Busy mum Melissa Timmer says mum guilt saw her weight balloon as she struggled to prioritise herself while juggling work and family life. At her heaviest, she weighed 107 kilograms - but now she's a healthy 75 kilos.
The NSW mum of two says it wasn’t until she was busting out of all her clothes, she knew something had to give. “I didn’t recognise myself anymore, I knew I had to make a change,” Melissa said.
Mirror Moment Sparks Change
The turning point for Melissa was a profound moment of self-reflection.
"I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and didn’t recognise the woman staring back. I no longer looked or felt like myself. I had let myself go, and I needed to learn to love myself again," Melissa said.
Her desire for change was not solely for her benefit but also to set a positive example for her children.
Balancing Act: Eating Better and Moving More
Melissa's approach to weight loss was a combination of conscious eating and regular exercise. She focused on making simple yet impactful changes, swapping out unhealthy options for healthier alternatives.
"It all came down to eating better and moving more, and I set realistic goals," she said. This involved replacing deep-fried chips with air-fried alternatives, opting for balsamic vinegar over creamy aioli, and using spray oil instead of free-pouring olive oil.
Committed to her health journey, Melissa ensured she drank three litres of water daily and engaged in physical activity three times a week.
The Importance of Food Prep
For Melissa, organisation played a crucial role in her success. "Being organised is key! Having food or meals prepped is the only way to success so it’s a must," she said.
Melissa dedicated time each week to meal prepping, ensuring she knew precisely what went into every dish.
This not only provided her with the necessary nutrition but also saved her during busy times, with a freezer stocked full of healthy meals and snacks like fresh fruit and yogurt.
From Carb-Heavy to Balanced Meals
Describing her eating habits before the weight loss, Melissa revealed a diet high in carbohydrates, indulging in large portions of Weet-Bix or toast for breakfast, hot chips for lunch, and takeaway or carb-heavy homemade dinners.
The contrast now is striking. :I make conscious decisions and make sure my meals are well balanced and always high in protein," she sid.
Melissa still enjoys comfort foods like burgers, chips, and pizza, but she opts for healthier homemade versions.
Recognising the New You
Melissa's incredible transformation did not go unnoticed. Initially, friends and acquaintances were in awe of her remarkable weight loss.
"People were blown away and would always tell me how good I looked and how healthy and glowing I was, which felt really good," she said.
Tips for a Successful Weight Loss Journey
Melissa's journey wasn't just about losing weight; it was about adopting a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
Her advice for those embarking on a similar path is to take baby steps, introducing new habits slowly.
"It’s about making sustainable change rather than crash dieting to look good for an event," she said.
Melissa also emphasized the importance of understanding food and nutrition and not viewing it as an all-or-nothing situation. Enjoying treats like chocolate and ice-cream is allowed, just not all the time.
Inspiration for Others
Melissa encouraged others to focus on daily steps, increased water intake, and meal planning.
"It really is possible to make positive changes that last," she said.
"It’s about teaching yourself how to switch your habits and the tricks to make a healthy lifestyle work for you."
Melissa can relate to the 80 percent of women surveyed by online health platform Moshy who say they are simply too busy to lose weight but says she’s proof it is possible.
Dietitian Kirby Sorenson from the women’s online health platform Moshy says keeping it simple helped Melissa stay on track.
“My biggest advice for people wanting to change their diet to lose weight or improve their health is to make small changes over time,” she said.
“If you’re eating out or grabbing a meal on the run once a week, that’s fine, but when you get to the point that you’re eating more takeaway than home prepared meals it starts to become a problem."
Kirby says the key to success is prioritising time to prepare nutritious meals and snacks to grab on the run but also being kind to yourself if things do come unstuck.
“You’re likely to have 1095 meals a year, so what matters most is what you are doing the majority of the time. It’s important to enjoy all foods in moderation.”
A survey of 600 women by Moshy found:
78 percent think they are overweight
60 percent say busy lives and stress are the biggest barriers to weight loss
50 percent have been actively trying to lose weight for up to five years
65 percent are not happy with their current health or fitness
52 percent have tried diets including Atkins, keto, fasting or meal replacement shakes
75 percent want to lose weight and improve their overall health and fitness