Image 7‘That Michelle Bridges chick on the telly is about to change your life in more ways than one and I promise the reward at the end (Sharing Bali!!) will far outweigh the difficulties you face with the journey you are about to kickstart.’

K: Spoken by Mel, one of our many retreat guests who find themselves with a whole new life ahead of them once they kick some bad habits. We had a chat about how it happened…

Ok. Mel lets get your stats up first:

  2013 2015
Age: 22 24
Weight: 80.3kgs 64kgs
Clothes size: 14/large 8-10 or Small
Job: Police Officer (2nd year) Police Officer
Weekly fitness routine: Haha! Minimal, maybe a walk

(if anything!).

I generally workout for around 1.5 hours 6 days a week and have one rest day where I’ll go for a walk or something light. I run at least 3k most days and break up my weight training in muscle groups each day. I go for one long run a week which is 10k+.
Typical breakfast: I loved making myself a bacon and egg roll with barbecue sauce or ham and cheese croissants. I make overnight oats most nights for the next morning so it’s ready to go as soon as I wake up. Overnight oats is oats, chia seeds, coconut, sultanas and almonds mixed together and soaked in almond milk. I love it!
All time fave food: I loooooved a good pub chicken schnitzel and chips with a bucket of gravy. Thai! I always make sure I get my Thai fix around once a week.
Party habits: I would binge drink excessively around once a week. This would start with ‘pre drinks’ (usually a bottle of champagne to start!) and then many glasses of vodka with soft drink mixers at a club or pub. I am officially a grandma! I don’t party often at all. Of course I still do have a couple of drinks every now and then on special occasions but I don’t ‘enjoy’ getting drunk anymore and I also know the effect that binge drinking can have on my health.
Can’t live without: McDonald’s and KFC when I was hungover. Food. All food. I eat more now than ever before but the quality of food is much better. I enjoy eating a larger quantity of good food rather than a smaller quantity of bad food. I love going to healthy ‘raw food’ cafes and trying as much as I can on the menu!

K: IMPRESSIVE. What happened? Was there one specific moment that brought on the change?

M: My friends and I would often have the post weekend ‘let’s eat healthy week but we won’t start till tomorrow’…. so we would stuff our faces on Sunday! Once Monday came we would maybe last one day then we’d be straight back to normal. My sister had done the Michelle Bridges 12WBT after having a baby and she saw good results. I remember telling my friend Hayley that we should do it. We jumped on the scales and both weighed 80.3kgs coincidentally! We told our friend Kym about it and next minute we were all signing up and starting pre season!mel party gal

K: You had us laughing with you around the dining table at Sharing Bali at your stories of your partying life. You never seem to beat yourself up or have a negative view of yourself. Am I right? And if yes, what’s your secret?

M: That time of my life was something I enjoyed while it lasted and I’m glad I experienced the party life because I think if I didn’t do it I would regret it and feel as though I missed out on something. It was around 2013 that I really started to feel hangovers a lot more than I used to! It got to the point where I’d get so down that I would cry the whole next day! I know alcohol is a depressant but it wasn’t until then that I started to feel that side of it. This is a massive reason I don’t really drink today. There’s nothing worse for me than wasting a day all sad and moping around, I’d much rather go climb a mountain or something! I try and always be positive but I still sometimes get a little sad or disappointed with myself, I’m only human! If this happens I just think about how I used to feel and what my body used to be and I think of how lucky I am that I have legs to run, arms to lift things and a body that moves!

K: Thanks for being so honest. I’m with you…. Every day that we have “legs to run, arms to lift things and a body that moves” is a good day. Lets talk about work.Image 6

K: I know you’re committed to the Police force and speak well of the team around you. What difference has it made to how you do your job? I know I’d be happy to have you on my side if there was a need for a pursuit on foot!

M: I’m still pretty slow once I’m wearing an extra 12kgs haha! It’s helped massively, I have so much more energy now and 12 hour shifts don’t seem like 3 days (that’s how physically exhausted I’d feel)! It feels good to know that my physical health is not only helping me but also helps my colleagues.

K: Did you get a lot of support and encouragement from your colleagues on the job?

M: Of course. My team are like my family. I put my life in their hands as they do theirs with me. They started noticing my weight loss and their positive comments kept me in the zone the whole way through. They often stir me up about my food creations and how I eat from jars and think I’m trendy haha but having a laugh is what keeps us so close.

K: Was it hard to break away from the maybe not so healthy habits that are typical of your job? Especially when it comes to shift work? Are you eating chia seed infused food while everyone else is chowing down on pizzas?

M: It was pretty tough at first! It’s hard smelling those takeaway schnitzels the team is eating and having to say no. I was lucky because the 12WBT had some delish meals so that made it easier. I started a bit of a trend and lots of my colleagues jumped on the healthy bandwagon! I think Michelle Bridges made a few dollars out of my station! Most of the time (when they’re not stirring me up) the team love eating treats I bring in like protein balls.

K: Signing up to the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation not only kicked started the New Mel, but also landed you the prize of a place on one of our Body Transformers Retreats. Your mate Hayley came along as well. Aside from the challenge to see who could take the best photos, what did you get out of the retreat?

Mel jumps for joy after climbing her first volcano in Bali.

Mel jumps for joy after climbing her first volcano in Bali.

M: Where do I even start? I’m so grateful for the opportunity to visit the retreat. Before I started this journey I would have never signed myself up for it or anything remotely like it. Exercise and holiday didn’t go in the same sentence! After having experienced Sharing Bali I can safely say it was the most rewarding trip and my favourite holiday so far! I got new mates, many laughs playing in our makeshift band, fitness tips, yoga lessons, cooking knowledge and the joy of giving ecstatic Balinese school kids some small essentials like pens, textas etc – things we commonly take for granted.

Highlight: It’s so hard to pick just one! I’m going to say the food and the fitness.

Favourite food: Again this is tough! I really liked the banana pancakes in the mornings….and I loved the sambals too.

Best moment: The farewell dinner where we all danced around with the staff and started our own band!

Biggest challenge: The exercise was a challenge as I was still improving my fitness but I never once gave up and I get a bit of a kick out of a challenge.mel hurdles low

K: Did it make a difference to your life once you arrived home?

M: Yes definitely. I took a lot away from Jo in regards to training as well as general life tips from your success and wisdom Karen! Even the friends I made on the retreat all inspired me in some way or another. When people ask what Bali is like I tell them about life outside of Kuta which (a lot of the time) they are unaware of! I’m also happy to preach that you can enjoy a holiday without cocktails and nightclubs!

K: I follow your Facebook feed and it seems like you have ripped through more fun runs, outdoor events and the like in the last two years than the average person would do in a decade. Care to list them and what’s next?

M: I’ll try my best! Since last year I’ve done: Pink triathlon; Bay to Bay 12k fun run; City to Surf; Blackmores Half Marathon; Raw Challenge.

Next I’m thinking is the Gold Coast half marathon followed by the City to Surf and then myself and three friends have crazily signed up to the Oxfam trailwalker 100k walk in August!

K: You now have a new four-legged bestie. How has that changed your daily life?Image 8

M: I absolutely love my baby! His name is Basil and he is a 16-month old Golden Labrador. He is just like a real child. He loves the beach so I’m always there with him throwing the stick in the water, chasing him like a mad woman and talking (sometimes yelling!) to him (also making me seem mad!). But I love him and he definitely makes me a happier person.

K: If you go back in time, what advice would you give to the 22-year old Mel?

M: What are you doing mate?! Haha. No I’d tell young 22-year old Mel to be confident and proud of who you are. I’d tell her to ease up on the partying but still have fun and ease up on the maccas, that stuff’s no good! That Michelle Bridges chick on the telly is about to change your life in more ways than one and I promise the reward at the end (Sharing Bali!!) will far outweigh the difficulties you face with the journey you are about to kickstart. And….abs are not impossible. You too can be one of those fit girls you scroll past on Instagram!

K: Be very proud! I hope you will print this interview and stick it on your fridge to remind yourself of how fab you are. It might also act as a deterrent if there are any nasty temptations lurking in the fridge!


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