Working as a busy nurse with two teenagers at home, Kylie Wright transferred her time management skills from her work to her lifestyle. She’s never been healthier or happier.

My work is very demanding and I work long hours. I am a neurosurgical clinical nurse consultant at a major trauma hospital. I look after patients who have surgery on their brain or spine and coordinate a brain tumour support group. My work is highly emotive; the patients can be very sick, and I don’t stop from the moment I walk in every day.

With the nature of my work as well as managing family life with a husband and two teenagers who play a multitude of sports, being time-poor is very much a part of my life. Fitting in time to exercise as well as finding the time to plan and be organised with my nutrition has always been a challenge. Undertaking the BodyBlitz challenge was no different and really tested my willpower and organisational skills.  

Resisting temptation

Besides the everyday obstacles of time, another big obstacle I faced in the final week of my 12-week challenge was when I travelled to Japan to attend a nursing conference. I found myself without a gym, minimal control over the timing of my nutrition, the availability of way too much white rice for my liking, and irregularities in my routine. To overcome this I walked everywhere (instead of taxis), climbed as many stairs as possible, and chose my meals as best as I could (lots of fish, vegetables and green tea.)

Japanese cuisine is quite healthy, but their sweets are not, and having a weakness for all things sweet, I found this aspect challenging. My sweet tooth also challenged me throughout the 12 weeks with three family birthdays and the usual birthday cake temptations.

I exercised in the mornings, starting at 5am as this is the only time I could fit it into my busy schedule. Although a constant challenge, this practice has become embedded into my daily routine. Having a gym set up in our garage made this very convenient. I would sneak out every morning, in darkness, when the family were sleeping. My husband still refers to me as the Garage Gladiator!

It was freezing during winter (when I did the challenge), and there were so many times I did not want to go out there in the cold and dark, but it soon became my routine and I saw it as my time to invest in myself and time to let my mind be free and not worry about the stresses of daily life. I would also put my training clothes out the night before, so I would get out of bed as soon as the alarm went off, get changed and be out there before I had time to even think about it.  

These days I don’t feel right when I have not exercised in the mornings. I love exercising and hope I can continue to do it into old age. When I am at work I never use the lifts, I always use the stairs, and I cover a lot of distance through the hospital, which enables me to stay active through the day.

Before and during the BodyBlitz challenge I also read a lot of health and fitness magazines, especially WH&F, and my husband was always pointing out articles for me. I also accessed health, fitness and nutrition websites and tried to learn as much as possible. I used suggested recipes, exercise routines and training and food diaries, which were very helpful.

I planned my meals every Sunday to prepare for the week. I would ensure there was a large variety of fresh fruit and vegetables available and make large batches of salads and vegetables in containers ready to grab. I took protein powder, tins of tuna and a large supply of water to work; I always had everything ready to go. I really enjoy eating healthy and how it makes me feel. I now know my portion sizes well and I am not even interested in processed, fat-laden foods. ‘Eat to live, not live to eat’ is my new motto.

I maintained my motivation throughout the challenge by focussing on my main goal to be the best possible version of myself that I could be. I want to be a good role model for my kids and my friends and family, and I want to be as fit and healthy as possible so I live a long and fulfilling life. It sounds silly, but I was also motivated by the concept that I never want to be a patient in hospital. They say nurses make the worst patients and I can vouch that I would do anything to avoid being one. I do not want to end up in hospital later in life with a multitude of chronic health problems induced by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. This concept will continue to motivate me long into the future.

Throughout the Bodyblitz challenge, I was able to keep motivated by keeping focussed on my goals and compliments about how fit I was looking – people said I looked too young to have teenage children. My favourite motivator was when someone commented that my daughter and I could pass as sisters – I was very flattered. I am happier, more confident, enthusiastic about life, and am less stressed due to my new lifestyle. I really enjoy getting dressed up and going out because I feel confident, fit and healthy.

What I learnt during my challenge was that I can do anything I put my mind to with hard work, commitment and dedication. I learnt that I am very fortunate to have my health; I learnt a lot about exercise and nutrition and how my body responds and needs to be continually challenged, and I learnt that going through this journey has been a gift and I need to pass this newfound knowledge on to my children so they, too, can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Maintaining my new lifestyle has been achievable because it is embedded into my routine. It is the way I do things now! I enjoy starting my day with exercise, it is ‘my time’ for myself, and I much prefer a healthy diet of lean meat, fruit and vegetables. You could not pay me to eat processed sugary foods anymore.

My advice to anybody considering taking on the challenge is: What are you waiting for? Get yourself organised and just do it; you won’t regret it and you’ll come out the other end feeling proud that you have become a happier, healthier version of yourself.

Breakfast: One egg and 200ml egg whites made into scrambled eggs
Snack: Protein shake with one serve of Greens antioxidant complex
Lunch: Cucumber, capsicum, corn and kidney bean salad with a can of sweet chilli tuna
Snack: Protein shake and three dates
Dinner: Lean meat with salad or vegetables

Monday: Weights – arms/upper body and cardio (1/2 hour)
Tuesday: Weights – legs/lower body & cardio (1/2 hour)
Wednesday: Cardio – a mixture of stepper, stationary bike, rower or running on treadmill (1 hour)
Thursday: Weights – arms/upper body & cardio (1/2 hour)
Friday: Weights – legs/lower body & cardio (1/2 hour)
Saturday: Cardio circuit – including a mixture of stepper, rower, bike & treadmill with sit-ups, push-ups, plank and burpees.
Sunday: Rest

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