The mark of a true champion is the ability to keep going when the going gets tough. Even now that Leisel Jones has retired from professional swimming, this Olympic champion still doesn’t shy away from a challenge. In fact, she’s on a mission. Now 12 weeks into her health and wellness challenge, Liesel is feeling great and looking fantastic. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“The last 12 weeks have had their ups and downs,” says Leisel. “Mostly ups, but there have been times when things were hard. And there was one really big challenge – I fractured my foot.” A painful break of her third metatarsal and six weeks in a moon boot meant Leisel had to press pause on a large part of her new routine. “I was going to the gym, working out, doing deadlifts and squats and I was starting to feel really good,” she tells. “Then suddenly I couldn’t do anything. It certainly slowed me down.”
While the injury left her frustrated at the outset, Leisel decided to reset her priorities and focus on the other facets of her health and wellness challenge. By looking after different aspects of her physical, emotional and mental wellbeing she began to feel stronger day by day, especially when she set healthier new habits.
Previously, Leisel had fallen into the trap many busy people do; forgetting to eat all day only to ravenously reach for anything in sight by the afternoon. “It was so dangerous,” she recalls, “I’d get to the afternoon and eat all the wrong things because I was starving.” By becoming more mindful of how she eats and when, Leisel’s getting back on track. Her role as a FatBlaster ambassador has reminded her to find the balance in her nutrition in order to stay on track to her health goals. “Now I have a shake at lunchtime, and sometimes one at breakfast and it just fills me up so I don’t have to worry.”
Making healthier food choices left her feeling more energised, making a big impact on her overall sense of wellbeing. “Eating well had a huge impact on my energy levels and my mood,” she says. “Once I cleaned up my diet, everything started to fall into place.”
Now Leisel’s back on her own two feet, she’s enjoying working out again and feeling all the benefits of her wellness challenge kicking in. She’s even rallied the support of her husband who’s joined her in adopting healthier habits and is reaping the benefits. “Having my husband’s support has been awesome,” she laughs. “He’s getting so many compliments, I’m a bit jealous!”
The compliments aren’t all going in one direction though, and Leisel admits her family and friends have commented that she seems happier. She agrees that the biggest change has been in how she feels about herself. “I think before this challenge I was feeling a bit negative,” she says. “But now I feel lighter, fresher and more positive. Things like putting on nice clothes that fit me properly just makes me feel good. I honestly feel like I’m on top of the world and I can take on any challenge.”