The 12wbt Story

So, over the last nine months the Michelle Bridges 12 week Body Transformation (#12wbt) has become a large part of my life.  I am a self proclaimed MB 12wbt disciple.  Quite frankly because it works for me!

Back in 2011 I hit my all time heaviest, we were living in small town NZ, I was doing next to no exercise, I had quite a stressful job and was quite unhappy living where we were.  I was literally eating my emotions – not too much new there really.  I’m sure I’m not the only woman to do that.  I was wearing clothes that were size 24 – 26, my BMI was over 43 putting me in the obese category.  I will add that I have been overweight for most of my adult life, in fact since my late teens.  I lost 20kgs about six years ago but put it back on and then some.

OH and I, in an attempt to get some form of social circle, joined the local theatre club and I ended up on stage in a play having to wear a brown velour track suit.  My mum helped me make the track suit as there was no way I would be able to buy one in my size.  I still cringe when I see the photos  from that play, but at the time it wasn’t enough to make me want to loose weight.  Around a year later I wandered into a local Zumba class, the local girls made me feel so welcome (big shout out the Shelley and Verna at DNA).  Through my new found love of Zumba and a half hearted effort at Weight Watchers I managed to lose around 11kgs.  But then I started to put it back on again – nothing new there.  I have a very long track record of losing, and then putting it all back on again and then some.

Then we moved to Melbourne, the city where public transport is actually good (at least it is where I live, I’m sure some of the locals might disagree).  The heat and walking more than I have ever done before in my everyday activities saw me stop the rapid regain and I managed to stay the loss at around 10kgs.

Enter #12wbt.  I kept seeing these adds for the 12wbt programme.  My perception was that it was for people, mainly woman, that had a little bit of weight to lose – not woman like me that had a lot to lose.  I wondered if it would work for me, or whether it would be another short term success but long term failure.  I thought about joining up a couple of times but procrastinated.  My turning point came after my folks came over to visit in April last year.  We went to Tasmania together for the long weekend.  Both my parents have had knee replacements and my mum has a bad back.  She really struggles with any form of physical activity – including walking more than a short period of time, and I am talking a very short distance.  Walking one block on Bridge Road was a struggle.  While we were away I had the realisation that if I didn’t do something, and do it soon, I would end up far worse and at a much younger age.

I joined the #12wbt programme, during the preseason I treated every meal as if it were my last (not how preseason should be treated).  I posted on Facebook that I was doing the programme and even managed to enlist two friends to do with me (both over the ditch in NZ).  Both offered different levels of support for which I am truly grateful but what really made a difference in those first weeks is that one of them would FB message me everyday to make sure she wasn’t feeling the pain on her own. I had gotten her into it, and she wasn’t going to let me off lightly.

That first round I lost 11kgs, even with a trip to NZ for work.  I watched all the mindset videos with vigour, joined the gym and managed to go to the gym several times a week.  I also invested in a Personal Trainer as I was struggling with the weights component.  I always intended that my workouts would be in the gym using the machines but for some reason my first workout I tried a class – Body Attack, one of the hardest for a complete Couch Potato.  I rocked up and introduced myself to the instructor and told him what I was doing, he was so encouraging.  It’s still one of my fave classes.

OH and I went to the end of round finale in Adelaide and had a lovely time, met some lovely people including the lovely Kim who I still FB with.  The second round I managed to lose 7.5kg an this last round 4.4kg.  Things have definitely slowed down!  I am now a size 16 with some 14s in my wardrobe (I have never been smaller than an 18 before), my BMI is not quite out of obese – but nearly.  These days I try to do five classes a week and a park run on Saturday mornings for my Super Saturday Session (SSS).  I’ve got just on 20kgs to lose to get to my goal weight and for the first time in my life I actually feel like I can do it.  I have plenty of support in various forms – online and offline.  I’ve met some great people, like my park run buddy – another 12wbt disciple.  I will keep going until I get there.

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The Story So Far

Apologies in advance, this might be long winded – I’m new to this.

When OH and I moved to Melbourne just over a year ago we decided that we would embrace the Melbourne lifestyle, food, wine, coffee (OH, not me – I strangely have a mild allergy), theatre, comedy, and maybe even sport (Melbourne cup, Footy – once, Ice Hockey and maybe even the Tennis).

We had been living in a small town in NZ – I had been lured away from Auckland by the offer of what seemed a good job with a promising career path.  I’m originally from Auckland and OH is from Christchurch – but don’t worry he’s lived over half his life out of Christchurch and can be considered a fully fledged, card carrying JAFA.  It turned out that it was a good job but the career path not so good!  The business was sold and I ended up out of a job after not quite three years.  Our software provider asked if I’d like to go and look after his clients in Melbourne.  We packed up, sold up the excess and moved.

We never really liked living where we were.  It is a beautiful part of the country but not suited to our lifestyle aspirations.  KFC is the most popular restaurant in town – yes, it is considered a restaurant.  Not counting places like KFC and Macca’s there were around seven restaurants in town, all quite expensive, all with dubious offerings and most definitely some weird combinations.  We would often go out and order a dish that in concept sounded good but then the restaurant for some unknown reason would add a weird little twist – perhaps to make it exotic.  An example of this was the famous Hash Brown tower – homemade hash cake, bacon, mushroom and poached egg.  Sounds delicious!  But no, the chef had decided that the mushrooms on this dish would best complement the other ingredients by being heavily spiced with cumin and curry powder.  They were in a gritty, nuclear green coloured sauce – Manu (MKR reference) would have wished they didn’t add the sauce!  That was when we decided that the Weird Food Fairy must live in the town.

Being deprived of good restaurants and now living in a city full of them, I suggested to OH that we try and spend our first year in Melbourne trying out restaurants, keeping track and rating them but not going back.  We have a bad habit of sticking to places we like.  OH thought this was a good idea, but we never really got around to it and kept visiting what had become our faves.  This year is a different story.  We have made a list of places we want to visit, put them in a jar and we are drawing out a new one each month.  That gives us the option of trying a new place each month but also the ability to go back to faves.

That’s where this blog comes in, predominantly it will be a place for me to express my opinions and occasionally OH’s on where we have been and what we have done.  This won’t be limited to eating out but will also include my #12wbt exploits – oh yes, I am a Michelle Bridges #12wbt disciple.  If I wasn’t I would easily be over 30kgs heavier than I am now.  Last year I lost over 20kgs and I would like to do it again this year.  That would see me at my goal weight.  My latest 12wbt exploits is running, well, ok, shuffling.  OH and I currently do the Albert Parkrun on Saturday mornings with another #12wbt disciple.

I told you it would be long, enough for now.

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