Rediscovering her love for exercise was key to Denise Sinclair’s now competition-worthy body

Denise Sinclair - August Bodyblitz winner - Women's Health & Fitness

I have always been an active person who loves exercise, particularly running. I had done a few half marathons and small triathlons but made a promise to myself that I would complete a full marathon before I turned 40, in particular, the Great Wall of China. While I didn’t get to China, I completed the Melbourne Marathon in October and the next month I turned 40. However, after reaching this goal, for the next year I lost all motivation and didn’t do any exercise. I didn’t gain a massive amount of weight but I did get to 62kg, which was the heaviest I had ever been outside of pregnancy. Since my early 20s I had always been on some crazy fad diet and I finally decided something needed to change.

We had a gym set-up at home but I was never terribly motivated to go and work out, or when I did I didn’t stick to it for very long. I signed up at a gym but didn’t end up going for a couple months. Having never really been a gym person, it was quite intimidating, but I needed to get out of my comfort zone. My goal was to enter a figure competition and I was assigned to my wonderful personal trainer, Debbie Keen, who has won many titles including Miss NSW IFBB Figure Champion & runner up Miss Universe INBA Figure Champion.  

She was just what I needed. After entering the BodyBlitz challenge many times but never completing the 12 weeks, I figured that this was my ideal opportunity to again enter the challenge. I worked out with Debbie once a week and for the rest of the week I did my best to get to the gym every day. It didn’t work, of course, but I was getting there five days in the end.  

I was given a food plan and workout program to help me achieve my goal of the competition. We were allowed one meal off per week. Sometimes it was hard sticking to just one cheat meal, especially since I love my chocolate and having wine with dinner or when catching up with family and friends. Changing my diet and losing all those luxuries was hard. I’m just thankful I have a supportive and loving husband and three and a half-year-old daughter when the times got tough.

Having weekly weigh-ins with Debbie also made me more accountable for what I ate through the week. The week before the figure competition, I had my weigh-in and measurements taken. Although I knew my body had changed, I didn’t feel that it had changed that much, especially the lower body. I guess I was focusing too much on not having Lindy Olsen (fitness model) or Halle Berry legs and not what I had accomplished over the past 12 weeks. Self-doubt is the hardest thing to overcome. I had lost 6.5kg but to my shock I had lost 49.5 cm off my entire body. I hadn’t been this small since my school days.

My first competition is now completed and I am focusing on the next one…and the one after...I’m hooked. Those legs will come eventually, I just now know some parts of the body take longer than others, and that’s OK.
We now eat much cleaner at home and although I do still have my chocolate and wine, it’s much less often than it was before the challenge. With my motivation back, that Great Wall of China Marathon is starting to look attainable again!

Exercise plan
Monday: Chest and triceps
Tuesday: Back and biceps
Wednesday: Legs and abs
Thursday: Cardio
Friday: Shoulders and abs
Saturday: Cardio

Meal Plan
Breakfast: 2 Weetbix with protein shake
Snack: Rockmelon or strawberries
Lunch: Tuna on rice cakes
Snack: Protein Shake
Dinner: Chicken breast with salad
Snack: 4 egg white omelette

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