Amazing Success Story: How Manja Transformed Her Body & Mind with Results

Blond woman with glasses

Follow Manja’s Runtastic Results journey week by week here on the Runtastic blog. Manja is a mom, wife, works a full-time job and is ready to change her life. We know that her story is a powerful one and we are proud of her for sharing her journey with us.

10 Facts about Manja:

            • 38 years old
            • has been overweight since her teens
            • has celiac disease
            • originally from Denmark and now lives in Austria
            • married for 10 years
            • mom of 2 loveable beasts (kids), 9 and 6 years old
            • has lost 22kg over the past 2 ½ years, not quite done yet…
            • not a big fan of working out
            • graphic designer
            • has discovered a passion for running

Week 1 – “I don’t like any kind of burpee!”
I can honestly say I was really eager to start this program. I have lost some weight on my own, but I think it’s time for me to have a plan to follow that’s going to push my limits and help me reach my goals. Honestly, I don’t know what my “goal weight” is, and I am trying not to focus on that. I just want to get healthy, for the first time in my life, and be able to keep up with my kids and my busy life. I have decided to commit to 4 days per week during this training plan.

This was really a great start and I was full of energy all week. I didn’t feel super sore but I did feel my abs when I laughed hard – I guess I have to stop laughing. Just kidding! I made a video diary. Not sure how well I did. It makes me feel a bit insecure but I know that looking back on it will be really helpful. Anyhow, I am looking forward to next week.

Week 2 – “I am turning into those people I used to hate!”
Ummm…I’m gaining weight! NOT what I ordered. I know that weight can be weird and fluctuate especially at the beginning. I mean, I haven’t trained like this since….NEVER! So I am sure my body is a little confused and will start dropping weight soon. Honestly, it’s just so not motivating though.

Overall, the workouts were much harder than last week and I liked the combination of old and new exercises. I like doing the familiar ones and then mixing in some new, challenging ones as well. What I like the most about the workouts so far is that they are really hard and challenging, but in the end I feel so good and so glad that I completed them. It’s really motivating and makes me want to keep moving and not spend the rest of the day lying around.

Week 3 – “I am trying to take each workout one by one.”
I can really feel and tell that these workouts are getting much harder. I am actually getting a bit worried about how it’s going to progress and how these workouts will be in the future. But I guess it doesn’t help to worry about that now.

I am really trying to take each workout one by one and challenging them as they come. I keep telling myself, “one exercise after another, just keep going.” Let’s see if these words help me during the next few weeks.

Week 4 – “What weight or size do I want to reach?”
I am SO excited! I was shopping this weekend and guess what? I fit in a size 38 (US: 8). I have NEVER fit into a size 38 in my entire adult life. NEVER! So, this is really awesome to me. I also bought a brand new leather jacket I have been wanting, and now I finally fit into it! I know this doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but it is for me. I think it’s a woman thing. I am happy!

This new weight and new size made me wonder…what is my goal? What weight or size do I want to reach? But honestly, I don’t know. I have never been at a “normal weight” so I have absolutely no idea. But I have been giving it some thought this week and I guess if I just go on working out and staying active on a regular basis, running, and listening to my body and not eating too much, I will eventually end up at the weight and size that suits me perfectly. I am so thankful and happy that I made this commitment to myself and started this program.

Week 5 – “Lose weight, get healthy & live my life!”
This week I met up with people who I haven’t seen in quite some time. Well, they haven’t seen me in a while and the results (from Results) are becoming really obvious. They asked me which diet I am on and I replied with, “I don’t do diets!” For the first time in my life, I can finally say that I have found the right way for me to lose weight, get healthy and live my life. mother with her two children

So, I am still feeling pretty awesome! I have changed the way I live and the way I eat and I’m even getting the kids involved too (they have fun cooking with me). And, unlike diets, it’s a way of living and eating that I can honestly imagine doing for the rest of my life. In fact, I would love to live this way for the rest of my life. I have never felt this much energy and this much confidence in a long, long time. Maybe even ever?

Week 6 – “I wanted to recover and get healthy again.”
This week I was sick, so it wasn’t possible for me to do more than 3 workouts. Eh…
I am not happy that I got sick, but it was a really great opportunity for me to figure out a way to change and adapt my workout plan based on circumstances beyond my control. I couldn’t work out with a fever and, obviously, my body needed some rest. So, I listened to my body and then just picked up where I left off. I didn’t want to push myself, I wanted to recover and get healthy again. Wow, I am so proud of myself for accomplishing that and not using sickness as an excuse to just quit completely.

Week 7 – “How is that supposed to be possible?”
I am really not happy this week. This week was really intense. It was the last workout before our 3-week family vacation to Denmark, so there was a lot of office work, packing and many other things to be done at home before my family and I could leave for 3 weeks. Then of course there are the workouts which are getting harder and harder every week now. I couldn’t find time this week for my usual runs.

Week 8 – “Can’t I just have a burpee-free vacation?”
I have been looking forward to this vacation sooo much! Three weeks of much-needed vacation. I am so thankful to be back in Denmark with my family to visit family and friends. I need this recharge.

Am I the only one who feels like I have less time for myself on family vacations? It wasn’t really easy for me to find time to do my workouts this week. Normally I do my workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday but because of the vacation and lacking a routine, it was pretty hard to stick to my workout schedule. I mean, I managed to get them done but it wasn’t as regimented as it is when I am at home. I like my routine because I don’t get tempted to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow!” But I have 3 weeks here to figure out a good schedule and plan to get my workouts done.

Week 9 – “What’s next after the 12 weeks?”
This week a dear friend visited us in our little cabin. My favorite person in the whole world, Karen. She is so amazing and she has always been supportive of me my whole life. It was so amazing to see her.

So, I have a really funny story to share. Recently I have been talking with my kids about using kind words and not negative words that can hurt people’s feelings. We have had a few conversations about which words you would not say to a person: like “fat,” for example.  I told my kids that I would be really hurt if someone called me fat. Then my son came up to me, hugged me and said “You’re not fat mom, you’re comfy.” Gosh I love them.

Week 10 – “Yeah my abs burned A LOT, but I liked it.”
We are back home from our vacation in Denmark. It was a really great vacation, but it feels good to be back home and back to my routine. We have started a tradition in the house to talk about, as a family, what is on our plates at meal time. I am trying to teach my kids about protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and even sugar. I want them to know that it’s all about balance and even having sugar from time to time is totally fine. We take turns pointing out all the food groups on our plate – my kids really love it. I feel really happy that we are doing this as a family. Even doing this with my small children helps me a lot!

It was really hard for me to stay healthy the last 3 weeks on vacation. I didn’t want to be too strict with the eating during our vacation, but at the same time I was afraid to fall back into the old bad habits. So, it wasn’t the easiest to find the perfect way. In the end I gained 1 kg. Not that much, but certainly more than I hoped for. Back home I am finally getting back into my routine and healthy eating habits. I am aware of my weaknesses and know how to fight them! It feels great to be in control.

Week 11 – “I’m finally in control of my life!”
I am SO motivated, I feel like a squirrel on drugs! You know those happy people? The kind that are always so full of energy, motivated, that look forward to going for a run, who actually enjoy eating healthy and spending time in the fresh air…the kind of people you just looooooooooove to hate? Yup, I am becoming one of those. I hate to admit it, but I am!

The past 11 weeks have completely changed my life. Not to sound corny, I’m serious. My life IS different now.

Week 12 – “It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.”
The last week, week 12, was really, really intense. I think that knowing it was the last week is what kept me going. So now, I’m done. I still cannot believe it. Looking back at the past 12 weeks, it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Before I started, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible that my life could change like this. I now feel healthy and…balanced! Life is so much easier now and I am not thinking about what I want to eat next all the time. Before this plan, eating controlled me. Now, I am finally in control of what and when I eat. I am in control of my life!

It is an amazing feeling. I wish from the bottom of my heart that every person could feel this way. Every person should be able to feel this way. Life is a gift. Don’t waste it!

For anyone reading this who is in the position I was in and just wants to give up – don’t! If I can do this, you can too. I wish you the best!

Sincerely,

Manja

If you’re interested in a more detailed workout-by-workout update from Manja, check out her weekly blog postings from week 1 to week 12.

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