As a busy working mum of three children under 4 years, to say my needs, and in particular my health needs, had not been a priority for some time, would be an understatement! I had become accustomed to being “a big mum”, to wearing clothes that were comfortable but not flattering or something I would genuinely choose for myself, and I had to come to accept that I would likely not feel attractive or sexy again - after all, my life was now that of a mum, right?
Without realising it, my weight gain and inability to focus on or be able to easily shift it began to impact upon my mental and emotional health as well, and I now believe that the weight created a shift in my thinking that I was “not capable” of all I used to be able to do. It felt dreadful. It felt so foreign to me - I was not used to these feelings. I had always been able to achieve whatever I put my mind to, but that hadn’t been the case this time. I had always been a curvy girl and naturally fluctuated up and down with weight, but with dedication and focus, I had always been able to get back to where I wanted to be. After creating, carrying and caring for three tiny humans however, I had very little left to give to myself.
Although, I had been able to lose the pregnancy weight after my first child, the weight did not come off as easily after my second and I fell pregnant with my third child whilst still carrying an extra 8 kilos. I then was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my third pregnancy and was concerned by the fact that this now put me at risk of diabetes post pregnancy if I did not make significant changes to “convenience” foods I was consuming due to my hectic lifestyle as a business owner, wife and mum to my babies. I made minor attempts to change the bad habits I had created through the pregnancies but it wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself with my baby and husband that I realised how much I did not recognise me anymore. I also realised that I had not seen this sooner as I seemed to stop being in photos. This was not like me - I was always in photos or taking photos! I realised that there were lots of head shots/selfies of me, or photos with my babies covering me up, but none of me anymore on my own. So seeing this photo had shocked me somewhat. I looked so bloated and so unwell. Then, I went to put on my pants and realised I was likely going to need to go a buy the next size up - a size I had never been - not even when pregnant. That was my moment. That was when, finally, that determined, motivated and strong voice inside me reminded me that this wasn’t who I am. That I am capable of more. That I need to show my kids who their real mum is and that I wanted to be that fun, confident, sexy and healthy wife my husband had known all those years ago.
I knew this was never going to be something I could do on my own without losing my head, managing all that was going on in life. Thankfully, I am someone who knows the power of asking for help and am not afraid to. I knew I needed someone to guide me, to support me, to keep me accountable. My pride was never going to let me show up and not have worked hard to shift the weight if someone was watching me as I do it. I spoke to my husband, in tears, worried that by focusing on me that I might somehow be detracting from my role as a mum and wife - thankfully his voice of reason told me how they all needed me, but they needed me to be ok - physically, mentally and emotionally. He backed me, as always, 100%. Once my decision was made, there was no turning back.
Being on Jenny was the easiest thing I think I have ever done. And the smartest. My lovely Consultant got it. She knew how busy my lifestyle was - she didn’t push me - ever. She got to know me and my family and provided ideas on how I could follow the program, but still meet my other priorities in life. Given I was still breastfeeding at the time I started, the program was slightly adjusted to ensure I could lose weight but still have all the nutrients I needed to feed my baby.
It was all pretty much done for me - and this suited my lifestyle.
At my first weigh in, I was nervous, thinking it all felt a little too easy - just eating the food they had provided me and sticking to the plan and then I weighed in with a 1.9kg weight loss. Tears filled me eyes and I remember my consultant asking me if I was ok and I told her “This is actually going to work!”
The food was delicious, I felt full but lighter - as ironic as that might sound; and I was learning how to fend off those bad habits I had created. As the weight fell off I became more motivated and with my consultants help I was able to become creative on how to add exercise into my life more purposefully. I was losing on average 1.2kgs every week - which was not considered typical of the program; but my body had desperately been craving this balance and was so ready to stop being “big”.
By the time I reached half way I was excited and determined to change my eating habits and loved the fact I was supported to “feed myself” and my family with balance in mind. Knowledge is power - and how much more powerful I felt in knowing what to do. People began noticing the difference in me. I remember staff at child care asking me if I had an anti-aging potion as they felt I was looking younger each week. I felt it too. I was slowly becoming me again.
Since losing the weight, the overwhelming feeling I have had is that I am me again. I am actually even smaller than I was when I got married! I am confident, I am healthy. I feel capable again, I can dress in clothes I really like and am choosing for myself again. I am far more active with my kids and can see in their gorgeous little faces how much they love “fun” mum. I feel attractive again - and even though my amazing husband has always loved me no matter which way I look; I know that he loves me feeling better about me. I am human, and have my weak moments, but that is ok, and expected in life - Jenny Craig has taught me how to accept and overcome those moments so not to fall back into a spiral of bad habits. It is not only a new me but a new way of living. Jenny Craig was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank you for helping me find myself again.