Weight loss. I don’t think I know a woman who hasn’t at some point in her life, dealt with this issue.
I’d like you to meet Rachel, Mummy to 2 young boys.
Rachel has done it. The thing we all know is within us, but we often fail to achieve (time and time again). She’s lost weight and kept it off. Not just a couple of lbs, but over 6 stone! Wow.
When I saw Rachel’s results, I just HAD to find out how she did it. Being a mum of 2 young girls myself, I know how hard I’ve found it to lose the 30lb that I have, and this last 14lb does NOT want to leave me. However when I’m honest with myself, I’ve not lost the weight because I’ve not put in the work! Rachel HAS put in the work, and is now seeing the rewards and I simply had to share her success with all you other mums (like me) who feel like getting these results is impossible when you have young kids.
We all know it’s possible really, but we are simply using our busy (hectic / manic) lifestyles as an excuse for our lack of progress. Rachel’s results are so inspirational because she gives all us mummies hope that we can all get there – we just have to work at it day by day.
“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” Gretchin Rubin
Nicola: Describe your current lifestyle e.g. kids, work, social, leisure.
Rachel: I have 2 children age 6 and almost 1. I work 2 evenings a week as a receptionist but my main job is looking after the children. My husband has a demanding job, but is a very hands on dad too.
Nicola: How much weight have you lost, and in what period of time.?
Rachel: Altogether I have lost 6 and a half stone. I lost a bit before I got pregnant with Hugo, but put most of it back on through being pregnant. After I had Hugo, I lost that weight again, plus the rest.
Nicola: What dress / bra size where you before and what are you now?
Rachel: I was probably a size 18/20 and I had massive boobs at about 38HH! Now I am a size 10. I still have big boobs though at size 34F.
Nicola: Where did you used to shop and where do you shop now?
Rachel: To be honest I never really enjoyed shopping before. I found it very difficult to find clothes that would fit me in the right places (large chest, smaller waist). I just got the basics from Next or Marks & Spencer, but I really struggled.
Now I love shopping and find it an enjoyable experience (although my purse probably doesn’t!). I love River Island, H&M and shops like Reiss and Ted Baker. The clothes have a lovely fit and I feel I can pull off much more styles. I feel much more confident.
Nicola: Yes I do find a lot that when women feel a little uninspired when shopping, Next and M&S are often the go to shops! It helps massively to break those habits and venture in to new shops and try some new styles! Have you found any elements of dressing your new body more difficult, or are you just loving the change? Sometimes women can be overwhelmed with dressing a new body!
Rachel: I love the change. I’ve had 2 children, and have the c-section scars to prove it. I’m breastfeeding my almost 1 year old still, so my boobs aren’t great. know Ill never have the body of a 21 year old, but am hugely proud of myself, so even the with the imperfections I am still chuffed.
Nicola: I LOVE hearing that you acknowledge and adore you imperfections! I think that’s the Holy Grail for most women, as we all know we can never be ‘perfect’.
Have you experienced any negative reactions towards your success (i.e. jealousy!) and if so, how have you dealt with that?
Rachel: The only negative comment I received was from a woman at the gym who said I must be missing my baby since I’m always there! I was so upset that she thought that! But on reflection I was (and still am) breastfeeding Hugo, so I knew what she was saying was ridiculous. I was away from him for an hour at a time, probably 4 times a week and that was it. But still, I was upset that someone would think I’d got my priorities wrong.
Nicola: Sounds like a case of the green eyed monster to me. Isn’t it ridiculous how we let other people’s flippant comments affect us so much?! I’m glad you took a step back and realised the comment was a reflection on her and not on you! You’re a fabulous, dedicated mother! Have you had any other comments that you’ve found hard to swallow?
I’ve been called a poser once or twice when I’ve taken a few too many selfies! All in jest I suppose! I don’t care anyway! I worked hard for how I look and I’ll pose as much as I want now. I have about 10 years of not liking my picture being taken to make up for! But mostly people in the main have been nothing but positive and supportive towards me.
Nicola: Good for you!! You should share your success – in the main, it inspires people. Haters will always be haters!
How did you feel about yourself before in 3 words or less?
Rachel: Underconfident, stuck and unhealthy.
Nicola: How do you feel about yourself now in 3 words or less?
Rachel: Pretty, energetic and happier!
Nicola: What was the catalyst that started you off on your transformation?
Rachel: Its a cliche but it was literally a switch went off in my head. We had been trying for a second baby for approximately 4 years and it was getting to the point where getting pregnant was ruling our lives and making me depressed. I decided to accept that it might not happen, to appreciate what did we have and focus on other things – losing weight being one of them! I joined WeightWatchers, got back into the gym, lost the weight, then boom…I got pregnant! I lapsed with the fitness and diet during pregnancy but knew I would be straight back on it as soon as I could after the birth, because I’d had a taste of how good it felt.
Nicola: I think you’re so right. So often people are so desperate for something that they actually repel it. You got the approach just right which is focusing on health and appreciating your family, and doing what ever is in your control to work towards your goals.
What was the very first thing you did to prepare for your journey?
Rachel: Joined Weight Watchers.
Nicola: You have two young boys, so obviously ‘me time’ is in short supply? Exactly how did you overcome this particular challenge when it came to losing weight?
Rachel: I only go to the gym for around an hour, normally when my husband gets home from work. It’s round the corner from my house so I don’t feel I’m missing out much. I also do a lot of walking to and from school with my eldest and into the local town most days, pushing my youngest in the pram. My eldest loves going to school on his scooter and the youngest loves watching the “toot toot cars” and having his daily nap. I love walking, whatever the weather! I chat away telling Hugo what he can see on our walks. It’s like therapy and very relaxing for me. It’s watching the world go by and keeping fit in one go.
Nicola: I think mothers so deserve this ‘me time’, but we feel so guilty at leaving our children even for an hour! It’s ridiculous when you think about it. We give EVERYTHING to them and it’s time we all started giving back to ourselves a bit more too. After all, if the result is healthier, happier mums, the ripple effect of that is healthier, happier kids.
Was there a particular bit of the weight loss journey that was the toughest? Tell us about that, and how you got through it?
Rachel: To be totally honest, no. I was determined from the start. The odd week where I didn’t lose any, I stayed positive and knew I would lose the following week. I was never going to give up and I never lost focus. I am nervous about putting the weight back on, I have accepted that diet and exercise have to be a priority in my life. It is an obsession, but a healthy one in my opinion.
Nicola: Did you always have a weight loss goal in mind? I always tell my clients before we start any journey together that they need to have a goal in mind.
Rachel: Yes…and I remember standing on the scales, and crying to my husband wondering how would I ever lose all that weight. It’s quite poignant now. At the time it seemed like an unrealistic dream, but now, that doesn’t feel that long ago if that makes sense?! Anything is achievable if you want it enough.
Nicola: Where there occasions when you fell ‘off the wagon?’ If so, how did you jump back on again?
Rachel: Never. I have one bad day a week which I allow myself and that’s it. I’m very strict.
Nicola: That’s super impressive! What were the things you would say to yourself in your mind to help you stay on track?
Rachel: I would picture myself unhappy and underconfident and remind myself how good I was feeling as the weight came off. The positive comments from people helped massively too.
Nicola: I think that’s super important – some people picture what they want to get away from, and other people find it helpful to visualise about what they want to work towards. Whether we are an ‘away’ person or ‘towards’ person is hard-wired in to our DNA but once you unlock which one you are, like you have, it can help to achieve massive results.
What support did you get from your husband, family and friends?
Rachel: Massive massive support! My husband always helps me get to the gym and is happy to eat all my Weight Watchers meals that I cook. My friends, fellow Weight Watchers, and family (especially my mum) tell me how good I look which is a massive boost! People at the gym keep me motivated and are lovely towards me too.
Nicola: How does your hubby feel about the transformation?
Rachel: My husband is the most supportive husband ever when it came to my weight loss. He is very pleased for me and helps me massively, but he loved me when I was bigger too. He just loves me whatever I look like which is lovely and I’m lucky to have him. He’s never told me not to bother going to the gym, even if hes tired and would rather I didn’t go. Hes very very supportive. I couldn’t have done it without him.
Nicola: What would a typical day look like for you in terms of diet and exercise when you first started? What does a typical day look like now that you are maintaining the weight?
Rachel: Pretty much consistent really. Ill have a snack for breakfast and a light lunch…my favourite being salmon or sushi. Then a Weight Watchers meal I’ll have prepared for tea. At some point, unless I’m at work that day I’ll fit in a spinning class, or a step class and of course my walking. I still eat Wotsits and I love all food. I eat everything that I love still, just I’m more sensible.
Nicola: Is there anything that’s an absolute no no when it comes to getting lean?
Rachel: No…anything in moderation I say!
Nicola: What helped you to make changes that stuck?
Rachel: To be honest what helped massively was when people started to notice and comment. For example a stranger came up to me on the street one day and told me she sees me walking regularly and that she noticed how much weight I’d lost and thought I looked great and she liked my coat! it gave me a massive boost! things like that happened a lot. People can be really nice and kindness goes a long way.
Nicola: I agree, I think that women have huge power when they support each other. A genuine compliment can last a life-time! You will never forget that lady on the street! I often speak to clients who tell me about a time someone complimented them in a certain outfit. They cling on to that outfit until it’s worn out or no longer fits them, and that’s because the compliment meant so much to them – they think they cling to it because they love the actual garment. I always use that outfit as my inspiration for their new outfits so they can keep getting the buzz off compliments.
What exactly did you do to get fitter / healthier, and how long did it take to see results?
Rachel: Walk mainly but along with other exercise and eat more healthy. I attend Weight Watchers every week which is great for recognising bad food habits and getting new ideas. Plus it keeps me maintaining the weight and helps to realise that you’re not in it alone when it comes to your weight loss.
Nicola: Do you use any apps / technology that help you achieve weight loss and stay fit?
Rachel: I use a Fitbit and I love it. I also am on the Weight Watchers app and I track what I eat. It’s linked to my Fitbit too which is great.
Nicola: What’s the hardest part of maintaining your lifestyle / fitness?
Rachel: Sometimes I get tired and don’t feel like going to the gym but I force myself. I have to accept that I’ll always have issues with food and as long as I keep it at the forefront of my mind I am in control. I tell myself how far I’ve come and am determined to never go back. It is hard, but I have a much more energetic, happier lifestyle than I did when I was 6 stone heavier so in comparison, its easier now!
Nicola: You are a huge inspiration to many women and many mums! Was there anyone that inspired you to lose weight? A friend, celebrity or colleague? If so, who was it?
Rachel: Ahh thank you! I just hope I can show that it is possible with support, encouragement and self-belief – it it is achievable. I work, bring up the children, get very little sleep and am still breastfeeding. If I can do it, anyone can. You have to engage your brain and get in the right mindset and that’s the hardest part I think.
I wasn’t overly inspired by any celebrity as such but I did read a few articles about how “normal” mums had transformed their bodies whilst still looking after their babies and that inspired me. My boys are by far my biggest priority and I couldn’t have done it if I thought I was neglecting them in any way.
Nicola: And now you are one of those ‘normal’ mums inspiring others!! Best piece of advice you can give for someone starting out a to achieve a lifestyle change?
Rachel: As long as you stay motivated in your mind the rest is easy.
Nicola: What’s the best thing about your weight loss transformation?
Rachel: Being a mum that can race my eldest boy to school, climb trees with and feel energetic and happy – even if my 11 month old still wakes up every 3 hours!
Nicola: Wow, thanks Rachel for being such a huge inspiration to all us mums!!
In light of recent events in Manchester this week, the way we look, weight loss and everything else feels rather irrelevant. Completely unimportant. However I decided to continue with this post because the sentiments behind Rachel’s success can help us all appreciate our own health, families, friends and futures. Things that have been brutally and unfairly taken away from 22 people and their families on Monday evening.
So I would like to finish my blog today by asking you to do 2 things today.
- Make an effort today to say ‘thank you’ for all the wonderful things you have in your life to honour and respect our fallen 22.
- With Rachel as my inspiration, I’d like to ask you to give at least one woman or mum (a friend or a stranger) a compliment from the heart. If you admire something about another woman – tell her!!! It could help towards changing her life, and that in turn could change the lives of those around her. Wouldn’t that feel great to do that today?!
A huge thanks to the amazing Rachel for sharing her weight loss story and helping me to put my excuses to one side and get training again! I’m determined this time round thanks to this lady! If you want help to look slimmer a little more instantly read my blog
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