Hi I’m Kirsten, I’m 27 and in 3 days time it will be my wedding day!!

In July 2015 I made the brave decision to take part in the 10 week challenge. And it changed my life!

kirsten front

Over a year ago I stumbled upon Elora’s page, The Shrinking Violet, and followed her weight loss journey. I found her to be an absolute inspiration. At the time I was overweight and still steadily gaining. I had been through some tough times over the past few years and I always turned to food to make me feel better, only it wasn’t making me feel better. In general, my diet wasn’t that bad, or so I thought, but I felt unhealthy, had constant fatigue and wasn’t seeing any results even with going to the gym up to 3 times a week. I had previously considered trying to eat a ‘paleo’ based diet, but thought there was no way I could go without all the foods I love. How can people give up their sweet foods, but if other people can, surely I could too. But alas I told myself I couldn’t do it, and kept on eating junk.

At this stage I was desperate for a solution to my weightloss and started looking online at things like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and I even considered having lap band surgery or a gastric sleeve etc! But these were all expensive options and the thought of them just left me feeling stressed and anxious.

I had also followed the Simple Tasty Nutrition page and the 10 week challenge Facebook page for a while and saw all the amazing results previous participants had achieved. I saw that there was an upcoming challenge in July, so I went on to the website with the intention of joining, but I wimped out, I thought surely that couldn’t happen for me.  I thought about it for a while longer, but again dismissed it, I had all the excuses in the world of why I couldn’t do it. That same week I went for my 6 weekly assessment at the gym, only to find, despite my efforts I had gained more weight! I was devastated.

That night I finally took the plunge, and joined the 10 week challenge.

At this stage it was 4 months out from the wedding.. And it wasn’t just that I wanted to lose weight for the wedding, all brides want to look and feel beautiful on their big day. But I knew if I didn’t do something about my weight now, I probably never would!

The first week of the challenge was definitely the hardest. Having to cut out all the crap that you had been putting into your body, and dealing with all the withdrawals and side effects during the detox process. My willpower and determination to succeed and the hope that I could turn this into a lifestyle was definitely what gave me the boost I needed in the beginning.

My fiancé was also my biggest supporter and he definitely helped encourage me and kept me on track.

By the second week I could already see a huge difference in my overall health. My mental clarity had improved, I was able to concentrate better, my digestion had improved and I no longer felt bloated after eating. And I was the most organised I had been in a long time! I enjoyed our weekly grocery shop and knew exactly what I was having for each meal. It definitely helped taking out the guess work. In the past if nothing was organised for dinner we would always get takeaways! 4 months on, and I don’t miss them at all!

Halfway through the challenge and I had already seen a loss on the scales and in measurements! I was so excited! And by the end I had more energy, I was enjoying exercise again, my sleep had improved and I had a new found confidence and was learning to love life and my body again! That for me was the biggest thing I took away from the challenge. No longer feeling bad about myself and having a negative outlook on life. My attitude was positive and nothing seemed ’too hard’ anymore. I was the happiest I have been in a long time.

The best part of the challenge was definitely the food. The meal plans are easy to follow and really flexible. You don’t have to be a whizz in the kitchen, as long as you can follow a recipe, then you’re all set, and everything is super yummy! And you don’t have to make any big drastic changes to your usual routine. I still did the same exercise I was doing prior, and also started getting outside and going for walks which I really enjoy now.

kirsten side

The last thing I would like to touch on is the support group.

The support group is really what makes the challenge. Aside from Sara and Elora of course!!

The support group is just amazing. There’s no other way to put it. Going into the challenge I had no idea what to expect, and those who know me, know how shy and quiet I am. But the atmosphere of the group was so welcoming and friendly and we instantly became like a little family. The support from others was absolutely unwavering and everyone was so positive and motivated right from the beginning and right until the end. It was a safe place where we could share our successes and our failures and know that we weren’t being judged, and I felt comfortable being able to share some of my own personal experiences with everyone. Since the challenge has finished, we have all remained really close and still keep in contact, and continue to support one another.

If you’re thinking about doing the challenge. Think no longer, take the plunge and sign up! It was definitely the best decision I  have ever made, and I did it for myself and feel so much better for it!

Sara and Elora thank you so much for being a part of my weightloss journey, I cannot thank you enough!

Ps. For those who are wondering, it has been a very interesting journey over the last few months with having my wedding dress made. While it wasn’t the most ideal time to be losing weight when I was having my dress made, it was the right time for me to go on this journey, and it all worked out in the end.

I lost a bit of weight and then lost a further amount and had my dressmaker in a total panic, but she was very patient and understanding and worked around my weight loss. I picked the dress up on Monday and it fits perfectly! So all my hard effort paid off and I am super proud of myself and can’t wait for everyone to see me wearing it on Saturday!

kirsten wow

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