Read Lauren’s story below.
Her mum, Fran is one of the KSFL franchisees so the pressure was always on her to look a certain way
Hi everyone, I’m Lauren, Fran’s daughter and proud mum to my little Frank, who is just over 18 months old. I have given up work to be a full-time mum, which I am so lucky to be able to do, and it also gives me the great opportunity of time to exercise and experiment with cooking.
So does anyone feel like they’ve been on a diet for their WHOLE lives? Because I do! I feel like I’ve always watched my weight or been unhappy with the way I look. I am the sort of person who eats a bit of cake and some crisps and puts on half a stone!! I was always big at school and felt like the other girls were prettier than me and were all slim or skinny. They could always wear whatever they wanted in summer and I remember always feeling so down and jealous and always asked myself – Why me? Why am I so fat? All the boys never fancied me and I constantly felt left out because I was overweight or FAT.
I did dabble in my mum’s classes and knew all about nutrition from a young age, but I was still overweight. I remember the trigger to wanting to lose weight being a family photoshoot. I was around 17 years old and I didn’t feel comfortable at all during the shoot. When it came to looking at the pictures I was shocked. The pain and upset just rose in my throat and I couldn’t wait to get out of there so that I could cry. I felt disgusted in myself. This was the real turning point for me and I began to eat healthily and exercise straight away. I started feeling better about myself and the results were visible. I was lifting weights and doing cardio and feeling fantastic. Then as the weight begun to drop healthily, I got a taste of being able to control the weight loss. I started skipping meals and noticed the weight falling off quicker. I was hooked. The exercise got less and less because I had no energy, but I continued to lose weight. I went down to my lowest of 8 stone. I remember being so happy I was such a light weight on the scales, but I felt moody and depressed and was lying to my family about how much I was eating. Then one day my dad spoke to me about the effect I was having on the family and it really hit home that this had to stop. I gradually started eating again and kind of forgot about trying to be this skinny person.
Over the next few years the weight gradually crept back up again. Ive always felt I was overweight but when I was 23 I met Franks Dad – Steve. I think I was 11 ½ stone when I met him. I still worried about my weight, but when I met him he made me feel special. We went out a few times a week and at least once at the weekend and it became a vicious cycle of getting drunk and eating take aways. I went up to about 12 ½ to 13 stone. I then got pregnant with Frank and I really did say – Right I’m going to eat whatever I want now I’m pregnant!! Oh dear me, was that the wrong decision!!! I absolutely ballooned to 16 stone and once Frank was born, I looked in the mirror and thought – Omg!!! This is going to be hard work getting this off!!
I’ve tried probably every ‘fad’ diet out there – juices, soups, teas, slimming world, Clean 9, diet pills (which by the way are very dangerous) and as I said at the beginning, I have starved myself too.
I didn’t bother starting to lose weight for a good 6 months after my son was born. I did lose a bit through breastfeeding and not eating properly for a couple of weeks! I lost a bit here and there but my main focus was Frank, and I still liked to go out and enjoy drinking alcohol and eating nice foods. I think it was August/September time 2015 I looked in the mirror and thought – This cant go on! I just didn’t feel attractive and wouldn’t let my partner near me because I thought I am so disgusting.
I took my first full body picture in September, which is the photo in the collage. I was big and around 14 stone there. It wasn’t until a few months ago, after Christmas, that I was sitting there thinking about my weight, when it hit me – the only way I’ve lost this weight is through living the Kick Start Fat Loss lifestyle of clean eating and exercise. I remember my mum buying into the franchise and giving me a couple of the Ksfl recipe books. I started cooking and preparing Ksfl meals and snacks and it was like a light bulb went on in my head!
The recipe books actually taught me to think differently about food and what I was putting into my body. I started reading labels and cutting out processed foods and sugar. I felt like a totally different person after about 5 days. I was less bloated and less tired and felt like I had so much more energy. Ksfl has actually changed my mindset and taught me to look for healthy alternatives that I could use in pretty much any recipe. It’s really educated me with what is good for your body and what isn’t. The ksfl recipes are also really simple. You are using all clean, organic, nutritious foods, all from scratch. The recipes are simple, yet taste great. The ingredients are designed to aid weight loss too! With Ksfl you can actually eat real filling tasty food. Its not like some other diet plans, where you are left hungry!
There are a few different recipe books, one of my favourites being the Sweet Treat and Savoury Surprise book! I bake banana and date loaf probably once a week, which tastes amazing, and I know that everything that has gone into it is natural ingredients and won’t interfere with my weight loss. I do a curry night most Fridays, where I cook a curry from the KSFL Clean Curry recipe book. It has all different meat and vegetable dishes, and also has the picky bits that you would order from a take away, so you feel like you are having a treat, and its actually really healthy food. It is basically guilt free food and I’ve actually started to enjoy eating and NOT feeling guilty for once!
In January this year I started cutting out alcohol completely. I had a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch and meat and greens for dinner. I cut out caffeine and only drunk herbal teas and lemon water and I really stuck to this regimentally. I was and still do go to the gym 1-2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. I love the buzz I get from exercising and it really lifts my mood.
Ksfl food really does get easier. The more food you make, you just learn as you go along and educate yourself from practice. I’m not going to say my journey has been easy and I’m also not going to say that I NEVER fall off the wagon because I am human after all! If I do have a bad day or weekend, I try not to let it engulf me into feeling guilty for a week, because sometimes that does more harm than good. When Monday comes, I simply prepare a couple of days meals in advance, so there is no temptation to just grab something awful out of the cupboard when I’m hungry.
My top tips would be to purchase some Tupperware, so you can prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Buy a notebook so you can write down all the food and drink you consume for a week, or longer, just to keep a check on how you are doing. If you do slip up, note it down, we have to be honest with ourselves otherwise how will we ever change our bad habits? Try and exercise a little, even if its 10 minutes a day, every other day, or even twice a week. The more you do, the better you may feel and the more you will want to do it! Have a realistic goal – I cant sit here and say I want to be a size 8! Well, I can but its not realistically maintainable to me I don’t think. So my goal is to be a nice size 10 and probably 10 1/2 -11 stone. I am currently just over 12 stone, so my goal is in sight, its just getting this last bit of fat off that is that last push to finish line!!! Although really, Ksfl isn’t about the end goal I don’t think. Its about maybe reaching your goal, but maintaining that healthy lifestyle for good. And I hope that’s what I get out of the Ksfl lifestyle!
Good luck on your journey, Lauren x