What a difference a year can make! In 12 months Bella lost 41 kilos through the 12 Week Body Transformation. An entrepreneur and married mum with two small children, Bella writes about her 12WBT experience on her blog. She spoke to us about how the 12WBT transformed her body and her life and how blogging has helped her reach her goals.
Bella, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am 30. I live in Tasmania and I am married with two kids —
one’s 5 and one’s 18 months old. I am an entrepreneur and until June 2011 I owned a chain of real estate agencies that I had built up over three years.
Basically you started a business and had kids around the same time. So your life in the last few years has been pretty hectic?
Pre-12WBT, how high on your priority list was exercising and looking after yourself?
I just didn’t give it any thought. It just wasn’t something that I referred to. As a working mum you tend to put everything else first and my weight just kept creeping up. I knew I wasn’t eating as well as I should but I kept thinking that eating well takes far more time than I had. I had in my head that I was too busy to eat well.
It sounds like you had done other weight loss programs in the past and hadn’t had much success?
Yeah I used to be a big fan of finding any crash diet that would promise to just take weight off me really quickly. So I had done a high-protein diet with moderate success for my wedding. And I had lost weight but it had bounced right back on.
What led you to the 12WBT?
I found it randomly on Facebook after a few of my friends had ‘liked’ the program. It kept popping up in my newsfeed and I was someone who was feeling miserable and 112 kilos I couldn’t help but see it. One night I was home alone and just clicked on the website.
So you signed up for the first time in 2011. How much weight did you lose in your first Round of 12WBT?
About 15 kilos.
You write about your 12WBT experience on your blog and won the award for Blogger of the Round at the Round 3 2012 Finale. When did you decide to start blogging about the program?
It occurred to me that so much about 12WBT is about the mindset and that was the thing that really sets the program apart. With the first Rounds of 12WBT that I did I had done a lot of work on my diet and with my exercise but I wasn’t addressing some of the mindset issues. As I started the blog I was going through a really difficult time with my work, I owned a chain of real estate agencies and lost them. It was one of the situations that in the past I would have felt my health and nutrition would be too much to deal with alongside what was going on at work.
Previously I would have just put 12WBT on the backburner and given myself some free reign. But I was like “No, I need to write this down” and that is how I have always kind of processed emotion.
Before your blog had all your writing been private?
Yeah and when I started the blog I didn’t think anyone would ever read it! I think one of my first posts says “I don’t know that anyone will read this and I don’t know if I want them to!” I never expected the blog to get the attention that it did. But I just try to be as honest as I can with what I am doing and as long as people understand that my story isn’t straightforward either. I have days where I stuff up too.
How has blogging help you achieved your goals?
When you make things concrete and put them in writing it gives the idea weight. You have to live up to things. It is about accountability. I had a fairly slack start to Round 4 2012 and I had to put it on the blog, I said “You know what? My mindset isn’t there at the beginning of this round. But I am picking myself up and this is the way I am doing it.” Then it is out there and I have 500 or so people a day reading it so I don’t want to have to log back in next time and say “You know what? I am still eating crap food this week.’
I think once you put it out there you are kind of forced to consider your choices. Like if you are thinking of making a bad decision you go “Nope, I have made a commitment to myself and to other people, I have said it out loud and this is the way it is going to be.” It helps that way.
The 12 Week Body Transformation isn’t just about weight loss, there are lots of other benefits that members say they gain from the program. What are your thoughts on that?
I completely agree. The weight loss has been a real side effect of changing my life. So 12 months ago I was 41 kilos heavier but I was also lacking the confidence and energy to be the wife and mother that I wanted to be.
The emotional strength that came with the 12WBT program has been amazing and with that I feel I have become a better mum, a better wife and moved towards being the type of person that I want to be.
I am building on that everyday. I have been looking at training as a personal trainer and would like to do some lifestyle coaching with people who are overweight to help look at changing their lives rather than changing their weight.
What was your lifestyle like pre-12WBT? What would you have done on a weekend for example and what does a weekend look like now?
Being as overweight as I was I think you find yourself hiding from life. Now every weekend is an opportunity to grab the kids and go find something exciting to do and that’s probably one of my favourite changes that my family have made.
In the past on weekends I would take the kids on a breakfast date to McDonalds and then we would just kind of slop around. I would download a movie and and that would be about as active as it got.
These days, through the 12WBT, my whole family eats healthily, that is one thing that is quite important to me, our nutrition as a family, not for weight loss but for health benefits.
We quite regularly do big cook ups of healthy meals and my husband and I love taking the kids out and about. Tasmania where I live is amazing for outdoor activities so we can go to the beach or we have got mountains within a 25 minute drive of us, beautiful, beautiful scenic mountains. So we try and do something like that every weekend and just hang out and enjoy it.
This is your fourth 12WBT Round you have progressed through the program from a Beginner and to the Intermediate to the Advanced Lean and Fit and now Advanced Lean and Strong programs. What’s your goal now?
Now I have lost the weight I have fitness goals. I started training with a body building coach in Round 3 2012 and I have just loved the difference that weight training has made to my body in a short amount of time. Now I have lost the weight it is about shaping the body that I want!
Thanks Bella for sharing your story!
Sign up for the next Round of the 12 Week Body Transformation and make 2013 your year to achieve your health and fitness goals!