“I Believe in the Power of Pre-Season”

The way I see it, there are two types of people in this world.

Type A people are always on their game. Their nails are painted, they answer their messages on time, they get enough sleep. They actually have an hour to calmly potter around the house each morning before heading out for the day. Let’s call that type of person Trixie.

And then there are people like me. Type B people.

We mean to do all of the things that Type A people do. But it doesn’t always work out that way. We get overwhelmed. Tasks pile up.

That’s where I’m at right now. I feel at my best when I’m organised, but I go through phases. And currently I’m in the chipped nail polish, unshaven legs, rushing to pack my lunch just before I walk out the door phase. And part of that involves my incomplete Pre-Season Tasks.

I’ve just started my 12th Round of 12WBT. You’d think that I’d have it down to a fine art by now. But somehow time has gotten by.

Not So Perfect World

We dream of this perfect world where we wake up on Day 1 of the new Round, having completed Pre-Season, bounce out of bed in an uber-clean house, put on the clothes we’d laid out the night before, and go off and complete the Week 1 Day 1 Exercise Plan. (Then saunter around the house for an hour, Trixie-style, because we have All The Time In The World.)

But real life is different. My first morning of the Round, I woke up in an interstate hotel room (on a work trip). I’d acquired an injury the day before. Instead of doing my Day 1 Exercise Plan, I spent most the day with my leg elevated and under an ice pack, trying not to move much. And instead of following my customised 12WBT Meal Plan, my nutrition for the day was supplied by airport kiosks, aeroplane food, snacks in my bag and my brother’s cooking when I went to visit family. And, of course, I was far behind in Pre-Season.

Welcome to real life!

Why Do Pre-Season Tasks?

Before & After Kate

It might seem strange that I would even do the Tasks at all. Surely I know how this program works by now, and if you’ve done them once, you don’t need to do them again, right? Wrong.

What I’ve learnt over 11 previous Rounds is that you get out what you put into them. The Rounds where I’ve put the most effort in, and set myself up to be organised from the start, have also been my most successful. It’s no coincidence that the Rounds in which I’ve lost 15-20kg and had major fitness gains also happen to be the Rounds where I completed my Pre-Season and started off on my best foot.

I’ve also had not-so-great Rounds, and yes, those were ones where my Pre-Season Task completion and general organisation were at less than desirable levels.

This time, I want to have a good Round, so I need to set myself up to do this.

Taking Stock

I decide that my first step is to let go of feeling like I’ve already failed, just because these Tasks aren’t done yet. Okay, I didn’t do them in the Pre-Season period as planned – let it go, Kate.

It’s never too late to turn things around.

My next step is to take stock and work out exactly what I need to do. I have a few ways that I set myself up for a Round and I want to get those up-to-date too. So, I decide to do a list. The list is what I set myself as last night’s job. That’s all I had to do.

This is what I did instead:

  • I researched health insurance policies
  • I read an article about the Beckhams
  • I answered a work email on my phone
  • I watched a cute video I’d taken of my niece on a slippery dip on the weekend
  • I texted a few friends

So tonight, I hide my phone under my pillow, I open up Excel (I’m a spreadsheet nerd) and I get brainstorming. I list things I want to do to help set me up for the Round, and also bits and pieces that I’m not on top of right now.

I go through the Pre-Season Tasks. Oh dear, I’ve only done a total of four – 14 to go. Stay positive Kate! Onto my list they go.

Setting Time Aside

Next, I schedule time for each Task.

Some of the things on my list are going to take me a bit longer, but with Pre-Season as my initial focus, I set myself a time limit. I’m going away for two days, so I give myself a total of five days to have them all done. I’ll fit in a couple while I’m away, and then I’ve scheduled the remainder for when I’m home again.

It annoys me that it’s going to be another five days before I’ll have them done. But without this plan, five days will come and go without me getting through any of it, so this is okay. Comparing alternatives always comforts me when I get myself into situations like this.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, but we always have the power to take control. All it takes is to take a deep breath, take a little time out and to get reorganised.

One Task at a Time

One of the Pre-Season Tasks that I haven’t done yet is “Say It Out Loud”. That’s when we’re encouraged to voice out loud what our commitment is, such as:

“My commitment for this Round is to achieve the weight loss goals I’ve set for myself, to continue moving forward and never give up. And I’m committed to do the work it takes to get me there.”

Look at that: I’ve just done one of the Tasks! Things are rarely as huge as they first seem. My fifth Pre-Season Task is now ticked off. I think I’ve got this.

Trixie would be proud.



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13 thoughts on ““I Believe in the Power of Pre-Season”

  1. Ok, so here I am, knowing I haven’t started the challenge 2 weeks in and wondering if it’s all worth it. So, I signed up and the next day fell sick with an awful virus. I’ve only just recovered and feeling a little low. not sure what to do. I have just read some posts and it has made me feel better. I’m starting the pre season tasks now.

  2. Hi Kate and Chooki, I’ve admired you Kate for a long time and love this success story you’ve posted. I guess I’ve been feeling a spot of deja-vue for approximately 10 of my 11 rounds. I lost 8kg in my first round and built heaps of enthusiasm for exercise and a little muscle as well, then maintained my weight while I got a little smaller in size. This the study bug hit! I’m back to my all time high in weight and I’m now grateful to have read both your story and Chooki’s comment about changing it up a bit to kick my mindset back into action.

    1. Hi PinkChick, thanks so much for your really lovely comment. I’m sorry that I didn’t see it until just now. I completely get that feeling of dejavu! I have it constantly 🙂 Changing it up always helps me, as does reassessing my goals and trying to find the excitement again in what I want to achieve. I hope you’re doing well and that you’re on track- and if you’re not, don’t you worry- just never give up. Love Kate xx

  3. I really enjoyed your story and after doing my first session in Feb and totally enjoying it, feeling better than I had in years, having greater strength and mobility, loved the food I let it all go in the May round. i thought i could just role over without completing the tasks and my excitement had waned a little – and people were sick of hearing me talk about how great the program was lol.
    So I have been thinking about the September round and yes, if I am going to commit then in need to do the pre-work and get my families buy-in again.
    I love the Idea from Goomnasmum about having access to the site for a few weeks after the program ends for beginners and then waiting – getting straight in your mind and routine before starting another round.

    1. Hi Vicki 🙂
      I’m sorry, I only resd your comment just now but still thought I’d say hello and see how you’re getting on. Did you end up doing September round? I know very well what it’s like to slip after a good round. It’s always possible to get back there, that’s the key, although it is hard to do. I hope you got onboard for September and are doing well in any case 🙂 All the best, Kate Beck xo

  4. Thanks Chooky. This is exactly what happened in my second round. I became blase about everything and eventually lost motivation and the will to do it. Here I am, contemplating joining the August 15 round, having lost over 15kg on the august 14 round, and having put most of that back on. A different focus in each element certainly seems “do-able” to make each achievable. Pre season is what I missed going straight into the second round. The chance to get organised again, refocus, remake goals. I think it would be a great idea to not allow first timers to sign straight up for the second round, but join for the round after. Giving them that 4-6 weeks to get organised, while still having access to the program.

  5. I have done the program before and even lost 8kg (which I have now successfully regained) but I have lost my excitement, my enthusiasm because I feel like, “well I’ve done that, ” and I see I do this in life. I give something a go and I don’t keep going because I loose interest maybe? I’m not one to keep going to become “really good” at it. I just do enough to be satisfied. I want that drive back because what I do know is that I felt great.

    1. Hi Sharene, thanks for sharing. You’re definitely not alone. I do this all the time – truly, ALL the time. I stumble and fall and gain and plateau and feel like I’ve stuffed it all up and more. I feel exactly like what you said, that you want the drive back because it makes you feel great. I feel just like that. I think it’s all about taking control, and as Mish often says, when we’re in the drivers seat, that’s when we’re in control and can maneuver our paths just how we want to. It can be hard to keep momentum going sometimes but the positive thing is you’ve done it before (congrats on the 8kg), so you have solid proof you can do it, again. It can be hard to pull ourselves back up there but I think as soon as we get into that drivers seat again, it will feel so much better. You can do this, always try again.
      Thanks again for sharing. Love Kate xx

    2. What’s great is that you already know you have it in your capacity to succeed in whatever you set your mind to…it’s just being able to maintain that focus that we need to work on! Taking a broader look at your health and wellbeing can make a difference. We notice that many return members struggle to keep momentum in their weight loss journey’s a second time around – and especially if they experienced amazing success in their first Round. Not only do you know what’s in store (i.e. hard work and loads of planning and preparation!), your mindset get a bit blasé about the whole thing as there’s an element of ‘been there, done that’. Setting yourself goals that have NOTHING to do with weight loss can keep you engaged and interested. For example, if you set a goal from each element, such as run City to Surf in record time (fitness), drink more water each day (nutrition), complete one hard sudoku puzzle every morning (mindset) and ‘like’ five member posts each day (community), then you’ll encourage variation in your day and will always have something to strive for, even if hurdles trip you up in some areas! They say variety is the spice of life, and sometimes if you shift your focus to a different component of your wellbeing you can often nail your original goals with much less effort…and have a lot more fun doing it 🙂

      Hang in there!

      12WBT Support Crew

  6. Thank you Kate for your wonderful and funny insites. I am on my 5th round a have done all my preseason tasks and am super pumped for tomorrow

    1. Thanks so much Erin 🙂 Well done on doing all of your pre-season! I know it can seem like we don’t need to do it after multiple rounds but I really believe it truly does help. Hope your Week 1 went really well and that you’re still feeling pumped. Thanks for your support xo

  7. Kate you always speak from the heart with honesty and integrity. I admire your honesty. I love your never give up attitude. Monday sees the start of week 6…..I started of ok, did some pre-season tasks and than I got sick. I needed surgery, had two stints in hospital and I am still recovering. In the past, I would have said “Well that’s another round gone, I will just eat whatever and start again next round”. BUT, Kate you have taught me to say….”Well the round did not start off too good, but it was all out of my control, I can start again at week 6 and have a great 6 weeks or I can have a bad 12 weeks. 6 good weeks are better than 12 bad weeks. Thanks Kate you are amazing…and a lovely person as well.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, that is so lovely of you to say and what you just wrote has helped me, too. Thank you Running Love ❤️ 🙂

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