Mum loses seven stone through meal prep and ditching daily chocolate habit
Victoria Bowen’s self esteem reached an all time low when she reached her heaviest weight of 19 stone.
At a size 24, the mum-of-two says she ate a family-size chocolate block every day and would often opt for high-calorie takeaways over home cooked meals.
But after realising how difficult it was to play with her children in the park and seeing her husband, Shannon, run around with them, Victoria decided she wanted to make some serious lifestyle changes.
She said: ‘When I was at my heaviest, I was eating a block of chocolate each night.
‘We ate a lot of takeaway, I used the excuses of being tired after looking after the boys all day.
‘I knew I was overweight, but I didn’t realise just how big I’d gotten.
‘My turning point came when my husband, my boys and I were at the park. Shannon was running around in the playground with them, and I was left sitting on the picnic rug.
‘I just physically couldn’t play like he was. I remember thinking I am missing out on so much of my life and missing out on enjoying my kids.
‘I needed his help to get up off the grass because my knees couldn’t cope. I started my weight loss journey the very next day.’
Victoria began to make small diet swaps, such as adding more vegetables and swapping fried food to oven baked.
She also started meal prepping healthy meals every Sunday night – something that she says has been her secret weapon for staying on track with calorie goals.
She added: ‘Meal prepping has really helped my weight loss, as I was always looking for that quick grab and go option.
‘So by preparing my meals, I know what’s in my food, I know that it is healthy and I know that I’m still going to be able to reach my goals.
‘I spend an hour in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. I usually prepare my meals for breakfast, lunches and part of dinner for the next five days. It saves me so much time.
‘I love my meal prep Sundays, and I 100% recommend it. There are many options to doing a meal prep.’
The mum also dedicated more time to walking with her kids and joined a gym.
After gaining more confidence, she started attending fitness classes and worked with a personal trainer to build strength.
Now, seven stone lighter, Victoria is happier than ever.
She said: ‘My life has completely done a one 180. I’m no longer embarrassed to leave the house, I love shopping and I’m back to living my best life.
‘Losing weight has given me my confidence back. I love going to the gym, I love lifting weights and feeling strong.’
Victoria’s diet before and after her weight loss:
- Breakfast: Just coffee.
- Mid-morning Snack: Muesli bar, pack of chips or chocolate.
- Lunch: Chicken, cheese and bacon wrap, with a soft drink.
- Afternoon snack: More chocolate and soft drink.
- Dinner: Usually take away, or something home cooked but would be a huge serving.
- Dessert: Block of chocolate.
- Breakfast: Overnight protein oats, with strawberries.
- Mid-morning Snack: Vegetable chips or fruit.
- Lunch: Taco chicken mince, rice and salad.
- Afternoon snack: Protein smoothie – almond milk, frozen banana, protein powder and ice.
- Dinner: Loaded beef pita wraps with salad.
- Dessert (if applicable): Fun sized chocolate, fruit and an iced chocolate drink.
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