The Last Week of The USN Challenge

When I first signed up to be a part of the Expresso TV Show Celebrity USN 12 week Body and Lifestyle Challenge in February, I was nervous, excited and honestly didn’t know if I would get through the 3 months.

3 months seemed like such a long time, but also such a little time to transform my life.

I started off super unfit. I was the person huffing and puffing and embarrassed that I couldn’t get through a workout without needing to sit down or feeling like I was going to vomit.

I swopped my take-out food for healthy salads and grilled or steamed chicken breasts and began the journey.

What a journey it has been.

I always thought I knew what living a healthy lifestyle was. Sure, I wasn’t living one, but I knew what it meant to live one and with anything in life – it’s all about choice. I wasn’t exactly making the correct choices.

Embarking on this journey truly opened my eyes.

My relationship with exercise and keeping active has done a 180 degree turn. My relationship with healthy food has done a 180 degree turn and before I knew about supplementation, I stayed well away from them thinking that they were bad for me and would make me become muscular. It took a little bit of understanding and knowledge and everything has changed.

If you had said to me 3 months ago that I would be close to my goal I would have scoffed at you.

I call it the Blue sky/Green sky story. How do I explain this? I’ll try…You know when people constantly tell you that the “sky is blue” aka “living healthy entails this…” but you see the “sky as green” (thinking you know what living healthy is and don’t really do anything about it) and then you have that “aha moment” where it all clicks and you turn around and say” Ooooh, the sky really is blue!” “It takes this and that to truly be healthy” and incorporate in your life. Well I’ve had my aha moment a few times over.

I have never been the girl who drank water. I have never been the girl who didn’t say no to the extra slice of cake and I have never been the girl who woke up excitedly thinking: “What exercise am I going to do today?”

I am that girl now and my blue sky/green sky moment is wondering why I never lived like this in the first place. Realizing that it really is all about eating clean, working out and having the added help of the right supplementation. You can be told this over and over again, but until you don’t realize it for yourself – the sky in your world will be “green”.

Knowing and doing are two very different things.

This has honestly been one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m not going to sugar coat it (excuse the ironic pun) and tell you it was a breeze. It hasn’t been. There have been days when I’ve been resentful because I’m craving chocolate or craving a big packet of salt and vinegar slap chips. Days that I have been so extremely busy that I’ve wanted the quick convenience of driving through a take-out drive through for food. Days that my body has been so sore from training that I’ve wanted the extra lie-in. Days that I’ve gone out and ordered a salad and had order envy watching friends order pizza. Days that I’ve cried because this is “too hard and I can’t do it.” I’ve had days of fear thinking: “What if this doesn’t work for me?” Days of fear with : “This isn’t just being done for a personal mission, I’ve also got a responsibility doing this on a TV show (Expresso Morning show on SABC3), with my before photo splashed on National TV and what if I don’t get that toned, gorgeous physique that USN advertise…will I be the laughing stock?” – Admittedly, this has been a huge motivational factor, but I’ve still had to put in the hard work.

I kept going and when I had those dreaded weigh-ins and heard “You’ve lost another 2% body fat” or “Well done! You’re doing so well. Keep it up. You’re down another kilo!” – THAT was motivating and made me think: OK, I can do this! I really can!”

I’m waiting for my final results before I tell you what they are. All I know is that I never thought it was possible in 3 months and I feel so proud of myself.

We got the email yesterday to let us know that this is our last week. I hit panic mode. Panic because I don’t look like that “Victoria Secret Model” but realistically, I have never been healthier for my body type.

My goal has always been this: To be realistic. To be healthy and to be the best version of myself.

USN has changed my life. Yes – it’s a big statement and it’s 100% true. The guidance they have given, the knowledge and education they’ve given me, the support they’ve given me… priceless.

Anyone who signs up for the 12 week body and lifestyle challenge receives this support. It’s not just because we’re doing a celebrity challenge. I’ve dismissed those naysayers, because I’ve seen how passionate everyone from USN is about changing lifestyles, regardless of who you are and it’s incredible.

I’ve dismissed the naysayers who have told me that it’s easy for me because I’ve been sponsored the supplements. Honestly, USN can shower me with all the supplements their warehouse stores. It’s up to me to implement the guidance, knowledge and healthy lifestyle. If I didn’t do the hard work, I wouldn’t have the results.

I’ve also ignored the negative ugliness I received from people saying that I am only doing this because it must be and I quote: “Embarrassing to stand next to your gorgeous model friend, Karolina looking the way you do.”

Yes. I’ve heard it all.

I’ve ignored the negativity and instead been encouraged and touched by the positive messages pouring in from people who have been inspired, who have motivated me to keep going and those who have asked for my advice. Thank YOU!

Jono Cloete from Urban Fitness Outdoor has changed my life. He has trained me 3 x a week at 5am for the past 3 months. He hasn’t just trained me, he’s educated me into truly understanding what excellent strength training and cardio is. His support, encouragement, motivation and dedication to helping me has been invaluable and I am eternally grateful. Jono – thank you for pushing me and for ignoring my pathetic pleas of: “I can’t do this!!” “I’m not doing that!!” and “I’m hating you right now!” (Sorry!)

My BF Karolina Sky, my mom and dad and sister, Tandi have all be so incredibly supportive and I don’t know what I would have done without them.  Thank you for supporting me, motivating me and eating well with me so that my order envy was minimized. 🙂

This doesn’t stop now that the 3 months are done. Quite the contrary. It’s set me up for the rest of my life. I am not exactly at my goal weight (I’m not too far from it though) and I know that continuing with this, I will get there.

I have my “After” photo shoot on Monday the 14th and so this last week is really about eating clean and eating lots of protein, making sure I get rid of as much water retention as possible (I have quite a bit) and hoping that I look good for my shoot. I’m nervous. I have never done a photo shoot in a bikini before. I don’t even like being in a bikini on the beach, truth be told…but my confidence levels have risen and I’m just hoping I look OK… Now I need to find a bikini before Monday. Uh-oh!

I’m glad I started 3 months ago…


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