Natasha Ytsenko / Transformation

Natasha Ytsenko's amazing Maxine's Challenge transformation

  • Before
  • After



179 cm


Get Strong - Beginner

Reason to start The Challenge

Well, where do I start…? I am a 35 years old full-time mom to the cutest girl in the world and a partner to a wonderful man, who is also a hard working FIFO worker. And whilst this job is most amazing and rewarding, you tend to forget yourself a little and even let go as you become busy with house chores and your child’s activities and not having your partner with you most of the time. So I initially set a goal for ‘just myself’ – to make Top 10. This was going to be something I would do for myself. I was initially doing the challenge to work on “Project Natasha”.

Then after registering for the challenge, things took for the worst. I was so pumped to begin the challenge early, only to be struck with a sudden onset of absolutely terrible headaches that would be at their worst whilst exercising. I have since been in and our of the doctor’s office with brain scans and blood tests. Luckily for me the CT scan came back clear, so now I remain with bad headaches and feeling totally lethargic, unmotivated and depressed. I have never felt this way before. Every day is a struggle to do simple chores. I just want to feel healthy, fit, and clear in my head, motivated mum.

Whilst reaching the Top 10 is still one of the reasons for doing the challenge, it’s no longer the main reason. I would also like to stop this habit I have of working hard, being so close to getting to where I want to be, and then just give up and going back to my old ways. This is so typical of me, and I need to put a stop to it. I am doing this challenge again to be honest with myself that I have once again gone backwards and am starting from beginning, due to my own lack of commitment. I know I can do it, and I will start from the beginning and work hard to achieve the physique I always dreamed of. This may sound strange to some, but even us, moms need to feel pretty and good in our own skin, and we need to feel good again about our bodies.

Whilst looking good is still very important, what is most important is, feeling good and having a healthy body. A body that will allow you to live a long, fit life around your family – and that is the most important reason for doing this challenge! I am seeing people amongst family and friends get very sick, and even die, and all due to not looking after their bodies, neglecting the importance of nutrition and exercise. It scares me, it scares me to think that I could be in this position. I do have a sugar addiction; I literally cannot stop at one slice of cake. I crave sugar, I love baking and that is a BIG problem! I had gestational diabetes whilst being pregnant, and I have been warned that it could lead to diabetes in the future….and eating sugar like I do….well, I could very well get it…I am too scared to even get tested on my current sugar levels! I also found out I was one step away from having cervical cancer, and that scared the hell out of me. I now realise how important good diet and active lifestyle is for me, and for any human being on this earth to remain healthy. I now REALLY realise how detrimental sugar is to our bodies and I must stop, I must stop this sugar obsession before it is too late!

I am engaged to a wonderful man, a father to our daughter and till this day I keep postponing our wedding, because I am not happy with how I look. I have always envisaged us getting married and looking fit and gorgeous, and I don’t see myself there at all. Well, I hope I can wear that wedding dress by the end of this year 

I would like to change my habits, and instil new healthy behaviours in our little family for good. I would like to become the centre of wellness in our little family and be a positive role model to our daughter. I need structure and a program I know I will follow, and this is exactly what the challenge provides.

I just don't want to have any regrets.....

So as you can see, there are just a few reasons why I am doing this wonderful challenge! I will work hard and hope to see you at the end of these 12 weeks as a fit, hot, healthy mom! <3  Ready to get married!

What did you like most about The Challenge?

Where do I start?! EVERYTHING!!! In all honesty, it is VERY difficult to single out what I liked the most about the challenge, because everything was just fantastic!

I loved the easiness of the program, everything was done for you, all you had to do is follow it. Nutrition plans were there, training plans were clear, even the shopping lists were there to print for your next shop – what could be made easier than this?! Everything was structured, well thought our and planned out for you to achieve your goals.

The forum, how fantastic is the forum! Whenever I was stuck, I would go straight to the forum and ask any questions I had. The Challenge Coaches and Ambassadors were brilliant, they were right there with their replies and support throughout the 12 weeks! You could search the forum for so much information, it's fantastic!

I loved the weekly updates from the Challenge Coaches, they were so motivating and cute in a way, Janet and John are so perfect! And they kept the smile on my face every time I watched them talk about the challenge every week!

There is just SO MUCH valuable information on the challenge website, so many amazing articles to read, and even extra recipes you could utilise! All you have to do is read and take it all in, and USE it!

I absolutely loved the Social Media side of things too, I have connected with so many wonderful challengers and I just love how it created this support network where we were able to not only share our journeys but all be able to share ideas and give each other a lift when we needed it most. So many wonderful friendships created in the last three months. I am just beyond thankful!

Most importantly, I LOVE the person I have become. This challenge enabled me to exercise self-control, abolish self-doubt, discover self-awareness and embed self-belief. And I will be forever thankful. Today, I am a healthier fitter self, mother and partner. And passing on everything I have learnt to my family could not be more valuable.

And those daily quotes we got to read from you Maxine's Challenge, were just inspirational and motivational – thank you for your positive thoughts every day!

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

The challenge in itself was very empowering and easy to follow. I found it more than amazing! The only part that was challenging for me, was to believe in myself and focus on myself at about Week 8 of the challenge. I was pretty focused throughout the first two months and then self-doubt started creeping in, I used this time to mentally refocus, and once I did that, I was back strong and focused.

Of course there were times, when I felt like I was running out of fuel but I knew through forum support that it was part of the challenge and my body would get used to the changes – and it did! TRUST THE PROCESS! EVERYTHING YOU EXPERIENCE, YOU EXPERIENCE FOR A REASON!

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

Oh, where do I begin?!:) I began this challenge with so many goals in mind, I wanted to look great, I wanted to embed healthy permanent behaviours for life, I wanted to change my way as to not be one of those statistics that got unwell because they lived an unhealthy life, I wanted to make sure my family was healthy, I wanted to be able to say no to food and not have the need to eat it just because everyone else did, I wanted to stop this sugar addiction that was leading me to diabetes, I wanted to finally have the guts and walk into a wedding dress shop and try on a gown and the list goes on.

wareness of my body and of my feelings, and through this, an awareness of self. I have discovered so much about myself, and most importantly I was able to exercise self-control throughout the whole 12 weeks. I promised myself I would not have any cheat meals or miss a training session, and I stuck to it, I am SO PROUD of myself. It is the first time I was able to remain strong and use my mind to control my feelings. I feel empowered, strong and fit. And if I didn't do this challenge, I would probably be even more heavy and still indulging on those sugary addictions most days.

This challenge has also taught me a few very valuable things that I have maintained throughout the 12 weeks and that I will carry on with me forever:

Breath Deep
Maintain Proper Form
Work Hard
Don't be afraid to step out of your Comfort Zone
Believe in YOURSELF
And allow yourself to Dream

I am absolutely stoked that I have achieved all my goals, and 10kgs later, I could not be more happier!!!! I am ready to take on the world!

The challenge has come to an end but I am ready for more! Look forward to achieving my new goals and seeing where I can take this. This challenge has given me confidence to be the best I can be, I am in completely different frame of mind than I was three months ago, it is like my brain has been rewired and I am seeing life from a different angle, what more can you ask for!!!!!! I AM SUPER HAPPY and at peace, physically and spiritually. I am so happy how far I have come. And I am ready of the next chapter. Thank you Maxine's xx

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

DO IT! DON'T HESITATE, JUST DO IT! Get your name on that mailing list, sign up and experience one of the best chapters in your life! It is only three months, and it will be the best three months of your life as you embark on the journey of self-discovery, physical and emotional changes and one amazing transformation! You will be so happy you did it. The volume of self-fulfilment and, pride and happiness can only be experienced once you have completed this amazing transformation journey.


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

I would like to thank Maxine's from the bottom of my heart for running this amazing challenge. It has enabled me to connect with own self on so many levels. But most importantly make a change in my life that will enable me to live a healthy fit lifestyle, and one I can pass on to my little family. With some personal health risks lingering around, I knew I had to change my ways, I knew that making excused for eating yet another slice of cake was no longer good enough, and I had to put my foot down and seriously do something about it. It was now or never. This was the most important thing to me. Since day one, I was focused, like I have never been focused in my life, I trained hard and I ate clean. I have never worked so hard in my life on something. I was working on myself. It has been by far, the most amazing experience in my life, and I would not change a thing. I have remained committed and determined to finish what I started, and I have, and I could not be prouder.

At the beginning of the challenge I wanted to become a healthy, fit, hot mum ready to get married, and you know what, I think I may have achieved it!



  • Natasha Ytsenko
    22 May 2016
    8:47 PM

    Day 84: So here we are! 10kg lighter! The End! Well, the end of the challenge! I Cannot believe this is probably my last journal entry! Today I took my final photos. Am a little anxious about them as I took them in the afternoon and by then I felt I looked a little "bigger", if that makes sense. I have absolutely worked my butt off these 12 weeks, and I mean I have stuck to the plan with nutrition and training. I have not had any cheat meals whatsoever, I have done everything I could have! So this is it. Whatever will be will be :) some days we tend to look better than others, today was probably not the best looking day but I am totally happy with my progress, and I would not change a thing. No regrets, just happy memories. And I had fun today! Tomorrow is a start of a new week, and a new workout! So here I come! Cannot wait. My journey now continues. In the next few months I am looking to gain more definition and shape my legs. I am not looking to have an overly macular look but rather a fit look, so yes …. goals! :)))) I am super happy now to look in the mirror and see what I see! My partner says "WOW" too :) I look like when I was 19, well body wise :))) Super happy to have stuck to the challenge and have completed it! A bit sad to be closing this chapter of my journey but it must be done. Thank you to everyone for your support, I thank my family and my IG dam, you have been incredible! It made this journey that much more interesting and inspirational. THANK YOU! Here's to the wonderful future. Until I log in last to upload my photos…….see ya, keep well, keep fit, keep healthy. Lots of love xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    21 May 2016
    6:57 PM

    Day 83: Wow, I am seriously getting very nervous to get my photos done :)))) It's just me thinking I won't look as good as I am expecting. I know this is the fun part of the challenge, and should be the easiest but I am a nervous wrack lol. Got my tan done and already washed it off. Hopefully it will develop in the next few hours! It's been stormy and raining in Perth today so we've been hiding inside the house with my girl. I am just toying around with the next stage of my journey. Just fine tuning my workouts for the next 4 weeks, and nutrition. Although, I may just keep going with the Maxine's plan for a week or two just until I feel comfortable in switching to the one I have come up with. A lot of things are going through my head, but it feels like the challenge doesn't end tomorrow. I am just going to keep going with my new training program and eat as I have been eating and then slowly adjust to varying my meals, healthy options of course, but I feel like I need to really ease into it, as I don't want to undo any good work I have achieved to date. So nice and steady and then start incorporating some different healthy options. One thing I know for sure, is that I am very comfortable finishing the challenge, and mentally and spiritually I am ready to continue my journey, and really invest in this lifestyle for me and our little family. I love the way I feel, and I love the way I look. I am truly a happier, healthier mum and partner, and I am so excited to start looking at some wedding dresses now!!!!!!! I have always wanted a nice elegant fitted dress, and now I am much more confident to go into the shop and try some on! :)))) Super excited for the future, stoked with my results and look forward to keep going and getting this body stronger, harder and hotter :))))) I have achieved all my goals set for the challenge. Now I am ready for more! But first, I must remain focused and get these photos done without too much panic hehe :) Pretty sad though knowing this is pretty much the end of the challenge, and my journal entries :( It's been fantastic sitting down most nights and just getting a few lines down. I am not much of a writer and get into to much personal life, just me, but I have enjoyed my little journals, they kept me in touch with my journey, if that makes sense. So, until tomorrow :) xx PS: I am seeing some amazing transformations coming through! How fantastic are the challengers this year! Well done everyone! Just shows that dedication, belief and hard work pays off! Night :))))))))

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    20 May 2016
    11:43 PM

    Day 82: Today I got to do my measurements, and I am pretty stoked with the results! 53.5 cm gone! Bye bye, I am not going to miss you!!!! :)))) I was actually sitting down the other day when I was out with a friend and I said "wow, I have no muffin top, and I mean nothing, I am sitting down and there is nothing at all spilling over my jeans!" :))) That was random, but I just thought that. So here we are with results: Thighs: 61.5 to 53 = 8.5cm Waist: 88 to 68 = 20cm Bust: 96 to 86 =10cm Hips: 105 - 96 = 9cm Arms: 31 - 28 = 3cm Calves: 38 to 35 = 3cm Tan tomorrow! I am actually really feeling nervous. But this challenge has been as much of a mental transformation for me as it has been physical. Yes, looking fantastic was very important but it was also very important for me to gain self-control and make that mental shift to make this an ongoing lifestyle for me and my family.I really do believe "you are what you eat". I came so close to cervical cancer and diabetes that it scares the hell out of me to be there. I know that eating healthy and living an active lifestyle reduces your chances of getting so many horrible diseases, and now, more importantly than ever, it is imperative that I continue my journey to health, fitness and wellbeing. Once the challenge is over, I think it is time for a new wardrobe! I have NO jeans or pants!!! Can't wait!!! I just feel amazing on so many levels! So excited for the future. We shall see how my tanning goes tomorrow, I am all exfoliates and moisturised! This is probably the first time in aaaages since I've exfoliated my whole body, I don't know why, but these things just go out the window when you become a mum! :) I must make a habit of it, it feels really nice, and I now smell like my favourite coffee beans….bonus! :))))) Did light cardio this evening, it was nice for a change! Ok, well, I am off to get some zzzz:))) Oh did my fitness test, not too much improvement from the last to be honest. But to be fair, I feel like my body is just exhausted at the moment. Even lifting weights is hard….thank goodness there's none of that these last couple of days :)))))) Night x Till tomorrow x

    24 Burpees
    56 Push Ups
    77 Crunches
    46 Alternate Lunges
    120 Plank
    66 Jump Squats
  • Natasha Ytsenko
    20 May 2016
    12:14 AM

    Day 81: Last weight training workout done today! The next few days it's light cardio dictates :))) looking forward to adding more carbs to my meals for the next couple of days too :))) Well our guy flew out today so no better way to get rid of any depressing thoughts for me is hit the gym. So I did. It seriously keeps me focused. I'm super excited to have one a giveaway on insta. I got to request any supl I wanted from the website and I chose Maxine's Strawberry protein. Yummm! Got it today in the post!! Great timing!!! Early morning today so a little tired at the moment but feeling a little excited and anxious about my photos:))) I'm stoked with my results, I hope I look good on the day :)))) Truly amazed of all the fantastic transformations I'm seeing! Wow! What a great group of people. Everyone has worked so hard and it's so wonderful to see so many people become healthier and fitter, and happier!!! This is what it is all about xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    18 May 2016
    10:24 PM

    Day 80: wow! This number really brings it home. We are nearly done! I'm seriously going to miss this challenge and my journals. But I am super excited to keep going with my fitness journey. One of my goals was to gain self-control and to be able to say "no". And I am so proud of myself that I said no to so many meals that could have been cheating. I'm now so much stronger for it and feel I have achieved my goal but also will be able to continue strong after the challenge. I was just thinking how super confident I've become. And I love the new me:))) I have definitely gotten to know myself like never before! It's been an amazing experience. And I've been recommending this amazing challenge to anyone who asks me about fitness! I absolutely have no regrets! Loving these light training days and oh my goodness, can't believe how heavy my usual weight I train with feels. Todat I really used small weights! Had a lovely day out at the park with my two honeys. It was a nice warm day here in Perth so straight after tge gym we took our little girl out for a run around and some tag games. What better way to stay active :))) Then we got a call that Jason has to fly back to work tomorrow morning so that put a little damper on the day but we decided to enjoy every minute of the rest of the day. Next time Jase is back I will be done with the challenge, can't believe it! But I have a plan ready already to keep going with training and nutrition. No stopping now! I super stocked with my results. And I can truly say "I did it"! I stuck to the plan, I trained on my own with nobody there to push me and here we are. I'm super glad to have had the support of my family, the challenge forum and my igfam! Thank you everyone, this has been even more amazing with you by my side xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    17 May 2016
    9:39 PM

    Day 79: I'm feeling amazing today. I don't know why but I feel on top of the world. I feel so energetic, I don't have any hunger, I am not feeling tired. I'm really enjoying the higher reps and not to failure training this week. I actually worked up a good sweat today! I'm feeling leaner every day. And a few grans seem to drop off every couple of days too, bonus! I am following the plan to a T. And after all the recommendations etc, I am sticking with what the Coaches have recommended. I'm so glad I have stuck to the plan, made it to every session, haven't had a cheat meal. Promises were not broken and I feel so proud of myself. I hope all my hard work will show in the final photo. Fingers, toes and everything else will be crossed on the day :))) i just hope i don't look bloated on the day as I'm taking my photo in the afternoon! Another fantastic news I got this afternoon is that our daddy has flown in tonight wooohooo! He was meant to be away for another week but due to safety concerns in the underground mine he's back for a few days. Which means he is here to support me when I get my pic done - and that's just a bonus! So very happy. Not to mention our little girl, the joy of her dad coming home earlier, beings tears to my eyes. Well, I better get back to my little family and dinner. Until tomorrow and another awesome day xxx :))) PS: sorry if i make any typos. ..I'm terrible typing on the phone and these small buttons lol...but not sure if anyone reads my journal too often...but thought I'd mention it anyway :)))) Night x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    17 May 2016
    12:13 AM

    Day 78: Final week, wow! I'm still pinching myself if it's real. I'm excited, nervous, all these emotions going through my head... But today at the gym all these thoughts were going through my head for some reason. I felt so good, everything felt so right. I was training, feeling every muscle working. I was enjoying every minute of my workout. I was home. In the last 11 weeks I've been really learning to listen to my body, focus on technique and learn to breath throughout my movements. It helped me so much. I feel fantastic. I enjoy training and going to the gym excites me. As I was speaking to a colleague today about what my plans were for after the challenge, I was able to readily say, I'm going to keep going. I will be able to bow utilise all the information I have received on the challenge and workout a new training program. Nutrition wise, I am going to keep it simple as per challenge. I would like to build more muscle and develop my lower body. I'm so excited!!! I'm so excited that I am finishing this journey and that I didn't give up or given in like I usually would have. And this has given me the confidence to look beyond the challenge and be ambitious about new goals. To not be afraid for the challenge to be over. This means so much. I have been down with a bit of sickness, I'm finally shaking it off. So just hopped on the bike for a 15 minute interval just because I got a wee bit excited about the last few days. As soon as my girl fell asleep, bike it was. I got a couple of things today for my photo. I just hope they turn out well and I don't look flat :)))) Anyway, bed time soon I think :) Until tomorrow. Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    15 May 2016
    11:22 PM

    Day 77: I'm afraid to say it too early but I think I'm feeling better...wooohooo!!! I really pumped myself with vitamins and my favourite flu fighter "Sambucol". I'm a believer in natural medicine. It helps me recover much quicker every time! And that means I was up early for my fasted cardio. Today I mixed it up with sprints on the treadmill, battle rope and kettle bell swings. Loved it!!! I'm starting to feel a little nervous about my final photo. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see muscles and other moments, I look "soft". I'm questioning what I should be eating all the time, but like Janet just said by answering one of my questions on the forum, this is not a bodybuilding contest prep. And that's so true! So I will not overthink it but rather follow the challenge's recommendations. But who knows, a comp maybe my next goal. I'm more and more meeting people who have done it and I want to experience this too. So we will see. One step at a time. Can't believe we are in our last week. Where has the time gone! It has been one great experience for me and I don't want it to end!!!:))) Anyway, it's not over yet, still some work to do. So until tomorrow ;))) Xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    14 May 2016
    2:46 PM

    Day 76: Yep, still sick but hey, no point going on about it. Woke up this morning next to my little girl all snug in bed, had a shower, downed some natural sups for the flu and some more aspirin, got ready and headed to the gym. I know, may be I should have a rest, but only one week left, one week! I promised myself I wouldn't miss a training session, so I did it. Actually I had a good sweaty workout in my long-sleeved top and it felt good. What ever happens from here on, I am so glad to have done the challenge again. I will fantastic, mentally and physically. I can now look in the mirror and see the person I wanted to see, I like the way I look in clothes, I like the confidence this challenge has brought out in me, and I am looking forward to keep working on my body after the challenge. This is just the beginning, I have so much work to do. My body is quite stubborn when it comes to changing, especially building muscles, and that's ok, I have to recognise it and work with my own body, at my own pace, work as long as I have to to reach my goal. The most important thing is that I love fitness, I love this healthy way of living, my little family loves it. My family supports me, and I couldn't ask for more. I would love our little girl to grow up around healthy food, around healthy lifestyle behaviours, and I will keep working on making sure she does. The importance of active living and especially healthy food is so great. We must be aware of it, and pass it on to as many people as possible. A few times now, people have come up to me at the gym, and have asked what I am doing to look so good, and I say to them, the challenge, of course! I even got a couple of people to sign up to the next challenge! I also tell them, that I used to come to the gym just like them, but when I went home I just ate all the wrong foods, so my results didn't show….well, what results!!! And I emphasise how important and how huge of a factor food is to achieve changes. I love the fact, that I am able to talk like this, and having gained this knowledge! Anyway, off I go to make some lunch and a cuppa. Really have to try and get better. Until tomorrow :)))) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    13 May 2016
    5:17 PM

    Day 75: No words to describe it, I'm really sick today. Just getting my little girl from school and thinking how I'm gonna make it to the gym this evening. I feel like hell. This flu isn't looking good for me. I cannot believe I got it now! These last few days I was planning on training insane but now...hmmm....very upset. But i just have to work around it. Got lots of natural medicine today to take. Will definitely swallow a few aspirins before going to the gym. I have to go, no excuses. Even if it is an ok workout I have to get it done! I'm always checking any gains. .... morning and night. It's an obsession now!!! I'm so happy I actually have muscles when I do flex. There was nothing there a few weeks ago! I'm also super stoked to have one some Maxine's protein powder today through one of the give aways on instagram. I nominated Maxine's Burn as I really need some protein powder soon, close to running out! Can't wait to get my strawberry flavour! I also won a pair of cool weightlifting gloves!!! I NEVER NEVER win anything!!! So this is just amazing!!! Like they say, good things come in 3s! So hopefully I still have one more to come. I am too afraid to even wish it right now! I'm so worried if I've done enough but after reading Annie's post today I know I couldn't of done more. I have committed to the plan 100%. I haven't missed a training session or had a cheat meal. Yes, at times it was bloody hard but you know what, it was worth every minute! Because no matter what happens, my goal was to get over my weak mindset and always giving up when it gets hard, but not this time! And that is HUGE for me!!! Anyway, I better go. Time to take my little peanut home. Really wish Jason was home to help around especially now that i feel like a wrack but I got my parents to lean on. Thank god for our parents huh!!! Until later..... xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    12 May 2016
    9:19 PM

    Day 74: Ohhhh gosh, I feel like hell!!! Yep, this cold is getting worse. I'm struggling. The thing I was fearing all along is getting sick on the challenge and here we are. Off to the chemist in the morning that's for sure. Did my workout tonight with every bit of energy I had though. Just eating my roast chicken and steamed veg as I'm typing my journal. I think it's early night for me to try and get lots of sleep. But at least I'm happy with my abs haha. I got a complement on my back today too whilst working out, which is a bonus :) I hope I feel better sooner than later. We are almost done with the challenge!!! I should be putting in big time but the struggle is real right now. Hopefully, hopefully I will get over it by next week!!!!!!!! Short one today. Even my eyes are sore. Eeeeek :///// Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    11 May 2016
    2:58 PM

    Day 73: And sooooo...yeppp...our daughter passed on her cold to me, feeling a little under the weather and drained really. But on the other hand I did a comparison of my back after this morning's cardio workout and I can definitely see progress over the last 20 days. There's not much time left now until the challenge ends. I'm still putting in 100% in my training and nutrition. I'm so comfortable with my body now. Sure, there's more work to be done until I'm totally satisfied with my body shape. But I'm closer to it every day. And I do realise that miracles don't happen overnight and it's work in progress. But hopefully in the next few months I will look even better and man up to finally try on a wedding dress and tie the knot :) A bit of a depressing feeling is sinking in as our guy is due to fly out this arvo. It's so hard really. But what can you do. In a way this challenge has kept me focused with a goal in mind and in a way made it easier somewhat, I'm not sure if that makes sense. Next time Jason comes back I would have done my photos. I am so excited!!! I am getting them done by a photographer as a little reward for sticking it out and remaining committed. But not going to go all out and get my hair and make up done. Anyway, I better go and spend some quality time with my honeys before we head to the airport. Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    10 May 2016
    10:20 PM

    Day 72: Tired is the word today! Was up so early for my workout. And for the rest of the day I was struggling to function. And still struggling. Our little girl has a cold and I'm just wondering whether I am getting it. Oh I hope not! I'm super hungry too. Gosh, I am soooo hungry that I can't think lol and watching Master Chef isn't exactly ideal right now lol. Not long to go now. I'm working my hardest. I hope my final photo shows it. I'm quite nervous about it and every day I'm getting more and more nervous. Anyway, a bit of a depression is about to hit as our guy flies out to work tomorrow but I'll leave it for tomorrow. I'm off, really tired and hungry hehe. Later...x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    9 May 2016
    7:16 PM

    Day 71: I am back to my journal! :))) Took a day off yesterday and really enjoyed my Mother's day! Slept in until 9am, my girl must have known she had to sleep in too hehe :) Been out with my two honeys all day and then dinner at mum's place. It was a beautiful healthy day full of activities and healthy eating. Lots of protein and veg. I was even able to choose grilled fish and veg for lunch and given that my parents know I am on the challenge, mum prepped a healthy dinner! Just got back from the gym, had a fantastic workout. I have walked there and back, it's a great way to spend a little more calories, so why not, and take advantage of the cooler days and fresh air. I've done a little comparison of my photos today, and have noticed how my body is reshaping in the mid-section. I am pretty happy with my progress. All the hard work is paying off. And funny enough, more people are coming up to me at the gym and complementing me on the changes, it feels amazing. I am so glad to have stuck to the challenge, it is really paying off. I can't wait to shop for new jeans!!!!! I have been feeling rather tired at night though. I am so warm out by 9pm it is not funny :)))) But I take it it is the case for all the challengers right now! Did loads of gardening today, all day on my feet, so I am completely stuffed already. Can't wait to have dinner and chill out for the night. Until tomorrow. Early morning training scheduled! xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    7 May 2016
    10:49 PM


    Day 69: I was going to start off my day tomorrow with a cardio session, but then changed my mind tonight, and just went to the gym and sweated it out, so I can enjoy mother's day with my little family. Starting with sleeping in with them for a change instead of heading to the gym whilst they sleep :)))) No plans for going off the plan tomorrow, even if our day is jam-packed with events. I am still prepped to eat healthy, not long left now. I am so glad our other half was able to be home for mother's day with us, it means so much. Having my family together is the most important gift in the world. And the second being, my current healthy state of mind and body, that this challenge has given me. On this mother's day I feel the fittest, healthiest, slimmest woman I have ever been. And that is a present in it self too! I am so tired right now, tired and hungry. Sometimes I have lots of doubts going through my head, whether my transformation is good enough and then I look back at my starting photo, and I am so happy with the progress. Today, I weighed myself and am now down to 72 kgs, pretty happy with that, another kg down and a some cms off my hips and thighs and arms too, so can't complain, can I?! But the strangest thing is, I look in the mirror, I still think I look big, whilst cms and scales prove otherwise! I am shrinking and reshaping but I am obviously getting used to myself and sometimes it is hard to see any difference! But most importantly, I must focus on how wonderful I feel right now about myself, and how fantastic I feel trying on new clothes, it excites me instead of being daunting! I can't wait to keep training and seeing what results I can achieve by summer! This is only the beginning. I refuse, refuse to go backwards! I really don't want to be in that shape ever again. There are so many wonderful women who are looking absolutely amazing on this challenge, and it is so fantastic to see people transform not only in body but also in mind, the way they think, the way they see themselves. This challenge brings our so many wonderful things. I have not regretted doing this challenge before, and I am definitely not regretting doing it again. I am enjoying it all the way, through thick and thin, it's all good. Anyway, I best get going and put our little girl to bed and make myself a culpa tea, it's a little cool in Perth tonight. Brrrrr, missing those warm summer days :((((( :)))) I am going to stay away from getting online tomorrow, and enjoy my day with the family, so until Monday :))) Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums and our Mums too! Wishing everyone a lovely day being pampered

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    6 May 2016
    11:40 PM

    Day 68: Oh boy, are these days hectic or what. I have been so tired that I am literally falling asleep by 9. Today I am not too bad, but I am having a massive bowl of salad coz I am hungry. And looking in the fridge, my daughter's yoghurts look pretty damn good!!!! But of course, none for me. These days are just flying by, I am training hard, eating on point. And I still feel like I am not doing enough, weird really. I guess I am putting so much into each day, that it feels like nothing is enough. I am happy with my progress, legs, on the other hand, well, that's another issue….they need work beyond the challenge. That's my goal …to invest quite a bit in my lower body once the challenge is done. Every day we are closer to the end, and I am getting a little nervous. The question remains, will I reach my goal?! I know, it's not everything, it doesn't end here if I don't make it, but I have worked my butt off, haven't had a cheat meal, haven't missed a training session. I promised myself that this time around, I will work harder than ever, and I have, nothing I could do differently. So, yes, it's super important to me. Nevertheless, nevertheless, I must stay realistic, that I may not be good enough, and geez girlfriend, keep your act together if you don't get chosen!!!! Sounds weird??? May be….:) I've been doing a lot of swearing lately at my gym, please forgive me my fellow gym members, but I just can't stop it….:))) I lire tally push for those last few reps, and it just comes out. I got nobody to swear at me to get it done, so I swear at myself …. what can you do :))) Legs tomorrow, or dear legs, love and hate relationship at the moment. Love working out legs but I wish I saw results quicker there than I am right now. But that's ok, it will come. I am so stoked to have chatted with one of the Perth Challengers, Michelle Edmead! It is fantastic how this challenge connects people!!! Michelle also made Top 50 on this challenge before, and it always gives you that motivation and hope, that yes, it is possible and people from Perth get there too!!! I just feel we are sooooo far away sometimes:))))) Even going to the Gala dinner, I would LOOOOVE to be there, but financially it's just not viable for us right now. But seeing all the photos will be amazing nevertheless. Anyway, I better get some reading done on Maxine's forum first and head to bed :))) I am not much of a writer, or huge on writing any personal stuff, so my journal may be a bit boring but it sort of gives me a piece of mind when I have written a little something for the night :)) Good night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    4 May 2016
    5:40 PM

    Day 66: I'm tiiiireeeeeedddd....I mean ... reaaaallly tired. Somebody, help me!!! I'm just at my daughter's tennis lesson and I can hardly keep my eyes open!!! And i still have cardio to do today. OMG! What a huge difference from yesterday!!! I'm telling you, every day is different at this stage of the challenge :))) but I'll take it :))) Ohhh, and did I mention headaches! Massive headaches all day!! Wish me luck for cardio...ohhh gosh...hopefully i don't fall asleep on the treadmill! xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    4 May 2016
    12:54 AM

    Day 65: Uffffff….it's almost 11pm Perth time. I best get some sleep but first a couple of lines :))) I just had to stay up for the bread to finish baking….and gosh, it smells soooooo good!!!!! :))) None for me but I did want to make our little girl a nice fresh sandwich for school tomorrow. Whenever I am at the shops and take a look at the ingredients list of all the supermarket breads, I am in shock….so much stuff!!!!! And especially I am not a fan of soy, just because I know it is mostly genetically modified ://// anyway…enough talk about bread… lol What a day it has been, non stop from morning till now. I have just set down! I am exhausted, but have my alarm set for early morning - leg day tomorrow! I was hoping I'd do a bit of cardio today but that was not to be, didn't catch a second since this morning's workout! My jeans, same ones that I have been trying on since the start of the challenge are loser each day. That's telling me I am progressing well. Ok, so I don't have super muscles atm, but hey, that takes time….I do have some though, I promise! :)))) I hope they stay there for the final pics, otherwise I will be gutted if I look flat as hehehe….anyway, I was very energetic today and full of beans, not hungry at all, today was awesome! Wish every day was like that :)))) I am starting to get loads of comments about my changes, and I super excited about it. I am so glad I have stuck to the challenge 100% and still going strong. I am definitely getting exhausted when training more and more, but my mental game is still strong, and that pushes me to complete each and every workout as best as possible. And they are pretty good workouts, certainly make you work up a sweat! Anyway, I have to get some rest. Early one tomorrow! Wish me luck, I know leg days are a killer!!!!!!!!! xx Night

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    3 May 2016
    12:39 AM

    Day 64: Today has been a positive day overall, I am feeling good. A little hungry but manageable. I've had two training sessions today. Weights in the morning and cardio late arvo. I am not losing as much fat as I'd like so I have decided to throw in a few cardio sessions a week. I really don't want to be cutting down on my nutrition, as I am hungry most times, and am happy to eat every single thing on the plan. If it gets really bad, I have some nuts. Whilst I am focused on finishing the challenge strong, I am really starting to think about post-challenge plans for myself. I REALLY, REALLY don't want to go back to my old self. I dread the thought of putting that weight back on, having that cellulite come back and just feel uncomfortable in clothing, have no interest in shopping for new clothes and just feeling bleh. I have worked really hard for the last few weeks and am seriously thinking of how I am going to maintain this healthy way of life, and not to get lost without the actual structure this challenge brings. It is easy right now, you get told what to do, what to eat. You are able to have any questions answered on the forum, you have like-minded people going through the same journey. But once we are done in 3 weeks, well, it's another story. So I am really setting myself mentally to continue what I have started and to no longer disappoint myself. So……lots of thinking there! Otherwise all is good. I am pretty tired right now, but am stuck watching this silly movie Borat, can't stop laughing :)))) But I think I best leave it and catch some zzzzz! I've had my berries and my night time shake, so best to head to bed before I get hungry :)))) Look forward to tomorrow! New day, new chance to work hard and hope for some more gains :))) Night night xxx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    2 May 2016
    12:15 AM

    Day 63: Well week 9....that's a wrap!!! How quickly are the days going now! I am already in bed but forgot about my here I am in the dark trying to keep my eyes open :))) Sooooo....I am hungry....and I mean....I am hungry all the time. It is crazy! I haven't been this hungry in the last 9 weeks! Emotions are up and down like crazy. But i know it's all part of the deal. I have set down and did a bit of a plan on the last three weeks. I can't let anything slide. Just want to make sure I give it all and have no regrets in the end. Did sprints this morning on the treadmill on 4 incline. Tell you what, I get so much more puffed out on an incline. Awesome! Did some walking lunges too. Coz this butt needs know nobody ever wrote a song about a small butt but nobody wrote a song sbout a saggy one either haha... Anyway. Looking forward to week 10!!! Feeling a little bloated. I wonder why....anyway...I better get some sleep. Night night. Let's kill it xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    30 Apr 2016
    6:42 PM

    Day 62: I will not forget today. Today it's leg day. I woke up feeling good after good 8 hours sleep. Had brekky and headed to woolies for some grocery shopping. Then I left our little girl with my parents and headed to the gym for a leg workout. I was feeling a little weak so I had Maxine's protein bar and of course my pre-workout. I struggled through today's session. I literally felt like I was going to be sick. It was the strangest feeling. I was so weak, tired, naucious and I just kept going and then the strangest thing happened - I went to the ladies' room and just burst into tears. I had a good cry, I don't know why, It just came out, I gathered myself and pushed on with training. I suppose we invest in our bodies but we also invest so much emotionally and I suppose it is normal to have these moments when you train so hard and have a little breakdown. I have been eating clean. Every session I work, the hardest I've ever worked. I know that I will be back again in a day or so. Nobody said this would be easy. But I do appreciate all that comes with the challenge as I am learning so much about everything and myself. I choose to keep pushing through the hardest momemts, today was truly one of those days. I have a mission to complete, and that is to train as hard as I can, to eat clean, and make Top 10. I will keep going, I will keep pushing. Yes, my tank is empty today but it doesn't mean tomorrow will be the same. Lucky for my parents playing with our daughter whilst I have a bit of a rest. I really am buggered! I took a photo of my back this morning. I'm definitely slowly leaning out. I know it's hard to see but I can't take a clear picture with my shaky hands lol. Please body, keep going for me...just a little more leaning out to do :))) That's all the news for today :) Truly stuffed... Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    29 Apr 2016
    4:51 PM

    Day 61: Week 9, I'm going to remember you! This week I have seriously gained this new flow of energy and motivation. It is hard to explain but I'm almost obsessed with reaching my goal. I am working so very hard. Every training session I literally feel a little sick, I am actually stepping out of my comfort zone for the first time EVER! I'm not afraid to push through even when I'm on my last legs. Every day I get closer to my goal. And it feels amazing. I am on point with nutrition and to date have not had a cheat meal. Pretty proud of myself to giving this challenge 100!!! I'm ready to push through these last few days. Pretty excited to see what I can achieve. I'm writing this as I'm waiting for our daughter at school. So excited to see her:))) I'm also super happy because our guy will be coming home next week! Just got the news!!!! Change of roster means he's home earlier! This just made my day. We love having him home! And this change of roster means he is vack home on the 18th of June!!!!!! The Gala Night!!!!!! This just got me so excited!! Don't get me wrong, I know that me making top 10 is a small chance but I did half joke and said "hunny, can you believe it, If I make it, we'll fly to the Gala presentation together, and maybe take our little girl too!!!!!":)))) I got over excited there for a minute! But really, can you blame me?????:)))) OK, I better go, time to get my girl!:)))) Later xxx ;)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    29 Apr 2016
    12:07 AM

    Day 60: I'm seriously buggered. I can't even hold a conversation tonight. I'm sore all over and have never been more glad to just sit on the couch quietly! It's been one busy day and some hard training went on today. So I'm keeping it veeeery short :) I'm super excited to have booked a session with a photographer today, who will also shoot a few other Perth challengers. We are also doing it on the same day! I'm super excited!!!! I wasn't sure how my photos would look if I got my fam to take them, they are not the best photographers:))) And I thought it would be a nice thing to do for me after working so hard for three months. That's it from me tonight. Night xxxx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    27 Apr 2016
    10:19 PM

    Day 59: Well, my day started super early today for a leg workout. And oh god, what a workout it was! By the end I was stuffed, literally. Nothing left in the tank! Absolutely loving the new program!!!! I am starting to see more muscle definition as I train. It's fantastic. Some days my abs come through and some days they are non-existent, it's really weird!!!!! Like today, they are non-existent! Flat as a pancake lol!!! Today we saw our favourite guy off to work!!!! A little depressing to be honest. When the day comes, it is truly hard for all of us to say bye for those two weeks. What makes this challenge amazing, is that it distracts me from my sadness in a way, by me focusing on my goal and working hard every day, whilst Jason is away. I even joke with him and say "Next time you come home, I will be ripped!":))))))) And it makes me a better mum, with more energy for our little girl. So....this evening I dropped off our little peanut at mum's (thank god for my supportive parents!!!!!), and hit the gym for some cardio. I jumped on the cross trainer for 45 minutes. Almost 500 calories down and I was pretty darn stuffed! And hungry!!!!!!! Whilst I was in the change room, by chance I just flexed my arm and noticed my tris, like really noticed them for the first time!!!!!!!! Woooohoooo!!!! I am so happy. I am not a muscle building machine, so for me every muscle that comes along is GOLD!!!!!!!! Anyway, I took a pic to prove it hehehehe :))))) Late dinner tonight, steak and steamed beans. I am so tired, physically and emotionally tonight. Every training session I put in 110%. I am eating super clean, can't really do any more, so fingers crossed, my body gives me a break and starts seriously changing in the next two weeks! I am starting to see my legs trim down, but will they make it???? That is the question! I am just going to go through the new articles on Maxine's sight etc before heading to bed. I am literally rubbing my eyes non-stop as I am writing this. And it is only 8pm Perth time.....OMG! Not long to go now, I must keep going, every day counts, I am going to see this through with my best efforts!!! I just want to say, I did, I stuck to the plan and training, I didn't cheat, and I did it. This is the strongest I have ever been. And I know, I know, there is more to life than this challenge, but this has been a very important goal for me, only for me, I set myself a challenge to see how far I could take it. Not only because it is the most rewarding feeling when you make it, but also because I am a person who just gives up when it gets hard. And for once, I am not going to give up. I am going to see this through to the finish line. And my every so supporting IG family is definitely helping me with this journey. I am so glad to have met so many amazing people, who are so positive, strong encouraging and determined on this challenge! It makes it all the more special. Thank you to everyone for your support. It truly means the world. And thank you to my family and my little girl for supporting me through this journey. When I get dressed to go out, our daughter already says "mama, you are off to the gym again??". Oh gosh, I better get going, I can't think any longer :)))) Night night xxx Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to work hard towards your goals :) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    26 Apr 2016
    5:36 PM

    Day 58: Here we are, day 58 is upon us already! I am so excited but super nervous. I am starting to work extra hard these last few weeks. And I mean, I literally feel sick during my workouts. I have quite a bit of shredding to do, I can only hope that all the work I am putting in will see me gain some results by the end of the challenge. I may have to adjust my portion size as well, of my main meals, in particular lunch, just to see if it can have a positive impact on a bit more fat loss. I would really like to see my very special dream come true this time around. It means so much to me. My family supports me, but I don't think they truly understand how special this goal of mine is. If I could achieve it, it would be the first time I have achieved something I wanted so badly. For me that means I have really stepped out of my comfort zone, really tried, really worked for it. Fingers crossed I can deliver:) I am super pumped to be doing the new Get Strong program, all the super setting, wow, amazing! I just love it. It's raising the bar on my training and I couldn't ask for a better routine. I can safely say, that I am sore already, everywhere but my legs - they are due to be flogged tomorrow!!! And I plan to flog them real good! :)))) I am also super excited that people are starting to make some amazing comments on how I am looking lately, and they are pretty strong comments on how much I have changed, how much fitter and happier I look! Even my mum, whom I haven't seen for only a week, has told me today that I am looking so much trimmer and my face has really slimmed down! I am totally stoked with that! Jason flies out tomorrow for more than 2 weeks this time, so my mood is changing every five minutes because I know he is away from us for quite a bit this time and only back for 4 days, and then off for 2 weeks again. But I know we are stronger because of our time apart, and I must always look on the bright side of things! I even told Jason, how exciting it would be if we got to go to Melbourne if I made top 10! I get butterflies just thinking about this possibility!!!!! :)))) Crazy thoughts, huh?!!! But if you don't dream, you don't work and don't try! :))) But I know there are so many wonderful women on this challenge, who are making amazing changes, and choosing top 10 won't be easy for the judges! The most important goal for me right now thought, the most important, is to finish the challenge with all I have and to remain strong and fit post the challenge, and not turn to my old ways, because that scares me the most! I shall keep grinding away and hope to for the best. Just enjoying a green tea at the end of the day with my little girl at the moment. I was pretty hungry last night as we were watching Criminal Minds and I was feeling like some extra berries or a Maxine's Burn bar, but I managed to sit through that hunger and at some stage forget about it. Yay!!!!! Ok, well, I am off to plan all school-related and cook dinner soon. Lots of smiles and positive thoughts

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    25 Apr 2016
    6:00 PM

    Day 57: Soooooo!!!! Guess what?!!! Today I got to meet Carly Dixon, Maxine's Challenge Ambassador!!! OMG! I am so excited to share this. What a lovely, down to earth girl she is. Time just flew by talking about all health and fitness! I am so glad to meet you finally, Carly! You have given me that extra motivation I needed right now to finish these last four weeks. I will work hard and hopefully my hard work pays off! Speaking to Carly today excited me about my initial goal and dream if making top 10! My health took priority and my goals have changed wham I wasn't feeling well prior to starting the challenge, but now I feel like I can really give it my best shot! Meeting the coaches and everyone on the challenge would just be AMAZING! My heart races at the prospect of this happening. But I must remain realistic too, with so many amazing transformations happening, and if I don't make it I have to be ready to accept that emotionally at the end of this challenge, and not have me come to a stop with all the progress I have made to date. Now, that is most important, as I really don't want to undo all the hard work I have put in to date! I must tell you something, last night I was feeling bad, so bad I am not kidding you. It may be that time of the month, but I was craving SOOOOOO BAD anything chocolate and anything greasy! I AM NOT KIDDING YOU WHEN I SAY THAT!!! It was real bad!!!! Late at night when we put our daughter to bed and my partner was in the bathroom I sneakily took an easter egg (which I have been easily ignoring for a long time now!), I took it into the TV room, unwrapped it, brought it to m mouth and then a sense of guilt got me, I quickly went to the rubbish bin and threw it away! However, an hour later I consumed one Maxine's protein bar and an apple and was still craving chocolate, so I headed to the fridge and got another easter egg out, Jason came to the kitchen grabbed it out of my hand and chucked it in the bin. I thank him for that! Because this morning I woke up with no regrets. But this is the first time I had such bad episode of chocolate cravings and no self control, or close to none! And that's a scary place to be. Thanks goodness today is a new day, and they are all gone! I woke up on a positive note as my alarm went off this early morning in the dark! I headed to the gym and did the new chest/bis/tris/abs session. I am loving it! I was sweating my butt off! I am loving the super sets, it really raises my heart rate and breaks a sweat! I did my abs, and I also tried a few new abs exercises for fun that I've been meaning to try! I just got back home, and taking a few minutes to have my protein bar and a green cuppa tea. Looking forward to my healthy chicken dinner, with no cravings in sight! :))))) I am super excited from meeting Carly still, and super pumped for tomorrow!!!! On that note, I am leaving with a smile :))))) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    24 Apr 2016
    4:38 PM

    Day 56: Not feeling it today! Struggle of a day I tell you that much. I am not sure if it's a coincidence but every time after my leg workout I feel sore and almost depressed hahah. I am not making it up either! I think I push myself so hard, and I mean, during my leg workouts I feel like I have ants crawling all over me, that next day my body is in shock! So today's cardio was a struggle. I got it done, but by far it was not a good workout! No journal yesterday, was so busy with family events that by the time we got back home and got our girl to sleep it was 9pm, and I am not kidding, I fell asleep with our girl as well! And that was the end of story! But I can say that I smashed legs out of water and it's amazing to see all your muscles work in the mirror when you are doing deadlifts! None of them were there when I started the challenge, I remember!!!!! I am so low on energy right now and tired, that I am actually grumpy! I woke up grumpy!!! :)))) But I know it will pass :))) I am going to now check out my new workout plan for tomorrow and get ready for a new week. Happy to report I haven't missed any workouts or had any cheat meals to date! Pretty happy with that!!!! No regrets! Ok, off I go, my daughter is calling me!!! Till tomorrow x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    22 Apr 2016
    10:48 PM

    Day 54: Here we are!!! What a fantastic, positive day it has been! I am a little tired now though:) About to make way to the fridge for some berries, but first my little journal :) Strong start to the day this morning with a great shoulders/tris session! I had some energy left, and thinking about the fat that's lingering around me still, I hopped on a bike and burnt 300+ calories. Headed home for my Maxine's shake and Max's BCAAs. Couldn't down that fast enough I tell you!!!! Hmmm, my partner is sneakily trying to read my journal, sitting right next to me, and I am feeling rather anxious….bahaha :))) Anyway, I had one hungry moment today, so I filled up on capsicum and black coffee. Yep, strange combination. But I love the crunch and the taste of coffee:))) Managed to do some food prep too for when we are out, so we don't end up eating out, especially me! Being a Friday, flexing was a must of course! And my daughter decided to join me last minute….I just cracked up laughing and but thought it was a good shot :))) I am slowly trimming up, but not sure how much progress I will make in the next few weeks. It's always playing on my mind. I have always known that I would never look super macular, because I just don't have that genetic make-up to transform into a female super shredded woman in 3 months. I just naturally have to work super hard to gain muscle and I know it will take a long time, way beyond the challenge, but that's ok. As long as I don't expect miracles I will be ok at the end of the challenge, It's important for me to keep grounded so I don't lose it at the end! :) Anyhow, I am going to stop, because Jase keeps looking at my screen and because I am dying for some berries :) hahahah! Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    21 Apr 2016
    11:13 PM

    Day 53: Well, what a day today!!! Today I got to meet one of the challengers - Diane Franklin!!! OMG!! I am super excited! She was super strong and bubbly, and ready to take on our training session. We smashed out back and abs! I wish I could have her as my gym buddy all the time! Makes a huge difference to train with a partner! But seriously, I have been hanging out to meet with someone on this challenge! But most people are over East! So, today was my happy day! Here's to more catch ups, Diane!!! I have to also team up with Carly Dixon one of these days!!! She is amazing!!! Can't wait to meet her!!! So many awesome transformations coming through, it is just so inspiring and so motivating to see all these wonderful ladies make a change in their life to become healthy and fit. I love following these wonderful girls. And I am super thankful for their support

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    21 Apr 2016
    10:42 AM

    Back view :p I can definitely say my butt is not as saggy, getting there slowly. Lots more squats to come:p

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    21 Apr 2016
    10:40 AM

    Side view progress, lot's of work ahead!!!

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    20 Apr 2016
    5:14 PM


    Day 52: Is it check in day??? lol??? I am super anxious and excited!!! I got my mum to take some pics for me today, but also took a photo this morning at the gym in my shorts whilst nobody was there (I NEVER wear shorts ANYWHERE!!!) so yes, it's gotta be done super fast, and of course I am not game to wear my underwear in public bahaha!!! This was going to be my back up photo in case the others were not very good and what do you think... I will most likely just upload my gym pic because looking at the pics mom took today, they are all out of focus or have shadows, only a couple of pics like the side and back are ok! And our guy flies in today!!!! Wooohoooo, one week with his girls!!!! Miss having him home!!!! And I am not going to rely on Jase to take my photos this evening, well because he does not take a good picture lol!!! And I am pretty sure he will be stuffed after working long days! If I can upload my photo today, it will be as good a day as any really! I have done all my measurements and I am super stoked I have lost another 2 kgs!!! Wooohoooo!!!! And a few cms off my body too! My legs on the other hand, ohhhh a piece of work!!! I am going to have to flog them and myself in the next 4.5 weeks that is all I can say, and hopefully get a little better results! I am super happy how far I've come, I am even buying new clothes and am excited about shopping!!! But I am leaving buying a new pair of jeans till the end of challenge ;)))))) Anyway, not a great difference in my fitness test. Again I did it with such sore lower body, so may be I could have squeezed in a couple extra reps in there, but it gives me some idea! May be I should do more burpees!!! My measurements are attached in the photo, pretty happy with my weight loss and measurements to date. I am just going to have to focus very hard and complete the last few weeks as hard as I can. Pretty excited! And pretty excited to see all the check-ins that will be coming through, there will be some awesome results!!!!!!!!! xxx PS: It's just after mid-night Eastern States time! And I've checked in!!! Wohoo!!! 47cm and 6.7kgs down!!! Wanted to check in asap so I can focus on the last chapter of the challenge!:) Now I can go to sleep. Sorry about the light shining on top of me at the gym, couldn't really help it!:) Night night xx

    18 Burpees
    46 Push Ups
    68 Crunches
    38 Alternate Lunges
    90 Plank
    50 Jump Squats
  • Natasha Ytsenko
    19 Apr 2016
    11:12 PM

    Day 51: My day begun at 5.30am today with ambition! Ambition to fulfil my goals! I sweated real good through my heavy leg session, by butt is bloody sore right now, I can tell you that much!!! The gym was really quiet, love it when it's like that, I can grunt and swear hehe, if I have to! Fantastic workout! I wish I had that energy every day!!!! :))) I was out all day today, and just set down, and it's 9pm, my first rest hour and I am already contemplating my early workout tomorrow! Oh, and I was able to do one pull-up today, woooohoooo!!!!! Can't believe it. I know, only one, but still. Wasn't able to even pull myself a cm up 8 weeks ago! Check in tomorrow, quite nervous! I don't know what to think. My body is fluctuating daily, it's insane! I feel bloated one day, more defined the next, more puffy the next, oh dear! But I just have to keep chipping away and trust the process. I haven't had any cheat meals or deviated from my training, so I am pretty happy with my effort. It has been 8 weeks, and with some of the cravings surrounding me last few days, I am pretty happy I haven't caved in! I still can't get over all the thoughts and crazy emotions that go through my head these days, I mean, I am 35 not 16! :P And still…..emotions running wild! But it is a big deal, it means so much to all of us, challengers, otherwise we would't be doing the challenge! I am trying to also head to bed earlier, to get at least 8 hours sleep. I find I have a bit more energy if I go to bed early and wake up early. So will watch a bit of telly and read more of Maxine's and head to bed :) Already demolished my berries, practically in 30 seconds hahaha. Anyway, hope I can take my photo tomorrow, see what the damage is ;)))) On that note, good night xxx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    18 Apr 2016
    10:56 PM

    Day 50: We are into week 8!!! So many emotions right now, I don't know what's wrong with me. I have been so focused and driven right up to now and now I am a little lost weirdly… I can't explain it! I feel like am more puffy looking than usual, I don't know whether it's because of the creative I have started taken in larger doses or what, it just coincided with it. I am also doubting my results because I look "bigger" and I don't seem to have changed much since my last photo….hmmmm….and there's only 5 weeks left! I just went through some of Craig's mindset speeches, which has helped a lot - thank you Craig! And I have just read Janet's article again on "how badly do we want this". I am also checking out everyone's progress, and so many wonderful ladies are doing an amazing job!!! Well done!! You all keep me motivated and inspired, every single one of you! I love checking out #maxineschallenge16 page, where everyone posts pics…amazing!!!! I am super hungry and I don't deal with hunger well. I literally feel sick, stomach pains etc and not to mention how angry I feel because of it!!!! Anyway, I will keep chipping away! I have to also realise that every woman is built differently and some women naturally have more muscle and will develop greater definition quicker. I got lots of fat (thank you genetics!!!):)))) bahahaha… Anyway, no point winging, tomorrow is a new day, and it's leg day!!! Time to focus on that butt!!!! Coz it's gotta lift a bit more!!!! ;)))) I am just going to checkout some journals and the forum before bed time. Alarm set for early morning. Clothes ready! Hopefully I have a good sess! PS: Took this pic after my chest workout, love seeing the line!!! :))) Night night xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    17 Apr 2016
    11:24 PM

    Day 49: All I can say is, this morning cravings continued for now anything naughty, yeppp!!! Not fun lol! My alarm went off at 6.30 on this rainy Sunday, I got up and got ready for cardio, smashed out a good sess and got home and made my protein pancakes. They were my saviour today. No guilt for eating them ad all they had was oats, ricotta, Maxine's protein, egg, coconut flour and vanilla, a touch of milk....soooo good! I make these for my little girl without the protein powder and she loves them too! All pumped for Week 8! Got my alarm set! Feeling on the bloated side today but that's ok. I went out and bought a pair of size 10 jeans wooohooo! Proper size 10! Pretty hard to make it to size 8 for me as I'm pretty tall, 5'10! But you never know :)))) Had an awesome day out with friends at kids' carnival. We got wet in the rain, had plenty of laughs and definitely exhauated now! So off to get some rest:) Ciao xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    16 Apr 2016
    1:56 PM

    Day 48: Woooohooo!!! Today I am feeling more or less normal! Woke up determined and ready to smash out my leg sess….took two scoops of maxine's pre-workout and some creatine, dumped a scoop of BCAAs in my water bottle and headed to the gym this early morning whilst everyone had their sleep in. Huge thanks to the forum, challenge ambassador Di and John, and Dot and Kaz for their inspirational messages, it certainly gave me that pump and motivation to get my butt moving! I realise we all get stuck, and this gets hard, but nevertheless you don't want to get stuck, you just want to power through each week like a machine!!! :) Well, week 7 is almost done with and then only 5 weeks left, only 5 weeks, wow! Not long at all. I can now wear short tops (almost) comfortably at the gym…wooohooo…still a bit of flab when I bend over but that's why I need to keep powering through every day! Oh, I just made a brownie by request, and gosh it smells nice. I admit, I had a lick of the spoon bahaha…just a lick though!!! ;) Off to grocery shopping soon and then take our girl out to the park to take advantage of this beautiful warm weather today. Ohhh, today I hit my personal best on squats! I am now up to the blue 20kg plates! Wooooohoooo!!! Yes, to some this may be nothing, but I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER been able to squat with these plates! So I am getting stronger! Now it's the fat I gotta lose. I am a little worried I am not going to make any progress on my legs! But I read an article last night that women may find it hard for their legs to change as fast as they'd like, and it's all due to our hormones, in fact, legs may be the last to shed fat and to start re-shaping. So I can only work them and hope for the best outcome :)))) 8.37pm....I'm back!!:))) I've got to note this! For the first time in 7 weeks I'm craving sugary stuff. ...omg!!!! I have got to stay away!!! Not only that, I'm starving, starving like a huge hippo who hasn't eaten in days lol. I'm literally feeling yuck. Just had an apple. Worst case senario I may have to have a bit of yogurt!!!! Grrrrrr!!!! Anyway, took my girl out for a lovely afternoon walk today. Enjoyed some fresh air. She played and I relaxed. Really needed it. Hopefully I'm all charged for cardio tomorrow :))) xx night night

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    15 Apr 2016
    10:47 PM

    Day 47: Another one of those days, I tell you that much, this week, week 7 is undoubtedly the hardest week on the challenge thus far for me. Don't ask me why. I am struggling, struggling big time. I am not able to do anything extra but the required training. Today's session was a struggle as well. I am just tired, super hungry and moody. I can't explain it. I had a weird tummy today, bloated and sore.....what else??? This is the first week where doubts are creeping through my head, am I going to make it, can I shred a little more like I would like, will I have the energy to really power through the lat 4 weeks. I am just hoping it's one of those weeks! I also feel like I have some bug sitting in me, I have a bit of a runny nose and just drained all the time, hopefully this will pass. It's school holidays, I am our every day busy with activities. Gym has been when I can fit it in. I haven't missed a session to date though. I will try and wake up in the morning tomorrow so I can do a morning leg workout. Anyhow, totally stuffed writing my journal, eating my berries, at the end of the night. Did my shoulder/tris/abs workout this arvo. Tris are already sore! But seriously, here's to a better Saturday!!!! :) Night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    14 Apr 2016
    10:36 PM

    Day 46: Soooo, the day is almost over. It's only 8.30pm Perth time and I'm shattered, early night me thinks. Will prob fall asleep next to my little girl tonight!!! Another morning waking up and feeling sooooooo very tired. My bosy is aching. Serious DOMS!!! I know it's good coz I worked those muscles real good though. Absolute struggle today I can't even explain. My training sucked today, that is all I can say. I got it done nevertheless. I wanted to do some cardio but I just couldn't. Physically I'm exhausted. Tonight I couldn't fathom eating anything heavy at all so I boiled aome chicken and had it with salad and a drizzle of lemon. I'm actually feeling naucious atm. But I am still looking forward to my workout tomorrow. Hopefully a super early night will sort me out a bit! I'm feeling stronger though and every day I'm seeing my body change! So happy with that!!! Anyway my eyes are closing, I just gotta try and get my girl to bed now coz her mum is ready to sleep haha :)) Night all xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    13 Apr 2016
    4:27 PM

    Day 45: OMG, I am sore, I am sore as hell today. I trained my legs last night, and my butt, my hammier are killing me. My chest is still sore from Monday too. I woke up this morning for some fasted cardio and felt like I've been hit by a bus. So yes, cardio wasn't as fun today. But I did it and finished it off with some abs. When it gets hard, and it is getting harder the second half of the challenge, for me anyway, I always think why I am doing this, I visualise what I will look like in the next 6 weeks, I tell myself "you want it, you must work for it". I don't want to waste any more time dreaming about what I could achieve, what I could be, I am in my 30s, I need to get a move on. Now or never. Enough making excuses that I can't. My dream was to achieve top 10, and I will aim for it. Today I measured myself again, and more cms are gone! Wooohoooo! This keeps me motivated. In particular my waist, I am now down to 68 from 88, that's 20cms loss, I am pretty happy with it. Next check in opens next Wednesday, I am going to work extra hard to see more cms drop off, if it's possible. I am however always tired, and I just pull myself up and remind myself that it's all part of the process and will be worth it when we are all done! Today I am also a little down in the dumps, missing my other half :((( Usually the first couple of days him being away are the hardest. Anyway, what can you do. Off to have a shake and go to the shops, check out if I can get some more creatine and protein powder. Tomorrow I am planning a morning walk and an afternoon weights session. Fingers crossed I have the energy :)) I can hardly walk now….No hang on, I will find the energy - no excuses!!! Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    12 Apr 2016
    1:06 PM

    Day 44: I've been absent for a while!!! Yes, I am still here :) And I am still going strong with the challenge. Into the second half officially. As I type this I am so sore, sore all over. Yesterday I went in to the gym for a second training session as I had a bit of energy and felt like another workout, so why not! I am paying for it today :))) Legs this afternoon! It's a busy few days with catch ups, birthdays and other stresses that were not so pleasant. Hopefully in another week everything will settle, as it is causing me quite a bit of stress. Anyway, our guy has been called back to work earlier, so we are taking him to the airport this afternoon:( At times the FIFO life can be a little hard. So lots of sad faces all around today :(((( Kill me now, I've stepped on the scales the other day, and have only lost 500g but I know that I am losing cms everywhere and that's an indication that my body is changing. So not fussed at all. Was just curious so I hopped on them. I am soooooo hoping my abs will start to improve in the next few weeks!!! I so want to achieve this. My goal was to achieve the top 10 ranking, and I am still aiming for that. I know that it's no big deal if I don't make it, but it's a goal I have set to myself to achieve. And it's nice to have a goal, it motivates you and challenges you to keep going and smashing your boundaries. So fingers crossed I am good enough at the end of 12 weeks. Anyway, I have to go make lunch and get ready for the airport. Hope to log in tomorrow:))) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    8 Apr 2016
    11:17 PM

    Day 40: Lethargic, is a huge word for today! I woke up feeling ok, had a good shoulders/tris/ab workout and then went out for brekky with my mom, and ended up having this protein breakfast at the Health Freak cafe. I love this cafe, as it tells you the calories and macros for each meal! I had my protein burger and to be honest I didn't have lunch today, I just felt sooooo full and couldn't even fathom eating anything! But a big thing for me today, I have just been sooooo tired all day. Oh my goodness. I am tired now, and it's only 9pm Perth time. About to have my berries and to be honest, I think it's gonna be an early night tonight. Every now and then I check out some female fitness models, for some motivation. One of my favourites is this girl Cassie, she is just amazing. And has a rocking body, a body I'd love to have one day! She certainly inspires me to keep going and smash out some goals over the next six weeks. I have just read an article from Janet on abs. Glad I read it. I have some abs starting to show but I can't say a great deal! So that gave me a piece of mind, to just keep working on them, and hopefully they will come through by the end of the challenge. Training quads tomorrow, so another early morning session. And then we are off to have a look at some houses. We are looking at possibly moving in the near future, as the house we are in is actually very tiny. Sometimes I take photos in my parents' house, just to not mistake it hahahahah….So hopefully we will find something :) Anyway, that's all the news for today. I am taking my tired butt to have some berries:) Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    7 Apr 2016
    10:41 PM

    Day 39: Feeling a little hungry as I am writing this :))) But that's ok, I will have my berries in a moment. Great training session this morning. Love training my back. I also did 20 minute on the treadmill, on the the 9 incline right after and some abs. I was definitely stuffed. When I got home I took some shots and compared it to the start of week one. Pretty happy with my progress. I can definitely see my body reshaping and some muscles appearing. With almost half way through it's a good time to reflect how far I've come in just 5 short weeks, and that it's only half way through, and a lot can happen in the next 6 weeks! I just have to work hard. So refocusing all my energy to finish this with a bang! Rome wasn't built in a day, and I realise this body will take a lot of work beyond the challenge to reach my goals! This evening we took the opportunity to go for a walk in the park with our little girl, and do some push ups and lunges etc, anything extra. It was a lovely evening, the last of the warm nights I think :))) Early morning tomorrow! A little relaxation before heading to bed, may be watch my favourite show, the Mentalist! ;) Oh, and I was strong this afternoon not to have any of my guy's caramel slice. Anything caramel would have gone down a treat in the past! But not this days, self control is strong! :)))) My Maxine's bar was way better anyway! On that note, good night! Until tomorrow :) Oh, loving the new dashboard Maxine's!!! Well done!!! xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    6 Apr 2016
    7:45 PM

    Day 38: Cardio Day!!!! I am sooooo excited!!! No, not as much as when I train with weights to be honest. BUT it has to be done nevertheless and I always try to vary my cardio days with something new, as to not get bored and keep it fun at the same time. Today, I played around with the kettle bell and the skipping rope, I also did some HIIT on the treadmill. Good session. And of course some photos :))) I must say I am seeing more and more muscles coming through when I trains happy about that, but I tell you what, when I skip that fat juggles….oh my goodness……gotta work hard to shed it in the next 6 weeks, that's all I can say. I want to be able to see a solid body without any fat rolls when I bend over or skip on that skipping rope!!! :)))) Oh my goodness, it seems I am only taking photos in this aerobics room, I guess because nobody is watching and because It's got a nice big mirror :))) And I never have anyone with me to take photos either. I got plenty of sleep last night, I was soooo tired. I read a relevant article from on Maxine's site about being tired about this time on the challenge, and it provided some insight as to why this is happening, and that it's actually positive for our bodies. So won't stress over it too much! It's getting cooler outside and I am noticing I am getting a little hungrier too lol. I just had a handful of extra nuts today. I was starving lol. Off to cook dinner now. Until tomorrow :) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    5 Apr 2016
    11:36 PM

    Day 37: As I'm drifting off to sleep I remembered that i didn't log my journal today. Feeling guilty, I'm now quickly typing a couple of lines :))) I am soooo tired tonight!!! Like really tired. I practically fell asleep at 7.30. Amazing leg workout today...or shall I say I absolutely smashed my butt and hammies this morning. As much as I could on my own anyway. Sometimes I wish I could train with a pt as they do tend to push you even harder. But that's life. I am my own boss what can I say haha. Can't believe we are into week 6!!! Walking past those scales is sometimes a struggle. Although I am focusing by just observing my body changing and reshaping. much fat I still have. I really do have to start doing some extra work to shred but where do I find the energy??????:) I started incorporating so cattle ball work in between sets. And am loving it. Don't know why I haven't used it before!!! My loss!!:) Ok, I better get some sleep. Can't even see the screen lol... Night night xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    4 Apr 2016
    3:16 PM

    Day 36: Hurray!!! My bloating is going away today! Got to the gym this morning, only to realise I have lost my headphones, arghhhhh!!!! I can't stand working out without music!!! But nevertheless I had a good workout. Just out of curiosity I measured my waistline today and omg, lost another 4 cms!!!! I am totally stoked with that! That's 16 cm lost in 5 weeks!!!! I am not sure if that's good or not, but I think it's alright, that's just my waist though, haven't done any other measurements. Because our daddy is home we went out to celebrate for a coffee, and in a long time I had a white coffee at one of our favourite coffee shops. I was really looking forward to it, but to be honest, it didn't go down as well as I thought. I literally didn't think it was that good, and certainly didn't enjoy that milky coffee taste as much as I used to. But my company was the best :))))) Love having our family together. FIFO lifestyle can be tough, but it's days like these where we can spend a whole day together, that brings everything in perspective. Lunchtime soon! Looking forward to it! Our girl wants to play blocks, so I am going to stop here .... :))))) See you soon! xx :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    3 Apr 2016
    7:14 PM

    Day 35: Well, I am totally and utterly shattered. I am so bloated today I literally feel like i have fat crawling out of the side of my tight leggings!!!:/ Where's yesterday I was able to take a nice slim photo in the morning. All I can say is, I hate you pms lol. I haven't done my cardio this morning and I literally had to drag my ass to the gym this late arvo. My legs felt like concrete on that treadmill. Struggle of a workout but I couldn't miss a workout. No matter what. Today we also celebrated my girlfriend's daughter's birthday. Lots of yummy food and oh my goodness, those sweets. But I came ready - with my trusty bar!:) That took me through a few hours until I got home for a meal. Hope I feel better tomorrow coz today I'm literally physically at 0 level. These damn hot flushes, headaches. ..muffin tops....arghhh :)))) The good thing is, I know they will pass!!!! :)))) Days like these in the past would be saved by naughty food, glass of wine and chocs but not now. And I feel better for it. Any small cravings pass and I don't feel guilty next day. Anyway, here's to a better physical state tomorrow :)))))xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    2 Apr 2016
    7:18 PM

    Day 34: Phew, I'm literally exhausted!!! Huge training sess this morning, focused on my quads and then did a zumba class. I had some energy left so why not. My legs are pretty stubborn so changing their shape will take a lot. Hence training them twice a week. We had a lovely day out in the park today and now I just want to collapse :))) Oh and our guy organised another easter egg hunt for our little girl as he's been away for that too. So those chocolates were around me once again. I can smell the chocolate on my girl haha ... but none for me. Some muscle is starting to happen. I took this pics after my workout today. Pretty happy to be shaping a little. So much work to do yet!!! Anyway. Short one today. Xx ;)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    1 Apr 2016
    9:48 PM

    Day 33: Today is a day spent on reflecting. I came across a good quote too - "The hard part is not getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape". And how true is that. Yes, there is a cake in the background, yes, I baked it, yes, I have to watch my hubby to be and our daughter eat it, but you know what, this is part of the process. A big reason for doing the challenge is to learn to control my mind, and to exercise self control when it comes to food, in particular to sweets. And thus far, there is no problem. Sure, it is easier to not have it in the house, but that's not how I want to live my life, I would like to be comfortable to have dessert in the house and not be tempted to have it, or not to have half of it when I do finish the challenge. I would like to have self control in just having a small bit and be satisfied with that….noooo, not having any at all right now, that's a lesson for post-challenge. It was our favourite guy's birthday, so of course I made a cake, blowing out the candles with your little girl is a must. Just because I am trying to change my ways, doesn't mean everyone in the family must go without any celebration treats :) Anyway, awesome shoulder/tris workout today. I had a bit of energy in me, so I did a 20 minutes jog/walk on 6 incline, felt really good. For me this challenge is about putting in 100% daily, and if I have more energy then I will give it more after each workout, but my aim is not to exhaust myself and enjoy this fantastic process of transformation - this far, it is working. Yes, still a lot of fat to lose. And yes, we all have different bodies, capable of transforming at a faster or slower rate, so I am just going with the flow and trusting the process :) Dinner almost done, got roast chicken and steamed veg. I have made some sweet potato for lunch, the purple type instead, and goodness, it was sooooo delicious, almost a denser kind of potato. And it smelled like cake baking in the oven - bonus :))) Alright, off I go to check the oven. Happy weekend everyone!!! xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    1 Apr 2016
    1:11 AM

    Day 32: Back day done. A little hungry tonight to be honest, so had a handfulof nuts. The thing with me, when I get hungry, I get stomach pains, so I really do have to eat a snack as to not feel sick. Other than that I've been feeling like a hippo, bloated and heavy. Yes, that time for a woman. And the moodiness doesn't help either. Messes with your focus :) I did have a good workout today. And my back is slowly making progress. My abs however are hiding, yessss, not liking it with all this water retention. I am super tired, so a short one tonight :))) Looking forward to another workout tomorrow!!! Night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    30 Mar 2016
    3:23 PM

    Day 31: A quick journal entry today, as it's a hectic day. Did my fasted cardio this morning. Feeling so sore from last night's workout that I am feeling so tired :) But that's a good thing. We are off to pic up our daddy from the airport tonight, so someone is pretty excited …. and so am I. We don't get to see him most of the year, so these two week holiday is fantastic, we can spend some quality time together. I usually rely on my parents when he is away to look after our little girl so I can go workout, so now that he is back I hope I can really hit it hard :) Days are going past, I am feeling smaller every day. It's fantastic. Anyway, I better go, got lots to do before we have tennis this afternoon. Hopefully until tomorrow :) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    30 Mar 2016
    12:47 AM

    Day 30: Well, have I been tempted by lots of yummy food or what today?!!!! Oh, I have. And I tell you that much, for the first time I actually felt like I wanted to have some. BUT, I didn't, I just wanted everyone else eat it :))) I had my Maxin'e bar and my protein and salad :))) My plan was to workout first thing in the morning, but our little girl was waking up all night, and when my alarm went off, I felt like I didn't get any sleep at all, like I've been hit by a bus, so I had to train late tonight. Very lucky to have my parents support me in this challenge when my partner is away for two weeks up North. Late night training wouldn't be possible, if it wasn't for them. They always look after our little girl. And so, a huge shout out to them tonight!!!! I know they may tempt me with some cake every now and then, but really, they want me to succeed. And I don't want to fail them or myself. So I will keep training hard and hope results will show. I know everyone's body responds differently to change and muscle building, I know I hold a lot of fat naturally, but I do hope that the next 7.5 weeks will see me improve largely and shed some of this stubborn fat!!!! Now, my question is, with this late night training, how am I meant to sleep?!!! I feel like I am tired but restless….hmmmm :) I must say though, that I felt pretty strong training my legs today. Really broke some serious sweat. I trained flutes and hamstrings tonight, and geez, my butt is already sore as hell. That's a good sign! Happy with that :) Cardio tomorrow first thing in the morning (I hope!). xx Night

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    29 Mar 2016
    12:03 AM

    Day 29: Well, it's after 9pm Perth time, and I've just done some abs. I am really desperate for my abs to show by the end of the challenge. A little worried that won't happen. But I know there's still a while to go. And I am still holding plenty of fat around my stomach. Although very happy that my muffin top has almost gone, when I am sitting down! And I can fit into my old jeans! I had a little energy after having my dinner so cleaned up, put our little girl to bed, got the Youtube going with some music and did some good old abs again! I am definitely seeing the top starting to come out, and my lower stomach area is getting tighter and stronger, when I press there too, I can feel my ab muscles ;) Anyway, just had my berries, yes, a tablespoon of yogurt isn't there, but no big deal. I would really like to do some cardio at night too, but I just have no energy left lol. Got a new pair of gloves today, as the old pair was totally wracked. I worked out without any this morning, and gosh it was frustrating, I couldn't lift as heavy, so straight to the shops after that! And oh did I do a bit of cooking today!!! Yes, my favourite salads that contain mayonnaise and I baked a carrot cake (one of my favourites!!!)!!!! Yessssss!!!! It smelled sooooooo good, and it looks soooo good. But I am being good, remain focused. I really do want my abs. And it's so much more than that. Today, my step-dad said to me, you can have a piece of cake or a chocolate, you can just work it off, or do an extra workout. I said, it's not the point, I could. But to me it's more than just working it off, it's learning to control myself, and be happy for saying no to food, and not only happy but absolutely comfortable with that decision. I always give up when it gets too hard and never get to where I need to get. I really dislike this quality of mine. And for once in my life, I would like to go through with when I set out to achieve and achieve it. For once, I don't won't to doubt my abilities or compare myself to anyone else, for once I would like to focus and achieve my goal. Earlier this year I set out a goal to do the challenge and to get into Top 10. Yes, there are other very important reasons for doing the challenge, and this reason is very damn important too. If I achieve this, it means I worked hard enough, and made sacrifices to at least once in my life see a dream of mine realise. So the hard work continues, as this is very close to my heart, it is something i must do for me. Anyway, I am definitely stacking a couple of kgs on (no, I haven't weighed myself), but I can just feel it…..girl's time!!!!!!!!! eeek! never mind….every woman on this challenge is dealing with these times too :))) Right, I am just about to check out the forum and then make my night shake :) Until tomorrow! Legs ….. I am coming for you hehehe :) Night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    27 Mar 2016
    8:02 PM

    Day 28: HAPPY EASTER!!!! Yes, we've had the easter egg hunt and chocolate around all day, but I've remained strong. No cheating and I have taken my last day of rest very seriously today :))))) Although I must say, I am feeling a little grumpy and tired (must be a woman's thing hahahha). I know it will pass in a week bahaha, so deal with it :))) The weather in Perth is cold and rainy, I think I am not quite ready for it. Where's the sunshine please and warm days!!!! As I am typing this I really feel like I could have a nap :-) I need to now go through my program for the next four weeks. I think there's only 1 leg day, and considering that my legs and my butt have SOOOOOO much work to do .....yes, the troubles of carrying lots of fat in that region....I may have to split my legs to two days (quads and hamstrings/glutes). And if I can't do one day of cardio instead then so be it, but I will try to fit some cardio in also!!!! I am feeling more bloated than ever, but I know it's that time of the month and I have just read an awesome article on the Forum about not stepping on those scales, it seriously put my mind at ease. I will leave those things alone for few weeks, till the next check in anyway! Alright, off I go, dinner to cook, training program to review.... That chocolate did smell good when my little girl was eating it .... hahaha :) Thinking though, this Easter thing is not over yet, having Ukrainian heritage, my parents and the whole of community will be celebrating Easter as Greeks do, on the 21st of May, and they it all starts again, may be no chocolate, but baking, cooking etc. I will enjoy all the smell in the house I guess and feed of that lol xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    26 Mar 2016
    10:15 PM

    Day 27: Oh, what a's been a struggle since I woke up. My intention was to do fasted cardio but I woke up feeling like I could hardly walk...whoa....sore...sore all over. So lots of running around shops for groceries, getting our girl some winter clothes etc. ... when I was done, I left our peanut with my parents (our daddy is away up north at work) and went to the gym for some cardio. I couldn't do it at home as my butt is too sore haha and it was pouring down to take it outdoors! Even when I got to the gym I still couldn't fathom doing cardio but then I had to remind myself why I'm doing all this!!! And I went and did it with every bit of energy I had left and after my workout I took a pic....always checking on my progress!!! Anyway, too glad to have a rest day tomorrow!! Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    25 Mar 2016
    4:16 PM

    Day 26: Happy Easter!!! Long Weekend! Lots of chocolate around! I actually sniffed my daughters easter egg today hahaha….smelled pretty good. But none for me. Today is also flex friday, and as you can see my flexing ain't good :)))) But hey, there's another 8 weeks to improve that, right? Hopefully, I will be able to develop more of a bicep by then. Gosh, I am so tired today. My body is overly sore today from those grilling workouts. That's a very good thing, but I notice every time I am this sore, I am also equivalently tired! And gosh, the hunger today is unreal for some reason, it all must be linked :) I just had a cup of green tea and a quarter of a protein ball to curb that hunger and to stop myself from eating more than I should at lunch! Did my weights today and will to cardio tomorrow. Tomorrow is a busy day, so I am not sure if I can make it to the gym, at least if I don't I can still hop on the bike for cardio at home! Today I came across a saying that goes something like this "It's a shame for a woman to grow old without finding out what she is capable of achieving" - isn't it a great saying?! It really really made me think, yes, I am not getting any younger, and I am afraid to not ever find out what it would feel like having that fit physique. And I am going to try harder to achieve it this challenge. I can't make promises in definitely having one at the end of the challenge, but I can promise that I will work my hardest, to give it my best shot. Well, off to relax on this Easter Friday, so I will catch you tomorrow :) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    24 Mar 2016
    7:52 PM

    Day 25: This photo summarises how I felt after my workout today - HAPPY! Yes, I was absolutely stuffed, and by that I mean, I was gone… levels at ZERO! And after my training I had to do my fitness test, geeeezzzz, may be I should have done it yesterday lol! It was a bit of a challenge. But once I was done, I was happy to let my hair down and enjoy a well-deserved stretch :) I also did my measurements today! So here we are: Thighs: 57cm (down 4.5cm) Waist: 76 (down 12cm) Bust: 90 (down 6cm) Hips: 101 (down 4cm) Arm: 29 (down 4cm) Calf: 37 (down 1cm) Pretty happy with that! But real work is yet to begin!!!! Had a look at the program for Week 5, whoa 7 days training!!!! Easter this weekend, I am not even phased by it to be honest. I have been buying chocolate, surrounded by it, I have it in front of me at home right now, and I don't want any! I love this feeling!!! And I've noticed that every time I struggle during my workout, I just focus on all the progress I have made, on my butt getting smaller, that cellulite diminishing and thinking of all the progress I am yet to make! And that's enough motivation to keep eating clean and training mean! So Easter, you ain't my worry! ;) Anyway, some improvement in my fitness test, however those burpees are still my weakness…only 1 extra this time around, probably could have done a few more, but that was the last exercise after a grilling leg/chest/back session, so I could hardly walk…..that's my reasoning anyway :)

    16 Burpees
    44 Push Ups
    63 Crunches
    35 Alternate Lunges
    80 Plank
    43 Jump Squats
  • Natasha Ytsenko
    23 Mar 2016
    2:03 PM

    Back photo progress:) Deleted my side view by mistake so will do comparison of that later :)))))

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    23 Mar 2016
    2:01 PM


    Day 24: Soooooo, I've checked in! Yesss!!! My plan was to check in next week, but that means I won't get access to the program and I can't write my daily journal. I love my daily journal and having access to all the new information on the forum and recourses section of the website. So here it is. Yes, I may have had better results if I actually started the challenge two weeks before its official start but that didn't happen. I am not going to worry about it too much….no negative thoughts… I am pretty happy with my progress. Weight loss of over 4kgs in 3 weeks and that's pretty good. But more importantly I feel so much lighter. I feel my abs are starting to slightly show, not much..but they are there….lots of work ahead!!! Can't see it in this photo, because I took it very early in the morning with a flash….so you can't see slight lines of my abs….hehehe….I took a side photo too but deleted it by mistake….arghhhhh, so no caparison with that this first check in…I might take another photo at some stage. I still have to do my fitness test and measurements, but that's another day, as today am busy with school volunteering and other appointments, so even my cardio has to wait till later this late afternoon. I am just thinking how much work I have yet to do. My saggy bum….oh my saggy bum… am I going to lift you up!!! And also developing biceps is seriously very difficult for me, so that's another tough point. So I am going to have to maybe do extra exercises for both problem areas and load them more by changing reps and rest times in the next four weeks. After listening to the Coaches' message for the next phase, I am also going to see if I can cut down on the use of oil a little. I don't use much, and only coconut oil. I also haven't been using any condiments with my food, so I can't cut that out. The only thing I can cut out is the soy sauce actually that I've used in stir-frys! Can't wait to check out new plans, so excuse me…I am off to have a look!!!! :))) Until tomorrow!!!! Can't believe we are half way through week 4!!! Wow! There are some awesome transformations coming through!!!! xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    22 Mar 2016
    11:58 PM

    Day 23: Today's training got extended to some ballet practice and stretching at home with our little girl :) Tonight we had another dance class and another mother's group get together. There was cake and my other favourite dessert. Wow...there would be no way in the world I wouldn't have a piece in the past but I was completely fine to just have a chat to everyone and have my Maxine's bar, whilst everyone had dessert! We also had kids involved in an Easter egg hunt...and to be honest, I don't even crave sweets right now. So Easter weekend is no bother for me :))) Another successful day

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    21 Mar 2016
    3:18 PM

    Day 22: Can't believe we are into Week 4 already! Wow! We can weigh in already this week but I think I would like to finish week four and weigh in in exactly 4 weeks. So I will complete my check in on Monday. I've had a strong training session this morning. I have soooo much work to do. In particular on my lower body. I really feel it's going to take a hell of a lot of work to trim my legs. I've never had skinny legs as such, and hold a lot of fat I think, so in the next four weeks I am planning to load them more ....I am also hoping to shed a little weight this final week and see if I can see my mid-section get a little smaller. More abs to come!!! Anyhow. The rest of the day ahead. If I am not too tired tonight I may throw in some abs or get on the bike. But at this stage not making any promises. Sometimes when that time comes, I am sooo tired I can't get off the sofa! Pretty excited to be in week 4. I am not suffering from hunger or anything. I mean, yes, sometimes I feel a little hungry, but it's manageable till I have my next meal. I upped my calf raises today to 20kgs plate each side too. I have been doing a lot of super-setting to give myself a greater challenge and rest less. I usually rest from 30sec - 1min at most. Feeling quite bloated this last couple of days, I think it's because I've been eating a lot of fresh cabbage in my salads. So may have to lay off it a little :) I just love it for that freshness and crunch! Ok. Well, if I get to doing some abs later at night..I will let you know...!! :))) .... Hellooooo!!! Yes, I just did abs before dinner!!! Wooohooo! Tonight is steak night but I just made some lean mince burgers. Lightly fried in coconut oil and finished in the oven. Since our other half is up North at work for two weeks. I've been sharing my meals with our little girl :))) Loving it! I know all her meals are well balanced and healthy :) Although I did bake her some cookies today! I didn't have any, so happy about keeping strong! Well...until tomorrow :))

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    20 Mar 2016
    7:44 PM

    Day 21: What a busy day it's been. I'm glad today was our rest day, because I'm exhausted from week's training and also because today has been full on. Today was our little girl's first cultural concert performance. So proud. It's been a morning full of preparation. After the concert there's was plenty of food to indulge in....some of my favourite foods too. But I came ready with my Maxine's bar and green tea. And then it was back home for lunch. Today I had tempeh instead of tuna and sweet potato instead of apple. And now onto my afternoon shake as we relax before prepping dinner. Gosh I'm exhausted:))) I can hardly type. I have to really try and go to bed earlier today and get some rest!!!! Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    19 Mar 2016
    1:13 PM


    Day 20: Woke up early this morning to train my bis/tris/shoulders. To say that I woke yo energy less is an understatement :) I usually have a glass of water with lemon, so I had that and then I had a pre-workout shake and my maxinesxtburn and headed to the gym. I felt unusually heavy this morning, so of course, the first thing I did when I got to the gym is step on the scales. And sure enough, I am 1kg up today…..eeeek!!! Omg, did that put a damper on my workout or what. I had no energy to start with and then this…. Nevertheless I powered through my session. To be honest, today I felt like I looked worse than usual when I was looking in gym mirrors…I didn't like what I saw at all!!!!!!!!! So I got home and took some photos and they put my thoughts to rest a little. Just shows, don't step on those scales and take progress pics!!!!!!! I think Janet was talking about this the other day, and what do I do….step the scales!!! Never again, not until check in time lol. Anyhow, better get going. Need to start my Saturday, do grocery shopping and make some cupcakes for tomorrow. Yes, cupcakes…omg!!! I won't have any, I promise. It's my little girls concert tomorrow, so we need to bring something. Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow. After a week of training, I really feel I need it!!!!:) Happy Weekend! xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    18 Mar 2016
    2:04 PM

    Day 19: Well, I am EXHAUSTED!!! My plan this morning was to drop off our girl at school and hit the gym for some Interval and steady cardio but when I got there, I thought I'd do a class instead just to mix it up. So I did it. Phew, that was hard. Predominantly worked on the abs. Then there was a body step class, and I thought "hey, let's do this one too". Oh boy, oh boy, was I stuffed after the two classes or what. They beat any gym workout I've done to date. I was seriously drenched in sweat and literally couldn't think of anything in my head besides "give me food, give me food!!!" :))) Lucky I prepped my omelette the night before so I had that straight away. I predict I am going to be sore as hell tomorrow! Anyway, I am off to have a coffee and get onto clean the whole house whilst I have it all to myself… I guess, there's some more cardio hahaha… Feeling absolutely smashed…but that's good right? :) Later …x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    17 Mar 2016
    10:15 PM

    Day 18: Today is one of those days where I'm feeling on top of the world, I feel I am getting slimmer and stronger and it feels so good to look in the mirror and start to feel comfortable in your own skin. I feel so much stronger and motivated to be a better mom, partner and self confident woman. There's nothing like it when you see your body change. It's sometimes a struggle to push yourself as much as you can when you workout on your own but with every workout, you know you've done it by pushing through all by yourself. I think it makes you mentally stronger too. I'm all ready for cardio tomorrow. I am planning to drop off our girl at school and do my cardio straight after. I even prepped my brekky for tomorrow to have straight after my workour...bread right in there too;))) On to my half cookie and green tea now. Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    16 Mar 2016
    1:00 PM

    Day 17: Cardio Day! Fasted cardio this morning. Seriously woke up and was noooot in the mood for cardio. I am not a fan of running etc. I don't mind walks though or classes. Since it was too early for class I smashed out 20 minutes on the stepper and 25 minutes on the treadmill (uphill walk/jog). And some abs. It's safe to say I put in some good effort. As I was struggling to get going I was reminding myself as to why I'm doing the challenge, and thinking of how good I'm feeling now...what about 10 weeks from now?! I was thinking of the wonderful ladies who have done the challenge and pushed through with amazing results. It's a definite, it can be done and I can do it too. That gave me so much motivation and I ended up having an awesome workout. As I was having breakfast, spare of a moment I took a pic of my arm. Just to see how it looks flexed today and how it will look as the weeks progress. bis there atm hahaha...and I know it won't be easy to get them going but I will try :) Until tomorrow x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    15 Mar 2016
    12:13 PM


    Day 16: Weighed myself today, was a little apprehensive but have lost 2.9 kgs in the first two weeks of the challenge! It may only be almost 3 kgs but I feel and look a little different already! Pretty happy about that! If I can lose another 3 kgs in the next two weeks, I'd be over the moon. My goal is to lose at least 10 kgs in 12 weeks, I am pretty sure that's doable! I am regularly checking out the content of Maxine's website for inspiration and motivation, and also following some of the challengers. It keeps me motivated to work hard every week. And I am really looking forward to the next 10 weeks. I had to wake up very early this morning, so only had a banana before working out. Whilst I still had a good session, I felt I didn't have as much energy. So it definitely helps if I have at least a protein shake with some berries and let it digest for half an hour or more before I work out. I will probably do fasted cardio tomorrow morning though. Had my yogurt and protein, this breakfast version probably fills me up the least, but I will have my coffee in a moment :) Terrible sleep last night, our little girl kept waking up. I couldn't sleep properly on top of that, so feeling it today. Plus, the weather in Perth is so hot and humid. Looking forward to some cooler days! Anyway, off to make my coffee :))) Happy Day 16!

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    14 Mar 2016
    9:00 PM

    Day 15: I'm happy to report that today I've had the strongest training sess in two weeks! Literally granting with every last rep. And I didn't care who was watching or listening :))) walked out the gym covered in sweat and good mood :))) I'm leaving my mobile most times in the locker as to not have ANY distractions, and I think it woks!!!! I think I may weigh myself tomorrow. Took a photo today. Yes, there's not too much change, but my tummy has definitely gotten smaller in two weeks! But it's only been 2 weeks of training and clean eating. But the main thing this time around on the challenge, is that I'm enjoying and really feeling every training session and every meal. I'm not waiting for every week to be over or to have miracle results, I'm taking in every day and trying to make every day count. Feeling pretty energetic today, and it's almost dinner time. Time to refuel :))) looking forward to tomorrow's weight training. night x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    14 Mar 2016
    12:21 AM

    Day 14: Two weeks are all over! Where has the time gone?!!! It's been a great two weeks! Looking forward to a new week! I'm sooooo tired as I am writing this but I really wanted to log today as I was pretty impressed with myself, If I say so haha. Today was a very special day for us. We celebrated our daughter's 4th birthday. Such a lovely day with our family and friends, and yes, I finished the cake and I am told it tasted pretty good :) I did not have any, nor did I have any naughty food that was right in front of me. Feel better for it. I can only imagine the regret I would have felt If I had a slice of cake! But happy to say that I had a blast at the party without eating what everyone else was! And now, my dear partner is having some ice-cream cake next to me...geeez...not good when you are a little hungry :))) but I remain accountable!;) So glad to have a rest day too. Our day was non-stop! And my body is so sore. A bit of recovery was much needed. Anyway, I'm so tired. Best get some rest:) Night night xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    12 Mar 2016
    4:05 PM

    Day 13: I was up very early this morning whilst my other two loves slept and got ready for a workout, so I would be finished nice and early and have the rest of the day to spend with the family, and I still need to finish icing the birthday cake! So I will get on to it later this afternoon. Today, I decided to walk to my gym as a warm up and walk back. I actually enjoyed the fresh morning walk, and on the days when I have more time, I will definitely be doing that again. This morning, I am sore all over, so doing shoulders, bis and tris was a little challenging, but I pushed through and had a good session :) I am definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow, because recovery is MUCH needed :)))) Today we went out for a coffee, and for the first time in three weeks or so, I had a skinny flat white. I tell you what, I am still feeling a bit off for some reason. I just can't do white coffee as well as I could, so I won't be having another one for a while. Not that it's part of my plan! But even if I could, I wouldn't. Happy with that anyhow, especially after reading that once milk goes in your coffee it pretty much takes away any benefits it has to offer. It's a beautiful warm day in Perth today, so we did some push ups etc at the park this morning, whilst our little girl played. Anything extra is good :) Anyway, I better go have my lunch and then get stuck into finishing the cake!

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    11 Mar 2016
    5:48 PM

    Day 12: What am I doing now?!!! I am baking a cake!!! Yes, for those who know me well, know that I LOVE baking and I love eating what I bake and anything sweet!!! So, I am being super good and not even licking the wooden spoon :))) It is our little girl's birthday this weekend, so it's pretty exciting for me making this cake especially. None for me, I promise!!! Today was cardio day, and I am super proud of myself for smashing an awesome session this morning. I was literally gone, I couldn't even hold conversation post workout. But how good is that! Instead of getting bored with the same old cardio routine, last night I wrote up a circuit plan. All I needed was a barbell. I also smashed out some abs and deadlifts just to leave it all on a positive note haha! It was good!! I am sore all over, but am looking to shoulders/bis/tris tomorrow! I am now having a quick lunch. Really short on time, so I just put everything on my plate as is, no sauce or anything, just plain old food :) Tastes good with a dash of salt! Anyhow, feeling super energetic and ready to get our girl from school!:)) Still have another half of cake to bake tonight :))) Till tomorrow :) x

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    10 Mar 2016
    5:25 PM

    Day 11: Just sitting down to quickly eat my lunch and do my journal before school pick up. Had a REALLY good training session today. I have to really focus each time, and try to push myself as much as I can. Sometimes it's hard to do, when you train by yourself, but you have to work with what you have. So today, in my head there was a lot of swearing as I tried to complete last couple of reps ….perhaps I did it out loud a couple of times….whooops…but after all said and done, I was a total wrack yet so content, to just sit down, do a few stretches and down my choclate maxine's shake. Gosh it tastes sooooo good with milk, even if it's low fat milk, to me it's like melted ice-cream! If you have a serve of that, you really don't need any sweets. Yum! I have been thinking of weighing myself, but chicken out every time. It's only Week 2, so I can't imagine anything dramatic. May be I'll weigh in on Monday…see where we are. Even though this is my second week, I really do feel less bloated and puffy. My mood has elevated, I have more energy. I am just a happier partner and mom, and that's important. One thing about putting weight on after you have kids, it seems, it goes straight to your mid section, I find this most annoying. Today I noticed though, that whilst I still have a muffin top (which you can't see because my clothes is covering it), it is much smaller. So I'll raise a protein shake to that!! Hehe :)) Ok, well, I better finish my food and go get our girl. Until tomorrow! :))) Happy thoughts :)

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    10 Mar 2016
    12:34 AM

    Day 10: And what a busy day it was. Non stop with work today. But all done! I was planning on taking my cardio outside today, but it was a hot day so did HIIT at the gym and abs. Awesome workout. Nutrition on point. Keeping strong. Feeling good. Had lots of energy. I really think that taking all the recommended supplements helps a lot with recovery and energy. And today was my favourite brekky day...eggs and a piece of toast yay!!!! I added some home made sourkrout for that good bacteria purposes. Looking forward to my morning workour tomorrow morning :) So a short one today. Off to have my night shake and bed time :))) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    9 Mar 2016
    12:34 AM

    Day 8 & 9: Didn't get to log my journal last night, as we had a bit of a drama with our little girl, nothing serious, but we still spent afternoon at the doctor's and night in hospital. Didn't get back home until midnight, so I was absolutely drained. All better this morning though. With all the commotion yesterday, I didn't get to eat my dinner, so just had a shake before going to bed. I trained well yesterday, in fact, it was the best training to date on the challenge! Pretty happy about that! I had a good sess today as well, and cardio tomorrow. I may take it outside, see how all goes. I am pretty impressed of how much I enjoy my black coffee! Wow! First week, and I am not wanting a white coffee, I remember it being a struggle during the last challenge. Today I went to our girl's dancing class and being International Women's Day, all the moms got together for a cuppa and cake. I was quite happy to just have a black coffee and pass on the rest! Chuffed about that!:))) Tonight though I am not hungry, and can't force myself to eat dinner, so I am just having a little Greek yogurt, and of course will have my shake before bed. I am happy to report that I am no longer bloated and feel like I am actually getting my waist line back. It's only been a week. I may take a photo next week and do a comparison. Thus far, I don't feel like I am on a challenge, but on a wonderful journey, that I really need. Huge focus for me is to improve my lower body, it's a little embarrassing to say, but I am not a fan of my flabby bum, and all the cellulite on my legs! And I would be sooooo much happier if it was gone at least by half! I have this week started incorporating 10 minute runs after my weight training, just to finish off my session. I do't want to over-train too much in the first few weeks, and lose my motivation and stamina, so my goal this challenge is to believe in myself, go steady, increase pace, trust the process and enjoy the journey! On that note, good night :)))xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    6 Mar 2016
    11:36 PM

    Day 7: Week 1, Done and Dusted! This week for me has been all about easing back into training and getting back to 100% clean eating. Yes, I had plans to make progress since registration opened, but it didn't happen, focusing on my health was a priority, and I was lucky to be able to start the challenge in time! This week has been a good week, no missed meals, no missed training sessions. I've had headaches all week but today was the first day I didn't have one - perhaps I am over all the sugar and simple carbs withdrawals???:))) I've done some meal prep for the next three days, I can't do more, because I will have to freeze my food, and if I do, I won't eat it. Just can't do defrosted meals, so I will have to work with a couple of days meals prep :))) I actually bought some tempeh, and am looking forward to having that instead of meat tomorrow. I've read that it has more protein and fiber than tofu because it is actually fermented. So more benefits! I have also lightly fried some veggies and mince in coconut oil and will have that instead of steak. Just trying to add a bit of variation to my meals, so I don't get bored too quickly this time around on the challenge :)))) Woke up today feeling absolutely wracked but as the day went on, I regained my energy and am ready for a new week. Have my gym bag packed and ready to go! Here's to a strong next week! I will have a go at upping my efforts since I am feeling much better now :))) I am not weighing myself as yet, because I don't want to be disappointed. I am trying to judge my journey by the mirror for now :) May be in another week, or at the next check in, we'll see ;) xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    5 Mar 2016
    11:32 PM

    Day 6: Here we are, almost the end of the week. Haven't missed a meal or a training session. Feeling fantastic! The only thing is, I have had headaches all week, and it's not the sort I had when I wasn't well but constant, non-explosive headaches all over my head, I am thinking that I am having sugar withdrawals, seriously :))) I haven't had a white coffee either, and I don't feel like having one! I usually would miss it, but, nope, nothing. No cravings for it whatsoever! Loving the new set up of Maxine's website, so much easier to log your diary and to find information. Weight trained this morning, had to have a service of protein with water and few berries, otherwise I would feel to weak to train and feel hungry in the middle of my session. I used to train fasted, but since I've tried this little meal, I train much better! I made prawns tonight instead of chicken. Reading the forum, I'm learning what foods are ok to substitute. This meal was really delicious. Prawns look big but they were actually tiny!:))) I was planning on doing a little cardio today as well, but that went out the window with family chores etc, and now I am just so tired. Anyhow, it's been a great day and rest day tomorrow! Look forward to regaining my strength for week 2 and hit it harder than this week. I was a bit careful with my head and injuries, but they seem all ok. So fingers crossed, I can really push next week! On that note, good night :)))xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    4 Mar 2016
    6:56 PM

    Day 5: First week is disappearing before my eyes! Plan was to actually do cardio in the morning but again, being a mom came first. I was so tired to wake up at 5, I really needed some rest for today. School drop off and then my day was filled with business, then school pick up. Just put everything away, and now hopped on the computer to print out some vegetarian reipes, which are now available (woohoooo!), so I can plan my shopping for next week. I would like to try and mix it up this challenge, as to not get bored with the meals and to also cut down on meat. I am not a huuuge meat lover so I would like to incorporate a few vegetarian meals here and there. Recipes look pretty yummy!!! Anyhow, I am planning to get my cardio down tonight. No excuses on missing out any workouts! I actually couldn't finish my lunch today, felt pretty fool. I substituted buckwheat for brown rice. Compared macros, and buckwheat is much lower in carbs and fat, and not too far off with protein in comparison to brown rice. I grew up with buckwheat so I love it!!! Of course, no butter added to it, as I usually would, but it's pretty yummy just the way it is!!! :) So as I am typing, the Challenge Magazine arrives, thanks to one of the challenge ambassadors who has kindly sent it to me, thanks Carly!! Just had a quick look and it has already given me LOADS of motivation! Can't wait to read it tonight :))) Off I go for my afternoon protein shake and then think about dinner! :))) Until tomorrow xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    3 Mar 2016
    9:13 PM

    Day 4: WOW! Today has been one of the best days of my life - our little girl has gone to Kindy! I am so proud, happy and sad at the same time, she has grown up. I can't believe it! Couldn't hold back the tears

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    3 Mar 2016
    1:08 AM

    Day 3: We are done and dusted! Feeling buggered but content! Just finished my evening cardio. Couldn't get it done this morning, as I woke up with a headache, so I stayed away from exercising. All day, I was absolutely swamped with sorting schools out etc. By the time I got home it was after 6, so on to dinner prep, etc. As soon as I put our girl to bed I hopped on the bike. So glad to have a bike at home this time around on the challenge. This way I don't have to go to the gym, or worry about exercising outside in the dark. It definitely makes it a lot easier, to just fit it in when you have time :) Big day tomorrow, our girl is finally going to Kindy, she missed out on few weeks, but we are too excited! So early morning and then gym. Looking forward to it! Now on to my night time shake and off to bed. Good night all xx

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    2 Mar 2016
    12:08 AM

    Day 2 is DONE!!! Well, my headache came back today. It wasn't very bad but I practically had it all day! And still do. And it's 9pm. I managed to do my weight training this morning. I have been reading the forum, and for a chance had something to eat before training (a protein shake with a banana) and I can honestly say I've had more energy to power through my workout. I am not taking any pre-workout stuff due to my doc advising to stay away from it for a little because if my headaches. Nutrition has been spot on today. To be honest, I haven't felt very hungry at all. I have felt a very slight hunger but it's nothing to fear of :) Totally doable! :) I have been reading the forum a lot these last two days, what a great hub of information! A lot of my questions are being answered just by going through the threads! Cardio tomorrow. I think I will do it first thing in the morning at home. We now have a bike handy, for those times when I can't make it out of the house or get to the gym! No excuses now, whether it's late, bad weather, I can still fine time to do my cardio! That's it for today. I am one tired mom! It's been a busy day running around schools, dancing lessons etc. One hour of relaxing and bed time I think :) Good night!

  • Natasha Ytsenko
    29 Feb 2016
    11:42 PM


    Well, Day 1 here we are! For a moment there I was doubting if I could actually start the challenge today! It's been two weeks of hell since registering, with injuries, with sudden onset of terrible headaches...doctors telling me I can't exercise, tests, scans etc...but here we are. Two weeks of no gym, I am starting today! And I am so glad I am able to start! Yes, I missed out on two weeks of a head start, but you know what, I don't care because I have been given the best news, that I am healthy after suspecting the worst! Today I went to the gym, and it was 50/50 as to whether I could actually train, and I took it easy, yet worked up a sweat. The headache was only ever so slight that I was absolutely chuffed! I hope I can continue training! Back to 100% nutrition today. Shopping done. Ready to roll! Bring on Day 2! I am so happy to be getting my energy back! In the last two weeks it has been a HUGE reminder as to why I am actually doing the challenge - to get my bubbly, positive, energetic self back and pass it on to my family!

    15 Burpees
    31 Push Ups
    43 Crunches
    27 Alternate Lunges
    60 Plank
    39 Jump Squats

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