We sat down with Jesica who placed fourth in the Women’s Weight Loss category of our Winter’s 8-Week Challenge 2023. We wanted to find out the secret to her success and she was happy to share it with us.
Please give us a short history of your journey to health and fitness before the challenge.
Before joining this challenge, any and all attempts at losing weight failed. Nothing ever worked and within a week of starting, I would revert to old habits. It just felt impossible! I did everything from the shakes to the pills. I constantly felt like I was starving myself without seeing any benefits. I am not a very active person so spending 30 – 45 minutes in a gym coupled with not eating, just made my goals unrealistic and unattainable. My eating habits were all over the place. I would hardly eat during the days and then binge eat at night as if to make up for the whole day. Zero Activities with too many calories consumed in a day.
What prompted you to join the Sleekgeek Transformation Challenge?
A friend of mine swore by it and motivated me to give it a go! I do not regret it one bit. Best decision I have made all year!
Give us a quick overview of the nutrition and eating plan that you followed during the challenge.
Going into the challenge my mindset was that this was not going to be another DIET. This was going to be a lifestyle change. I would not place any food groups in the “prohibited” category and would simply “limit” my intake of any particular food group I found to be most challenging for me. I find that the moment I tell myself I am not “permitted” to have something, the more I want it! So going into this, I made sure to make a weekly meal plan with EVERYDAY meals. Things I normally would eat BUT healthier. I made things like spaghetti bolognaise with lean mince, lots of veggies and swopped my carbs for vegetable alternatives. Suddenly the stores felt like a treasure hunt, and I was always on the lookout for better and healthier alternatives to everyday foods. I made sure to track my calorie intake and every day I did my roadblocks. I believe that 85% of weight loss was about the foods I consumed, and I wanted to make sure that once the challenge ended that I could maintain the healthy eating.
Give us a quick overview of the training and exercise plan that you followed during the challenge.
I have never been one to go to the gym and spend hours there. So, I relied heavily on the roadblocks provided during the challenge. Once my nutrition was on track, I suddenly felt that I wanted to do more. I did my roadblocks every night, even when I was too tired, I tried to do at least the bare minimum. Sometimes you don’t think you will be able to do 10 pushups until you just start with the first 1 and before you know it, you can do 25! Not long into the journey I added park runs to my activity lists on Saturdays and boy did it change my life! It set the pace for how my day and weekend would go. It helped me stay on track and focused, because the weekend for me is generally the most challenging time as there is no structure unlike the weekdays. I found that having to get up early and have an early appointment, kickstarted a healthier weekend mindset.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to future challengers, what would they be?
Consistency is key, even when you slip up on one meal, keep going. Wake up every day and do it all over.
Be your own cheerleader! Put notes all over your fridge and mirror and even your office white board to motivate you. Don’t wait for other to motivate you and recognise the changes you are making. This is your journey!
Give yourself grace. You will not lose 2 kgs every week, but every week you will feel better whether it is emotionally, physically or mentally. Recognise and celebrate every non-scale win.
Why should people enter the challenge?
This challenge teaches you invaluable lessons about discipline, perseverance and control. You have such an amazing support base of people you have never met, but who are all rooting for you to be better than you were before. People who have either done this before or who are currently on this journey with you, and it is an absolutely amazing feeling to have support 24/7 from all over the country. The challenge gives you all the tools (and more) for you to improve your quality of life!