‘I lost 20kg and my belly fat without quitting pasta’

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I never used to think my food choices were that bad, and most weren’t, but I now know that my portions were way off. It never used to be a problem, I was a size eight my whole life but after four kids that changed.

Losing my Nan suddenly was the catalyst for my weight gain. She was a mother to me, she was the person I rang for advice and when I felt like I was drowning in motherhood she was always there to tell me I was doing a great job, so losing her rocked my world.

I started drinking almost a litre of vodka a day. The weight piled on very quickly and I was stuck in this vicious circle of grief and depression, the depression made worse by alcohol.

At my heaviest, I was almost 73kg. That’s not a huge number, but for someone who’d never been over 60kgs it was a big number for me.

I needed to change for lots of reasons other than weight gain. I’d become a shell, I certainly wasn’t being the best mum and wife I could be anymore. I was only finding comfort in the bottom of a vodka bottle, my Nan wouldn’t want me living like this and I knew I had to change.

I joined the 28 by Sam Wood program. I cut out alcohol completely, for my body but most importantly for my mind. I’m an all or nothing person, so I cut out processed sugar and chocolate as well. I was all in.

There were so many moments where I wanted to reach for the chocolate during the first week, it was hard. I wasn’t having sugar in my coffee anymore and the headaches were terrible but my mind was strong. I knew it was short term pain for long term gain.

Now my mornings always start with a smoothie. I normally have a lean protein, like chicken breast or salmon with some salad for lunch, or if I’m really short for time (being a mum of four that happens a lot) I have a veggie-packed smoothie.

Dinner is the hardest because I cook for so many people. I try and use 28 for inspiration, I cook the family their favourite meals and just adapt mine to make it a little more healthy. We are a pasta loving family, so that’s one thing I allow myself every week, but thanks to 28 I have learnt that nothing needs to be cut out, everything in moderation.

Workouts are my one non-negotiable, I get up and do my 28. It’s one thing I never did before and something I learnt to love very quickly. I always wanted abs, but after having four kids I never thought it would be possible – but I achieved them in just four months.

There were days I didn’t want to work out, but I knew that if I didn’t do it, I would regret it and be breaking a promise I made to myself. It’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Sam Wood’s words rang in my ear, “It’s just 28 minutes, only 4 per cent of your day.”

I’ve lost a little over 19kg, but my goal was to lose 12kg. I’m now 53.3kg. It took me four months to get to my goal weight of 60kg, I was happy at that weight and so proud of all I achieved, so I stuck with 28 and the weight kept coming off slowly and I kept toning.

Over the last year, I’ve learnt that the body and mind are amazing things, your body can and will do anything your mind tells it to. I’ve learnt to have a healthy relationship with alcohol again and that when things become challenging, I don’t need a drink to make me feel better.

My advice for anyone that wants to lose weight, or even just get healthy, would be to just start. Make small changes that you can stick with and bit by bit, it all becomes a little easier.

You are the driver and you have full control, make that promise to yourself to do it for you then really stick to it. You wouldn’t let family or friends down if you’ve made a promise to them, so don’t let yourself down either.

Doing something that makes you feel good, will have such a positive effect on so many other aspects of your life. It changed me in ways I didn’t even know needed changing, it made me more confident, proud and happy.