Nicole Sutherland / Transformation

Nicole Sutherland's amazing Maxine's Challenge transformation

  • Before
    70kg
  • After
    60.2kg

Details

Height

168 cm

Program

Tone & Shape - Beginner

Reason to start The Challenge

My reason for entering the challenge is to give my body and life an overhaul! I want to go from being flabby to being fit, toned and terrific. I've always been a yoyo dieter and have never done a weight training program. I entered this 12 week challenge to motivate me to change that cycle. I've seen the amazing results achieved by people who have done the challenge in previous years and want do to the same. The expressions of their faces at the end of the challenge says it all, they are very happy with what they have achieved. I want to have that same smile on my face in 12 weeks time! Here we go, nothing to lose (except the fat!!) and everything to gain!

What did you like most about The Challenge?

Where to start, I enjoyed everything about the challenge, but what I liked most was how focused I became with eating really well and training really hard every day. There are two other things that I really, really liked as well – the caramel crunch protein bars and the night time shake. I don’t know what I would have done without these two products; they helped me keep to the nutrition plan on several occasions and stopped me from having something I shouldn’t.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

There were two things that were really difficult for me. One was changing my mindset; I think I can be my biggest enemy and worst critic at times. I really needed to fight with those negative voices and turn it around and start telling myself I could do it and that I would see results if I followed the program; instead of undermining myself and self-sabotaging. Once I managed to do this the challenge became so much easier. At times that negative voice would rear its ugly head but I would just listen to one of Craig Harper’s pod casts or read the articles and resources online and it really helped to shift my mindset. The second was injuring my back in week 9 and to be told I couldn’t exercise for 6 weeks. I was devastated to be told this. However I couldn’t accept what I had been told and sought out a second professional opinion and was super pleased to be told I needed regular chiropractic treatment and to modify the program but I could continue to exercise. I was so focused and determined that I was not willing to stop at week 9. So pleased that I persevered, whilst I couldn’t train my legs as hard as I would have liked I could still continue with the challenge.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

It has had an amazing impact on my life. I feel I’ve gained so much in the last 12 weeks, it’s incredible. I have lost 18.7% body fat, my body fat was 31.5% when I started the challenge and it is now 12.8%. I have gained 3.5kg of muscle and lost 9.8kg! I only wish I had done the challenge years ago, it really is life changing. Now I am up at 4.30am and at the gym by 5am and loving it. I’ve been doing exercises I had never even heard of before and want to learn more. I have always been a foodie but now I am really interested in learning more about wholesome, healthy nutrition and how to fuel your body. I am seeking out healthy recipes and cookbooks. This challenge has really motivated me to continue improving my overall wellbeing and that of my family too.

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

Oh my goodness, go for it, do it, it is amazing and will change your life! Give it 100% and you will see the results.

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

I never thought I would get so much out of a 12 week challenge. I honestly thought if I can achieve one or two of my goals that would be great. Instead the challenge has far exceeded my expectations and I have achieved most of my goals and won’t stop now until I achieve them all. I will also continue to set new goals. I am so grateful and thankful that I entered the challenge and I can’t wait to do the get strong program in August!

Journal

  • Nicole Sutherland
    22 May 2016
    6:49 PM

    My mum did my spray tan today and took my final photo. Of course my kids were watching everything the entire time asking what are you doing mummy? After my photo my daughter grabbed a book and copied my pose! Then told her brother to do the same. It was so cute I just had to share.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    22 May 2016
    11:53 AM

    60.2kg

    Wow last day! Final InBody composition scan done today, first scan BF 31.5% today's 12.8%!!! Can't believe I've lost 18.7%. I've lost 9.8kg's and gained 3.5kg's of muscle. Overall I am super happy. I've exceeded two of my original goals and still have some work to do to achieve the others. This challenge has been amazing. I hope everyone else has achieved their goals too. So looking forward to the gala.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    20 May 2016
    7:13 PM

    Cardio tonight was tough going. I really didn't have much energy. Got through it and felt good once done. Usually like Friday night sessions. Main thing is it's done.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    20 May 2016
    12:55 PM

    Yum lunchtime about to tuck into my Friday fav stir fry! Yummo.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    19 May 2016
    6:35 AM

    It's getting so close to the end of the challenge which is actually a little sad. However I am far from finished, this amazing 'journey' of transformation will continue!!! Fasted cardio this morning, 10km on the xtrainer. Really pleased with this because one of my goals was to run 10km. Due to my back injury I can't run and it's going to be awhile before I can, but I know I have the fitness level to be able to do it. I've learnt it's okay to reevaluate your goals, sometimes the posts shift and it's outside your control. Leg session planned for tonight after work. About to make porridge, all week I've been looking forward to a warm bowl of oats! Who would have thought. Also have been thinking about my first cheat meal. Think it may not be until the gala dinner. I still have more fat that I want to drop and I feel like I am in the zone, so to speak and don't want to break out of it until I get to where I want to be. Very excited I think my dress for the gala may arrive in the post today. Can't wait to try it on. Fingers crossed it fits! Always a risk buying online. Anyway, time to get the family out of bed and get on with the day.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    18 May 2016
    7:05 PM

    Feeling bloated and yuck! PMT is no fun. Dragged my sorry self to the gym tonight. Got through my training. Feel good for having got it done but still feel crap! A couple of nurofen, hot shower, hot water bottle then off to bed. Nutrition 100%.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    17 May 2016
    1:23 PM

    Weight training session early this morning, I don't normally do weights in the morning and was worried how my energy levels would be but it was fine. So please to know this as it is so much easier for me to train in the mornings (at least when my hubby is home). Otherwise its a matter of fitting it in where I can. I am really lucky I have flexible work arrangements/times so that is not an excuse I can use. My only issue is feeling a little guilty if my children have an extra long day at childcare, they are normally pretty ratty if I pick them up later. Some weeks this is my only option and at this point in my journey I want to train every day. So I will continue to make it a priority and make an appointment in my calendar as I know I will keep it. This does require forward planning and each Sunday night I need to look at the week ahead and book in each days training session so I know when its going to happen. This means I don't need to stress about it, nor do I need to worry about missing a session. I registered my interest for the next challenge. I really want to try the get strong program, I know its going to definitely be a challenge but I am up for it! The timing will be perfect for summer. I so haven't achieved all my goals but I am not giving up I will keep working until I do...

  • Nicole Sutherland
    16 May 2016
    7:56 PM

    Fasted cardio at 4.30 this morning, 10km on the xtrainer. Did a leg workout with a PT after work. Need to book in a body comp scan for Sunday morning so I can see if my body fat has reduced further. I may not have reached my new goal yet. If not by the end of this it won't take too much longer. I know I will get there. Still have stubborn fat on my thighs and bat wings (although they are smaller). My PT is encouraging me to keep training for a comp at the end of Sept. Thinking about it, no harm in trying. I may surprise myself and be ready in another 4 months. Definitely an early night tonight. Will be up early again tomorrow. Love the Tuesday training program. Burn, baby burn! Getting hooked on the bicep burn.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    15 May 2016
    2:13 PM

    Pilates workout this morning was really enjoyable. Although it feels like it's not enough of a workout to count. I did feel the burn though doing lots of squats/lunges/planks etc. Eating was challenged today big time. We had a kids birthday party and I could smell the sugar as soon as I walked through the door. There was finger food and sweets galore! Proud to say I took a caramel crunch protein bar which meant I didn't give in to temptation. I had no intention of eating anything and was clear in my mind before I went, that nothing at the party would taste as good as I am going to feel next Sunday when I achieve my main goal of completing the challenge, without deviating from the nutrition plan and not missing a training session. My kids loved the party, little munchkins dressed up as superheroes. Stocked up again on supps, the night time shake is my favourite. It really helps at night to curb cravings and you feel satisfied going to bed. It feels like a treat.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    14 May 2016
    7:37 PM

    Since week 9 I've been visiting the chiro twice a week to have my back adjusted. Finally I am making some progress and can now drop down to once a week. It's starting to feel so much better. Currently lying on the bed with an ice pack. Today's training session is one of my fav's really enjoy doing shoulders and bi's. I tried the 5-2-5 with the bi exercises and oh my goodness did it burn. Such a good workout. Definitely my best one in this last phase. Really proud how I handled my injury though. It wasn't an excuse to stop. I didn't give up like I would in the past. I think I have come a long way. Struggling with hunger though. Haven't given in, but gee it's been tough. Not tempted to eat crap just more wholesome food. Keeping busy to distract myself. My house is surprisingly clean now. Found a dress for the gala, so excited. We don't get dressed up very often and date nights are not as regular as they should be so it will be such a treat! Plus it's motivation to keep working hard so I look better in my gorgeous new frock.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    13 May 2016
    7:39 AM

    10km HIIT on the cross trainer this morning! Woo hoo pretty happy with my effort. Hubby got home late last night so I could get up at 4.30 this morning and sneak out of the house. Also did 100 push ups and 10 x 1 min planks. Chiro appointment today for some more crunching. Slowly getting better. Love Fridays it's my day off, my son does gymnastics this morning which is so cute. Then it's off to the shops to look at dresses for the gala. Super excited we are going. I wasn't sure but now I am so pleased I bought tickets. It sounds like it's going to be a great night and it's a great opportunity to frock up!!!!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    12 May 2016
    6:40 PM

    Exhausted this morning so decided to give fasted cardio a miss today. Did a leg session this afternoon and felt ok. Really hangry too. Eating way more veggies with meals. I figure extra spinach and cabbage aren't going to matter too much. Even writing about food is making me hungry and Masterchef, forget about it!!! There is no way I can watch it at the moment. I love cooking and normally I love any cooking show but all it makes me want to do is EAT!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    11 May 2016
    12:16 PM

    30 min Pilates workout at home this morning and weights session planned for this afternoon after work. Took a sneaky photo of my tummy, there are abs starting to show. Hopefully they are visible in my final photo! I am going to keep working hard and I reckon it might just happen!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    10 May 2016
    7:39 PM

    PT session last night was great. Still need to modify the leg exercises but so happy to be working legs. At the chiro again today, need to have adjustments done 2x a week. Fasted cardio this morning felt great. Bloody ankle is a bit sore but it's fine on the xtrainer. Weight session this afternoon after work. Pretty good workout was feeling a little tired. Little miss 4 year old kept waking up last night asking for daddy. Hoping tonight I get more sleep. I was so hungry this afternoon & ate extra almonds & carrot sticks. Probably due to being so tired. Normally I can resist the urge to eat more. Otherwise nutrition has been good too. My goodness time is flying. Life is just so busy at the moment but still loving the challenge.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    9 May 2016
    11:19 AM

    Quick fasted cardio session this morning, did 9km on the xtrainer. Its great to be in and out of the gym in under 45 minutes. BUT I twisted my ankle in the gym car park. The lighting isn't very good and its really dark early in the morning. Its feeling ok, went home and elevated and put ice on it before heading to work. Seriously if its not one thing its another, then my hairdryer died! Tragic, how can I survive without a hairdryer. Hubby is away this week too and my mum is busy so I am really solo. Its gonna be a tough week but I can do it! I think.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    8 May 2016
    5:07 AM

    It's almost 5am, I am sitting in my gym's car park finishing my black coffee, on Mother's Day. I am wondering who am I? I am not the same person I was 10 weeks ago. How could I have changed so much in such a short space of time? What worries me is can I maintain this? I think I can, I know I want to. On reflection I know I did this mostly for me but of course as most other mums would say I also did this for my two gorgeous kids. I want to set a good example for them, be a role model and someone they can respect and look up too. I want them to be fit, active and healthy. Especially my daughter who has a disability. I really want her to be the very best she can be and to achieve her goals in life, that means I also need to be the best I can be. So here I sit at 5am finishing my black coffee (which I now enjoy) before I go and do my HIIT session, feeling so lucky and grateful to have entered this challenge. As difficult as it has been at times, it is so worthwhile. To all the mums doing the challenge happy Mother's Day ladies you are all amazing hope you enjoy today.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    7 May 2016
    6:32 PM

    Really pleased with my training today, back, shoulders, biceps and abs. Could see veins when doing bi's was quite excited. We are so on the home stretch now. Hoping I've learnt enough to equip myself to continue this healthy lifestyle and not regress to my old. Noticing some good changes but there are those trouble areas - backs of the thigh and flabby arms that still need a lot of work. I've accepted I won't have achieved what I wanted by the end of the challenge but I will have made really good progress toward achieving my goals.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    6 May 2016
    6:49 PM

    Fasted cardio on the xtrainer this morning, PB 9km in 35min. Arrived at the gym at 4.45am think this is the earliest time too! Booked in for a composition scan tomorrow as I am not losing any more weight. I've plateaued the last two weeks. May need to tweak things for the last two weeks. Although if I've lost more fat and gained a little muscle I will be a happy chappy. I've done fasted cardio every morning with the hope of dropping a few more % of BF. Nutrition is spot on so I don't know what I could change with that. Can't believe it's almost week 11. Looking forward to Mother's Day. Although we will be celebrating a little differently this year, it won't revolve around food and more food.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    5 May 2016
    6:51 AM

    Happy with my workout this morning. Still a modified version of most of the leg exercises but it feels so good to be doing them. I was so upset when the Physio told me no exercise for 6 weeks. But I can be quite stubborn and didn't accept her advice and went to s chiro who was fantastic and most importantly told me to keep moving but modify how you are exercising! Which is exactly what I am doing. About to dig into breakfast, really liking porridge with the chocolate protein powder. Would like to try the vanilla next as I reckon that will be yummy too and for a bit of variety.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    4 May 2016
    7:16 PM

    Felt good training this morning. It's great knowing it's done for the day. I was able to do the exercises in the program and could do the super sets with lighter weights. My back was pretty good. It's much better when moving around. Sitting at my desk at work is a killer. I need to get up and move regularly. Hungry all day too, starving this afternoon. Held out for dinner, had a very generous portion of veggies. I love green veggies, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli yum! Stuck to the plan all day just added an extra cup or two of veg tonight.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    3 May 2016
    2:57 PM

    5am training session this morning, waking up before the alarm goes off! Its crazy. Love being the only one in the gym at this time. I did a modified version of the leg workout, it felt great to be doing a little bit more. Still taking it easy and focusing on supporting my lower back. Another appointment with the chiro on Thursday, think I need adjusting again, reckon it wont hurt this time. Hoping I can increase activity next week and start following the training program again, minus the deadlifts. I know I said never again but maybe in a few months I will be able to do them with the guidance of my PT. Feeling really lucky to have great support at my gym. It has such a good atmosphere, the staff are so friendly and the members are too. Gym's have certainly changed a lot in the last 20 years. It had been that long since I had been a member of a gym. I joined last year before my 40th birthday as I wanted to get fit. I wish I knew then what I know now it would have made the world of difference. As they say its better late than never and I really enjoy that I am learning so much through this challenge. I've made so many changes that I didn't think I would, it took me 4 weeks to cut out the milk in my coffee but now I don't even miss it. It also took 4 weeks to ween myself off having a teaspoon of mayo in my tuna. Its taken 8 weeks to stop having a teaspoon of stevia in my tea. I've gradually been getting out of bed earlier and earlier to go to the gym. Although I think 4.30am is early enough! Some of the changes have been really easy and others have been much harder (still want the stevia). I am now able to cook separate meals for my family and myself and I don't even think I am missing out, or think that I wish I was eating what they are. My family are eating healthy too, but my kids aren't too keen on green veggies every night, maybe twice a week, but not every night. Majority of the changes I am making I can see myself continuing long term. The early morning gym sessions will definitely continue, along with the healthy eating. The main thing on my mind at the moment unfortunately is still my sore back!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    2 May 2016
    7:33 PM

    Definitely worth the money having PT sessions. Having a professional to modify your exercises around an injury is awesome. Had a great workout with lighter weights and always supporting my lower back. Didn't need to worry about hurting my back. Feeling very grateful.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    2 May 2016
    5:56 AM

    Week 10, my goodness time has gone fast. Just did a fasted cardio session on the xtrainer, it's been 5 days but felt like so much longer. PT session booked in this afternoon for my weights. Still need to take it easy with weights and modify the program due to my lower back. Keen to see what I can do, so not giving up on this challenge. Will keep seeing the chiro every week for the next month. It's now going to be a regular appointment for me. I didn't know once you injur your back like I have it, the likelihood of it reoccurring increases. Really working on building my core strength. I can still plank so going crazy doing them. Well within reason. I've hit a plateau with weight loss. Could be due to needing to decrease the intensity in my training. Will see how I go this week. Nutrition is on point.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    1 May 2016
    11:46 AM

    Forgot how much I love to swim. Just did a 2km swim. It is only 16 today so not exactly swimming weather but the pool was 26 and felt lovely. I think a Sunday morning swim could become a new ritual. Twenty years ago I swam everyday but stopped and never really got back into it. Not about to swim everyday but once or twice a week will be fantastic and really good for my back. Which is unfortunately still sore.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    30 Apr 2016
    3:42 PM

    The chiro was amazing. He manipulated my spine, OUCH! But it immediately felt a little better. Still sore today but no where near as bad. Have mild nausea from the pain but the good news is I can do a few more exercises. Definitely no deadlifts, ever, but I can do light weights and need to really focus on my form. Trained today but took it quite easy. Really scared about doing it again. I am lucky and have never had any problems with my back. So I am going to be very careful. Mentally this week has been difficult but I am pleased with how I have handled the set back. I so wanted to train as hard as I could for the last 4 weeks but that just ain't gonna be possible. I will finish the challenge but not as strong as I would have liked. Nutrition is on point! At least I can control that.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    29 Apr 2016
    9:36 AM

    Arrived at the gym at 5am this morning and went for a 6km walk. Again nice and steady, funnily enough I really wanted to do my normal HIIT on the xtrainer. I didn't think I would miss it but I really do. I so badly would have loved to run or do something to work up a sweat. Oh well no point punishing myself over causing my injury. Just need to get on with it and do the best I can and keep moving. Praying that today's chiro appointment brings good news. I know my body will heal but I hope it's sooner rather than later so I can bring it home strong in the last week. If not I have already starting thinking about entering the next challenge. At least I will be at a much better starting point and have learnt so much. I won't be a complete novice!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    28 Apr 2016
    7:05 PM

    Went for a 2.5 km swim this afternoon. Felt good to be moving. It was a slow and steady swim, unfortunately no fast laps allowed just yet.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    28 Apr 2016
    10:32 AM

    No training for me for a few weeks. I've injured a disc in my lower back. My technique was incorrect doing deadlifts on Monday. I honestly didn't think it was that bad. So very disappointed and angry with myself for being so stupid. I should have waited to do the new exercises with a PT today. I was just so keen to try everything. I've been so focused and dedicated, training twice a day for the last week. Oh well. At least I can swim. It won't be the same however I am trying so hard to be positive and focusing on what I can do. I can stick to the nutrition plan, I can swim and walk. I am seeing a chiro tomorrow to have an X-ray. So hoping he gives a different diagnosis. I am finally in the last few days noticing results in myself. May even have a few sneaky abs peaking through. Timing is so bad! Not that there is ever a good time to have an injury.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    26 Apr 2016
    8:06 PM

    Fasted cardio this morning, at the gym at 5am. Even waking up before the alarm goes off. Which is a good sign that my body is in a routine. Early to bed, early to rise. Hurt my lower back yesterday doing dead lifts. Booked in to see the physio tomorrow. Also booked a PT session so I can get help with the new exercises. Still did weights tonight. Just took it a bit easier as I didn't want to make my back any worse. Feeling ok.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    25 Apr 2016
    6:53 PM

    Fasted cardio this morning. Not a sole in the gym at 5am. Did a virtual spin gosh it was tough. Leg workout this afternoon was difficult. I was doing most exercises for the first time. It was a bit of work researching how to do stuff. Didn't feel right doing deadlifts. But I know it will get easier. Very pleased it didn't take as long as I thought it would. Had to eat extra veggies tonight, was soooo hungry. Otherwise on track with nutrition.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    24 Apr 2016
    2:06 PM

    Fasted cardio at 6am then a Pilates class after breakfast. Great start to the day. On track with nutrition. Feeling quite hungry in the afternoons this week and finding I need to munch on a few carrot sticks before dinner. Helps to have something crunchy. Wow week 9 tomorrow. I think I am across the new training program. So pleased tomorrow is a public holiday and I can take my time at the gym. Have a feeling it will be very quite.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    23 Apr 2016
    3:32 PM

    My mum looked after the kids for a few hours so hubby could train with me at my gym. We aren't members of the same gym and it was so nice to go together. With his help I was able to increase my shoulder press weight up to 15kg for the last set. Super happy. Didn't think I could lift it up let alone do reps. It was great working out together. Maybe not the most romantic date but it was fun. Hubby has been going to the gym for years and this is so new to me and I think he liked showing me new exercises. It was fun. Really ready to push harder. Today showed me I can. Next week is going to be tough training twice on most days but I know I can and will do it. I will give it my all for the next 4 weeks. Plan on doing the fitness test tomorrow and a big cardio session.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    22 Apr 2016
    6:21 PM

    6km run at 5am. Felt really good could have kept going but had to get home. Checked out the spin class timetable and I can do a fast 30 min class weekdays at 5.15am which is perfect. Thinking of alternating with a run or the xtrainer. Still need to do my check in photo it's on my to do list for tomorrow.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    21 Apr 2016
    6:31 PM

    Good trading session this afternoon. Feeling good about my progress. Although still a long way off where I want to be. Confident I will continue until I am happy, I am enjoying this much healthier lifestyle. Made cauliflower rice tonight, it is so yummy, one of my favs now. Nutrition is spot on! Bit worried about how I am going to go with the new program. I may be in the gym for a long time next week while I work out what the heck I am doing. Definitely need to up the cardio sessions. I want to lose more fat, think I need to mix it up a little more too. I tend to get in a routine of doing the same thing. Goal for next week 5 cardio sessions and to have variety.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    20 Apr 2016
    12:54 PM

    If someone had told me I would enjoy being at the gym at 5am, I would have had a chuckle to myself and thought yeah right. However this week I am finding early morning training sessions really enjoyable. It is such a great feeling, knowing it is done for the day and there is no opportunity to make excuses or reasons as to why I cant train (not that I am making those excuses anymore). My training and eating are going really well, on point with my nutrition, so hope to see some results with my 8 week check in photo. I did another body scan a few days ago and my body fat is now 18.5%! So far I have lost 13% body fat. Time to rewrite another goal. This time I am aiming higher, I would love to see it drop to 13.5%. I now know that my lack of knowledge in this area meant that I wrote a goal that was not enough of a stretch. Again I would never have imagined this would be achievable but I now believe it is. I remember writing I have nothing to lose except for the fat and oh my goodness that is so true!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    19 Apr 2016
    7:54 AM

    Weight training session this morning at 5am. Loved it, my hubby is home this week which means I can sneak out of the house really early. It is so nice being able to exercise first thing in the morning, it is such a great way to start the day. I've got an information session on tonight and just wouldn't have the time to fit a long session in. I will do cardio after work. Excited about the pending changes to the program, really ready to amp it up! Hope everyone else is staying focused and doing really well.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    18 Apr 2016
    8:45 PM

    Big training session tonight, legs, chest and back. Going to have sore legs tomorrow. Nutrition is on point. Although feeling quite hungry during the day I could eat every two hours. Holding out as long as I can to eat meals, having them approx 3 hours apart. Nervous about check in, so hope I can see changes in my photos.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    17 Apr 2016
    6:30 PM

    Early morning cardio session, 30 min, 8km on the xtrainer. Feeling a little fitter. It's such a good feeling to train in the morning. Love it. Picked up the papers on my way home and my family were just getting up so we all had breakie together. Which was so nice as my husband has been away so much with work we haven't sat around the table together a lot during this challenge. Excited to see what changes are coming our way with the next phase. Will admit I am not looking forward to less food but I know I will be fine and I will embrace the change because I really want to see my body continue to change.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    16 Apr 2016
    10:28 AM

    So very sore still but managed to get on with it and did a great session. Going to be even more sore tomorrow. Nutrition is on track. Feeling a bit of self doubt again this morning. Reminding myself to trust in the process, which I am. Still can't help but doubt if I will lose my batwing arms! I will continue to tell myself even if it takes longer than 12 weeks I will get there. Maybe a vision board will help. Think that could be a project for this weekend.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    15 Apr 2016
    1:24 PM

    At the gym by 5.30 this morning for fasted cardio on the xtrainer, 25 min HIIT, 5 min warm up and cool down. Did 8kms, managed to keep above 100 RPM for each HI interval. It was tough, but so worth it. Really liking a shorter session, in the past I would do at least 45min but no where near the same intensity. Still looking very red faced and sweaty at the end, very evident I pushed hard. I am very sore too from last nights workout. It's a good sore though, when you know you've given it your all. Nutrition 100%!!!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    14 Apr 2016
    7:17 PM

    Killer session tonight, feeling it already. PT really pushed me, more than I could by myself. Almost dropped a DB on my head doing chest press, I was definitely working to the point of fatigue. Feels good knowing I could not have done anymore. Reckon I am going to be really, really sore tomorrow, which I won't mind as I haven't been since the beginning. I've had a few days where I've felt a little sore but it hasn't been too bad. Really hungry today which made me cranky and not so nice to be around. Stayed on track with nutrition even though I felt like I could eat 3 lunches. Instead had a green tea and looked at before and after photos of last years top 10. It was the reminder I needed to stay focused. Gosh those ladies look amazing.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    13 Apr 2016
    3:42 PM

    Up again at 5am to do fasted cardio. This afternoon I feel like doing more and want to go to the gym. Undecided as to whether I should. I know rest and recovery are also just as important. Just feeling like maybe I am not doing enough. Trying to focus on myself but it's hard not to notice the amazing results other people are achieving and I can't help but ask am I doing enough? Nutrition is on track. Yummy warm chicken salad for lunch. Looking forward to fish tonight, it's one of the few nights I don't need to cook seperate meals for myself and the kids. They love fish too!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    12 Apr 2016
    9:14 PM

    Up at 5am to do fasted cardio, it always feels good getting it done first thing and out of the way. Weights session tonight was a killer, again. Arms and shoulders are sore! Nutrition 100% on track, my job involves a lot of full day workshops & it feels so normal to not eat the catering and dig into the meal I prepared. I am finding people don't even ask why I brought my own food. In the beginning it did feel a little strange but I think it was more about changing a habit. I definitely didn't feel like I was missing out today. My eye fillet steak and salad was so yummy.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    11 Apr 2016
    8:45 PM

    Trained during my lunch break today, I don't normally get a chance to do this and it was good to not go during a peak time. Had really good energy levels increased my squat weight to 40kg which is double what I started on 6 weeks ago. Super happy with my progress. I had never done most of the exercises in the program before starting this challenge. Actually I think most of my weights have almost doubled which is awesome. In the last 6 weeks I have learnt so much about nutrition, training and overall health. It's made me want to learn more. I want to know how I can continue to improve. Thinking about longer term goals and how to continue to motivate and challenge myself. This is so exciting, I feel like I have discovered a new passion for health and wellbeing. I never new this would be where the challenge would take me. I was hoping to lose fat and gain muscle but I am gaining so much more! Loving reading the articles and listening to the podcasts. The information has been so timely and motivating. In a really good place, feeling very lucky.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    10 Apr 2016
    9:41 AM

    Still not loving HIIT sessions on the cross trainer, 25 minutes of fasted cardio done this morning. Nice and early and the gym was almost empty. Unlike a Monday night when it's packed! Keep reminding myself that fasted cardio is burning fat and that's what I need. Hope I can keep up the momentum for the second half of the challenge.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    9 Apr 2016
    2:56 PM

    Feeling exhausted! Great shoulders, arms & abs workout today but feeling it now. I don't normally have coffee in the afternoon but I needed one today. An early night is definitely in order. Nutrition is 100%. Still finding I need to use my willpower to say NO to some things. My gorgeous two year old asked if we could bake a chocolate cake, too hard to say no to him. Currently have a delicious smelling chocolate fudge cake cooling on the kitchen bench. Gosh it smells good. However I am telling myself NO you do not need chocolate cake!!! Lucky I can have a chocolate shake and that will keep cravings at bay. How good is it to be at day 6, week 6. A big woo hoo people! We can all do this! Looking forward to the next 6 weeks!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    8 Apr 2016
    4:35 PM

    Fasted cardio this morning felt really good. Favourite lunch today, yummo loving stir fry, especially since I can make it fresh on Friday's unlike the rest of the week which are pre-prepared meals. Does taste better, lots of herbs and chilli, delicious!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    7 Apr 2016
    6:44 PM

    It's crazy that we are already at day 4 of week 6. This challenge so far has been amazing. I am learning so much about fitness, nutrition and my overall wellbeing. Putting myself first has at times been difficult but I am feeling so much better for it! Great weights session this afternoon. I am really enjoying pushing myself.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    6 Apr 2016
    6:11 PM

    Fasted cardio this morning. Did intervals on the cross trainer for 20min managed to do 6km which I was happy with. Felt a bit light headed at the end but it passed quickly.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    5 Apr 2016
    9:15 PM

    Really getting into doing arm and shoulder exercises. Finding 8 sets of biceps a killer. Keep telling myself it's gonna pay off. Still not happy with what I see in the mirror, wish I could focus on the areas that have improved like my waistline. Instead I look at my flabby arms and cellulite on my thighs. Desperately want to loose more fat and hopefully reduce my body fat by another 5%. Not as hungry this week as last week. Still eating roughly every 2.5 to 3 hours. Nutrition is on track, loving all the salads and veggies.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    4 Apr 2016
    8:18 PM

    Sick child, hubby is away but lucky for me my mum helped me out and looked after by little ones tonight. I don't normally go to the gym at night and it was soooo busy. I felt really good training tonight, felt stronger which is awesome. My chest and abs are sore. Feeling soreness in areas I've never been sore before. It's a good feeling, I know I've been working hard. I keep telling myself stay focused, the results will come. I might need to wait another 6 weeks to see them but they will come!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    3 Apr 2016
    1:32 PM

    I thought it might feel strange going to the gym today but it didn't. It was really quite and I really enjoyed doing a workout. Nutrition is 100% on track. Feeling good!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    2 Apr 2016
    4:14 PM

    Another really good session, enjoy doing arms. Hoping by the end of the challenge I've got some definition happening. That little negative voice is rearing its ugly head. Telling me I can't achieve toned arms, I won't lose the bat wings. Need to remain focused and work on changing my self talk.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    1 Apr 2016
    1:17 PM

    Really good cardio today, 5km run and it felt great. Definitely feel fitter. Wish I didn't have a dickie knee. Currently eating lunch with an ice pack on my knee. Feeling really good though. Very focused, so want to be the best version of me that I can be. I want to prove to myself that I can finally do this, I can have the body I've always dreamed about. Sounds cheesy but I don't care. Can't believe we are almost half way! Woo hoo!!!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    31 Mar 2016
    7:48 PM

    Great weights session today. Feeling a little bit stronger. I was really hungry this afternoon, snacked on carrot sticks. Didnt quite hit the spot but better than a lot of other things I could have eaten. So very tired too. Could go to bed now except it's time for a few stories with the kids.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    30 Mar 2016
    7:38 PM

    Cardio session after work was tough today. Long, long day at work and it would have been a ripper excuse 5 weeks ago to go home and skip the gym. But not anymore. No excuses off to the gym I went. Gosh I felt better for it. It's a great stress reliever and once I got going I enjoyed it. Nutrition is 100% on track. Did miss the toast this morning but reminded myself of my goals.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    29 Mar 2016
    8:17 PM

    Did a 30 min cardio session this morning at 5.30am. It was a great start to the day. Really enjoyed doing arms, shoulders and abs after work. Even managed to pick the kids up before 5.30. Felt so guilty as I normally pick them up at 5pm. I know it's only 30 minutes later but they are very much in a routine and usually have dinner at 5.30. Oh well this may well be our new routine. Finding a good work/life/family balance can be difficult.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    28 Mar 2016
    7:37 PM

    Enjoyed my training session today. Took a little bit longer as I needed to double check how to do some of the exercises. Lucky it was a public holiday. Eating is on track, I am going to miss the toast but I know the changes to the nutrition plan will make a difference and hopefully will keep me on the path of losing fat. Tomorrow is going to be tough with split gym sessions. Will see how I go. It will mean a really long day in childcare for my little ones.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    27 Mar 2016
    12:27 PM

    Well Easter isn't proving to be that difficult after all. We did an Easter egg hunt with our kids which was so much fun. My hubby gave me some new workout gear which was so nice my Mum even surprised me with money for two PT sessions. Feeling very lucky and supported. Haven't been tempted at all by all the chocolate around the house. Although the hot cross buns toasting did smell good this morning but I figure they wouldn't taste as good as I am going to feel in 8 weeks time. Can't believe we are a third of the way. So looking forward to seeing what I can achieve. I need to revisit my goals and rewrite a few, I tried to make them very specific and achievable not knowing how I would go. Based on what I am learning I think I can stretch myself even more. Registering for the Mother's Day classic fun run in May, haven't done it for years I think this will be a good cardio workout on a Sunday now that they are no longer a rest day. Happy Easter everyone!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    27 Mar 2016
    12:19 PM
    20 Burpees
    42 Push Ups
    44 Crunches
    30 Alternate Lunges
    120 Plank
    41 Jump Squats
  • Nicole Sutherland
    26 Mar 2016
    7:43 PM

    In a much better frame of mind today. I did a body composition scan today it was 23 days after my first one and my goodness am I happy with the results! I've lost a total of 10cm, most from my abdomen, I've decreased my body fat by 10%!!!! It's now 21.5% and I've increased muscle mass by 3.1kgs. Pretty happy overall. My workout today was really good, pretty darn sore. Treated myself with a remedial massage which was so good but hurt a little. Very excited about the next 4 weeks, definitely ready to do different exercises. Not that I have a clue what some of them are. Lucky there is such good information available to explain everything. Looks like tomorrow will be spent reading and the usual weekly prep. Goal for tomorrow like many others is to not have any chocolate or a hot cross bun! This will be the first year I can remember that will not involve a Lindt bunny, except for the kids. This will be difficult but I know I can do it.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    25 Mar 2016
    11:11 AM

    Not too impressed with my 4 week photo. I was hoping to see more changes. I know I should be happy with losing 4kg. Booked in for a body scan tomorrow hoping the loss is all fat. Need to focus on the positives - I am feeling fitter and stronger than I was a month ago. I've followed the program to the letter, no deviations what so ever and it has been tough at times. My determination and motivation have not waivered. My drive to look better in bathers and not be embarrassed at the beach with my family will continue to spur me on. Almost half way to reaching my weight loss goal. However a very long way from reaching that goal of a toned body. Well off to the gym I go, no point whinging about it, must do something instead!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    22 Mar 2016
    9:40 AM

    Getting sleep makes such a difference, my kids slept for 6 hours straight last night! It meant I had more energy at the gym this morning. Happy with my weights session, increased weights a little on most exercises, definitely getting stronger. Conscious of having the right technique and I don't want to injur myself. Starving already, time for morning tea, a yummy caramel crunch bar! That also makes me happy!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    21 Mar 2016
    7:58 PM

    Did a virtual spin class, gosh it was tough. Followed by 20 min HIIT on a cross trainer which isn't getting easier. Heart rate is through the roof! All up really good cardio workout. Eating has been exactly per the plan. Super happy with my nutrition although I agree with another challenger the tuna is getting harder to eat need to mix in some fresh herbs or something. Good start to week 4!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    20 Mar 2016
    8:07 PM

    Last night went really well, my inlaws were very supportive when I told them I ate before joining everyone for dinner. It's my second big social function where I've been able to stick to the eating plan. I know the time is going to come, and only too soon where I won't be as focused with a structured eating plan but I am confident I will be able to make sensible healthy decisions when ordering out. One thing I am surprisingly not missing is alcohol. I am seriously considering continuing to not drink. A bit excited about the pending 4 week mark, to see how much progress I am making toward my goals. I am booking in for another body scan so I will know if I've decreased my body fat. If I've lost weight that will be great but if l've lost fat and gained muscle that will be even better!!!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    19 Mar 2016
    10:17 AM

    Got to the gym early for my weights session. Increased weights on most exercises, keeping a record is really helping with accountability. Got through my exercises as quick as I could in order to get my daughter to ballet on time. Only to have her say half way through the class I want to go home! Oh well home to pack bags as we are off to visit hubbys family in the sticks. Looking forward to a day off tomorrow.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    18 Mar 2016
    3:51 PM

    Another good effort at the gym this morning, 30 min HIIT on the cross trainer, was drenched with sweat when I finished. Decided I still had a bit left in the tank so did a quick 4km run followed by lots of stretching. A bit sore from yesterday's weight training, as I thought I would be. Reckon I am due for a massage soon, maybe that can be a reward for reaching the 4 week mark! We have a birthday dinner at a pub tomorrow night. Think I might eat first so I am not tempted to stray and eat an oversized steak n chips, might be a little unsociable but hopefully people understand.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    17 Mar 2016
    4:28 PM

    Needed more supplements, decided to buy a bigger box of protein powder this time. Couldn't resist getting another box of the caramel crunch bars but thought I would try the white choc raspberry as I've read they are really good too. This should keep me going a few more weeks.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    17 Mar 2016
    12:17 PM

    Weights session today was so much better than last time. Had the gym pretty much to myself which was cool. Lucky we have a women's only section so I can do most exercises in there. Still feel a little intimidated by the experienced weight lifters. I am definitely improving and feeling more comfortable with what I am doing but for now the ladies section suits me just fine. Really focused on legs today, increased my weights and added in a few extra exercises. Also did a spreadsheet last night so I can easily track my progress. A bit nerdy but it will help me. Eating is on track and has been the whole time. Overall really happy with my effort to date.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    16 Mar 2016
    10:23 AM

    Pretty good session this morning, 20min HIIT on the cross trainer. Gosh it's tough, definitely gets the heart rate up. Followed this with a 4km jog. My favourite breakfast this morning, really enjoy the omelette. Hope others are tracking well too!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    15 Mar 2016
    8:57 PM

    Had no energy for my weights session tonight. Pleased with myself for persisting and getting through the exercises. I really wanted to start increasing my weights more this week unfortunately that wasn't going to happen tonight, except for bicep curls managed to do 7kg db's. Hopefully on Thursday I can up all my weights. Hubby is going to be away during the week and only home for weekends for the next few months. It's going to make fitting everything in a little harder but I am determined to do it. Sticking to the eating plan 100%. Noticing my tummy is a little flatter but a long, long way from toned. Visualising how I will look at the 12 week mark is keeping me motivated.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    14 Mar 2016
    3:52 PM

    Well hello week 3! Looking forward to what you may bring my way. Really enjoyed the gym today, it was fairly quiet which is always nice. Did a 6km run, slowly building up to my 10km goal. Just read another great article in the mindset section, titled quit quitting, it really resonated with me. My biggest challenge with this 12 weeks will be creating good habits and developing long term goals so I don't revert back to my old self and continue the viscous cycle. It's good to be already thinking about the long term and how the changes I am making can be permanent.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    13 Mar 2016
    4:53 PM

    Two weeks have gone so fast. Really enjoying a day off, think my body needed a break. I've been pushing pretty hard. I am noticing changes in the way clothes are fitting which is really motivating. Looking forward to week three, really getting in the swing of things, not finding the eating plan difficult anymore and I am looking forward to my workouts each day. All the best for week three everyone.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    12 Mar 2016
    6:58 PM

    Really happy with my weights session today. Increased my weights which felt good. Off to a big party tonight it's going to test my resolve. Pretty focused though so think I will be ok.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    11 Mar 2016
    6:55 PM

    This may not be the face of a fit person but it will be! Just finished a spin class followed by a 4km run. I pretty much resemble a beetroot! Oh well it's evident I pushed myself. Feeling very happy with my efforts.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    11 Mar 2016
    2:42 PM

    These mud cakes are testing my willpower, baking for a friends birthday party tomorrow. I am staying strong and reminding myself of my goals.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    9 Mar 2016
    1:11 PM

    The XT Burn is my newest discovery, I love this product! Hubby is away for work at the moment and I am juggling work, two kids, childcare and kinder plus exercising on very little sleep, due to a two year old with an ear infection. This amazing product was my savior this morning it gave me the much needed pick me up to do a really good workout. I was really happy with my efforts running 4km, followed by interval training on the cross trainer for 20 minutes. Albeit slowly but I can definitely see small changes to my body, my clothes are not as tight around the waist which is a good indication that I am heading in the right direction. Feeling pretty sore post workout, usually the next day but it is such a good feeling knowing that I am pushing myself like I never have before. I am really embracing this feeling. Even better I am no longer making excuses as to why I can’t train, instead I am telling myself I am stronger than my excuses and that I can do this, I can change bad habits. It’s a really positive shift in the way I think. What is still really difficult is not hopping on the scales every few days to weigh myself. There was really helpful advice on the forum to avoid the scales and to use measurements as a way of recording your progress. This was much needed advice for me, but an area I struggle with. I am trusting in the process and know if I continue following the eating plan 100% (which I am doing) and working out hard 6 days the results will follow. So for now the scales are out of sight and in the hall cupboard. One last thought, whilst I want to be better at writing in the journal I need to cut myself some slack and admit I can’t do everything, being a working mum and juggling so many tasks some thing's don't always get done (like the ironing). At least the important stuff is getting done and if I can make an effort to write what's on my mind every few days than I think that is okay. Hope everyone else is enjoying week 2, I certainly am, so very happy I signed up for this challenge. Who needs a chocolate bar when you can have a caramel crunch protein bar, so yummy!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    7 Mar 2016
    2:56 PM

    Really enjoying eating healthy and scoffed my lunch before I remembered to take a photo. I want to get better at writing in the journal regularly. I don't have the same cravings as I did last week which is good progress. Looking forward to a spin class tonight & sweating it out.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    6 Mar 2016
    8:22 PM

    Feeling so very tired which is usually when I would seek energy from chocolate or biscuits. Having a cup of tea with a dash of milk, managing to not give in to temptation. On a more positive note ready for week 2.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    6 Mar 2016
    2:00 PM

    68.5kg

    Decided I needed to weigh myself today to see if my hard work is paying off, I couldn't wait until tomorrow. Happy to say it is, I've lost 1.5kgs, only 6.5kgs more to go. I did a body composition scan at my gym which told me my body fat % is 31.5 and the normal range is between 18-28% for women. Ideally I want mine to be 22%. Gives me another goal to achieve. Good luck for week 2 everyone!

  • Nicole Sutherland
    5 Mar 2016
    8:55 AM

    Pretty happy with how this week has gone. There have been a few hurdles but I've managed to jump them. Looking forward to the weights session today, I am enjoying pushing myself.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    3 Mar 2016
    8:29 PM

    Day 4 and feeling fantastic, I've followed the eating plan and haven't deviated, I've trained everyday even when I really didn't want too! If I can keep this up for the remainder of the challenge I will achieve my goals. Need to stay focused. It really helps being able to read other challengers journals. It helps knowing others have tough days too! Thanks to everyone for sharing the ups and downs so openly.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    1 Mar 2016
    9:20 PM

    Day 2 was a bit tougher. Feeling unwell which would normally be the perfect excuse not to go to the gym! But I didn't give in to my negative self talk, instead I told myself I could do it and I did. Admittedly it was a struggle however I am very pleased I did a workout! Stuck to the diet and am working on mindful eating which can be difficult with a 2 and 4 year old at the table too.

  • Nicole Sutherland
    29 Feb 2016
    6:46 PM
    18 Burpees
    30 Push Ups
    35 Crunches
    20 Alternate Lunges
    55 Plank
    24 Jump Squats
  • Nicole Sutherland
    29 Feb 2016
    12:39 PM

    70kg

    So excited, day 1 is finally here! I am feeling really motivated. Shopping done yesterday, all meals prepared, now I just need to get moving and sweat it out at the gym!!

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