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A change for the better - Karin Lowe

After having four children, Sharleen Twyman was determined to get her life back on track and regain her health. She reveals the life philosophy that helped her complete the BodyBlitz challenge.

Sharleen Twyman Before and After

When I left school I began a career in the fitness industry and I became a gym and aerobics instructor. I loved it and have been in the industry ever since.

This doesn’t mean I have had an easy time of controlling my weight and I think it’s important that people know that instructors and professionals in the fitness industry do struggle with body issues, we are human after all.

I have struggled with my weight for a long time.
I continued aerobics instructing through all my pregnancies, and managed to keep my weight gain close to the guidelines; however, having my last two children so close together did take a toll on my body.

I had bad nausea and was exhausted from caring for my three children while also pregnant with my fourth child. I had to stop instructing and was only able to walk a couple of times a week. That coupled with some not so great food choices saw me balloon.

I wasn’t in a good headspace after having my fourth child. I felt tired and lethargic and it was an effort to do everything, including exercise, not to mention I was feeling down due to the post-birth hormones.

I just wanted to get back to exercise, feel better about myself and get a base fitness back so I could contemplate getting back to doing what I love.

The main thing I have done this time that has allowed me to succeed is to accept where I was with my health. I needed to take responsibility for where I was at and then I had to move forward. No more excuses.
I had to accept I had reached 92kg; I had to accept that my body couldn’t do the things it used to do and I was lacking fitness.

I had become inactive and eaten too much. I was responsible for that.

I had a heap of weight to shift. I have attempted the BodyBlitz challenge twice before and didn’t complete either challenge. This time I decided to complete the BodyBlitz challenge and give it my all.

The hardest part of the challenge was the start. I had to get my body moving again and start choosing foods that would fuel and nourish my body.

After a few weeks I felt fantastic and began to enjoy the feeling that exercise and a new food plan was giving me.

I started walking for the first four weeks of the challenge and progressed to walking and jogging intervals. I introduced a Bodystep and a Bodyattack class into my program at week five which allowed me to get back in the studio.

By week seven my fitness had improved and I was able to jog continuously for 40 minutes. The results were amazing. I had a consistent weight loss each week and the weight is still coming off.

I have also made a point to ignore any negative thoughts and replace them with a positive.
Early on in the challenge, I found myself looking in the mirror and feeling like it was going to take a long time before I saw results and that it would be just too hard.

I had to turn these negative thoughts into positive and with this process came mental strength.

It is important to me to be a healthy, happy role model for my children, and this challenge has allowed me to become just that. I have to say a big thanks to my husband for supporting me and always remaining positive and always finding a way to make my training possible.

I really didn’t believe these sorts of changes were possible in 12 weeks. I thought I could make a start, but I’ve made a start and kept going and now I am back instructing and doing what I love.

I’m now in training for a half marathon, something I have wanted to do for eight years.

I also want to help other mums regain their confidence and work towards their own fitness goals. c

Eating Plan

Breakfast: One piece organic rye bread and one egg.
Snack: Apple or Banana.
Lunch: Two mountain bread wraps with lean meat and salad.
Snack: Organic popcorn or rye crackers with organic peanut butter.
Dinner: Lean meat with salad or vegetables.
Dessert: Four squares of organic dark chocolate or yoghurt topped with muesli.

Exercise Plan

Weeks 1-4
Monday: 50 minute walk pushing pram.
Tuesday: 50 minute walk pushing pram.
Wednesday: 30 minute jog/ walk.
Thursday: 50 minute walk pushing pram.
Friday: 50 minute walk pushing pram.
Saturday: Rest day.
Sunday: 30 minute jog/ walk.
Body weight circuit 2 x week.

Weeks 5 - 8
Monday: 30 minute jog.
Tuesday: Bodystep class.
Wednesday: 30 minute jog.
Thursday: Rest day.
Friday: 40 minute jog.
Saturday: Sh’bam class.
Sunday: 60 minute jog
Kettlebell circuit 2 x week

Weeks 9 -12
Monday: 40 minute jog.
Tuesday: Bodystep class.
Wednesday: 40 minute jog.
Thursday: Bodyattack class.
Friday: 40 minute jog.
Saturday: Sh’bam class.
Sunday: 60 minute jog.
Kettlebell circuit 2 x week