Survivor SA Castaway Geoff Cooke-Tonneson’s Incredible 43KG Transformation


The seventh season of Survivor SA has heated up with lots more drama and suspense than before. One reason for this has been the addition of the jury members. After the merge, each castaway that the tribe eliminates will take their seat on the jury, who will ultimately decide which contestant is worthy of being the Sole Survivor.

One of the jury members so far is Geoff Cooke-Tonneson, the man you love to hate. The 34-year-old was seen as one of the more villainous castaways because of his role in the elimination of Nathan Castle.

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Apart from his conniving schemes on the island, Geoff has had lots of experience when it comes to sticking to a plan and taking on challenges. Before going on Survivor, Geoff managed to shed an incredible 43KG in just six months. Here’s how he did it.

Geoff Cooke-Tonneson

  • Age: 34
  • Occupation: Home Loans Consultant
  • Location: Ladysmith, KZN
  • Weight Before: 116KG
  • Weight After: 73KG
  • Time To Goal: 6 Months

The Problem

“After having an unhealthy relationship with food my entire life I found myself weighing in at a whopping 116kg.  Not only did this have an impact on my self-esteem but my overall health was simply shocking.  I found it difficult to walk to the bathroom without feeling out of breath and I just felt generally unwell,” he says.

“One evening I realised that I’m in my early 30s and had nothing really going for me – besides being a parent.  I felt that I had no identity. I was in a rut. I decided then and there to change my life and set some goals to start feeling alive again. My first goal was to lose some weight.”

The Strategy

“I entered a 12-week national body transformation competition through Pharmafreak SA.  The fact that it was a competition was enough motivation for me because I’m extremely competitive. The hardest part with these kind of thing is changing your mindset, setting a goal and sticking to it despite the temptations.

Related: 4 Things You Can Learn From Mmaba Molefe’s Survivor SA Gameplay

The Change

“I had no base level of fitness as I hadn’t really been active a day in my life so I joined the weekly 5km Parkrun as a way to speed up the weight loss.  While my first ‘run’ took me well over an hour and had me catching my breath at every tree I found a love and passion for running which I never expected.

“Within three months I had lost 30kg, won the competition, and in the next few months I lost even more weight and improved my fitness.  All this was done by a routine of healthy eating and exercise.”

The Result

 After actively training for six months I ran and completed my first Comrades marathon and the feeling crossing that finish line is indescribable. I can honestly say I have never felt better in my whole life.  All I needed was a push in the right direction and now I am hooked. This journey has saved my life!

My family has noticed an incredible change in me and now not only am I full of energy but my overall mood has improved. Seeing the pride in my children’s eyes when I crossed that finish line at the Comrades Marathon might have been my proudest moment to date.

Now seeing what I am capable of has only motivated me to achieve more.”


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