A quick interview with Carli Mostert, 1st Place Women’s Weight Loss who lost 21.8kgs in the New Year 2016 Challenge!

Q: Give us a short history of your journey to health and fitness before the challenge.

I have been overweight since I can remember. I have been on almost every diet, magic shake, quick loss programme you can think of since childhood and tried some over and over. I had eating disorders in school and I always had a bad and destructive relationship with food. I was addicted to food my while life. My life was a life of being yet again on another diet. But I always stopped and gained back all the weight I lost plus extra. I used to be a gym junkie even in school to try and lose weight. I had many periods in my life of starting again and stopping again. Sometimes I did not bother anymore for months on end and just gained weight. At my most I stood on just about 170kg and I was not active at all.

One day I decided to say goodbye to diets and pledged to never diet again and went to a dietician to learn how to eat healthily. I lost weight and gained it back again as I did not know how to change being an emotional eater. About 3 years ago I changed to a healthy lifestyle and lost 50kg but still saw it as a diet and went back to my bad habits and gained almost all of it back. When I had 10kg left to gain back I decided to stop right there and then. I entered the Winter Challenge last year with Sleek Geek and there my health journey started. I again entered the Summer Challenge and came 2nd in the woman’s weight loss category. I entered the New Year’s Challenge and won and have not been in such a healthy and fit condition in years. Doing these challenges has become part of my life and I will do it until I have nothing more to lose or gain.

Q: What prompted you to join the Ultimate You Transformation Challenge?

I entered the challenge because I saw all the transformations and remember my friend entering it a few years back and I saw the prizes and thought that I was already changing my life, I might as well enter a challenge and maybe win awesome prizes while I’m doing it. I also entered the challenge to have extra motivation and keep me on track. But the challenges definitely made me work harder than I have ever worked before.

Q: Give us a quick overview of the nutrition and eating plan that you followed during the challenge.

I followed an eating plan I constructed myself based on a low carb and low sugar lifestyle combined with some of the best tips I gathered through my life being on diets. I took the best things that worked for me but made it a lifestyle where I have space for “treats” and off days and where it’s all a choice daily. The basic of my eating plan is Fruit, vegetables, dairy and good fats. I eat a few regular meals during a day keeping my metabolism going.

Q: Give us a quick overview of the training and exercise plan that you followed during the challenge.

My training and exercise was mainly Cardio. I did cycling, treadmill, rowing and other cardio machines early morning. Then I walked 5 mornings a week just before work. I walked 99% of my lunch times for 35min. I did Zumba classes 2-3 times a week and some swimming. I entered a few races and started with a little bit of jogging. I did some intense cardio sessions on some days.

Q: Did you use any supplements or do anything else worth mentioning to help you get results?

I did not use any supplements or any pills. I relied on pure clean eating and sticking to my healthy lifestyle and training.

Q: If you could give 3 pieces of advice to future challengers, what would they be?

1) Do what works for you and listen to your body. Don’t kill yourself with exercise. Find balance with everything. Don’t make your eating difficult. Keep it simple and basic, play with spices to add flavor and make it fun and enjoy what you are doing. It should not be punishment.

2) Cut out ALL cold drinks. Even diet drinks. Drink lots of water. And cut out diet, low-fat and fat-free food.

3) Cut out refined sugar and carbs and you will see what a difference it makes not only in your weight loss but in your general health and how you feel.

Q: What did you find most valuable about your experience?

What I found most valuable about my experience is the support I had on Sleek Geek. I truly gained a huge support group and people standing behind me cheering me on. It helps surrounding yourself with people on the same path, people who understood, people who have been there and it reminds you to keep believing in yourself. I learned a lot about myself. Especially how strong I really am and what my body is capable of but also how important balance is and not to overdo anything. I also learned that everything is in the mind. If your mind believes it, your body can achieve it. And lastly, sort out the reasons you overeat. Deal with your heart and pain and let the baggage go. Losing weight and fitting into normal clothes again and being able to physically do things again is gaining back your life. I am gaining back my life and these challenges have been so valuable to me because today I know I am never going back.

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