Tuesday, 14 July 2015

INTERVIEW: Rhiannon Parr - Maxine's Shape-Up Challenge Body Transformation

Whilst taking part in the Maxine's Shape-Up Challenge I was really inspired by one of the girls who was also taking part in the challenge, in which I found her via the hashtags of Maxine's Shape-Up Challenge on Instagram. Rhiannon was showing major dedication and then when Rhiannon would upload her progress comparison photos I was just blown away.
I set myself to lose the last bit of weight in the Maxine's Shape-Up Challenge but unfortunately I couldn't remain committed to the challenge, I wouldn't say I failed because I learnt a lot and I still dropped weight with also keeping it off to this day but mentally I wasn't all there for this challenge.

I approached Rhiannon in the hopes to interview her on my blog and Rhiannon was delighted to answer a few questions. After interviewing Rhiannon, she has inspired me all over again and once you have a read as well I am sure you'll be out there feeling the inspiration too.

Rhiannon completed Maxine's Shape-Up Challenge successfully coming out with a Top 50 place, in my eyes Rhiannon was the winner. I honestly thought Rhiannon did the most eye sore body transformation that just makes you know that if you really put your mind to it, that you can do it too.

Rhiannon Parr
Instagram: @shape_up_girl

                 Rhiannon's Body Transformation Shots - Before and After

Losing weight isn't the easiest task in the world as we know it needs a lot of commitment and dedication to really achieve. How did you first start out exercise wise to get into shape?
I’ve always struggled with my weight. My husband and I had fallen into the never ending cycle of takeout and inactivity. Both of us work full time jobs, with long hours and long days cured by instant gratification of wine and an unhealthy diet.

We’d tried to join a gym and get fit before, but it always ended with extra excuses to not go as we had no direction or focus. When you don’t see results it’s very hard to keep up the motivation. It all seems too hard, and the excuses creep back out. It’s also hard to find something you can do together as a couple, and keep the same pace.

This time it was different. Over Christmas 2014, we’d just sold our house in order to begin building our dream home and moved back in with my wonderful mum. Hubby and I decided we wanted to get out the house and do something together. We ended up at Anytime Fitness in Cessnock on Christmas Eve. We were welcomed and soon signed on to see their Personal Trainer regularly, Mista from Pro Fit Australia.

We went from zero fitness and overweight to kettlebell swings and high intensity cardio. We learned the basics in kickboxing and we tried all different types of workouts. Mista busted our butts!

A few weeks later in January 2015 I saw the ASN 10 week body transformation challenge advertised. Hubby and I both signed on. 2 weeks later Maxs and Maxines also started. We decided to do both challenges at the same time. Something clicked in my mind. I don’t know why but I was so determined, so energised and dedicated to see change.

So as the challenges progressed, we had to change our approach to training to target results. Weight training now dominates our gym sessions. We love it

Prior to the Maxines Challenge did you try any other diets?

Yes! I was the girl who had done cleanses, detoxes, became obsessed with sporadic exercise routines, body wraps, shakes, protein only diets and weird quick fixes.

There wasn’t much I wasn’t willing to try to find a “fat cure”. I was saving to try isagenix and had ordered supps and teas from the internet spruiked as fat burners and ab blasters. I wanted a quick fix. I have yoga mats and exercise videos and games hidden throughout the house.

I was relentless in the fact I didn’t like exercise.

Why was it that the Maxines Challenge worked for you?

It gave me a deadline. I had 12 weeks to do it, to change my ways.

I am extremely competitive and I had a reason to “beat” my before photo. It would have been devastating to not have had a better after photo – one that reflected all my hard work.

I could see that I was the prize… If I took this seriously and the whole process worked – I’d become something better than I currently was. It could change my whole life and it would give me purpose.

I’m also a creature of habit – and the nutrition guide was easy to follow and stick to. After 12 weeks I was a different person, all of these new things were routine.


What is your favourite exercise?

I love weights training. My favourite routine is probably Abs and Shoulders together. I had a PB the other night on the shoulder press with 20kg each side! The great thing about weights is that you only do what you can do. But you always strive for the next best. It’s easy to see progress when you know you are lifting more, you can do more reps or when you start to see that definition.

I love weight training because I can do them with my husband too. We do it together and it’s our daily catch up, de-stress and we push each other through.

What did you find to be the most challenging part when you were trying to lose weight?

Getting out of my head! I am the biggest problem I have. Once I have said “I Can’t” …my body won’t. Plenty of times, I’ve hindered my own achievements by simply assuming I can’t and giving up.

It can also be hard to introduce new things into your routine. Every week or so during the challenge we upped the ante. I remember thinking it was so much harder than yesterday at the time. It gradually all became “normal” – even the 4.30am fasted cardio became routine during the challenge! Although I have to praise my husband for putting up with all my complaining!

How did you handle food cravings? 

I didn’t really have a lot of food cravings until we began our ‘shred’ phase of the challenge. We approached most of the challenge with a balance where we could have one cheat meal a week. This would be fish and chips or something that was designed to shock our bodies. The rest of the time, I loosely followed the Maxine’s nutrition guide.

In the final weeks, we changed our diet to try and “shred” as much fat from our bodies in conjunction with fasted cardio. We had nothing but lean cuts of protein, plenty of greens, no fruit, carbs only in the form of morning oats and pre/post workout, no added sugar, no added salt. This was a body builder’s comp prep style approach. At the same time we were water loading (up to 8 litres a day). During this phase, we were so “in the zone” counting water and eating 6-7 meals a day that you don’t want for anything else. You live so mechanically by when you need to eat that it all works out. It’s not sustainable – but it’s interesting to be so in tune with your body and what it needs.

Rhiannon and her husband David

Apart from yourself, who was motivating you along the way? (Certain fitness pages, fitness icons etc)

My amazing husband David came on the journey with me and made his own transformation in the Max Challenge. My wonderful mum put up with our early morning and evening departures and even changed up her own diet – noticing results herself.

My colleagues all supported my journey – understanding my strange diet changes and why I wanted to go home on the dot.

However some of the greatest support came from our PT - Mista Sauer of Pro Fit Australia and the wonderful team at Anytime Fitness Cessnock. These guys helped us enormously, and continue to provide a cheer squad to keep us on track.

Mista took out First Place Masters and First Place Novice at the NABBA Sydney Grand Classic and Second Place at the NABBA Southern Hemisphere Championship. It’s wonderful to learn from the pros.

What would be your favourite motivational quote?

I like sharing motivational quotes all the time on my Instagram because our daily lives get in the way and sometimes we need reminding that we are on track or to get back on track or to change it up.

One that resounds with me right now is: “Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring”.

What happens now, where will Rhiannon go? (Fun Runs, challenges, studying fitness etc)

I’m registering for the second round of Maxines Challenge starting in August 2015. Although this time I have colleagues, people from my online community and new and old friends joining me. I’m in awe of how big my network has grown since doing Maxines and the people who have reached out to me because of my results. When I started it was about me. Now it’s much larger than that.

I’ve always said I didn’t have a goal and it remains true. If I set a glass ceiling I can’t crash through it! I’ve never known what I am actually capable of and I keep surprising myself to date. Who knows? I could end up in a sparkly bikini on stage over the next two years – just to test myself. One thing is certain – I’m loving the results that I’m obtaining through what I’m doing and I’m still going to be posting selfie spam on Instagram!


Be sure to flick Rhiannon a follow on Instagram - where you can follow her journey and see all her dedicated photos to how hard she is working.

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