Going from no exercise at all to a 3 month diet for a wedding, to a complete lifestyle change and climbing a mountain.

I was having lunch with a girlfriend in a lovely French Restaurant in Hawksburn Melbourne telling her how my son was getting married in just over three months time. I had tried numerous ways to lose weight since my mid thirties. Prior to that I never had to worry about my weight. I just ate what I wanted. The weight had been slowly but surely increasing. In my mid forties it started gaining at a more rapid rate. I had tried programs and lost the weight in three months but always regained in the following six months after ceasing. I tried light and easy, weight watchers but the programs never were sustainable long term. When Rupert was getting married my aim was not to worry about sustained weight loss it was purely for the wedding. I was telling my girlfriend about how a girl at work ate only vegetables, no carbohydrates or protein for 3months and lost 10kg. That was what I was planning to do. She suggested to try the program she had. She said the food was great, she didnt exercise and still lost weight. Perfect, just what I wanted. Good food, no exercise and weight loss!

I was the heaviest I had been. I had always been a size 8 to 10 all my life & winter 2016 I needed to buy for first time ever size 12’s. My weight and fitness was bothering me.

September 2016 I joined the program my friend told me about. It became apparent it promoted a lifestyle more so than a ‘diet’ as do pretty much all the weight loss programs. I didn’t care. I had failed at all weightloss programs so I joined with the view I would stick to the food only, I wasn’t interested in exercise, I’d always disliked physical activity that got my heart rate up, me feeling puffy and sweaty! No matter what for 3 months I would do what the meal plan said.  I just needed to lose weight, to do a crash diet for Ruperts wedding. I didn’t want to be forever looking at that family wedding photo and disliking myself in it for the next 40 odd years. I thought I will suffer on a diet for 3 months I could do it!

The program has a closed facebook page for members to communicate their success, ask questions, discuss struggles and seek inspiration. I was unsure about joining the facebook group that at that point had 17,000 members. It was a new program that had been running since February the same year. I decided to see what it was all about. The decision to join this program and link into the Facebook forum was lifechanging. There were people on this site just like me. People who were unfit, overweight and had lost lots of weight and were not only looking fabulous but they had completley changed their lifestyles, running marathons, or living more active enjoyable lives. There were also people on the program who I would say were thin and wondered why they would join a weightloss program but that’s when it started to sink it. This program was about lifestlye and not all about weightloss. People joined this program to tone, to learn to exercise, and some just for the nutritious menu’s. This program was about improving your lifestyle in which ever way you needed to. It was open to you taking whatever it was you needed to improve your life. It had so many facets that anyone wanting a healthier lifestyle of any degree could do so, no matter where in the world you lived. If you had internet access you could be part of it. There were members from all over the world.

Other members on the program had lost 50 plus kilograms and now running. Something they clearly weren’t doing like me before starting. I started thinking, if they can do it, they are like me perhaps I can. I decided to give the exercise a try. What was helpful with the format of this program is the exercises are only for 28 minutes each day and there’s a video you work along with, there are different levels and intensity and you can do it in your own home whatever time of the day you want.

I literally had no idea how to exercise, I never went to gyms because I didn’t know how to use the equipment and felt uncomfortable around the seasoned gym goers with their stylish sportswear. I didn’t enjoy group exercises because if you felt you couldn’t keep up you could see the instructor looking at you and felt even more unfit and out of place and I always felt instuctors had a tone in their voice that sort of yelled at you.

One night I decided to grab a couple of tins of peaches for weights, go into our study where I could, close the door, set my program to rookie and just see how I go. No one was allowed to walk in on me. Had anyone laughed at me I would of stopped and that would of been the end of it. I completed the program. I found it hard but doable so everynight I would go into the study and shut the door and exercise for 28 minutes. I learnt from watcing the videos how to do the exercises as Sam Wood talked me through each session.

The weekend active recovery exercises I purposefully did at night in the dark when I had had a busy day and was unable to go for a walk or other form of activity. I live on a hilly incline on a main road with a tram that runs past. But at night the traffic dies down it’s quiet, and the tram runs about every 20 mins so for a 28 minute exercise probably one mostly empty tram would go past. That all meant not many people would see me. I never felt safe walking to far in the dark. So I would either take a really brisk walk around our block 3 times and sometimes dragging Ted along as my protector or I would do hill runs. I would start at the corner of my block in the main street, run up the hill to the next corner, turn around and walk back down and repeat for 28minutes. If it was raining I would run up and down the stairs of our 2 storey home for 28minutes. Where there’s a will there’s a way as the saying goes.

I eventually got stronger. I got better and stronger and not as puffed going up to the next level as I felt I could reaching the Champ level and along the way asked the boys if they had any weights I could use. Ted dusted off some ancient dumbells from the garage and I started using those. I didnt always feel motivated but the program also has ‘on the couch video’s’ to watch that are informative clips about various aspects of weightloss, exercise and healthy living which also helped coach me. One of the best was on motivation. Craig Harper whose background is in fitness and now also does motivational speaking relayed that, ‘it’s what we do when we aren’t motivated that brings about change’. He explained that elite athletes don’t feel like training everyday but they do, and thats what makes them champions. They go and train no matter the weather, whats happening in their daily lives, they push through. This resonated with me. I used that as my motivation and also took into account he said know your non-negotiables and exercise became my non-negotiable.

So from September 2016 until my sons wedding November 2016, I dropped about 7.5 kgs. But the measurements seem to make more of a difference. Although I was once again the same weight before I started to put on weight in my late 30’s, I was now a size smaller than I used to be. The exercise had toned muscle and as well as losing fat which made an extra difference in centimetres. Overall I lost 59.5cm, my biggest changes being my waist (12cm), hips (10cm), and abdomen (15.5cm).

I was happy how my navy blue gown looked on me the day of Ruperts wedding and happy with the photos thank goodness. I have a beautiful family photo which sits proudly on my hall table.

My aim was to have clavicles showing. I like it. You don’t look as chunky around the shoulders therefore I feel tops look nicer such as my dress above when a little bit of clavicle can be seen.

I knew abdominal fat was not healthy and it had been playing on my mind for a long time. Some may think that not a big deal but the bottom line is that more than an 80cm waist circumference measurement for female is unhealthy. Obesity has become such a norm in our modern western society that we think size 12 is average or even thin . And it is if your WC is 80cm or less. If your waist circumference is greater than 80cm what research tells us is it’s potentially placing your health at risk. So whether your waist line is 90cm as a female of 200cm you are in the unhealthy range and would be advised to decrease it through food and exercise changes if you want to minimise health risks. My waistline on the 16 August 2016 was 87cm. By the 8th of May 2017 I had gotten it down to 75cm. On the 27th Feburary 2019 it was 81cm.


The My Vertial Medical website relays:

Measuring a person’s waist circumference (WC) is the simplest way to assess central obesity. WC has been shown to be one of the most accurate anthropometrical indicators of abdominal fat. It is closely correlated to the waist to hip ratio (WHR), but is thought to be a more reliable measure of abdominal fat; the WHR can mask the status of abdominal obesity with a disproportionately large hip circumference.

WC can also be used as a complimentary measurement tool to give additional information on body fat to people within the healthy weight range wanting to build muscle or improve their diet.

Central obesity/abdominal fat mass

Central obesity is an excess accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, particularly due to excess visceral fat. As visceral fat is supplied by the portal blood system, excess fat in this area can lead to the release of fatty deposits into the bloodstream. Fatty buildup in the blood is responsible for the majority of negative health consequences associated with obesity, such as:

Central obesity is very common in elderly people because body fat is often redistributed to the abdominal region during the ageing process. On average, premenopausal women have half the abdominal fat of men; this is largely due to body shape. While women generally have a higher total and percentage body fat, it is more often located on their hips and thighs due to their pear-shaped bodies. Men naturally have an apple shape, and carry excess weight in their abdominal region.

After the wedding it was about living healthy so I can go into my 50’s onwards as healthy as I can. This program had changed my mindset. For the first time I believed I could maintain JERF eating and regular exercise. I had found a program that gave me the tools to change my life so I could still do things I want to as I moved into my 50’s and beyond and I didn’t want to regain the weight because I felt so much better mentally and physically. We can’t be guaranteed good health that is sometimes out of our control. Believe me when I say that!  When death comes knocking at your door on some idle Tuesday afternoon. , but we can do the best we can to remain healthy and be the best version of ourselves.

This life style program is https://28bysamwood.com/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=887096565&utm_content=249896927444_c_1t1&utm_term=%2Bsam%20%2Bwood&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6oaBqLv84AIVhIaPCh1urw5-EAAYASAAEgIgqvD_BwE  It is the only program I have ever been able to maintain long term and keep the kilograms off and kept me regularly exercising.

I have never been a sporty person and lived a rather sedentary life. I knew if I didnt put the brakes on the weight gain it could get out of control. I had hit the middle age spread and my bum was growing up my back! There’s a history of larger people in my family, one cousin had a gastric operation many years ago to try to control her weight. My hips were shifting upwards. I’d noticed when I put my hands on my hips they were higher than they had been for most of my life. In the past there was my waist and quite a gap before the curvature of my hips. The gap had lessened. I had notice that curvature of my hip was 2/3’s up to reaching my waist from where it had been most of my adult life. My stomach was poking out frontwards and when in the shower couldn’t see below it like I used to.

It doesn’t matter what your weight is, we all know when we are over weight and when we are over weight it affects us physically and mentally. We feel uncomfortable in or clothes and bloated, feel terrible about how we look in things and we know we aren’t fit and healthy.

This past two and a half years hasn’t just been about weight loss. I embraced the 28 program and made a conscious decion to change my life style. Initially it was exactly that, a consious choice to want change. I had a fundamental driving reason that was tucked deeper in the back of my mind which because of this program I was able to address it.

Lifestyle is a balance issue and that’s where 28 is a lifestyle not a diet. It teaches you how to have balance and for sustainability, that knowledge is vital for success. If you feel forever deprived of the things that you perceive as pleasure then it becomes a diet as opposed to lifestyle change. You need to understand balance and knowledge is the key to that. I started as a diet, but I found it surprisingly incredibly sustainable because of the formulation of the program. I have friends who find the planning, buying and cooking of meals to difficult and all time consuming but for me that’s been one of the positives. I love having access to the menu’s, it’s variety and knowing it’s healthy with very little to no preservatives and chemicals. That was something I wanted to change in my life and 28 offered me that. For a program to work it has to offer you something you fundamentally want to change in your life. Chemicals and preservatives present in processed foods was one issue that constantly niggled in the back of my mind but I didn’t know how to eradicate them until 28 came along and good education was available through the live chats offered by the program with Steph Wearne the head nutritionist, the facebook community feed, email access to the crew and a menu with recipes to follow. Since starting this program 2.5 years ago I have gained fabulous and useful knowledge. Over the 2.5 years by changing habits and gaining knowledge to change something that was fundamental to me also is a driver for continuance. At home I live well, follow 28 ethos and program as that helps to keep me on the right path to feeling good and keeping my weight in check so that when I go on holidays I can enjoy indulging guilt free and that’s also a wonderful feeling.

Since losing the weight, I have worn things I never thought I would again and done things I would never ever would of tried in the past.

I’ve tucked shirts back into skirts, worn sheer fabric shirts where my skin is seen below instead of ensuring fabrics weren’t see thru showing my fat rolls, worn bathers I never thought I would etc. That’s all been fabulous but what’s been more amazing to me is that I now know how to exercise and do so regularly. I know the correct techniques to get results and not hurt myself.

This exercise has given me the courage to do amazing things. Go for walks in national parks for kms, not just a few hundred metres. I climbed a mountain in China to 10,126ft/3099m last September. I’ve swam with Whale Sharks in Exmouth WA, ridden bikes in China on the Great Wall of Xian and really feeling happy. Full of endorphins and genuinely happy and quite smitten with myself for doing this stuff. A feeling of accomplishment.

Diving with Whale Sharks

The Blood Sweat and Tears of Travelling China!

Ted and I had a holiday booked for China just over 12 months after starting Sam Woods 28 program. During our trip our intineary included a stay in a national park for a few nights however an earthquake occured a few short weeks prior to our holiday and the park was closed. Our travel agent gave us 2 alternatives. 1. Stay in the Chengdu zoo with the Panda’s and feed them, clean their enclosures, be a zoo keeper for a few days experience. It sounded great. I love the Panda’s but wasn’t sure about the cleaning the enclosures. 2. was to climb Mount Emei or also known as Emeishen. It had always been a thought in the back of my mind that climbing a mountain would be amazing. On the bucket list but by no means did I in all my wildest dreams ever think I would ever be physically fit enough or have the opportunity.

When given our options intially my thoughts were, well I can’t climb a mountain it will be the Panda’s. Prior to starting my 28 program I didnt exercise, at all! Not even regularly walked the dogs but over the past 12 months I had exercised 5-7 days a week. Once the seed had been planted of a mountain climb and seeing on the 28 Facebook page all the amazing achievements of other people who had been just like me, the idea kept growing. I asked Ted do you think we could do it. We did our research and decided we would give this a try!   What you need to know about climbing Mount Emei, China. #Emeishan #Goldensummit #MtEmei #china #mountainclimbs #travellingchina #tourismchina

I highly recommend giving it a go! It was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only because the scenery is beautiful. Please tap on the link to my blog above to see why I recommend giving it a go there’s so many better reasons.Who would of ever thought me Lucy G would of ever climbed a mountain.

Back home . I’d bought these jeans just before leaving for our holidayimg_0353

and I was happy to put them on and not feel I’ve put on a stack of weight during a holiday. I came back from this holiday feeling the healthiest I had ever been.  I hadn’t weighed myself but at that moment I wasn’t going to. Being away had definitely impressed on me that it’s more about how we feel within ourselves than the figure on the scales.

When away I climbed a mountain to 10,126 feet, I ran and walked along the Great Wall of China and felt so fit and wonderful physically doing that, we walked thousands of steps a day . Feeling great isn’t just food you consume or just the physical activity you do, it’s the whole kit and kaboodle.

I look at photos of me prior to my lifestyle program and now I feel so much better within myself and it shows. As they say you glow on the outside if you are happy on the inside. It makes you more appealing because you have an aura that changes, a glow, a quiet confidence, something. Not that I was unhappy prior to changing my lifestyle but physically felt unfit and overweight. I really disliked how I felt and looked. I was hesitant having photos taken and I definatley wouldn’t of taken a selfie of myself in a new dress because I was chuffed how it looked.

The overall 59.5cm that I lost has made me feel better in more ways than one. The internal feeling is priceless because you can’t buy that. You can buy all the new clothes in the world, have your hair done, wear makeup, but you will never look as great as you do  with an inner healthy happiness and contentment glow.  You can’t buy that, that comes from hard work, determination, eating well and exercise an internal magic happening. That magic isn’t on the shelves in stores for purchase.

What I’ve found is

1. To lose weight initially- follow the menu and overall program 90%

2. Maintenance can be achieved by eating 28 and doing the workouts with swaps not necessary like for like.

These are my thoughts.

  • when you have quite a few kg’s to lose whether you swap a lot or not you will lose weight. The meals are healthy Just eat real food (JERF) recipes. That’s one of the things I love about 28. The sauces and meals are made from scratch. Low/no chemicals, preservatives, no added gluten which is often used in processed foods as binders and low/no processed sugars. Anyone eating those foods especially if you’ve not lived on JERF food will lose weight.
  • if you are down to the last 5 kg to lose you will need to be stricter with following the menu more closely keeping swaps to a minimum and more conscious of swapping like for like. The crew and nutritionist know their stuff & do all the hard work keeping us nutritionally well and calorie sorted. No need to worry about counting calories overall even if swapping. It all seems to even out. For me who now doesn’t have a lot to lose swapping a lot ( not necessarily like for like) will maintain my weight still following the weight loss program. I have never shifted to the maintenance program because I never reached my goal weight of 10kg. I lost 8 kg. I was however quite comfortable with 8 kg loss. I still believe I could drop another 5 kg however my clothes fit well and I feel good with 8 kg.
  • When I first started I stuck to the plan 90% and believe this is a good idea until you have time to gain knowledge, understand JERF eating and nutrition. I listen to the live chats by Steph Wearne. They are interactive and informative and no question is a wrong question. Knowledge is power and gaining this knowledge when wanting to live a healthier life allows you to empower yourself. Empowerment gives you confidence take control of your health. That’s is so important and creates a mental shift for longevity and sustainability.
  • Thrive brand meals are available for when time poor. I personally don’t use the Thrive meals as I like to make my own meals. With good planning and organisation I don’t have an issue cooking my breakfast and evening meals. Literally the evening meal takes 30 mins on average!For lunches I have leftovers or cook the occasional weekend lunches. Otherwise I choose a healthy choice I make myself.
  • when I started the program under Steph Lowe’s menu, it initially said leftovers often. That’s how I got into eating leftovers from habit. I up the serving of the evening meal by one person so I have a serving left over for lunch.People complained/suggested they wanted more guidance on leftover days when they had no leftovers and a ‘quick salad’ selection was introduced. This has evolved into now having a suggested set meal each meal on the menu, however it has now gone back to leftovers as the suggestion more often. The program is always being assessed by the developer and changing to meet the needs of the members. Had I not started under Steph Lowe’s leftover system I would be very overwhelmed as a newbie looking if I had to cooked a different meal every meal. This is not realistic in modern busy families.It doesn’t phase me the multiple cooked meals menus because I look at it and have been doing this what feels like so long now, that I know how to pick and choose what I will cook for breakfasts and lunches to make it workable. I usually just pick a couple lunches in the week that I like and run with this and leftovers on other days.

It’s hard to please thousands of people. Imagine having a dinner party for literally thousand of people and making a menu for them to stay over for a week and ensuring everyone is happy. Impossible! It’s hard enough having a dinner part of 6 and cooking a meal you think all 6 guests will like. I’m sure the crew at times throw their arms up and say for fk sake you said you guys wanted this, we delivered now there’s another bunch of you saying you want something else.

On the general menu over the 2 years I’ve eaten more vegetables than I ever did and that has been a massive shift lessening my meat portions and not a bad thing. 

My experience is : my shopping costs in 2 years hasn’t really changed. I’m prepared to pay for meat, however was finding things like backstrap ridiculously expensive (this doesnt seem to appear in menus now) to the point I need to pre order from my butcher at woolies to cut it and have it ready for pick up ( that’s annoying) . So I now just buy a good cut of meat if the menu says backstrap which is easier and cheaper. For the stroganoff instead of porterhouse I buy cheap cut slow cook meat and it still tastes, in fact better than the porterhouse as I cook this recipe in the slow cooker. When the steak is being eaten like in menus for steak and chips eg I buy a nice loin steak/rib eye. If I had younger children I’d buy them a nice but cheaper cut to save money. I have done this in the past. It can still be cooked in the same pan with little fuss. Or even another pan.

Recently I helped a friend to get started and cooked her 3 meals a day for 5 weeks. She paid me for her food – meats in particular and honestly when I was buying her a 250g piece of chicken or 100g of something for her servings it cost a couple dollars.

I used my staples but she paid for her veggies, meat, coconut water and things like that for a week is was coming to $35-$45. I was making 28 snacks as well! Can’t complain about that. $50 tops and that was consistent over 5 weeks. It was good because where we had to buy veggies in packs like fresh kale I had less wastage.

  • Over the 2 years there’s always been meals I really dislike, eat but aren’t enjoyable and meals I really like. I’ve accepted this considering Steph is like inviting thousands of people to get dinner party each week scenario ! 😂.Overall the food is tasty on this program
  •  re spices. There’s a lot of meals with cumin and smoked paprika. I’m not a fan of these flavours and providing they aren’t on the menu to much I eat them and think of them as medicine as they are good for polyphenols and sometimes you just have to eat things you don’t like because they are good for you and your health. As long as it’s not every couple of days which then makes you stop enjoying food overall and you are more likely to stray from the menu more often or potentially lose interest all together.
  • re snacks – I find there is less risk of poor or adverse weight outcomes if I eat 28 snacks as opposed the commercial snacks. Commercial snacks also lead to potential of making poorer choices. I don’t stick to 2 treats a week. I do only have 2-3 snacks a day sometimes and somedays I’m happy to not snack at all.I mostly eat the treat snacks if I snack or a handful of nuts. I find the guide system for general snacks I don’t like them. I’m better to eat a treat snack than make a poorer choice. Sweets are my weakness so I would cave and couldn’t sustain this for 2 years if I deprived myself of sweet snacks so I make sure they are 28. 28 treat snacks still have less processed sugars. And my results are better when having 28 treat snacks to commercial treat snacks. The variety of snacks over the 2 years has improved so much there’s always a yummy snack that offers variety to make so I’m less likely to get bored with them and want to eat a commercial snack.
  • eating out-When I eat out IF there’s a healthy choice I like I will order it otherwise I eat what I like and eat dessert if I want. I eat so much JERF on a daily basis it’s nice to have something different when out. It’s a treat😋.
  • we can all cook breakfast, even omelettes as they can be prepared the night before . It all comes down to commitment, planning and desire to eat it. If it’s a porridge or something I like like muesli I find time to prep in advance but if it’s omelette purely because I don’t really want it I don’t prep and chose to swap. Most of the cooked breakfasts can be made in advance is more about desire and I’m sure for some time.
  •  a lot of people talk about being time poor and that’s not for me to judge individuals however I feel with good planning, some swapping and if really need be ordering thrive meals you can eat JERF.
  •  the program works and only you can make it work for you by embracing it and wanting it to work.

 I personally have found the program amazing and sustainable. With knowledge I have gained I can tweek it to suit myself and lifestyle and if I do have any issues, the crew and Nutritionist are more than happy to discuss via live chat or email to answer any questions and help empower you to take control of your health if that’s what you are truely wanting. Sam does a daily video to help keep your mindset in place and more than willing to help advise on exercise.

Long term progress success for me has been about creating habits. One of those habits is always making an extra serve of the main meal to take leftovers for lunch the next day at work. No temptation of going rogue and buying at the cafeteria.

Morning consist of habitual behaviours. Night before I’ve checked what’s for breakfast and prepared what I can to save time. Measured out ingredients.

Mornings I make breaky, and a coffee to to take in the car. Grab my leftovers lunch already in a container and I’m good to go. Generally at work I go without taking a snack now. I’ve learnt to survive a little hunger if need be. I look forward to going home and if I really feel like a snack I have one then. I think this strategy is helping- not snacking at work.

I don’t often make the lunches on the menu and find ensuring I at least have leftovers for lunch 3 days a week works. The other days I’ve been having omelettes or a best choice lunch if not the lunch on the menu.

The last 12months I haven’t been as focused as the first 12 months but I love being part of this group and always following the meal plan sometimes more diligently than other times. I swap a lot for convenience and taste. But being able to do that is what has helped keep the program sustainable for this long for me. It’s just become my new normal way of eating.

Despite being on Champ level for sometime I didn’t think I was that fit, but I dropped back to low impact when I had a sore back for a while and just got lazy after my back improved and found myself only doing 3 low impact workouts a week. After Christmas I up’d the anti and went back to high impact champ level again. I was surprised in the few months how much I had lost fitness and strength.

Although the low impact are still great exercises I did lose strength. When I started back on champ exercises like burpees, star jumps, side planks on hands for eg felt really hard. I’m still working on my strength to get back to the same level and my cardiovascular fitness. I surprised myself that I had been fitter and stronger than I had thought.

I still have goals, one being to continue to lose more body fat and at the very least maintain.

What I started in September 2016 will never be finished. It’s like a garden. You don’t put a garden in and then that’s it. Gardeners will get this. Gardens need constant work. They are a labour of love. But they always give you a sense of achievement. You are constantly pruning, mulching, replanting, thinking of ways to improve it.

Keeping healthy and feeling good within is like caring for a garden. Forever evolving and changing, setting new goals, planting a seed of new ideas for ways to keep it interesting and enjoyable.

Pretty much I have only ever done my 28 minute workouts . But I’m thinking about adding bands into the workout. I saw a girl at the beach recently doing workouts with bands and I think I could incorporate them. I guess I just haven’t known how, but watching her has given me some ideas.

For me anything new right now needs to fit into that 28 min workout because that’s the exercise I am focused enough to do regularly as a general rule. Even after almost 2.5years I’ve never found a love for exercise that I’m keen to do more than 28 mins. But for someone who did no exercise what so ever before joining 28 I’m pretty proud of myself to maintain regular exercise for 2.5 years.

I’m also proud of how I eat. I’m proud that I’m a healthy eater and that I have so much better knowledge of food and its nutritional value. I love that I cook everything from scratch now as my normal. No buying sauces in jars anymore.

I have exercised and followed the program. Not always perfect and in fact over the last few months prior to December 2108 I started to regain. I regained 4 of the 8 kgs I lost. So I refocused for few weeks and started to stick with the program and shown myself I can still lose if I follow the menu 90-95%. I was worried my body had gotten used to this new food and I couldn’t lose anymore. In fact what I had done was let some old habit snacks creep back in and not balancing my swaps enough to maintain my macros to prevent weight gain.

I’m forever learning on this program about myself, food and exercise.

I gave myself the month of December off the ‘discipline’ of JERF & Exercise. I did what I ‘wanted’ to which still involved many 28 meals, and I was totally ok with that because for 27 months I had been doing this program and I figure for 1 of those months here and there , I holiday or enjoy festivities and that’s living to me. That’s balance.

I was in my bathers by the pool loving this weather. I chose the full piece somedays as my indulgences have lowered my confidence in mindset for a 2 piece (albeit they are high waisted variety lol but still hmmmm, no go😂) . But what’s the most important thing to me is I’m happy and I feel I’ve had a fabulous December. My son’s 21 celebration, my daughters 25th celebration, Christmas catch ups and of course Christmas Day feasting and family time. Love it, love it, love it all! Haven’t beaten myself up at all. Just enjoyed myself.

I go back to the menu plan and Sams workouts because I WANT TO. Not because I have to, but WANT is the key word here. I love on an everyday basis how new lifestyle makes me feel, which is mentally and physically good. When other stuff can be going on, good or bad the lifestyle benefits of healthy mind and body somehow has this positive effect on making those life’s ups and downs ok.

Me at 16 end of yr 12, 18 end of first year nursing holidays, and and 52 after a good 12 months on 28.

Many years between 18 and 52 but for a long time my weight was quite stable. When I reflect I’m probably going ok. I can’t wear low cut bikini bottoms now, my skin isn’t tight enough on my belly post 3 kids and age has taken its toll re elasticity. In real life I have more cellulite, but 28 has definitely been a winner for me, getting me back to feeling better about myself in bathers again.

I returned from our annual Western Austrailian (W.A) summer holiday visiting family and friends. We stay in Cottesloe on Marine Pde, opposite the dog beach ( love it). There is so many active people in that area and I loved being around that as well. People riding bikes, walking, running, working out, even a girl practicing her gymnastic jumps on the beach.

Surrounding yourself with people living a healthier active lifestyles really encourages you to also do so.

I ate ok whilst I was away but I enjoyed relaxing not feeling ‘pressured’ about choosing what’s the ‘healthiest option’ and enjoyed some spoils. I love ice cream. I feel I should clarify ‘pressured ‘. When I say ‘pressured’ that’s my internal head talk. Although I really like my new lifestyle food, sweets and carbohydrates is like an addiction. Addiction comes in all forms some more life destroying than others, and on the scale of 1-10 of addictions, sugar addiction, is on the lower end of the spectrum and I mean no disrespect to addicts who are battling serious life harming addictions. Non the less addicts never are ‘cured’ they have become sober or clean and learnt stratergies to manage and avoid temptations. My addiction is sugar and to stay sugar free I constantly have to work on it, and to some degree that’s causes ‘pressure’ in my mind. Consciously I still often have to remind myself to make good choices to avoid the slippery slide back to sugar addiction.

We flew home with qantas on the new Dreamliner that goes direct from London to Perth on the Perth to Melbourne leg of its trip. I don’t know if it’s that I’m used to eating a better quality meals now or if airline food has deteriorated, probably a bit of both, but it’s comparable to hospital food I thought in economy!

Home now in Melbourne and it’s back to being disciplined again to get myself back on track. I’m ok with the word ‘disciplined’. That’s because I ‘want’ to be, not ‘have’ to. I WANT to get back to my JERF cooking , the 28  menu and workouts because I enjoy the benefits I feel mentally and physically. And initially after becoming a sugar and carb girl again on holidays I need to be ‘disciplined’ whilst I wean of the sugar again. Disciplined to fight the urges for sugar until I get used to not having it regularly. It’s such a good feeling when you get to the other side of the withdrawal phase. The feeling is of a weird sort of freedom and that of accomplishment and pride. The pride of overcoming the urges, the accomplishment of not craving sugar and the freedom that gives you to help you achieve your desired weight goal and lifestyle. It’s the undoing of the shackles that sugar has on you, the addiction that keeps you stuck on a merry-go-round that’s not so merry. The lack of addiction gives freedom real freedom to move forwards to where you really find happiness, a life that healthy choices gives you. More choice of fashion, clothing in general, and physical activities and a healthier mind goes hand in hand. It opens up a whole new world. 

After my summer break and slowly increasing processed snacks as old habits die hard I decided to commit to Febfast for sugar withdrawal. Just gotta get to the other side of the next 2 weeks, that’s the worst of it. DISIPLINE AND FOCUS. Desire for the original why….. feel good in my clothes, live a healthy life and enjoy longevity.  Over the month I did well not perfect, but the programs mottos is progress not perfection. 

I found it mentally difficult challenging myself to not fall to temptation of refined sugars. I decided to put all my effort into this and stopped exercising. That wasn’t smart. This is an ongoing lifestyle now and I recognise there are times I will stumble but I have not at any time since signing up to this new lifestyle once thrown the towel in completely. I like it. I want to do it but I am human and at times need to refocus and keep moving forwards. I hadn’t exercised for 6 weeks. A few walks but not the programs exerise. Lacking motivation I decided to go back to basics.

I know exercise makes me feel so much better physically and mentally so last night I made myself go and exercise.

I went completely back to basics. I went back to rookie level because thats all I could mentally handle, seriously lacking motivation from an effort point of view. I did the full 4 sets.

Really working in my headspace re exercise to get back into it again.

why I have gone back to Rookie

1. To restrengthen. Rebuild again as I’ve lost strength

2. Gain cardio vascular ability as lost that as well

3. Get my head around it all

4. Re create habits

5. Take is slowly but surely. Something is progress. Better than nothing

Making a lifestyle choice doesn’t mean you do a certain few things and it’s easy from there. I have found like any realtionship and this one being with exercise it take nurturing and constant reassessing and work. Nothing good is easy or else everyone would be the perfect BMI and healthy.

I have felt more confident and I love the fact I eat good food and exercise for my overall health and that I’m living life to its most by being willing to be active and give things a go and not shying away because I think I’m to unfit or it feels to hard.

For me it’s about being able to do the things I get enjoyment from and knowing I’m eating foods not full of chemicals, preservatives, high sugars, salts and excessive gluten. And surprising myself on how good it feels to have done physical things I would never have contemplated 2 years ago .

I’ve also met some lovely people and that was something I never expected. The social side to this program. We meet have social gatherings every now and then and all have that one thing in common of trying to be the best we can. I have not been paid or asked to write about this program. I have written this post because that’s how I went from sitting on a couch to climbing a mountain. And @28bysamwood, was what gave me the tools to do so.

 In the monastery after the first day hiking the mountain. It nearly killed me but I got up the next day and walked another 25 kilometres of stairs to reach the Golden Summit.

I’ve proven that when I put my mind to something I’m stronger than I ever thought

Love Lucy x


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