On overcoming challenges:
Everyday life was the biggest challenge of all. I realised that if this was going to be a long-term lifestyle change, I couldn’t just put everything in my life on hold for 12 weeks and concentrate on this one goal. Along with the normal work and family obligations, during the 12 weeks I had Mother’s Day lunch, a weekend away with a friend and numerous birthday parties to attend, so I just did my best, tried to be prepared and if it didn’t quite go to plan, I let it go and got back on track for my next meal or training session.

On workout motivation:
My progress kept me motivated. I took photos and measurements of myself every week and, even though they were only slight changes, I could see that my body was changing. It was also a great help having a support system, my family and friends really helped to keep me focused. I want to be active in old age so I kept reminding myself that this challenge was something that will help shape my habits for the rest of my life.

On food swaps:
It has been easier to adapt to a healthy lifestyle than I actually thought it would be. I have so much more energy now than I can ever remember having. I felt like my body was relieved that I was nourishing it rather than filling it with junk.

On treats:
Cheat meals are so important. I found that because I only had one a week. I would carefully plan the when, where and what. If I was having a cheat meal, it was going to be worth it.

On measurements:
Before and after measurements are the most important thing you can do for yourself while getting fit. It is a true measure of your achievements. I took photos of myself every week and compared them to the previous one. Even if I didn’t feel as though I had changed much, there were always small changes happening every week that helped keep me motivated and able to stick to my program through to the end.

On goals:
My next goal is to lose another size, I want to be toned and trimmed for summer – this year I will be wearing a bikini on the beach for sure. Now that I have been chosen to be the monthly winner, my inspiration will be the chance to become the annual winner. That would be the most amazing achievement ever.

Fitness cheat notes:

Be kind to yourself. I realised that I didn’t have to do things perfectly, I just had to do them. When I was sick and couldn’t go to the gym, I made sure my food was spot-on, or if I had overindulged with food off my plan, I was consistent in the gym.

WHAT I ATE

Meal 1: Oats, skim milk and a protein shake
Meal 2: 50 g salad and tin of tuna
Meal 3:  250 g strawberries and 170 g yoghurt
Meal 4: 150 g cooked brown rice
Meal 5: One banana and 30 g almonds
Meal 6: Four corn thins and 100 g lite cottage cheese
Meal 7: 150g rump steak and 200 g green vegetables

WHAT I DID

Monday: Legs and cardio
Tuesday: Shoulders and cardio
Wednesday: Back and cardio
Thursday: Legs and cardio
Friday: Shoulders and cardio
Saturday: Back, abs and cardio
Sunday: Rest day

Congratulations Tammy! Are you up for the challenge? Kick start your fitness journey with the 12-week challenge.