With an unpredictable schedule and years of yoyo dieting behind her, Susan Brunjes found the confidence to make a positive change for good.

Susan Brunjes - September 2013 BodyBlitz winner

As a flight attendant, I’m always in different places, at different times, all the time. This lifestyle and its constant changes have proved to be the antonym for routine. Being confronted by this situational challenge coupled by a history of perpetual yoyo dieting only compounded my sense of discouragement in achieving my goals.  

Confidence boost

It was a chance encounter that ultimately boosted my confidence and helped me discover an effective way to adopt that elusive healthy eating and exercise regime. I met an amazing personal trainer, Jo Borgas, from Realistic Fitness in Cairns. She encouraged me to sign up for the BodyBlitz challenge. Someone had faith in me and this ignited a faith in myself.  

I felt elevated by the freedoms gained by confronting old belief systems and patterns that held me back. I had new patterns to entertain and I had someone to support the integration of them. If I had a letdown day, I simply began again because I was fascinated by all the strategies I was learning. The more winning tactics you have, the more possibilities you have to succeed. Jo diversified all of my workouts, exposing me to different things and pushing me intuitively towards results.  

I was being taught the proper way to move, the right techniques, how to maximise my efforts and how to avoid injury. This increased my confidence in the constantly changing environments my profession puts me in; I could now identify opportunities for exercise. I felt comfortable hitting the gym or rolling out a Pilates mat in my hotel room. I started to plan ahead and became super organised with my food choices. Grabbing something on the go when hungry often limited my choices to foods of convenience. This was an old pitfall I intend to avoid. This BodyBlitz challenge has been a process of empowerment and self-discovery.

The anticipation of pitfalls won’t eliminate their inevitability but it does help you to navigate your way through them smoothly. Birthday parties, busy work trips, cocktail hours and shifts starting at three o’clock are not the polar opposites to staying on track.  This is life and I’ve chosen to be strong, healthy and happy in the life I’m living. If I ever find myself off track, I quickly get back on track with a single word that resonates. It’s a short, sweet personalised mantra that succinctly reinforces positive direction: ‘renew’.  

Every day, I renew my commitment to myself and in renewing that commitment I am richly rewarded. Hollywood has us all focusing on happy endings. What I’ve learned is the importance of happy beginnings and the art of fresh starts. I wake up and exercise and look where it’s gotten me. This BodyBlitz challenge has been a process of empowerment and self-discovery.


I found Jo, my family and friends to be a rich source of encouragement and support.  With these elements animated, every step of this journey has been rewarding and transforming. As a result of being a beneficiary of their very appreciated encouragement, I find myself in a good position to inspire others. I have done it and you can too. Like many others, I had spent a lot of time in wishful thinking, always deferred what I needed to do to make a wish a reality. Like many others, I had that article of clothing in my closet that was chronically pushed off to another day. For me it was a little black Lisa Ho dress that I bypassed daily for 20 years, never having the body-confidence to wear it.  Twenty years later, this vintage number is hot in style and fits me better then when I bought it. Imagine how I felt when I pulled it off the hanger, put it on and walked out the door. That incredible feeling will forever keep me cognisant of not pushing my life off until tomorrow.

Thanks to Jo, every step of this journey has been rewarding and transforming. I took a step and then another and I will continue moving (literally) in such a positive direction. Now that I have made this commitment, there is no stopping and no turning back. I set new challenges and every day I reach for new heights.  The healthy lifestyle changes I’ve made have created such revolutionary change within me. People had always noticed my smile before, now the rest of me radiates with it. Who knew that I would end up loving cardio boxing as much as I love chocolate?

Meal Plan

Breakfast: rolled oats and protein powder

Snacks: Fruit or 4 rice cakes with avocado or 10 almonds or a protein bar

Lunch: Salad and chicken or salmon, or brown rice plus salmon

Dinner: Chicken or lean pork plus steamed or roasted vegetables

Evening indulgence: Hot chocolate

Exercise routine

Monday: Weights - super sets and cardio

Tuesday: Cardio and Pilates

Wednesday: Weights - super sets and boxing

Thursday: Cardio and Pilates

Friday: Weights - super sets and cardio

Saturday: Cardio and Pilates

Sunday: Rest