The Australian expat and mum-of-two – who now lives in the Middle East with her family – says her weight ballooned after giving birth to her second child.
This was in part due to a struggle to accept the shift in her lifestyle – she had given up an exciting career as an international flight attendant to become a stay at home mother, all while living in Saudi Arabia, away from all family and familiarity.
But with the death of her father-in-law and a bout of lower back and hip pain, Robyn embarked on a mission to change.
‘I was no stranger to fad diets, especially from my background in the airline industry,’ Robyn tells New Idea.
‘I’d also studied health and wellness coaching, even qualifying as a raw food chef, I wanted a more realistic approach to health.
‘Something I could continue forever, not a diet that I would jump on and off with.’
Inspired in part by the book Younger Next Year, which discusses functional reversal of aging and taking a long-term approach to health, Robyn planned to first work on her internal transformation.
‘This was to ensure my new lifestyle changes would stick,’ she explains.
‘Then to make gradual behavioral changes that would become as habitual as brushing your teeth and not feel like punishment.’
Robyn explains the first three months were mostly focused on preparing for success, working on stress management, sleep hygiene and nutrition. Exercise was not a focus at this point.
‘Unless you’ve got a medical diagnosis, I don’t subscribe to the notion of omitting any macronutrients or food types from your diet like carbs or fats or even gluten,’ Robyn explains.
Every day her diet consists of 70 per cent whole unprocessed, unadulterated foods like lean meats, fruit, vegetables, and eggs; 20 per cent ‘questionable’ foods like dairy, dark chocolate, protein bars, pasta, rice and rice cakes, oats and 10 per cent junk like chips, chocolate and alcohol, ‘because I live in the real world’, Robyn says.
‘Having a little bit each day keeps me sane and still losing weight, Robyn says, adding that she ‘absolutely adores’ food and not be able to enjoy a meal out with her husband or devour a piece of birthday cake would be miserable to her.
Now - after losing 20kg in 78 weeks - Robyn says she feels more freedom and absolutely no guilt, while still enjoying steady weight loss.
According to Robyn, there are eight simple steps you need to take to transform.
Get real and set goals
‘Assess where you’ve come from, where you are now and where you wish to be, setting aesthetic goals as well as non-aesthetic – for example you’d like to decrease your cholesterol, increase your energy levels, commit to a more consistent sleep schedule,’ Robyn explains.
Make the commitment
‘Set the date and don’t let anything stop you,’ she says
Create the space
‘Managing your stress levels are going to be what will separate those that can handle long-term transformation and those that yo-yo,’ Robyn says. ‘Look at ways you can create calm in your life, to open up to more healthful pursuits’
Acquire the equipment
‘How can you manage what you cannot measure?’ Robyn asks.
‘Get some decent bathroom scales - preferably with body fat readings - tape measure, a journal, and a food scale.
‘You may not need to do this forever but in the beginning, using these to manage your progress and intake is what will provide success.’
Get educated on the nutrition basics
‘Don’t allow this to overwhelm you, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so just focus on improving a little bit each day or week,’ Robyn advises.
‘One small step in your intended direction is better than none at all.’
Manage your intake
‘You will only lose weight if you consume less food than your body needs putting you in a calorie deficit,’ Robyn explains.
‘You don’t need to starve yourself, but understanding how much your body needs to function and then ensure you consume a little less without feeling severe restriction will be your new job. It will get easier as time goes by.’
‘In my experience, only those that are thinking and planning ahead, have real success with weight loss over time,’ the mum admits.
‘You cannot leave things to chance. Eating most meals at home, or packed up to go, is going to be your secret weapon.’
Sustain your progress through the challenges
‘Everyone experiences plateaus and we are all human,’ Robyn says.
‘With social events, parties, and fast food after a crazy week you’re bound to feel like a failure at times.
‘When you understand and practice the previous seven steps, you will notice greater freedom in your choices, and little to no guilt whenever you do happen to have little splurges here and there. ‘When you have a diet that is less restrictive during the week, you’re less likely to binge on the weekends.
‘And if you plan strategically, you can enjoy holidays without the dreaded weight gain.’
For more tips from Robyn or to receive a meal planner sample click here