"Never in my life did I ever think that I would be writing anything for a website that had the word “fitness” in its title. But here I am doing just that. A year ago whilst at a braai, drinking and eating, I heard about how there was this thing called Fitness Maniacs that would involve participating in a 1 hour BootCamp 12 Week Challenge. As usual, as one does, I responded by commenting, give me the brochure so that I can have a look at it. Knowing all too well that I probably wouldn’t do anything about it. Well, by Monday morning I had Wendy phoning me telling me that I had been registered and we were starting on the coming Saturday. After trying to make up some excuse, I realised that my friends had signed me on.
Arriving at the first session was hectic! We (us big boned people) never realise just how big or heavy you are until you step onto that dreaded thing called a scale. After that first session I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive or be 2 friends short, after I killed them. Well, my friends are still alive and this has turned out to be the best decision that has ever been made for me. Only after the first couple of sessions do you realise just how out of shape and unfit you are. I hobbled around for the first few days with stiffness, but kept on going.
No matter how stiff you are, just keep on going and block out the pain. As the trainers will tell us all, it’s only 1 hour of your life. And yes, don’t let the pretty little smile fool you, you are allowed to swear and call your trainers all kinds of horrible names, but only in your head. After all they are there to assist and help you.
What I did enjoy about this Challenge was that they conduct the sessions at YOUR own pace and gradually push you to the next level each week. Not once did I ever feel out of place. As the weight began to come off the journey had officially begun. How would I ever lose all this weight? I thought. Off it did come and don’t ever think there is a “miracle” pill that you can take that would get the weight off in a couple of weeks. It just doesn’t exist. It’s all about eating correctly and exercising on a regular basis. Of course there were difficult times. Of course I was hungry every day for a few days. Of course I was tired. Of course I didn’t want to go to the BootCamp on some days. BUT, if you want to lose the weight, YOU have to make the commitment to go to every session and follow the eating and exercise plans. And if you don’t eat a certain food, then like me, you can substitute it with something else (of a healthy nature). Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t all of a sudden the “healthy Saint”. I did sneak in a cheat meal here and there. Setting small goals for me was the way my friends and I got through The Challenge. Reward yourself when you lose a certain amount of weight or when you are able to do exercises that you were never able to do before or any goal that you think will get you through.
One thing that I soon realised is that YOU have to want it and YOU have to do the hard work. No one will do it for you. It took and still takes a lot of will power and mind power. I had to give up a lot of my bad eating habits and take away foods and some forms of alcohol, but it is a habit that needs to be broken.After 12 weeks I ended up losing 18Kgs. I started at 140Kgs and then went down to 122Kgs. The time seemed to fly as the sessions became more and more enjoyable and the relationships that you make with the other challengers will always make it much easier, as we are all in for the same purpose. I all of a sudden was feeling my clothes were getting looser and that felt great. The bug had bitten and I signed up for the second Challenge.
There’s nothing better for me after a bad day at work, to go and have a gym session and feel better afterwards. I need to thank all the people who have run these challenges. Wendy, Milesh, Justin, Lloyd, Jason and Brenna. The times at the sessions and at the gym have been tough but enjoyable. Thanks for pushing me and don’t stop. Thanks to my sister, who has also done a Challenge, for waking up in the mornings when we went walking. Finally a big thank you to the 2 people who signed me up for my very first challenge, Charl and Chantell. Thanks for the kick in the glutes that I needed and for the good times that we had while going through this process. This was the best decision that was ever made for me and has literally changed my life for the better. Now I can keep-up with you on the track. Changing my lifestyle has enabled me to do things that I couldn’t do a year ago.
A year later, and three challenges later, I’ve now lost a total of 43Kgs. Seeing my weight at double figures on that scale prompted a cheat meal of note and a small celebration in my head. Starting the fourth challenge in 2012 has come with new goals and challenges and has become part of everyday life for me now, and there’s no looking back. To everyone on the Challenge, its hard work but keep on going. A lot of the struggle is in the mind. Keep your focus on the end big picture of what you are there for. Enjoy the time and have fun during the whole process. It’s worth all the hard work".