I know there a few of you who have looked into completing the Michelle Bridges 12WBT programme, so thought I might do a quick review for those of you who are interested.
I am one of those lucky (??) mothers who piles on the kilos in pregnancy – somewhere around 25-30kg each time! No matter how careful I was, it just happened (honestly, who would have thought a block of chocolate every night could do that to a girl!). But after each baby, I managed to get back down to my normal healthy weight, and then *BOOM* pregnant again!
After Lucy I was a bit slower off the mark in getting started on my weight loss journey. I truly believe that Mums should just let themselves enjoy their newborn bub and not stress about the weight they may have gained. “Nine months on, nine months off” is something I have always considered sensible and realistic advice. And because I knew Lucy was our last bubba, I just wanted to focus on enjoying her, because when you actively focus on losing weight it is quite time consuming.
So after much consideration, I decided I was ready to start my weight loss journey, and I signed up for Round 2 of the Michelle Bridges program. I don’t go into these things half-hearted. I was 100% committed and prepared to follow the program to the letter. And I did…. sort of.
The program includes a nutrition plan, exercise plan, weekly mindset lessons, weekly live chats, and forums.
The meal plan is fantastic. It’s FULL of fresh vegetables, and high in protein. The program includes a shopping list, the full meal plan for the week, and all the recipes.This really works for me – I’ll eat anything (oops I tell a lie – I did pass on the kangaroo) as long as it is easy to prepare and the ingredients can be purchased from Coles Online. Just a note about meals – the kids usually requested/required separate meals. It was easier to make them something different, than try to convince them to eat what I was having. But the handy slow-cooker took care of this many times for me!
The exercise was a whole different kettle of fish. I love exercising – I have no issues with doing it at all. BUT finding the time was near impossible. The program specifies around 60-75 mins of exercise per day, with a Super Session of 90mins on a Saturday. I tried – I really tried to fit this in, but it just was not possible to find that solid block of time in my day. After a week, I gave up on the exercise, and just commited to the diet. I really would have liked there to be some realistic advice for people in a similar situation – like incidental exercising, and exercising with children. But there wasn’t – it’s all pretty hardcore. And if I hear someone say “JFDI” (Just F******G Do It) one more time, I may scream.
The thing is – weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. So I was REALLY strict with my diet, and stuck with it (except for my visit to the Lindt Cafe in Sydney!). After 12 weeks, I have lost 15kg, and feel great. I still have a few more pesky kilos to go but I am confident I will get there. I feel healthy, my knees no longer ache (gotta love old netball knees!), and I am wearing clothes that I actually like (not just the ones that fit).
I’m not really into the whole “celebrity” thing. Michelle Bridges seems very passionate about the program, but I was one of thousands of people completing the program at the same time. Other than other members on the forum, there was no personal contact whatsoever. The mind-set messages were pre-recorded and the live sessions were so jam-packed with people wanting to talk “to Michelle” that it was just chaos. So when she says that she will be your personal trainer for the 12 weeks, it’s a little mis-leading. It’s like Ronald McDonald saying he’ll cook your Big Mac for you (OK bad fast food analogy when talking about a diet program!)
I think a smaller program, facilitated by a qualified “non-celebrity”, who actually connected with the members would yield better results. There is no safety net – if you fall off the wagon, you are on your own. There is no-one to pick you up, unless you ask for help from other members on the forum. That being said, the members are pretty amazing and there is always at least one person who will understand your situation.
Like anything – you reap what you sew. If you are committed to the program (and hey, it’s ONLY 12 weeks of your life!), then I absolutely recommend it. Don’t expect any magic results – it’s hard work, and you have to be prepared to make sacrifices.
Diet is KEY. You WILL get over your cravings, and you WILL get enough food. And there is a nice little collection of recipes that will be all yours at the end of the program (I am having mine bound to make a 12WBT cookbook)!
Am I happy I did it? Ummmmm Heck YES!!! It was just the first step in reclaiming me (after 7 years of producing and nurturing 4 children), AND I got to go shopping for lots of new outfits!! I was also breastfeeding throughout the program, and my milk supply wasn’t affected at all. You just need to be sensible with exercising, and make sure you get enough calcium. I didn’t bother topping up my calorie intake too much, but I did make sure I had extra yoghurt, milk or cheese each day.
I hope that helps a little and for those who have signed up for a weight-loss program, I wish you a successful journey. Stay positive, stay strong, stay healthy!
What have you found to be the most successful weight loss program? Why did it work for you?