Rachel Mott was determined to lose weight, and she wasn’t going to let motherhood or surgery stand in her way. The BodyBlitz challenge inspired her to achieve lifelong goals and has made her home an ultimately happier place.

After the birth of my second son, I was the heaviest I had ever been and was devastated to say the least. I had always loved the beach, surfing, keeping fit and fashion but was now extremely unhappy with myself and knew I had to do something about it. Even though I had just had a baby, I had gained much more than the recommended weight and was using pregnancy as an excuse to binge eat and not exercise. 

Friends and family thought I was mad to be starting the BodyBlitz challenge over the Christmas and New Year period, but I knew if I could succeed over the festive season when temptations were at their highest, I would be able to keep the weight off for good.

Initially I didn’t join a gym because I hated being separated from my baby son Lincoln, who was only seven weeks old at the time. I love the outdoors and knew of a great one-hour walking route in my local area that has lots of hills to keep my workout challenging. I did eventually join the gym, roughly halfway through the 12 weeks, and learnt to feel slightly better being apart from my baby for short periods of time. Some gyms now offer on-site childcare, which makes it so much easier to work out when the weather is not so good. 

Low-carb, high-protein diet

To lose weight I stuck to a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet that I personally found a lot easier than counting calories. While this may work for some people, I find counting calories very time-consuming and some foods just don’t keep me feeling full. I would always include a lean protein with every meal that satisfied my hunger and encouraged muscle growth and repair. On the three days a week I did weight training, I would have a piece of fruit like a banana prior to my weights session for energy, a small serve of sweet potato or other healthy starch carb, and a protein shake post workout to aid muscle recovery.On the remaining days I would stick to lean protein, salad or steamed non-starchy vegetables, low-carb bars, shakes, Greek yoghurt and small amounts every few days of healthy fats like almonds and avocado.

Workout routine

I would aim to exercise a minimum of one hour per day, six days a week with Sunday as my rest and recovery day. Even though there were times I missed a workout or ate something that wasn’t part of my plan, I would get myself back on track quickly. I learnt to forgive myself and move on to ensure I didn’t fall into a negative pattern of thinking that would be counterproductive and detrimental to my goals. I found using a heart rate monitor to track calorie expenditure, measure my heart rate and time my training was a great investment and made it easy to ensure I stayed in the fat-burning zone as much as possible and confirm my progress. 

Unfortunately I did have a setback along the way when I woke up injured and unable to move due to exercising in the weeks after giving birth via caesarean. Although over seven weeks had passed since the surgery, I woke up the morning after a workout session in extreme agony. I must have torn something near the caesarean site and unfortunately couldn’t exercise for two weeks of the challenge. I knew this was a test and I wasn’t about to let it stand in my way, so I concentrated on my food intake and tried to rest up to get back to exercising as quickly as possible.

Rachel Mott - June 2014 BodyBlitz winner - Women's Health & Fitness

There were many other obstacles I had to overcome during the 12-week challenge and I had to be ready with a positive mindset to avoid undoing all of my hard work. One recurring obstacle was being tired and wanting to skip my workouts, only to indulge in the comfort foods my friends and family were enjoying. I got over this by keeping a diet and exercise diary to reflect back on when temptations were high. I wrote my goals in a notebook to ensure these were being adhered to throughout the challenge and separated these into daily, weekly, monthly categories plus my one ultimate goal of being ultra lean and super fit. I kept my ‘before’ photo where I could see it, which was a great way to strengthen my resolution to lose weight on a daily basis. 

Christmas was a difficult time and I had to make sure that I was prepared with healthy alternatives when there were so many treats always on offer. I downloaded some motivational and weight loss meditation and hypnosis apps, which I listened to before going to sleep. I found them excellent for keeping me focused and getting my unconscious mind in line with my conscious mind. If I stayed at our friend’s place on the weekend, I would pack my workout wear and get up early, well before anyone else, and go for a long walk. I would feel amazing for the rest of the day knowing that no matter what, I was still working towards my ultimate goal.

My advice to others who either don’t want to or don’t have time for the gym is to find some other way to incorporate physical exercise into your day-to-day life. Put on some music and give your home a spring clean or have a dance-off. Go to the park and take advantage of stationary exercise equipment. Have a look online for low-cost exercise classes that are available to everyone and are sometimes provided by the local council. Buy some exercise DVDs you can do in the comfort of your living room. The options are endless!

Feeling positive

The challenge has taught me that the fitter and healthier I become, the clearer my mind is. I have so much more energy to get things done around the house and to play with my boys. I now look forward to going to the beach and am no longer insecure about getting into my bikini. I feel so much happier all the time and comfortable in my own skin. I’m so excited about what’s in store for the future and appreciate the little things in life more than before. I actually spend less money because I no longer go to the shops to fill some kind of void. I respect myself and feel satisfied and fulfilled without having to waste money on things I don’t need. 

I have continued to progress since the challenge and have lost two more kilos. I am doing a lot more strength training and can see my body is becoming firmer than ever before and accentuating my curves. I think a lot of women steer clear of weights because they think they may bulk up, but this is not the case at all. Incorporating strength training a few days a week as well as doing cardio is, in my opinion, the best way to lose weight and improve bone density. My fitness plan now is to get back into surfing and use my stand-up paddle board as much as possible. I am looking into becoming a qualified personal trainer so I can pursue a career that will help others achieve their individual fitness goals. I have also recently hired my own personal trainer once a week, which has been a great way to stay focused and has taken my fitness to a new level I never thought I was capable of.

If you are considering doing the BodyBlitz challenge, you are halfway towards making a huge and possibly life-changing decision! It really is such a small period of time in the scheme of things and could change your health and fitness attitude forever. 

 

MEAL PLAN 

Breakfast: Two-egg omelette with spicy tomatoes
Snack: Banana and handful of almonds
Lunch: Chicken breast and avocado salad
Snack: Low carb protein shake
Dinner: Salmon with steamed vegetables
Supper: Greek yoghurt sprinkled with Natvia and cinnamon.

 

EXERCISE ROUTINE 

Monday: 1-hour interval training on treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike
Tuesday: PT Session and 30 mins interval training on treadmill
Wednesday: 1-hour interval training on treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike
Thursday: Strength training, full body circuit and 30 mins interval training on treadmill
Friday: 1-hour interval training on treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike
Saturday: Bike class and strength training full body circuit
Sunday: Rest

Browse more inspirational weight loss stories or start your own 12-week challenge!