Kirsty was stuck in a health rut. She would find herself binge eating chocolate and dessert, and drinking too much wine, but didn’t know how to stop herself.
“I would get to 5pm and binge on chocolate while I was cooking dinner,” the mother-of-four tells body+soul. I would start at one piece and could eat half a block by the time I was serving dinner on the table. I would then sit down and eat so much more than I needed.”
After dinner, she would then relax with her husband over an “alcoholic beverage or two.”
But even though she saw her weight spiral to 75kg, she couldn’t stop herself from eating.
“I knew I was putting on weight and I knew my eating habits were causing it, but I couldn’t make myself stop,” the 39-year-old explains.
“Every night as I hopped in the shower I would tell myself that tomorrow there would be no more chocolate, no more desert and less alcohol.”
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But Kirsty recalls the exact moment she knew she had to make major changes to her diet.
“It wasn’t until I watched a video of myself horse riding that I could really see how much weight I had put on. Everything looked bigger – especially my arms.”
Kirsty decided to make an executive decision: to give herself eight weeks to change her lifestyle. Kirsty, along with her husband, signed up to the 28 by Sam Wood 8-week challenge and as a result lost 9.5kg.
Here’s how she did it…
“I was sick of trying to decide what to cook every night and my husband was sick of eating the same boring food that the kids wanted to eat.” With 28 by Sam Wood, the meals looked “varied and appealing.”
During the first four weeks Kirsty admits she only followed the meal plan of the 28 by Sam Wood 8-week challenge – not the exercise compartment – but she still saw changes to her weight.
“This made me realise how much your diet can impact on your weight loss or gain. Just by changing my eating habits I was dropping at least 1kg per week.”
Here’s what a typical day on a plate looks like to her:
Breakfast: If she doesn’t have time to cook the meal on the 28 by Sam Wood meal plan, Kirsty would whip up an almond smoothie or have some toasted muesli.
Lunch: “95 per cent of the time, I will cook an extra serve of the main meal the night before. This has made a real difference to my day. Previously I would get to lunch time and be starving and would eat a couple of pieces of toast with cheese on it because it was quick and easy.” By 3pm she would be “starving”, which then led her to snack on chocolate by 5pm.
Dinner: We try to work on the theory that we will try everything once,” she says of the meal plan. “I must admit I have served up some dinners and said, I’m sorry I don’t think this is going to be very nice but we have really enjoyed it.”
Snacks: Piece of fruit, a handful of cashews or a couple of spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt.
Kirsty’s exercise routine
Prior to losing weight, Kirsty didn’t do any exercise at all. Now she aims to fit in five workouts per week.
“I try to exercise every day but life sometimes gets in the way.”
The workouts on the program are only 28-minutes long, which Kirsty has found “goes fairly quickly” and “is really doable.”
Kirsty on the biggest challenge
“The biggest challenge for me was not to fall back into old habits, mainly going for food and chocolate when life get stressful.”
To overcome this, she’s learnt to follow five golden rules:
1. Make time for yourself.
2. Plan. Preparation is the difference between eating toast with cheese for lunch, or sitting down to a nice bowl of stroganoff.
3. Try every recipe. Even if you look at it and think there is no way you would eat that, give it a go – you will probably be surprised.
4. Always keep haloumi in the fridge and beans in the cupboard. With haloumi and beans, you can always throw together a yummy healthy meal.
5. Make sure you drink plenty of water. I notice on the days I don’t drink at least 3 litres of water, I’m hungrier.