Jade Caddy - Maxine's Grand Champion August 2015

BEFORE THE CHALLENGE

A combination of bad food choices and lack of regular exercise found me gradually putting the weight on at a steady rate, I had become riddled with cellulite and felt flabby and gross. I definitely didn't feel pretty at all. My wardrobe no longer consisted of cute little outfits with bright colours, the main colour was now black because I figured it was a slimming colour.I wore clothes to hide my weight gain. My love of the beach had died because I no longer felt comfortable in a bikini so i'd avoid it as much as possible. People would say I looked fine but for me it wasn't how I wanted to feel or look. I hated that I was so obsessed with the way I looked I just yearned to feel happy.

I definitely lacked the motivation to stay active, For the last 5 years I have been a member of my local gym id continue to renew my membership in hope that I would actually start using it regularly, but it was not to be the case. My days felt long Id wake up feeling tired and wished I could just go back to bed. I had experienced bad bouts of depression which kept me from attending any social activities including the gym I also used food as my outlet. I lacked energy I felt unhappy within myself and developed a low self esteem.

Oh what didn't I eat lol.. A lot of packet foods and particularly sweet foods. I was terrible at dinner time id usually go back for seconds even thirds! Id eat until I was completely full.. Id completely lost self control around food. Food had become the boss of me and my relief for my emotions. Id hide stashes of junk food and stay up late after the kids and hubby had gone to bed and just devour into my treats I knew it was bad but it had become a bit of an addiction, Id always wake up feeling disappointed in myself it was a terrible cycle.

I'd never stepped foot in the weights room. That was way too scary! I tended to stick with my cardio classes or the treadmill and bike. Exercise was never a regular thing for me Id constantly fall of the wagon and wouldn't go to the gym for weeks. I found it hard to find the motivation let alone the energy to apply myself. I guess you could say I was a bit of a yo yo exerciser.

DURING THE CHALLENGE

I'd come to a low point in my life where I no longer felt worthy. My depression wasn't improving if anything it was becoming worse and that was frustrating. I felt unattractive and exhausted I was juggling kids and a working lifestyle I rarely had time for me so I stopped caring for myself. To the world I seemed happy i'd smile but inside I was breaking, I hated who I was. My kids were my wake up call I didn't want them to see mum sad and not being able to cope.. I needed to do something for me to become a better me a stronger healthier and happier me. I wanted to be a good role model for my children. The Maxine's challenge had appeared through my facebook feed I thought it would be something that could give me a focus. This appeared to be one of the best decisions id ever make for myself

So after registering for the Maxine's challenge they provided me with a exercise and nutrition plan. After registering I remember thinking to myself that this was it! This was going to be the change I needed. I promised myself I would not give up on myself
I've got to admit I was quite nervous on my first day of training. I walked in to the gym/weights room holding onto this piece of paper with all these different exercises on it and instructions to use these machines that I had no knowledge of how to use or even knowing what they looked like. I gained enough courage to ask 2 girls who were training together how to use some of the machines, they were so lovely and made me feel comfortable in what I felt was quite an intimidating environment. They wished me well. Although the Maxine's program does give you tutorials on how to complete exercises I went in cold turkey and just learnt along the way and I believe this gave me back some of my self confidence.
Next it was the shopping list..I took my shopping list that the Maxine's program supplies you with and got all the necessities.
I also set up an Instagram account so I could have a connection with others also partaking in the challenge that was to become one of the best parts of the challenge. It was such a positive environment everyone was so supportive I would wake up to new likers and kinds words of support and encouragement daily. It was a great boost to my self esteem
I explained to family and friends that I would be doing the Maxine's challenge some people had some doubt in whether I would actually be able to complete the whole 12 weeks but I wasn't going to let them deter me from achieving, Actually these negative comments only drove me to want it more so I could prove to them that I was better than what they thought of me.
My diet changed dramatically! I was now preparing my meals using measuring cups and scales to make sure my portions were in control. I began experimenting with fresh herbs and spices to flavour my food this was a change from the pre made sauces from the supermarkets I was used to. I ate an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and snacked on nuts and Maxines burn bars. At the beginning I endured strong cravings for all the wrong types of food although it wasn't long before I noticed the changes in my moods, my skin and just my general well being from eating healthy so I knew I was onto something good and it was worth sticking to.
The way I shopped for my groceries completely changed too, there were aisles I no longer needed to go down. My trolley would be bursting with fresh foods full of colour hardly any packaged foods in sight. It felt good to be feeding not only myself but my whole family a good healthy diet. It made me feel proud of myself that I was doing something good for the whole family.

I followed the instructions on the exercise program which consisted of a mix of both cardio and weights. I chose rpm, and grit cardio as my choice of cardio. I also found a hill that was very challenging I began by walking up it but in time as I grew stronger I was able to run it all the way to the top and do this several times over. I developed a hate and love relationship with this hill, it helped me become fitter but also helped me grow mentally stronger. The reason for this was i'd began at the bottom of the hill and i'd then think of something that was or has been holding me back in life and so id promised myself that if I make it to the top then id beat whatever it was. It worked wonders for me it felt incredibly empowering and really helped me to overcome some emotional baggage.

The support and encouragement from people in m my community , the challenge team as well as my Instagram friends made all the difference in helping me stay on track. I had begun to inspire others and it felt wonderful, I felt as though I owed it to them to continue on to show them that anything is achievable if you do not quit and that this was something that they too could do for themselves. My family were amazing, my husband stopped drinking in support of me. My children's happy faces every time we got out together made it all the more worth it and every kind word of encouragement I received from people meant so much more than they'd ever know it all helped to keep me strong and in a positive mindset.

AFTER THE CHALLENGE

I have a new respect for my body I choose to treat it well and take care of myself. I now look forward to days at the beach because I feel comfortable in the new me ( : I've inspired my family to become a lot more active and the importance of keeping active for a strong body and healthy mind. We enjoy getting outdoors and exploring as a family it feels great. I feel alive and have so much more energy. Not long after the challenge finished there was an INBA comp coming up in my home town I was convinced to participate it was probably one of the scariest things I've ever done but the fact that I had gained the courage to get up on stage in a teeny tiny outfit flexing my muscles gave me such pride. I had come so far and were so proud of myself, the best part was looking out into the audience and seeing my kids holding a banner saying "'go mum we love you"' I felt proud that I could now be someone they could look up to.

During the Maxine's challenge I would google healthy recipes to help me follow on good habits. I was surprised that there were so many healthy alternatives to most of my favourite meals. I generally stick to the same structure of the Maxine's nutrition plan and I'm mindful of my portions now. I regularly make green smoothies the kids love them. I still use the Maxine's burn protein powder after my weights sessions and I never get bored of adding a scoop to my morning oats I have this most mornings its easy, keeps me full, gives me energy and best of all its so yum! I also like to have the burn bars on hand for a guilt free snack it's a good chocolate fix for me. I also like to save a day during the week to treat myself to anything I desire. Keeping active also gives me the opportunity to enjoy dinner dates with the hubby or coffee and cakes with girlfriends without feeling guilty, its important to not deprive yourself , you need to find a good balance in life
I purchase only the highset quality lean meats I can, my diet also consists of plenty of fresh fruit and veges. I have become quite creative in the kitchen mixing up raw deserts and healthy snacks.

I still enjoy lifting weights and researching new ideas and techniques to keep my workouts interesting
How do you maintain your motivation? I surround myself with positive people who I enjoy being in company with, I don't have time for energy takers or negativity they only bring me down so I try not to associate with that type.. I have a new job that I absolutely love it involves helping others along their health and fitness journey I get a real feel good feeling from that and I too keep inspired by hearing of their own weightloss/fitness journeys .My family have maintained such an active lifestyle that there would be no chance of slacking off on the couch anymore which is really great we keep each other motivated and enjoy to keep fit together. Basically I go by the rule that if you find things you love then do more of them this will always keep you motivated in life.

Do not be afraid of the weights these are what helped tone and shape my body.. Take the time to meal prep it helps keep your nutrition plan on track. Do not buy junk food!! If the food is in the house you're only going to eat it, trust me lol. Learn to love exercise and have fun doing it. Stay away from negativity its not healthy
Do people treat you differently now? Yes! People are intrigued in what I do, what I eat, how many times I exercise. People are in awe of what I've achieved so they are always happy to meet me.. I choose to be kind. I choose only to give out the best to anyone and everyone. I choose to smile and you know what I do get treated differently now, people smile back its lovely. I have learnt to believe that if you treat someone the way you would only like to be treated then the majority of the time you will be treated well back. Smile and the world smiles back ( :

I wish I could've told myself that I was strong,stronger than I ever imagined. I would say put down the chips! Get off the couch! and Stop wasting your days being sad there is so much good out there.. Do not let others negativity destroy your mind or kind heart. Everything is going to be ok just have faith. And believe in yourself!

See more of Jade's journey and her before and after photo's here: