Non-Runner to Half Marathon: Chelsea’s 12WBT Story

Community // Anna Warwick // 12 June 2013

Chelsea has just completed the 12WBT Half Marathon Training Program, which is no mean feat for the mum of two who couldn’t even run 20 metres a year ago. “12WBT has given me the confidence to set a goal and smash it time and time again!” she says.

Thrilled with the news of a new job, Chelsea was trying on her old work clothes when disaster struck. “I couldn’t do up the zippers on any of my work dresses!” she says. “I had to go to in to the office wearing a jacket over them. I was mortified.”

Chelsea wondered how this had happened. “We ate relatively healthy home cooked meals during the week, I took my little girls out for a walk in the pram every single day, and I’d been doing the same group exercise classes every week, forever!” she says.

ThePhotoThatChangedItAll

“This is the photo that changed it all,” says Chelsea. 

After three years of being the best mum she could be, the 36-year-old journalist decided it was time to be an even better mum by looking after herself.

Already a Michelle Bridges fan, Chelsea tested the waters by following Mish’s book, Losing the Last 5 Kilos, for a month. “It was easy and it worked!” So she signed up for 12WBT.

Getting with the Program

June-September2012

 The photo on the left was taken June 2012 and the one on the right was in September 2012, post-12WBT.

Because Chelsea is super organised, the program fit easily into her lifestyle. “All your training and nutrition is set out for you and all the thinking has been taken out of it – it’s so easy. You just turn up and do it.

“I was a bit surprised by the portion sizes, but that’s what had gotten me in trouble in the first place,” admits Chelsea. “I had what Mish refers to as ‘portion distortion’!”

The 12WBT Exercise Plans were a refreshing change for Chelsea. “I’d been stuck in an exercise rut! I loved the 12WBT exercise and never missed a session. I started with the Intermediate program but soon swapped to Advanced. I bought a heart rate monitor and it motivated me to burn calories. If I couldn’t get to the gym, I trained in my backyard while my girls were asleep.”

As Chelsea tracked every calorie she ate and burned, she knew that the program was working. When the going got tough, she turned to Michelle’s Mindset lessons. “Mish’s advice was to take the emotion out of it,” Chelsea recalls. “You might not feel like getting up and doing that training, but you just do it. It’s like brushing your teeth or having a shower – it’s something you do every day and it becomes routine.”

During her first round of 12WBT, Chelsea lost 15 kilos and more than 66 centimetres from her 176cm frame. She hit her goal weight and was the lightest she’d ever been in her adult life.

New Goals

15kmRunForTheKids

Chelsea pushes past other runners at the 15km Run For The Kids race.

After her initial success, the working mum was hungry for more, so she signed up for the 12WBT Half Marathon Training Program. “I completed a 5km run, then the Sussan Women’s 10km Fun Run, and the 15km Run for the Kids. Then I ran 19km in the Run the Rock race at Hanging Rock. I just keep upping the ante!”

After15kmRunForTheKidsMarch2013

Exhausted but happy, Chelsea relaxes with her two daughters Saskia and Tahlia after the 15km Run For The Kids race.

Her final goal for the Round was the half marathon at Run Melbourne. “I’ve done that!” she beams. “I can run 21 kilometres, so I’m absolutely ecstatic!”

Along the way, Chelsea lost a further 30cm. “I can well and truly zip up my work dresses again, but now it’s the opposite problem,” she laughs. “I need a whole new wardrobe as everything is too big!”

The Butterfly Effect

“Since I signed up to do 12WBT, so many people have told me they’ve been inspired by my achievements to make changes to their own lifestyles,” says Chelsea. “It’s such an amazing feeling that something I did for myself is having an impact on the lives of others.”

MyFamilyAtMelbGroupWorkoutMay2013

Chelsea with her family at the 12WBT Finale Party in Melbourne in May 2013.

Chelsea is particularly proud of how much four-year-old Saskia and two-year-old Tahlia now love exercise. “They get excited every time I put sneakers on. They love having running races in the backyard, and join me doing tricep dips, push ups, sit ups and squats. They love watching me cross the finish line at races. They also love seeing the medals I receive. Saskia has already declared she wants to run her first fun run next year!”

And hubby Anthony has been the wind beneath his three girls’ wings. “Before I first signed up, I said, ‘I really need you to be on board and support me with this,’” she says. “If I need to go training, he’s always there to look after the kids.”

Anthony and the girls love the nutritious 12WBT meals as well. “I’m more controlled and conscious of making good food choices for the whole family now,” says Chelsea.

Chelsea’s New Goalposts


May2013MelbFinale

Chelsea standing tall with her husband at the 12WBT Finale Party in Melbourne.”

“I decided that 2013 would be my year of running, so I kicked off the New Year with a fun run! I also did the 8km Mother’s Day Classic. Then there’s the Run Melbourne half marathon, the Melbourne Marathon Festival half marathon and the Sussan Women’s Fun Run half marathon. I’m endeavouring a personal best at each event! And who knows? The other day I had the wildest daydream that maybe I would sign up to do a full marathon.”

Chelsea’s Top 12WBT Tips

  • Trust the 12WBT program. All the hard work has been done for you – you just have to turn up to the training sessions, eat the right food, watch all the videos and listen to everything that Michelle tells you to do. It really works – it’s so easy.
  • Never underestimate the feeling of achieving a goal you set for yourself. Whether it’s fitting into your favourite pair of shorts, losing 15kg, running 5km or running a half marathon, it’s empowering. You feel unstoppable!

Chelsea’s Stats

Height: 175cm
Start weight: 83kg
Weight loss in first 12WBT Round: 15kg
Current weight: 68kg

Lose weight and learn to run with the 12 Week Body Transformation. Register your interest in 12WBT.

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Meet the Author, Anna Warwick

Anna Warwick is a Sydney-based health and travel writer with more than 10 years experience across print and digital mediums. As a freelance lifestyle journalist she has contributed to more than 50 Australasian publications. Read author's full story here

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