Well, if you haven't already heard - and I find that astounding cuz I haven't stopped gushing about it since I posted it on Facebook this morning!!! - final weigh-in was a SUCCESS!!!
After 8 weeks of Commando-style challenges - everything from physical butt-busting workouts, through to intense "forward-thinking" planning - I think it's suffice to say that the last two months have been nothing short of HUGE for me!
But let's cut to the chase, and crunch these numbers first - let's see just what it is I've produced in 8 weeks...!!!
Started the challenge on Sunday 13th March (my dad's birthday!) - at 104.2.Now ending Sunday 8th May (Mother's Day!) at 95.2.
Challenge loss: 9kgs in 8 weeks!
My overall total loss to date: 92.8kgs! (49.4% on week 175)
I also recorded another 9cms lost this morning - bringing my total centimetres lost to 225!! No wonder my clothes are swimming on me, hahaha! I'd been wearing roughly 18-22s in clothing, I'm now buying size 14 tops, and fit a size 16/18 skirt!!! Gobsmacked...! A HUGE amount of physical change in just two months...!
Considering my average loss for the past three years has been roughly 600grams a week (if I'm lucky!) - setting out to INCREASE that for the duration of this Challenge (to hit the 95 goal) was nothing short of daunting! I honestly questioned my ability to produce consistent figures that would literally be DOUBLE my usual - and didn't think I'd actually pull it off! The two weeks prior to Challenge kick-off, I'd dropped 4.5kgs quite out of the blue, which made it even MORE intimidating, given my track-record of up and down losses - it'd always plateau out if I lost too much too quickly! SO, coming into the back end of the Challenge, I was definitely feeling the pressure...
.... as you'd have noticed in the previous couple of blog posts! hahaha.... Yes, the last two weeks have been quite hellish! After my body literally shut itself down - and my mental-edge jumped out the window right behind it, I was STRUGGLING to keep a hold of what I'd achieved - and that elusive 95 seemed even more out of reach. My body was literally exhausted - I'd progressively kept building the exercise up and up and up - and I'd even go so far as to say I was becoming hazardously obsessive with it - if I was sitting still, I'd feel like I was failing!! Even got to the point where I was scared to eat - and you all know how much I love my food - and I was seriously disappointed with myself that I'd let it get to that point...
The past two weeks I've been literally fighting back - my body was exhausted (my digestive system had shut itself down, my knees were beyond sore, my legs were aching, I even got sick, which is rare...) and the pressure I was feeling really was quite ridiculous - it was all bubbling away ferociously in my head - I wasn't sleeping properly, I was having mini-anxiety attacks, and I felt physically sick with stress... a lot. I let the scales shake me to the point of breakdown, and I needed a good, solid dose of REALITY to bring me back into line.
Things had to change - and fast. In fact, instead of "going harder" just to meet a deadline, I actually tapered all my training back instead. Rested when I needed it, and stopped berating myself for only getting through "half" my usual exercise stints. I stopped playing 'food avoidance' and reaquainted myself with structure again - three solid meals plus snacks. No shortcuts, no ridiculous "can't eat that - need to reach goal!" mentality. I was really upset the other week when I realised how close to an "eating disorder mentality" I'd reached - I LOVE food, and here I was hating it again = NOT OK!!! I eat, I train and I proactively live healthy - that's my mantra and motto now - no shortcuts, no fast-tracking, no hurting myself.... I'm NOT that person anymore!
SO, I put the brakes on the manifesting goal-oriented monster I was becoming, and started nurturing the body and looking after the soul again - after all, SHE deserves much better care and respect than what I was doing.... but kept one eye on the calendar and the other eye on the scales... and rode out the final two weeks of Challenge....
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go and get all glammed up and fabulous with the BLC team for the photoshoot... and as per my previous bloggy, it was an AMAZING experience! The feedback I had from my gorgeous friends, the BLC team and the stylist went a HUGE way in validating my rationale and choice to LOOK AFTER MY BODY (as priority) in the final week of challenge.
After all, a number is just a number, and here I was "looking like a winner" anyway (or so I was repeatedly told!). But it was the pivotal moment when I held up my old pants that really made the biggest impact on me.
Despite how it comes across, I'm not overly "superficial" - yes, I LOVE makeup and I love getting dressed up - always have - but 'before' it was to hide how insecure and self-loathing I was underneath... NOW it's because I'm confident in who I am and the outside is just reflecting the glowiness from within! BUT when I stood there holding up my enormous old pair of pants, and then fit into just ONE LEG of those old pants, it broke my heart - and reaffirmed how important this transition truly has been for me.
"That girl" settled for second-best - she had NO self-respect, she abused her body by plying it with copious amounts of junk, and had quite literally dug and sat herself down in a premature grave.
Fast-forward nearly 3.5years later, and I'm just a shadow of that person - and it's no longer acceptable to abuse or disrespect my body or myself like that... not even on a tiny scale! I will NOT fall prey to that mentality again, and I refuse to belittle all this crazy hard work I've put in!
THAT was the attitude I had coming into my final week - and THAT is why I'm so freaking proud of myself right now... I've been battling all week with seriously sore joints, and cravings through the roof (I deem them quite "self-sabotagy" and why I kept finding myself with my face in the peanut butter jar - mind games!!!).... and yes, whilst I wanted to make that goal... I wasn't prepared to hurt myself again just to crack it on the scales... I refused - 'she' deserved better.
I toned my workouts down and opted for low-impact activities like my cross trainer and swimming; and ATE ATE ATE - making sure I was fueling AND reviving my poor bruised body! ... and you know what, it repaid the favour this morning! My body and I are back on track!!! I've been at this for long enough to know pushing myself to the extremes does me NO favours - I have ALWAYS had to work twice as hard for the same results of lucky others - and why for the past 3 years I've had "slow and steady" losses (always been super envious of people who could crank out glorious numbers week after week - and I'd have to bust butt to even do half of it!!). I KNOW there's no short-cuts for me, and as much as I'd love to have had super-charged losses like this earlier on, I'd have never been able to sustain them without complications and repercussions! My longevity in this mission is fueled by reality!
SO, having finished this Challenge - I'm quite happy to say I'm going "back to basics" again - my body and I are going to take it easy over Winter, and pick at my next goals bit by bit! I won't push it to the point of breaking again (it doesn't deserve it - it's amazing!!!! Look what it's done so far!) and I won't expect it to compensate for my over-zealous, stubborn expectations again!!
Having said that, though, the bod and I already have our next milestone in mind.... and I'll be announcing and sharing that with you in a couple weeks! In the meantime, we're "taking a short break" to recuperate, holiday and party with some VERY special people in Melbourne next weekend - and then it's back on deck thereafter for the next round!
... cuz that's what I do! Always with a goal or a challenge in mind, and always with a bucket-full of heart behind it! I couldn't be more proud of myself right now - my 9kgs truly has nothing on what I've learnt about MYSELF and my body along the way....
Week One: "Dream towards 2012"BAM! One of my hardest challenges hits me on just week one!!! As per my blogs (which are all in the archives there for your perusal) - goal-setting and "dreaming toward the future" have never been my strong points! In fact, quite the opposite - I wouldn't "forward-plan" if I could help it, because (without sounding too negative here) I didn't actually SEE a future for me to bother planning... SO, having a challenge like that thrown at me very much brought on the emotions and pushed my boundaries. BUT - as I've experienced A LOT lately - some of those visions I had 8 weeks ago have already started to come into fruition!!
My Harbour Bridge climb is in August - now being organised with a handful of my most beautiful support network - and paid for (via gift certificate) by my AWESOME sister as per my birthday present last weekend! NEVER would have imagined that would have happened 8 weeks ago, and yet there it is.... already a work in progress!
AND even reading back over that blog (she says with tears in her eyes!) - I forgot I'd written that I'd like to wear a dress!!! .... and not only did I wear TWO of them for the photoshoot last week, but I bought my very first dress last Sunday for my party this weekend in Melbourne! Awwww can't believe I nearly forgot about that one!!! Can't wait to show you guys piccies of that - all secret-like, not even my party girls know what it looks like yet!!!
I guess we can say that Week One challenge had a HUGE impact then - not only opening my eyes to the possibilities of what I can be / do / achieve.... but because of its forward-momentum that it has since generated! I've got so many goals and challenges lined up already - I'm SO excited by what the future holds right now - it just keeps getting better and better!!!!
No, I'm no Master Chef - don't pretend I am - but this food challenge was a fantastic introduction to variety for me! Three years of chopping and changing routines, structures, food choices, etc - I've always been a foodie, but ate quite habitually... I came into this year with a different perspective - and was more than willing to start throwing some "NEW" into the mix - given how much of a handle on my weightloss I'd already established... it was time to get a bit "adventurous"!
Hence why I was so excited to take on this challenge.... and it's very much paid off! LOTS of food choice change-ups with my Challenge - lots of new foods (that I'm proudly still eating - like chickpeas and ricotta) - and so much variety in my menus these days! SUPER proud of myself for this one - and loved that it helped me create so many recipes for my webby to share with you guys too! AND I'm happy to report that I'm still finding new food combos and taking adventures with new ingredients - if for no other reason, than I freaking LOVE FOOD!!!! hahaha...
You can find all my yummy bits and pieces here: www.aimtochange.com.au/recipes
Week Three: "Stop hiding"Ohhhh yeah, do you guys remember this one?! Hahaha... I certainly do!!!! This was the "get Amy out of hiding and make her talk to real people".... and instigated that insane shopping centre stint!
Definitely not an easy challenge for the "shy girl" - but this baby opened up quite the can of worms for me! ... I didn't realise just how chatty I would become "at the time" - but it's had quite a profound impact on me, my confidence levels, and my ability to now talk to all sorts of people in all sorts of places on all sorts of subjects!!!
I can definitely report back that this Challenge has had a residual effect too - and I'm very proud of myself for being much more approachable, much more friendly, much more liberal with new people I meet - and it all started with just a very shy, little "Hello... how's your day going?"....
It showcases when I go out now - when I get on the phone and talk to clients - when I walk up the street - when I go into a shop.... I keep catching myself "chatting it up" and it never ceases to amaze me just how different I am now! My confidence levels have never been so great!!!
Week Four: "Take the plunge"
Hahahhaa.... ahhhh yes, "Get back in the pool, fool!" ... and she did!!! Despite my lack of confidence baring flesh, this challenge was a great motivator for me to strip that ridiculous barrier away again and get back into the water, and start enjoying that activity again!
.... and it certainly hasn't been limited to just that week! I've been in and out of the gym pool regularly since - Aqua classes, and laps (have even been building up on speed and distance) - still don't own real swimmers, but we'll worry about that later... Just as long as I'm in there (and not naked, hahaha), I don't care!!! No more excuses or avoidance, I LOVE the water!!!!
OHHHH this was the week when I finally cracked my DOUBLE DIGITS too - which was amazing and super exciting, and one of my biggest achievements to date! Seeing that 99 on the scales was such a liberating moment, it really fueled me on to keep it going!!
Week Five: "Go hard"
... and who could forget THIS Challenge - I literally worked my butt off in week five on a MONSTER scale in prep for my one-on-one session with the Muscle-Man himself...
.... which was nothing short of INSANE!!! I'm STILL talking about that session - reliving those grueling squats and being gobsmacked by the Commando's hellish 18minute circuit!!!
It was, quite literally, one of the most intense, crazy things I've done in my life - and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!
I could have forgone anything else with this challenge just for this opportunity - it was truly one of my most memorable and productive experiences of my life!
... and this very special opportunity certainly has NOT been wasted on me! I've been using the techniques and Commando-style maneuvers ever since - I very much appreciated the insight and tuition - and just as Commando said to me himself, taking me out of my "comfort zone" and throwing me into the pit to contend with his training actually opened my eyes to just how capable I am of so much more! Both physically AND mentally - I didn't buckle or complain, I just sweated, grunted, hauled arse and pushed beyond my limits...
One word: PRICELESS!!!
My five words: Forgiveness, Courage, Respect, Hope and Gratitude (all five of these paper cut-outs are literally sticky taped right in front of me - they've been there since I pulled them out of the envelope - and I don't plan on taking them down any time soon!!!)...
These words unleashed a world of emotion for me - every time I'd write up my blog post, it just filled me with such an insight into who I am NOW, and just how much I've changed. Coming to the end of this week, I was VERY emotionally spent - the psychological aspect of my transition was very much highlighted here - having gone from such a bad place just a few years ago, to realising this person I've been creating is just SO open to all these beautiful possibilities!
Spent bulk of this week in tears - both in reflection and in happiness - knowing full well this was some of my "best work" to date... and it all lived in my head and heart!
... and GOING SHOPPING!!!! Yes, the girl who used to LOATHE shopping has now been bitten - a few times over - by the shopping bug! I used to avoid shopping centres like the plague - hated them with a passion - and here I was just last Sunday with my sis on my birthday shopping spree, flicking between boutiques, thinking all my Christmases had come at once!!
An AMAZING feeling to know you can go and actually buy "real clothes" - not have to hide behind a computer and purchase online and "guestimate" your sizing... To actually go into a boutique and converse with the sales lady, try on clothes (which I've ALWAYS avoided), and actually purchase! ... LIBERATING to say the least!!
... and to wrap up the Challenge and showcase "the new me" - can't forget the BLC photoshoot! Another AMAZING experience - getting styled up and glamorised by professionals, just awesome!!!
Week Eight: "Crunch time"
..... this one wasn't so much for ME but for you guys - Commando threw YOU a challenge to produce some amazing advice for the contestants coming out of the house - showcasing YOUR insight into how to maintain their weightloss... OH, and ofcourse, giving you the opportunity to win yourself a seat at the dinner table!!! (let's not forget that, hahaha)
... and I have to commend you ALL on your amazing submissions - some seriously wise words out there - and I hope you all had a really good read of them too! Sometimes we get bogged down in what we're doing "along the way", forget to pay homage to just what we have already achieved so far, and sometimes lose focus on the rewards that will come a little further down the track, that we can't quite see just yet...
Was very impressed and very proud to read all these submissions, and sincerely hope that we ALL can live by these beautiful and motivated sentiments!!
..... OHHHH and whilst you guys were all "advicing away" here with YOUR challenge this week - I was in "nuture mode" and plugging away at getting that goal of mine in the background....
And ofcourse, weigh-in this morning just goes to show that looking after your body AND mind will always work in your favour!!! ;)
MY THANK YOUS
Ofcourse, no wrap-up would be complete without a hoard of thank yous at the end, hahaha! So let's see...
BLC - A HUGE thank you here to you guys for throwing me this Challenge opportunity in the first place! You KNOW how skeptical I was at the start, trying to push for a goal I thought well exceeded my ability... and yet here we are?! No "I told you so's" please, haha! It has been a pleasure to work with you for the duration of the 8 weeks - and even more so to get to come in and meet so many of you too!
CITYFIT BATHURST - Monster thank you to the best gym in town! (yes, I AM biased, hehehe)... but these guys not only sponsored my gym membership, but made me feel more than welcome at their gym. I felt VERY comfortable and safe in their hands - in an environment that was VERY alien to me prior to the Challenge. It's since become one of my most valuable and loved activities - and in just 8 weeks, has really helped me change both my body AND my results! Ofcourse, a very heartfelt and huge thank you to my gorgeous PT, Shannon, who helped me learn how to push my knees out when I do a deadlift, and russian twist on a stability ball with a weight without sliding off, hahaha! Not to mention the constant reminders to breathe - which is essential to living (!!!!) when in prone-hold position - because I seriously forget to do both at once!!! She also helped me push through in the last couple of weeks when my head needed as much support as the knees!!!
MY POSSE - a dozen of THE most amazing, gorgeous, supportive women I have ever "met" in my entire life... though bulk of you I haven't actually met in person, feel very much like I've known you forever!! I feel VERY blessed to have such a network of strong women in my corner - you KNOW how much you mean to me - and I thank you for encouraging, supporting, laughing and loving me "just as I am" every single day. I am extremely grateful for you... and I can't freaking wait to meet most of you THIS WEEKEND!!! P-A-R-T-YYYYYYYYY!!!!
AND ofcourse, my amazing BLC NETWORK and beyond - both on the forums and on Facebook! YOU GUYS ROCK!!! You have NO IDEA how humbled or how stupefied I am by the amount of messages, support, following and cheering you lot have been doing for the past 8 weeks! Least of all the 125kgs (PLUS) that you accumulated in losses together!!! WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!! SO very proud of you all - and so very grateful for you stepping up to do this parallel with me! It rattles my poor little head when I realise just how wide-spread this became - for a "noone" like me, it just blows my mind!!! ... and I say it again, I'm am truly GRATEFUL for your support and generosity of spirit. I get lots of messages to say how 'inspiring and helpful' I am - but it goes both ways guys! I couldn't have done this without YOU to help me through it neither... so what you give, you definitely get in return! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!
.... and phew, the Oscar for the Most Melodramatic Over-Achiever goes to..... hahahaha!
THANK YOU AGAIN!! Truly humbled and SO grateful!
SO, whose up for a new challenge?!!!! :D :D :D :D
... stay tuned! ;)