Energized, relaxed and in control.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I love training by myself, but I also prefer to work out with others, because other people’s transformation motivates me and gives me hope.
Most embarrassing training moment?
When you are busy with Zumba or step classes and the instructor teaches you a sequence to follow, but you get lost and start to do your own steps and become so confused.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Your next training goal?
When volunteering for Sleekgeek at the 2 Oceans Half Marathon (16/04/23), I was intrigued and inspired by the runners over the ages of 70 & 80. It came to my mind that running will be my next training goal.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
- You Don’t know me by Jax Jones.
- Move ya body by Nina Sky, Jabba.
- Show me, love, by Robin S.
- Break my soul by Beyonce.
- Yeah! by Usher.
How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I lost my husband at the age of 49 yrs in a sudden and horrific manner on 30/12/2020 during the 2nd wave of the Pandemic. I suffered severe trauma and was diagnosed with severe anxiety reactions and insomnia. It felt like my brain was split into two.
My physical, mental, and emotional status was badly affected. I went through various counseling sessions including seeing a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist. The psychiatric medication made me feel ill and I stopped taking it.
One day, in October 2022, I was sitting with my cell phone and went on Facebook. As I was busy scrolling, the Sleekgeek Health Revolution page popped up. I was so curious and joined the group. A notice of the 5km walk dated (6/11/22) appeared. I DID NOT hesitate and on 6/11/22 I did my first 5km walk with the Sleekgeek team.
I also came to hear about the 8-week Transformation challenge, which sounded very interesting. This challenge bothered me. It took me two months to convince my mind that I CAN DO THIS. I signed up for my first 8-week Transformation challenge, which commenced on the 7/2/23 until the 4/4/23.
I am currently VERY HAPPY with my transformation result thus far. The challenge came to teach me how valuable nutrition and exercise is and what effect it has on my physical and mental health.
My health has taken on a tremendous change. Before the challenge, I was very reluctant to do any form of exercise. By doing daily exercises now, my thinking ability and sleep pattern has improved, and I feel energized.
If there is one thing that I would NEVER like to repeat again, it’s my anxiety and insomnia episodes.
I also found that the Vitaforce range of products is helping me, because it’s natural and I do not experience any side effects. It has now become part of my healthy lifestyle and I am HAPPY.
What’s your favourite meal?
Vegetable Thai curry and cauli-rice.
OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
I can eat this meal any time of the day: Free range beef sausage, poached eggs, mushrooms, cocktail tomatoes and avo.
Tofu, fish, chicken liver and eggs (free range).
How many meals a day do you eat?
I do intermittent fasting (16:8) 2 x meals plus x 1 snack.
What is your nutrition philosophy/approach?
Practice mindful eating, keep it simple. Understand the contents of a food package label and enjoy what you eat.
Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
I will spoil myself with a small slice of blueberry cheesecake or a small tub of Marcell’s English toffee ice cream.
Most memorable personal achievement to date. Something you maybe could never have imagined.
Previously I ate to comfort myself, to reward myself for hard work, for being busy. My food choices were addictive—usually sugar and caffeine. They gave me the fix I craved, but they also made me tired, which probably made life harder.
I now eat to nourish my body. I listen to what my body wants and I have a lot of energy. I never imagined that I would lose so much weight in such a short period of time. No diet pills, slimming shakes, etc. It is just healthy eating and daily exercise.
“Everything starts off with a small step. Don’t be afraid to take it, because you never know how far you’ll get.”
Own your Anxiety: 99 Simple Ways of Channelling Your Secret Edge by Julian Brass.
The book offers practical lessons to overcome the effects of anxiety by owning it in three key areas of life: body, mind and soul.
What inspires and motivates you?
I aspire to keep going and never give up. I want to be the best version of myself and to be a light for others who struggle with health-related issues.
For what are you most grateful?
I am grateful for the strength and mindset that God has given me to journey through the transformation challenge. Without these aspects, I would have not been able to manage:
- How far I came in life
- My good health
- To be a role model and inspiration for others; and
- To love myself for who I am.
What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
It is about mindset first. Set small goals for yourself, but you need to work towards them.
Nutrition is the key to successful weight loss, but with it goes exercises.
Exercises are free, you don’t need to belong to a gym or buy expensive equipment.
Motivation is what gets you started. Discipline is what keeps you going.
What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
- If you are a smoker, quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol and avoid drugs.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Exercise daily.
- Get enough sleep.