Vickie Willis KOd  injury, fad diets and caring for a sick child to reclaim her fitness

Vickie Willis - January 2013 BodyBlitz winner - Women's Health & Fitness

In my teens I was always quite fit. Playing netball was a passion of mine. At the age of 16 I started having knee troubles. I continued to play but struggled as I got older. In my late 20s I had my first knee reconstruction. I had some complications and struggled to get full movement back, so my fitness started to fade. After two years and many day surgeries, I finally got the movement back I needed, but by this time I had lost my confidence to get back into sports.

One year later, I gave birth to my first son. Due to pre-eclampsia, he was born 10 weeks early and only weighed 1262grams. My fitness was never thought of as all I cared about was making sure my little boy was okay. Once he settled and things got back to normal I decided I was ready to get back to netball. I trained and felt good. On my 30th birthday I returned to play my first game only to damage my knee again. A second knee reconstruction was needed.  It was then I knew I would never return to the sport I loved and I lost interest in sport all together. Around one year later, after spending five weeks in hospital with more complications, my second son was born.

All I wanted to do was focus on my family. I was a full-time mum putting all my time into them. I never really worried about myself.  As time went by I became larger and less fit. I always acted like I was happy, but under that smile I struggled with how I had become.

Yo-Yo dieting

I was always a fad dieter. Trying different diets and meal plans, but I could never maintain my results. I found I would lose a heap of weight and then put even more back on. It was around four years ago that I became the heaviest I had ever been, weighing 97 kilos. It was then I realised I really did need help. I knew it was finally time to do something for me.

I was so unfit and I couldn’t even run 200 metres, so I knew I had a tough road ahead. With the support from my husband I found the courage to get myself a personal trainer. I started to do some boxing. The more I did it, the more I loved it. It was not long after I started training that my PT opened up a studio called Superfit Boxing. I immediately joined up and started to find the drive I had been looking for. I began to believe in me again. I gave up the PT sessions and just continued on in the classes. I could see I was changing and felt great but I would still slip back into old habits and gain weight. Superfit decided to run a nutritional challenge and I entered the competition. I had started to get my training and fitness back on track, so now it was time to change my eating habits. After nine weeks and learning about nutrition, I ended up winning and felt over the moon. I knew keeping the weight off wasn’t going to be easy for me and I finally realised the importance of setting goals. I’m very competitive, so I knew if I set a goal to challenge myself, I would have to achieve it. I could not let myself down.

Tough Mudder Australia

This year I set myself the massive challenge of competing in Tough Mudder Australia. I was so proud of myself, not only to enter but to actually complete the course. I continued to train after this but had no goals in place. I could feel my fitness slipping. That’s when I came across the BodyBlitz challenge. I knew this was the perfect challenge for me to take all that I have learnt over the years and prove to myself once and for all that I could do it without having someone push me or drive me. I drew up my own meal plan and designed a training program for myself to do at home, incorporating weights, cardio and my classes. I kept a diary, logging all my training and my food. During my 12 weeks I was admitted for day surgery in which I had to stop training for a week to allow myself to recover and then had to ease back into training after that. Normally, I would give up after something like that, but I refused to let that bring me down. So I continued to ease into training and when I was well I got myself back on track and back into it. I am amazed at my results in the 12 weeks. I have lost eight kilos and 40 cm from my body measurements. For the first time, instead of looking in the mirror and still seeing the old me, regardless of my results, I can truly say I actually see the difference in my body and what I have worked for. This has definitely inspired me to keep going. Now I continue to frequently set goals and challenges for myself. I have already drawn up my next program and have signed up to compete in Tough Mudder 2013. I also hope to challenge myself in competing in some running events in the near future.

With the support from my amazing family and friends, I know I can continue to be successful at what I set my mind to. Since I started my weight loss journey four years ago, I have lost a total of 31 kilos and can now go on 10 km runs. More importantly, I am able to keep up with my two sons and my amazing husband, who have constantly supported me through the highs and lows of the challenges I have set myself. I am so much happier in life and can now be the wife and mother I have always wanted to be.

To this day I still constantly struggle with knee problems but have learned to manage the pain and work my programs around it to suit me. The fitter I get, the easier it is to manage. I am still at Superfit and am constantly inspired by not only the trainers, but by the people around me who constantly challenge themselves to change their lives. I have managed to find a balance between my health and fitness and my day-to-day life, making at least an hour of me-time every day between work and my family commitments so I can train. I encourage people to dream big and believe in themselves, because I truly believe if you can do that, anything is possible.

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