Trisha lost 55 pounds/25kg. She is an aboriginal woman from Australia. After her doctor advised her that she was at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, she decided to change her lifestyle. During her transformation journey, she developed a love for trail running that led to her discovering a passion for helping people reach their fitness goals.
My name is Trisha, a Wakamin/Muluridgi aboriginal woman, a wife, mother, and student from Australia. Three years ago, I wasn’t the healthiest. I went to see my doctor, and he advised me that I was obese and at risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. The same day, I found out two of my closest friends had cancer. I knew I had to change.
Initially, my motivation came when I really understood that life is a gift and some people don’t get the opportunity to know that, and that I won’t always have the opportunity. It motivated me to want to see what I was capable of. This still motivates me now, however my main motivation is to be fit enough to explore the trails (I am a trail runner). I fell in love with the challenges of fitness until it became a habit. I also wanted to be the best person I can be for my family and show my boys that they can achieve anything if they put their minds to.
With help from a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist, I made changes. I began on a treadmill, working out 6 days a week for 30 minutes. I lost 25 kilos/55 pounds and gained life! This occurred around the same time that a friend took me on my first hike. From there, I taught myself how to trail run and do circuit training. I fell in love with both. I designed 30-minute circuits I could do at home. (I’m a mum, so couldn’t go anywhere at will.) The circuits are designed to help me get fitter, get faster, and burn fat.
Now, I work out most days. I do trails twice a week and circuits in between. I have been doing roughly two trails a week (between 6-12km) for the past two years. My husband comes with me when he can, and I take some friends out with me sometimes.
As for my eating habits, I slowly swapped out junk for whole foods, and I stopped drinking alcohol or soda. I tried to eat to fuel my body instead of being led by my cravings. I stayed away from fast food as much as possible, and never shopped on an empty stomach.
I’m not perfect, but I found a balance in how I eat, and learned how to maintain a calorie deficit. I also used My Fitness Pal, which helped a lot. I try to eat food with a low glycemic index to keep my fuller longer.
My exercise physiologist advises me on how many calories I need to get down to in order to lose weight. I just had my yearly health check and have a clean bill of health.
My journey started about 2 ½ years ago. It took me about 6 months to lose all the weight. My starting weight was 85kgs/187 pounds at 5’2″. Now I weigh 60kgs/132 pounds. The key was getting my mind strong-Willpower. I used to jog on a treadmill watching motivational slides I selected almost every day for months. That’s where the real transformation happened, in the mind. The body won’t go where the mind doesn’t take it. I have these slides saved on my Pinterest. The other key thing is it does take time and discipline. You have to make it a habit.
Now I can run through the hills faster and longer, so I can explore different trails. For the most part, my training is circuit training and trail running, although I like trying new things and lift weights now and then. (I have done a few stints of full weight training for 12 weeks at a time.) Nothing compares to running through the bush, though. It is the most amazing experience. For me, it’s not just about keeping fit, its therapy. There is nothing that a run in the bush can’t fix. I feel so connected and at peace when I’m out there. Like I belong there. I want to share this with others.
Being so passionate about it, I applied for an AIPT scholarship to become a personal trainer. Now, I have started my own business to help people lose weight, get fit, and ultimately become the happiest versions of themselves through exercise. That’s fundamentally what a healthy self is about.
I’m finding that being a personal trainer is such a rewarding job. I teach hiking/trail running, and I train. I often see parts of myself in clients, and I love seeing them challenge themselves, particularly on the trails. For me, it’s like re-living the experience all over again.
Biggest Lessons: That I can do anything I put my mind to. That anything is possible. Just believe in the process. Believe in yourself.
Advice: It will be the most rewarding thing you will ever experience. Fitness isn’t about losing weight or being buff. It’s about the life you will gain, confidence, resilience and inner strength. When you start making it about what your body can do instead of the weight you have to lose, your weight will take care of itself. (as long as you aren’t overeating) Maintaining a calorie deficit is key. You can’t outrun a bad diet.
The world is my oyster. Who knows where this journey will take me. I have big dreams. If my journey thus far has taught me anything, its that anything is possible. When I used to run on the treadmill, one of my favorite motivational quotes was: ‘Everything seems impossible until it’s done.’ I’m not done yet!