Sam · Checkpoint

Dedicated Mum Sam Prioritised Her Health And Fitness And Changed Her Life

I used to be an avid gym goer years ago, but after having kids, who are now 8 and 13, I opted for home workouts mainly consisting of cardio. I tried Insanity and lost 8lbs but never finished it! I didn’t believe in diets and didn’t eat excessively but little did I know that my version of healthy eating was just not providing me with enough nourishment, especially protein. My body had obviously changed after two pregnancies, I carried more weight around my midriff and although I kept to a size 8 dress size, which many people will think is still small, I seemed to lose weight but then plateau. I just couldn’t shift the bloated tummy I had, it was frustrating, but I never gave up.

I first heard about RNT just before Summer 2018 when my husband, Harj, mentioned he had seen it on a Facebook feed. I brushed it off as a guy thing for bodybuilding! However, when I later saw someone who literally mirrored how I looked, and was a busy mother of two, working full time, it got me thinking. I procrastinated for a while but then took the plunge and signed up for six months starting in September 2018. I’d say it took me at least four weeks to get any sort of routine as I felt quite overwhelmed in trying to fit everything into my already busy life.

I got into a strict routine from October 2018 and didn’t deviate from the nutrition and training plan. I would religiously meal prep and ensure I met my targets, it was comparing the pictures each week and month to month that made me realise, this was working for me. My motivation was that I could see results and that kept me going. I went away for Christmas 2018 and worked out on holiday, which is something I never did before, even when I had good intentions! My family were really supportive, and my parents didn’t mind that I would make my own food when going to visit them, my mum would even get chicken and broccoli in for me! Harj always encouraged me and bought weights for my ‘home gym’. My kids would suggest we go for a cycle so I could walk and get my steps in too! I did receive many compliments, which boosted my confidence but also comments of “don’t lose anymore”, I didn’t let these deter me though. When people asked “how is your diet going”, I’d respond with “it’s a lifestyle choice and a mindset shift, not a diet!”. This was MY journey, MY achievement and I owned it.

I started at 58.3kg and after eight months I was down to 46.3kg, I was so proud of myself and especially as I hadn’t stepped foot inside a gym! In the months that followed, I wasn’t as strict, and I basically got complacent. I admitted to the team that I’d lost my mojo a bit and was struggling to lose the last few kilos. They were supportive and understood how I felt as I had been on fat loss for so long. I continued for the subsequent months but was still plateauing, a big comfort though was the fact that I wasn’t putting weight on. My relationship with food had changed hugely since starting with RNT but I was no longer content with eating the same thing, even adding a bit of variety here and there just wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to binge eat but I wanted to enjoy the whole host of flavours that so many foods offer, which can still be healthy.

In Autumn 2019, my focus changed as my father had a fall and broke his elbow, the same elbow he had broken two years earlier. It took its toll on our whole family as my father has suffered with Parkinson’s Disease for 17 years. Surgery for a Parkinson’s sufferer means all medications become out of sync, hallucinations occur, and it takes constant supervision, which is exhausting for anyone. My sisters and I tag teamed, travelling back and forth, as well as managing our own lives, helping in our father’s care. For me, in this situation, my non-negotiables changed overnight as my priorities changed. Some people may not understand that but helping look after a parent when their hallucinations are so real to them, another parent who is exhausted from lack of sleep, living 55 miles away and still working full time and looking after a family of my own, something had to give.

I took a 3-month break from exercising but still ate relatively well, which meant a stable weight of 49kg. My body and mind had adjusted so much that this break in exercise had not been detrimental to my journey. I joined a gym in 2020 to help give me a kick start to the year, Kunal adjusted my training plan accordingly and all was going well with routines in place, until the pandemic. I gave up my gym membership a month before lockdown and I turned down work travel too, the super cautious side of me. However, I haven’t seen home workouts as a step back, especially since I lost my weight using only equipment I had at home. The ‘home gym’ has improved though with the addition of a power rack and heavier weights, before they became more expensive!

My workouts now consist of treadmill LISS every day with weights on alternate days and an intensive yoga session once a week. I eat yoghurt with blueberries or overnight oats for breakfast, a whole meal chapatti with lentils or vegetable curry for lunch and dinner varies everyday, as well as fitting a protein shake somewhere. I stayed away from chapatti in my fat loss phase but have reintroduced it with moderation, but I would say that during this time it has removed the decision fatigue of what to feed the family. The funny thing is that having eaten chicken for 8 months consistently, I now only eat meat and fish twice a week! I have learnt so much over the last 18 months and I could not have done this without my loved ones or the RNT family. Harj’s constant support was and still is invaluable, and our kids are just amazing! RNT armed me with knowledge, offered words of support when they were most needed and kept it real. Even though my progress has slowed compared to my initial leaps, I’m continuing my journey at my pace and what fits into my life. Everyone is on their own journey and the fact that I have maintained my physique, even during these unprecedented times, makes me feel proud of how far I have come. Like my father, who has battled his illness and yet run several businesses but never given up, like my mother who is relentless in her care despite her own ailments and raised us to be independent, I will continue my journey and who knows what I can reach next.

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