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

Week 1 – Round 3 – Bloggers’ Challenge

1. Describe myself in less than fifty words.

I am 47 years old and have struggled most of my life to keep my weight under control and be healthy.

Then a year ago I took a leap of faith and signed up for my first round of 12wbt.

My focus changed from trying to lose weight – to being as healthy as possible. My eating, thinking and exercising all changed as I began to take care of my health for me.

And now a year later I’m 50kgs lighter, and down 60kgs from my heaviest weight.

But I still can’t stick to word limits.

2. This program is called a transformation. When I signed up for this round (my fourth round) what was it about myself I wanted to transform?

I want to transform myself into a runner. I want to run all the time like I did in the sprint for the finish line in the photo above. I want to increase my fitness – so that I can run the 1km time trial in under 5:30. I want to be able to run 10km in about an hour or so. I am doing the 10km Fun Run training this round so that I can achieve those goals.

3.  What is it about myself I am happy with right now?

I am happy that I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals while taking part in the 12wbt.

I am happy that although I have some ways I go in terms of my weight loss, I no longer have to shop in Plus Size stores or departments. (Although I must say the sales assistants at BeMe in Penrith and Emu Plains are just lovely, and I will miss them.)

I am happy that I believe I can achieve anything I set  out to achieve – including running a half marathon.

4. The aspect of this program I think will present me with the toughest challenge.

Getting enough sleep. I am going to set an alarm to remind me at 10.00pm each night to go to bed. I am determined to be close to my goal weight at the end of this round – so this means getting enough sleep each night is vital.

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

Being able to run again like I did last century.  At the moment it usually takes a lot of mental effort to keep going. But I know once I am fitter, and have been consistent with running three times a week, my mind will enjoy the time I am actually running a lot more. And I will regain that sense of freedom I used to get with running when I was younger.

6. I’ve now completed  four days of the Round 3 program.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how much I miss training even after only four days. I hurt my ankle on Day One – and it has meant running, Zumba and BodyPump were not really possible during the last few days.

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

I want to see someone who is almost at their goal weight.

I want to think about how I have done all I can do to be a woman of my word.

I want to feel proud that I’m the best version of me I can be at that time in my life.

This post is my response to week 1 of the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge I am hosting in Round 3 2012.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

 Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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.