Mum Melissa had always been slim and active, so when she fell pregnant for the first time and gained 34 kg, she wasn’t too worried.
Melissa assumed the weight would fall away easily after birth, but after her son came along, she struggled to get back to her pre-baby size.
“Going into pregnancy the first time, I was a bit naïve thinking I could eat what I wanted when I wanted because it’s for the baby,” explained Melissa.
“I ate everything and anything I liked. Hot chips, cakes, cookies, baked goods. I also seriously had a problem with portion control and would easily eat the same as my husband. I just didn’t realise that once you had the baby the weight would still be there.”
When she fell pregnant for the second time, Melissa tried to stay active, but she was diagnosed with sciatica at 20 weeks and had to cut out exercise altogether.
This, combined with eating the wrong foods, resulted in her gaining 30 kg throughout the pregnancy, which took a toll on both her self-esteem and mental health.
“It was a big change after never struggling with weight before. It was a whole new thing to adjust to, along with becoming a parent.”
After having her first child, Melissa and her husband moved back to her hometown where she was shocked to discover not everyone recognised who she was.
“I’m not joking when I say people didn’t recognise me. They did a double take before covering their expressions,” Melissa explained. “It seems silly that it was other people’s opinions that mattered the most, but that was it.”
“I also hated that I couldn’t fit into any of my old clothes, and anything new I bought brought zero joy.”
Not only was Melissa struggling to feel comfortable in her new body, she was also battling to keep up with the high energy levels of her kids.
“My self-esteem was so low I didn’t recognise myself. I wouldn’t let my husband see me naked even though he thought I looked beautiful, and I was lethargic all the time. My low self-esteem affected my mood and feeling down on myself meant I wasn’t the happiest mum that I could have been.”
“I also couldn’t keep up with the kids. I couldn’t pick both of the boys up at the same time, walking upstairs was a challenge, trying to multitask was hard and I was constantly out of breath. I was just quite unfit in general.”
Initially Melissa tried a few different diets to lose the weight, but she found them either too complicated, too expensive or the food too bland. Then she came across the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, where she lost an incredible 17 kg* in 6 months.
*Individual results may vary.
“I originally chose the diet because of the science and evidence behind it, but what got me over the edge was the refund offer. I had in my head that I’m going to lose $199 if I don’t stick to this diet, and that worked really well as a motivator for me. I also noticed weight loss very quickly in the program which spurred me on to keep going.”
Melissa is now at her goal weight and is focused on staying fit and healthy.
“My exercise plan is the number one most important thing for me now. I exercise about six times a week, doing mainly high intensity exercise and running, and I combine this all with weightlifting”.
She said her energy levels are through the roof and she is happy to be fit and strong. Even better, her mental health has improved drastically.
“My mood and energy levels have completely changed since losing the weight. Now I look in the mirror and I’m just so proud of what I achieved.”
“Probably the biggest change for me in my everyday life since losing the weight is being able to keep up with my kids. We have a two-storey house so originally walking up and down the stairs, holding on to a baby or 10 different things that you’ve got each time was a real effort for me. Now I can bound up the stairs with my 3-year-old and not have any issues!”
“I’m so proud of my body for being fit and strong and an excellent example to my beautiful boys.”
It is possible. I practiced mindfulness and visualised a happy, healthy me every night before bed.
See exercise as a job in the beginning. I go at the same time every day and never falter. If you had a job you wouldn’t not turn up because you couldn’t be bothered. Keeping yourself fit and healthy is one of the most important jobs in your life – if not the most important.
I shop for food twice a week and stick to a list. If I want a treat, I have to go to the shops to get one.
Set your alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal and get up and go for a walk. Exercise can be hard to do at the end of the day so get it in early.
Fill your fridge with healthy food and have snacks visible at the front of your fridge so when you open it there is always something easy and healthy to eat. Always cook extra and have leftovers for lunch, or freeze leftovers for another night. Pre-cooked rice packets and salad packets from the supermarket also really help with dinner time.