Halfway through her second pregnancy, Fionn Muster suddenly realised she needed to quit making excuses and change her lifestyle for the better.

Fionn Muster Bodyblitz winner - Women's Health & Fitness

 

Taking the first step

When I saw my starting photos, I wanted to cry. My son was born seven weeks earlier, but any delusion I had about ‘just carrying some baby weight’ was gone. The reality of my situation was staring me in the face. I had no idea this was how bad everything had become.

It had hit me halfway through my pregnancy that I needed to change my lifestyle. I knew I needed to change so I could be a positive role model for my daughter and unborn child. I wanted to be a mother who was plugged in and engaged, not tired, stressed and exhausted.

During my pregnancy I found Ideal Bodies Online, and contacted them because I saw real women who had made positive adjustments to their lives. There was no magic pill or potion sold; results were achieved clearly through hard work – but the success stories were there.

I signed up for a 12-week, fully supported program. I began to set up a gym in our garage during my pregnancy. I mentally looked toward my start date, which was set for around seven weeks after the birth of our beautiful baby boy, who was born in September 2012. We now had our little girl who had just turned two and our baby boy – the perfect pair as we put it.

For financial reasons, I had to return to a work-from-home role when he was just three weeks old. I knew the start date for my training program was coming, and I was so scared. I didn’t know how I would manage to add more in with a newborn, who I was breastfeeding, a toddler, working from home along with managing our family’s day-to-day lives.

When I received my first program, it was a real mind-shift for me to figure out how I was going to incorporate all of the exercise into my day and start eating well, rather than just flying blind and eating whatever, whenever without any physical activity.

I read over everything, scheduled out my first week’s training, went shopping for the right foods and woke up on the first Monday and started my program. I entered two competitions to keep me accountable, despite the deep fear of anyone ever seeing my starting photos.

Weight training

During my first weights session, I fought back tears. I felt like stopping short and had negative voices telling me I was useless the whole time, but I pushed through and completed all repetitions and sets of each exercise.
 No matter what excuse I tried to come up with, I did the exercise as it was written out in the program. Slowly, I began to find it easier to get out of bed and I gradually grew stronger and fitter. My muscles were defining, still hiding from the world underneath heavy layers of fat, but I knew they were there. I gradually increased my weights and found a new focus.

I also got really honest about my negative self-talk, like telling myself I would never be able to keep this up, that I was useless and that I would fail. I began to recognise where that self-worth stemmed from by hearing it loud and clear, not from pushing it aside or burying my feelings. I had become my own worst enemy by giving weight to these thoughts all through my life. In the end, no matter where this self-worth stemmed from, the only person who was responsible for changing it was me.

I began to see that I had always taken an all-or-nothing approach to my health and fitness. I had thought that it was about perfection and getting everything right at all times, and when I had bad days, I would give up on myself. Armed with new knowledge, I ate to fuel my body on most days. When I had slip-ups, or special occasions, I learned to remove the guilt that had always played such a big part in giving up in the past.
I have always looked at people who woke up at 5am to exercise as crazy, and now I’m one of them. It’s turned into my time, where everyone else is asleep. I go into the gym and take my time to listen to ‘my’ music and focus on ‘my’ self without interruption.

The final weeks

During the final weeks of the 12-week program, I was working out anywhere between six and 10 hours per week, when counting the additional light walking I was adding in the evenings. If someone had told me I could do that at the start of the program, I would have laughed in their face.

I am addicted to strength training, and am slowly beginning to realise what my body is capable of through making regular progress. I can also run again and push through intense cardio, and am setting new goals for myself every week.

I am no longer externalising and focusing on things happening around me that are out of my control. I am no longer blaming myself for every negative situation, or thinking that every problem is my responsibility to fix. I am no longer worried about what people might think of me, or letting other people’s attitudes affect me negatively.

I am a better mother, better partner, and more to the point, a better self. I am not taking crap anymore, because when ‘crap’ arises I am not bottling things up, or trying to overanalyse or take on too much responsibility. I am simply dealing with things, letting things go and moving on.

I look at my before and after photos, and I have made some amazing ground, but I am completely aware this journey is far from over. This started as a way for me to feel better about myself, maybe lose some weight, but it has now turned into a new way of life. I can see there is no end to this process, and no end to what I can achieve.

Thank you to the amazing Ideal Bodies Online team who supported me in reaching my goals. Thank you to my partner for his love and support and to my beautiful kids for inspiring me to do this for myself. There’s no looking back now!

MEAL PLAN
Breakfast Oats, chocolate protein powder, skim milk
Snack Blueberries, organic low-fat natural yoghurt
Lunch Chicken breast, basmati rice and stir fry vegetables
Snack Thin rice cakes with natural peanut butter
Dinner Turkey mince and fresh vegetable bolognaise with Slim Pasta

EXERCISE ROUTINE
Mon AM – heavy weights and cardio intervals, PM – 45-min light cardio
Tues AM – 45-min intense cardio, PM – 45-min light cardio
Wed AM – moderate weights and cardio intervals, PM – 45-min light cardio
Thurs AM – 60-min intense cardio, PM – 45-min light cardio
Fri AM – heavy weights and cardio intervals
Sat AM – 45-min intense cardio, PM – 45-min light cardio
Sun Rest

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