Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watch Your Winter Waistline Before and After and Q&A with one of our winners Jasmin

Today we chat with Jasmin - joint overall winner of our first ever Watch Your Winter Waistline - 12 Week Challenge.

What initially made you sign up to the 12 Week Challenge? 

I have always struggled with my weight.  I've been heavier and lighter but rarely where I wanted to be. I was very careful when pregnant, trained regularly, ate well and hardly put on any weight.  When maternity leave came around, I developed bad habits and ate to combat exhaustion and sleep deprivation.  As the months back at work crept by, I realised that I wasn't getting any smaller and my weight was having a negative effect on my mental health.  I had been intrigued by last Summer's challenges but wasn't ready. When Watch Your Winter Waistline came around I was ready (physically, mentally and emotionally).  I needed to do this in order to get myself back on track - body and mind.

What were your initial goals and did you think you would reach them?

Overall my goal was weight loss. I thought 1/2kg per week was achievable but it would be a tough slog based on past attempts to control my weight.  I am still in shock as to how successful I have been and how much weight I have lost.  As a plus, I have also managed to improve my fitness and prove to myself that ANYTHING is possible!

What were the easiest and most challenging aspects?

Easiest was diet (ha!). I love to cook and loved the opportunity to experiment with new foods and cooking techniques.  I took it as a mini challenge and committed myself to ensuring that my food would be a tool to achieving my aims.  There was no way I could have maintained my good dietary choices with boring foods.
The most challenging was getting to training. I did a lot of juggling, calling in babysitting favours and dragging my little girl along to sessions.  My husband, family and friends all got behind me to ensure I could have the time to dedicate to training.

What were your favorite and least favorite bits?

My favorite bit was meeting new friends and working together as a team.  I have dieted and trained individually but never as a group.  Having others along for the ride made training interesting and fun.
My least favorite bit was running and the stairs.  It's definitely my weakest link. I am learning to not listen to the voice in my head that says "Stop! You hate this and can't do it".

How many sessions per week did you exercise to achieve your goal?

I generally did 4-5 sessions a week.  This included the advanced studio session every week, Saturday's in the park, Sunday steps (I only missed three due to no babysitting) plus one more.  The extra session was either early risers or an at home session.  We also live close to Bondi Junction so I would walk with the pram to and from the shops with the pram on at least 4 days a week.
Did you have to change your diet a lot?

Yes and No.  I already had a fairly healthy diet having adopted a low GI eating style 6 years ago when diagnosed as being insulin resistant (pre cursor to diabetes).  Through diet and exercise I had stabilised by insulin levels and no longer needed medication before falling pregnant.  I decided to adopt the 'no sugar guidelines" from day one.  I figured that the challenge was only 12 weeks and I wanted to give it everything I had. From week seven I also went grain free.  No sugar and no grains were huge adjustments but I credit the change to my success.
Do you feel like your diet and exercise changes were sustainable?

For sure! I am the lightest, fittest and strongest I have EVER been.  Diet and exercise got me here.  I won't be going back.  I know that I have a sugar addiction and if I give in even a little bit, the whole thing will come undone.  I can eat bag of lollies and blocks of chocolate in each sitting.  I struggle to walk past the junk aisle in the supermarket. I know my weakness and can't go there.

What else did you gain from your challenge experience (apart from diet and exercise)?

Physically, I had a huge win.  I have stuggled with psoriasis for 20 years on my scalp, arms, legs and ears. Having tried creams and drugs for years, I was shocked to find that giving up wheat has resulted in my psoriasis being cured. The pain and ugliness of the illness are now behind me.

Mentally, I have struggled with motherhood for a range of reason. I didn't like the person I had become. The challenge has helped me refocus my mind, like what I see in th mirror and motivate me to address other issues in my life. The challenge was the kick in the bum I needed!

What would your advice be to a new mum thinking about doing the challenge?

You have nothing to lose. You will know when the time is right but know that this is a unique opportunity to find yourself again. You will have the most amazing resources at your fingertips that can't be found elsewhere. Even if you don't get to your ideal weight or desired fitness level, you will make an improvement and be able to build from there.  The period of the challenge is really very short in the scheme of things.  Jump in with both feet and see how fantastic you can be!

Sum up your challenge experience for us

The challenge was beyond my wildest expectations.  I found the body I had yearned for, the fitness I desired and ultimately the person I wanted to be.  I will be eternally indebted to Body Beyond Baby for providing me with this opportunity.

Here are Jasmine's before and after pics:

 For being one of our overall winners Jasmine receives a Revive me Spa Package from 

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