Citywide Fitness Transformation Contest 2011
I’ve come to realise that I’ve wasted about $14,000. Yep, thrown it away. Did I go to a casino and gamble it away? No. Did I go on a shopping spree? Nope. That’s about how much it has cost me to be a member of various gyms for the last 13 years, plus a year of personal training once a week at one of those gyms (in which time I saw no improvement or even change in myself), and of course the entry fee’s ($200 a pop) for two previous online 12 week body transformation challenges (which I dropped out of at about week 4 on both occasions). Not to mention the money spent on various diet pills, fat loss shakes, and fitness magazine subscriptions.
And why was this money wasted? Because in the last 13 years I have never achieved the results that I have in the last 12 weeks doing the Citywide Fitness Body Transformation.
All I have ever wanted is to be lean, fit and strong. Not skinny, if I wanted to be skinny I’d take up smoking and drinking Diet Coke and would save myself the time and energy of exercising. I look at fitness models in magazines and think, “imagine looking like that, that would be awesome!” I’d look at a certain celebrity personal trainers’ arms and think, “I’d love to have her arms but I never will”. And while I’m not there yet, I’ve stopped thinking like that, and that’s probably one of the biggest transformations I’ve had over the last 12 weeks.
It may sound like a cliché but the 12 Week Body Transformation has very much been an emotional journey as well as a physical one. In fact, the physical stuff just kind of happened along the way, the mental stuff was the really challenging part. I don’t think there has been a single emotion I haven’t felt during the course of the Challenge. Everything from excitement and anticipation as it begun, the total satisfaction and elation at reaching a new P.B, to the frustration or disappointment of ‘messing up’, the fear of not looking any different at the end, and on a couple of occasions, complete defeatism, thinking “stuff it, I’m not going to do it anymore, I don’t care about the transformation”! I have had exercise highs where I feel like I’m almost floating, and I’ve stood in front of a mirror and felt nothing but self-loathing.
For me the hardest part was overcoming the expectations that I had put on myself at the beginning of the Challenge. I’d labelled them “goals” but in hindsight they were expectations that I had put in place, destined to fall short of, and cause me grief. For example, to stick to the eating plan 100% for the whole 12 weeks. I remember the first time I ate something that wasn’t on the plan (Day 6, Saturday, half a piece of cheesecake at a restaurant) I was DEVASTATED and felt like the whole 12 weeks View “stuffed”. This is Day 6 remember! Gradually I learnt that I could eat other things, even treats, occasionally, as long as the majority of the time I stuck to the eating plan. Over time I started to want that “other stuff” less and less, and the eating plan was what I considered normal eating. Even now that the Challenge is over, I will continue to eat that way. I had a treat meal Sunday after doing my final photos and then Sunday night I packed my lunch for the following day (off the eating plan) and put out my gym clothes for bootcamp Monday morning. That’s normal life for me now.
As well as the mental changes this Challenge has also brought about physical changes. I am stronger, fitter and leaner than I’ve ever been. I can swing a 32kg kettlebell 50 times (and a 36kg KB 25 times) and I remember looking at those kettlebells at the beginning of the year and thinking I’d never be able to pick one up, let alone swing it! I can deadlift 85kg. I can do chin-ups, unassisted, when not that long ago I couldn’t even do one. I am 7.5kg lighter than I was 12 weeks ago, my body fat percentage is down, I no longer have a pot belly, and my arms have definition.
Regrets? Things I would do differently? If you had asked me this anytime during the Challenge I would’ve said “yes, I wish I could start over and do it all perfectly!” but now that I’m at the end looking back I realise that while each and every day might not have been perfect in itself, the combination of everything I have done over the last 12 weeks has gotten me to a point that I am very happy with and I wouldn’t change that.
The 12 Week Body Transformation Challenge has been a very rewarding experience for me. It has given me focus and structure, it has motivated me, and above all it has made me leaner, stronger and fitter than I have ever been in my whole life. And the knock-on effect of that? I’m happier than I have been in a very long time. I feel good about myself. I feel passionate about something. I feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to, I just have to want it bad enough and work hard for it. This is my new starting point. Who knows where I’ll be in another 12 weeks!