Nerilee Black / Transformation

Nerilee Black's amazing Maxine's Challenge transformation

  • Before
  • After



157 cm


Tone & Shape

Reason to start The Challenge

I've been sick on and off for a few years now, I've been ignoring it. I'm a woman in her thirties we're all tired and sore right? But I recently had my biggest flare ever I couldn't walk properly, couldn't drive, excusing pain, tremors, I lost the dexterity in my fingers, I was unable to lift my arms to my mouth and more. It took 2 mths to stop most of the symptoms with lots of steroids and with lots of steroids comes lots of weight gain. The Dr's done multiple investigations and found various unusual results. I had a MRI of my brain to assess for MS and lucky for me a few foci are present but not within the typical formation for MS. Unfortunately they found a different disease which is a progressive decline of function, without meds to halt it. I don't have the diagnosis yet, it requires a specific scan which is only done at one hospital every 3 weeks so finding out if I definitely have this disease or not is a long way off. I'm choosing to believe in the mean time that I moved in my MRI and what is showing up is artifact. The inability to use my body has scared the poop out of me and I realized I have to make some changes, I have to fight for my quality of life and if I make it to the scan and I legitimately have the disease than I want to go into that next phase of my life with the most capable body that I can.

What did you like most about The Challenge?

Can I say everything? I can not fault the challenge in any way. The work out plans that were effective yet I never felt like I was over training , the amazing food that made sticking to a "diet" easy and of course the community who always had each others backs.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

The hardest part of the challenge for me was to completely change my own mindset. I have had health issues and didn't realise just how much it has affected everything that I do. I was constantly scared of injuring myself, constantly anxious that if I pushed too hard I would end up incredibly sick, but I made it through with the help of some very special people in the challenge. They talked me down with rationale, they educated me about biomechanics and I was completely supported to help change and grow my mindset throughout my entire journey.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

There are so many ways that this challenge has changed my life. I don't even believe that I am sick, I feel the healthiest that I have in years not just physically but mentally I don't see myself as a sick person anymore. There is no price you can put on that, there is no way to ever even begin to say thank you for that. I am so strong and confident and completely blown away by the changes that have occurred in my life from a weight loss challenge but it has been so much more than that.

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

Do it! It will seriously change your life. Everyone that I have watched commit and complete the program has absolutely flourished. I would talk to anyone, for however long they needed about signing up because I just want everyone to have the same positive experience that I have had.

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

Just a shout out to everyone behind the scenes and everyone who supported me, encouraged me and never gave up on me. I have formed some incredibly special bonds, these people will know who they are and we're max and maxines mates for life.


  • Nerilee Black
    26 Nov 2019
    9:53 AM


    I made a post to insta which I am feeling incredibly vulnerable about but I wanted to share for others who may be feeling the pressure of the challenge ending in a negative light, this part of fitness and health isn't openly spoken about and it is a wide spread issue. I am kinda shocked at just how emotional I have been with these thoughts creeping back in. I don't know if it's relief that they are just thoughts, I don't know if it's happiness that I finally have a healthy relationship with food, binging or restricting, or if I'm scared that, that beast still lives inside me. Even though these thoughts seem to be occurring as if by autopilot they are making me question my food, they are making me consider straying from the plan I don't even want to be any skinnier, it is a reminder of just how strong that internal voice is at overriding your reality. I just am in a little bit of disbelief with this returning that I am able to talk myself around, I can remember just how consuming, powerful and intrusive they can be. I've carried the fear of diet and exercise for so many reasons, I made so many excuses as to why I couldn't and I know I needed time to process but I think all these tears might just be me being proud of how far I have come, the thoughts might temporary cross my mind but I am able to ground myself. I feel the consistency of the last 3 mths has set me up with fantastic, well balanced habits for the future and although I feel I have a hold of it I am now looking forward to the end of the challenge I want to call completion on another battle, increase my calories and ensure that I maintain the habits that have been practiced. Insta post- With the end of the maxines challenge closing in and the weight falling off, I have had a few demons to face. I found myself considering skipping my ice-cream, I've found myself looking judgementaly at parts of my body, I had started to let old self critical thoughts creep back in, I was not looking forward to having my body be judged. I wore a size 12 dress I believe week 2-3 and now all my new clothes are a size 6, this is something that most would celebrate but being a size 6 has negative connotations for me. It has taken me a very long time to feel that I am able to safely go on a diet and exercise plan and until this last week my mind frame has been amazing but I swore I would never be a size 6 ever again and I may be wearing a size 6 but I do not look like I used to in it. I may be wearing a size 6 but I have been eating amazing healthy food, I may be wearing a size 6 but I have not been over exercising. I'm learning that if a little is good alot is not better. This body that I have now is the result of functionality and balance. We will never be our own ideals of perfect and we need to remember to just be kind to ourselves as we would another ❀️ pic 2 poor quality but that is the only one I still have of that phase of my life

  • Nerilee Black
    24 Nov 2019
    7:43 AM

    I am struggling hard out with the challenge coming to an end. I'm so happy with my physical appearance changes but I don't think I have ever felt so supported in my whole life to make changes. No one has enabled me to continue living the life I have been desperately wanting to change, my muscley frame is celebrated instead of shamed. I have learnt so much about how to love myself for who I am and how to interpret others reactions to me as a reflection of them rather than me backing down and seeing it as a reflection of me or something I have done. I've had fellow challenges stand up and defend me, fellow challenges have met me on a spur of the moment cause I was having a shouse day and I've done the same for them. My mentor Ben Jamin always feels he done nothing to help me, guess that just shows what a beautiful person he is. He taught me to have a thicker skin, he stayed with me when I needed him, he didn't enable me and allow me to give up that night at the gym when I was panicking, he has defended me, he has talked me out of my own head and all the things he thinks are nothing have helped me be able do the rest by myself ❀️ I'll be forever grateful for him and this program, community, like minded friends I've made along the way cause who knows how I would feel today if I had continued allowing the fear of having another episode to take over. I know I can't say I'm cured but it feels like it, it has been a relatively pain free 3 mths, I didn't have a flare with the stress of exams and I feel the healthiest I have felt in a very long time. When people say the challenge is life changing it really is I don't know how it changed their life but I'm not in bed sleeping all day, I'm not scared to push my body for fear that it will end with me being physically unable to do anything for mths and pushing my body has allowed my head to relax, the anxiety about having a attack has gone and that is the biggest relief to no longer feel held back in life

  • Nerilee Black
    13 Nov 2019
    12:02 AM

    I am loving my holiday, uni and exams are done till next semester and I'm so relaxed. Although this is a bit of a deload week without having gym access I'm still getting pretty good work outs in I have to climb 40 something stairs every time I want to go anywhere and tangalooma is currently having a water issue where we can only drink bottled water. Every day I cart a carton of water up the stairs and there is no way in hell I could have done that pre maxines πŸ™Œ I went bush walking to the desert and dunes and on the return my son got tired and could not get back up the dunes so I piggy backed him (INCREDIBLY HARD) I'm getting my work outs done anywhere I feel like, no more shy guys what so ever! Balconies, playgrounds, any patch of grass by the ocean. I was working out by the jetty the other day and a boat of tourist came in and they all started taking my picture old me would have been extremely offended by this, New me wondered if I should pause so they get a good shot πŸ˜‚ jokes. I am in the family photographs! Which I am so happy about ❀️ Normally I am the taker or just a head poking out from behind someone else, not now take a full length shot and bikinis.... Well I don't think I'll ever wear clothes again I have been wearing them, taking photos in them. I had managed to rub all my insecurities off onto my daughter and after her seeing me wear my bikinis and short shorts everywhere she decided she would not worry about her appearance too and put on short shorts and a crop least I've ever seen her wear. I really didn't realise how my feelings towards myself rubbed off on her 😒 but only self love from here on out!

  • Nerilee Black
    6 Nov 2019
    9:29 PM

    Just uploading my start, week 4, week 8 photos. This week and next week are going to be challenging for me fitting in studying for exams, exams, packing up the family, organising my house for house sitters, cooking my food to go away, then going away on holidays with my family (who like to party🎊) and I'll have no gym access for a week but I'll make it work, I'll find a rock to lift πŸ˜‚ I'm going to take my bands and leg weights with me. Earlier in the challenge I had a skirt that I was hoping to fit into for the boat over well that skirt is now to big 😁 this week I had a few days where I went down, slept all day and all night but I am on the mend still not 100% but my pain hasn't gone above a 4/10, I no longer feel that I am burning from the inside out and I'm staying awake for full days YASSS

  • Nerilee Black
    3 Oct 2019
    12:03 AM

    Just checking in, it's day 3 week 4 and the challenge is just flying by. I've taken some before and after photos already and I am astounded at the physical changes I can see already. I was impressed but concerned when I first seen the plan 2000 calories for a 157 cm shorty who is sedentary but my body is absolutely loving it. I can't wait for the new plans to come out on Friday and it'll be time kick it up a notch. I joined this challenge thinking I want to do it, the timing is perfect but I'll see if I can manage it. I'll take it easy if I need too to prevent a possible flare but I just feel so alive, happy and the healthiest I've felt in a long time. The contrast in my health is outstanding I'm not even concerned that I may go down and usually this is always in the back of my mind with everything I do. I also realise that I still have to be careful as I've bounced back and then dropped before but it seems no way likely to me in this point in time. This is heavy on my mind today as I had to pull out all of my documentation, scans and tests and read through all the results again and even though I feel well, it is a kick in the teeth to be faced with results that prove I may not be as super human as I feel. There still is a beauty in not having my final diagnosing scan completed and that is that I currently have a schrodinger cat I am either facing the loss of my quality of life or I am not simultaneously. Which really forces you to evaluate everything in your life, be sure you are living it exactly as you want to and be truly thankful for all your blessings. If this scan had been completed at the time of my other tests and returned negative which would be great news, I would not have this time to face my own mortality and if it had returned positive I may not have had any fight left in me at all. Just that perfect timing to change my life 🀷‍β™€οΈπŸ˜‚ I am so grateful for all the new like minded people I get to interact with who for their own reasons are trying to better themselves, my training buddies and my main challenge support person especially ❀️ πŸ’ͺ

  • Nerilee Black
    28 Sep 2019
    11:12 AM

    A few other challengers have been participating in the white shorts project (an old item of clothing that no longer fits) I don't have a old item that I believe or even want to fit into again. But I had brought a skirt for my daughter and it was too big for her and as I was sorting through clothes to give away I found it. I really like this skirt, it has quite a nautical theme, I couldn't have imagined even a month ago that there was a chance it could fit me, let alone that I may have the confidence to wear it. So this has become my white skirt projet I tried it on and I was shocked that I can actually do it up, just though. It doesn't look great yet but I think it will. In November I'm going on a holiday arriving by boat, maybe I could wear this skirt! Week 3 day 6

  • Nerilee Black
    25 Sep 2019
    1:51 PM

    Week 3 day 2- Well I have been in the best of moods, dancing while I do my house work kind of happy and I was doing exactly that when my knee started playing up again I had just given it a two day rest, 1 rest day and a upper work out and it went not badly but enough for me to be concerned. (I looked after it appropriately) The kids are currently on school holidays and I knew this would be a more difficult time for me to get my training in but yesterday I really did not want to go. I knew I was going regardless but I just wanted to sit on the couch with my babies and watch the new episodes of a cartoon we all watch together. I reached out to my mentor and he took me from annoyed, procrastinating and dreading the workout to running out the door, which I did in my bikeshorts. I don't know if I've ever worn bikeshorts to the gym before and when I arrived it was packed I was feeling self conscious, uncomfortable and I just wanted to leave. I decided to stick it out, put my headphones in and get it done but when I went to use the squat racks they were all taken we have 6 at our gym. I moved on to the leg press again taken, I walked around searching for something free to move on and everything I needed was taken. I went down stairs to lady land of the light weights and struggled with front squats on the Smith machine and I was so frustrated at this point I decided to do extra reps and sets of goblet squats, then I struggled with hip thrusts on the Smith machine I did my two sets at a disappointing weight and decided I need to head back upstairs. All the squat racks are still occupied as well as every other machine I needed. I wait in line for a leg press and yes I am so happy I decide that I will just do extra here and not move out of my seat. I was using 105 kgs last week and wanted to better it, so I went to 110 did a set it's too easy, up to 120 where I did my 2 sets but felt that wasn't enough, I upped it to 140 did a set, I think I still have more in the tank, I upped it to 160 and OK that's a good weight do a set and my legs are on fire, I debate doing a second set at 160 but chicken out worrying about my knee and do 1 more set at 140. Lots of people have left the gym now but I'm still feeling frustrated and wait for the next machine and up my weights again, go to the next machine and surprise it's taken. I do some leg extensions and finally the machines I need are free and I can finish my work out. I have never done such a frustrating work out ever and when I finally get home shower and eat my mood improves. I never get so annoyed at such inconveniences, Was I hangry? Or do I only ever do what I want? But I take a moment to reflect and realise old me would not have gone, the old me may have left when I seen how busy it was and the old me definitely would have stopped and ravaged a burger in my car at this level of frustration. So as annoying as it was I'm going to take it as a win, wear proper pants and try find a better time to go.

  • Nerilee Black
    19 Sep 2019
    2:53 PM


    Wow I'd been noticing a difference in the way I look, I'm less bloated, my face is less puffy, a little less chins πŸ˜‚and I'd been wanting to take a picture but was concerned I'd be disappointed.... I am not! I took my measurements and all up I've lost 24 cms ALREADY (some unofficial measurements in there I'm sure but I wanted to track them) Bust :start 99cm, now 95cms= 4cm Waist :79cms, now 73cms= 6cms Belly:93.5 cms, now 89.5= 4cms Bum:101.5 cms, now 98cms = 3.5cms Hips:95.0 cms, now 90cms= 5cms R arm:31 cms, now 30.5 =0.5 cms L arm:31 cms, now 30.5 cms =0.5cms R thigh:60.5 cms, now 61.5 =+ 1 cm L thigh: 61 cms, now 60. 5 cms = 0.5 cm R calve:36cms, now 36 cms- same L calve:36 cms, now 36.5 cms =+ 0.5 Start weight - 68.1 kgs Day 11 weight - 65.3 kgs Loss = 2.8kgs So excited ❀️❀️

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