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In a bout of insomnia several weeks ago, feeling overweight, unfit and unhappy, I saw mention of Michelle Bridges’ 12 week body transformation on Facebook. I remember a friend who had previously done the program heartily recommending it and so, without thinking about it too much, I signed up for it. Hey, it was probably the most productive thing I’ve ever done at 2am!

It seems a long time ago that I made that decision, and yet the program has only just started. This is because the program is structured in 12 week rounds, so that everyone who is on the program starts at the same time. You have the support and encouragement from I don’t know how many other people on the comprehensive and very busy forums who are all struggling with issues or celebrating similar milestones to your own.

While we waited for Round 3 to start there were the Warm Up and Pre-Season phases, which prepared us for the program itself. In this phase, we were asked to do things like name and get rid of the excuses that have prevented us getting fit up until now, set our goals, clear out the cupboards of unhealthy food, do a fitness test and measure up so that we have a benchmark to compare ourselves to later on. Unsurprisingly, I’m as unfit as I assumed I was. As for the kitchen cupboards, I was pleased that we hardly had to get rid of anything…but our problem isn’t hoarding unhealthy food in the cupboards, but buying it on the way home from work and eating it that night!

Round 3 started this week. I did a big shop according to the provided shopping list, and have been eating the meals set out on the nutrition planner. I’m supposed to do six workouts a week, which is a massive shift for someone who hasn’t exercised for a verrry long time – but I bought Bridges’ 3 pack of DVDs to get me started and actually did them! (She also provides options for working out in the gym or at home…everything is really detailed and explained very clearly).

As with any program, it has taken a while for me to get into the culture of 12WBT. Whoever does Bridges’ branding has been working hard – her cheery, toned and sometimes intense image stares out at you from every page on the site, and she talks to us through countless videos (I don’t mind the videos so much, but the Static Stare of Fitness is sometimes a bit much). As well as the exercise demos and tips, we get a couple of new videos each week designed to keep us motivated and to challenge our mindsets. I’m really not a rah-rah, “you can do it”, “be the best you can be” kind of person. Maybe I’m too cynical and untrustworthy. But I’m actually finding the videos helpful, and am even starting to enjoy Bridges’ style of presentation.

(I think the turning point might have been starting to workout to her DVDs, which are great, and seeing her in action. It’s like being trained by an impressively fit cross between Katy Perry and Marion Cotillard.)

The biggest challenges in this first week for me are getting up every morning and moving, and sticking to the nutrition plan at work, when I’m most tempted to snack. So far I am managing to do it (with the exception of yesterday when my workout plans failed hugely). This morning, I even used a guest pass at my local Fitness First and did a workout there, and will probably end up joining a gym despite swearing I would never do that again, simply because our house is too small to work out in, and it’s easier to work out in a context where everyone else is doing the same thing (I always feel a bit awkward doing cardio when mum’s trying to get ready for work, or in the backyard where the neighbours can see).

Only four days in and I know this is going to work; I already feel much better physically, my back is less sore, and I’m feeling pretty positive.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll turn into a rah-rah girl after all.


PS I’ll be writing about my 12WBT ‘journey’ here, so maybe there’s a bit of life in this ole blog yet!