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Plateau, what plateau!?

Coming into the end of the THR1VE  12 Week Challenge I find myself in a great routine with everything becoming second nature. I’ve worked out an exercise routine that fits around work and uni and I’m beginning to think of eating Paleo continously, and live the lifestyle rather than a transient “diet” for the challenge, which isn’t hard with dinners like these!

In fact, I decided to make it official and recently gave all the grains in my food cupboard away to my housemates:

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Keeping to this lifestyle is less of a challenge now – it’s routine. Yep. Life, as it is right now, is wonderful!

 

Oh what’s that? Yep, definitely spoke to soon! That “routine” I’ve worked so hard to perfect is now about to go straight out the window, as I learn I am to spend the last three weeks of the challenge on a placement in Dubbo, away from my friends, trainers, gym, THR1VE and all the other resources the city provides. This is definitely going to be a challenge within a challenge!

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Fast forward and I’ve been in Dubbo for one week. I’ll admit this week has been hard. Probably the hardest yet. I’ve had to be super organised and prepare all of my meals in advance and work within the constraints of a tiny kitchenette to prepare my cooked breakfast each morning. The hospital I’m working at is also very big on sweets. This week alone, I’ve been tempted with cake, biscuits, cake, lamingtons and cake! I have mentioned I’m gluten free though, which seems to have given me a “get out of grains” free card, making the ability to stay strong that much easier! The weather has also been ridiculously steamy adding to my general tiredness from learning the ropes of the placement.

I would say the hardest challenge this week however has been exercise. As I mentioned, I had a great routine going in Sydney and great relationships with my 2 trainers (which have taken 9 weeks to build!) So my motivation was definitely challenged by the prospect of training with someone new who is unfamiliar with my abilities and goals. The sessions turned out to be fine though, albeit a little awkward and less enjoyable than I’m used to.

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So my week ended with my routine weekly weigh-in. I was quite surprised and bummed out to find that my weight had not shifted. Possibly the very worst time for a plateau. I spent the morning in a very foul mood before a text came through from my trainer asking how my week had been. I was touched that he took the time to check in and was reassured by his advice about moving forward from the plateau. With a new spark of motivation, I decided to take the opportunity to take a look at my overall progress over the past 10 weeks and how far I’ve come.

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As embarrassing as it is to share this picture, this is me at my biggest a few years ago – to the left. On the right is a picture of my lovely housemates and I on the night before I left for Dubbo. I love this photo for two reasons. Firstly, I think it illustrated the confidence this challenge has given me, to actually start living my life and become a fun loving person (we are about to head out for a fancy night out!). Secondly, as lame as this is, this dress has never fit me since I bought it. I’m very much enjoying having a choice of attire when going out, rather than settling for whatever fits!

When I compare myself to this girl, all I see are positive changes. Yes, I’m still the same person per say, but my attitude, outlook and yes, waist line, are completely different! I know the next two weeks are going to be hard, but I’m now starting to look beyond that. I’m excited to keep up all the changes I’ve made due to the challenge and start living my life as a positive and confident person!

(Plateau, what plateau!)

– Helen



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