Below is my BodyBlog entry for the Bodybuilding.com $100k 12 Week Transformation Challenge:
So the challenge is over! 12 weeks ago I signed up to the Bodybuilding.com 12 week transformation challenge determined and commited, and 12 weeks on I’m so thrilled with my results and the progress I have made both physically and mentally. It hasn’t been a perfectly smooth process- we all know it is very difficult to stay perfectly on track for 84 days. There were days where I fell completely off the wagon, but I always got straight back on the next day and trained every single day of those 84 days in one way or another. But what I have learned is to love myself!
My story is as follows:
My life transformed a few years ago now when I made the decision to stop existing and start living. I joined a gym to start my fitness journey, but was quickly lured to get outdoors! First I started running, and my list of activities that I am actively involved in has since grown to also include cycling, triathlons, surfing, paddle boarding and yoga!
Aside from all the personal satisfaction and benefits, I must say the most rewarding part of my journey so far has been the family, friends and aquaintences I have inspired to jump on the bandwagon with me. Every time someone uses the word ‘inspiring’ to describe me I am filled with a sense of pride and joy. Never did I expect to inspire anyone to change their lives in the way I have changed mine- and it is my biggest dream that I can continue to do this for many years to come. I have over 1000 followers on facebook, instagram and my blog and love that each morning I can give these people the little boost of motivation they may need to make positive changes in their lives. Next year I plan to start my personal trainer qualifications to further cement my ability to motivate and inspire a change for the better in people’s lives.
So why did I decide to sign up to this challenge? Well, being a triathlete at heart most of my training is cardio based. I have suffered from repeated injuries from running over the last 2 years and know that much of this is a result of not having enough muscle strength in my core and limbs. I also have come to love the look of a strong female body and all that it represents and portrays. So I set out to build a nice base of strength to start my training for my first half ironman and to see how I could change my mind and body over the 12 weeks. I also wanted to inspire the women who follow my blog, facebook page and instagram to take that first step into the weights room and show them just what can be achieved if they are brave enough to make the change with their training. I can’t even begin to describe the changes I have seen. I cut back my cardio training to almost nothing for the first 10 weeks. I missed my running immensely and I must say that the two races I had scheduled towards th end of this challenge were a little tough as a result. But I was amazed at the changes I saw with my body despite NO cardio. The fat was falling off and muscles were popping up in places I didn’t know they existed. Being a vegetarian, I struggled a little with working out how to approach the diet side of the challenge. The internet is full of recommendations that seem to base themselves around egg whites, chicken and brocolli- I needed to find something that would work for me and be sustainable. I knew I wasn’t going to last on just veges and eggs for 12 weeks without caving to a binge on carbs and so I had to find the right balance. I focussed on clean foods and tried to fit these into an IIFYM approach with a higher protein and fat ratio- particularly over the last 4 weeks. My body definitely responded (which I must admit was a little disappointing just how well being an absolute carb lover at heart!)
Before starting this challenge I was in a very bad place mentally and physically. My job and relationship were both ending and as a result I had fallen to my old friend for comfort- food. It’s something that many off us do all too often and it only leaves us feeling guilty and worse- and so the vicious cycle begins. Many of my friends will be shocked to see my before photos. I have been known as the fit friend for at least 1-2 years now and think I managed to hide how much I had started to let myself go. I needed this challenge to give me something to focus on and give me an outlet for the stress that life was dishing out to me. This challenge has surely been my saviour. In the past 12 weeks I have become stronger both mentally and physically and have many achievements that I never would have dreamed possible. I am much happier and much more confident than I was 12 weeks ago and I am now determined to one day follow this journey through to the stage. But most importantly, I have shown my family, my friends and my followers that anything is possible if you just belive and take action. I have shown them how much you can change in all aspects of your life in such a short period of time and I have had multiple women tell me that they have been inspired to start lifting weights because of my journey. There is nothing more precious to me than knowing that I am changing lives and I hope that I can continue to do so for many years to come and I would love this opportunity to do this as part of the bodybuilding.com team!
How did I achieve my results?
As I mentioned above- the diet came down to ALOT of reading, manipulation of my macros and finding what worked for me. I ate a variety of clean foods, consumed more protein powder than I have ever in my life and consumed so much water that multiple night time wees became the norm!
My training mostly consisted of breaking my weight training down into the following days: Chest & Triceps, Back & Biceps, and Legs/Glutes with Abs fitting in as time allowed. I still did the occassional run or yoga session on my rest days but the majority of my training was weights based. I didn’t follow a specific program but rather designed on based on exercises that I felt comfortable and particularly those that I could do at home after I moved away from my previous gym. Training at home was much trickier than the motivation you find when training at the gym- but I remained consistent and did some form of training every day. Over the last 3 weeks of the challenge I added in some cardio including 30 minutes of fasted cardio each morning and minor preparation for 2 triathlon races which also occured during this time. So was my process special- no? But it was designed by me for me and it worked. I think we all have to be aware that we don’t have to follow any set program to the T, but would often be much better in doing some research, and perhaps even combining certain aspects of different programs to desin something that will be sustainable for your lifestyle and your interests. This is true of both diet and nutrition. A 12 week challenge should not just be about giving it all for those 12 weeks but rather about developing healthy habits in health, nutrition and fitness that will last a lifetime, about learning more about your body, your mind and devouring the wealth of information that is available on various types and ways of training and eating and transforming your mind, body and soul. Official winners or not- if we achieved this in the last 12 weeks we are ALL winners
Due to lack of access to computer internet access much of my reporting on the last 12 weeks has been on my facebook page- Mind, Body & Soul Transformation https://www.facebook.com/mindbodysoultransformation or my Instragram account http://instagram.com/mindbodysoultransformation . I would love you all to pop over to these and check them out. As I mentioned above- my biggest goal for this challenge was to inspire others and this is something I want to continue to do in both every day life and via social media for many years to come! You can also check out my blog at https://mindbodysoultransformation.wordpress.com/ . So many ways to get your daily MBST fix and become one of my fellow MBSTers. How do I differ from the other contestants? We all had amazing transformations physcially. We all gave it our all over the last 12 weeks despite many daily obstacles. Many of us have supported each other and made sacrifices in our every day lives for the sake of our results. But few of us have done every thing we can to inspire as many others as possible. I am just an every day girl that has shown the world what can be achieved if you just believe and learn to love yourself!