I joined get active with the goal to shed a couple of kilos and to become a bit fitter and healthier before my 30th birthday. I wasn’t terribly overweight therefore I really only planned to tone up and lose 5-6kg.
As I am working in a busy Cafe/Restaurant, exercise was usually the last thing on my mind after being on my feet all day. Also a serious back injury I suffered 5 years ago has held me back from any kind of running and from a number of exercises doomed to have too much impact on my spine.
My biggest hurdle though was my eating. When Hilde pointed out to me what I was doing to my body by feeding it the kind of food I did I was shocked. I never realised how bad my nutrition actually was because I always tried to eat a healthy diet, but I really only had 1 decent meal per day and was snacking away on junk food and coffee throughout my day. In other words I was playing games with my metabolism that I wasn’t going to win.
I decided that if I was going to do a program such as the 12 week challenge it would be all or nothing. From day 1 I made some massive changes to my everyday life and cleaned up my nutrition. I never skipped another meal and cut out all alcohol, sweets and treats from my diet. I had the luxury of my own weight bench and gym set up in my garage at home, therefore I could do my workouts whenever it suited me and wasn’t restricted by gym opening hours. I also started running, which was something I was never good at in the past and what doctors and physiotherapists doubted I would ever be able to do without being in pain. It was definitely hard to get started, I struggled to last for 1km at the beginning but I didn’t give up. It only took around 2-3 weeks and I was able to last longer and to run a lot further. I began to feel more comfortable and challenged myself by climbing up hills and dirt tracks running between 8 and 10km almost every day.
By week 5 I had already lost over 5kg and my diet and exercise regime was stricter than ever before in my life. At that point I realised that I could do a lot more than I originally aimed for, especially knowing that I was not even half way through the program yet.
I had not weighed less than 60kg for about 15 years and didn’t think I was ever going to be able to drop that much, but the longer I kept going the more weight came off.
At the same time my friends and co-workers started to realise that I was going through some major changes in my general attitude and of course in my appearance. Most people around me were very supportive but I struggled at times with the fact that not drinking alcohol seemed to be a problem for some of my mates. It made me realize even more that I didn’t need the alcohol to go out, socialise and to have a fantastic time and that I had to stop worrying about what people were thinking about my choices and how they were judging me; friends or not, this was my journey, not theirs.
My determination to go through the remainder of the 12 weeks was getting stronger and stronger every week. Of course not everything went by plan or perfect (working in a Cafe that serves cakes, coffee and ice cream has put my will power to the test more than once) but being determined was going hand in hand with being terribly stubborn to achieve my goals. Towards the end of the program I started picking on bits and pieces of cakes and ice cream and I felt guilty, so guilty… As if I was cheating on myself! I started pushing myself harder during my training sessions to make up for those naughty slip ups but finally got over it and was back on track for a nearly perfect final 2 weeks.
By the end of the program I had lost 10cm of my waist, 12cm of my hips, 9cm of each thigh and an unbelievable 10kg of bodyweight.
What started out as a sudden idea to sign up for a program that hopefully would lead to an improvement of my fitness and appearance, turned out to be a complete transformation of my body and lifestyle.
The fact that I didn’t have a lot of expectations entering this challenge was probably my biggest advantage. I wasn’t running after an unachievable idea of the perfect body because I never believed my body was ever meant to be skinny. I just took every day as a new day, every workout as a new challenge and every Monday weigh in as a little victory for myself.
A big Thank you has to go to Hilde, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without your fantastic support and your program.
*DISCLAIMER Results may vary from person to person