Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 1 – It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

George Elliot

You’ve done your preseason tasks – including taken the before photos. You’ve taken a long hard look at yourself. And you’ve completed, at least, the first three days of Round 3 2012. It’s time to blog about the person who said yes to the 12wbt program, and the person you think you will be on the 18th November, 2012.
 
Remember, its up to you exactly how you respond to this challenge, including how many of the questions you answer. You might even come up with your own questions.
 

1. Describe yourself in less than fifty words. What is it you want us to know about you? (Of course if you need more than fifty words, consider using a picture 😉 )

2. This program is called a transformation. When you signed up for this round (whether is your ninth round, first round or somewhere in between) what was it about yourself you wanted to transform?

3. One of the phrases Michelle Bridges says that has struck a chord with me is that we should be striving to be the best version of ourselves. To me that means we don’t have to change ourselves completely in order to have a successful transformation. What is it about yourself you are happy with right now? It can be related to your mind, body or soul, and of course there may well be more than one thing you are happy with.

4. What aspect of this program do you think will present you with the toughest challenge. What are you going to focus on to ensure you feel successful at the end of the twelve weeks? How is your answer to number 3 going to help you overcome this challenge?

5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?

6. You’ve now completed at least three days of the program. What has surprised you the most about how you’ve coped with any challenges so far in the twelve weeks?

7. Can you describe what you want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.

“Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.” Doris Mortman

Fellow bloggers – once you have written your response to this week’s challenge – put a link below using the linky tool – the name can be your blog name, your forum name or your actual name or something else meaningful for you. Have fun!
 
Blog readers – click on the linky tool below to read the responses to this challenge.
 
 

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Introduction to the 12wbt Blogger’s Challenge – Round 3 2012

Welcome fellow bloggers to the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge – Round 3 2012.

This blog is for everyone, whether you are a seasoned blogger, just started your first blog this round or sitting there thinking about starting one right now.

Each week I will post on this blog a topic for you to write about, related to 12wbt of course. You are welcome to join in with the challenge every single week – or whenever you can. If you are reading this and its already week 2 or beyond, please don’t hesitate to jump in right now with this week’s challenge – or if you can – catch up on the ones you have missed.

I will post the challenges each Wednesday. I will post in the 12wbt forums that the latest challenge is ready, update my 77Noni status on facebook and send out a tweet when the weekly challenge is ready.  The weekly challenges will all be available in their own “archive” in a link list on the right hand side of my blog, right below my tickers.

It is up to you exactly how you respond – there are certainly no expectations for the number of words or anything else for that matter. I envisage each week there will be a series of questions – and its up to you whether you respond to all of them or just some of them. It’s your own personal response to different aspects of the journey. A way to get to know yourself, and your fellow bloggers, a little better.

There will be a linky tool at the bottom of each challenge, so you can provide a link to your blog post for that week. It’s a great way to get to know other bloggers on their 12wbt journey. I have participated in Blogging Challenges in the last three rounds – and have always enjoyed reading other members’ points of view on the weekly topics. (I have to come clean here and admit I have never been good at posting every week of the challenges – so that’s my goal this round – to not only set the challenge each week – but write my response as well!)

And of course, as you click on the links to your fellow bloggers’ responses, don’t hesitate to leave them a comment and encourage them to keep blogging.

So, everyone is welcome, don’t hesitate to join in with the challenge. It can be especially useful for those times you have the urge to write and express yourself, but you’re not to sure what to write about.

Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready to think a little outside your comfort zone? Are you ready to share how you are transforming your thinking as well as your body?

Leonie smile

Blogging Challenge Week 5 (Yep, two weeks late!)

FOOD!

I am sure that word has your attention. 😉 For this week of the blogging challenge Jayne has asked us to think about how our food habits have changed since starting 12wbt.

What were your old food habits like?

What were you like before embarking on this journey to become a healthier version of yourself?

How did you feel?

Before joining 12wbt I know I would have like to have thought my eating habits were healthy. But I was kidding myself. As the Commando said to Graeme in the 2012 The Biggest Loser, “You don’t get to be over 200kgs by eating salad!”  

I have battled with my attitude to food most of my 47 years.  Through the preseasons tasks I have completed over the last three rounds I have come to realise part of the problem is I see it as a control thing. While other aspects of my life are out of control – I can choose to control what I eat, which meant eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I went on my first diet at the age of twelve. It was 1977.   I clearly remember though, on our first day of high school we were dismissed at lunch time. So we raced home, changed out of our new uniforms and went straight to the local take away shop and bought ourselves a big feed of fish and chips. After weeks of feeling deprived, and feeling empowered by starting high school, we felt we were taking control by having whatever we wanted. We were in control. We could choose. And we chose something unhealthy. And this led us to decide to abandon the diet we were following. Probably in itself not a bad thing with the benefit of hindsight in 2012 – but for years I told the story of my first dieting failure at the age of twelve.

From 1997 to 2006 I was a Weight Watchers leader.  Not surprisingly, I thought I knew everything there was to know about weight loss.  But, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing when combined with an unhealthy attitude towards  eating. I certainly learnt more about eating clean and having  healthy attitude towards food in my first nine weeks of following the “Crunch Time Cookbook” and then 12wbt principles than I did in nine years of leading.

In the weeks before I joined 12wbt I was having “diet” food from a well known company delivered to my door.  I was eating the 1800 calorie per day program – and – eating extra because I never felt satisfied. That combined with the fact that I was not exercising more than three times a week meant my weight loss from October 2010 to August 2011 was 10kgs. Most of the foods I was eating were processed and high in sodium.

And I felt terrible. I had no energy. I was tired all the time.

I was bursting out of a size 26 – and wondering where on earth I was going to find clothes to fit when I needed size 28.

My doctor weighs me monthly.  This time twelve months ago she was still encouraging me to have lap band surgery. I was morbidly obese. All the tests showed no problems, but we both knew there would be a time when I would begin experiencing serious health complications. It felt terrible that my doctor felt there was no hope for me except lap band surgery.

And despite my thinking that eating whatever I liked was being in control of my life – I felt like I had no control over my life.

I often felt uncomfortable because I had eaten way too much at one sitting.  I also had terrible digestive problems with a type of reflux. This was worse whenever I was laying down.

Was there anything you struggled with but have over come?

The first thing was not having starchy carbohydrate based foods every evening. When I first looked through the Crunch Time Cookbook during preseason of Round 3 2011 I closed it again and thought “I could never do that! Is Michelle Bridges serious?” And of course, I did it and continued to do it.
I decided during my first preseason I would give up alcohol for the twelve weeks of the round. Not just because each glass would use valuable calories  and the fact that having alcohol in your system affects what your body chooses to metabolise. I mainly chose to give up alcohol because after a couple of glasses I know I have a tendency to not worry so much about what I am eating. I am now half way through my third round and the only time I have chosen to drink alcohol during a twelve week round was during my Thredbo weekend. (Well you can’t visit an alpine region and not have schnapps! And of course a glass or two of bubbles.)
I tried to give up Coke Zero and Diet Coke and Pepsi Max during my first round in 2011, but my resolve didn’t last long. My reason for drinking it was that if I had a “sugar craving” it would satisfy it. I decided on the 27th December, 2011 I would give up artificially sweetened drinks.  I decided going “cold turkey” was the best option for me. The first few days were tough, especially when I was buying petrol, as it was a habit for me to grab a bottle when I filled the car with petrol. By the new year the “sugar cravings” were gone, and I have since found out that the chemicals within Diet Cola drinks actually contribute to such cravings.
Now chocolate – that is something I am working on. My current strategy is to break off two squares and get Mr G to hide the rest from me.
Hopefully soon I’ll be writing a post about how I can break off two squares and put the rest in the cupboard and not think about it again for a couple of weeks.
I don’t know when, but I know for sure it will happen.

Blogger Challenge – Week 4 – Mini Milestone Week

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAST FOUR WEEKS

Since I spent the most part of two weeks in bed (doctor’s instructions) then so knocked about by the strong anti-biotics for another week that my training schedule was not what it could have been, this one will not be tricky to answer in less than one thousand words.
1. Week one I burnt 6656 calories – and loving it! In fact, it’s higher than that because I forgot to bring my HRM strap and transmittor to a Zumba class.

2. The Sunday of week 1 I entered the Sri Chinmoy 4km event at the Bay Run – didn’t do as well as I hoped, but a lot better than my last Sri Chinmoy event last September. I also went to “Pain in the Domain” outdoor circuit and “Pain in the Park” boxing workout that day too.Total burn for the day was 2318 calories. (Part of the 6656 total.)

3. Being named one of the official bloggers of the round by Mish in her Wednesday email last week. (And of course the fabulous prizes I’ll be getting soon.) I am absolutely thrilled by this – and of course humbled at the same time.

4. Time trial on Saturday Week. Not only did I take ten second off my preseason time, but I didn’t cough up a lung, my legs didn’t feel like they were going to explode and I didn’t have to convince myself to just keep going that little bit further. And I can say I didn’t shuffle, I jogged, and it felt good.

12wbt Blogging Challenge – Motivation

This is a tough topic – because essentially for over eight years it was a struggle to get motivated.  There are complicated reasons behind this – it has a lot to do with the chronic illness I was diagnosed with in 2003.  This illness saw me live through prolonged bouts of clinical depression.  There were days, weeks and even months when just getting motivated enough to get out of bed when there was nothing physically wrong with me (apart from the physical symptoms of depression) was impossible.  Eating well and getting exercise were almost impossible in that state of mind. And the really frustrating thing in hindsight is that eating well and exercising would have been two of the best things I could have done to overcome the depression.

As I have said in other places in this blog, after l stopped being a WW leader in 2006, I tried a lot of fad diets and gimmicks. Some which made following “Size 12 in 21 Days” for a whole twenty-one days seem sensible.  Any of those attempts at dieting could have seen me lose weight, but I rarely stuck at anything for more than a week and if I lasted more than two days I was bound to be cheating. It was as if I didn’t really care – but the whole time my heart was broken, and with each failed attempted I felt more hopeless.  That coupled with the clinical depression meant I just kept getting bigger, heavier and more unhealthy. My unhappiness and hatred of myself just made it all the more harder to get going and get motivated.

The turning point was my visit to Solar Springs with my mum for the weekend in 2011. I booked the weekend as a gift for her, to thank her for all the support she gives me with my children, especially before and after school. I just went along for the ride. But the weekend of healthy eating, some exercise and a little pampering had a big impact on me. Instead of all the negative feelings – I was feeling positive about myself. I did enjoy eating clean, healthy and natural food. I did enjoy exercise, and the endorphin rush that came with it, and just because I was 160kgs didn’t mean I couldn’t exercise. The trainers in the small group sessions emphasised working at your own ability and how you could replicate what we were doing at home. And, maybe most importantly, the pampering (hot stone massage, facial, hydrotherapy bath) made me realise I was worthy of being looked after – even by myself!

So my motivation sprang from there – from a very positive experience. Instead of feeling bad about myself and wishing I could wave a magic wand and start my life over, I began to feel good about myself. And I had a goal which was achievable and easily measurable.  When you go to have your spa treatments, you wear a bathrobe supplied by Solar Springs.  You are meant to slip it on and then wait in the lounge area for the therapist to come and collect you for your treatment.  Well, at 160kgs, the edges of the bathrobe were more than thirty centimetres too far apart for me to wear in a public area. So I went along to the treatments in my track suit pants and tshirt, not very glamorous at all.  So I decided when I returned in 2012 I was going to be able to fit into the bathrobe, and maybe be able to wear it in the lounge while waiting for my treatments. I had a positive goal to strive for – great motivation – as opposed to something negative about myself to run away from.

Then in August, after having shed five kilograms in three months, I decided to join 12wbt for Round 3 2011.  I figured if anyone can motivate me Michelle Bridges can. Hmmmmmm. Except she doesn’t believe we should rely on motivation to be successful. I was confused at first, I spent nine years as a WW leader motivating my members to want to lose weight.  Or did I?  The first nine weeks of following 12wbt principles saw me lose over 14kgs, and learn a lot more about weight loss, nutrition, exercise and motivation than those nine years of being a WW leader.

Since August my motivation comes from the thinking and action I take as part of the preseason tasks – the preseason tasks I do every round.  The preseason tasks I revisit when I need some “motivational magic”. My success on the 12wbt program – just over 45kgs in ten months – also helps keeps me motivated.

Last week ou task was to come up with an inspiration board.  I suffered badly with “paralysis by analysis” the whole week.  I kept procrastinating about what I should include, what colours should predominate, how many images I should have, how many quotes. And the really silly thing was that I was planning on making a digital inspiration board – so I could have very easily played around with all those aspects until I was happy.  But instead, at 5pm last Saturday, I got serious about putting something together.  A big lesson in how trying to be perfect never pays off.

So it’s not the best inspiration board ever – but I think it shows well what motivates me at this point in time.

I want to be fitter, stronger and healthier every week. I want to prove to myself that nothing I want is impossible. I want to stop beating myself because I make a mistake or if I am not perfect.  I want to be able to do a burpee successfully. I want to take at least half an hour off my 2011 City2Surf time in 2012, and fundraise for the Black Dog Institute in the process.  I want to learn to ride a bike. I want to ride a bike on Rottnest Island when Mr G and I visit there on our second honeymoon after the Perth Finale.  I want to enter a Triathlon, and finish the event. I want to enter the Gold Coast half marathon in 2013.  I want to enjoy summer with my family. And I want to wear a fabulous frock to the Perth Finale, which I haven’t had to buy from the Myer Plus Size department.

I want to be the best version of me.

And when that doesn’t motivate me at 5am when the alarm goes off,  I don’t lie in bed waiting to feel motivated. Instead I do what Mish tells me to do.

12wbt Blogging Challenge – Week 2 – Exercise

It’s hard to believe right now that a little over a year ago I avoided any sort of exercise, pretty much as if I was allergic to it.  Thanks goodness for my visit to Solar Springs last year. First thing Saturday morning I ventured into the gym – and hopped on the treadmill, the cross-trainer and rower.  Before I knew it I had a red face, a heart that was beating noticeably, sweaty skin and laboured breathing. But I felt fantastic!

Now, a year later exercise is an important part of my life.

At 6am I hit the gym from Monday to Thursday.  I do BodyPump or RPM. I really enjoy both classes.  Monday nights I go to a Zumba class – that’s a whole lot of fun and a great calorie burner.

Friday is my rest day – just as important as the other six training days.

Saturday is my SSS. I usually begin with weight training in the gym, then cardio in the gym and finish up with a Sh’Bam class.

Sunday is an RPM and BodyBalance class double.  Unless I’m doing a fun run in the city – in which case I will try to get to Pain in the Domain and/or Pain in the Park with Amanda Cole and the Sydneysiders.

And, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays I also squeeze in thirty minutes of c25k training.

One thing I tried last round which I never thought I would was boxing.  I just love it and wish there were more days in the week so I could add it into my regular schedule.

I have also been inspired by Lisa and Jayne to want to give Crossfit a go.  There is even Crossfit box a few kilometres from where I work, but at this point in time I don’t know how I’d fit it in on a regular basis. But who knows what the future will hold.

There is also a Bikram Yoga studio open now in the north-western suburbs of Sydney – I’d love to try that too.

And of course, this October I’d like to be able to enter the Triathlon Pink short course.  The only reason I haven’t signed up yet is because the furthest I have ridden a bike without assistance is about three metres. I am going to do my best to be ready to take it on in October.

And of course I’ll be hitting the Giant Staircase again in July. Looking forward to being red faced, sweaty and out of breath that day.

Jayne’s 12wbt Blogging Challenge – Round 2 2012

This is my third round of 12wbt, and the third blogging challenge I have started. It will be the first challenge I see right through to the end. I am making the commitment right now to see this challenge through to the end of the round.

I am 46 years old, and from 2003 to 2007 went from 85kgs to 165kgs. Until 2006 I was a Weight Watchers leader, and from July 2006 until August 2011 I tried many different things – usually half heartedly – to try and shift the weight.  I ended up joining the 12wbt program after reading an article about Michelle Bridges in the August Women’s Weekly last year.  It has been a decision I have not regretted once in the last nine months. To say it has transformed my life just begins to scratch the surface on what is has done for me.  I feel like I have control over my life again.

I am here for my third round of 12wbt because I know it works and I know by following what Michelle Bridges says to do I will achieve my goals for the round. I started this round at 116.4kgs at an intermediate level of fitness, and my goal is to be close to 90kgs by the end of this round and very close to an advanced level of fitness. It is my goal to begin Round 3 2012 ready to take part in Advanced Lean & Fit.

Preparing for the challenge was as simple as doing the preseason tasks, and as difficult as doing the preseason tasks.  Yes, even though its my third round I still did all the preseason tasks. The kitchen one didn’t cause as much angst for me or my family as it did last August/September though! Setting my goals made me realise just how important it would be to be consistent with my training – the motivation fairy certainly hit me over the head with her wand that night!

So what was the most important preseason task for you?

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