From Couch Lover to Marathon Runner: Mel’s 12WBT Story

If you thought “I’m not a runner…and I never will be!”, think again! 12WBTer Mel thought the exact same thing – and she’s now run a marathon! We asked Mel to share her journey and how she put herself first and made the 12 Week Body Transformation work for her. Mel – you’re an inspiration!

Why Did You Join 12WBT?

I started 12WBT because I was tired of being so sedentary. I knew I was overweight and I figured I always would be. But that didn’t mean I had to be unfit! I just realised that my days went a bit like this: car to work – sit at desk – car home – sit in front of TV – every day! I just wanted to move. To make myself a priority and do something good for me. That’s why I signed up!

How Did You Choose a Program?

I decided to sign up to the Beginner Program first for two main reasons:

1.  I couldn’t run and it had never interested me (runners are nuts right?!).

2. I felt that I did have *some* fitness… I mean I walked on weekends sometimes and I was strongish so, Beginner Program, right? I was totally worried that I’d bitten off more than I could chew though, but it turned out to be exactly the right choice for me.

Were You Always into Running?

Are you kidding me? Hubby used to run in events and I would drop him at the start line, drive to the finish, buy a pie and a coffee and sit there smoking cigarettes until he finished. Then I would laugh and shake my head at all the runners and think “You guys are nuts! Who would reasonably put themselves through all of that?!?! They’re crazy!”.

Turns out I was the crazy one. I’m really not proud of that about me. But I can be proud of the fact that I gave running a go. Week One of the Beginner program  had 30 second running intervals – with a break in between. I was slow and it was hard, but I did it. I can distinctly remember the week it got to 2 minute, 30 second intervals. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I truly believed that this was it. This was the moment where I would have to concede defeat and say that I had reached my limit. But you know what? I did it. I was slow and it was hard, but again, I did it.

What Was Your First Running Milestone?

The week I ran 1km without stopping I cried. I couldn’t believe that I, Me, Mel, had RUN 1km!! One WHOLE km!! Without stopping!!! I felt invincible! And the day I made it around our block (about 5kms) at the end of my first 12WBT round I was in disbelief for days! 12 weeks from struggling to do 30 second intervals to running 5kms – how was this even possible?! How (and WHY) had I convinced myself for my ENTIRE life that I couldn’t run?! 12 weeks and I’d blown that out of the water!

How Did You Go From 30 Seconds To Running a Marathon?

It seriously just snowballed from there. I signed up for the Intermediate Program next. During that time I entered a 7km event and ran it. Then I did a 12WBT 10km Running Round. I entered a 10km event and ran it. Then a friend said they were visiting to run the Cadbury HALF MARATHON. Could I? Really? Was it truly even possible? I did the 12WBT Half Marathon Program and ran it. And yes, then because no one could stop me and my love for running, my confidence in my body and myself had grown so strong, I entered the Great Ocean Road Marathon… and ran it (with the help of the 12WBT Marathon Program).

15 months from 30 second intervals to a full marathon. I was slow and it was hard, but I did it.

What Are Your Top Tips?

My top tips for running and 12WBT in general are:

1. Trust Your Body

It can do more than you give it credit for. Your mind will give up well before your body will, so let it go and do what it can. You’ll be amazed what it can achieve.

2. Be Consistent

It doesn’t matter if you feel like working out or not, just do it anyway. The days when you don’t feel like it, when you’re too tired, when it’s too cold outside – that’s when champions train. Be the champion.

3. Follow The Program!

All of it! The nutrition is perfectly matched to your exercise program. Don’t eat less or more. Don’t work out extra or less. Just do what they say and do it all. Sure, some days might be boring, but the boring days are often the days that prevent injury and keep us safe and happy. You can’t cheat the grind!

4. Get Good Shoes

They DO make a difference, so buy a solid pair of running shoes. Make them a priority. Make YOU a priority.

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2 thoughts on “From Couch Lover to Marathon Runner: Mel’s 12WBT Story

  1. MEL, what a champion! As an ‘on/ off’ 12 WBT member, I always read mel’s comments with interest, as she was always so positive, motivated, articulate, encouraging and had the results on the board to show. She is inspiration! And continues to be. The results speak for themselves.
    We can do a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. And a supportive environment like the 12 wbt is just what people need. Mel is right, follow the guidelines and it will work for you.

    I am more mouth than action …… right now. Have to have hip operation ( torn cartilage from overstretching which was my own fault) to get myself properly runniing again, but have lost weight via 12 wbt , and continue to do so, so I can recover without dragging that all that fat around. ( you can do that too,…. focus on the disappearing tum) After the operation….. I’ll be with Mel….. running …….and kicking it.
    Go Mel. That killer smile and your encouraging words and actions are an inspiration.


  2. Well this story is exactly what I needed to read right now. i have been practicing the power of positive thinking on my way to work because i need it so much to get through my day job and i need my day job but I never thought to apply it in the am when I don’t want to get up (to face my work day). It’s ALL for me, dah! thank you Mel for sharing. My hole life focuses around going to work and coming home picking up kids and cooking dinner and bathing etc….. then I put kids to bed then go to bed aaaahhhh then I do it again. from now on I am going to read an inspiration message from a 12wbt member a day. again thank you

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