Tamara Hunter / Transformation

Tamara Hunter's amazing Maxine's Challenge transformation

  • Before
  • After



165 cm


Tone & Shape

Reason to start The Challenge

2021 started well after the stresses of 2020, but due to some significant life challenges one after the other, I have slipped into bad habits - emotional eating and drinking, procrastinating on hitting the gym, poor sleep, no relaxation and general self abuse. For someone who has worked in healthcare and appreciated the importance of looking after 'the temple' this has made a huge negative impact on my body and mindset. To everyone in my world, I am smiling on the outside and appearing to have it all together, but crying on the inside and beating myself up for not being good enough. I know how much success and confidence in life starts from within and giving myself this challenge to improve from the inside out and regain my self-love and discipline when it comes to health choices is one big step towards that.

What did you like most about The Challenge?

I LOVE the templates - I decided early on that life was too full right now for me to invest in indepth education and research about diet and exercise. I didn't have the emotional energy and didn't want to be in overwhelm. I wanted simply to follow a plan and trust in the process and not try to second guess myself. The templates made it PERFECT for that, with just enough variety for me to personalise it.

I loved the community. Although I wasn't a prolific poster on FB or the Forum I tapped in frequently for motivation, watched the videos for technique advice and ideas and also utilised the podcast and the stories for inspiration and education in the nooks and crannies of my day.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

Initially, the hardest thing about the Challenge was my mindset. Every EXCUSE, every REASON why I couldn't do something was on loud speaker in my head every day. I had to be on autopilot and trust the process and I had to tap into my WHY every day in order to keep going for the first few weeks.Every night I went to bed EXHAUSTED by the negative self talk in my head, but with time, those voices receded and the positive feedback from daily changes became more powerful.

My biggest hurdle came in week 7 when I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my hips along with a labral tear. The pain has been significant but I made the decision that it was not going to stop me seeing it out. I consulted with a physio and a sport physician and made the decision to modify some movements to enable me to finish the Challenge and I still managed to make significant transformations through making the food plan my focus.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

2020 was COVID-hard for my entire family and 2021 was the year that was supposed to be better. For business, for family, for health and lifestyle. But in January 2021 we got the news that my mother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And overnight I went from busy career juggling mum to out of control frantic - running from work, to medical appointments, to school pickups, to hospital visits, to caring for my family alongside caring for my dad and nursing my mum. And along with this, grieving the loss of the mother that I knew and the life that I had. With that came spiralling poor health choices - self medicating with wine every night, self-soothing with cakes and biscuits, take away meals, poor sleep and no exercise.

So when I found Maxine's Challenge on my Facebook feed I instantly knew that I needed this circuit breaker. If I wanted things to change then I had to instigate the change. So I signed up - without even stopping to think about HOW I was going to do this - just that I had to change. I set a powerful WHY I needed to change, and my mother's cancer journey became my INSPIRATION and being the best example to my children became my MOTIVATION.

The Challenge has had the most profound impact on my life. From the moment I committed to it I was ALL IN! I spent prep week reading the website, following the forum, watching the videos and setting up my templates. For 84 days I woke every morning at 4.45am and reaffirmed WHY I was doing this. Despite all the excuses I had, I did not fall short - even when we had a houseful of gastro, work got frantic, holiday trips were taken and dinner dates were attended I did not sway from the plan. When emergency hospital dashes in the night for mum occurred, I did not let them be my excuses. When lockdowns happened I simply modified and got on with the job of executing the exercise and sticking to the meal plans. I proved to myself that no matter what life threw at me, I could undertake this transformation. That I was capable of adapting and changing, that I could push myself to the limits. That there were no excuses, only priorities. And even in the hardest moments when I wanted to hit snooze and roll over, or accept that piece of cake or glass of wine offered or do 1 set or 1 rep less, I thought of my mum - if she could push hard to survive, then so could I!

Completing 84 days of Maxine's Challenge and achieving this transformation has inspired me to strive for the next level, to know that I can push myself to new limits. It has given me a new confidence that now permeates through all aspects of my life - my relationships, my career, my health.

Bring on the next Challenge!

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

In order for things to change, YOU have to change.
In order for things to get better, YOU have to get better.
In order for you to have success, first you must take ACTION
The Challenge enables you to do all of this and more.
It is just the beginning of a life long LOVE of healthy living.

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

The Challenge has helped me to overcome one of the darkest most challenging times in my life - it came at just the right time. It has enabled me to communicate to my mother what an inspiration she has been to me and helped me to become an amazing example of commitment, discipline and resilience for my daughters who tell me every day how much I inspired them.

But this is just the beginning for me.

I have reconnected with my love of health and fitness and I am looking forward to taking the Challenge to the next level.


  • Tamara Hunter
    31 Jul 2021
    10:25 PM


    I’ve done it! I have gone sub-55kg. I had hoped that I could get to that without starving myself and I finally got there. It was one of the goals I had for the Challenge. I have been struggling the last few weeks with hip pain - having been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in week 7. Mentally and physically it has been a bit of a downer and I worried that it would throw me off track. I have been pushing as hard as my body would let me each day but it has been HARD! And when you are in pain all day it is tiring. So to be able to hit that little milestone for me with still a week to go was the motivation that I have needed to keep pushing through.

  • Tamara Hunter
    18 Jul 2021
    1:19 PM


    A holiday week down in South West WA was well needed for my mind and body...but incredibly daunting. I had been counting down to this week away from the stress of work but when I realised it was in week 9 of the Challenge I panicked. Just think - wineries, cheese and chocolate factories, days spent by the fireside whilst it rained outside, a foodies paradise but my NIGHTMARE! However, despite all the temptations to indulge and let myself go....I didn't. And I am super proud of myself for that. I found the local AF in Busselton and made sure before I left that I could attend it whenever I wanted. I made sure that they had all the equipment I needed and crafted the exercise template to suit. The family also didn't begrudge me slipping off to the gym in the morning to get the workouts done before we started the day's activities. We also made sure that all the other activities we did with the kids were ACTIVE - rock climbing, horse riding, exploring caves, skateparks - and I threw myself in to make sure I got my 10K steps++ per day. I shopped as soon as we arrived at the local whole food store and prepped most of my meals on day 1 of the holiday. Breakfast and snacks stayed the same. The couple of restaurant meals we had, I checked out the menus beforehand and was quite picky about asking the chefs to prepare them clean. We had people over for dinner and made pizzas - Maxines-style. And when we went to others for dinner - I took my own food and drinks - and everyone was super supportive knowing how far I had come. I won't lie - there were moments when I thought - '1 glass of wine won't hurt' or 'this meal won't matter' - but the discipline was stronger and I kept thinking of the ultimate goal which is so close I can almost smell it!!!! Anchoring myself to the end goal was SOOOOOOO integral in these moments where I was tempted to slacken. I even checked back in with the first Journal entry just to remind myself of the 'pain' I was escaping and what I was moving towards. My weight didn't change on the scales for the week, which did concern me initially....but then I looked at it glass half full - the weight didn't change!!! Back to work tomorrow, meal prepping back on track today. Another massive hurdle in this journey CONQUERED! #NSV

  • Tamara Hunter
    5 Jul 2021
    11:30 PM


    Finishing up week 7 feeling super proud. I lead a frenetic life but there is a certain order to the busy-ness and my 5am workouts have slotted beautifully into that order. So being thrust into a last minute lockdown for 4 days turned my world upside down. Along with the stress of dealing with the business changes and managing distressed patients and staff, I had to very quickly figure out how to keep getting my workouts in and not succumb to the sabotage that was going on inside my head. Having the workout alternatives on the template were amazing but also leaning into that solution oriented thinking that has served me so well in other aspects of my life to re-create the ‘gym’ in my house and doing the best I could with what I had. And I found in fact that I was challenging muscles in ways I hadn’t before - eccentric movements, slowing them down, building up the reps when I couldn’t up the weight - I still felt adequately exhausted and mentally on top of the world for conquering it!! Diet stayed as strict and I didn’t fall for the emotional ‘rewards’ that I have in previous lockdowns. And winning at the end of the week - seeing changes on the scales and in the mirror!

  • Tamara Hunter
    20 Jun 2021
    3:46 PM


    End of week 5. Feeling pretty good. It was a challenging week trying to juggle work commitments, family and training. I am proud of the fact I didn't compromise my nutrition. When I was preoccupied and thought I was going to slip I reverted to the bars or a shake - grateful to have them in that moment. The family have been getting Hello Fresh whilst I am doing this and we have chosen high protein options so I have been able to adapt the ingredients to my requirements and eliminate the sauces and rely on the spices for taste. Has been quite pleasurable changing the meals up in the evening and preparing fresh meals. Meal preps work for me at breakfast and lunch but the family dinner experience is important to us. I have started setting 'mini goals' each workout. I try to better every exercise each time - either more weights, more reps or, with the circuits, an extra 5 secs or reps or weight. It helps with the motivation each time I walk in the gym - saying "What do I want to get out of this session today?" - its all about the Metrics!

  • Tamara Hunter
    20 Jun 2021
    12:50 AM


    These were my pics at the end of week 4. I am starting to see the strong body (hidden by the years of indulgence) finally starting to come out. Proud of my efforts so far juggling family, work, business, Mums chemo and training and nutrition

  • Tamara Hunter
    15 Jun 2021
    11:03 PM


    Giggling at myself. For the second night in a row I have been 2000 steps short of the 10K after crazy days at work. With howling winds and rain outside I had to make do. So I found myself doing step-touches whilst preparing the kids lunchboxes, walking up and down the stairs to take single pieces of laundry downstairs to the washing basket and walking around the loungeroom for the 2 minutes whilst brushing my teeth. I was even doing the easy walk in the shower. Hilarious change of pace for my evening which would normally be at my desk working or on the couch!

  • Tamara Hunter
    12 Jun 2021
    8:39 PM


    3 days of gastro in our house and I came down with it yesterday. I had been going so strong with the Challenge and it devastated me not to be able to eat and not to be able to train. I found my mind starting to catastrophize the outcomes (massive muscle and fitness loss) and lament all the negative impacts on the final outcome. And that was totally aside from the horrendous symptoms I was experiencing. But I woke up this morning, feeling a little bit better, a little less sorry for myself - so I picked myself up, brushed myself off, looked at Friday as my 'recovery' day and got back on track. Did a solid session at the gym and ate clean today and I know tomorrow will be better again. In the past I would have given up. Written off the Challenge completely because I wasn't able to do it perfectly. But this is a journey. Its not about just one day. It is about the whole experience. How I learn to manage the good times and the bad. What voice in my head I chose to listen to when the Challenge got challenging. Today I chose well and at the end of the 12 weeks I am going to look back on these page fews days and realise they were a small blip not a huge Mt Everest - and I dealt with it well and moved on.

  • Tamara Hunter
    7 Jun 2021
    4:12 PM


    Just finishing up week 3 and feeling in the groove. I am not going to lie, getting up at 4.50am is not fun and in winter it is super challenging, but I have maintained the consistency and the habit is setting in. A few mornings I have felt substandard - but looking back over my daily checkin, it is mostly associated with less sleep the night before. Sometimes this is hard when I am oncall at the hospital knowing I could go in for several hours at night. Thankfully hasn't happened yet but we will wait and see. I am not finding the food difficult at all. Prepping on Sunday is the KEY to my success - without it I would be lost. The family are so behind me and I feel secure knowing that. A few friends have challenged my reasons for doing this, stating 'you are skinny enough'. but it is not about that. It is about proving to myself what I CAN achieve, no matter my excuses of family, busy-ness, stress, other commitments. This is about putting myself first and foremost for 12 weeks and then seeing what I can maintain off the back of that. Looking at these photos today and comparing them to week 2 or even week 1 - I am amazed at the progress. What a motivator to keep going!

  • Tamara Hunter
    22 May 2021
    12:29 AM


    Feeling quite exhausted by the week. Lots of energy and attention being directed into eating and exercising. Found it quite draining, however feeling really proud of ensuring I did not hit the snooze button once and did a great session at the gym each morning. I am getting my head around the supplements and their place in my daily regime. Not missing alcohol at all and really not craving the coffee like I thought I would. 1kg down and feeling stronger already.

  • Tamara Hunter
    18 May 2021
    7:18 PM
  • Tamara Hunter
    18 May 2021
    7:15 PM


    82 days to go - not that I am counting. Today I am sore - all over. And feeling a little sluggish at 5.13pm. Everyone talking on the FB group about how much food there is...but honestly I am famished! And thinking about food all of the time. I have always struggled with this part of any body transformation program and I am nervous that this will be my undoing. Needing to eat something right now but feel I should hold off til dinner....argh the inner demon is EXHAUSTING!

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