This is the hardest post I think I will ever have to hit “Publish” on. In posting these photos, I’m also achieving one of my other goals “Do something that scares me”. Let’s be honest, sharing these photos scares the absolute s**t out of me.
I hate photos at the best of time, let alone sharing something so revealing. Yet I wanted to have complete transparency and honesty in the results of the 12 week challenge, and I think these photos and the measurements are the most brutal reality there is.
But first, my summary of the last 12 weeks:
- 12 weeks is a bloody long time
- My strength has improved dramatically, and unfortunately the photos can’t show that. But my legs are much more toned, and as a result my running time is much faster (see: 52 in 52: Run 5km in under 30mins). Even the small things like climbing stairs are much easier on my knees thanks to stronger glutes, quads and hamstrings.
- Having a personal trainer during the 12 weeks was the most worthwhile investment I had made. I caught up with her weekly, and just the positive reinforcement and encouragement to keep pushing was worth the money itself. I had moments of weakness, when stress and life was weighing me down and my nutrition suffered, and just talking it out with her gave me the motivation to try again.
- I have learned my hips are weak, in particular my right one. I’ve had to do a lot of work on rehabilitating these muscles, and it still hurts on a daily basis. I need to become a master of the hip yoga poses.
- Doing the challenge at the gym was fantastic. I made some new friends and tried out more of the facilities and classes as a result. Ongoing, this gives me more inspiration and ideas for what to do in the gym.
- Publicly declaring my challenge, and knowing that I was going to be posting these photos, was a kick up the bum whenever I needed it
If anyone had ever contemplated doing the Goodlife 12 week challenge, I can’t recommend it highly enough. You won’t regret the investment.
And now, the results:
I wanted to clear up a few things about these photos as well that I’ve already been asked by the people I’ve shown.
- I didn’t suck anything in, and I didn’t push anything out either. I can’t believe my stomach in the first photo! Admittedly I did have a big bowl of pasta the night before.
- Never once did anyone ask me to pose a certain way. They had a line on the floor, and simply asked me to stand on that line, take a deep breath and that’s it. Unfortunately in the after photo I also thought that meant “blink”.
- I put on weight in the second half of the challenge unfortunately, but looking at the measurements everything continued to drop (even my chest – dammit I didn’t have boobs to begin with). This really does point to putting on muscle, but I know I have a lot of cleaning up to do with my nutrition still. I wasn’t perfect in the second half of this challenge.
I’m beyond thrilled with my hip and waist drops – 12cm and 16cm respectively! I can really notice it both in the photos and in real life, and if you look at my side on shots you can see the difference in my butt. My arms don’t show it quite as much, but I have much more toned triceps. Holding my arm out straight my tuckshop lady arms have been reduced – hooray!
Overall, I’m really happy with how I went. I know that I could have been much more strict, but hey, life happened. Life is always going to be stressful, and I’m going to have moments where I need to just take a moment with some comfort food. I wanted to make the 12 weeks sustainable, and allowed myself those moments that I needed.
I am proud of my physical transformation, and look forward to my next challenge – hitting my goal weight!