Having spent a large portion of 2004 travelling for work, followed by an extremely indulgent Christmas and holiday season, my weight had ballooned to the highest ever. My body fat was 25%!! I had never felt so ashamed of myself, or so out of control.
My problems have always been with food. I have always been pretty active, but had formed a bad habit in hotel rooms of sitting around and eating and drinking (out of stress and boredom). Unfortunately those lazy habits followed me home! Food and alcohol were my comforters, my naughty little indulgence to be enjoyed alone and in copious quantities. Ironically thought, the pleasure of eating it was short-lived, and then I would spend some time beating myself up about what or how much I’d eaten, making me even more miserable.
Another factor that woke me up and made me take a good look at myself was the fact that all of my clothes had become disgracefully tight, especially in the hips, butt and thighs my problem areas. It was either buy a whole new wardrobe, or do something about it.
I had attempted a couple of 12-week challenges in the past, never :officially entering, and none of them ever getting further than half way. I’d always start strong, make a few blunders and then think “Oh what the heck” and throw in the towel. This time was going to be different; I contacted Sue and enlisted her help, then I actually entered the ideal Bodies Online challenge and sent my photos in.
Sue’s encouragement, in addition to the success stories I had seen on her Internet site fuelled my determination. I was so excited! I couldn’t sleep the first night because I knew I was embarking on a journey, I could feel that things were going to start happening… finally!
After a few weeks of following a healthy eating plan and training hard, I had already dropped 5% body fat! It inspired me to keep going, and each time I lost a centimetre or half a kilogram here or there, it spurred me on, each and every week.
I used protein powders every day; in fact one of my favourite meals is now breakfast of oats, protein powder and a little diet jam. Protein powder mixed with water was a quick and easy way to get my protein levels up, great for when you’re really busy at work, it only takes a few seconds to mix and drink!
I also combined the protein powder with Hydroxycut for the first 8 weeks. I believe this supplement helped by giving me an energy boost before my workouts. After 8 weeks I felt confident enough to continue the rest of the programme without the Hydroxycut, as I had already lost weight and was feeling great, I didn’t need the extra energy!
My major obstacle was still my eating behaviours – I had to get them under control. With the help of Sue and Rae, I learned how to eat smarter. I had been used to eating 5 small meals a day, but I was eating the wrong kinds of foods, then snacking on all the bad stuff in the afternoons. My new plan comprised of lots of fresh vegetables, lean protein, fruit, oats, rice and lots of water. After an initial struggle, I started loving the new meals I was eating. Whenever I did have a ‘cheat’ meal and pig out occasionally, it would make me feel sick, and I’d wish that I’d stuck to the good wholesome food instead!
I still have to travel for work; so another problem for me was overcoming the temptations of restaurant dinners. I had to stay even more focussed to get through. Training is also a problem for you when you are away from home, but where there’s a will there’s a way, I would find a local gym and get there whenever I could – sometimes I had to get up at 4.30am just to get my workouts done! However, without the guidance of Rae, and the love and support of my boyfriend, things would have blown completely out of control.
Ironically, at the end of 12 weeks I am again faced with the problem that none of my clothes fit me – but this time they are baggy on me. So of course I had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe anyway, just a smaller one!
I have lost 8 kg’s and am now 16.3% body fat. I am determined to continue on this path, this is only the beginning! I feel so good about myself and have found such inner strength within me, and I never knew it was there. I started this challenge wanting to change what was on the outside, but in the end it has also deeply affected me on the inside, and I come away from this feeling stronger, fitter, healthier and happier than ever!!
Hilary’s Tips for success
- Get yourself a trainer or an on-line trainer – I could not have done this without Sue and Rae’s expert advice and constant support.
- Plan the week ahead, both meals and exercise
- Visualise your ideal body whilst you are working out – imagine what you are going to look like in that bikini at the end of 12 weeks – believe in yourself that you can do it!
- Buy fitness magazines and read other peoples’success stories – they really helped me with my motivation
Hilary’s Favourite Recipe – Strawberry Protein Porridge!
I had this for breakfast every day for the entire 12 weeks – I love it! I am still having it every day, and have not got sick of it yet!
- ½ cup of Quick Oats
- Serve of protein powder
- Sprinkle of Splenda
- 1 Tablespoon of Diet Strawberry Jam
- ¾ cup of water (Add more water if a thinner porridge is preferred – I like it thick and gluggy!!)
Add oats, Splenda and water to a bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds. Stir through protein powder and diet jam. Microwave for a further 60 seconds. Enjoy!
You can read Hilary’s story in an article of Women’s Fitness & Health Magazine here
Copyright 2005 IDEAL BODIES ONLINE.