Meet Helen, the newest female winner of the F45 eight week challenge, who lost a whopping 8.2 kilograms and 11.1 percent body fat during the popular body transformation program.
We spoke to the 42-year-old about her insanely impressive results and her advice for others want to overhaul their health and fitness.
First off, congratulations! How did you feel when you found out you won?
Absolutely shocked, I mean it was never really on my radar. It was fabulous.
What prompted you to take on the challenge?
I was looking for something that I could really get stuck into that had really good guidelines, good support. I’ve tried lots of things in the past, but this seemed to resonate with me. I saw a few people’s results and thought ‘wow they look great’ so I was really ready to step up, concentrate and give my all for the eight weeks.
Had you been exercising prior to the challenge?
I’d say [I'd been at F45] about four weeks prior to starting the challenge so I had a good feel for what the classes were about and got to know the trainers and the rest of the crew. Not too long before but enough to know what I was in for.
The last thing I did [before that] was the gold coast marathon, this time last year. It was a long, hard slog and a very different approach to exercise to be honest I lost my focus, my motivation to physically train myself. I'm a coach, I coach kids in athletics but to motivate myself was really hard so I was doing very little. I took my foot off the gas, life was busy, I have two kids and everything overtook it and then I was like ‘hang on a minute, I need to look after myself’.
How did you find the challenge, was it hard?
Yes, well you’re fighting with yourself all the time, will power is the biggest thing it’s a total game changer. I didn’t drink any alcohol for the eight weeks and stuck to the eating plan to the tee. It was hard at times. The first four weeks were the hardest but after that I got into the rhythm of it, I got into the routine and the last few weeks it was great. I hit my target weight at week six so I was like ‘oh wow ok, what’s going on?!’ I was really curious the whole time – what happens if you really dedicate yourself to something, what actually can you do. I really discovered something about myself, I’m really happy.
What do you think made the biggest difference, the change to your eating or exercising?
Becoming very routine based was the most helpful, I really love the app but if I had to say... it was probably the food. Cutting out all of the sugar, the alcohol, the extra treats, that probably made the biggest difference. I’ve been psychically active for most of the time but when you’re focused and you have that routine, it was a real lifeline for me. I was like wow, my body can change as well as my mindset.
How often did you train?
Probably a minimum, of six session a week but sometimes eight.
What’s your health and fitness routine like now?
Pretty much the same amount of sessions a week but I’m lifting heavier. I’ve stayed on the maintenance meal plan and I’ll go again for the next challenge but with a different focus. I’ll be focusing on putting more muscle on I’d like to get a little bit stronger so I’m setting some new goals.
You’re obviously looking amazing but are you feeling great as well?
I’m feeling really good it’s a whole new world, having to buy new clothes and stuff! I feel great, lots of support around me lots of positive feedback. I’m hoping to help others in the future and give them some guidance towards their own fitness journey, especially women over 40. I’m 42 and I think it’s important to give a shout out to the ladies over 40 because it gets a bit tougher.
What would you tell others who might be considering signing up?
If you really want results and you can stick at this, you’ll get them. Everybody can tap into the strength of their will power and cut out the things you shouldn’t be having, do your exercise and stick with your meal plan and you will get results. I’m absolutely amazed at what I could achieve in eight weeks, it’s not a very long time at all. The first four weeks are hard but back yourself, everybody doubts themselves, everyone thinks it’s too hard, they can’t do it but you just need to take a little rest. When you’re tempted to go and grab something to eat or have something that’s not on the daily plan just take a moment and really just think about what you’re doing and in that split second you can steer yourself away. Do it, I highly recommend it. You’ll get the results.