Chiara - mother of 3 beautiful daughters - joined the Total Wellbeing Diet to be a better role model for her kids. She lost 14kg* on the 12-week program and today she is happier with her weight than she's ever been and a huge weight loss inspiration.
*In 5 months. Individual results may vary.
For Chiara, it's not just about the weight itself. Losing the weight means she's able to exercise at a completely different level, and then pass this love for exercise on to her daughters. In October, she completed a half marathon and her goal for 2016 is a full marathon.
How did you put on the weight?
I have been unhappy with my weight my whole life. I do love food and came from a family where you ate everything on your plate, bread was served with dinner every night and pasta and rice was a staple. I exercised and played basketball at a high level, but was always heavier than I wanted to be.
Since becoming a mum in 2010, 2012 and 2014, my weight has increased due to poor eating habits, less exercise and not returning my weigh to pre-pregnancy state between pregnancies.
Describe your life before the weight loss?
I used to hide in photos – with my head popping in. I hated buying clothes - there were teary moments in change rooms. Sometimes I would not go to events as I had nothing to wear. Stress put on my relationship as weight and diet was always an issue. I felt self-conscious and I know it affected how I interacted with people.
What sort of foods did you eat before your weight loss?
I ate a reasonably good diet in terms of fruit and veggies and no packet snacks. I cooked all the family meals and used mainly fresh ingredients. However, my diet consisted of too many servings and large portions of pasta, gnocchi, rice, cous-cous and bread, plus creamy sauces.
I have a real soft spot for sweet treats such as chocolate, slices and bakery goods which were consumed way too often. I was also a bit of a binge eater.
What was ‘your moment of truth’ that made you decide you finally had to lose the weight?
Having kids and wanting them to be proud of who they are and their bodies but not being able to be a role model myself. Knowing I don’t want my daughters to have food and self-esteem issues.
Remembering feeling embarrassed as a child about my mum being overweight and not wanting my children to feel the same about me.
What do you think has made you successful in losing weight?
Trusting and truly committing 100% to the program - no cheating! The weight loss happened very quickly for me after I started the diet. I followed the eating plan sooo strictly for the 12 weeks, not even licking spoons to taste when I was cooking! And for about the first 6 weeks I had no indulgences although I ate full fat dairy throughout! The results were so motivating!
The wonderful exercise group I am a part of is another reason I was successful. As I lost weight the exercise became easier and I had more motivation, so I did more. I registered for fun runs months in advance so I always had a target/goal in my calendar.
I ran a half marathon in October in 1hr 43min – not bad considering I could only run/walk 3km in January last year! I did a 4-part trail run series and saw places around Melbourne I never would have – awesome!
How has your life changed now that you have lost the weight?
Exercise has truly become part of my life now and I love it! Hubby has started cycling and we are planning holidays around participating in runs (me) and rides (him).
I love clothes shopping. I don’t unnecessarily wear jumpers. I feel more confident. I know I am a role model for my children - they came to every race/fun run/trail run I participated in. I feel healthier and stronger.
Eating well has become easy – I sometimes think I must be cheating because I don’t have to think about it very much.
Chiara’s top 5 weight loss tips:
- Truly commit to the diet and get your partner/family on board
- Prepare a few days before start date so you have the right food at home and know what you are eating each day
- Drink water! Don’t have ANY soft drink – not even diet stuff!
- Put exercise in the diary as a non-negotiable activity. If you genuinely think it is important, you will do it! My bootcamp instructor asks, “do you love yourself enough to exercise today?”
- If you have time restrictions, do high intensity activity for a shorter time rather than low intensity for a long time.
*Individual results may vary