Hi, my name is Shantell Landman. I have been trying to lose weight for years and it has reached the point where my weight was causing me to feel depressed and was starting to take over my life. It has been a battle for so long that I started losing hope that I would ever lose the weight. I am great at doing weight loss research and starting things but never seem to be able to complete anything. I was always looking for a “quick fix”, searching for a new “magic pill” that will make me lose the weight quickly and with as little as possible exercise. After years of trying and failing, I soon realized that the only way the weight would drop off, and stay off, was if I buckled up and did it the difficult but healthy way.
Lizelle told me about the 12 week body blitz programme and showed me the before and after pictures on the website. I immediately felt a tingle of excitement in my stomach but at the same time was scared to go back to a gym as I have not been in one for years. I decided to put the fear aside and to give this programme a go as I had nothing to lose but the weight!
So on day 1 of this 12 week programme I went to the Gym to meet Carolyn, a trainer at the gym. She weighed me and took my measurements before we started the first workout.
There I was, looking straight at the thing I dreaded the most, the treadmill! I could not remember the last time I was on one of those. I knew I was unfit but had no idea just how unfit I was. I complained throughout the session on the treadmill. I actually felt sorry for Carolyn, but she was so supportive and motivated me through that entire session. After 30mins, which felt like hours, on the treadmill we started our weight training for day 1.
After the workout I felt so tired but I also felt good. I had completed day 1 of the challenge and there was no turning back now. The rest of the week was really hard work. It took so much determination to complete the exercises, as I was so sore and tired. I had not been active for ages and although it felt great, I was very exhausted. That weekend I could still feel the pain in my muscles but it now felt like a good pain. Every movement I made I was reminded of the new lifestyle I have chosen for myself and it felt amazing! For the first time, in a very long time, I actually felt like this was possible.
If I am honest, I was not only scared of going to the gym because of how unfit I am, but I was also very scared of embarrassing myself. I felt so uncomfortable in previous gyms that I went to and was very scared to feel that way again. But wow was I wrong. Go Girl Physique is like a family rather than just a gym. Members whom I have never seen or met before were supporting me in this programme and was motivating me to keep going! This is the first time ever I have been to a gym where everyone wants to see everyone succeed and reach their goals. It is amazing, not only do you have a crazy amount of support from all the trainers but also from the members! That made me feel even more excited as I now had the support I needed to finally reach my goal!
Bring on week 2!
Day 1 of week 2 had me really excited. My muscles had time to recover from week one and I felt excited and ready for week 2. I noticed that I was not as sore after workouts and also didn’t feel as tired. I mean I could feel that I had worked my muscles but at least I could move without looking funny. It actually felt like I had more energy after workouts which blew my mind away. I could not believe how different I felt in week 2 as opposed to week 1.
At the beginning of the programme I thought that 12 weeks was such a long time. I was so excited to see results that I was not sure how I would be able to wait that long. Before I knew it, week 2 was complete. It was hard work don’t get me wrong, but it just felt like it flew by. That made me so excited.
Carolyn told me at the end of the week that we were going to weigh me again before starting week 3. She popped me on the scale and I was super excited to see how much I have dropped as I am very much motivated by results. She then covered the screen of the scale so that I was unable to see what it said. She told me that I only find out the results at the end of the programme. This drove me insane! She did however, tell me that I have lost she just didn’t tell me how much! Thinking about it I realised that it was probably for the best. If I didn’t care about the scales and just focus on getting each day done maybe for once I would not obsess about my progress or weight loss. There is also something about not knowing that makes you work even harder so I was willing to give the control over and give this “not knowing thing” a go! (Not that I had much of a choice☺)
I enjoyed week 2. It felt like there were some exercises which were not as difficult as in week 1. I know that weights increase and the reps decrease in week 3 and 4, so I am slightly nervous to see how I will go in week 3. At least I know that I will not be alone and that I will have the support needed to make it through.
Leading into the weekend I was excited and proud of what I have achieved. Mentally I felt a lot stronger already! I was ready for week 3 to start and ready to fight for this more than I have ever fought before!
Week 3 was really challenging for me. This time I was not just facing the treadmill I was running on the treadmill, something I never saw myself doing. It was hard work but with determination and all the support Carolyn was giving me, I managed to somehow do it! Every day I was being pushed to my limits and every day I walked out of the gym surprised with what I had just achieved. It was a very satisfying feeling.
I was now at a point where it was exciting to go into the gym for a workout. I was even starting to have fun. (I never thought that I would ever put exercise and fun in the same sentence!) I was very worried about the new program for week 3 and 4 but it turned out to be quite good. The exercises was challenging as the weights went up but it was manageable with hard work, perseverance and the motivation I received from Carolyn and everyone else in the Gym.
I was feeling even better than in week 2, my energy levels were up and I was starting to feel more and more excited about my journey as the days went on. Bring on week 4!
Week 4 was a really difficult week for me. I pushed so hard with the exercises that it felt like I was back in week 1, barely able to move. My muscles hurt so much that at times it felt like I had been "hit by a bus". The weird thing is, it was a good feeling. It was like the more it hurt the more I could "feel" the weight dropping off. I know this is a mental thing more than a physical thing but the pain reminded me of what I was fighting for and pushed me to fight harder. I could only feel the pain when my muscles were cold, with a good warm up I was as good as new and ready for the next days exercises.
Even though week 4 was a really difficult week it was also aN eye opener for me. I got pushed past what I thought my limits were. This made me realize that sometimes my mind tells me "I can't do this" but my body is actually able to do it. It is hard to explain but there is nothing more rewarding than completing an intense workout, which you thought were impossible, and turns out it is possible. I got addicted to that feeling of accomplishment and before I knew it I had signed myself up for an extra Saturday session. Now this is a very first for me. Not only am I exercising on a Saturday but also doing an extra session in one of the most difficult weeks I've had thus far! Had I completely lost my mind?
So Saturday morning came and I almost immediately regretted my decision. However, I had made the commitment so I had to go in. When I got there I was surprised with a weigh in, this petrified me. On the scale I got, screen covered so I couldn't see anything but Lizelle and Carolyn seemed extremely happy with the result, so I was happy. I did my workout and felt great afterwards.
That night we had a family BBQ. I cannot even remember the last time I tried on one of my jeans. They were all too small and I refused to buy any bigger clothes. On Saturday I decided to give it a go, and it fit me! My jean actually fit me. I could not believe it and as you can imagine that gave me a lot of motivation for week 5 and 6. So at the end of week 4 I am feeling excited about the other 8 weeks of the program. Bring it on!
Here I was, 2 weeks away from being half way with the programme. On the one hand it felt as if time had flown by and on the other hand it felt like I still had such a long way to go. I did not feel motivated at all and could not find the energy to go to the gym. I couldn’t understand how I could go from being so motivated and ready for this, to not wanting to do it at all! I still went in and did my workouts but I just didn’t feel good about it. After doing some thinking I realized that the reason for my lack of motivation comes from not being able to finish anything I start, as mentioned in my week 1 blog! I normally tend to stick to something for about 4 weeks (a month) and then I would lose the motivation to continue and therefore stop whatever it was that I was doing. This time however, giving up was not an option! I had to really dig deep and somehow find the strength to push through. The motivation and support that I got at the gym really helped me with this. To have someone believe in you (way more than what you believe in yourself) really gives you the courage to at least continue trying. So after I threw a “tantrum” in the gym, Carolyn gave me a very inspirational and motivational talk which really made me want to dig deep to find the courage to break through this mental block I had going on. I figured if she believed in me as much as she did, I owed it to myself to believe in myself!
That is when I decided I was going to get over myself and try my very best to have a more positive attitude in week 6. Goodbye to the negative Shantell and hello to the new and improved optimistic me. I could not have broken down that wall without Carolyn’s help and support and for that I will be forever grateful!
Bring on week 6, I am ready for this!
I started this week with a much more positive outlook than in week 5. Not only would I be halfway through the programme by the end of this week but I would also be picking up my good friend from the airport who was visiting me from Auckland. This was enough to keep me motivated throughout week 6.
The exercise that broke me and caused my tantrum in week 5 was the “grip pull ups”. Week 6 day 1 would be the second attempt I had at this and I was ready to own that exercise. I knew what was coming and mentally prepared myself and, to my surprise, dominated that superset. Finally I was getting that good feeling back. Another exercise that shocked me in week 5 was the “jump squat onto a step”. When Carolyn initially showed me how to do that exercise I had to giggle to myself. I thought it was a practical joke that she was playing on me but, to my horror, soon realized that it was no joke at all! Again this would be my second attempt at the exercise and I was ready to do it even better than in week 5. My landing onto the step was much softer and way more controlled than in week 5. This made me feel like I was making progress and growing stronger as the weeks went by. I needed to redeem myself from week 5 and it felt like I had accomplished that which motivated me even more.
I was now halfway through the programme and felt like I had the motivation to complete the second half! Bring it on!
My friend, Nicole, had decided she would do two days of training with me. This made me super excited as we always used to gym together in Auckland and have been on this weight loss journey together for ages. She was amazed at what I could achieve in the gym which really made me stop and think about how far I had come from week 1 to now.
On one of the days Carolyn told me that I would be running up and down the stairs as part of my cardio session. At first I thought she was joking but by now I knew that she did not joke about these things at all. I knew complaining would get me nowhere so I would just have to dig deep and do it. Now to give you an idea, I don’t ever take the steps. I am that person that would use the elevator or excavator to go up one storey! So when she said run the stairs I thought I was going to have a heart attack. It was not easy at all but I did it which felt great.
One of my sessions in week 7 fell on a Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning and found that it was snowing. Here I was, standing in the snow trying to wash snow off my car so that I could go to the gym. This was pretty amazing for me considering that I struggled to go to the gym when it rained in Auckland (I often used that as an excuse not to go at all if I am being 100% honest). This again showed me how I have changed over the past couple of weeks and how committed I was to losing this weight which have been tying me down for so long. I felt so good after the training session and had so much energy! All the negative vibes from week 5 have now truly disappeared and that good addictive feeling had well and truly returned, yes!!!
I cannot believe that I am starting week 8. It is scary to think that at the end of this week I will only have 4 weeks left. I know that most of you would be thinking that I would be jumping for joy as I am getting closer to the end but it is a bitter sweet moment to be honest. Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I am more motivated than ever to give it my all and lose as much as I possibly can. I think not knowing how much I have lost is contributing to this bitter sweet feeling as I have no idea how close I am to achieving my goal. I do think that not knowing is pushing me to work harder each day, so that is what I will continue to do.
Week 7 and 8 had a lot more supersets in them. Now a super set is where you do a set of one exercise and immediately go into your set of the second exercise without any rest. You rotate between the two exercises until you have completed all your sets. I know this sounds intimidating but by this stage in the programme you have gained so much strength and being able to complete these supersets makes you feel even better about the workout and yourself. It was incredibly challenging and I really had to dig deep to get them done but I managed to survive another week.
Another challenge I faced this week was jumping rope. Now this is something I even struggled to do as a child so I knew it would not be easy. Then again nothing was easy at this stage of the programme and I would not expect it to be or it wouldn’t be called the 12 week body blitz challenge. The first day of jumping rope was close to a disaster but I seemed to get a little better at it each day. It was tiring though, I had forgotten how exhausting jumping rope is which is probably why it is a good way of improving your fitness level.
I have heard some comments about the intensity of week 9 so I have to be honest and say I am a little scared for next week but I have an amazing gym partner, Carolyn, and I know she will help me achieve anything. And for that reason, I am ready for whatever may come my way!
At the start of this week I felt rather nervous. I had heard some scary stories about the next two weeks and was not sure how I would cope. Day 1 of week 9 is legs day. It is the biggest and most difficult legs day in the programme so far. The weights part of the programme has more cardio incorporated through burpees, jumping squats, jump rope and mountain climbers. I got to the gym a tad bit late and therefore had to super set the legs day as I would not have had enough time to complete the workout. It was intense and extremely difficult but it felt absolutely amazing once I completed the workout. The rest of the week was challenging, as were all the weeks up until now, but I managed to cope quite well.
This week made me realise how far I have come from my first week and that made me feel really good.
In the next month we were going to see my father in law, my parents and our friends in Auckland. I felt excited to hear their feedback and that made me want to work even harder in the weeks to come. My body was rather sore this week but I am ready for week 10 so bring it on.
Here I was, staring this massive legs day in the face once again. I dreaded doing this day again because it left me exhausted last week. This time I made sure that I was at the gym early enough so that I had enough time to do the workout. Once I started I decided to super set the workout again, crazy I know! The previous week I was so tired that we skipped the step-ups but this week I managed to do them as well as all the other exercises. There was this new level of determination that flooded over me. It was one of the best workouts I had done thus far just simply because I pushed myself harder than what I have ever done before. I was starting to realize that I had 3 weeks left on this programme and it freaked me out a little bit.
A couple of weeks ago I wanted to fast forward time so that I could reach the end of the programme but now that I was actually near the end I wanted to pause time so that I had some more time to lose weight. I am still going to continue my journey after this programme but losing weight has almost become addictive. Before I could not fathom being smaller and now that I am smaller I just want to continue shrinking.
This is the first time ever that I have stuck it out this long in my weight loss journey and it was obvious that it was working. Not only were people telling me how good I was looking but I could feel the difference in every single piece of clothing that I put on. Looking back at my journey I cannot believe how quickly the time went by. I just want to get everyone onto this programme because even though it is difficult and really hard work, it is so worth it. I have grown emotionally, I have gotten physically more fit & stronger and my self-confidence is starting to resurface. Two more weeks to go and I get to find out exactly how much I have lost! Exciting times ahead!
WOW, week 11! I cannot believe how quick time is going. On one hand I just want it to go faster so that I can find out how much I have lost but on the other side I want it to slow down so that I can lose even more! This week I decided to go through my clothes and ended up with 2 black bags full of clothes which are now way too big for me. There were pants that I could not fit into at the start of this journey which were now too big for me. I had to try some of the items on twice just to make sure that I was not imagining it. The feeling that you get from looking in the mirror and seeing your body transform is rather addictive! I just want to give every workout my all so that I can transform my body even more.
This week I really held on to that determination to reach my goal and gave every workout my all. The increase in reps and sets for legs day this week made it real challenging but I have to say that it was kind of fun. This week I really realized how much easier cardio had become. I even chose to do jump rope for cardio some days and I use to want to run far away when Carolyn said that’s what we’re doing and I don’t like running! I was really sore this week but then again what’s new? You get used to it and when you do have a workout where you are not sore afterwards, you almost want to push harder the next time.
I have mixed feeling about next week but I think excitement is at the top of the list so bring it on! I am ready for the final week!
At the end of last week I said that excitement was the feeling at the top of my list but as I go into week 12 I am starting to feel really nervous. It almost feels like I want to move into the gym for the week so that I can squeeze as much exercise in as possible but unfortunately this week is a very busy one for me and I will have to settle for my normal gym sessions only. This week is my last chance so I am going to give it my all. I find that every second week of the programme is easier for me. Not to say that it’s not hard work but at least I know what’s coming so I feel like I can mentally prepare for it and really push myself. So this was my final sprint to the finish line!
The most challenging exercise for me this week is the back extensions and the amount of calf raises. In the beginning I would complain about having to do them but by now I have started to enjoy every challenge that each week brings. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can say that you did it!
Another challenge for me this week was shopping! I can’t remember the last time I willingly went shopping, because truth be told, it was not really a great experience the last couple of years. That put aside, I had to go as I threw away half of my clothes last week. In the first store I found the entire experience very odd, sorry but that’s the best word I can find to explain it. My husband was handing me things that I would definitely not have tried on before because I already knew how it would look. I was even more stunned at what I saw in the mirror of the dressing room. I kept looking for flaws, which was due to habit really, as I soon realized I was nit-picking at really minor detail in the grand scheme of things. In the second store they had so many clothes on special but majority of the special racks were too big for me, another really odd experience! I went home that day with a couple of items that I really liked which was new territory for me. I could not believe that I was going home from a shopping session, happy! Now for the photo shoot next week and the final weigh in and measurements. I cannot wait!