Tell us a little bit about your Fresh Start journey so far and why you decided to make a change?
I dabbled in Fresh Start at the end of 2017 and knew I was on to a good thing! I started a full time job in 2018 with two little ones under the age of 4 and progressively as the year went on my weight and health began a downward spiral. The job was high stress and long hours and I found myself drinking more and more wine and opting for takeaways, comfort food and quick fixes to feed the family. By the end of that year I had become so unhealthy that I had very little energy, had gained a lot of weight and developed GERD (Silent Reflux for adults). I knew something had to change when my doctor told me that if I was healthy and fit I would no longer need medication to help my reflux. My 40th birthday was also the following year and I was determined to look fabulous at 40. In 2019 I began working out at home using Les Mills on Demand but despite regular exercise I still wasn’t seeing enough evidence on the scales so I decided to try Fresh Start again in September of that year. In 3 months I managed to lose 8 kg. Our garden was then producing too many fresh vegetables to justify Fresh Start but from the beginning of 2020 to midway through this year I gained 5kg! Back on to Fresh Start in July and in 3 months I have dropped another 8kg. Altogether I have lost 18kg and this is mostly due to Fresh Start.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve come across while losing weight and keeping it off?
My relationship with alcohol is something I am constantly working on. I have found that if I drink alcohol then I am far more likely to eat more than I should – even if it’s just a glass. I’ve learned to save this for special occasions and really work on ensuring I don’t reward a hard day with a drink of wine! Instead, I have focused on rewarding myself with things that are good for my body and mind. Unfortunately, we’ve developed an unhealthy association with drinking wine as a reward for parenting so I’ve worked hard on changing my perspective on this. I also love food and I can easily consume too many calories. I love Fresh Start for keeping my calorie intake in check!
What’s been your favourite Fresh Start meal?
Oooh this question is really hard to answer. I like so many of the Fresh Start meals. It has taught me so much about how to reduce refined carbs and to eat more vegetables. I love the meals that are closest to comfort food I guess!
What has your exercise regime been like? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?
I have found working out at home has worked best for me. I am not naturally someone who enjoys exercising and have found that I have to be very disciplined with myself. I set my alarm early in the morning – that way I don’t have enough time to talk myself out of it! I have used a range of online subscriptions but Les Mills On Demand has been my favourite so far. Much like Fresh Start, they have an incredible online Facebook community that are full of inspiring people. I do BodyPump 3x a week and then fit in a run, BodyBalance and BodyCombat on the other days. I have enjoyed watching my muscles develop and feeling stronger. I now look forward to building more muscle rather than focusing on ‘fat’ loss.
Any tips for someone just starting out on their weight loss journey?
– Be patient! Change takes time. It takes weeks for my body to shift fat but it’s absolutely worth the wait!
– Find some like-minded people to journey with – whether it’s a friend or an online community. It’s so much easier when you have support and people cheering you on.
– Use MyFitnessPal to understand how much you really eat. You might find some of those ‘healthy’ snacks are really high in calories and may be impacting on your weight loss goals.
– Exercise is great for strength and health but if you really want to lose ‘fat’ then you need to reduce your calorie intake.
– If you want an easy way to maintain a calorie deficit without spending your weekends meal planning – get Fresh Start!
– Order slightly more Fresh Start than you need so that you have enough leftover for your lunch the next day.
– Make sure your other meals are also high in protein – this will assist with reducing muscle loss as well as fat when you are losing weight. It will also keep you fuller for longer. My favourite breakfast is Protein Oats (oats + egg white + protein yoghurt + protein powder)!
– Take photos and measurements as well as using the scale to track your progress. I’m a data geek so I like tracking progress using graphs. I also love my smart watch for helping me record data.
– Read “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace if, like me, you find yourself enjoying a few too many wines in a week! I found this to be so helpful at changing the way I viewed drinking alcohol.
– Be consistent. If you have a day where you eat more than you usually would – don’t worry about it! Don’t punish yourself just start a new day tomorrow. You need to be in this for the long haul – so don’t go without the things you love – find a way to make them fit into your new lifestyle. You’ve got this!