We asked some of our past 8-week challengers about their stories and the results that they achieved from the challenge! We let them tell their stories themselves – enjoy reading and get inspired by their motivation and success!
And before you start:
Dear Cameron, thank you so much for sharing your story and congratulations on finishing our 8-week challenge with such great results!
“Hi Guys 🙂
I guess to explain how this challenge has changed my life now, some background might help!
I deployed to the Solomon Islands with 2RAR in 2003 as a 20 year old. When I came back from that deployment, I had PTSD. I just didn’t know it – until 2013 when I was finally diagnosed after 10 years of dealing with something that I had no idea I even had or had any idea about and things would get worse before they got better.
I was admitted to hospital 2014 and that was effectively the end of my 2nd military career (RAAF after Army) and I was med discharged July 2015 and moved to Townsville.
Exercise and I had never get along, I hated doing it and It seemed my body didn’t enjoy it either! I consider it a minor miracle I was able to be a grunt.
By the time I moved to Townsville, I had put on a lot of weight after years of bad diet and no exercise. I still remember seeing Dani when I first went to Strand Fitness in 2015, knowing I needed to do something to fix the issue. At that time I was still a mess and fighting DVA, Dani was excellent and was very compassionate and understanding and I’ve never forgotten the kindness she showed.
I started training again briefly with Jess but I just couldn’t do it as I was not in the right place mentally or emotionally. I did keep my membership though as I knew I would get back into it at one point when I was ready.
10 weeks ago.
Fast forward to about 10 weeks ago when I was buying a new t shirt and I realized I had to buy a 6XL. That was the first point when I knew things had gotten way to out of control and I had to do something. The other was my disgust in myself at weighing nearly 150kg.
So whilst pondering just how obese and unfit I had let myself become, I received a message from SF about an 8 week challenge. Call it what you will, fate, a sign, an omen – my instincts lit up like a Christmas tree at Santa’s house and I knew I would be doing it. I called the gym and came in and spoke to Amanda, who was very helpful and after about 2 mins I knew 100% I was in and this is what I was going to do to fix the damage I had caused myself.
I was shitting myself before the start of it! I hadn’t trained properly for years, I didn’t like being at a gym, I was pissed with myself at my appearance and after years of being mentally and emotionally drained. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to go from the level of fitness I was at (I’m not even sure I had a level of fitness) to training 5 days a week for 8 weeks.
However, it came down to a very easy choice: do nothing and continue to be obese, no energy, unhappy and unable to physically do basic things or man up and hook in. So I made a plan and started week 1.
I don’t really remember week 1, I do however remember my first GRIT class with Henni! I absolutely loved it and I’ve been doing them ever since 🙂 GRIT is one of the main reasons for my having so much success at this challenge. For the first time I found something exercise related I actually enjoyed. And from that I have actually come to love going to the gym! I am loving getting stronger and fitter again, both physically and mentally.
After week 1 I was so incredibly happy, I had done something I wasn’t sure I could still do, but then of course I got the flu that weekend! I felt this was a test from the universe to determine how much I really wanted to fix my weight problem and I vowed to get back to the gym as soon as I could and I managed after 5 days of rest to get in two days work in week 2.
My Turning Point.
That was the turning point for me, it showed me how very badly I wanted to be fit and more importantly, happy within myself again. So from week 2 onwards I’ve given it everything I could, I started changing my habits (6am classes for me are still a huge deal) and working as hard as I could, constantly pushing myself to bring back my strength and resilience.
So here we are with only one week to go and I had already achieved my goal of 10-15kg weight loss in week 5. I am now pushing hard for as much weight as I can get off in this last week.
So to answer the question, how has this challenge changed my life?
My new opportunity.
I would say it hasn’t changed it.. It has given me the opportunity to get my life back, to be genuinely happy again after forgetting what that even felt like.
I honestly am struggling to catch up with just how much I’ve changed in the last 7 weeks, I look back and remember how sad I felt, how I looked at myself and just how hard everything seemed, now I’m happy again! I love being challenged again and I have several things coming up I’m looking forward to doing! And all the things I am doing, wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t done this challenge.
Thanks to the staff – & thank you Cam!
I want to thank all the staff who have put in the effort to get this up and running and for your continued support! Special mention to a few staff though: Amanda for always having a smile on her dial when I get to the gym! Dani for always being supportive and helpful with technical issues 😉 Henni for doing such a fantastic effort running GRIT class, Jess for being the best PT an old grunt could get! (Still pissed you are leaving though 😜) and Jason for always being happy and helpful 🙂
I don’t know how you guys view your jobs, but I can tell you that if you think you just turn up and do your job and go home and it doesn’t make a difference, you are very much mistaken because you have all been a part of getting my life back and everything you guys have done has helped! You do make a difference to people’s lives, so you all should be proud as far as I’m concerned 🙂
Thank you all for helping me get my happiness back 🥇😎