How I lost 10kgs as a busy businesswoman, mum, wife, during Covid and menopause!

Earlier this year even though my clothes were no longer fitting me, I ordered some scales and when they arrived, I was shocked at being 10kgs over my ideal weight. 10 x 1kg bags of flour is a lot of extra weight to carry around on any size frame, let alone a small frame. To add to that, menopause is on the horizon, so I was in an uphill battle.

In that instant I decided it was time to lose these 10kgs however, as weight is a contentious issue, I did a lot of research first to understand what strategy I would take in this approach.

During my research, I realised that using anything outside of myself, (i.e. weight loss companies) would guarantee weight loss to some degree, however on the down side it did seem that a lot of people put the weight back on fairly quickly. So, I knew, that if I chose this road, I would definitely need my own sub strategy beneath that one.

To add to that, if I handed my weight loss over to “anyone” outside of myself I was also handing over my power so as much as I could I had to ensure my personal power remained with me.

That said, after I had done my research my decision was that what I would do, is use a weight loss company to lose half the weight which was 5kgs but then lose the other 5kgs with my own willpower with what I had learned from them and also from listening to my own body as I knew that would be the only way to guarantee success.

Now to what happened. I lost 5kgs over a period of about 6 weeks pretty quickly using the weight loss company (I won’t say which one it was) and I stuck to “exactly” what they had given me to do.

Then as Covid approached, I ditched the weight loss company, but kept some of the lessons learned and then started to figure out what would work for me to lose the extra 5kgs. I also had to ingrain within me, good solid habits so that when I came out of Covid it also needed to stand up to that new regime.

So, what happened with my extra weight? Did I lose it and what did I do? I DID lose the extra 5kgs myself during covid and menopause. Here is what I did:

1. Keeping what I loved: I figured out pretty quickly that if I didn’t still keep what I loved it wouldn’t last. I haven’t drunk alcohol in over 15years so alcohol isn’t an issue for me but I LOVE a cup of English breakfast tea and chocolate in the afternoons, so I made sure that I worked around what I loved so that didn’t get cut out. I knew that I could sustain anything with that thought and approach.

2. Mindset: I accepted that I would hungry to start off with as my calorie intake would be lower. Once that mindset was accepted, it was easier to adapt.

3. Plate and bowl sizes. One of the biggest mistakes I made in putting my weight on was the size of the plates used for all my meals. I changed immediately the dinner plate size (27cm) down to an entrée plate size (19cm) and the standard cereal bowl went down to a small dip bowl. Every lunch or dinner is not to exceed the size of the entrée plate and no breakfast is to exceed the size of that small dip bowl.

4. Plate proportioning: Here is a major key. In serving lunch or dinner I divided the SMALL plate up into two halves. One half of my plate was for vegetables, fruit or salad and the other half of the plate I divided into two. One half of the other half of the plate was for protein or meat and the final small part was for pasta etc…. This meant that half the plate was for goodness of fruit and vegetables the other half was divided into two, one part for meat/protein the other starches e.g. pasta/couscous etc... This meant that I had to keep my protein portions small and also my starches small. Remember small plates so you don’t have much on it! Before this I did one half of the plate meat and the other half pasta and potatoes with small vegetables…big difference!

5. Google maps: I mapped out two google maps in my area. One was for a 40min walk the other for a 1hr walk. Every second day I would do the 1hr walk and on the other days the 40min walk. If on the days I was super busy, I would choose the 40min walk and jog it. Not fast. Just a slight jog, that meant that could be a 20min jog. EVERY cold, rainy or sun shining day! (no rest days here baby).

6. I ate what the family ate: I couldn’t go and cook different meals for dinner. Too hard basket for time and energy, so I am eating what the family is eating for dinner. Like I said, plate size and proportioning on the plate so that vegetables and fruit take up the majority is KEY. As is walking every day. Also, I eat dinner before 7pm. This has worked brilliantly for us all.

7. No Guilt: I didn’t feel guilty if I overate. I just started the next day again full of zeal!

So now you may be asking, what does my day look like for eating? Here is a sample:

Breakfast: Cereal in my small bowl using calci-trim milk. Or, I egg (poached or boiled) with 1 piece of bacon and one tablespoon of baked beans. Cup of tea with milk.

Morning tea: small pottle of Yoghurt. (note here, if I felt like the big tubs of yoghurt, I measure them out into the pottle size) or the other option purchase a small Chinese tea cup as that’s the size I use.

Lunch: Chicken, Salmon or Tuna salad using nuts, dried cranberries and loads of salad which included avocado but no cheese or dressing. OR a cup a soup with one slice of wholemeal toast.

In winter a big pot of hearty homemade chicken noodle soup works wonders and is a substitute I have been using for soups at lunch time. Note on bowl sizes here, I used a BIG salad bowl for my salads as they are low in calories, so I splurged on a big bowl for the salads. I could eat as much salad as I liked but I had to keep the chicken or fish serving to a half a breast size.

Afternoon tea: Cup of tea with milk and a chocolate Tim tam OR small slice of cake or 1 biscuit. Note I do swap morning tea or afternoon tea around sometimes.

Dinner: Whatever the family is eating. This can be anything from ribs with chips and coleslaw to butter chicken, to spaghetti bolognaise or vegetable lasagne. Stick to the plate size, proportioning and all before 7pm is when we have dinner finished!

Snacks: Any two pieces of fruit or vegetables. Note, sometimes I add this fruit to my morning tea yoghurt if I am really hungry.

Couple of notes on the above, if I splurged (i.e. birthday etc) I didn’t punish myself, I ate what I liked and the next day got back onto the above. Also, if I wanted dessert after dinner, I just cut out afternoon tea and had my dinner dessert.

Finally, I am NOT a Dietician, Nutritionist, Doctor, blah, blah, blah…. Just an ordinary mum, wife, and businesswoman with no health issues trying to lose a few extra pounds. So, if you are embarking on anything and you are not healthy, check with your Doctor etc.

You may ask, if I was to do it all again would I change anything? No, I needed the weight loss company to remind me of my plate sizes and get me back on track. Once I was on track, I was fine. I do think though at this stage I won’t be needing them again as I am now on track with some healthy habits.

I hope any of this helps any of you and if so, let me know how you go!

Love, light and blessings. Rachel x Helping people live a BOLD and DARING life! x

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