I love food and I used to have a on-off relationship with exercise. By overeating and not moving enough, I slowly gained enough weight to be classified as borderline obese according to my BMI (although I couldn’t admit it at the time) in 2014. I’d tried to lose weight and thought I had tried ‘everything’ when somehow a conversation with my husband one night turned to Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation. Honestly, it was going to be my ‘last resort’ because if it didn’t work, I was going to accept myself as I was. But it turned out to be just what I needed. Using 12WBT, I lost over 20kg in around 18 months.
I would never claim to be an expert in weight loss or that 12WBT is the golden ticket for everyone. But I have decided it is time to put what I learnt during that time down in words, with the hope it may help other people in the position I was in.
It’s not easy
This one completely sounds cliche and it is – but it is also true. The fact is, it is easy to put on weight and most people put it on without even realising what is happening; I know I did. But in a cruel twist of fate, it is hard work to lose it. You will need to reassess so much of your life – what you eat, how you move, how you socialise, what you think of yourself. It will take time, commitment and effort. But like many things that are hard work, the satisfaction when it is done is incomparable.
It took time to put the weight on, it will take time to lose it.
There is no good time start
Don’t wait for Monday or next month, or after that big holiday – just start now! There will never be a perfect time to start because life will always get in the way; there will always be a big event to have one last blow out or any other excuse. The best time to start is right now because motivation is a myth. Don’t wait for motivation to come to you, just make eating well and moving a habit and a lifestyle. You don’t need motivation to get up in the morning or brush your teeth before bed so make exercising just something you do each, or most, days.
Motivation is a myth.
There is no perfect way
There is big money in the weight loss industry which is why there are so many programs, books and products about what is the easiest/quickest/best way to lose weight. But we all know the simplest and most sustainable way is to eat nutritious food and move your body. I had great success on 12WBT because it gave me the tools I needed to make the changes that I need to make and as a result my mind and body responded to it. But I have a friend who saw amazing results on a paleo diet and strength training because it suited them and their lifestyle. There is no magic potion, there is no one-size fits all approach, so make your own journey and work out what works for you.
It’s about progress, not perfection.
It doesn’t always make sense
Wouldn’t it be fantastic is weight came off on the same way it went on – slowly and steadily? And that your ‘problem area’ (flabby tummy, wobbly thighs, tuck shop arms) will be the first to go. If only! When I started to drop kilos, people noticed it first in my face – hardly where I thought I was aiming to lose weight! But the rest of my body eventually caught up. Some weeks you will be staggered with a big drop in weight or measurements and other weeks you will see no movement at all. It can really mess with your mind! But if you’re doing the right things, the results will follow. It may not happen as quickly, as evenly or even where you want it, but trust that your body that it will do what it needs to do.
Weight loss is not a linear process.
It takes work to keep the weight off
It is easy to get caught up in losing weight, in seeing your body change, buying new clothes and enjoying the new energy and confidence that comes with it. But if you’re not careful, the weight can start creeping back on again. In the last year or so, I put back on more kilos than I am comfortable with. Like before, it happened slowly and without much thought but this time I noticed it before it got out of control. Sure, it’s disheartening to think some of my hard work is lost but I have done it before and I have tools in my arsenal that I didn’t have before. For my own health, I know I can’t be complacent like I was before 12WBT but I am confident that I can create a new normal that works for me.