After foregoing the opportunity to be actively involved in her family business because she was unhappy with her fluctuating weight, Sharleen Twyman discovered she couldn't truly help others until she put herself first.

Sharleen Twyman - October BodyBlitz winner

My husband and I had an unexpected direction change in June 2012. He left his full-time employment so we could open our own personal training and corrective exercise studio, Pure Energy Fitness.

This should have been a very exciting time, but it was disappointing for me. I really wanted to start working alongside my husband in the studio doing personal training. Unfortunately, I was so unhappy with myself for being unable to maintain the healthy weight I achieved back in 2011 (I won the November monthly BodyBlitz title) that I resigned to just doing the administration side of things, hoping I would get myself together soon.

Starting afresh

When Christmas rolled around again in 2012, I was really upset I hadn’t pushed on from a successful Bodyblitz challenge at the end of 2011 and ended up wasting a year not hitting my fitness goals. I made a decision that 2013 was my year.

I planned the changes I needed to make to help me shift the five to seven kilos I had been holding for a year, plus the extra five kilos I had wanted to lose after my last BodyBlitz challenge and finish this journey off once and for all. I figured taking the Bodyblitz challenge worked for me last time so I registered again, determined not to waste any more time.

I am pleased to say I took 2013 on from day one and I’m still going strong.

Staying motivated

A big hurdle for me was juggling time, a large family and work. Achieving your goals isn’t always going to come with ease; sometimes you have to push through the harder days and know that with a positive attitude you can do anything.

I implemented two training sessions with my husband at our studio, began running again, taught my group fitness classes and ate a clean and varied diet, which I’ve continued to enjoy. Getting out for my morning run was such a great starter for each day. It cleared my mind and started the day on a positive. At times, this was challenging as I only had 30 minutes to spare before I had to take the kids to school. But a lot can be achieved in 30 minutes.

To accomplish my goals, I needed to stop making excuses and taking the easy way out. It’s tricky when you allow old, negative thought patterns in, but the motivation to return to teaching group fitness to the best of my ability and be the best me I could be is what kept me going. Also, the renewed energy and feeling of wellbeing I found, along with the support of my family and friends, helped me to maintain enthusiasm.

It has been a struggle to juggle personal health and fitness goals with kids and work, but my husband and I support each other fully and are a team. Without the encouragement of my husband and his interest in me succeeding in the things I want to do, I wouldn’t be able to manage everything. He is truly amazing and has been there for me every step of the way.

I feel I’m now able to walk the walk and talk the talk. I love teaching my classes, helping others enjoy their exercise sessions and inspiring my members with my own personal journey. My attitude to food, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle has changed immensely. I have realised the importance of eating natural unprocessed foods, hydrating properly and moving my body regularly so it functions correctly to help me feel great. Previously, I had wanted to lose weight at all costs and wasn’t making the right choices. Now I understand that it’s about how we feel, not only about how we look.

As for being involved in the business more, I am starting to train others again and I have started to run short-term clean eating and detox-style plans that help people focus on cleaning up their food intake by eating real food, not processed, ridding their body of toxins, losing fat and helping them learn what changes are beneficial for health and wellbeing.

I am now more confident in what I can achieve and a happier person in general. I have learnt that no matter what, you can’t fully care for others until you care for yourself – not only by having great nutrition and training principles, but by having belief in yourself and love for yourself. By putting yourself first, you can do a great job for others who need you. I’m so excited about what’s ahead, 2013 and beyond.

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