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Katelyn Lankester has been unstoppable since May last year when she made a promise to look after herself more.
The 23-year-old from Armidale, NSW, told news.com.au that after giving birth to her daughter in November 2019, she “hated” taking family photos because of how she looked.
She has since stepped out of her “comfort zone” and has gone on to lose 40kg.
“I was consuming way too much processed and unhealthy foods and eating excessive amounts of takeaway,” Ms Lankester said.
The mum, who put on the extra weight during her pregnancy, said she struggled to recognise the person looking back at her in the mirror.
“None of my clothes fit me and I would avoid going out at any cost. I couldn’t even go the supermarket. I was depressed and hated myself,” she explained.
“Luckily for me, it was in the middle of lockdown so I could easily hide myself away but there is no way I would have been able go to any social events as I felt to embarrassed and self conscious.”
Ms Lankester added that she didn’t want her daughter to grow up and pick up on her “bad habits” which is why she vowed to make a change and transform her “mum bod”.
When she was six months post-partum, she discovered Bodies By Rachel, an online fitness program founded by Australian trainer Rachel Dillon.
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She completed the workouts from home during lockdown and after eight months went on to lose “all her baby weight plus more”.
“All of my friends and family were so shocked when we could finally see each other again as I had lost heaps of weight,” she said.
Ms Lankester now trains six days a week while her little one naps.
Four of those days are weight training, and the remaining two days a mix of cardio and core workouts.
“I feel so much more confident and happy. My mental health has improved immensely and I have created a healthier relationship with food,” Ms Lankester said.
She explained that she also has a lot more energy to run around and play with her one-year-old daughter.
Since documenting her journey on Instagram, her transformation has been described as “phenomenal”.
“Girl you look phenomenal!! You’re such an inspiration,” one follower commented.
But like any new challenge, Ms Lankester said she faced a few hurdles.
“I used to be a huge binge eater so I really struggled with my nutrition and keeping inside my calories,” she said.
“I had to be extremely strong not to give into urges of wanting to eat takeaway food.”
But after seeing her handiwork pay off, Ms Lankester said she now gets “excited” to plan her meals and decide what she’s going to eat every day.
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She follows a macro nutrients-based diet allowing her to eat the tasty food she wants, but in moderation.
“I flexible diet now so I follow the calories and macros (carbs, protein, fats and fibre) given to me by Bodies By Rachel, but I create my own meals so I can incorporate the foods I love,” she said.
“I started on a calorie deficit of 1500 calories, consuming a variety of foods but I have recently moved into a calorie surplus to build some muscle.”
A calorie surplus involves consuming more calories than you burn, which can lead to weight gain in the form of muscle or fat.
For breakfast she will have rolled oats with banana and strawberries and a coffee. Lunch will be smashed avocado and feta on toast and dinner is a protein such as chicken, together with sweet potato chips and vegetables.
Dessert is a piece of chocolate and a low calorie aeroplane jelly. But all meals vary weekly, Ms Lankester said following her transformation she has “found love and appreciation for my body” again and encourages fellow women wanting to make a change to start “now”.
“Don’t wait until Monday,” she advised.
“Make it a priority and be stronger than your excuses, turn that ‘I don’t have time to workout’ into ‘I want to make time to workout’.
“Do it for you.”
If you’ve got a transformation story you’d like to share, get in touch with [email protected]