We love fairy tales.
We all want that magic and inspiration in our lives. There are so many reasons they are timeless. First off, they make us feel special (damn straight...someone should!). They move us, and they give all of us the belief that we can change anything about ourselves. They remind us as women, to dream, to hope and to be the heroine who never gives in despite all the obstacles. So we wanted to share a really cool story that one of our Kulani Kinis girl shared with us!
Her name is Tania. She is our Cinderella.
We found Tania because she left us a review on our ShopVenture page, and said that she had just recently completed a 12 Week Challenge (casting aside the evil step sisters) and she had bought one of our bikinis as her reward to herself (her prince charming & a great choice we think haha!). She tells her Cinderella transformation story about how she changed her life and she does it in a way that we think will connect with every person on the planet & the magical land of far far away.
Name: Tania Cattuzzo
Age: Unconfirmed because you never tell :p
It was January 2015. Another New Year had just ticked over, and I was still in the same place. Doing the same thing. I was bored. I started thinking about all the New Year's resolutions people make; quitting smoking (having never been a smoker, this one didn't really apply to me), getting a new job, learning a new skill, meeting new people, getting fit & healthy, blah, blah, blah. I'd never been one for resolutions. We all know they'd be just a distant memory by the time February rolled around. So what was the point, right?
Besides, I was already pretty fit. I weight trained. Once a week. I was relatively healthy. I looked okay in my clothes...(or so I thought). I had long ago resigned myself to the fact that, maybe I'm just not meant to be "small", or "skinny".
I'm Italian. We have curves. But I didn't "feel" right. And I was bored. I had to do something...
Going through my emails one afternoon, I came across one from a supplement company advertising their "10 Week Transformation Challenge", along with incredible before and after photos of previous participants. I thought, "Hmmm, maybe this is what I need..." But 10 weeks.....? Seems like such a long time. And there is no way in hell I could ever look like those girls! Plus, it was $80 just to enter. So I tossed the idea aside.
Not long after that, I was on the couch channel-surfing, inhaling a bag of chips (I said 'relatively' healthy, right?) when I landed on Channel 74. They had a program called Max's Muscle TV. I'd remembered seeing this program before, a few years back....(but don't ask my age). It usually is all about body building, with tips and exercises on how to get bigger. For the guys, mainly. But this episode was different. It was a promo for their 12 Week Shape Up Challenge for the girls. And the clincher...it was FREE!
I guess someone was trying to tell me something. The penny had dropped. And I had a few of those to spare because the program was free!
But then the doubts crept in again. This one was even longer. 12 weeks... that's like three whole months.....(gulp). Could I really do this? I had a week or so to decide before registrations closed.
I tell you what, there is no greater reality check than standing in front of a mirror, taking a photo of yourself in a bikini, then uploading it for all the world to see. That was hard. Exposing yourself and then sharing it for the world to see...It's definitely hard but it was the reality that I had to own up to. I had tips from my personal trainer; eat lots of junk food the night before so you look more bloated, try and push your stomach out (...try?), slump over so your posture looks really bad. (I swear my trainer is awesome despite the questionable advice here haha).
But in all honesty, I really didn't have to try very hard to look bad. I did look bad to me. And that's what was important. My opinion. I've looked at that photo a thousand times since then. I still shake my head. How did I think I looked okay? Thus began my 12 week journey...
So I signed up for Maxine's 12 Week Shape Up Challenge. Sent in my photo (eek!). Weighed myself (Double EEK!!). I was nervous, but I was ready.
Once my registration was complete, I had access to my meal plans and shopping lists. My groceries filled up my dining table. Six meals a day? Ain't no one got time for that! How am I going to eat (and prepare for that matter!) six meals a day?
Then, I saw my training plan....WTF?....Five. Days. A. Week.
What kind of hell had I just signed myself up for?
But, I had something to prove to myself. That I could do it. That I could set a goal, and achieve it. And if this is what it takes, then this is what I have to do. This was going to take a bit of planning. I hate planning. 6am work starts meant I was going to have to organise stuff the night before. I've never been an 'organiser'.
Sunday afternoons were now dedicated to meal prep for the following week.
The gym was the easy part for me. I'd been training for years, I knew all the exercises. I was fit. I had this. Ha! When you go from training once a week, to five times a week, you realise how unfit you actually are. I was kidding myself! And cardio? Cardio and I were never friends. But at least now I knew why we were eating so much. Funny thing about the body. It actually needs fuel to work properly. Muscles need food to grow. The right kind of food. I think that's why so many people tend to go wrong when they 'diet'.
Between the early starts, and amping up my training, I started to feel a little worn out. I started wondering if I could actually do this.
Then a funny thing happened. Being so tired by the time I got home, I started going to bed earlier. I slept like a log. Yet, I had energy to burn, and it wasn't such a struggle to get up at 4.30 every morning. I saw muscles I never knew I had. Things were actually happening. People were starting to notice. Maybe this was working, after all!
And slowly, week by week, that number on the scale started dropping. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes not so much. I soon realised I was going to need a whole new wardrobe. Not an easy thing when you have mortgages, and a tight budget.
It's amazing how quickly the body adapts to being healthy. Between eczema and acne, I've had problem skin for most of my life. I was on the Pill for years, to try and keep it under control. Every time I tried to come off it, my skin blew up. Literally. I tried to stop again, when I started the challenge, and, as with previous attempts, I broke out. But then it started to calm down, and clear up. I actually didn't need to trowel on the makeup anymore. And I didn't have to cover myself up so much.
About halfway through the challenge was Harmony Day. Having team members from across the globe, our workplace decided to celebrate by asking people to bring in food from their country of origin. We had everything: Japanese, Russian, Dutch, French, Italian, Indian, Malaysian...Some savoury. Mostly sweets. Yes, I caved. And it was delicious! But was I paying for it after! For the rest of the afternoon, I just wanted to sleep. I felt sluggish, heavy, my stomach was churning, I had a massive sugar headache. All I wanted to do was go to the gym to work off and sweat out all the crap I had just consumed.
Like I said, it's amazing how quickly your body adapts to being healthy. And it did NOT like going back. So I decided then and there, it never will.
Kulani Kinis wanted to say a special congratulations to Tania! We love her story and hope she continues to look like a goddess! If you have another inspiring story to tell us, please get in contact!
Alex & Dani