If someone had told me 12 weeks ago that I would have a new lifestyle, a new outlook on life, new plans for my life and a feeling of contentment that I haven’t felt in a long time, I wouldn’t have believed them, however this is the case and at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I would have to say that my lifestyle has been transformed.

One of the biggest challenges that I faced starting this challenge was the belief in myself that I could actually reach the goals that I had initially set. I felt that after being overweight for so long, it was all too hard and I’d put off my ‘get fit campaigns’ again and again and the diets and healthy eating plans that I did try, didn’t work for me.   I didn’t realise that the help I was to receive throughout this challenge was the key to my success.  It turned out that the first step to a healthier me, was understanding food better, having Chris explain the effects of food and setting some guidelines to start me off on the right foot.  My food and exercise journals were a therapeutic process as they made me take the time to reflect on what I had eaten/exercised and made me accountable for my actions.

I started the KX 12 week challenge hoping to feel physically stronger, lose weight and to feel more energised.  In my first meeting with Chris, I cringed as my measurements were taken and while watching all of the KX students attend their classes while I weighed in, I secretly hoped that I too would one day rock up feeling excited about my KX classes rather than terrified that I would not be able to complete an exercise let alone a class.  I had enjoyed my KX pilates sessions in the past but had put off returning to classes after the birth of my babies for fear that I could no longer make it through a class because I was weak and overweight.  It’s so nice to be able to say that I have loved all of my classes, there has not been one instance where I haven’t enjoyed it and in a very healthy way, I am addicted!  Similarly, the cardio component of the challenge was also daunting, I had not run in about four years. I started off with sprints and after the first few weeks, I built up the confidence to attend the run sessions with James. In my first session, I ran around the tan without stopping for the first time in over 4 years, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I drove home.  I now run at least twice a week and a 5/6 km run is a very comfortable workout. Unbelievable!!

Whilst I knew from the beginning of the course that the healthy eating and commitment to exercise was going to be a challenge, I was totally unprepared for the emotional challenges that I would face over the past three months.  From learning to compliment myself after picking a favourite body part, to pushing mental pain boundaries and forcing myself to step outside of my comfort zone I have a new found self confidence that I have missed, but now, I finally feel like ‘me’ again.  I have rediscovered my will power through my commitment to clean eating and I have learned to say no to certain foods and unhealthy eating habits that had led to me to my heaviest weight ever at the start of the challenge.  One achievement that may seem small to some but huge to me was making my health a priority when I engaged a babysitter for the first time to attend the Challenge seminar.  Whilst it may sound silly, I could never justify spending the money in the past but finally, I put myself and my health first.  I have since realised that the time I have invested into my exercise, healthy eating/cooking and attending KX seminars has benefited my family anyway with my new found energy, healthy eating and very positive outlook on life.

Looking back over the past 12 weeks, I am so proud to be able to say that I have done the best I possibly could and that there is nothing I would do differently or could do better.  I have surprised myself with how strict I have been to my healthy eating plan, my only sugar consumed throughout the 12 week challenge was a piece of pavlova and not one piece of chocolate was consumed over Easter – I never thought that possible for this self-confessed chocaholic!  As I made my way through the weeks, saying no to sugar in particular became quite empowering, I focused on fuelling my body with ‘clean’ foods and noticed the change in my weight an energy levels.  A turning point for me was pulling a double pram out of the boot only to find that I wasn’t exhausted after doing so and playing with the kids became more fun. I feel that my kids and my family have benefited from my success of the challenge as I can honestly say that I am a better mum and that I feel I can give my kids so much more quality time and energy.  Additionally, I am using what I have learned to steer my kids, husband, sisters and parents in the right direction.  The knowledge that I have about food, I have shared in the hope that my family will gain some of the benefits that I have from this Challenge.  The challenge won’t end after 12 weeks for me though, as I really am living a different, much cleaner lifestyle to which I am fully committed for the long run.

Each pilates class I would look at the quote on the wall of the Port Melbourne KX studios, I think it was about half way through the challenge when I really started to feel stronger, lighter and much happier in general with myself and life, when I actually looked at this quote and agreed: physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness.