For most, reaching the end of the 12-week Challenge is a mix of emotions. Elation at completing something life-changing; pride at achieving a personal goal with a great deal of sacrifice and dedication; and emptiness. Yes, following a daily plan for three months means you don’t have to think much, just do. Eat when it says eat, exercise when it says exercise. Take this much of this supplement now and that much of that one later… Even your exercise sessions are planned with a specific focus. But once that’s over, what’s next?
The most important thing is to establish a new goal. You spent the past 12 weeks chasing a goal. It had a goal date/deadline that you were aiming for. Some of you have a specific amount of weight that you want to lose while others have a specific body fat percentage in mind. Others simply focus on becoming the best they can be.
But once you’ve achieved that "new you”, you have a whole lot of opportunities available that you didn’t have before. For starters, you’re physically strong and healthy now. That means you can focus on something that requires a continuation of some of what you were doing during the challenge. You might find that you got to enjoy jogging or doing weights. You might find you enjoyed spinning classes and want to move outdoors onto a bicycle.
Whatever you do, choose a goal and create a reasonable strategy to reach it. Seek help from an expert if necessary. It could be your first organised 10km run or a 25km mountain bike event. You may have become keen on doing weights and seeing the results of focusing on this. That may inspire you to get a great body for summer or it may stimulate you to want to compete in a fitness/physique or even body-building contest.
"My goal is to remain fit, put on more muscle and compete in a body-building or fitness competition,” said Morne Haskell, winner of the recent Expresso USN Body & Lifestyle Challenge.
"I felt so proud that I remained committed and completed the 12-week Challenge and that I managed to reap what I have sowed. Winning this Challenge has changed my life in all aspects and I intend to make the most of the opportunities that come my way,” he added.
Irma Visagie, winner of the recent 94.7 Highveld Stereo USN Challenge, became very fond of running, which formed a key part of her exercise strategy during the Challenge. Now she runs regularly as part of her post-12-week Challenge healthier lifestyle.
"Just had a 7.2km run in 40 min. Wow my legs are so strong after @USNSA challenge! Loving it. O ja, Don't forget the Phedra-Cut boost,” tweeted Irma on 8 May.
"I wow'ed myself today with a 10km run in under an hour. I was fuelled with @USNSA Anabolic Amino Gro and Phedra-Cut. I feel fantastic!” tweeted Irma on 10 July.
This from a woman who suffered from chronic lower back pain before embarking on the 12-week Challenge.
For Sascha Vogler, winner of the KFM USN 12-Week Challenge, mountain biking has become his focus area after the Challenge.
"The best part of this Challenge is that I've incorporated such a high level of training and sport back into my life. I walk into gym excited at what I'm about to achieve. My mountain biking has moved to a whole new level, I'm able to ride for longer and harder than before,” said Sascha.
"The advice I would give to those who are about to complete their 12-week Challenge would be to set new goals immediately as it is very easy to get side-tracked,” said Morne.
For inspirational Body & Lifestyle Challenge success stories, click here
Also watch recent Expresso show inserts of Sascha and Morne here