Today we chat with Charlotte - winner of our latest Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge
What initially made you sign up to the 8 Week Challenge?
I was inspired by two other mums who had already completed a challenge and had great results, they were looking fantastic. I was really keen to lose weight and feel better about myself, but I knew that I was going to need help staying focused and most importantly I would need care for my little guy/s so I could participate in group exercise.
What were your initial goals and did you think you would reach them?
I didn’t have any specific goals at the start until I was instructed to engage in some goal setting tasks. At the initial weigh-in I was thinking 10kg would be a nice amount to loose but wasn’t too sure if that was achievable. I was hesitant to ask Jen if 10kg in 8 weeks was realistic, I thought perhaps I was kidding myself and I might sound a bit silly for asking. I really did struggle with putting out there the amount of weight I wanted to try and loose and I was too afraid to upload and share my goals with the other Mums in the challenge, possibly for fear of failing.
However, I did ask Jen that day if 10kg was a realistic goal and achievable and her response was stern but effective and words that stuck in my head throughout the challenge, “you’ll only get out of this what you put in, it’s up to you”. And with that I set my goal as 10kg weight loss, even though I wasn’t 100% positive I could do it I was going to give it a good crack.
What were the easiest and most challenging aspects?
The easiest is part for me was having someone else organise my work out and what I was going to be doing for that hour, yay! One less thing to have to think about for the day. The most challenging was changing my eating habits. Not so much avoiding what I shouldn’t eat but organising myself so that I had the right foods to eat and not skipping meals.
What were your favorite and least favorite bits?
My favourite part of the challenge was seeing my fitness improve my least favourite part was the first Sunday steps and watching myself be lapped … twice!
How many sessions per week did you exercise to achieve your goals?
Initially I did two mid-week sessions, the Saturday morning sessions and Sunday stairs. After the first 4 weeks I really felt my fitness levels improve and felt inspired as it had happened much faster than anticipated, so then a few more sessions were attended. After the halfway weigh –in my fitness levels had improved immensely and it gave me the motivation to exercise daily – I knew I had to step it up if I wanted to reach my goals.
Did you have to change your diet a lot?
I had already started to address some of my bad eating habits but being on the challenge had reinforced the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. I loved how much the focus was on really good food ‘real food’. I didn’t have a meal plan and had never been good at keeping food journals, however constantly being educated on the foods that I had been previously eating and the foods I should be eating meant I made so many better choices.
Do you feel like your diet and exercise changes were sustainable?
The eating part was not perfect, I was on track about 80% of the time. However, during the bad moments I was aware of it and it enabled me to learn a lot about myself, my habits and even made me realise some little emotional issues that are associated with food. It really helped me discover what is realistic for my own personal circumstances to help maintain my weight. I love eating healthy food!
In respect to regular exercise; initially I was questioning myself on whether I would have enough energy to work out as my youngest is not the best sleeper (can be up 2-3 times a night, I am not complaining he is a pleasure to wake up to) which can leave me feeling very tiered, but by working out my energy increased and it didn’t take me long to realise that despite the night before, I could still make the effort which overall lead to a far more productive day anyway.
What else did you gain from your challenge experience (apart from diet and exercise)?
A confidence within myself that I have not had for such long time and maybe never truly have. I have been underestimating what I am capable of and while cliché this challenge and all its experiences, has shown me that I am capable of so much more in so many aspects of my life and that it’s ok to be selfish, it’s not a bad word and it’s ok if I feel amazing and have it all.
What would your advice be to a new mum thinking about doing the challenge?
I have managed to lose weight, address many of my bad eating habits (acknowledge them), exercise 4-5+ times a week, improve my mental wellbeing and I have done that amongst moving house, running a small business and sleep deprivation. It’s a wonderful and energising environment being around so may beautiful, inspirational and kind women all in a similar position working towards a common goal. It is selfish and that’s perfectly fine.
Sum up your challenge experience for us
The first step towards a better, healthier and stronger me. Much appreciated
Charlotte wins a total make over package with:
Hair and Make-up from Diligio,
Styling from Coach Me Beautiful
Photos with Julie Wheeler Photography
Results like this are 100% achievable within our community of mums - in fact we had four mums who achieved a weight loss of 8kg this round. Previous rounds have seen 12+kg lost not to mention the dramatic increase in fitness, energy and emotional wellbeing.
Our first Find Your Summer Body- 8 Week Challenge for 2013 kicks off on the 4th Feb
To be notified as soon as registrations open email firstname.lastname@example.org
Put SIGN ME UP in the subject line and we will be in touch soon