Like most women, I have always been body conscious and unhappy with how I look. Having thick thighs and a bigger bust didn’t help when I looked in the mirror and was disgusted at the unflattering reflection staring back at me. Growing up with an awesome cook for a father, we were never deprived of good food. Healthy home-cooked meals were a daily necessity, but it was always so good, I would go back for an extra serving. Throughout high school, I was a boredom and emotional eater, always scouring the cupboards for something to eat, usually full of sugar.
Commuting for university studies usually meant a super early but usually healthy breakfast, followed by sugary quick and easy snacks in breaks to get me through each class. Back to back classes also meant long periods of time without a decent meal. Studying right in the city surrounded me with food courts galore with me choosing unhealthy options often to get me through the day. My eating habits only improved in my final semester this year and that was probably because I was only there one day a week.
While going to the gym consistently for the past 4 years, I have always struggled with my weight and keeping motivated. I would do well some weeks, eat healthy and work out almost every day, other weeks would consist of maybe one or two work outs and a lot of ‘treating’ myself to takeaway and ice-cream, vowing I would go back to eating healthy the following week. It was a never-ending cycle.
My fiancée tells me constantly that I’m beautiful and need to love my curves and my body, that people would kill for a body like mine, but there’s always a part of me that thinks he’s just saying it to make me feel better. Now I’m beginning to realise that it’s probably a lot of my anxiety talking.
This year, more specifically the past few months, I have been determined to focus on my fitness and work hard towards a body that I am happier with. When my gym was signing up people for the 8-week challenge, I was hesitant to join, as I didn’t want to give up half way or work hard and not see results. A little convincing from one of my awesome gym buddies changed my mind however and I decided to give it a go, not only as moral support for her but also because I’m getting married in 2019 and would love to be able to walk into a bridal store and find the perfect dress that I feel like a princess in.
I started the challenge with a huge meal prep session, dividing meals into containers ready to go. At first, I was still hungry, as I was used to eating so much more food in a sitting but that was half my problem before, portion sizes that were way too big. I was so used to having a few soft drinks every week, that cutting it out of my diet left me with sugar withdrawals. I felt tired and run down for the first week but just kept resting and waiting for my body to detox. Two weeks into the challenge, I was shocked to step onto the scales and discover that I had already lost 1.6kgs! I was even more determined to smash this challenge. Week 3 was a bit rocky, as I came down with the flu which completely knocked me for six. Barely eating and unable to find the energy to work out, the week was almost a write-off, but I didn’t want to give up and admit defeat. I had to keep going.
I DID IT! I completed the whole challenge and came second out of my gym. I lost about 6kgs of fat, gained muscle and lost cm’s off my hips (9.5cm!), waist and legs. My fitness has improved immensely and my eating habits have changed for the better and I feel so much happier and healthier inside and out! The 8-week challenge increased my motivation to be fit and healthy. I am nowhere near where I would like to be yet but I’m on the right track! If I keep this up, I know I will walk down the aisle in 2019, feeling confident and happy with myself, ready to take on the world!