Will I Ever Look Like Michelle Bridges?

Fitness // 12WBT Staff

What a poster girl Mish is for 12WBT. Cheese grater abs, ahoy! She’s the living embodiment of what the program can do. But at the end of 12 weeks, 24 weeks, hell, almost an entire year of following 12WBT, how many of us will have a rig like Mish? Is it actually possible for all of us? And even if it is, is that a worthy quest? Do we all need or even want a gym body?

I’m 153cm tall and, after doing a Round of 12WBT, I weigh 52kg – down from 56kg. I’m not a big person in any respect, and losing weight was relatively easy for me, but my body did not come close to resembling Michelle’s at the end of 12 weeks. Now, I’m not a fool and I know there are two very good reasons for this:

  1. Michelle has spent a lifetime in the fitness industry and her body is a testimony to her long-term commitment and discipline.
  2. I did the program for 12 weeks and NOT with 100 percent discipline.

A Year of Commitment

But let’s say I committed to the program for an entire year, following it 100 percent, training six days a week and sticking to 1200 calories a day, I know my body would be transformed. I’d be in the greatest shape of my life!

However, even then, with all that hard work and sacrifice, my body would not look like Mish’s – because I’m not Mish, nor do I have the same body type. My body is an hourglass shape and when I gain weight it tends to be fairly evenly distributed. I have never been particularly athletic and I don’t achieve muscle definition easily. I’ve had three children. I retain water like a camel in the desert.

I have a friend who does have a more athletic build. She can run and run and run. She’s the strongest chick I know and fitter than me by a mile. She eats clean and works out daily. And yet she will never have Mish’s body either. She’s physically bigger than me but a thousand times fitter and stronger. No matter how hard we work, we can’t train away our genetics. So it makes sense to appreciate what fitness feels like in our own skin rather than idealising the body of a woman in a magazine who isn’t us.

A Life of Very Hard Work

But while genetics are a factor in how our best body will ultimately look, we can’t forget what is truly required to maintain this kind of body. And the short answer is: bloody hard work! I admire Michelle Bridges’ body. I acknowledge the hard work that goes into maintaining it. However, I realise I don’t actually covet it and that level of intensity. My goal is for health and fitness to become second nature, as it so obviously is in Mish’s life, but I don’t need abs. I would like to get in my best shape ever and I have accepted that this won’t be a mirror image to Mish’s body or anyone else’s.

I want to be disciplined, but not THAT disciplined. And if that’s the case, then I can’t continue to lament not having the body of someone who IS that disciplined. It’s madness to beat ourselves up for not maintaining our best-ever body but then be unwilling to make the changes necessary to achieve it.

I have always remembered this quote from Jennifer Aniston: Look, I eat really well and I work out, but I also indulge when I want to. I don’t starve myself in an extremist way. You’re not taking away my coffee or my dairy or my glass of wine, because I’d be devastated. My advice: just stop eating sh*t every day.”     

Reading those last six words was like a lightbulb moment for me. We flick through our glossy magazines, blaming them for making us feel bad as we stuff a chocolate bar into our mouths. There’s no magic solution to achieving a body like Jennifer’s or Mish’s. It all depends how badly you want it and what you’re willing to do to get it.

Free to Be Me

So for me, I’m not aiming for a Mish rig. Apart from anything else, she hasn’t experienced the grievous bodily harm of three pregnancies. I’m pretty sure no amount of sit-ups can make stretched skin disappear, and if that’s the case, I’m not sure it’s possible for my tummy to look like hers without some kind of surgery.

And since I don’t want anyone to come near me with a scalpel, thankyouverymuch, then I need to accept that my best tummy might not look anything like the one I’m dreaming of. But with hard work and a dose of ‘get real’, I can make it the best it can be.

I need to work with the deck of cards I’ve been given. Mish’s best body may never be within my reach. But my best body is. And after doing my first Round of 12WBT, the way the program made me feel was just as satisfying as the way it made me look.

How Do You Feel?

So while every single one of us loves the idea of a body transformation, if that’s our major focus, the mirror will always find a way of pointing out our imperfections. Better to concentrate on the way getting fit makes us feel – increased energy, more endorphins and a digestive system that’s running with maximum efficiency. No-one can take any of that away from us.

Looking amazing might be the initial motivation, but feeling amazing from the inside out is what gives us the impetus to keep going.

Angie Maddison is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. She writes a blog called The Little Mumma. Find Angie on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Want to become the best version of yourself, no matter what that looks like? 12WBT will indeed help you feel amazing from the inside out!

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