By March I was starting to feel quite good, my weight loss was going in the right direction. I’d lost 2 stone since Savannah was born the previous August. The first stone came off very quickly, just a few weeks. The second took a lot longer, a lot of effort. I messed about with diets. I did the Dukan diet for a while but I already had very low energy because I wasn’t getting good sleep, Savannah was just a few months old. Serving myself a plate of ham and cottage cheese as dinner was quite bad for my self-esteem. The diet made me feel quite unwell both physically and mentally. I’d done it before, successfully and it was ok because I was well, I had good energy and I was getting regular sleep but this time, straight after pregnancy when your body needs nutrients and energy, for me it was really bad.
So Jamie and I were heading up to Liverpool for a friends surprise birthday. It would be our first night away together and our first proper night out since Savannah was born. Luckily we have a lot of local family support, Mum, Dad, sisters, Aunts, Uncles so we have lots of opportunities to get out.
I knew Grace, my friend’s sister had been successful in her own weight loss with Herbalife but I hadn’t seen her since her major transformation. I also knew a bit about the Herbalife program and I thought it would suit me. I’m very all or nothing, I’m either 100% focused or I’m totally off the wagon. Finding balance is the missing link for me.
Later in the evening I got chatting to Grace and she offered me a 3 day trial of Herbalife shakes which included some vitamin tablets. I knew I could do it for 3 days so I agreed to give it a go. Typically, of me I mentally sat by my post box for the next few days waiting for the package to arrive. I was completely set and focused ready to take this on. I was almost certain the mix of protein shakes and healthy dinners and snacks would suit my lifestyle because I often found myself, at home with a young baby eating really nutritionally poor food that worked around Savannah’s feeding time, mostly toast with cheese in the day and if I was feeling time rich a slice of tomato on top.
My Herbalife pack finally arrived, I read all the instructions and went off shopping to buy all the other items I needed. For the first day I did feel a little bit light headed but I just sucked it up and got on with it. I figured you’re cutting down on the number of calories and having mostly liquid so I put this down to normal body adjustment. The next day I felt OK, a few tummy rumbles but it was so convenient, a shake for breakfast, a mid morning snack, another shake for lunch, another snack then an evening meal of protein and veg or salad. In terms of cooking that was simple, throw a load of salad on a plate and grill a piece of meat or fish. It worked perfectly around Savannah because the shake took a few seconds to prepare and it was easy to drink. I ate nuts, yogurts and fruit for my snacks. After my 3 day trial I’d lost 5lbs, amazing. This is so easy, I can do this and I actually feel great, no bloating, I’m full of energy and I can adapt it easily to fit in around my cycle training. On the days when I was planning to ride my bike I’d make myself a bowl of porridge and mix 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder in, it’s tastes really good. There’s no way I could get up the hills without carbs. Grace also recommended some of the other products from the Herbalife 24 sport specific range. I started drinking a product called prolong when I was out on my ride. It’s a carbohydrate drink designed for cyclists riding around 4hrs. I found this worked really well for me, it’s nicer than gels. So I was making this plan work for me, I kept in touch with Grace via email, text and she has a Facebook group. We’d exchange recipes that we’d make and enjoy to help each other break any potential monotony of meat and veg. I did live on chilli, I’d prepare a huge batch with 2 or 3lb of mince and fill it with protein rich beans like black beans, pinto beans and some nice vegetables. I’d serve this up with a big salad or if I was riding the next day I’d include a small portion of lentils, quinoa or other protein rich grains and sometimes brown rice. I’d also mix my shakes in my blender and add a banana to get extra carbs if I was going for a ride. I wasn’t sticking to the Herbalife weight loss plan exclusively; I was making it work for me and my active lifestyle.
Within 6 weeks I’d seen a total body transformation, I’d lost over a stone and I’d hit my dream target weight of 9st12. I was bursting with energy, my skin was glowing and my body was looking pretty good for a new mum. The benefit to my cycling was enormous, my average speed on a ride started to increase, my stamina was improving and overall my confidence was growing. I started to feel really strong and the big event in August no longer felt like an impossible task. My own personal goal post of crossing the line before the broom wagon of 9hrs was moving, I was now starting to focus on a potential, decent time of sometime around 7hrs.