I only met Lauren a few months ago but was immediately impressed with her steely determination when we started our training together, as well as her great sense of humour! She is a real toughie. But it was only when I heard that she’d lost nearly 20kg that it all started making sense, because you don’t achieve those kinds of physical changes without being made of something special. I thought you may find Lauren’s physical transformation over the past few months as interesting as I did, so I interviewed her as part of my Meet a Mom series. Over to her…
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a retired ballerina. I was a senior soloist for Cape Town City Ballet and was with the company for almost 10 years, before falling pregnant with my first son Matthew in 2013. I retired and then carried on teaching ballet, something I’m still doing currently. I had another son last year, James, who has just turned 1 (he’s a very busy boy!). Life with two young sons is a lot of fun and really trying at times, but I hope they grow up to be the best of friends. I have an amazing husband Dylan who is supportive of everything I do and a great role model for our boys. He really is the best.
- How did your health and confidence change after having kids?
Being a ballerina my whole life and being very body conscious, it was quite a shock for my body to eat whatever I wanted when I fell pregnant with Matthew. But maybe I did take it too far and ate for two! That being said, when I was pregnant with James I did things quite differently, eating well and exercising well right up to the end, but I still put on exactly the same amount of weight in both pregnancies (which was a lot!). I think my body just didn’t respond well to being pregnant. Having a wardrobe full of clothes that I thought would possibly never fit me again was really depressing. I also felt awful trying to do things physically that I could do perfectly well before having kids, but simply couldn’t do anymore. I just wanted my old me back in my new life.
- What was the turning point that moved you to make changes?
When I met Ashleigh from FitMom (just before I gave birth to James), I considered a trainer for the first time in my life. I always thought I could do it myself, but this time after the birth I wanted to make sure I got to where I wanted to be. She seemed like the perfect solution.
- More specifically, what were those changes?
Ash really coached me according to my body, and knew she could push me. She also got me to love Sweat1000, Barre Body and running, and anything else exercise-related! While I was breastfeeding I wasn’t so strict on an eating plan, but when I stopped I really concentrated on my diet and upped the exercise. Eating a very low carb/carb-free and high protein diet worked well for me. I also did the Kinesio HCG diet for 30 days. It’s intense, but if you follow it correctly and do the maintenance program properly, it really does work.
- And what have been the results – how has your life changed for the better?
I still have 3kg to go to my absolute goal weight, but in total I have lost 17kg since I first started training with Ash. I feel like my old self, I have so much more energy and can’t believe how strong my body has become again. From barely being able to run 2km 11 months ago, to last weekend when I completed a half marathon in a time of 1:57, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved.
- Any tips you’d like to give other people who want to make similar changes in their lives?
You need to have a goal and a time line. You also don’t have to make all the changes at once, because sometimes this can feel overwhelming and you’ll end up hating the process. Instead, choose one or two things that you’ll change a month. Know deep down that the hard work will pay off and keep reminding yourself of that fact. Finally, having a strong mind is a necessity. You won’t get near your physical goals if you don’t work on your mental strength first.
How inspiring is that? And look at those before and after pics below! What an achievement and a testament to a strong will and impressive determination. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing story with us Lolly.