A health scare made Leanne realise she had to do something about her weight. A twist of Facebook fate led her to the 12 Week Body Transformation and to changing her life.
Less than two years ago, Darwin-based Leanne, now 38, drove herself to hospital with terrible chest pains. Lying in the emergency ward and strapped to an ECG machine, she was scared – she thought she was going to die. That was the moment she made a promise to herself to change her life and take care of her body.
Leanne at her starting weight, shortly before 12WBT
Her chest pains turned out to be acid reflux, but their cause – her poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption – meant she was also dangerously overweight and, until the moment of her scare, in denial about her health.
“I’d avoided the scales and clothes shopping whenever possible, so for a long time I had no idea what size or weight I even was,” Leanne recalls.
Leanne at her heaviest back in November 2011.
Twist of Fate
It was a world away from her youth. Leanne had been an active child and, from the age of 17, worked as a jillaroo on a cattle station in Western Australia. She was fit and slim because of all the physical work, so it wasn’t until she quit jillarooing and switched to an office job that her weight issues began.
“I had no idea about nutrition and still ate the same as when I was really active,” she explains. What followed next was 20 years of dangerous (and ineffective) yo-yo dieting, until a twist of fate led her to the 12 Week Body Transformation. A friend ‘liked’ 12WBT on Facebook and a curious Leanne decided to take a look around the website.
“I procrastinated about signing up because I didn’t think it would work,” she admits. “But I knew I needed to try, because what I was doing on my own just wasn’t working, and I liked what the program offered.”
A Fresh Start
Leanne in Woman’s Day after 12WBT.
It turns out that signing up to 12WBT was definitely the right choice – Leanne lost 24kg in her first twelve weeks. She says the Pre-Season tasks were instrumental in getting her prepared and the meal plans were a “godsend”. And the most helpful tool? Michelle Bridges’ weekly mindset videos.
“Michelle’s been doing this a long time and has heard every excuse under the sun,” Leanne explains. “Week after week, the videos triggered massive light bulb moments for me,” she says.
Leanne has since completed a further four rounds of 12WBT, but it was those first twelve weeks that set her up for good. “I knew I had made a change for life,” she says, recalling how she felt after the first Round. “I was absolutely on top of the world and felt so empowered, with the tools and confidence in my own ability to keep on going.”
Fitter and Stronger
Just before the 12WBT fashion parade in 2012 at the Sydney group workout.
And go on she did. Leanne now weighs 68kg and is fitter and stronger than she’s ever been in her life. A former Coca Cola addict who drank several cans a day, she’s not touched a single drop since signing up to 12WBT in 2011. She’s maintained her weight loss for more than a year and is training for Blood, Sweat & Fears (a Tough Mudder-style event near Darwin) and the Northern Territory City 2 Surf.
It all adds up to a Leanne who is active, positive and motivated to live life to the fullest. “I’m excited about what the future holds for me now. I held back from so many things for so long because I used my weight as an excuse,” she says. “I’ve changed the words in my head from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’!’”
Words of advice from Leanne to 12WBTers past, present and future!
- Be Consistent
Out of all the things I have learnt this is the most important: to lose weight and get fit you need to be consistent. Consistency is what gets me out of bed in the morning and off to the gym. Consistency is what gets me taking my lunch every day to work, when everyone around me heads down to a shop for takeaway food, or gets stuck into the charity chocolate box.
- Losing Weight and Getting Fit is NOT a Race or a Competition
There is always going to be somebody who loses more weight than you. There is always going to be someone who can do more sit ups or push ups than you. There’ll always be someone who can run faster, or jump higher, or has better muscle definition, or looks better in their after pictures than you do.Others may even feel they have to compete with you, and may even use your success as an excuse or a reason why they feel they can’t achieve their own goals.
Remember you are doing this for yourself, and for your life. You are the most important person in this equation. Don’t compare yourself to others or be intimidated by them.
- Lead by Example, Don’t Wait to be Led
When I first told my husband that I had signed up to 12WBT his reaction was less than encouraging: “Not another diet.” He was pretty unsupportive. I knew that if I didn’t take control, and tell him that this was what was happening, it wasn’t going to happen.So, I sat him down, and explained to him that he had three options – he could either eat what I ate, cook for himself, or starve. Yes, that’s actually what I said.He cooked for himself for about a week. Before I knew it he was not only eating what I was eating and enjoying the meals but he started losing weight himself. He is now lighter than when we first met and has lost over 20 kilos! Now he tells everyone about 12WBT and is my biggest supporter.Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to take control in your life, the results just might surprise you.
“If you are midway through the program, whether it’s your first Round, or your fourth Round, and you find yourself struggling, you need to know that my journey has been far from easy. My first Round, I started as a complete beginner. I couldn’t even do an entry level sit up, and all I could do at first was walk I was that unfit. I was sore and achy, pretty much all the time in those first weeks.But I knew when I signed up that it wasn’t going to happen overnight. You don’t get to where I was in those before 12WBT pics and bounce back from that quickly. It got easier. I got stronger and fitter and now I do all sorts of things I would never have thought possible a couple of years ago. I am the lightest and fittest I have ever been and absolutely loving my life.So, it hasn’t been easy, not by a long shot. But it’s definitely been worth it.”
Inspired by Leanne’s story? Sign up to the 12 Week Body Transformation!