This is not a blog about weightloss.
This is not a blog about dieting.
This is not a blog that is magically going to make you fitter, smarter or healthier. Because all of those things take hard work. So if you’re interested; this is a blog about hard work.
If you have been following me regularly on my social channels (mainly Instagram), you may have noticed I’m cutting a slightly slimmer silhouette these days. Have I been questioned about surgery? Yes. Have I been questioned as to why I’m losing weight? Yes. Have I been questioned on my place in the ‘plus size’ community? Also yes.
But the big one. Why did I decide to change my lifestyle. My answer is really simple. It was time.
I’m verging on 27 and I have a list of health conditions that are suited to a 45 year old. I have blood sugar results that were through the roof, and other test results that just kept getting worse and worse. My fasting glucose reading (this is part of a diabetes diagnosis) was at it’s highest 8.0, after making some massive changes it was 4.6 at my last test. For me this was REALLY about my health. It was time to make a change; for myself, for my family, for the family I want to have. People keep asking me what I’ve done, or how I’ve done it; and writing this isn’t so much for me as it is for you. It’s for that woman who feels like she could never lose weight, the one that feels she’s too far gone and there is no point in trying, or that she won’t be able to do any of the workouts at the gym anyway, or could never give up wine. I was that woman, and I did it any way. Hard, yes. But worth it.
I made the decision to focus on my health at a time of desperation. I was desperate to look after myself, to feel comfortable with myself again, to feel good about myself again. I realised I needed to seek out a Dietitian who was going to be able to help me take the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle and was lucky enough (through a friend’s recommendation) to find Amie at Target Nutrition. I vowed to myself that I would be 100% honest with her on how terrible I was eating, what my REAL eating habits were (including all the secret snacking) and how badly I really just needed help. I remember saying to her on my first appointment ‘I just don’t know what to put in my mouth anymore’. After years of dieting and food plans and cutting out food groups, I felt like I had forgotten what types of food valuable nutrition even came from, and what my body actually needed. Amie’s careful listening and planning meant that she was able to provide me with a curated meal plan (with several options for meals at each time of day), that was perfect for me and my lifestyle. Her support, understanding, and realism (a Dietitian that can acknowledge that sometimes chocolate falls into your mouth, is one every women needs), was exactly what I needed to convince myself that I could commit to the plan that she had provided. In my mind it was the thought process of ‘this may be hard, but living life the old way is harder’. In the first 3 months I made the decision to completely cut out chocolate, alcohol and take away meals, and found this ‘cold turkey’ approach, the easiest way to manage my cravings. Coming from a serious choco-holic, this was a pretty serve change to my life style, and yes, there were days when it was extremely hard and all I wanted to do was demolish a block of chocolate, but as I said, this is a blog about hard work. So I went cold turkey on the good stuff, but for me, this was the best way to resist temptation; I have one piece of cake and ‘oh, another won’t hurt’. I have one row of chocolate and ‘oh, it’s open now, I may as well finish it’. After the initial first few months I became easier on myself, and now still include wine and sweet treats in my diet.
One of the most life changing pieces of advice I received from Amie, was to change up my exercise. That for my types of conditions (PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes) and the type of fat I was trying to move, I needed to be exercising in a way that combined cardio with weights to really see results. Now, for someone who was walking around at a size 20/22, and hadn’t been to a gym in many years, this was a terrifying prospect. But that’s the point, terrified or not, I needed to make a change. I had heard of the 12Rounds program through friends and felt like maybe this style of working out was the style Amie had mentioned. So I signed up for a trial week with a induction appointment the coming Wednesday. Wednesday morning came around, I’d barely slept as I was so riddled with anxiety, I turned my alarm off, cried, and went back to sleep. That night I spoke with my partner about how I couldn’t do it and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to step foot in that gym, that people were going to laugh at me, and I wasn’t going to be able to do the exercises. The next night I went in to the gym, sat in my car for twenty minutes and gave myself a stern talking to, forgot to change my shoes as I was so stressed (I ended up doing my first workout in a pair of Frankie4 Nat’s, instead of sneakers), and I walked into 12rounds Greenslopes and went through a whole workout with one of the trainers. Looking back now, I was right about the exercises, there were definitely some I couldn’t do. But also, no one was laughing at me, no one was looking at me, and I’d completed my workout without dying (dramatic but true). Now, I aim to exercise at the gym at least 4 times a week, and I aim to run myself ragged every time I am there. I wen’t from a girl who couldn’t get out of bed at 7.30am to one that now gets up at 5am, do I like it? NO. I hate mornings. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
I get a lot of questions about my experience at 12rounds and the type of workouts that I do and how hard it is. The beauty of it is that it is as hard as you want it to be. When I first started, it was so hard! I could barely breathe at the end of each round (there’s 12 x 3 minute rounds). But again, this is about the hard. Now, I make sure I pick up a heavier weight, I run a littler further (lol jks, I hate running, but you get the point), I do the harder version of the exercise to push myself just a little bit further each time. It is always hard, but that’s why I’ve seen such a great turnaround in my strength and body shape.
For those who are extra curious, I even filmed today’s workout, to show you what it is all about. You can check it out the full version (in super fast forward so you’re not sitting through 45 minutes of workout) below. I’ve included the first minute of two of each round, so you can see the different exercises. I’m aware that my videography is atrocious, this is a super unflattering angle, and I look like a hot mess when I’m working out; but this is real life, this is what I’ve been doing behind the scenes, and this is what has been working for me.
My goals now, are to keep going. I still have a little way to go to reach my ‘ideal’ waist measurement (this is where I store a lot of my fat, and it can be dangerous for my organs) and of course I would love to bring all of my blood levels back into normal ranges (we’re so close!). I want my body to be in it’s best possible shape to start a family, and to encourage myself to live a long and happy life. I’m not exactly sure what any of these goals look like physically, but I suppose I will find out when I get there.
This is my story, so far. I wanted to share it just in case you were curious, or just in case you needed to believe in something.