What was your reason to start the challenge?
Everyone loves a challenge. A challenge that is enough to take us out of our comfort zone but not too much to make us break. That’s what this is for me. It is an opportunity to focus on my mindset, my nutrition and my training. I have a burning desire to grow and improve in each of these areas. I’m excited and grateful to enter this challenge. I’m doing this for me and also for my kids as I want to be a great role model. I expect to learn, struggle, learn some more, set some new Personal Bests, have a setback or two and keep on going strong. My ultimate goal is to finish in the best shape of my life.
What did you like most about the challenge?
The feeling of being focused, organised, energised, and fully-alive. I felt so nourished by the great food, pumped from lifting heavy weights and alive from the cardio workouts and the knowledge that I was improving myself.
What was the hardest thing about your challenge?
Comparing myself to others! Things were tracking along awesome...exactly as I’d hoped and planned for the first 8 weeks. I had set a stretching yet realistic goal of losing 1kg of body fat per week without losing muscle and was smashing it! Then at around the 8 week mark I looked at the results of other competitors. Some were more shredded than I was. Others had lost more scale weight than me. In a moment I went from feeling grateful to feeling discouraged. The online community is full of people encouraging one another for their small and big wins but in this moment I was letting my competitive nature get the better of me. The next few days were a struggle. I felt like I needed to do more to catch up. Did I need to drop more carbs, workout more than once a day? Being in this state of striving and second guessing the program was not enjoyable at all (and in hindsight completely unnecessary). Fortunately, my pattern was interrupted. I happened to watch an interview on TV that featuring Ash Barty’s mindset coach. He explained that Ash could be 100 percent committed to the dream of winning Wimbledon and even share that dream with the world while at the same time be 100 percent comfortable with the outcome regardless of the result. I so needed to hear this. And to adopt the same attitude! I went straight back to the program and stopped stressing. The rest of the challenge became an enjoyable experience once again as I realised that I can focus on what I can control and accept appreciate respect and admire the success of others without that in any way diminishing the respect that I have for myself.
What impact has the challenge had on your life?
During this challenge several of my SHOULDS became MUSTS. Time will tell, but if these new MUSTS remain post challenge (I know for sure that at least one of them will!) then I’d say the challenge has been life changing!!!
What would you say to people who are thinking of doing the challenge?
I’d encourage them to go for it! If it was a friend from my area I’d probably ask if they would like to train with me once a week for the 12 weeks of the challenge.
Anything else you would like to tell us about the challenge?
Look out for my youngest son in 2023. He wanted to do the challenge this year but at 14 he is a tad young. He did join in unofficially (as did his older brother). They ate what I ate and did the challenge workouts too. I’d come home from work and instead of finding them on their devices, they would be in the gym pumping weights or in the kitchen cooking up healthy meals. It made me so happy to see this! Their commitment was equal to mine and their results as impressive or even more so. Thanks for the amazing resources. The challenge has been like an anchor during the storm of 2021.