When we first came back to Australia almost 10 years ago I weighed 12 kilos less than I do now. My body fat was probably about 2/3 what it is now. I was lean and fit and fairly strong. I had been spending a lot of time in the gym, I’d had a set-up in my own home that rivalled some small gyms I’ve been in, and I was a bit of a food nazi. I liked the way I looked and I felt great, but food was too much of an issue for me. I had followed a 12 week body transformation program that was very popular back then and had good success – even entering the transformation competition and making friends that I still keep in touch with now. The biggest problem with the food side of the program was the lack of vegetarian options. It was a typical high protein/low carb program which really doesn’t allow much variety in a vegetarian diet. I gradually began to increase the variety of food in my diet (not always in a good way) and I reduced the quantity and intensity of exercise that I was doing. I no longer had the equipment that I’d previously had – though that’s just an excuse, I still had more than enough for a decent workout. I slowly started to put on weight.
A few years later we moved from the remote Northern Territory to Perth. I had great intentions of joining a gym and getting my fitness levels back up there but, what with the daily commute to work and a few other excuses, that didn’t happen. Oh, I joined a gym a couple of years ago – really enjoyed the environment – but that didn’t last as my work situation changed. Once again I’d reduced the amount of home equipment I had, but still kept the essentials. I only used them sporadically. My main form of exercise has been walking the dogs. I’ve gone through stages of walking 7-10 or more km per day, to hardly walking at all.
Over these past couple of years menopause has added itself to the mix. While I haven’t suffered too many of the typical symptoms, I have found weight gain to be a bit of a problem and weight loss to be a struggle. OK, my sweet tooth might also have something to do with that. I’ve tried a couple of the popular weight-loss programs and had success, but once again they were both high protein/low carb programs that are unsustainable for a vego. I’m not even sure how sustainable they are for an omnivore. And I don’t want to become that food fanatic again. I’d lose weight but couldn’t stick with the programs or go back to them after a break. And I wasn’t doing any exercise – other than the on-again, off-again high-volume walking.
There are plenty of people who think I’m thin enough, but I’m not comfortable with the weight I’m carrying and, for me, it’s all about how I feel, about my own perception of myself. I look at photos and in the mirror and I see a fat and flabby person where I want to see a toned and fit person. Agreed, I don’t need to lose huge amounts of weight, but I do feel the need to lose a few kilos and to get fitter and more toned. I carry fat around my middle. That’s definitely not healthy and while it’s not too bad at the moment, I don’t want it to get too bad. It’s too easy too pile it on (especially during menopause) and way too hard to take it off. I’m not quite at my heaviest, but I’m close to being back there so I’ve decided it’s time to take control and stop making excuses. I’ve joined Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) Round 2, 2013. I’m making this public through my blog because I found years ago, when I did my first ever 12 week body transformation, that making it public makes me feel more accountable. Even if only to myself. Oh, I know all the tips and tricks and could lecture anyone on healthy nutrition and exercise, but follow it myself? Without a defined program and that public accountability it’s not going to happen.
12WBT has exercise plans, vegetarian food plans, video support, forum support and mindset lessons. I’ll have to put in the hard work and it won’t be easy. I have plantar fasciitis, dicky knees, a dodgy shoulder and a back that gives me trouble when I don’t exercise carefully. I’ll also be studying and attending seminars and workshops during the 12 weeks. I’m in pre-season and my challenge starts in a couple of weeks. Join me for the ride. You might even like to sign up too. Let me know if you do.