For many, the coronavirus lockdowns meant becoming more sedentary than we already are. But business owner Samantha saw the time at home as an opportunity to make some serious lifestyle changes.
Samantha always had weight issues growing up.
“It was a vicious cycle of yoyo dieting,” she says.
“I’d become ‘addicted’ to working out and eating healthy, then fall out of routine.”
As someone who describes herself as “all or nothing”, the 28-year-old’s sole focus for three to four years was building up her successful business, Summerhill Lashes, as an eyelash artist and educator. It was all business, she says, and healthy eating fell by the wayside.
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“My meals consisted on ice coffee from the 7/11 downstairs, Uber Eats ordered in my late-night Uber home and lots of ice cream just before bed,” Samantha recalls, a litre tub every time.
She adds, “Connoisseur chocolate honey nougat or cookies and cream, they should be illegal.”
At 157cm, she found herself weighing in at 90kg, “which was heavy and round for frame”.
Samantha admits that at the time, she “didn’t want the success if I had to accept being unhappy within myself physically” and knew she’d hit a turning point.
Samantha says that if she were to commit to losing weight and continue growing her business, she needed help. Having considered gastric sleeve surgery for several years, she finally made an appointment to have it done.
The surgery was a success, but when COVID sent Samantha (and the rest of the world) back to the couch soon after, she was determined nothing was going to get in the way of her weight loss journey and utilised the time to find a workout she really loved.
“As gyms were closed, I went to online options and found FluidForm Pilates,” she says.
‘It’s my life. I literally wake up early to do it every day.”
11 months into her journey, Samantha has lost 37kg. She knows that the weight is due to her change in eating habits and the gastric sleeve surgery, but her strength and muscle tone? All Pilates.
“Sometimes I will even do a few workouts a day just because I love them and want to feel balanced throughout my body,” she says.
Samantha’s day on a plate
A classic milk tea protein shake with almond milk.
Normally a homemade protein ball (hazelnut, mint, paean or apple pie flavour).
Often a white cheese with chicken or tuna and bean mix.
Naughty snacks range from a lunchbox packet of Vegemite shapes, a couple tablespoons of ice cream or a couple squares of chocolate.
“Normally I will ask myself what my body actually needs when I reach for such snacks,” says Samantha.
Whatever my chef partner is cooking! Although, I stick to the protein and veg.
Making the most of it
“I was lucky that the COVID lockdown aligned with my weight loss journey and made me realise that we only live one life,” says Samantha.
“We now live in a day and age where we shouldn’t judge people’s health decisions. If you’re overweight, unhappy and you need a tool to help you achieve your goals, consider weight loss surgery. No one can make that decision for you and no one has the right to judge you for it.”