Monday, January 16, 2012


This is a copy of the comment I just wrote on a blog post that came to my attention from other 12WBT alumni on twitter.

She doesn’t deserve a link, but otherwise you won’t know what I’m talking about -

Basically she’s come out flinging mud at 12WBT (and personally at Michelle Bridges), in the hope that it will stick, and as a means of promoting her own 12 week program. #WTF?! as we might tag this topic on twitter!

Seeing my comment (and a few others I gather) are awaiting moderation (so, no doubt, she can tell us all that we must be in the 5%).. I’m posting mine here and now:

Talk about bad-mouthing a competitor. Your article, and your comments are so ill-informed and so unbalanced I am too disgusted to even go and have a look at your link. Besides which, I don’t need to. I am another happy 12WBT customer who lost 11kg during the one and only round I did – over one year ago. I lost another 5 afterwards, bringing me to a happy goal weight which I have sustained for the rest of 2011. 12WBT is NOT some fad diet/exercise program – it’s a total lifestyle change or reboot (depending on where you’re at when you start).

What really makes 12WBT work is exactly the mindset tools that you so glibly lambast. Whether or not Michelle Bridges has formal psychology training, she bloody well knows and understands the psychology behind what makes people eat too much, eat too much crap, and not exercise consistently. I was someone who actually did exercise before 12WBT, but I didn’t do it consistently, and I did indeed eat too much, AND too much crap. And everything she said in those mindset videos hit the spot… And there is nothing wrong with hearing the words ‘you don’t need to go down this aisle’ in your head when temptation awaits in the supermarket.

Michelle walks her talk.. so you know you’re not being ‘lectured’ by some skinny bitch who can eat all she wants (one of the ‘it’s not fair’ excuses I used for years to justify what I was and wasn’t doing…) But I don’t feel for one minute that I want or need to look exactly like her.. Funny, you know.. her program gives you the tools to have the guts and determination to be your own person.

The other criticism you’ve made, and one which I’m sick of hearing in the media is this latest fightback against recommending weight loss. It’s political correctness gone mad!! Fact: carrying too much weight is NOT good for your health. What the heck is wrong with acknowledging this? Apart from hating how I looked when my weight measured in the ‘overweight’ BMI range, I was feeling it in my joints and despite doing a regular swimming squad and cycling some pretty long distances, my aerobic fitness was below par. I looked at my very very overweight mother in law in her late 70s struggling to lift her own bodyweight out of a chair (never mind walking) after yet another knee operation, and I knew that I didn’t want to end up like that.

I don’t deny you can be active if you are ‘overweight’ – I was – but it is a million times easier and better being active when you are within a healthy weight range. And if using figures (measurements, a number on a scale) helps me keep myself in check, then what the hell is wrong with that?

I for one am extremely thankful that the ad for 12WBT “stalked” me enough times on my facebook page (no wonder, I constantly ‘talked’ about needing to lose weight) .. that I checked it out, and ummed and ahhed about doing it. It’s the best spontaneous purchase I ever made – and the best $199 I ever ever spent.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Return of the prodigal 12WBT blogger.

It’s bizarre. While so many other people seem to have discovered blogging through their 12WBT experience, I went the opposite direction – from prodigious blogger (  and ) to short-attention-spanned facebooker and tweeter.

I think I am a bit of an all-or-nothing girl. When I started Round 3 of 12WBT in September 2010, I focused almost solely on that. (In fact, when someone asked me in January what I’d been up to, all I could think of replying was “Losing weight.”  (Blame the SAHM guilt for not wanting to use up time exercising AND blogging.)

At least I did manage to document/blog a bit through that time, but in the end Twitter became my focus - my support network and my lifeline.  Facebook become my ‘other’ social outlet. And I had no room in my head to write – and I felt guilty about using up more time blogging. Because in my life, I had other issues to deal with apart from losing some weight.

There was that attempt in February to start up again, but that patently failed miserably.

Nearly a year later, here I am again. At the very least it’ll be an update. Hopefully I might get the writing bug again. I write a lot in my head.. it might be good for me to put it out there again.


The good news is that not only have I maintained a weight loss all year-  I actually lost a bit more. I’m hanging at around 62kg – slap bang in the middle of a healthy BMI range - and a couple of kilos less than the last time I posted in Feb.  At one point I did hit 59.5-60, but 61-62 seems to be where my body wants me to be.

I bought my first bikini ever the other day. (Well, nearly ‘ever’… since I was a teenager…) I’ve still got a leetle bit of muffin-top action that I would like to dispense with, but I can say honestly that I look a hell of a lot better than quite a few teenagers I’ve seen prancing around in a bikini.  I bought a practical one from Funkita, because I want to be able to go down for a swim and bodysurf at our beach, and come home not feeling blechhy in a wet one-piece.  It’s yet to be christened.. and I’ll think about whether or not I want to be photographed in it. But the good thing about our beach is that there’s hardly anyone on it, so I don’t have to get too self conscious.  It’s a pretty big thing to suddenly unveil one’s midrift at 49 years old! It’ll take a bit of getting used to!

Speaking of photographs, I do have one bit of unfinished business, and that’s an up to date ‘After’ photo – as I’m 7-8kg lighter than my ‘official’ end of R3 2010 photo that I posted. Putting that on the to-do list for this week. It will be appropriate timing, as it coincides with the end of R3 2011, with many of my 12WBTweeps who have continued 12WBT this year posting their amazing ‘after’ shots. And because I’m doing what I didn’t do at the end of my 12WBT round - (yet more unfinished business) – and heading down to Sydney to the R3 finale workout and party. (More about that later – well, next post perhaps…)

Stats aside.. the other outcome from having lost around 16-17kg is that I feel AMAZING.  I still can’t believe it when I look in a mirror, or catch sight of my reflection in a shop window.  (And I feel pretty damn good with no clothes on as well… in fact it’s only the undies or bikini bottoms that highlight any remaining pudge. )

I credit not only increased self-confidence from liking the way I look, but also those new tools in my armoury (mainly the JFDI card!), with getting my first paid job in donkey’s years – producing a Cycling Route/map booklet for the local council. (Councils plural, in fact.)

More details about that in another post perhaps as well… suffice to say… I’m chuffed. And I thank 12WBT, because I don’t think it would have happened otherwise.

Other achievements in 2011 thanks to 12WBT:

  • We ride a shitload faster on the tandem! Just ask Marc how good that is! We go up the hills a few gears up from what we used to … we can crank it up faster… No wonder! You know how serious road cyclists go on about carbon bikes, and carbon accessories for their bikes to make them lighter?  We just made our bike 16kg lighter!!  In August we rode in the Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge – did the 100km in around 3.5hours – only stopping ONCE for a quick loo stop.
  • I’ve been slowly building up my running, and I did my first ever official fun run – the 10km in the inaugural Coffs Harbour Half Marathon Fun Runs & Walks in 1:01:18… and dammit, if my knee didn’t play up on me in the last couple of kms causing me to all but hobble the last bit,  I might well have broken the 60..  But hell… I CAN RUN! I’m 49, and for the first time in my life I can say ‘I’m going for a run.’  I AM A RUNNER, DAMMIT!
  • I’m trying more new things all the time – I now can add Bodypump, and BodyAttack to my repertoire. This term I have had a couple of hours to kill on Monday afternoons in town while Ms 13 has had netball squad training, so I decided to make the most of it. I bought a casual card for a gym and even made Ms 13 leave home earlier so I could fit in the Attack before the Pump.

I still have work to do with abs. And triceps. They still jiggle a bit, and I know I haven’t been pushing it as much as I could have… There’s still a lot of training stuff I am too fearful of doing. I’ve just had too many issues with my back, and weird joint stuff, so I’m still taking the cruisy approach, and building it up really slowly and carefully. The stronger I get, the more I feel I can push it.. so this will be my new goal for 2012. Lean and strong, slowly and surely.

There is more to talk about, but that might do for now. Much anticipation – excitement and nerves – about going to Sydney and getting to meet a bunch of wonderful people that I have come to know through 12WBT and twitter!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Rightio. I’m back. 

The Writer Within has just made an impulse decision – continuing this blog to keep tabs on myself as I ‘fly solo’ with ‘walking the walk and talking the talk’.  And running the run, swimming the swim, etc! And keeping the faith with the new 12 Week Body Transformed Me.  (I still think it should be called ‘Life Transformation’!)

It has been a bit of a difficult decision to maintain my decision not to sign up again for 12WBT Round 1 2011. I am still in contact on a daily basis with my 12WBT Twitter buddies, and as most of them are gearing up for blast off with Week 1 just around the corner, I’m feeling a bit wistful, and concerned  that I might start feeling left out.  But I have to make a sensible decision about what I spend our money on, and given that I adapted a lot of the meals and exercise programs from Round 3 to work for me and my family, I just can’t justify the money on it, when I can spend it on classes, or gear, that all fall within a 12WBT inspired life.  (Got a new awesome canyoning pack the other week! – and I’m going to have to buy myself new bike nix before my old ones fall off me!)

With Round 3 I bought the ‘upgrade’, – the newer version, if you will - and installed a far superior operating system. Yup. The old me was working, and had a few good programs - like the bike riding, the swimming, the annual canyoning – but they were getting sluggish. (All that crap in the system!)

Now? I’m working like a bought one!

I’ve also bought Mish’s new book “Losing the Last 5 kilos”, and so really, I have no excuse.

I know what to do. All I have to do is JFDI !

So, Christmas and New Year were a bit of a challenge, as I think most of us would have found.  I was pretty good over Christmas Day, but when we had friends around on NYE, I did let my hair down a bit. But I pretty much maintained that end of Rnd 3 weight of 66.5 until we got back from a week away at the end of January. On that week away it was a bit hard to stick hard and fast to the eating plan, but we had one full day of canyoning, plus another full day of bike riding (a mere 60km on the front of the tandem with Ms 15 as stoker), plus I got out and did a couple of runs on the other days.

Does it sound like I’m leading up to an excuse? Well I’m not! I came back a bit lighter! And since then I’ve dropped to 64.5, which pretty much blows my mind!  I was about 78 kg the day I made that impulse purchase – to sign up to 12WBT. (And if I hadn’t done that then, I’ve no doubt I would have crept up into the 80s before long.)

During the school holidays I was looking for something to replace my swim squads, and so I started going to Girlfit – a local fitness enterprise for women. It’s turned out to be just right for me. It’s not a gym, it’s outdoors – near the beach! The sessions vary, but  they do a fair bit of boxing, which is something pretty new for me, but I’m really enjoying it! What’s more, it is since I did a few of those sessions that the compliments have really started rolling in.  It must be kick arse stuff for upper body toning is all I can say. So that’s definitely something new I’ve added to my repertoire! Even if it’s at Stupid O’Clock… which currently involves getting up in the dark.. which really challenges my natural circadian rhythms and night owl instincts! This week I’m upping it from one to two sessions, on the same days as my swim squads, no less – and I’m aiming for the early morning Saturday bike ride too.

I am pretty damn happy with how I am at the moment, though a few more kilos off would definitely put me in the ‘safe zone’ of my healthy BMI range, and I can definitely still do with toning up more flab from the abs, and the ‘bingo wings’ (or ‘Fadoobidas’ I believe they are also called! – that’s one Kath & Kim expression I never picked up on!) But I’m still taking that all cautiously. Slower than most PTs – including Mish – would probably like, but I don’t care. I’ve had to deal with the lower back pain and the joint pain, and I don’t like it. Firing up my back or joints by overdoing it is definitely not conducive to being able to maintain consistent exercise; so I’m taking the path of caution, even if it’s the long way round. (Very scenic route it is too – and I have definitely made progress along the route!)

Right now, everything is hanging together quite nicely! *Touch Wood!*

So, those last few kilos may take a little while to dispense with, but that’s ok.

I still have some food issues to completely control, so I’m still on this journey, albeit with the tools – or, more appropriately, to fit in with my earlier analogy, the  “apps” – to totally kick arse.

In the meantime, these before/after photo collages I threw together say it all.




Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Can’t believe that Round 3 of 12WBT is over. I had great intentions of blogging my way through it, but all that kind of fell by the wayside.  So much for my inner writer.  Never mind – if it meant that I focused on the job at hand, then so much the better, I think. 

So .. the verdict? Oh. My. God. I cannot believe what I have achieved! I still keep thinking I’m going to wake up from a dream and find myself back the way I was.

Officially – from week 1 to week 12 I lost 9kg – 11.7% weight loss, and I hit my healthy weight range with a BMI of 24.7. From when I signed up – a couple of weeks beforehand -  to today, I’ve lost 11.5kg!  (Far out, I lost another 1.5kg this last week! – 66.5 kg this morning!)

I’m actually still quite nonplussed. I set myself very modest goals –  I was quite prepared to take it slowly but surely, to make sure it was sustainable.  Well, to use some MishBridges terminology – I smashed them!  I’d aimed for losing 10kg in  6 months, and I’ve done it in less than four.  (I said at the start that I only had to lose 10kg to ‘look ok’ – so I’ve done that, and I was right about the looking ok bit! A few more to put myself safely in the middle to lower part of my healthy BMI range, and I’ll be on Cloud 9.)

I can’t go anywhere without people who I haven’t seen for a while (or even a week!) commenting and complimenting me!  “You’ve got a waist now!”

I feel fantastic – and.. *ahem*.. my husband seems to think I feel fantastic too. He doesn’t recall me ever being ‘like this’… I have actually been a tad lighter (the last time was 13  years ago before I got pregnant with Zoe), but I daresay I didn’t have the muscle tone as I wasn’t doing the same amount of consistent exercise.  To say that it has rejuvenated our marriage/relationship would be an understatement.

What is probably more amazing is what I’ve managed given the injuries I had – starting out with the torn calf muscle, then smashing my little toe. Since I did that job on my toe I haven’t been able to run at all… (First fitness test I couldn’t run because of my calf. Second one I jogged it in 6 mins 31. Then, the toe.) I am nearly there.. had a go the other day.. it still hurt a teeny bit (and it was my dodgy lower back that felt iffy.)  Given that I’d decided to avoid running because of my back and hips, any jogging that I do achieve from here on in will be awesome. (I’m sure it will be a whole lot less stress on my back carrying less weight!)

I’ve also taken the abs and arm stuff a bit more cautiously (than Mish or any personal trainer would probably have me do) because I’m much too paranoid about my lower back, and my joints.  (A year ago a GP had me on daily panadol osteo for what she reckoned was the start of arthritis, and I’ve needed regular chiropractic visits to keep my back manageable. I ditched the panadol earlier this year and am taking Glucosamine and Fish Oil, which seems to be working!)

So I’ve still got toning work to do, but I’m getting there.

So, pics… as I put the BEFORE photo out there, I’ll put the BEFORE/AFTER shot here.  I was probably a little bit disappointed with it, as I didn’t feel like it reflected the change I felt with clothes on! It doesn’t show the fact that I’ve just about run out of clothes to wear (particularly pants and shorts) because they’re all falling off me. (Himself says ‘use a belt!’ – but I just can’t bunch them up that much!)


Put it this way – I’m now happy as Larry to have my photo taken with clothes on!! LOL.

This was taken two days ago at Ms 12’s year 6 graduation assembly. (She was a bit emotional about it!!)


The big thing about all this is that it’s a change for life – not just for 12 weeks. A few more kilos to lose to get myself into the middle of my healthy weight range –  more toning, as I said - and then, maintenance. But it is all totally doable, because I’ve had an even bigger tranformation in my head than I have physically.  Such a different approach to both what I put in my mouth AND consistency and effort in any exercise I do. 

Unlike many who did 12WBT, doing ‘mega’ days of physical exercise wasn’t something new to me..  and nor was the experience, and even enjoyment, of getting that endorphin hit (and feeling bloody good the rest of the day). But now – due to ensuring I do something pretty much every day, I’m getting that buzz every day, and I’m feeling so much fitter and stronger.

Did I mention I feel fantastic?! I’ve noticed that now when people ask ‘how are you?’ my automatic response now is ‘good!’.  (A kind of surprised ‘Wow! I actually feel great!’) Before this, the answer would have been more likely to have been ‘meh.. ok...’

So, do I continue this blog?  Perhaps I will simply to keep myself accountable for my daily exercise/training. (Resolution to blog/write more!) Christmas and the beginning of holidays will throw up challenges for me. Apart from the food thing, I have to find a replacement for my three swim squads a week!

But you know what? Armed with all the 12WBT mind tools, I can and will JFDI ! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This was done by another 12WBTer. Am printing it out to pin up to remind me.



Wordle: 12wbt

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This morning my dear old incremental scales flickered a 69.5 at me, before settling for 70. Dammit! Well, actually I wasn’t disappointed because only yesterday for Wednesday weigh in, I was happy as Larry to have stayed on the 70.5 that I registered on the weekend (with my stealth Sunday rendezvous with the scales.)

I am getting there… slowly but surely.. and I have a few intermediate goals that should serve to keep me focused.

As 12WBT is coming into its final weeks, I know that many have moved into top gear (in line with Mish’s program).. but I confess I’m not quite doing that.  I decided early on that what would work better for me was to go for more for long term, sustainable lifestyle change than in the figures at the end of this arbitrary 12 week mark.  Given my various injuries, niggles, and random attacks of the lurgy, I think I’m doing pretty damn well.   With my history – lower back issues, joint issues – I’m paddling my own canoe down this river.  I am upping the ante with the exercise – p’raps not quite at ideal 12WBT pace, but definitely ‘upping’ it.

I’ve started riding my bike to swim squad on Mondays.  (It might not be a tri – but it’s a bi-!)

I tried Zumba last week, and fell for it big time. Loved it , loved it, loved it! So that’s an extra cardio for Wednesdays!

Last two Saturdays we’ve ridden our road tandem – over 60km. (So that’s double what I’ve been doing on my single!)

I’ve been gradually building up abs and arms – with the Tight Toned Terrific DVD but I’m not risking stuffing myself. Been there, done that, not going there again.  Lately I’ve only managed that once a week – I do want to double that.  I know the gym might give me quicker results.

I’ve already upped my swim squad from twice to three times a week. Before 12WBT I felt guilty about doing that extra class. Now I don’t!

Anyway – where was I? Intermediate goals.  So, breaking through that glass ‘floor’ (as I call it) into the 60s is the next thing. Depending on which BMI scale I use, a 69 (at my height) should put me in my healthy weight range.

And then – if I can crack the 68, then I am light enough to ride on the middle seat of our triple tandem!


Obviously that’s not me in the photo.   (Gah, you don’t want to see the one of me taken at the same time. Stomach flab ahoy!) The only time I’ve had a ride on our triple was the day Himself put it together. He was concerned about the flexing with my weight.  :(  So he and the girls have ridden many kilometres on it – while I have ridden the front of another tandem with whichever of the older two girls drew the short straw. The last time it was ridden was nearly 2 years ago (when this photo was taken) on our 9 day ride down the east coast of Tassie.  This year we discussed selling it – but before we made such a difficult (and disappointing) decision, I wanted to know exactly what the load limit for the middle seat was. Because even as the older two move on,/move out/lose interest in doing tandem rides with their parents, it would be ‘hell cool’ for Him, me and the youngest (now 12) to ride together.

So! 150lbs – we finally got an answer from Co-motion (yay for Facebook pages). That’s 68kg. And that’s … within sight!! (And then I’m heading below that!)

I am SO going to ride on the triple!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Well that’s a bit how it feels.

I was really getting into it by the weekend.

Friday night swimming, the stars were all finally in alignment. The stars that govern the status of my body parts at any rate. Nothing in particular playing up.  Left knee? ok.  Right knee? ok as well. Arms.. ok. Little toe a bit weird, but ok to kick.  Let’s go girl.  So I took it up another notch from what I’d been doing for weeks and week - and bloody smashed it out. I kept up with the guys, and finally got my heart rate right up there. Felt great. (And a girl who hadn’t been there for several weeks noticed, commented – even estimated I’d lost about 10kg. She was a bit over, but great for the confidence that it is that noticeable.)

Saturday morning we got up at stupid o’clock, drove 10km down the road (past the worst of the roadworks), then rode the tandem 10km into the community ride start (6.30am.)  By the time we got back again (with a break at the end of the community ride for coffee) we’d clocked up 67km – 2 hours 22 riding time. And Himself did notice the weight difference.  Well – carrying 6-7kg less weight is a pretty big difference on a bike. (When you think about it, it has to help with being able to swim a bit faster too!)

In the afternoon we walked up and down the stairs numerous times, carrying up verandah posts, and tools, and we finished putting the posts on the deck.

I wasn’t doing the “tri” this weekend. I can’t run yet – the toe still isn’t that keen on walking in shoes. But I was planning to ‘bi’ it with another ride up to swimming on Monday, and then to possibly ride to swimming again on Wednesday. 

Even if I can’t follow the exercise plan to the letter because of my various injuries and ailments, I’m still upping the ante. I’m even figuring that I can even ride to my mowing job on a Tuesday in future too, now that I’ve got petrol stored there with the mower.

Saturday night we had Ms 17’s Year 12 formal. I felt pretty ok in the dress.  One hell of a lot better than I felt going out 8 weeks ago. It’s actually the first time in a long, long time I’ve actually felt comfortable dressed up. (And I got a couple of unsolicited comments too – and then more once I put that photo on facebook. And they all help!)



It was an alcohol free event – being a school function. Hah – at least I didn’t find it as hard as some to be drinking water. (There were jugs of soft drink on the tables as well – which ended up diluted with ice and yuck. I did have a couple of sips – because just water does get a bit boring after a while.)  The food was pretty ordinary. I didn’t have any dessert.  And I was bloody hungry by the time we got home.

All progress, right?

Problem was on Saturday my throat did feel a bit scratchy.

Then Sunday I woke up with a very definite sore throat – which developed into a full-on head cold by Sunday afternoon. My nose was running like a tap – I had to walk around with a tissue or hanky plugging it. I gave up, left the family to bicker over the cleaning up of dinner, and went to bed. Had a crappy night’s sleep, but then slept through (only vaguely aware of people getting ready for school and work) till 11am.

Needless to say I didn’t do any exercise on Monday then.

Today I feel better than I was- I went and did my mowing job. (Thankfully it was quicker than normal because they’d finally marked the lines). But I’m coughing a bit. I’m definitely not “better”.

I swear, every time I get my mojo really happening, either I injure myself or get sick.

(And to top it all off, I’ve got a dose of thrush. TMI, I know.. but sheesh…)

Sunday morning AND  yesterday morning my weight (on my scales) was 71. This morning it was 71.5.  I’m guessing weigh-in Wednesday is going to be a disappointment yet again.  I’ve been at this weight before (years ago) and really struggled to break through that 70 barrier, and I’ve been teetering around this 71/71.5 for a couple of weeks now.

I can only pick myself up AGAIN (once I’m good to go), and keep chipping away at it. At least I’m getting lots of lovely comments from friends who are noticing that I’ve definitely lost weight.  And I can remind myself that, due to my various niggles, lower back issues, etc, I was quite prepared to lose weight gradually.  And I’m still a month ahead of goal.

Plus of course there’s all the 12WBT twitterati mutual support, which helps keeps me going each day.