Why I’m finishing 12WBT early

When I decided to do the 12WBT, one thing I was determined not to become was an overt Michelle Bridges fangirl.

How do you know if someone does crossfit… they tell you

How do you know if someone does paleo… they tell you

How do you know if someone’s on 12WBT… they tell you

(It’s funny cause it’s true; am I right?)

And while I have been more open about being on the 12WBT than I have any other attempt of Healthy Lifestyle Choices, I haven’t been singing about 12WBT from the rooftops. I chose not to blog about it regularly (rather, going old school and journalling instead), I haven’t excessively tweeted/instagrammed/facebooked any fitspo. I’ve stuck to the odd panic/whine/brag and only telling those around me who needed to know what I was doing.

I signed up for the 12WBT that started in November last year. I’m up to the middle of week ten and that’s where I’m going to stop.

I’m not stopping because I’m giving up. I’m stopping because being on the 12WBT has transformed me and my ability to make healthy choices. Choices that are long-term and (I hope) aren’t locked in to me being signed up. (Except for the recipes. I wanna stay for the recipes.)

At weigh-in before the official start of the 12WBT, I was the heaviest I’d ever been. But I was also the most accepting of my body…ever. I hate the term self-love, but yeah, it was self-love. It was a weird place to be mentally, but it was the place I needed to be to really kick ass for a Proper Healthy Lifestyle Change. For reals. My healthy decisions weren’t being  based on a feeling of self-hate, rather a need to be my best self. And for me, the best Rah is a healthier Rah. It took a lot of therapy and breakdowns and sooking to get me to that place, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without it. Without a healthy mind, I couldn’t get a healthy lifestyle.

For the first four weeks of the 12WBT, I was on permanent high alert. Anything food related suddenly became a source of anxiety; eating out, eating in, eating at work, in front of other people, making food, eating food made by others. I made myself into a wreck worrying about what other people would think and not wanting to take responsibility for my commitment (the horror!). I was an awful person to be around (let alone live with) and I’m surprised no one staged an intervention, How I Met Your Mother-style. I’ve been so so lucky to have an incredibly solid circle of supporters around me through the worst bits. The comforting shoulders, texts, calls, emails, taps on the shoulder, hard stares…I’m not normally one to ask/take support (the stubborn Rah that I am), but I learned that I needed to ask/take and no amount of thank-yous will be enough payback.

It’s been… interesting, I guess, to see how some people have dealt with my being on the 12WBT though. Besides the odd snide comment in the beginning, everyone has been super supportive and celebrated the milestones with me. But for all the support, I can tell that some have struggled with my change. Because they’ve recognised that I’m doing Something Big, that things are different for me now and they’re not entirely sure how to deal with it. No one has said such to me or acted out, but I can see that some have been confused, unsure, even offended. It shows in their their manner; the hesitation of their hand, the flick of their eye or pause in their speech. I don’t blame them! I mean, I’m a different person since starting the 12WBT and it would have been stupid for me to think the people I see most often would be able to take it in their stride.

My goal for the 12WBT was to lose eight kilos. I’ve lost a total of nine kilos so far and that’s about 30% of my overall goal over the next two years. The majority of those nine kilos was because of eating well. I stuck to the first five days of the exercise routine, and that’s it. I never even did one of Michelle’s infamous Super Saturday Sessions (they look AWFUL). I chose instead to exercise at intervals that have suited based on work, Christmas, holidays, moods, whatever. I did 12WBT workouts in the local part at 5am, I did laps at the pool on my way home from work, I ran intervals up and down the damn hills of Hobart while on Christmas holiday and I even started at a bloody roller skating gym, of all things. More important than the exercise was that I learned portion control, healthy alternatives and true calorie counting. All things I “knew” beforehand, but refused to comprehend properly. I totally get it now. I also learned that I won’t die if I don’t eat all the things. As someone who hates to offend food by saying no… yeah, this was a biggie.

The big things that clinched this program for me though:

  • Being psychologically ready and coming from a place of mindfulness rather than self-hate

  • Having a friend on the program with me

  • The recipes you get are amazing, I’ve almost gone through a whole ream of paper running them off and adding them to my recipe folder. Even Dan rates them, and he’s a foodie

  • Michelle’s videos every Wednesday and Sunday are the right amount of ass-kicking, kindness and inspiration. And the video topics timed in perfectly to how I was feeling at that stage of the program.

i’m a tad scared of the 12WBT finishing, of losing that structure, the end of the motivational videos from Michelle… but I’m less afraid of finishing than I was of starting. If that’s not an indicator of how much 12WBT has changed me, then I dunno what is.

By Rah Gardiner

2 comments

  1. Diana Moor   •  

    Wow – awesome progress! Well done. You are an inspiration!! X

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