Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My story so far...

(or my journey losing 21kg)
Before and After - 21kg GONE!
The battle against my weight is something I have endured for almost my whole life.

I was the chubby girl, who in primary school didn't want to put her bathers on for swimming class, got called names on the playground, the girl who cried every time she went shopping for new jeans, and went on a diet before the school ball.

I was the girl who hid under her clothes, and deliberately chose brands and cuts that accentuate all the right places and hid all the wrong ones.
'Embracing the curves'
I went through numeous diets trying to change my body while I was in high school, university and into my early twenties.  Sometimes they worked, and other times they did the opposite (thank you Atkins... not!), but my weight would fluctuate, and then I would always settle back down to being in the overweight but not obese category, feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, and despising anyone who could put on a pair of jeans with out exploding over the top of them. I started to accept that I would always be slightly on the larger side of "average", and tried to eat healthily, exercise more and "embrace my curves".

YAY! S.E Asia.. and a Tiger's tail
When I turned 23 I decided it would be a good idea to sell everything and go backpacking around Southeast Asia (turns out it was one of the best ideas I've ever had... if you'd like to read more about this adventure, I kept a travel blog here:  Being on a very tight budget, eating (mostly) only what the locals ate, and being very active everyday worked! Somehow the weight started to fall off me, and just as I creeped into the healthy side of my BMI, I ran out of money and moved back to Australia.

Backpacking seems to agree with me
Feeling like I never wanted to be overweight ever again, I tried to disapline myself when I returned.  I bought tigher jeans (woohoo), I tried to exercise more, I tried to eat less.  But when I returned to a sedentary lifestyle (read: office job) and a western diet, my weight caught up with me once again.  This time I didn't have so much hate for my body, and instead tried to 'embrace my curves' and shove the diets, because the only thing that had worked for me to date was backpacking and "not trying".

However, having just met my lovely partner Michael (who worked out all the time and was very fit), I felt like I wanted to at least improve my fitness so we could jog together in the 14km Run for Reason in May last year.  So I started trying to motivate myself to get back into running (it has always been something I've enjoyed... once I'm fit that is!). This allowed me to lose about 2kg and around the same time my mum and my sister joined Weight Watchers, and invited me to join with them.  I joined thinking I could spare a couple of kilos (initially I wanted to lose 7kg), and was pretty offended that they thought I needed to lose 13kg (almost double what I had in my head!).

Let's go diving!
Just after Easter last year, Michael and I went on our first scuba diving trip together, to Amed and the Gili Islands in Indonesia.  This is when it started to dawn on me that perhaps I was closer to being the chubby girl I'd always been, than the slimmer backpacker I wanted to be, and that maybe WW were right in telling me I need to lose at least 13kg.  I couldn't find any boardshorts to fit me before the trip (you try finding size 16 boardies in March... a very difficult task!!), and once we were there, I was the diver struggling to keep up with the group, having trouble lifting and carrying my gear to the boat, always being the first to get short of breath and run low on air.  I became aware of how uncomfortable I was with my body.

Upon returning from our trip, I was in the middle of a motivation surge, so I really did start running, and actually decided to join the gym with my good friend from work Krystal.  Even looking back now its so funny that we joined.  I actually just wanted somewhere I could train for the Run for Reason that involved air conditioning and not getting rained on, and somehow I convinced Krystal to come along to the gym's 7 days for $7 deal to "try it out".  But we fell in love with the classes, in particular BodyPump, and how sore it made us the next day, and we loved our time on the treadmill too, who knew 45min on the treadmill flew by so fast when you had a friend to chat with? I guarantee I wouldn't have made the progress I have if it wasn't for Krystal being my workout buddy! It so much easier to go when you have someone to go with, and to keep you both accountable.

Halfway point... With my lovely workout buddy Krystal
But after losing 17kg, and feeling amazing, I started to plateau... Just as I'd realised the initial 13kg that was recommended to me was not going to cut it! And I was so bored with what I was eating, I could feel myself slipping, I just could not face another Coke Zero and frozen weight watchers meal for lunch.  Surely there was a better way?

17kg down and feeling great!
This is when I discovered "clean eating", the 'revolution' that seems to be sweeping instagram, even though it is actually really simple.  But for me, to have those boundaries of 'this will nourish your body and aid your workouts' compared to 'this might be the same caloric value, but not the same nutritional goodness', opened my eyes to what I was really putting in my body.

The last 4kg have been lost via clean eating, and even though it sounds like a small portion of my weightloss, it's what has made the biggest difference in the appearance of my body. Once I was actually eating to properly support all the hardwork I was doing at the gym, I went from feeling great to feeling amazing!

So now its time to really get my workouts into shape, and that is the main reason I have joined Michelle Bridge's 12WBT.  I pretty much know what I should be eating (although the ready done meal plans and new recipes are definitely an aspect I am looking forward to during the 12wbt! It will save me so much planning!), but I am kind of guessing about what I do at the gym.  I pick out pieces of BodyPump that I like and replicate it, I use the machines I know how to use (which is most of them), but I get lost with core workouts a little bit (mostly because of the lack of machines), and I'm kind of just hoping for results rather than doing workouts I know will get me the results I want.

And here we are, about to start the next chapter in my story.  I am planning to follow the 'Lean and Strong' program with Mish, which focuses primarily on weight and strength training, and just one cardio day per week.  The results I'm looking to achieve will be a noticeable difference in overall strength and the look of my body (lower bodyfat percentage, and a tighter more toned look), and to really amp up my core strength.  Not just my abs, but also my back, which I have found (the hard way) is suspeptible to injury.

Michelle Bridges - My New Trainer!
I hope when you look at these pictures and read my story they inspire you, wherever you are in your fitness journey. Even though I know I'm not at the "end" of mine,  I do know I have made changes that will stay with me for life, and my body will continue to progress. If I can do it, anyone can do it! Stay strong! Think of the results you'll be looking at this time next year! And then smashhh it!


  1. I have thorougly enjoyed reading about your journey. In fact I am going to go read it again.

    Cass @

  2. i love ready about your journey, it's so inspiring! keep it up xx

  3. Hey Alicia, Bec Houlden sent me the link to your blog and I think it's fantastic! :) I have been on a very long weight loss journey myself (almost 2 years now) and related to so many things you said in this post. I've completely slacked off and although I still have around 5kg to lose, I'm struggling to find motivation! So I'll be watching your journey, drawing inspiration from you and cheering you on :) the 12WBT is great if you stick to it (which I didn't when I tried it, haha) so I wish you all the success in the world!

    1. Wow thanks Nadia :) I think we all waiver with our motivation from time to time, but what I try to do is when I'm feeling really motivated, is harness it, and use it to its full advantage! But also try to identify where it came from, so I can replicate it when I feel myself flailing! Good luck xx