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17 April 2014 Last updated
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AQUARIUS LIFE CHALLENGE 2013

The Aquarius Life Challenge 2013

The third Life Challenge has drawn to a close, leaving behind four women whose lives have changed forever. Read on to find out what two months of life coaching and intense fitness and nutrition coaching will do to a person...

aQuarius
9 Jun 2013 | 01:54 pm
  • The Aquarius Life Challengers 2013

    The Aquarius Life Challengers: Zoe Cairns, Amber Dale, Sian Rowlands and Belinda Freeman.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 1 of 8
  • Carolyn Coe, Shana Kad and Fiona Donald.

    The support crew: Carolyn Coe, Shana Kad and Fiona Donald.

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  • The Fab Four – all glowing, smiling and confident after their two life-changing months.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 3 of 8
  • Hugs all round as the winner of this year’s Life Challenge in association with Reebok is announced.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 4 of 8
  • Our lovely experts – thanks ladies for your commitment, your passion and your time.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 5 of 8
  • Elated Zoe celebrates her win with fitness instructor Fiona and life coach Carolyn.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 6 of 8
  • Emotions run high as we reflect on how far they’ve all come in a short space of time.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 7 of 8
  • The event was held at The Bar in Hyatt Regency, where we feasted on delicious finger food and juices.

    Source:Aiza Castillo Domingo/ANM Image 8 of 8

ZOE CAIRNS, 34, IS MARRIED WITH A TWO-YEAR-OLD SON. SHE STRUGGLED TO TAKE THE LIFE COACHING ON BOARD, BUT WHEN SHE DID, BOY DID SHE RUN WITH IT
“When I made the discovery with Carolyn, my life coach, about my need for growth, learning and knowledge, it put an awful lot of issues into place, and ever since that day, I’ve felt as though I can stop giving myself such a hard time now as I’m back on track.

“I’m really proud of losing 6kg and getting my husband involved in the fitness classes too – he looks super and we both feel great! We used to be so exhausted by the end of the day after hectic work schedules, that quick TV dinners were our catch-up times. Now we catch up while we work out and it’s way more fun.

“Since starting the challenge I have quit my part-time job in order to get a mixture of work that excites me; lost weight; my confidence has been boosted; and my fitness and energy levels have risen. I’ve generally got a brighter outlook on life. I realise that I’m a lot stronger and more able than I gave myself credit for and I have more willpower than I ever imagined. I keep thinking to myself, ‘Well done, now don’t mess it up.’ I need to remember how good this feels and not let anything get in the way of what matters.”

AMBER DALE, 35, SAYS THE LIFE CHALLENGE HAS HELPED HER OVERCOME THE FEELINGS OF SELF-DOUBT SHE PREVIOUSLY HAD, WHICH HELD HER BACK IN LIFE
“The whole experience has been unbelievable. At the beginning I thought it was just going to be my fitness that improved, but the life coaching has really helped me. I feel full of life and the whole ‘can’t do’ attitude that previously got me down has been replaced by a more confident persona. It’s not only that I feel better, but I feel others are more drawn to me now. Health wise I feel like a million dollars. My diet has improved and my fitness levels have increased. All in all it’s been a massive transformation.”

SIAN ROWLANDS, 31, SAYS THE LIFE CHALLENGE HAS HELPED HER BE MORE KIND TO HERSELF
“I have made changes across the board – I work out almost every day, I eat a healthier diet, I feel more confident about what I’m doing with my company and, most importantly, I talk to myself in a more positive way. Quite early on Shana explained that life coaching isn’t about changing yourself, but about changing the way you talk to yourself and taking credit for your achievements, which I am learning to do. Also, before the Life Challenge my moodiness was affecting my relationships with my family. Thankfully now I have got this in check.”

BELINDA FREEMAN, 35, HAS LOST WEIGHT, GAINED TIME AND LEARNT A LOT ABOUT HERSELF IN THE PROCESS – AND SHE SAYS SHE’D DO IT ALL AGAIN
“I make healthy meals for my family and myself; I have dropped a dress size; I wake up and get into my fitness gear; I have made amazing changes to my business and I have my first employee; I’ve invested in getting more advice by having a three-hour session with a trained Super Granny (fascinating); I’ve bought new knives after the cooking class... I am even buying fitted dresses and wearing brighter lipstick thanks to Ingrid the stylist. When do you ever stop and look at yourself – your life, your choices, your habits?

“This was the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to pull back, take a good look at myself and make positive changes. I’ve learnt how to respect time, so I can fit in everything that is important to me. It has taught me I can be fitter, happier, more focused and a better person all round – and in my family life, positive changes are coming at me by the bucketful. It’s a beautiful thing that I will always be grateful for. I would definitely do this Life Challenge again – it has changed my life, and only for the better. I wish everyone could get this opportunity.”

The support crew

Carolyn Coe, Master NLP life coach and founder of The Skyrocket Sessions (www.icanskyrocket.com), returns for her second year as a Life Challenge life coach.
“Before the Life Challenge, Belinda was wearing a lot of different hats and I don’t think she was sure which one was her genuine truth. She needed to figure out what it means to be Belinda. Now she’s living life by her own set of rules and is happy with her decisions. “With Zoe, she started off keen to prove that she didn’t really need the coaching. However, as the weeks went on she began to realise that her barrier was blocking out, not just bad things, but good things, too. Now, with her barriers down and her eyes wide open, her smile really shines through and I think her authentic confidence has returned.”

Shana Kad, Master NLP life coach and founder of Life Effective Coaching (www.lifeeffectivecoaching.ae) is back for the third time as a life coach.
“When I first met Amber, she told me she just wanted to get out of her rut and get motivated. Things weren’t quite so simple, but Amber embraced her coaching and experienced amazing differences in every area of her life. She’s now racing towards her goals with ease and joy. “With Sian, she quickly got to grips with coaching and, once her emotions were serving her, she could see how things were coming together for her. She started to tell a new story of dreams and aspirations that she never dreamed could be hers and was now invested in herself and everything she stood for.”

Fiona Donald is a fitness instructor at Urban Energy Fitness (www.urbanenergyfitness.com). She coached the challengers on nutrition and encouraged their fitness.
“It was a good experience... they are a really nice bunch of girls, and all from different backgrounds. They took ownership of their nutrition and fitness, but at the same time they were accountable – someone was checking up on them – and I think that helped motivate them to stay on track. Normally when people want to make changes, life gets in the way, or people think they are too busy. But the great thing about the Life Challenge is that it forces the challengers to put themselves – and their health and fitness needs – first. Seeing the mindset change and the confidence improve was really great.”

The aQuarius Life Challenge closing celebration

One final hurrah for the Life Challengers – our closing soirée at The Bar, Hyatt Regency. The entire crew was on hand – the challengers, the experts, Ryan the videographer (who met up with the challengers every week to film their video blogs) and us, the Aquarius team. We also had representatives from Reebok, this year’s Life Challenge sponsors; an official from Swiss Air, who provided our grand prize; and a team from Hyatt Regency, our generous hosts. As always, the most challenging part of the Life Challenge from our perspective is choosing a winner. 

All the contestants achieved so much – they faced the challenges we set them head on and bravely owned up to their own personal demons. Each one of them deserved to win and – at the risk of sounding cheesy – in our eyes, they all did as the main prize, of course, was the journey. Congratulations to all of the challengers and a huge thank you to the experts and sponsors. Until next year....

A great big thank you to our sponsors

  • Reebook
  • Swiss Air
  • Top Shop

Also, huge thanks to the glamour gurus who lent their skills to our final shoot.
- GlamBox for lending us their makeup artist for the day – Emily you were fab!
www.glambox.me
- Topshop for their personal shopping experience! www.topshop.com
- Y12 Salon for fabulous hair courtesy of Pollyanna – check out those braids!
www.y12salons.com

aQuarius

aQuarius

By Louisa Wilkins and Catherine Langley