Mum of two Brandie Chamley had battled with her health for long enough. Read her amazing weight loss success story!

Brandie Chamley - May 2015 BodyBlitz winner - PHOTO - Women's Health h& Fitness

Doing the BodyBlitz challenge has literally changed my life and I am so proud of what I have done and what I can now do. The last year had been a really hard one for me. After the birth of my second child, I was 97 kilograms, anaemic, prediabetic and on medication for high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. Physically and emotionally I was not healthy at all and in a bad way. I wanted to be fit and healthy and happy and start my 30th year positive. Seeing other transformations really inspired me to do this.

Adopting healthy eating and exercise habits wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be! I have young children so I had to be really organised with when I could exercise and I actually looked forward to that time where I was alone. Eating healthy, I was really strict about as I was so determined to get myself off medications and get healthy that I didn’t find that too hard. Eating foods I really liked made it easy.

I feel unbelievable compared to how I was before. It’s amazing just how much exercise can lift my mood and is now vital to my wellbeing. Sometimes knowing I can work out later is what gets me through the crazy times with my young children. Health wise I am no longer anaemic or prediabetic and I have been able to cut down on my blood pressure medication by a third, which is great. Most importantly I am no longer suffering from postnatal depression. I have had my 30th birthday and it was such a joy to be able to say that I am happy and healthy and definitely on my way to getting fit.

Being emotionally and physically better has made a difference as a mum and wife. I love all the fun things we are doing as a family as opposed to the months where I couldn’t get out of bed and couldn’t do anything. My children and husband are my world and being healthy, eating the right foods and exercising is definitely the key for our happiness.

On overcoming challenges:
There were a few hurdles I had to overcome, mainly my fear of leaving my house, so the thought of joining a gym caused me such anxiety. With the help of my beautiful cousin – who offered to be my training buddy – we found Alice, a personal trainer with her own studio so we could have private sessions together.

She worked us hard, introduced so many new ways for me to focus on my fitness that I never have to join a gym and can work out with what I have from the comfort of my home. We did circuit training, Tabata sessions and pool workouts, among other things, that I have enjoyed more than I would have ever thought. As my confidence grew, Alice invited me along to her Zumba classes, which I loved and actually looked forward to each week.

On workout motivation:
My children and husband kept me motivated. They are my world. I knew I wanted to get myself better for them. They deserve a mother who wasn’t depressed and unhealthy. They were so supportive and my biggest fan club. With the help of my husband, we set up our own touch football team with my family members and although we never won a game, it was fun to get together on Monday nights and exercise together. This is something I couldn’t have imagined doing previously as I was too scared to try anything out of my comfort zone, but feeling the benefits not only mentally and physically of exercise, I really enjoyed all the workouts I could do.

Monday: Touch football
Tuesday: 40 minutes of cardio (walk or cross trainer), weights: arms and abs
Wednesday: One-hour Zumba class, weights: legs
Thursday: One-hour personal training session
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 40 minutes cross trainer, 20-minute Tabata workout
Sunday: 40 minutes cardio, weights: abs, arms and back

Brandie Chamley before and after pics - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

On food swaps:
As soon as anyone says diet to me, I automatically start craving bad foods. So I made a conscious effort not to tell myself I was on a diet; instead I was making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables that I have always struggled to eat enough of. Because I was prediabetic and have high blood pressure, I was pretty strict with salt intake and keeping my sugar levels okay. I found if I ate regularly and only kept good food choices in my house for everyone, I couldn’t go wrong. It was when we went out that I had to think about what to eat, especially as it seemed like everyone had a birthday or a function or party during the challenge that we had to attend. It got easier to stay away from the food table, distracting myself with the children. I always took lots of water to fill me up and sometimes I took my own meal, which wasn’t such a big deal considering I take my children’s food when we go out anyway.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and a piece of rye bread
Lunch: ½ cup brown rice, lean red meat, green vegetables, cottage cheese
Dinner: Chicken breast and salad
Snacks: Almonds, protein shake, lots of fruit

On treats:
I turned 30 during the challenge, so we went out for dinner and I had birthday cake for a treat. I had bought a new outfit and I felt really good in it, so that was good motivation not to overindulge! When I started to lose weight and needed new clothes, wearing a new outfit that made me feel confident also made it a lot easier to say no to certain foods. I didn’t have cheat meals; even if we were out somewhere I would always get the healthiest option I could.

On measurements:
Before the challenge, I had gradually been losing weight – 30 kilograms down just by using the MyFitnessPal app, but I was still so unhappy. My 30th birthday was getting closer and I was determined that the BodyBlitz challenge was exactly what I needed to get back to the healthy me I had been a long time ago! I was so shocked to see the difference between my before and after measurements and on weeks when the scales hadn’t moved, those measurements got me through knowing I was on the right path.

On goals:
It’s still my goal to get off my blood pressure medication completely, but I am currently training for the Kokoda Challenge 15km. I have never done anything like this before; however, I am really looking forward to it. It is going to be a big challenge for me but I know it will be worth it! I am also continuing to have personal training sessions and working out from my house. Now I’m looking at starting boxing classes, which is exciting. I would love to continue building my strength and work towards firming up my tummy and getting that six-pack. I am determined to work for it.