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March 18, 2022

How I Sweat: Meet Deb - Hero image

Here at Sweat, we are forever inspired by Deb. Born with physical abnormalities due to her premature birth, Deb has spent a lot of time in hospital and faced obstacles most of us never will.

After following the Sweat Community online for over a year and feeling bored with her own fitness journey, Deb decided she wanted to try something new. She then joined Sweat in 2015 on the very first day the app was released! 

Despite experiencing ongoing health challenges, Deb has been powering through her Sweat workouts ever since and went from feeling too weak to leave the house, to feeling the strongest she ever has. In her toughest moments, Sweat has given her a sense of purpose and routine to keep her going, and she has formed life-changing friendships with Sweat Community members and Head Trainer Kayla Itsines. 

Late in 2020, Deb was having health issues, and it broke our hearts in early 2021 to hear she had been diagnosed with a very rare form of colon cancer which also spread to her lungs.

“This is why I worked out the last 5 years with Sweat - because I want to be as strong as possible when it is needed,” she wrote at the time.

Deb went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment while living with her family and although she lost her physical strength, her inner strength didn’t go anywhere and she came back to Sweat as soon as she could to improve her mental wellbeing and keep fit throughout her treatment.

Today, she continues with Sweat challenges on both the good days and the bad - working on building her strength again with her usual positive attitude as her body recovers.

As thankful as Deb is for Sweat, we are for her.

This is how Deb Sweats.

My fitness journey and why I Sweat

My fitness journey began eight years ago. I was at a point in my life where the doctors told me I needed to exercise in the hospital under supervision because I was so weak and have had major lung problems all of my life.

I was admitted to hospital a few times in 2015 and then felt frustrated and upset with how weak I felt, so started using the Sweat app. 

It was totally new for me and I actually didn’t have any experience with any of the movements in Kayla’s programs. The workouts took me a long time to complete, they left me sore for ages and I had to make a lot of modifications, but I noticed that the more I kept practicing, the more improvement I saw and I never gave up. I went from taking an hour to complete a workout to 30 minutes. 

I saw my modifications in the workouts as a failure, but after everything that has happened in the past year with my cancer journey, I don’t anymore. I get less frustrated now, I have more patience and I am kinder towards myself.

Aside from helping to build my strength and fitness, Sweat has given me such an amazing community and friendships. There are women in the Sweat Community I have been following for five years or longer, and over the years I have been in contact with so many people who have supported me in my journey. 

I love being around people and I care so much for my family and other people, so the community is something I am really grateful for. 

I would see all their workout videos and I would feel more motivated too, thinking to myself - if they can do it at 5 am, then I can definitely find time to workout during the day! 

From feeling insecure to having more self-confidence, the Sweat Community has changed my life and helped me become a better version of myself. 

How I Sweat: Meet Deb - Picture Panel 2 - Desktop

How I Sweat

After all these years training with Sweat, Kayla Itsines is still my go-to trainer, but when I want to mix it up I also love Kelsey Wells’ and Cass Olholm’s programs.

My routine changed drastically between December 2020 and December 2021. When you are in a lockdown and you get diagnosed with a very rare stage 4 cancer, your whole life changes. 

At the moment it is stable and we stopped everything so I can enjoy the things I like to do. 

Fitness has helped me during that year and I did two to three workouts every week when I could. Luckily enough I have built up my strength again and have been working out six times a week since the beginning of February after I got pneumonia in the first 3 weeks of January 2022. 

It was definitely a challenge with all the fortnightly chemotherapy and hospital visits I had, but I stayed positive and didn’t give up. Physically I went from my strongest to my weakest, but today I am happy that I can now work out when I want and I feel my body getting stronger again. At the moment my condition is stable and I’m enjoying the things I like to do again.


I always start my week early at 6:30 am with a shower, my daily medication and walking with my dog Adara between 7:30 am and 8:30 am. Breakfast is always yoghurt with nuts, fruit and oats, and then it’s time to clean the house before a midmorning peanut butter sandwich. 

Today, I treat myself to a hot chocolate and lemon cake at Starbucks and enjoy it outside in the sunshine.

At 3:00 pm I start my lower body workout with Kayla. It was a good one and I felt great! Around 6:00 pm it’s time for another walk with Dara and then we eat dinner and wind down for the night with some TV. I’m in bed around 10 pm. 


Today looked a bit different! For the first time in a while I went shopping with my sister in the afternoon, so I planned everything else out for the morning. 

I started with a walk with Adara and breakfast, followed by my workout. It’s the last week of the Sweat Challenge so I’m giving this week my all. I started with 30 minute of LISS on the treadmill and finished with express abs cardio.

At 12:15 pm I go for a short walk again with Adara and then leave the house to catch a bus into the city for a wonderful afternoon with my sister. I bought some clothes and was back home at 5 pm. 

At 7.30 pm I had a fun FaceTime meetup with Monica from the Sweat Community (@momentswithmonica). We watched Gossip Girl and we talked about our week and her kids - they are adorable. At 10 pm it was time for bed.

How I Sweat: Meet Deb - Picture Panel 3 - Desktop


Today I took it easy because it was a really busy day on Tuesday - I clocked up 18,000 steps overall. In the morning I did some laundry and went to the playground with Adara, then did some grocery shopping before lunch. Around 2 pm I started my workout and did some LISS and an express full body workout. It feels great to be back in the gym and building my strength.


I woke up to hear the news that there was a storm coming so after breakfast and our walk with Adara we decided to tidy the garden a bit. The rest of the day was ok but I noticed that I was thinking a lot about my health so I did 45 minutes of walking on the treadmill and some basic stretching with Kayla to ease my mind.


The day started as the rest of the week and I went to the playground with Adara before the storm hit. I did my workout in the morning - upper body this time - and am pretty happy with how it went! I then stayed inside the rest of the day and followed the news updates.


This was my lowest day of the week mentally. It was hard and I had so many things to think about and some anxiety about how to return to life now everything is going back to normal.

The last year has been a rollercoaster and now I want to experience new places and travel but Covid has changed everything.

The groceries came in the afternoon - I try to always eat healthy but always have some treats during the week too like chocolate or dessert! We played a game during the night and watched some news.


I was feeling much better mentally today and got some groceries and a pie for the day. We had some family time in the morning, drank tea and chatted about the week, before having a nice lazy afternoon while it rained outside. 

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We know we're stronger together

How do YOU choose to Sweat? 

No matter what challenges you are facing in your day-to-day life, what form of movement you enjoy the most, or what time of day you can squeeze it in, Sweat can fit into your lifestyle. 

There’s a large variety of programs, workout styles and trainers to suit any fitness level or goal, and an amazing community of women ready to cheer you on every step of the way. 

So tell us in the comments, how do YOU Sweat?

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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