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While I was stuck in Blahland last week I thought long and hard about what to do with myself to get out of the blahs.  I figured I needed a bit of help to re-focus and get my head back in the right space.  But as I am moving towns in a few weeks and we’ll soon be entering the Christmas season (gasp!  Already?), life is just a bit too up in the air for me to commit to any kind of fitness class or to see a nutritionist about why my baby weight just won’t budge.

A few bloggers I follow have done Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation programmes and have had some great results.  My Aussie readers will probably be quite familiar with her.  I’ve never seen it but she’s a trainer on the Australian version of The Biggest Loser.  I only know her through her fitness articles that appear on a New Zealand media site and she’s always come across as a ‘straight up’, practical sort of person to me.

I vacillated about whether to sign up or not – mostly because there’s lots of people out there who talk about signing up to do ‘another round because they’ve put on a few kilos since they did the last round’ – which says to me that the programme just isn’t sustainable.

But then I thought ‘well, what do I really need right now?‘  My motivation levels aren’t that bad.  I’m still running.  I do it by myself without any help except for the odd time D threatens to tickle me out of bed when I’m tempted to hit the snooze button (I am extremely ticklish…).  I’m still eating sugar-free, and that just feels like normal life now.

I decided I needed:

  • to up my current level of fitness
  • tweak my diet to see if I can shed that weight
  • to connect with others for encouragement and accountability
  • to make it through moving/the silly season

My best friend R has been seeing a great nutritionist in her home town (close to where we are moving to), and I have been very impressed with the advice and holistic approach he has given to R.  It’s sensible.  Sustainable.  Achievable.  (Plus R looks fabulous and is feeling vibrant and healthy.)  D and I plan to see him ourselves in the new year, when all the moving dust has settled.  But the new year is still several weeks away and I need something now

So I signed up for the 12WBT.

The round starts on 11 November.  I’m doing the 10k running programme which is not the slightest bit startling as I was doing a 5 to 10k running programme anyway.  But I’ve already connected with an incredibly nice bunch of people and am looking forward to the round getting underway soon.

I’m not 100% sure as I haven’t got the meal plans yet, but I think Michelle Bridges does advocate using some low-fat food.  If that’s the case, there’s no way I will be following the plans to the letter as I am a diehard ‘wholefooder’.  I’ll just substitute low fat for full fat, thank you very much.  Anyway, it’s the fitness training aspect that I am most interested in.

One of the things I like about Michelle is that she’s a firm believer that your mindset is crucial to making long-lasting changes.  To her, hearing people say ‘I’m too busy to exercise’ is like someone saying ‘I’m too busy to brush my teeth’.   She reckons exercising should be no big deal – just part of your daily routine.

Part of the programme gives the participants tasks to help change their thoughts about themselves, about food and nutrition, and about exercise.  The first task was great.  You really had to take a hard look at yourself and dig deep.   One of things I had to do was list all the excuses I use not to exercise, like ‘I’m too tired’, ‘People might make fun of me’, ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘It’s raining’.  Boy, I use that first excuse a lot!  Michelle is all about setting yourself up for success to overcome all your excuses.

Somethings I do already so I have fewer excuses that stop me from running are to lay my clothes out the night before, and to run first thing in the morning.  I’ve tried exercising at other times of the day, but something almost always came up.  A meeting would run over time, or I’d simply feel too tired.  At least in the morning I get up, run, and it’s over and done with.  But looking at my number one complaint of being ‘too tired’ made me realise that I really, really need to make sure I go to bed earlier than I have been.

I am someone who needs at least eight hours of sleep.  At least.  In fact, more is better.  Some people can function on five or six hours a night and seem to cope okay.  I am not one of them.  Tiredness very quickly reduces me to a teary, irritable, bitchy mess.  And many days when my alarm has gone off I haven’t had enough sleep because D and I have gone to bed just too darned late.

My solution to my I’m-too-tired-to-go-running excuse is to get my IT guru husband D to put something on my computer that shuts it off at 9pm so I am in bed by 9:30pm and not catching up on Facebook or reading terribly important lifehacks on Buzzfeed.  Yes.  My bedtime will officially make me a Nana.  But I will be a fit Nana 🙂

Wish me luck!

Have you ever done the 12WBT?  Do you know anyone who has?