The life of every mother is hectic. Your time isn’t your own and you have to respond to every demand and request your little people ask of you. It bounces from one need to the next - dirty nappies, hunger, thirst, boredom, tantrums. Your every single waking moment is centred around their needs!
This was definitely the case for Julia, a working mum of two energetic and bouncy boys.
“I was always fit before having children, I would go to the gym 3-4 times a week and was careful about what I ate. After giving birth I put on a lot of weight and ended up 20 kilos heavier. I tried everything to lose weight. I remember I even went on a juicing diet for 28 days! I was so committed! I lost some weight for the first two weeks and then after those two weeks I actually started gaining weight! I was so disheartened!”
This experience really affected Julia and she found herself heading towards a downward spiral.
“The negative self talk kicked in, I started to believe that I wasn’t really good enough. I thought: I am in my 40s, I am growing old, my mum was overweight so I will also be overweight. I thought I would never achieve that dream body! It was hard to get out of that!”
A Way Out
We all need a wake-up call to shake us out of the haze we tend to hide in. For Julia it all happened when she was on holiday.
“I was in my bathing suit, sun bathing. Nearby was a set of glass automatic doors. I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection and I was so upset! My body wasn’t swimming in the water, my body was swimming in fat! The next day in a caravan opposite ours, I saw a lady in a bikini, slim and beautiful. She was also a mum of two boys but she looked amazing! She was right in my face. That was when I knew I had to do something different.”
While looking for solutions Julia met up with a friend of hers, Diksesh. At 50, Diksesh had totally transformed his life and body with RNT.
“I thought if Diksesh could do it in his 50s, I can do this too! And I signed up to RNT!”
Making ‘Me-Time’ A Non-Negotiable
As a mother and an entrepreneur, Julia had always been rather pressed for time. Between caring for her kids and the demands of work and family meant that she never put herself first.
Identifying and cementing her 3Ss (Structure, Strategy and Systems) during her journey with RNT suddenly gave her “the space in her brain” she so needed.
“I had always resisted structure. I am very creative and I just like to go with the flow. Before, if someone was to tell me to have a schedule I would immediately push back. But now I know I have the time to spend with my family, time for work and time for myself, I don’t have to worry about trying to fit it all in! That has been the biggest transformation!”
One of the biggest game changers was the simple act of batch cooking.
“I would always snack and reach for biscuits when I was hungry. But now I knew that if I had something healthy and nutritious prepared I didn’t have an excuse to snack.”
The satisfaction Julia found in eating healthy meals with spinach and beans and salad made it easier for her to resist temptation.
“Visually seeing what I ate has helped to create new neurological pathways in my brain and now I realise the portion I am eating is enough and is full of nutrients. The amount of greens I eat now I could only wish for back then. I am doing things that I wouldn’t even dare to think about before!
Batch cooking has become almost like a life-line. Whenever I realise I am down to my last freezer box I totally panic. I know that if I don’t have those pre-portioned meals I will slip.”
Julia found the time to meal prep over the weekend and she realised it didn’t take much longer than the time she would normally spend in cooking a family meal!
Early Bird Catches The Worm
The best way to make time when you are busy and have a lot of commitments is to get a head start on your to-do list by waking up early. The couple of hours you get at a time which isn’t rushed and hurried frees up time later in the day, reducing the load that we tend to carry in the evenings. When a lot of work gets compressed in the evening it drains us of the last vestiges of energy limiting our will power, making it all too easy to reach for that bottle of wine or box of chocolates.
“I have never been an early bird, if anything I have always been a late bird. I go to bed late and I wake up late. But after I joined RNT and was asked to go on my morning walk, I set the alarm for 6am, drank a cup of coffee and went for a walk in the forest. And it was the best thing I could possibly do for myself! It was so quiet, I could hear the birds and I didn’t have the kids constantly needing me. It was AMAZING! I thought I would dread waking up so early but now I absolutely love it! If I didn’t go for a walk I would use that time in the morning to meditate, journal or read a book.”
Julia’s 3Ss helped her find the time and the energy to train in the gym, be there for her family and focus on her job. The changes she made to her day and schedule by meal prepping and owning her morning were soon incorporated by her family, they quickly adjusted and soon it became the norm. Getting everyone involved is the best way to make it a lifestyle solution. Any potential barriers and obstacles are automatically diminished.
The Identity Shift
When you have been at a certain body weight for a long time, that weight becomes a part of your identity. And after you have been through a weightloss journey it takes a long time for your brain to actually make a shift and catch up with the body.
“I was finally at the lowest weight of my life. But when I read Akash’s book Transform Your Body. Transform Your Life I learned that according to my height I was supposed to be even lesser than that. And I found that really hard! I would work really hard and do really well and lose a kilo but then I would self sabotage and eat more! I just couldn’t understand it! I knew what to do and I was doing it but I kept bopping in this area. And then I worked it out mentally. I had never been at such a low bodyweight, never looked so slim and my old self was pulling me back towards a comfort zone. People said, ‘You are skinny enough, you’re going to get blown away by the wind!’ Or they would say, ‘Aren’t you afraid you’ll look too skinny?’ Although I didn’t take the comments on board it was playing on my mind subconsciously. I then started to really visualise myself at that weight, looking really slim and beautiful.”
Trying to break out of this identity lock is really like a rubberband. You keep pulling at it and stretching at it, trying to make it snap so you can break out of the old identity and embrace the new. The battle is hard and it is a process, you recognise that you are there but you still find it hard to break out of it and shift your identity to embrace the new version.
Embracing The New
Finally snapping out of the rubber band, Julia discovered a deep seated happiness. To the world Julia was always seen as someone who was happy, but there had always been a sense of dissatisfaction. But with her 3Ss Julia has a lifestyle solution with the tools and the knowledge to adapt her structure around the seasons and celebrations.
Julia’s next phase promises to be exciting as she has her sights on winning a ballroom dancing competition as well as body building competition!
Her advice to other busy mothers who wish to start on the RNT journey is -
“You deserve every happiness and ‘me-time’. As much as you want to serve your family, you’ll be able to give the best version of yourself when you invest in yourself. Thank you RNT, I will forever be grateful”
Starting Weight - 72kgs
Checkpoint Weight - 53kgs
Julia’s story is one that every mother can resonate with. She takes us on her journey In this candid and insightful conversation with Akash. This podcast is really one you need to listen to when you are tired and need a boost in motivation!