Shelley (middle) and friends at Finale
A humiliating experience with a pair of boardshorts gave this strong mother of two the incentive she needed to do something for herself. With the support of her family and friends, she managed to overcome her excuses and change her habits, surprising herself the most!
Joy to the world? Not for Shelley last Christmas, when the mother of two felt miserable and fed up with her weight, which had climbed to its highest ever. “It really hit me when we went to the beach and I tried to get into a pair of boardies I hadn’t worn since last summer. I needed to be in the water to supervise my girls, but I couldn’t get the shorts done up,” remembers the 33-year-old, who lives in Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast.
“So there I was, running down the beach holding my boardies up. I was so embarrassed. That’s when I thought, what are you doing?” the former junk-food fan confesses.
Ashamed of her Body
Heading back to work later that summer as a high-school learning support aide, Shelley was amazed to see a colleague’s transformation over the six-week break, thanks to 12WBT.
“We’d wait at the bus stop together in the morning and she’d tell me what she was having for dinner that night. I remember replying, ‘But that’s normal food!’” Shelley says. 12WBT was a tempting prospect for the tennis lover, who regularly wore tracksuit pants under her tennis skirt to play, because she was embarrassed about her body.
Shelley wasn’t confident deep down
A Tragic Event
Shelley had started gaining weight after a tragedy. “At six months pregnant with my first child, we found out there was no heartbeat. I had to give birth to a stillborn baby boy, James, and I was devastated,” Shelley remembers.
“I didn’t lose any weight after that pregnancy. Three months later, I was expecting again. I worried the whole time, and whenever I couldn’t feel the baby moving, I thought she’d died. The doctor told me to have a Coke and a Mars bar to get her moving, so I was having those every day,” she says.
A year after healthy Isabella was born, Shelley discovered she was pregnant with her second healthy daughter, Lara. It was only after Lara’s birth that Shelley realised she had the weight gain of three pregnancies to lose.
But with the breakdown of her marriage, Shelley admits she turned to food for comfort. At the same time, coping as a busy single mum became her priority.
“I always said that when my younger daughter went to school I’d start training, but when she did I started working full-time again, and I told myself I didn’t have time,” Shelley admits.
That’s when her mother stepped in. “My mum told me, ‘You have two little girls and you need to get your act together. You have no excuses, because I’ll come over at 5.15am so you can exercise. But you’re not going to drink coffee, you’re going to train, and if you muck me around, the deal’s off.’ I felt like I couldn’t let her down,” Shelley says.
And she didn’t: after joining up for 12WBT’s Round One 2013, Shelley made early-morning workouts a habit, with her brother stepping in two mornings a week to help out at home. After just a month, she was shocked to see she’d lost a total of 29cm from her body. “I was blown away,” she says. “I had to measure myself again because I thought it couldn’t be right!”
Isabella (age seven), Shelley and Lara (age five)
Shelley’s little girls got into the swing of things, too. “When they get up in the morning, they’ll ask me, ‘Mum, did you smash out a session? Did you work hard?’”
On weekends, Isabella and Lara play personal trainer. “There are about 80 steps at our local beach. When I first started I could do four sets, while the girls were running up and down like rabbits. Now I’m up to 11 sets, and they stand halfway and cheer me on. And when I train at home they do the push ups and sit ups alongside me. They think it’s hilarious that they’re not sweating but Mum is!” Shelley laughs.
Shelley scales the heights of Pigeon House Mountain
Friends have lent support, too, climbing the nearby Pigeon House Mountain with Shelley (who hadn’t hiked up it since she was 14) and joining her in Relay For Life, walking almost 75km in 24 hours. Shelley also smashed the City2Surf in Sydney: “My best friend Rhonda and I ran the whole way taking 1 hour and 9 seconds off last years time!” she says proudly.
A confident Shelley ready for City2Surf
“I was super lazy, and now I love to exercise,” says Shelley, who finished Round 2 2013 as well. “I would never have thought that my fitness would be like it is now. I’ve never been this fit, ever. I’m so happy and proud of myself for not giving up.”
SHELLEY’S 12WBT Tips
- When it gets hard, I push myself further. I always tell myself, “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be better than yesterday.”
- Just start the workout. If I don’t feel like exercising, I always tell myself to do at least 10 minutes and I nearly always keep going after that. There have been days when I’ve been like, “No, I’m not going to keep going.” But then I train harder the next day.
- Give it your best shot. Be positive. If you fail, you can only improve the next day. You can’t expect to be perfect, you can only expect to get better.
Shelley is now fit and fabulous!
Shelley’s 12WBT Stats
Start weight: 101.5kg
Weight loss: 17.6kg
Current weight: 83.9kg
Your life could look dramatically different in 12 weeks time. Register your interest in the next 12 Week Body Transformation today!