Results more than measure up

Revive 2012 overall winner Deb McLeod (front), with (from left) 'Most Improved' Mandy Dunn, ...
Revive 2012 overall winner Deb McLeod (front), with (from left) 'Most Improved' Mandy Dunn, 'Richie's Choice' winner Tracey Roxburgh, indoor triathlon overall winner David Byrne, open women's winner Alex Musgrave, veteren's winner Jane Harsthorne and ...
Alpine Health and Fitness manager Richie Heap (left) with (from left) Revive 2012 trainers Jose...
Alpine Health and Fitness manager Richie Heap (left) with (from left) Revive 2012 trainers Jose Gomes, Haylee Roberts, Danniel Bocatios, Jen Dennison and Maria Bradley. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.

Sunday marked the official end of Alpine Health & Fitness' 2012 Revive programme. Today, Otago Daily Times Queenstown bureau chief shares her final Dear Diary - and the results.


Dear Diary...

Saturday, December 15

Woke with swarm of butterflies in stomach.

Hauled myself up Tobin's in last-ditch effort to cull fat and calm nerves before visiting scales. As clock inched closer to appointment, hands got shaky and heart started racing. Squeezed eyes shut and held breath. Then did good impersonation of fish, with eyes bugging out of head, mouth opening and closing ... scales said missing from my body was 12.3kg!

That left me with weight have not seen since (very) early teenage years! Lovely Maria gave me weight plates (and packs of butter) to hold to show me how much weight that was. How was I even upright three months ago?

Included in total weight loss was a whopping 11.6kg of fat ... that is revolting!

Next was measuring tape - was no longer scared, was excited. After tape was whipped around body, Maria got out calculator and announced body has shrunk by 82cm. That is a LOT.

Left tiny little room walking on air - in wildest dreams didn't think that possible.

Celebrated in style with inspirational Blue Team at Amisfield this afternoon - we drank wine, without guilt, and ate bread and potato salad and had other delicious treats. Was perfect end to perfect day!

Sunday, December 16

Woke this morning feeling surprisingly perky, given did not stop drinking wine at Amisfield ... can also report Hire A Mum Moira Finlin's chocolate Afghan biscuits, delivered about four weeks ago, made delicious midnight snack.

Went for lovely long walk - because I wanted to - and found myself smiling like idiot the whole way.

This afternoon headed to Winnies with other Revivers for the 2012 final function - where we got pizza ... we even ate crusts!

Was overwhelming to look around room and see the others. Most of us felt pretty bad about ourselves in one way or another.

No more, Diary!

Everyone looked incredible - the Revivers were smiling from ear to ear, their skin was glowing, shoulders were back, chins were up and they were genuinely proud of themselves. As they should be.

Am thrilled to tell you the stunning Deb McLeod (fellow Blue Teamer) won the overall award this year, Diary - a more deserving winner you wouldn't find. Deb has slowly but surely embarked on a fitness and weight-loss mission for the past 18 months and, to date, she's lost about 30kg - more than 11 of those in the past 12 weeks!

Also, I might have won a wee something too ... the Richie Heap Award for my attitude. Got pretty emotional - feel like wuss because I cried (strongly suspect because, according to scales, body is now 53% water. Was only matter of time before eyes became overflow outlet).

Afterwards, Blue Team celebrated with more wine, when we discussed ceremonial clothes burning.

Monday, December 17

This morning did not have to get up at 6am and meet Haylee.

While enjoying lovely lie-in started thinking about all the things she's helped me learn and realised how far I've come.

As hard as I would like to forget September 22, the 15 minutes in tiny room with scales, measuring tape and Maria, is burned into brain.

What I didn't tell you then, Diary, was how mortifying it was and how angry I was for, yet again, falling off the wagon.

Afterwards while I sat in car, trying very hard to collect composure I remembered I was going to try a new thing: positivity.

Realised that was last time I was going to feel like that ... things were going to change. And they did.

So now, Diary, I will tell you about some of the things I've learned..

My body is not weak

OK, maybe it was in the beginning (remember solitary sit-up on day one?), but I've learned my body can do pretty much anything I want it to.

The problem was never my muscles ... the weakest part of my body was my brain. Specifically that persistent annoying little voice that wanted me to give up on myself.

It took a while to understand the competition wasn't with anybody else - it was with myself and that voice.

And, Diary, I won.

The moment(s) I thought about quitting ...

I remembered why I started.

It has been my motto for 12 weeks and that one sentence has kept me going.

No matter how hard it got or how sore or tired I was, every single time I contemplated quitting I remembered September 22 - I needed no more motivation than that.

Progress is personal

I learned to be proud of my wee achievements.

For example, going from not being able to yog at all, to eventually yogging almost 5km ... and then the best part of 8km around Lake Hayes (minus hilly bits).

Or from being able to do 20 push-ups on my knees to 31 on my toes.

But one of my biggest victories was unexpected.

Earlier this year I started to get pains in my hands and arms, which made gripping pens and writing excruciating.

It was the beginning of OOS which, given occupation, was terrifying.

Was worried about this gym lark because I wasn't certain I would be able to grip things (like weights and bars and it's quite important you can hang on to those).

Not only have I had no difficulty in gripping the aforementioned, have not had a tingle of pain since the start of Revive.

The secret to success

Is hard work.

Forcing myself to put on grotty gym clothes and do some form of exercise, even when every muscle in my body hated me and that little voice screamed to have a ''rest day''.

Making my vocal chords squeak out ''No, thank you'' when they really wanted to say ''Yes, please!'' when delicious treats were offered.

The hardest part was making myself my priority - saying ''No'' to other people and not feeling guilty. At the outset we were told it was important we had support networks around us - family and friends who understood what we were doing and why.

The families, friends, colleagues and employers of the 2012 Revivers deserve a standing ovation - none of us could have done any of this without all of you.

The challenge ahead

When you have a trainer waiting for you twice a week, scrutinising everything in your food diary and knowing you're going to be held accountable, a whole team of people who are in the same boat and a gym full of instructors and employees who know what you're up to and support you every step of the way, it's actually fairly easy.

The hard bit is when that ends.

Learning how to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't ''have'' to.

Understanding just because the 12-week programme is over, you shouldn't shove banned substances in your mouth with gleeful abandon.

Knowing the end of Revive is the beginning of the challenge.

So, this time, I'm doing things differently.

Haylee is going to continue to keep me honest, I now have a whole bunch of other ladies who I know will help motivate me ... and thanks to Alex Musgrave I think you will find one T. Roxburgh - along with the majority of the Blue Team - will be on the competitors list of the Rail Trail Duathlon come February. My mission: run (yep, RUN) almost 20km over two days.

*I'd like to say a very, very special thank you to the fabulous Haylee Roberts, of Southern Fitness Queenstown for your enthusiasm, encouragement, friendship and unwavering support ... and also to Mr Haylee and the two Master Haylees for letting us monopolise so much of your wife and mum's time. Thanks also to Richie Heap, all the Revive trainers and each and every person at Lakes Leisure and Alpine Health and Fitness - you are all superstars.

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