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Challenge Series #5 with Kathy Johnston

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Kathy Johnston bounded on to the Bodies by Ryan scene in August, with her blonde curly hair, huge smile and sunshine beaming out of every cell making an instant impact on us. After watching her good friend and last week’s blog feature, Lisa Adams, gain so much from her experience with BBR, Kathy signed herself up and committed with the same determination, positivity and grit we saw from Lisa. Lisa didn’t need to sell BBR to Kathy, she was just the role model Kathy needed and six months later, Kathy has completely changed her life and now she is the one inspiring people. We loved hearing all about how Kathy has evolved this year and can’t wait to share her story… enjoy.

LO: When did you start at BBR and what was the state of your fitness (what had you been doing up to that point)?

KJ: Simply put – I was unfit, obese and wore baggy clothing to hide it all. Joining BBR was a life-changing moment for me. Having tried many different forms of dieting, over many years, I found I was great at losing it but it always comes back with interest. My revelation came when I hit 55-years-young this year. I had just completed a walk on the Cape to Cape track and then spent a memorable weekend with my closest friends. Lisa Adams was there and she was positive, inspirational, buzzing, and on a “challenge” – her energy was magnetic! Lisa told me all about BBR but she had no idea I was considering or would join and commit. I came back from that weekend determined to change my way of life, get out of the yo-yo dieting and starvation wreck I was in and work on my health – not on my weight. So I rang Ryan in June and after a consult with him, I signed up for the “online challenge” – pending the August challenge in the gym, which I was determined to do.

Kathy at the Cape to Cape walk where she decided to contact BBR.

LO: What were your first thoughts and feelings in the early days of training at BBR?!

KJ: Too much food. OMG I was having kittens at how much food I had to eat! My whole programming was geared around the idea you eat like a rabbit to lose weight! This was initially a mental challenge for me, but Ryan said to trust the process and stick to the plan so I did! I trained three times a week initially as I found it really hard to keep up – I was so unfit, self-conscious and uncoordinated. Hats off to the wonderful, welcoming members of BBR – everyone was so nice and I didn’t feel like an outsider, just one of the team straight away. Thanks also to the best trainers for keeping me in line with technique and motivation.

LO: How many challenges have you done so far?

KJ: So I started in June with the online challenge (don’t know if that one counts) which went about six weeks prior to the August challenge. This was because I felt I needed to get started before I lost my courage. Now I’m at the tail end of the October challenge. I guess I’m addicted haha! So two or three now.

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

KJ: My most successful challenge was the August challenge. I was a little fitter after doing the online challenge, feeling healthier so I could push myself more and not getting corrected so frequently so I knew my technique was getting there, plus the biggest bonus was I was starting to see results – especially in my clothes.

The routine of weighing all my food and presenting it online was a challenge in itself! I am in no way a “Martha Stewart”! I’m not the best cook and thought initially I had to keep up with the Joneses but that’s not an issue now. I found sticking to the same food each week was easier. Facebook and I are not the best of friends, either! We still have issues but we’re amicable – I use Instagram mostly and have trouble negotiating my way around Facebook. My best achievement was at the end of the August challenge – I lost 10kg and people in the gym were starting to notice and made me feel so good about myself – thank you everyone!

Kathy needs a new wardrobe! Post-August challenge, Kathy has changed shape dramatically,

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

KJ: I am still asking myself why another challenge, the simple answer is it keeps me accountable. Having never been comfortable wearing bathers at the beach or even shorts for that matter, so gaining that confidence would be another goal. A long-term goal is to do at least five chin ups unassisted. I still use bands and jump a bit but I’m feeling stronger each time. Body sculpting has started to interest me – I’m so inspired by all the wonderful transitions I have been seeing in the gym of late!

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

KJ: My plan has been to stick with the plan I’m given from Ryan and see what my true potential is. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m not looking at losing weight, instead it’s about gaining form – the weight loss is an added bonus. Changing the way I think took a little time, I still relapse when I see the scales stay the same, but not so much since I had a DEXA scan and could physically see the changes happening. Also the food preparation and set menu keeps you in check. One black coffee topped with almond milk each day has been absolutely non-negotiable! I try to buddy up with a different person each time as I love meeting members of the BBR family. One thing I avoid like the plague is negativity.

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

KJ: The energy in the gym, great playlists and meeting fabulous, like-minded and positive people. Watching other BBR members transition – their confidence and energy is mind blowing. Each time I attend a class there are always one or two people that I’ve noticed have made huge changes. This is so inspiring.

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

KJ: The biggest challenge was changing my mindset on eating. I find going to a restaurant during a challenge is a challenge within itself, but there are always things on the menu that you can tweak. Basically, it’s now a way of life – the food preparations are the key to staying on track. I have a fridge magnet that says “Fridge pickers wear big knickers” and it never deterred me from standing at the fridge for five minutes. But seeing the food already prepared in the fridge, you tend to take it out and not stand there thinking “what should I have or what do I feel like eating?” then taking whatever fills a hole.

LO: With only one week to go, what are you most looking forward to at the end?

KJ: Drinks with new friends and I can’t wait to see everyone dressed up and out of their gym gear – will I recognise them??? Buying clothes that fit me – at least, for the time being.

Kathy at a recent function feeling and looking totally amazing.

LO: From the end, what will change and what do you think you’ll keep from challenge mode?

KJ: Dress size is an absolute change so is the wardrobe! Absolutely keeping the meal preps and running off the meal plan – this is a game changer for me. I am now on a journey to improve my life through health and fitness – watch this space!

LO: How different is Kathy J from the end of 2020 to now, as we near the end of 2021?

KJ: Totally more confident in myself. At the end of year 2020, I was visiting GPs with aches and pains in places that concerned me, waking at all hours of the night, skipping meals and living each day without direction and purpose. Now, I am thinking clearer, my children are inspired, I sleep like the dead and have more energy and a brighter outlook on life in general.

Talking about inspiration, having my son see the changes in me and asking if he could join me at BBR, as he too wants to feel confident within himself is one of the most honorable things that has happened to me in my life.

LO: That is amazing Kathy, we love having you in the BBR fam so much! Are you here to stay?!

KJ: Absolutely, the lifestyle habits, team mentality and general community at BBR has become something so unique and special to me. It’s more than a gym – it is a new way of life. I am so glad that I am a part of the BBR family.

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