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Challenge Series # 3 with Asha and Elyn

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Guess who’s back? Challenge blog series #3 ready to brighten your screens with double the inspo this week. Dream team Asha Tucker and Elyn Houthuysen have been Bodies by Ryan members for a year and have made incredible progress, totally transforming their physiques and capabilities over this time. They’re digging deep for the final challenge of the year and making even further inroads to their healthiest and strongest bodies yet. Blog writer Lisa O’Neill loved chatting to them and we hope you love reading about them!

LO: When did you start at BBR and what was the state of your fitness?

AT: I’ve been at BBR for almost exactly a year now. Up until I joined BBR, I had tried everything to get in shape and increase my strength and fitness – Cross Fit, Pilates, online workouts, swimming, spin class – you name it, I’d done it. And not to mention the diets! Now that I understand the science behind eating macros for your goals and complementing your nutrition to suit those goals, I cringe at the sorts of things I used to do to try to lose weight! The thing I love about BBR is that my focus has shifted from being “skinny” to being “strong and fit”. As I have two lovely young children, I’m really conscious of healthy messaging around our bodies and nutrition, and also, by the time my kids are teenagers or even adults with a family of their own, I’ll be (ahem) older, so I want to be fit enough to keep up with them!


Asha before BBR

EH: I’ve been through many exercise phases, from Goodlife to swimming, or doing eight Bike Bar sessions per week. I always seemed to lose interest in them after a few months and felt the need to find something new. My friend Sarah suggested I start BBR and once I did, I just knew this was for me. It’s dynamic, the program changes regularly and keeps you pushing to new heights, and the trainers really invest and support you to get better. Before BBR I exercised regularly but I just couldn’t lose weight and didn’t feel fit.

Elyn before BBR

LO: So, how are you feeling now, one year in?

AT: I still have a long way to reach my goals but when I look back to a year ago and see where I started from, I realise that I have already come so far! I would never have thought a year ago that I would have been the type of person to get up and exercise at 515 every morning and even on weekends and public holidays! We went to Rottnest for a week these past school holidays and it struck me how easily I was riding my bike up and down the hills without a thought. In the past, I hated riding at Rotto because I was just too unfit! So increasing my fitness has really enhanced my life and the kids love seeing Mama get on a bike and go riding with them.

Asha and her beautiful family

EH: I’ve lost 16kgs over the last 12 months and I feel better than ever. The icing on the cake is that now my patients (I’m a GP) believe me when I tell them the benefits of exercise and meal plans because they can see the results.

Elyn the picture of good health one year in.

LO: What do you love most about BBR?

AT: I think the main reason why I have stayed at BBR though is the lovely community and the amazing trainers. To be honest, when I first started at BBR, I was a bit scared of Ryan – he seemed VERY serious. But then I saw his goofy side and could appreciate that he’s super focused on training and results, and he really wants his clients to do well. The other trainers are all so knowledgeable but also just lovely humans that are nice to be around. I’ve also made some great friends at BBR and people are so encouraging and supportive. I never feel judged when I’m there which helped me shed the habit of judging myself for what I couldn’t do or how I looked.

LO: What was your first challenge like – the challenges within the challenge, the lessons learnt, the results achieved etc? 

AT: At first, I thought it was crazy to eat the same thing every day and I thought there was no way I would be able to do it. But once I started and got into the routine of meal prepping and exercising, the weight just started dropping off. I couldn’t believe it! I did learn though that the key is consistency. That, and moving as much as you can as often as you can. I’m a lawyer so spend a lot of time sitting down during the day. The incidental exercise that I added to my days really helped with my results.

I also did PT with Gene each week which was awesome. He is a smiling assassin and really knows his stuff! I also learned that you have to trust the process and be fully committed. Without that, it is too easy to waver and the little slips here and there start to add up. I lost 6kg during that challenge – something I had previously struggled to do! The great thing about that weight loss was that I dropped a dress size and seem to have reset my baseline weight.

One of my biggest challenges during that challenge was getting really sick with the flu for a week. I was determined to stick to the plan though and by doing so, I was able to bounce back even stronger and keep my results on track.

EH: My first challenge was great – I lost 6kgs. The hardest thing was stopping the snacking which I achieved during that challenge. Who can resist an ice cream after spending hours at the gym? Now I can!

LO: How many challenges have you done since? 

AT: I have done each challenge this year with varying degrees of commitment and success. But I have gained something from each one and I know that the results are entirely dependent on what you put in.

EH: I’ve done three this year. I missed one of the challenges and got FOMO!

LO: Which do you think of as your most successful challenge and why?

AT: I would have to say that my first challenge (February this year) was one of my best, because I learnt the key is consistently. You have to trust the process and to be fully committed. Without that, it is too easy to waver and the little slips here and there start to add up. That challenge was much easier to focus on for me as it was during the summer – the warmer weather is definitely more conducive to my meal plan and motivation to get in shape! The best part was that I won the Coach’s Award for that challenge. That seriously meant so much to me – I was so proud of myself!

EH: My first challenge was definitely my best. I lost a lot of weight (6 kgs), I got hooked on training regularly and became disciplined. I also found it easier in the warmer months because it was too bloody hot to be hungry.

LO: Why did you sign up for this challenge, what goals have you set yourself?

AT: I still have some kgs I want to lose – quite an ambitious number, which I am planning to achieve by the end of the summer. Signing up for this challenge was a good way to kick start this process.

EH: Like most people, I’m gunning to be bikini ready this summer. I also want to be able to master the Ab Rollouts – I’m very jealous of all the BBR weapons who do these so well!

LO: What’s your plan for success this time, take us through your daily and weekly non-negotiables!

AT: Meal prep and sticking to the plan! These are the key things for me.

EH: During the last challenge I did too many double sessions. I was averaging 8-9 sessions per week, which made me feel lethargic towards the end. This time I’m aiming for 6-7 gym sessions and 4-5 walks per week. I really enjoy the 5:15am classes. It gives me time to enjoy a walk along the beach before heading home to get my kids ready for school.

LO: What’s it like having each other at BBR, you’re obviously already great mates prior to the gym?

AT: Elyn and I know each other because our kids go to the same school. Actually, I tricked her into being my friend because I was at a spin class and I saw her and mistook her for another school mum and I convinced Elyn that we had met before. She just rolled with it and we’ve been friends ever since! Elyn is a huge inspiration to me – she has completely changed her body composition over the past year and she looks amazing!

EH: Asha is fabulous! She’s so dedicated and supportive. She really helps me to stay on track and we keep each other accountable.

LO: What do you think Elyn is capable of this challenge, Ash?! 

AT: Mastering the hack squat.

LO: And how about Ash?

EH:  I think Asha wants to drop a dress size – she’s a rockstar, she can achieve anything!

LO: What do you love most about this challenge so far? 

AT: The community! Everyone is so pumped and so committed and the vibe in the gym and in the FB group is awesome. I also really love my buddy, Lisa Adams. She’s so supportive, has the best sense of humour and is just generally an all-round amazing human.

EH: The supportive team – I really appreciate the guidance and support I get from Ryan and the whole BBR community. They are always there for you during the session, for fist pumps at the end, and messaging you through the week to keep you on track to achieve your goals.

LO: Any challenges you’ve had to work through? 

AT: We’ve had a super busy time with my new job and juggling the crazy schedule of our kids. So it’s been tough to get enough sleep and the extra sessions in which I did in my first challenge. On top of that, I’ve currently got the flu! So this is a week off from training for me. But from past experience, as long as you stick to the plan, you’ll still progress. I’m just constantly reminding myself that any progress is still progress and not to be so hard on myself. My biggest challenge though, no matter what time of the year it is, is being vegetarian.

LO: That would be tricky to fit in protein numbers – how do you make your diet work, Ash?

AH: I’m not going to lie – it takes a lot of effort to get all the protein in. My options are pretty limited for good quality protein that doesn’t also have a lot of carbs. I love lentils, beans, tofu and the like but lentils and beans have a high amount of carbs in them, which can be hard when I have lower carbs in my macros, and tofu can promote oestrogen production and can mess with your hormones, so too much is not a good thing.

Luckily, just before the challenge, I discovered seitan. Actually, I had had it before and actually ate it a lot in my 20s when I lived in New York – it was pretty big there but when I returned to Australia, it was quite hard to find so I sort of forgot about it. Then, I saw on social media that one of my cousins in the UK had gone through a huge transformation during lockdown last year and he had actual muscle definition! I knew he was a strict vegan so I messaged him to find out what his protein source was and he told me about seitan! It’s super easy to make but not for everyone (as it’s basically gluten flour). I make mine in batches and then air fry it and add spices to serve.

I also use True Protein powder in my shakes and Night Protein Powder to make a mousse-like dessert. Apart from that, I incorporate eggs and things like reduced fat feta and high protein cottage cheese in my diet.

LO: How about you Elyn, any challenges?!

EH: Cravings!  I crave chips and ice creams. I think about the wrath of Ryan to get me through the cravings. Also pushing my body too far at times and realising I need to rest for a day or two.

LO: Ha! I’m sure the wrath of Rhino keeps many of us accountable… thanks girls, love your work!

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