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5 12WBTer’s Share What They Wish They Knew On Day 1 Of Their Weight Loss Journey

For many, losing weight requires more than just cutting back on calories and committing to more exercise. It comes down to changing your habits, your mindset and your way of living. And not just for the duration of your weight loss program (12 weeks, for example) but for life. Long-term weight loss relies on sustainable changes that you actually want to make, and make forever. These 5 women experienced the ups and downs of a weight loss journey and lifestyle overhaul, each of them discovering things they wished they’d known on day 1. So let’s hear their stories!

Alison Elland

weight loss journey

Being on day 134799269043 (approximately ) of my weight loss journey, there are things I wish I knew on day 1 (and even still struggle to wrap my head around). Firstly, it’s not all or nothing. If you stuff up 1 meal then all is not lost, it’s ok to fall sometimes. Get back up ASAP instead of waiting until Monday to begin. Whilst, it’s great to have support (friends/family), that support will wane a little as time goes on. You need to be able to rely on yourself to keep going. And you must shake off any unhelpful comments, such as “oh, 1 piece won’t hurt”, or “don’t you think you’ve lost enough weight”. It’s your journey, not theirs. And of course, it’s hard. It’s so bloody hard. There will be times you feel like a queen. But there will also be times you can barely get your butt off the couch to workout or get into the kitchen to cook a good meal. And then the scale – oh, the scale. It is the biggest jerk you’ll ever meet. It’ll treat you nicely in the beginning, telling you you’ve lost kgs. But then it’ll turn its back on you & tell you you’ve gained weight. This is why it’s so important to set your goals around how you feel, instead of a goal number on a scale. Pick a dress size/an item of clothing that’s a bit snug to fit into at week 4, 8 or 12, or aim to improve your fitness score.”

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Do not adopt the eating habits of a partner or family member! You have to do what’s right for you and your health and body. We’re all different and the way one person eats may have a different effect on another. It’s time to reign it in!” 

Tarree Edwards

weight loss journey

“It is all in the organisation! I wish I’d known this when I started out years ago, that it is actually super easy when you are organised. I found it so much easier when my meals were all ready for me and I had planned my week around my workouts.

It took me a long time to be comfortable with ‘dropping the ball’ and not feeling guilty. I used to feel guilty over the smallest slip up like a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine. Now I know that it is all about being consistent to see results with my body and my fitness levels. One salad doesn’t make you healthy and one piece of chocolate doesn’t make you unhealthy. It is all about being consistent and mindful of what I eat every day.

I spent a lot of my early twenties being uncomfortable and not taking responsibility for my unhealthy choices. It really felt like I started living when I found this program. I started seeing the changes in my body and really seeing what my body is actually capable of! I run, I ride a bike, I hike mountains and I ski in winter and my body is strong and fit to do all of these things that I love now!”

Who has been the biggest supporter of your journey to better health and fitness, and how have they supported you?

“My partner is my biggest supporter! He is always encouraging, in every aspect of my life. If I’m feeling disheartened by a lack of ‘progress’ he will always remind me of how far I have come and how proud he is of me. We have our 12WBT breakfasts and dinners together every day and I receive a pic of how much he loves his 12WBT lunch at work. Even if it is the same thing for the whole week! He comes to the gym with me nearly every time and will help me pick our new meals. I am truly grateful for him and his never-ending support.”

Shayna Fernando

weight loss journey

“I wish I knew when I started, that I could do it! That it WAS possible. That even though I couldn’t find anyone else as big as I was, trying to do what I wanted to, that didn’t mean that I couldn’t be that person. Until recently, I spent more time doubting than believing in myself. More time judging than encouraging and acknowledging my progress. I just wish I’d known that I could do it! You don’t need to be the fastest, or the strongest, or the best at all the things on all the days. You just have to choose to try. And keep choosing. Because you are the only person who understands why you want this. What you’ve been through, what you dream of… and it’s possible! Not every day will be perfect, but as long as you keep choosing to change things, you’ll get there.”

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

“You are different! And that’s okay. ‘It’s in your genes’ they said. ‘You’re just like your mum’. It’s not true. Just because it’s all you know now, doesn’t mean it always has to be that way! It’s okay to try new foods, to move your body instead of watching a movie, to choose a healthier future for yourself, without carrying blame or resentment for the ones you’re choosing away from. Not everyone will believe in you. But it doesn’t matter. As long as you believe in yourself! You’ve got this!!”

Sharon Hood

weight loss journey

“At the start of my weight loss journey, the 1 thing I wish I knew was that you don’t have to be perfect. Consistency is the key. If you miss a day or two of exercise it doesn’t mean you have failed.  Just start again the next day.  Same with your diet. If you don’t meet your meal plan 100%, don’t give up. If you view it as a long term lifestyle change, rather than a ‘diet’, it’s easier to forgive yourself for ‘inconsistencies.’ Of course, being organised is key to staying consistent as much as possible (this is something I still haven’t really succeeded at, but I keep trying!) So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate all of the achievements you reach, no matter how big or small. Enjoy feeling good! Look after yourself, and put yourself first. It’s not being selfish, it will benefit you in the long term.”

Who has been the biggest supporter of your journey to better health and fitness, and how have they supported you? 

“My biggest supporters would be my partner Paul  and my 17-year-old son. When we all work out together with goals to get healthier, it does make the weight loss journey easier. Paul will eat whatever 12WBT food I decide. My son is fit and very encouraging. They both push me to go to boot camp when I am trying to find an excuse.  They also compliment me when I am toning up! Compliments go a long way!”

Lisa Fowler

weight loss journey

“It is called a journey for a reason, this I know now. You don’t get to the final dream weight and look down and magically look like a model in a magazine and all of life’s troubles disappear. Seriously! There will still be bits you wish you could change. But hopefully, you will feel better about YOU. You’ll have increased energy, you’ll love the new recipes you can make, and you’ll have a greater confidence in what your body can do.

Enjoy the whole experience and remember where you started. Appreciate the ups and downs of the weight loss journey and don’t just focus on the numbers on the scale. NSV (non-scale victories) will be your best friend. These are really important. If you have a pair of jeans or a dress or anything that doesn’t quite fit, use that as a measure of how your weight loss is going rather than just the scales. Take a photo at the beginning (you will be so glad you did!). Then 12 weeks later, 24 weeks later, 36 weeks later, you will be so excited to see how far you have come.

Also, planning is KEY. It is how you lose weight. I wish I could have learnt this earlier in life. Take a little bit of time out of your week to look at the meal plan and also look at your week ahead. Do you have dinners with friends, work lunches or birthday parties? Can you look at the menu for the restaurant ahead of time? Can you drink a vodka/soda instead of beer? What is your plan of attack on the lollies and cake? I find that doing a big cook up on the weekend and stocking the freezer, always carrying snacks (my work drawer is like a kitchen pantry!) and carrying a water bottle really helps. If you get home from work late and don’t have the energy to cook, you will be so grateful to have a freezer stash of food to heat up!

There will, of course, be bumps in the weight loss road. Parties, Christmas, birthdays or just random Saturdays where you want dessert or have more wine than you expected. That is absolutely fine because life happens. Tomorrow is a new day, start over and don’t stress. Those few hours are not going to stop you from reaching your goal.”

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

“People post shiny photos on social media of their perfect runs and workouts and food. And before that, they were talking about their victories over coffee or you’d see an ad on TV. Rarely, do people address their failures. They also never show their injuries, or how difficult burpees are (why do we do this to ourselves!) or show pictures of last night’s take away because they couldn’t be bothered making dinner. So I would say don’t compare yourself to other people’s achievements or what they’re putting out into the world. We are all at different stages of our weight loss journey, and you are doing amazingly!! Comparison is the thief of joy is one of my favourite sayings.”

Thank you to our wonderful 12WBTer’s for sharing their journey’s with us in this blog piece. We hope some of what they’ve written has resonated with you, motivated you, or given pause for thought. There’s nothing quite like hearing it from the those who’ve come before! To learn more about the 12WBT and discover a nutrition, fitness and mindset plan that works for you, visit us at 12wbt.com. Or head to our blog homepage for more free information, inspiration or a recipe or two 🙂 

Isabella Dugan
Isabella is the most recent addition to our 12WBT Support Crew, joining the team as our self-confessed writing and publishing nerd. There's nothing she won't learn and write about, in the hopes of educating, inspiring and challenging our member's mindset and their expectations. Isabella is an avid runner and has been playing team sports since the age of 4 (!) and has been cooking and loving food since the age of 14 when she switched to a vegetarian diet (now vegan). So if you're in the market for a showstopping scrambled tofu recipe, hit her up.

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