Written by Lauren Onorato
Australian personal trainer Michelle Bridge
To be honest, it was the promise of food that clinched the deal for me. This fall, I was invited to participate in a fitness night with Michelle Bridges, one of the lead trainers from The Biggest Loser Australia. I heard the event would include a 30-minute workout followed by a healthy cooking demonstration and a tasting. So even though images of a trainer screaming at the hunched-over body of a crying person kept flashing through my head, I showed up for the good eats.
Once I arrived, my fears were alleviated. The workout was quick but intense, the food demo was easy and delicious, and in Bridges, I found a woman who genuinely wanted to help people feel and look their best. (No screaming necessary). Even though you might not be able to work out with her in a studio like I did, there is a way for you to get all her weight loss secrets.
Next week, Bridges is bringing her signature “12 Week Body Transformation” (12WBT) program to the U.S. Starting December 16th, you can sign up for her online agenda offering fitness plans, printable shopping lists, weekly inspirational videos and more. I wanted to see if a program like this would work for busy moms like our Family Circle readers. Kristy Potts, an Australian mother of 3 who lost 62 pounds with it, convinced me. I asked her 7 questions about how she slimmed herself down. Here are her answers:
Kristy Potts, 32, mom of three lost 62 pounds with Michelle Bridges' 12WBT
Name: Kristy Potts
Home: Kendall, NSW Australia
Children: Three, aged 17 years, 6 years, and 21 months
Weight prior to 12WBT: 259 lbs
Weight Lost: 62 lbs
FC: What was the motivation behind getting yourself in shape?
Kristy: My children are my life and I couldn’t keep up with any of them! I just wanted to sloth at home on the lounge with my chocolate and feel sorry for myself! My health was going downhill fast. I had contracted pneumonia three times in one year. Plus, I have a family history of diabetes and obesity. I was so sick and unhealthy. I needed to find "me" again. Michelle’s program helped me achieve that. I made my first goal to get under 220 lbs. In the first 12 weeks, I achieved this. Afterwards, I re-assessed with smaller, weight specific goals. My last was to get under 200 lbs and I did it!
FC: What was the best part of Michelle Bridges' 12WBT program?
Kristy: The food. The recipes are family friendly, healthy and taste so good. My kids eat it too!
FC:What differentiated 12WBT from other diets you had tried before?
Kristy: Michelle’s 12WBT is soo much more than a weight loss program. It is very much the combination of the motivational videos, food plans and workouts that make her program unique. No other program offers you so much support either. In addition, she begins with preseason tasks to set you up for the following 12 weeks.
FC: Was this a transition that you took with your family or a solo journey?
Kristy: It started out as a solo journey but it has turned into very much a family affair! The kids help out in the kitchen now and my husband comes walking with me. I love how supportive everyone has been.
FC: As a mother of three children, what was your biggest challenge with sticking with the 12WTB?
Kristy: My biggest challenge was my time constraints. As a full time working mother of three children, I had to plan in advance from meals to slotting in exercise to assisting the kids with their homework. Preparation is certainly the key. One day a week, I plan ahead and cook a batch of freezable meals from the 12WBT and stack them in the freezer. This stops me from relying on food at work or unhealthy choices. I get home from work, feed the children and then we go on a walk together. I also have some small weights at home, a skipping rope and a kettle bell.
FC: Why would you recommend this program to another mom?
Kristy: Being a mom is so stressful and busy at times, it is hard to put yourself first. This program teaches you that you can put yourself first and begin your own journey without having major impacts on your family.
FC: How has your life changed for the better since you have lost the weight?
Kristy: Time with your family is so important. I used to come home from work too tired to cook, order in pizza, eat a family sized block of chocolate by myself and sit on the lounge for hours! I was so unhappy. Now, I come home, organize dinner, get out and walk, settle the kids into bed and then get a full night sleep! I am happy. I can play with the kids and keep up with my busy teenager! In fact, the family time we have no longer revolves around what is on TV our family life now revolves around what activities we can do!