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Cheryl’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

Cheryl’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge


This year our Strategy & Partnership Manager Cheryl, has decided to change her life by undergoing a healthy lifestyle challenge. Her goal for 2017 is to lose 25kg, improve her diet and overall health & fitness throughout the year, and make this a permanent lifelong change.

Throughout her journey, Cheryl will inform us of her progress. You may even find some of her tips useful for you and your family.


Have a read of Cheryl’s diary:

2/11/2017 – 1/12/2017

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 Throughout my journey this year I have had to take work-life-balance to a whole new level to incorporate my, “Healthy Lifestyle Challenge”. This has certainly been challenging, but I’m happy to say I think it’s a little more under control now.

My life is probably similar to many Mums out there in the Gladstone Region. I’m a wife and a mother, I work, I exercise, (now several days a week) and have a home to keep in order as well. Life is busy, but this year I have had a closer look at the things that are most important.

When I sat down to think about this, the two things that came to mind immediately were my health and wellbeing and my family. It’s funny how the material things in life don’t even seem to get a look in when you are focussing on what really matters.

By becoming fitter and healthier this year I have ended up making positive changes for myself and my family. I am happier, I have more energy and I have even found my mind is sharper than ever. Naturally my family are enjoying the fact that I am in a much better place than before. We’re more organised because I have more energy, we are all more active together as a family and our improved diet has been embraced by us all.

Although these changes have had such a positive impact on our lives, there has certainly been some struggles along the way. It can be quite difficult to juggle the many day to day tasks required of a working Mum, who has decided to throw health and fitness into the mix as well.

This year I have coped by trying to focus more on the task at hand and splitting my days more evenly to incorporate all of the things I need to do. For example, when my family arrives home, I have packed up my work for the day and I focus on them and what they need when they walk through the door. Another example might be – I’m at the gym working on my health and fitness and I try to just make that time about me. It’s almost a form of mindfulness or compartmentalising.

It has also helped to have some focus on simply being organised. This one is not rocket science. We all know that things just run a lot smoother when you put in the effort to be organised. Have the lunches made the night before, lay out your gym clothes ready for the next morning, have the family’s plan for the week on the fridge. Encourage your family to look ahead and plan for themselves. It all helps and things will just run a lot smoother by putting in a little effort ahead of time.

Work-life-balance is something many of us have to juggle these days. Don’t forget to focus on the things that matter to you the most, don’t sweat the small stuff and do something that makes you smile every day.


5/10/2017 – 1/11/2017

This year I have learnt so much about food. It can be filled with love, it can be emotional, memorable, but most importantly viewed in the right way, food can be beneficial to our short term and long term health.

Previously my diet was okay. I wouldn’t say it was bad and I have always prepared most of our meals at home. At the beginning of this year when my “Healthy Lifestyle Challenge” commenced, I decided that I wanted to learn how to eat properly for myself, rather than have the food provided or planned for me. I’m thrilled that I made this decision early on, as I have now learnt how to make my own good food choices and how to prepare my own meals. This is invaluable as it will hopefully serve myself and my family well for the rest of our lives.

This year I have tried to keep in mind that food is fuel for my body. With my new exercise regime and a busy life, my diet has played a very important part in providing energy and nutrition to keep me going. If I have a day or a weekend where I’ve indulged a little with some ‘not so healthy options’, I can honestly feel the difference. Proof that good nutritious food is good fuel for my body.

I try to ask myself each day, “How much of my food today was grown naturally or was basically fresh and not processed?” This has been a great way for me to keep my diet in check. I am normal in the way that I have processed convenient food sometimes, and of course some occasional treats that come in a packet, but the majority of the time I keep things natural and colourful.

Along the way I have also had some good guidance and advice from Megan Leane Dietitian who has assisted me throughout my journey this year.

Another side to our diet, which is not always spoken about so openly is the psychological side of things. There is the worry, the guilt and the feeling of failure that can unfortunately accompany a weight loss or healthy lifestyle change. I encourage everyone to talk about it to friends and loved ones. You might actually be surprised how normal these thoughts and feelings are. This year I have had some great support from Vicki Tobin-Platten from Simply Psychology who has helped me deal with this side of my challenge.

I have learnt that life as I know it will go on after I have a treat. Previously I would beat myself up over it which could sometimes turn into a downward spiral. As long as it is occasional and the majority of the time you keep it healthy, you are on the right track.

This would have to be one of the most beneficial things I have learnt this year.

Food is glorious, it is fuel for our bodies and a healthy relationship with it can help keep us healthy and make us feel simply fantastic!

Until next time, I hope I’ve helped inspire you to get healthy from the inside-out!



8/9/2017 – 4/10/2017

As I am now about three quarters of the way through my “Healthy Lifestyle Challenge” I can see and feel the physical benefits of the change I have undergone. I feel fantastic and feel compelled to share with you the benefits of making this change, in case you would like to do the same.

I feel fitter, stronger, more confident, more energetic and simply happier in myself. I cannot actually think of anything negative that has come as a result of this lifestyle change.

I have to be honest, in the very beginning the change in physical activity was a little overwhelming. I felt worried that my body wouldn’t be able to endure the daily exercise, and I even had some anxiety to deal with as I approached each weekly personal training session. But, as I have progressed throughout the year, I have been amazed to learn what my body can actually handle. I have read this fact before and I’m sure many of you have heard it as well:

Our bodies are actually meant to move“.

We are not meant to be dormant.

As a result of my weight loss, regular exercise and healthier diet I have more energy, a healthier BMI, more muscle, healthier glowing skin, less body aches, pains & ailments and greater overall confidence. Oh, did I also mention that I am just so happy?

In addition to this, there are some changes that I am so proud of, things that I hadn’t counted on prior to taking on this challenge. I have become a great role model for my daughter, there is a new look of adoration and respect in my husband’s eyes and I have also inspired others along the way. These are some of the things that will stay with me forever, things that mean so much more than the number on the scales.  

So, if you are thinking of making a similar change yourself, I highly recommend it. You won’t look back, so do it now! Don’t wait until next week or next year. Start your new life today.


Read more about Cheryl’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge HERE

Cheryl’s Health and Lifestyle Challenge


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