Samantha Frigo was once a “fit and sporty person”. But once she started her full-time job as a pub manager, she began to prioritise her work over her health.
“I manage a pub where all my meals are for free, so it was cheaper and easier to just eat from there – that wasn’t such a good idea,” she tells body+soul.
After indulging in a pub meal for lunch every day, she would then pick up “deep fried foods and takeaway” for dinner on her way home from her shift.
“I didn’t eat vegetables, fruit or drink water,” she adds.
Before Samantha realised, she was tipping the scales at 91.4kg.
“I wasn’t exercising at all and when I wasn’t at work, I was sleeping or lying in bed.”
She notes she could easily sleep for 14 hours or more, a day “and still be exhausted.”
“I always felt exhausted no matter how much sleep I had,” she explains. “I felt quite lethargic a lot of the time, and I felt like I was lacking in energy and was always in a terrible mood.”
The combination of her lack of energy and increasing weight caused Samantha to feel insecure about herself.
“I lost all self-confidence and felt horrible about myself. I didn’t want to go out, I dreaded summer, I wouldn’t go swimming and didn’t like getting in photos.
It was during this moment in Samantha’s life when she decided she wanted to take charge of her health and turn her life around.
Nine months later and she had lost 27kg, and became the happiest and healthiest version of herself.
Here’s how she managed to achieve her weight loss.
Samantha on her diet
The first thing Samantha did was cut out soft drink, decrease her portion sizes and clear her kitchen from junk food. She then signed up to Lite n’ Easy’s 1200 calorie meal plan.
“During the first week or so it was a bit challenging going from eating so much food to eating smaller portions,” she recalls.
“I swapped soft drink for water and started eating foods that I never would have thought about eating. I learnt to limit myself on foods and tried to keep minimal junk food in the house so that I wasn’t tempted.”
Samantha powered through her “Diet Coke withdrawals” as soon as she noticed the weight falling off after the first week.
“Within the first week or so I felt so much better, I stopped napping and didn’t feel sick anymore. Straight away I started to lose a lot of weight, so it made it easier to stick to knowing how well it was working.”
Once she started exercising more, Samantha then increased her calorie intake to 1500.
Here’s what an average day on a plate looks like to her now on Lite n Easy’s meal plan:
- Breakfast: Bacon and egg muffin OR cereal based meal
- Lunch: Pasta OR pizza
- Dinner: Pasta OR steak and salad
- Snacks: Fruit cup OR fresh fruit
- Dessert: Low fat, low carb ice cream from the supermarket
Samantha on exercise
Samantha ditched her sedentary lifestyle and made it a priority to hit the gym at least five times a week.
“I do around three to four high intensity classes and around three to four weight sessions a week,” she says.
Samantha on the challenges
Although she may look like a different person today, she still admits some days are harder than others.
“My biggest challenge still to this day is resisting or saying no to food. At both work and home I am constantly tempted with foods that are very hard to resist.”
To combat her cravings, she ensures she doesn’t completely deprive herself from treats: “I do still indulge in these things but in a lot of smaller portions.”
She also notes her diet hasn’t and isn’t always perfect.
“Some days I would feel like a treat and then go on to demolish any and every food in sight with the mindset of ‘well, I’ve already broken my healthy eating for the day.’”
Samantha’s advice for others
Her number one tip for others trying to lose weight comes down to one word: balance.
“Don’t go all out with crazy diets. I keep myself to five days a week Lite n’ Easy with a snack here and there on most days, and on my days off I go out for dinner or let loose a little bit.
“If I was to be 100 per cent strict with dieting seven days a week, there is no way I would have been able to stick to it. It’s more a lifestyle change than a diet.”