Bella before her first 12WBT Round, left, and, a year later and 41 kilos lighter, right.
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.
Bella before she signed up for the 12 Week Body Transformation.
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.
Bella at the Round 3 2011 finale party, left, and at the Round 3 2012 party, right.
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!
Good on you Sailor Vee, you have done so well and inspired me to make this round work for me. I lost weight in the first round but have just stagnated since then. Still doing a fair bit of exercising but being a bit sloppy with my diet and alcohol. I have made a commitment to get down to 65 kg by 1st August.
I cant wait. !! Thanks all you inspiring ladies, cheryl
Thanks guys. Yes – I’ve achieved more now not just in my health and fitness but in my personal development that I could never have imagined before. And I just keep setting myself bigger and better goals!!
Well Bella, you’ve done it…..I bet there was a day in your not too distant past when you, just like a lot of us now, were asking yourself “is it even possible”.
Thank you for showing us that “IT IS”.
Big Big Congratulations…
You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story…
I have just signed up to the 12WBT and need to weigh in for the first time and really do not want to do this. Very difficult for me.
fantastic, and what amazing transformation you have had Bella, well done.
You’re an inspiration Bella! Thanks for sharing.
[…] Holy Crap! Example 1 (Bella’s story) […]
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Hi Guys, thanks for your lovely comments and I’m sorry I hadn’t seen them until now to reply! If you ever want to find me quickly, pop a comment on my blog on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sailorveeblog) as I get notifications here and can get back to you faster 🙂
With excess skin, I’ve been fairly lucky and it’s only my lower abdomen that is pretty loose, and even that is improving. The advice I’ve had it that a lot of it is genetics but that everyone will experience improvement over time if you remain stable at your new lower weight, drink a lot of water each day and eat a nutritious and well balanced diet to give your body the building blocks for repair. I’ve been told that most reputable surgeons won’t remove excess skin until you’ve been stable at your new lower weight for 2 years as maximum improvement isn’t seen until this time. Mine won’t need surgery and even if it stayed exactly as it is, I’m fine with it. I’ll take a bit a tummy slack over ‘old tummy’ any day.
Julie – burn out from over exercising is a killer! At various times I’ve worked super hard and done double sessions and found that it made the whole experience so much harder for very little reward. I love to train, but I balance it in my life much better now.
Jess – Just do it. I could never have imagined at 112kg that I’d be browsing online for ‘posing suits’ for fitness model competitions. Just CRAZY. I don’t know that I want to compete, but am pretty keen to train to that level of fitness. Set yourself big goals and then just slowly plug away and you’ll get there.
Wow!! Congrats what an inspiration you are.
I too wondered what about the excess skin, I am finding this an issue and I still have a few kg’s to go.
Well done Bella you look great. I am hoping to get the effect you have reached. I am 60 but I am going to give it me best. Exercise is a little issue Arthristis is a issue and very weak bones so all the more to get myself going. Well done to you and all the other ladies.
Congratulations firstly on your major transformation! You look great. I too did Round 3 2012, losing 10kg, I was happy with that, and all over Chrissy have only gained .5kg. Weighing in now at 77.5kg, I am contemplating doing round 1, 2013, to lose another 6kg. In my first round I exercised like a demon, I was already a gym junkie, but I camped it up to training twice a day. All I felt was lethargic and burnt out. I didnt seem to drop any bigger numbers by doing it, until I concentrated on the eating and only exercised once a day. So it definitely proves that nutrition is 80% + that gives you your results. I annoy speak highly enough of the 12 WBT it’s the best thing you will invest your money into! Julie
How did you deal with the loose skin…… Im 35 kg down so far and find its my biggest issue.
Congrats to you for your results, they are inspiring.
I am really envious. I have battled with my weight for more than a decade. It goes up and down along side my personal life. I was on track last year and was 10 kgs away from my goal. A personal setback pre-occupied my mind and emotions and I find myself now needing to lose 20 kgs (not 10). I have slowly started to get the motivation back but like you said, if there is no accountability you can’t make change.
One day I would love to be fit enough to progress to body sculpting, a dream I feel is so unattainable, just to be fit and healthy would be great, so thanks for sharing.
This is a great article, your have done an amazing job Bella. xx
Well done Bella. It takes a great of deal of strength and determination to do what you have done! Be proud of your achievement. I lost 64 kgs in approx 14 months and I’ve kept it off for 2 years now. Keep up the good work – seeing other people achieve such change in themselves motivates me to keep fit and healthy as it reminds me where I’ve come from. Enjoy your new found confidence and continue to get the most of out life – you deserve it.
Best wishes, Jan Esquilant
I love reading your blog from time to time Sailor Vee…….congratulations on your amazing transformation and your clever play on words!! I also have a reply for Maureen. I see a trainer as I can’t do some of the exercises in the program. I do everything that he prescribes for the week and I’m making progress in strength and fitness…………..without a single burpee YAY . You will find what suits you. Wishing you all the best for the program.
Well done Bella. I hope I can stick at it all – I tend to change direction all the time! Gee, your photos do you proud. Awesome effort.
Maureen, above, I have heard that exercise is really really good for arthritis. Strength training will do you wonders. My mum is 70 and she does weights twice a week. She says she feels so much stronger and her pain is gone. Hope that helps. Lou
Well done Bella – I’m impressed. I would like to lose weight – about 10kg – but at 65 (and with arthritis making my joints hurt) I think I won’t be able to do the exercises! How much time each day did you have to put in to this. I too have tried the high-protein diet – the ‘proper combining’ diet and try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day – but it doesn’t work and I get so discouraged.