For many people, Sunday evenings are about collapsing in front of the TV, lamenting the end of the weekend.
Not so for Nessy Turner.
On a Sunday evening you’ll find the 46-year-old Central Coast mum chopping, dicing, frying and portioning.
‘I meal prep for three days on Sunday night. I eat six meals a day, so that’s 18 portions. It actually only takes about an hour,’ Nessy tells New Idea.
And she does it for good reason. Over the past two years, Nessy has formulated a diet and lifestyle that works and, after shedding 30kg, she feels the healthiest she’s ever been.
‘I’ve tried to lose weight about 20 times and this is the only time it’s worked,’ she says. ‘At last I’ve found the right balance and meal prep is a huge part of that for me.’
Nessy’s weight problems began in her early 20s when she stacked on the kilos during her pregnancies with Ali, now 26, and Todd, now 23.
‘I got to triple digits,’ she remembers. ‘I was 101 kilos and, even after the births, I stuck at around 86 kilos.’
From there began a dangerous cycle of yo-yo dieting, where Nessy’s weight fluctuated up and down as much as 33kg.
‘At one point in my late 20s, I became so obsessed with the number on the scales I made myself ill,’ she says. ‘I was running 20km on the treadmill every day and all I ate was tuna and rice crackers. Before a weigh-in I wouldn’t even drink water.’ Down to 56kg, shedding over 30kg in just six months, Nessy was exhausted and at breaking point.
‘I remember having to support myself on the bench as I made the kids’ packed lunches, I was so weak,’ she says. ‘I knew then I had to change. My kids needed me. Being skinny wasn’t worth it.’
But then, having deprived herself for so long, her body stockpiled the food she started eating and the weight piled on within months.
‘I had some energy back, but I still felt so lost,’ Nessy says. ‘I could never get it right.’
It wasn’t until three years ago, when she met her coach Chris online, that things took a turn for the better.
‘I sent him a list of what I ate and he said I was under eating,’ she laughs. ‘He told me I needed to fuel my body if I wanted to train and he was right.’
Within three months, Nessy says her restless three hours of sleep a night had become seven, her periods had regulated and she could jump out of bed at 5am feeling energetic.
‘He talked me through the correct nutrition every day and told me about meal prep. I have two kids, my own business and I wanted to go to the gym six days a week, so meal prep meant I would always have the right food whatever the day threw at me.’
This time it took two years to lose the 30kg Nessy had to shed, but the difference is she’s kept it off and, now at 67kg and a size 10, she feels stronger and more motivated than ever.
‘The kids and my husband, Damien, have seen me do it and got involved,’ Nessy smiles. ‘I meal prep for Damien and go to the gym with the kids.’
Nessy also started an Instagram page three years ago, which has gradually grown in followers as she’s charted her success.
‘I get constant messages asking me for meal prep tips, how I do it and even telling me I’m an inspiration. That’s amazing. I mean I’m 46. I guess it shows it’s never too late,’ she says.
What to prep
Pre-gym snack: Nuts and yoghurt.
Breakfast: Weetbix, protein shake and almond milk.
Brunch: 3 eggs (pre-scrambled, ready to heat in the microwave), ham, spinach, bread for toast.
Snack: Dark chocolate or peanut butter, and yoghurt.
Pre-dinner: Turkey mince, sweet potato and veg.
Dinner: Garlic prawns, rice and veg.