Lifting heavy weights the key to Leigh's 17kg weight loss

Name: Leigh Redhead
Club: Fernwood Cheltenham, VIC
Starting weight: 77.2kg
Current weight: 60.2kg
Weight lost: 17kg

How did you feel when you realised you were a runner-up?

I squealed and did a crazy little happy dance around my lounge room. I was so stoked and I couldn’t stop smiling!

What was your health and fitness like before you started the challenge?

My health and fitness wasn’t the best. I had two ginormous baby boys in a two-year period via emergency C-section, and despite the fact that my youngest was three years old, I still hadn’t managed to lose the baby weight. I was going for runs and eating healthy food but nothing seemed to work.

When and why did you decide to take part in the challenge?

I was at a party, all glammed up and feeling pretty good until someone asked me when the baby was due. Doesn’t everyone know you should never ask a woman that question unless you can actually see the baby being born? I shouldn’t have let it bother me but I ended up crying in the toilets, [and] my night [was] ruined.

What has been the most rewarding part of your journey?

The exercise just made me feel so alive and strong, both mentally and physically. Our team had a fabulous camaraderie and I have made some friends for life.

Where did you turn for support?

My team, my trainer, my food coach, the management and staff, my online buddies, the instructors and the other gym members all had my back. I really believe that the combined positive energy of all the Fernwood women gave me that edge that I’d never had on my own. It was a little bit like magic.

What do you believe was the key to your success?

[The first key was lifting] weights – heavy ones. Building muscle helped me burn fat like nothing else and changed the shape of my body within the first week.

[The second key was] the competition. I had some great competitors in the gym and every time I felt like slacking off, I looked at them and was inspired.

[The third key was] mindset exercises and goal setting. I was stunned when I turned to the goals I had written down in the first week and had reached them on the exact day. I had never believed in that sort of stuff, but now I’m going to write down everything I want to accomplish – it really works.

What did you learn about yourself throughout the 12 weeks?

I learnt that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and that’s a very powerful thing. All women are stronger, in every sense, than we know.

What are your plans for staying on track in the future?

I’m going to get into body sculpting, lift heavier weights, and in 2017, I’m going to compete in an over-40s bikini or figure competition.

Kick start your health and fitness goals with a FREE Fernwood 7 Day pass.

Stories to inspire you

Success stories