2017 Region 15 Winner: Sarah Harden

I’m Sarah, stay at home mum to two beautiful boys, now 3 ½ and about to turn 1. This year has been a tough one for me personally. Shortly before the challenge came about, I had a bit of a bombshell dropped on me that shook my reality to the core, it’s something very personal that I would rather not be in the public domain, but let’s just say that eating chocolate and bingeing on Netflix every opportunity I got was becoming my norm to cope and get through the days.
So when the challenge came up, I realised that I need to channel all the emotional anguish I was feeling into something positive, something for me, something selfish for once. I had for years put my kids first, and my husband first, and so I realised I had to start to binge on ‘self-care’ or I wouldn’t be able to be the mum I want to be and manage my own mental wellbeing first so I can support my kids.
Fitness has now become a part of my life. I have found again my love of running…it is healing for the soul (my soul at least), just me, alone on the road, no responsibilities or cares in that moment, just the sound of my breathing, my steps and nature all around. It’s almost my form of mindfulness and clears my head when I’m not feeling like I can cope. And climbing that mountain (Hakarimata’s) gives me a feeling of accomplishment like no other. I honestly do feel stronger, I have more energy and I love that fitness and getting outdoors is something I am now role modelling for my boys. And I feel in some ways as a person again on my own accord as I think I lost myself somewhere in amongst the joy and all encompassing love of being a mum.

Although other aspects of my life still aren’t great, I am feeling great about myself right now. I am smashing goals. I am enjoying life and the freedom that exercising makes me feel like I have, even carrying my 1yr old up a mountain because ‘no excuses!’ The 6km run I did in the weekend was not the longest I have done, but I realised it’s the longest NON STOP run I have ever in my life completed, as I used to do longer ones, but blooming WALK lots of it.

In terms of food, I have settled into a happy medium where I am more mindful of what I eat, and have learnt how to make small changes to be healthier, but when I decide to chow down on a bowl of fries, or a glass of wine over dinner with a friend, I sure as hell don’t feel guilty about it, I just work that much harder to make up for it at the next workout which isn’t ever far away!
I honestly have forgotten a few times that I am doing this challenge, as the new way of being has just been ingrained in my everyday life. I am only a few kg’s down, but have lost approx. 6cm’s of pure fat from around my hips. Still more to go, but I am so very happy with that!
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving me something to hold onto during a rough patch of life, and for encouraging and inspiring me to be a better stronger fitter healthier me, who is actually happier for it. Thank you Ros, Paula and Erin. Xoxo 
Congrats to our Region 15 pot challenge winner, Sarah Harden for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 15 consists of New Zealand and Australia! Join our upcoming No More Excuses Challenge starting January 15th and ending on Easter HERE!!! For $50 you will not only receive an email consultation with Maria Kang, a 150 workout ebook, No Excuse Mom tank, 12-week accountability calendar and a fitness/nutrition guide, but you will also get a chance to win $1000 worth of money and prizes.

Congrats to our regional winner! You have $280 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
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