An Interview With 77noni

Do you have any regrets?
I don’t believe in having regrets, only situations I can learn from in the future. However, the fact that at 165kgs in May 2010 I found out about 12wbt, and between then and July 2011 keep deleting the emails inviting me to join is something I wish I hadn’t done. But rather then be too regretful, I’m just glad I read that Women’s Weekly article that August night. Michelle Bridges’ obvious passion for what she did made me realise her program was the way for me to go. And within eight weeks of following her principles I had shed fourteen kilograms. So, I don’t regret not joining Round 2 2010 – but I’ve learned not to let opportunities pass me by because I think I’m not capable.

When in your life have you felt most alone?
When I’m clinically depressed I feel very alone – even when surrounded by my loving family and supportive friends. I have Bipolar Disorder (I was diagnosed in 2003) and the lows for me seem very low, as I have the euphoric highs to compare them to in my mind. In 2008, I was lucky enough to be treated by Dr L in the public health system – and apart from two brief relapses of depression I have been well since June 2008.

What has been the happiest moment of doing 12wbt?

Sliding down the slippery dip with friends at the Thredbo pool. I had never been on a slide before, and my lovely friends coaxed me to put the mat on the top of the slide and let go of my fears. I think this photo says it all.

(picture to be inserted soonish)

Who has been the kindest to you on this journey?
October 2011 Michelle Bridges was at Australia’s biggest health check morning. During the course of the morning she led a Body Attack class. I was about 140kgs and I am about 182cm tall. At the time I was recovering from a sprained ankle and was very much at a Beginners fitness level. Then Michelle Bridges asked the group to do a one legged standing quad stretch. I wobbled all over the place trying to execute the balancing stretch – when a hand reached out and supported me. It belonged to Ms B, a fellow member of the 12wbt Sydneysiders. Not only did she manage to do the stretch perfectly herself, but this petite dance teacher helped me to balance and do the stretch.

(Ms B went on to be a winner of Lean & Strong Round 3 2012.)

What is your earliest memory of doing 12wbt?
I made up my mind to do the 12wbt on Tuesday night in August 2011. On the Saturday Master G and I headed in to the city to stay the night before doing the City2Surf on the Sunday. That morning I requested to join the 12wbt Sydneysiders Facebook group. On the way in on the train I took Michelle Bridges’ Crunch Time cookbook – as I was determined to start eating better on the Monday. I freaked out when I saw the vast majority of the dinners had no pasta, potatoes, bread, rice or couscous. I remember snapping the book shut in horror thinking I could never ever eat an evening without one those goodies on my plate every night. Then I thought – what’s more important – a nightly fix of carbs or getting rid of the weight?
That evening after dinner I started posting in the Sydneysiders group and told them I was walking the City2Surf the next day with my son. I received encouraging comments, especially the next day when I told them I had bettered my 2010 time.
And the next night, did I miss the carbs, hell yes, especially as the family were eating them. But it got easier – and now I don’t miss them at all.

What is your proudest 12wbt moment ?
There are lots of moments which made me stand tall and proud. Getting to the top of Mt Koscziosko, finally completing a 1km trial without walking and finishing my first 10km fun run without walking. But the proudest moment of my 12wbt journey was being a finalist for Round 2, 2012 and being up on stage, receiving a medal and words of encouragement from Michelle Bridges.

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What does your future hold?

Being healthier, fitter and happier – because despite the clinical depression, I didn’t start 12wbt unhappy – just not as happy as I could have been.

Specifically, in my future I will be running the Half Marathon at the Australian Running Festival in August, followed by the Gold Coast Airport Half Marathon in July and the Blackmore’s Running festival in September. In July and September I will be aiming to run a personal best time.

I am also going to learn to ride a bicycle once and for all so I can enter a Triathlon.

This weekend I am trying kayaking for the first time. I also want to try stand up paddle boarding and indoor rock climbing.

When I get to goal, which will inevitably happen, I want to learn to ride a horse properly and go on an overnight trek in the Snowy Mountains.

Much better than sitting on the couch watching everyone lap me.

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