Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Six Years and Three Months Later… Why Does That Black Dress Still Fit?

I had a fabulous time at the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Round 3 2011 Finale Party on 10 December 2011.  I still remember how I ended my 12WBT Lean and Strong submission (this is what participants wrote and submitted to be in the running to win that category):

Splasharama is Leaner in Body, Stronger in Mind.  However, Clinton Barker deserves to be the Lean & Strong winner.  I'm so proud of him!” 
And he won!!!

The Round 3 2011 12WBTers may remember That Black Dress and black stilettos with diamante heels that I wore to that event.  I wore it to a photoshoot one month later.  It has been sitting in the back of my walk-in-wardrobe for over six years, untouched.

I was excited to attend a family member’s wedding on 10 March 2018.  I had planned to wear my 40th Birthday Party dress from July 2017.  Two days before this wedding I had a strange idea.  Thanks to the MyFitnessPal App that I still use, I was able to check what my weight was when I wore That Black Dress to that finale party, six years and three months ago.  I am two kilos heavier today.  That Black Dress cannot possibly fit me.  However, I now have much more muscle and less fat than I did back then.  Could it fit me?  I tried it on. 
Aaaaahhhhhh!!!  That Black Dress Still Fits!!! 

I wore it to the wedding with those fabulous stilettos.  My sister screamed with excitement when she saw me wearing it.  I wanted to surprise her and it worked.  I was complimented all night long on how gorgeous, wonderful, glamourous, hot and sexy I looked.  I was drawn to happy tears with many of the overwhelming compliments.

Six Years and Three Months Later… Why Does The Dress Still Fit?

I gained 18 kilos over two years, from when I was at my leanest and strongest in 2012, to when I weighed 82 kilos in April 2014.  This is due to the limitations that came with being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in October 2012.

My work hours had to slowly reduce. My food choices were poor because my physical limitations were getting me down and depressed.  In July 2013, my Specialist Doctor instructed me to stop working and reduce exercise to 20 minutes of walking once or twice a week, if I had enough energy.

Not working was boring.  I had nothing to do.  Doing basic things was exhausting.  Washing my hair would physically exhaust me and make my arms really hurt.  I would then fall asleep for a couple of hours straight afterwards to physically recover.

Being bored was no good for my physical or mental health.  I ate to pass the time.  My Specialist Doctor suggested I keep my mind stimulated by studying online slowly.  I would have to study at my own pace, with no time limit to complete the course.  Working for eight hours per week was previous exhausting and I had to stop.  Therefore, my studying capacity would be less than that, but it was unknown.

I already had my Gym Instructor Qualification.  I decide to enrolled into an online Certificate IV of Fitness course in May 2014 to get a Personal Trainer qualification.  I weighed 82 kilos, the heaviest since losing the weight in 2011. 

I discovered that I could study for four hours per week, one hour per day, without totally exhausting myself.  I was still bored, but I didn’t eat as much.  If I was eventually going to find a job as a Personal Trainer, I needed to be fitter and healthier.

I completed the online course in September 2014.  I still wasn’t allowed to work. I was still bored.  I didn’t eat my way through the boredom though.  I needed to lose weight.  Exercise was very limited so I had to make better food choices.  I reduced the amount of unhealthy foods I purchased.  If I did not have unhealthy food in my house, I could not eat them.  I tried to make and eat healthy meals.  My good food choices helped me lose 10 kilos over 12 months.

My Specialist Doctor advised me that I should be able to begin working very limited hours in July 2015.

I applied for Personal Trainer positions at local Health Clubs.  I was surprised to get a job at The Ridge Health Club in September 2015.  I weighed 72 kilos.

I had to be a good role model for my Personal Training clients.  They all loved that I changed my lifestyle and lost so much weight in 2011.  If I gained weight now, no one would trust me to train them.  I needed to get back to my fittest and strongest.

My weekly working hours were limited to a maximum of 10 hours.  I spread these hours over four days and I had to have a 30-minute rest during each shift.  I had no energy to exercise so I had to continue my healthy food choices.  Eating 1200 calories per day did not give me enough energy to function now that I had a job.  I worked out that 1400 calories was the absolute minimum I could eat.  I tracked my food intake with MyFitnessPal and ate about 1500 calories per day.  From September 2015 to March 2016 I maintained my weight of 72kg. 

My medication increased to give me more energy to work safely.  I increased my exercise to 20 minutes up to four times per week, under the instruction and strict supervision of my Exercise Physiologist.  I ate a minimum of 1500 calories per day, sometimes more if I became too exhausted.  I lost three kilos over the next six months.  I weighed 69 kilos in September 2016.

My CFS limitations were very slowly decreasing.  I could still only work 10 hours per week.  My food and exercise did not change.  I lost another 4 kilos over the next 12 months. I weighed 65 kilos in September 2017

My CFS limitations had not improved but my job was making me stronger and leaner.  My muscle mass increased and fat decreased just by being a Gym Instructor, Circuit Instructor and Personal Trainer for 10 to 12 hours per week. I still made healthy food choices of a minimum of 1500 calories per week.

I lost another 2 kilos over the next six months.  I weighed 63 kilos this month.  I am 2 kilos heavier than when I wore That Black Dress, 6 years and 3 months ago.  My body composition is different now.  I have more muscle and less fat due to my job.  Therefore, maybe I could be about same size as when I wore That Black Dress.  I tried it on and got a huge shock!

That Black Dress Still Fits!!!
I wore it to the wedding and cried happy tears as the endless lovely compliments came my way. 
I am very lucky.