An Australian mum has revealed how she went from being ‘clueless’ about healthy eating to transforming her body for the better.
Kayla Polidoro, 31, from Victoria, says she was ‘sick of complaining’ about her weight before a chance encounter at a gym gave her the motivation she needed to change.
‘I was sick of settling for average, sick of feeling insecure and lazy. Sick of comparing myself to other girls!’ Kayla, a mum-of-two, tells New Idea.
‘The kids felt so uncomfortably heavy and everything seemed like a struggle. I felt lethargic and crappy in myself and this impacted on everyone close to me including the kids.’
Kayla says it was a chance encounter at a gym that changed things for her.
‘I actually watched a girl in this small town gym doing a squat with a barbell on her back - I'd never actually seen a girl do this before.
‘She beamed strength. It wasn't the aesthetic side that appealed to me it was her boss vibes, she was confident and powerful. I knew in that moment that I wanted and needed to make changes myself.’
Having tried ‘all kinds of ridiculous diets’ herself, Kayla realised she wasn’t committed to following anything through and her ‘negative mindset’ was holding her back.
'How you see yourself and your core character is what predicts your actions and results,’ Kayla says.
‘There is a lot of truth in the saying 'fake it until you make it' you have to believe you are the person you want to become and this will lead to you act in a certain way and make choices that align with your goals.’
But ultimately, Kayla says ‘hard work will get you there every time’.
‘There is no magic pills, no special shake or secret diet. It's just small efforts everyday that add up to big results,’ she explains.
The mum and fitness model – who now weighs around 71kg – says the key to her body is eating a variety of protein throughout the day.
‘I’ll have one mince, a lean steak, chicken thigh or breast and one whey protein powder,’ she explains.
‘This is the same for my carbs, I love oats, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals and fats I’ll choose nuts, avocado and oils.’
Kayla recommends beginning to understand the value of foods you’re eating and says apps – like My Fitness Pal – can help you keep track of your diet.
‘I now totally understand and appreciate the saying 'you are what you eat',’ she says.
‘Having a healthy diet and a strong body has changed my entire existence. I’m happy, energetic, positive, and confident, this energy then flows onto my kids and family and I love that, but I have also done it for me! For my own fulfillment and my own health and wellbeing.’
But when it comes to the numbers of the scales, Kayla doesn’t focus on them too much.
‘I have come to realise that there is no goal weight, and numbers on scales can be very unkind and demotivating at times,’ she says.
‘So I always try to use them as a guide and encourage people to look at there body and take into consideration your performance and energy levels as well as this is very important.
‘I believe that a 12 month transformation can look pretty incredible. Allow yourself the time to reach your destination. Everyone is different and you can’t rush it so just enjoy the ride.
‘The more I educated myself, on food and the power of mind and how to train efficiently the faster I moved forward. Understanding the process and the power of thoughts is crucial to succeeding.’
Kayla says her transformation journey has helped her to kick bad habits and crave healthier foods.
‘I am more motivated, capable and the confidence I get from exercise is not just aesthetics, sure I like how I look and I love being comfortable in my skin but the confidence runs far deeper than this,’ she says.
‘I have built a strong character during this journey. I've hit walls and had to climb them, there have been setbacks and fails but with every single failed attempt there was a lesson to be learnt.
‘When you bring effort and determination every single day it gives you a sense of accomplishment.’
Kayla’s top tips for anyone wanting to lose weight
Change your goal!
Let losing weight be the result but don't let it be the goal. Look deeper within for a greater goal like living a longer life, getting more enjoyment out of everyday.
The harder you have to work for it the greater you will feel when you accomplish it.
Don’t be afraid to take challenge on
You will learn many great things about yourself during the hardest workouts.
Enjoy making healthy choices
Enjoy walking into the gym because it's another step closer to your goal. Remember food is not a reward and exercise is not a punishment. They both help you to feel your best.
Believe in yourself and the process. Learn patience when nothing is changing. Often when there is a lull in the changing phase and you plateau.
The 'suck' period I call it...this is when most people crack it and throw in the towel and it's usually just before the next 'change' is about to happen, so hang in there and stay persistent.
Be kind to yourself!
Read about this and understand it.
Always do something in the morning to set yourself up for a good day
Exercise, eat a good breakfast, meditate for 10mins, watch a motivational clip.
Try to always start your day off on the right foot.