What was your reason to start the challenge?
I would like to lose some weight, (6kgs) and tone the muscles in my legs and thighs. I would also like to learn how to eat healthy rather than binge eating the wrong foods
What did you like most about the challenge?
Too many to mention. For years I have seen facebook posts, magazine articles and tv ads promoting what all appeared to be unrealistic weight loss programs. I never believed the before and after photos. After watching a few of my work colleagues complete previous max and maxine challenges, it made me start to believe it's possible and not a gimmick. These are real everyday people making a change in their lives and getting results. As a first time challenger, I loved the fact that the challenge is focussed on real food and not meal replacement shakes or 'no carbs', no fads ideas, just good, healthy everyday real food. The flexibility of the nutrition plan was perfect. And I love that there is no direct focus on weight loss as such but rather the visual transformation as you progress. The non scale victories are such a great idea, keeping your eyes on the small achievements which shows where all the hard work is paying off. The mentoring program was also one of the stability factors in staying on track and keeping focus on the end goal. I joined a group of challengers, all of who I had never met before. Hats off to Laura and the rest of the group... food ideas, words of inspiration, asking silly questions and setting mini challenges all whilst keeping yourself accountable to one another.
What was the hardest thing about your challenge?
For me it was to make such a drastic change to my eating habits and to trust the process. To say no to everything I enjoyed as comfort food, and that entertained my sweet tooth. The next step was to take my focus off the scales. And not judge and score my achievements based on the numbers I saw on the scales each morning. Our mind plays with our emotions and it was amazing how much in the first 4 weeks the results on the scales determined if I had a good or bad day. The ability to see your achievements in photos and measurements far exceeds those numbers on a scale. And finally putting up with others saying 'you don't need to lose weight'. They were right, I didn't need to lose weight, this challenge was more about changing bad habits to enable an enjoyable and healthy life after 40. As well as being able to tone my body, feel stronger, fitter and most importantly regain self confidence.
What impact has the challenge had on your life?
It has changed my entire outlook on what is a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I used to think you had to eat less to lose weight. I was way off the mark. I now eat three solid meals plus snacks each day, without feeling guilty. It has also given me the foundations to maintain a training program. One I can achieve at home, on my own and still get results. I completed this challenge with no gym membership, no PT, all at home, with self motivation and creativity. We are all our own worst critic, we all want something that someone else has. To be happy with myself, my image and my mindset is what I believe is the most valuable thing I have taken away from this challenge.
What would you say to people who are thinking of doing the challenge?
If you are someone who has tried every type of fad diet there is, or you just want to lead a more healthy and active life then don't look any further. Join up, strap in and you will never look back. This is the foundation to living a better lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, results don't come in a Weet-Bix packet, without commitment and hard work. But if you dedicate both you won't be disappointed. This is the beginning of the rest of my life and I hope and encourage others to take this journey too. Not only is the program great. But the extras that come with it are just as good. The amount of effort put in by the staff, ambassadors and mentors is what makes it a success. The support from these people and other challenges is inspiring and motivating. No matter what stage people are at, in their journey, support and encouragement is right in front of you. Not once did I ever feel I was doing this alone. Bring on the September challenge.
Anything else you would like to tell us about the challenge?
It has been an absolutely fantastic journey. Everything that has been done in the background by all your staff has been on point. Trust the process was what everyone kept saying, and trust I did. Thank You to everyone who has played a part in this program... see you again in September.