Cassandra McDonald / Transformation

Cassandra McDonald's amazing Maxine's Challenge transformation

  • Before
  • After



175 cm


Tone & Shape - Advanced

Reason to start The Challenge

To reset my training and nutrition habits and transform into a fitter, stronger happier version of myself

What did you like most about The Challenge?

I liked the variety of training and following a nutrition plan. It’s set out for you and you don’t have to think it’s all been done for you. I loved challenging myself in the gym and seeing my strength increase.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

Going on holidays for 2 weeks overseas and sticking to the program. Training was on point but eating out and all you can eat buffets were hard. Also travelling and plane food don’t meet challenge criteria, then coming home jet lagged and trying to get back into routine was really hard. At home social situations are always hard. Sometimes it was not feasible to BYO food so making the best choices possible was also hard.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

The challenge has had a positive impact on my life.It has improved my strength and fitness and I’ve had positive comments from people at work the gym and my husband, therefore giving me more confidence and Feeling much better about my body and image.

What would you say to people who are thinking of doing The Challenge?

Just Do it!!! You have nothing to lose it’s lots of fun. I found the forums helpful others were usually thinking the same as me and questions were answered.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your Challenge?

It has opened me up to new training techniques and exercises that I originally dismissed. Also I saved money. Because my food was portioned my meals lasted longer. I had leftovers to freeze and had a lot less food wastage. Also I was not buying lunches, snacks and going out or buying takeaway I definitely saved money.


  • Cassandra McDonald
    7 Aug 2018
    4:23 PM

    Week 12 I almost didn’t make it. After my holiday I really found it hard to get back into my nutrition routine. Training was on point but I let myself over eat and I actually had a couple of binges this week. I felt down and depressed and I wasn’t going to do my final photo, but my husband and friends convinced me too. . I am happy with my weight lose so far and really proud of how far I have come but this is just the start of my journey. I’m not quite where I want to be but I’m heading in the right direction. As far as strength and fitness I’m over the moon. I didn’t think I’d see gains as I have in these areas, especially after losing weight and increasing strength. I did this challenge to challenge myself and I certainly did that. I’ll definitely be returning next challenge to see where it takes me.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    30 Jul 2018
    9:35 PM

    I started week 11 very jet lagged. I found it hard to get back into the routine of training at 5am I found myself snoozing the alarm and then having to cram a weights and cardio session in late in the afternoon. My nutrition was on point til Thursday and I don’t know what happened I became ravenous and I couldn’t satisfy my appetite then I over ate and felt sick. Sunday was my birthday. My family are very supportive and gave me a party with healthy food and a raw cake which was absolutely delicious. The only problem is I have so much cake in my fridge and I have had more than I would like. My holiday has really put the brakes on my challenge I’m in the final week and finding it hard to stick to the regime. Tomorrow is a new day and I’m going to try extra hard. I’m trying to do a few extra sessions. On the positive side I’m feeling really fit and strong and lifting more than I have ever before. Only 5 days to go hopefully I can pull something out of the bag.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    23 Jul 2018
    10:25 PM

    Week 10 and I’ve just returned from my trip to Sri Lanka as much as I loved it I’m glad to be home. I have managed to put on 1.9kgs. The last few days of my trip I was out of protein and didn’t have access to fresh food. I ate white rice and bread, pizza and pastry’s. My stomach was in agony. I actually didn’t enjoy eating those foods. I only missed 1 session and that was Sunday’s conditioning as I travelled 24hrs to get home. I will make that session up this week. Back to the normal gym tonight and I haven’t lost any strength if anything I have gained which is a bonus. I’m going to concentrate being 100% strict with nutrition for the final 2 weeks and increasing my intensity for my cardio sessions. Hopefully I can undo the last 2 weeks and get back to what I was if not better.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    16 Jul 2018
    2:45 PM

    Week 9 I started the week great in Bangkok I am unable to stick to the nutrition plan but I was happy with my meal choices. I have followed the training plan with a few modifications but overall very happy. On Thursday I flew to Sri Lanka we are on an all inclusive package with buffet style breakfast and dinner. The food is amazing I want to try the local cuisine as I’ll probably never comeback here. It’s so hard not to over eat which I have done. I have abstained from alcohol. I generally fill my plate with salad and veg although the veg is stir fried. The curries are amazing and have been trying just to eat a small amount. Training is still on point although with the new training plan in overseas gyms has had its challenges I’ve managed not to skip a session yet. I have noticed I’m not as lean as I was, I would like to do extra sessions but I’m here on holidays with my children and it’s not fair for them if I spend the majority of the time working out. This week I’m really going to focus on my portions as I’ve had a week to sample food I’ll use my before photo as motivation. 1 week of holidays left I’ll try to enjoy and rip in for the last 2 weeks when I get back.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    9 Jul 2018
    2:31 PM

    I finished week 8 off with a trip to Bangkok. I supplied all my meals for the plane but now I’m on my own. I’m on holidays for the next 2 weeks I’ll be eating in restaurants and I’ll be travelling to Sri Lanka. I’m on holidays and I don’t want to be too obsessed but I have done so well so far with only 4 weeks to go I do t want to ruin al my hard work. I managed a good workout in the hotel gym and made good food choices so far. I brought my Maxine’s burn protein powder and a supply of burn bars. I’m happy with my week 8 check in and I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks including the challenges of travelling and dieting.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    1 Jul 2018
    10:00 PM

    Week 7 Wow I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. Nutrition this week was good I’m trying to not weigh my food and use sight and judgment. I found a new recipe that I love. Chicken sang Choy bau. The family loved it too. I still need to drink more water that’s one of my down falls and I’m finding that my digestion is lagging a little. I made some progress in the gym this week. I was able to do the 15kg DB presses and inclines. I also squated 65kg. On the conditioning set I was able to do all 4 hang clean sets unbroken and I Ran my usual coarse faster than I have in years. I feel my strength and fitness have both increased but I can’t see any more changes in my body. I feel I have plateaued in that aspect. Check in will be interesting next week I’m a little apprehensive. I’m going to work even harder this week.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    25 Jun 2018
    3:42 PM

    Week 6 This was a busy week for me, running around after the kids and alot of social events. I managed to get through all the socials without a hiccup. I’m finding myself hungry between meals I’ve tried to over come this with a couple of almonds drinking water and sugar free gum. I’m warming up to the new program I’m finding I’m in between DB weights. 12.5kg is fairly easy but 15s are too heavy. I need a weight in between so have been doing extra reps. Hopefully this week I’ll make the 15s. I have been getting loads of compliments from people which is encouraging and also motivating. I’m not near my goal yet but I’m loving the positive comments. X

  • Cassandra McDonald
    17 Jun 2018
    8:15 PM

    Week 5 and a new program and diet plan. This week was a matter of getting my head around the new exercises and what weight to use. I ran this week for my cardio I used to love running until I tore my calf and put on weight. It felt so much easier with 4kgs less weight and my calves are stronger from the calf raises. I don’t like legs 1 I’m glad I only have 3 more sessions of it. My nutrition was on point this week my only thing is I need to drink more water. That’s what I’ll work on this week looking forward to the half way point of the challenge.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    11 Jun 2018
    8:23 AM

    Week 4 complete. I’m absolutely loving this journey so far. My nutrition was pretty good this week I had an outing on Friday night and ordered off the menu. Salmon with seamed veggies. It was awesome however the salmon portion was a little large. I got some pbs with my weights I was able to bench 40kg for 4x12 sets and 12.5db for the 4x15 incline presses. I’m so stoked to have lost 4kgs I didn’t think I would have lost that much. Feeling great looking forward to the next 4 weeks the training really amps up 💪🏼

  • Cassandra McDonald
    3 Jun 2018
    9:09 PM

    Week 3 This week I ramped up my training. My cardio days were more intense and I’m lifting more weights. I feel so good after my sessions. This weekend I had a social event at a friends place. I stuck to mineral water and only ate challenge approved foods, however I just ate way too much. It was cold and I was having a hungry day. So today was my rest day and I went for a walk and made sure my nutrition was on point. Also I’m loving the protein shakes. Protein shakes have put me off in the past but I absolutely love them. I picked a new flavour today chocolate honeycomb it is amazing 😍 looking forward to a new program and nutrition plan.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    27 May 2018
    10:24 PM

    Week 2 This week I spaced out my meals much better, I was really looking forward to my next meal or shake I felt hungry it was hard not to eat more food. I hope it’s my metabolism increasing. I’ve stuck to the plain protein and veggies for the last 2 weeks and I’m a little over it, so I have picked some recipes to try. I’ve prepared the egg and oat muffins and slow cooked beef. Fingers crossed they are tasty. Training this week went well. I increased my weights on most exercises. I feel as though I’m getting stronger. I didn’t see much change in myself this week. Looking forward to the next week.

  • Cassandra McDonald
    20 May 2018
    8:33 PM

    Week 1 done and dusted. I had to over come a few challenges this week. Firstly I had a massive headache on days 2 and 3. I’m guessing from detoxing. Also I had busy days at work and found myself trying to fit all the foods and shakes in later in the afternoon and feeling really full. This week I’ll be more conscious of my meal times. I had a function on Friday night. I was rushing to get there and didn’t prepare a meal. I stuck to sparkling water and really tried to pick my food wisely. My biggest realisation this week was portion sizes. I pretty much eat the right foods however my sizing was completely wrong. Training wise I found ok as I’m used to weight training and exercising. I did find it hard to do 4 x weight sessions and only 3 cardio and have a rest day. This second week I’ll be a little better prepared and I have no functions. Bring on week 2.

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