Tessa Terpstra had fallen into a pit of bad habits. She was a part-time smoker, a regular drinker, and her weekends were spent partying and recovering from hangovers.
Her diet also reflected her unhealthy lifestyle.
“I would try having things like salads or sandwiches for lunch, but when it came down to it I was snacking on chips, chocolate, large coffees, pizza, and slices and muffins from cafes,” she tells body+soul.
Even though she knew her weight was getting out of control, Tessa recalls she would fear the scales as it would only make matters worse.
“I would beat myself up and go to an extreme of eating very little for a few days.”
But it wasn’t until she started to experience intense reflux that would leave her “physically sick”, “painful” bloating and “terrible periods”, did she decide to take a trip to the doctor.
“I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a fatty liver and put on medication for the reflux” Tessa recalls. “When it was really affecting my health and having a massive impact on my daily life, that’s when I decided I needed to take my life back and make some changes.”
She signed up to Kayla Itsines’ BBG Program and two years later has lost 25kg. Here’s how she’s managed to keep it off.
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Prior to her weight loss journey, Tessa was eating pasta, toasted sandwiches and opting for takeaway more often than needed.
But after visiting a nutritionist, she managed to overhaul her bad eating habits forever with one simple approach: “I tried starting out small, just making little daily healthy habits such as ordering a small coffee, only having takeaways once a week, trying to drink 2L of water a day,” she explains.
“I continued with this until it became a habit and now it’s turned into my lifestyle.”
Here’s what a typical day on a plate looks like to her now:
- Breakfast: Oats/WeetBix with chocolate protein powder, peaches and peanut butter.
- Lunch: A stir-fry, a wrap, or chicken with vegetables.
“I have an amazing relationship with food now and a much better understanding of portion sizes. I don’t believe there are such things as good or bad food. I just think it’s how much of each good group you are consuming.”
Tessa’s workout routine
Just like her approach to food, Tessa started off by incorporating small daily fitness goals such as completing five pushups or doing 5,000 steps a day.
But it was joining the SWEAT BBG Program that really kick started Tessa’s motivation to improve her health.
“I really liked that I didn’t need to go to a gym because being really self-conscious at that time in my life, a gym was really intimidating to me.”
She also loved how quick and efficient the workouts were, and she never felt out of her comfort zone.
“It also required minimal equipment, it took less than 35 minutes to do, and even though I found it hard, I liked that if I couldn’t do an exercise there was always an easier alternative option.”
Now a typical week of exercise for Tessa involves three resistance training sessions from the BBG app and on the other days she varies her exercise between a 10,000 step target, 20 minutes of HIIT, or an outdoor walk.
“It really depends how I’m feeling but I love that I can tailor my workouts to how I’m feeling as you can pick and choose what to do on the SWEAT app whenever you like.”
Tessa on the biggest lesson she’s learnt
“I have learnt to be patient,” she explains. “It takes time and any progress is good progress.”
Tessa notes that she’s had many slip ups over the past two years, but has slowly come to accept the fact that being consistently “perfect” isn’t a sustainable approach.
“I was always so harsh on myself and felt like as soon I had a bad day I was undoing all my hard work. But understanding that being consistent rather than perfect has had a much better impact, so now if I have a bad meal or don’t exercise for a day, I just accept it, move on and carry on how I normally would every other day.”
Tessa’s advice for others
Her advice for everyone is simple: “Small changes every day make for bigger changes in the long run.”
“You don’t need to have a perfect workout or food every single day, but being consistent everyday will get you to where you want to be.
“Make small and big goals along the way and celebrate them when you get there. Don’t be harsh on yourself because the fact that you’re trying in the first place is massive. Do it for you and don’t ever do it for anyone else.”