Luke asked me to write something about my time at and some of the changes I have made since starting at The Wild Movement last year.
A little background, it was September 2017 and my life felt like it had become a hamster wheel (me being the hamster) – working 50-60+ hour weeks, eating (too much bad food), sleeping (badly) and then repeat. “How did this happen how did my life get to this….?” Looking back, I put it down to a series of interstate moves over an eight-year period where I had found myself always allowing work to come first. It was exhausting, chugging away to get through the daily grind with my immediate short-term goal to get through to my long service leave anniversary date which was due in January 2018, take a well-deserved break and then re-evaluate what I wanted to be doing.
It was definitely time for some changes to take place but I wasn’t quite sure how to make things happen. I had seen the Wild Movement 4-week challenge come through on my Facebook feed and thought this could be just the thing to help me to get back on track from a health and fitness perspective. I had participated in boot camp type challenges previously and really enjoyed the group environment and the time-lined approach with clear start and finish dates. Unfortunately, the September dates clashed with an upcoming holiday. Luckily, there was another challenge for October and I was able to schedule a consult for my return.
I set some early goals to commit to attending all of my scheduled training sessions, and also seek some work/life balance with no more than 40 hours a week at work. There was also a little something about giving up chocolate…… I managed to achieve two out of my three challenge goals.
- The first scan & photo – I had dreaded this so very much but also knew I needed a clear starting point to help keep me accountable for achieving some results. It also allowed me to see exactly what my baseline was (the initial baseline definitely gave me something to improve upon)
- I remember my first few weeks of training being super tough. I needed to sit down a few times, especially during those early conditioning sessions
- I tried to make attending the sessions nice and easy, by scheduling the 06:00 sessions which didn’t allow me any time in the mornings to think about whether I was going to train as it was already too late to cancel – my alarm would go off and sleep/no sleep, feeling good/feeling ordinary I just went along and allowed it to become my “new normal”
- Week 4 challenge testing allowed me to see some positive gains and to set new baselines for the future
- My scan results from the 4-week challenge were definitely not what I had been hoping for. I had a small weight loss of 1.3 kg and subsequently a small body fat percent loss and some muscle gain 1.2 kg. I was definitely disappointed
After the challenge I decided to stick with training at TWM but I wasn’t entirely sure that all the hard work I was putting in was paying off or whether it was the right type of training for me. I spoke with a couple of friends about my frustrations over lack of results and they convinced me to stick it out for a bit longer. They also told me not to give myself such a hard time and surely any results in the right direction were good results. During the next couple of months I kept doing the 3 + 1 session bundle, tracking what I considered to be small changes through until the end of the year. A three week break over Christmas led to yet another disappointing scan result in January and I decided it was time to mix things up a little bit. I increased my training sessions to the unlimited bundle mostly so I didn’t have to keep choosing between Wednesday night Yoga and the Saturday morning sessions. From this point I averaged 6 sessions per week and was also trying to walk at least 10 kms most days. The walks were mostly to stretch out some of the strength training but also to get some fresh air and take some time to just move and listen to some tunes.
The food workshop with Jasmine early in the New Year was a real turning point for me. I had been eating what I thought was reasonably well but things weren’t quite coming together. I remember going home after the workshop, clearing out my pantry, heading out to buy a new food processor and pressure cooker and started to batch cook a selection of meals from the recipes provided. My favourites are the chicken meatloaf, chicken broth, and vegetable patties – simple, delicious and healthy meals which quickly became a key part in my everyday eating. I already had my training sorted out, I didn’t have to give it any thought simply get up and go when my alarm went off in the mornings. Having the meals pre-made and ready to heat and eat meant not thinking so much about meals allowing food preparation and eating meals to become really easy.
Finally, in April my scan showed some decent changes. From this point things just seemed to fall into place and it was so much easier to keep going with both food and training when the results were going my way. Training was also proving to be a wonderful distraction from work pressures and a family situation which had arisen. For 5 to 6 hours a week I just had to concentrate on doing what I was being told by the trainers, get it done, get out of there and then start the day knowing I had already done something really good for myself. The Saturday sessions whilst always super tough were a great chance to train with and get to know some of the people attending different sessions during the week and the Wednesday afternoon yoga sessions the perfect way to switch things up a bit stretch out and really helped me to refocus and get through the tail end of the working week.
When initially chatting about why I was at TWM and what I was wanting to achieve I remember Luke asking something along the lines of “what makes this time different?” with regards to wanting to make some lifestyle changes, be healthier and lose some weight. I didn’t really have an answer for this – I still don’t have an answer but some things which have made a difference and helped me to make some big changes to my health and fitness were;
- An encouraging and supportive environment
- Small groups – limited numbers allowing for personal attention to both technique and different fitness levels
- A holistic approach to health and fitness including; training, diet, recovery and sleeping
- Qualified and supportive trainers who know what they are doing and work hard to get the best out of everyone
- A fabulous community of people who really want to see each other succeed. This encouragement and support has been wonderful
- Life sometimes throws you curveballs that can derail even the best of intentions. It would have been easy for me to give up a number of times however, I knew I needed to make some big changes and had some clear goals in my mind and this made it easier to keep going
- You have to be ready for or get yourself ready for change – you need to know why you want the change and how you are going to achieve it otherwise it’s really easy to slip back into old ways
- I have an 80/20 approach to eating. I eat chocolate most days. I have learnt it’s important for me to not eliminate foods completely – as soon as I restrict certain foods completely from my diet the wheels start to fall off
- I am definitely not always my best self at 06:00 in the morning however, I persisted with this morning schedule and over time the early starts became easier, more so when the results really started to show
- Being and feeling strong and doing things you have never done before (or not done for a very long time) whether it be a handstand, a pull-up, a cartwheel, get a new hang time or lift a new weight for the first time feels really good!
You can see the physical transformation which has taken place in my before and after pictures. It seemed to take so much time for the results to start to show and was really hard work taking a lot of persistence and commitment to get to this point. I am pretty happy with where I got to by making some big changes to how I was living my life from both a health & fitness and work life balance perspective. The physical changes are really only one aspect of my transformation. I was reading a quote recently and it said something along the lines of “When you start taking care of yourself, you start feeling better, you start looking better; and you attract better things. It all starts with you.” This has proven true for me one of my recent decisions was to choose to take back some control over my life, move away from a job which was no longer making me happy and subsequently choose to take an extended break away from “real life” and travel around Europe for a while. I am not so sure whether I would have made the same decision 12 months ago. The plan for now is to take some time out to have some fun and new adventures and then when the time comes I will start to make some plans for what comes next. I am really excited to be seeing new sights, having new experiences, meeting new friends and making some fabulous memories. Most importantly of all though I am enjoying taking some well-deserved time out from all the demands of everyday life.
See you all in a few months!
Coaches Note > This client lost 15kg and 20% body fat over these 7-8 months. All credit to her grit in turning up no matter what!