How I lost 15kg and got my health back on track after covid stress

At The Healthy Mummy, we showcase LOTS of stories of mums health and weight loss transformations, here is one from founder Rhian Allen.
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At The Healthy Mummy, we showcase LOTS of stories of mums who share their own health and weight loss transformation stories.

When I started The Healthy Mummy in 2010 it was never about being perfect or reaching a set size or weight.

body love mums rhian

It was always about enabling mums to be body confident and healthy – no matter what their age, shape or size.

And we wanted to give mums the tools to succeed and to get back on track – as well as to build their knowledge to make sustainable choices.

And today I am sharing my own health story as I want to show that anyone can lose their way (even me) but that also anyone can get back on track too – you just need the tools, support and the knowledge to succeed.

So here’s my story……

Year one of covid (2020) had been a shocker for me and it really took its toll.

So much stress with running a business over this time, plus add in the joys of home schooling my 2 boys, lockdowns and getting older (a slowing metabolism) and unfortunately my own physical health took very much a back seat.

The shock and stress of Covid in 2020 had a big effect on my health.

The business side of life was exceptionally stressful and that in itself had a very negative impact on me – physically and mentally.

There was so much stress happening at work, so much pressure, so much uncertainty, so many moving parts and I had so much responsibility on my shoulders and I didn’t want to let anyone down (customers, staff, shareholders) and my stress levels were through the roof.

Then home schooling began and that was exceptionally hard whilst running the business with everything that was going on.

My eating and exercise habits changed dramatically over this time and my stress levels went to INSANE levels. I had zero time for me and my life seemed to descend into a ball of stress where all I did was work, stress and homeschool.

It was pretty out of control and I was not in a good place and I did not take good care of myself – I was just not a priority in my own life and I was at the bottom of my own to do list.

The change…

Then in May this year I noticed my wedding rings were getting quite tight. So tight in fact that they were leaving a big indent on my finger for a very long time after I had managed to get them off!

I had also noticed that my clothes had been getting tighter and I wasn’t feeling anywhere near as fit and healthy as I had done in previous years and I wasn’t feeling great at all.

So as the 2021 Covid lockdowns in NSW began to loom, I decided to take control of all the stress I had been under and to get back in control of my health and fitness.

I think the thing that changed for me was that there had been a few months when some kind of normality had returned (ie no lockdowns) and then when Covid numbers started to go up and all the media turned to doom and gloom I could almost feel the anxiety and stress creeping back in – plus there was chatter about lockdowns coming back.

But this time I decided to get in control of my health as this was something I could be in control of. I decided not to make 2021 the same mistakes as 2020. I didn’t want to let my health get worse. I didn’t want to feel worse and I didn’t want to just let it all happen.

So mentally I made the positive decision to do things differently and I made the decision to take care of my own wellbeing and get back to a place I wanted to be – mentally and physically.

The whole ethos with The Healthy Mummy is about a program that fits into your life, is doable for any busy mum – no matter what your budget and is 100% NOT about not putting pressure on yourself – so this was super important for me as I went on my own journey

So I didn’t set about to lose a heap of weight, I didn’t put a time pressure on myself and I didn’t make lots of drastic changes.

I knew that if I did that – it would be too hard to maintain and that it would not be sustainable for the long term.

So my plan of action was pretty simple.

  • I wanted to lose 5kg.
  • I bought a scales as I didn’t own one
  • I bought a Fit Bit.

And I then I committed to doing the The Healthy Mummy Challenge in The Healthy Mummy app that started in May.

I stuck to the meal plans (which also include treats). I had a Healthy Mummy Smoothie every day.

I stuck to my calories (I did approximately 1200-1400 cals a day). I did the workouts (I chose the 10 minute ones as time was still tight!). I used our Wellbeing and Mindpower section of the app.

Plus I really got into Control X which was a MASSIVE help in controlling my appetite and mindless stress eating and I cannot rate this enough.

I also still had a few glasses of wine a week but rather than 2-3 glasses a night I only had 1 glass a night and not every night. For me it was about balance and still enjoying things I liked without cutting everything out.

I also stopped stress eating.

And as well as the Control X being a BIG help on this (I had it 3 times a day) I also went for a walk when I was stressed and also started doing the kids exercise workouts in the app with my boys which was surprisingly good for stress as we had fun doing it and laughed a lot!

But I didn’t go crazy and deprive myself. I didn’t go hungry and I didn’t beat myself up if I didn’t follow the plan exactly on a specific day. (and if you want to have a look at what a day on my plate looks like – go here)

I wasn’t trying to lose all the weight super fast and for me it was more about feeling back in control of my health and feeling fit and energised again. And I wasn’t trying to do it by a set day – so I didn’t put pressure on myself.

I had good weeks. I had bad weeks (thanks hormones). And that was normal. And when I had the bad weeks I just rolled with it and knew the good weeks would return.

And after about 10 weeks I lost 5kg. And it felt awesome to know I had lost 5kg.

It hadn’t been quick but it had been realistic and doable.

So, then I decided to set myself another 5kg goal.

And this time I did the exact same strategy – small steps, no pressure, no harsh restrictions and slowly but after another 8-10 weeks I had dropped another 5kg.

I was then 10kg down and I thought I am now only 5kg away from my pre baby weight so I thought I would set myself one more goal – to get to that by Christmas.

The last 5kg has been a slow burn.  And it has taken about 12 weeks but I have got there!

And I am feeling great mentally and physically and for the first time in a long time I am even back in a bikini!  And I am so glad that I decided to get back in control back in May.

My biggest piece of advice is that so often we want to lose weight really fast and then go on really restrictive diets where you miss out on nice foods and life but if you do this it is soooo hard to stick at it.

And although you may lose 5kg in a short space of time you just won’t be able to stay living like that for a long time.

Whereas if you make small changes and find a program or lifestyle that you can live your life around and where the weight comes off more slowly – it will still come off but you don’t have to go through the pain to reach your goals.

The time is going to pass anyway – and I promise you that if like me you want to get back in control of your health and body you CAN do it.

Just be kind to yourself and do it in a way that is achievable and healthy – and one that is busy mum friendly.

The small consistent changes DO ADD UP and you will get there.

P.S I am SUPER excited to be wearing our new Healthy Mummy Active Wear in the image below – it is sooooo comfy – you can check it out here

My top eleven lifetime swaps to make

  1. Ditch sugar filled soda drinks and drink sparkling waters or use a soda stream
  2. Half your meat intake and swap for veggies – this will reduce your calorie and fat intake plus up your nutrient and fibre intake
  3. Being in the right frame of mind is crucial. Your mental wellbeing underpins your physical wellbeing. Swap negative practices that don’t help your mental wellbeing and focus on positive mental strategies.
  4. If you love chocolate , swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate with flavours in, so it makes it more interesting – such as mint, sea salt, orange and limit portion size
  5. If you love a glass of wine – make them into a spritzer or load up with ice and limit to 1 glass
  6. Incorporate hand weights into your life and swap 10 mins of your couch time in the night with doing some light hand weights and squats for 10 mins a night
  7. Swap takeaway meals (loaded with oils, fats and sugars) with your own healthy meals – see a HEAP of ideas here
  8. Swap beef mince to turkey mince (much less calories and fat)
  9. Need a sugar hit? Swap store bought choc bars with home made snack bars and treats – see some recipe ideas here 
  10. Ditch frozen convenience food that is often not healthy and get into meal prep – I swear by it and The Healthy Mummy app is JAMMED with easy meal prep recipes – over 5,000 of them! You can check it out here
  11. Swap the car/bus for walking. Even just taking a 10-15 minute walk a few times a week will add up. It is the small changes that WILL make the big differences over time

The future and mental wellbeing

Over the past 12 months, I have also realised just how important the wellbeing side of what we do is and how the mental wellbeing and mindset part of The Healthy Mummy needs much more focus.

Our mental wellbeing and our families wellbeing is critical and Covid has highlighted so many areas where all of us have blind spots and need additional support.

So many people have gone through such a terrible time over the past couple of years and the mental wellbeing and health of so many people and families has been negatively affected and it is so important for all of us to do something about this and to support one another so everyone can be in the best health possible

Thank you for reading!

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