London: A mother-of-two who struggled to maintain her weight during her first pregnancy and after a five-week Europe trip has shared her 24-kilo weight loss transformation. Bianca Sibbald had never been ‘petite’ as a teenager and found herself wearing ‘bigger clothes’ after finishing high school, but wasn’t truly worried about her size until she gave birth to her first son in 2015.
The 28-year-old living in Perth, Western Australia, gained 23 kilos from eating ‘convenient’ foods and overindulging on snacks after eating one large meal a day, saying that her irregular food habits were frustrating. ‘I was working full-time and not eating regularly… and then gorging on chocolate later on,’ she told FEMAIL.
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So she started to follow The Healthy Mummy eating plan and very quickly lost six kilos, before realizing she was pregnant with her second son in 2016.
During her second pregnancy, Bianca gained 11 kilos – putting her within a healthy weight gain range for mothers-to-be – but after giving birth in April 2017 she didn’t have the same motivation to jump back into a calorie-controlled plan. This was mainly because she was suffering from near chronic fatigue, with doctors unable to figure out why.
What does Bianca eat on a typical day?
Breakfast: Smoothie with protein powder, frozen berries, frozen banana, and spinach. Coffee at work.
Lunch: It’s normally leftovers from the night before. If I do a ravioli for dinner I’ll do a lighter meal like a chicken noodle stir fry for lunch the next day.
Dinner: Stovetop lasagne, curry sausages, sausage pasta bake, butter chicken.
Snack: I tend to only have two snacks a day, bliss balls, or a banana cake I’ve made. Or I can make SAOs with cheese and tomatoes. Something savory and something sweet. ‘The doctor put it down to glandular fever, low iron, and suspected copper toxicity from my coil. This went on for about 12 months until I couldn’t take it anymore,’ she said.
‘I knew I needed to take more control of my life and I knew that my husband, who works for the Royal Australian Navy, would be leaving us for work in the next few months so I would have to start working out how I was going to cope while he was away.’
So she returned to The Healthy Mummy meal plan, managing to lose seven kilos while she looked for a diagnosis for her tiredness. Finally, after undergoing a sleep study, doctors told Bianca she had sleep apnoea; a serious disorder that involves your breath-stopping and starting during the night.
‘On average I would stop breathing 37 times an hour with my longest at one minute and seven seconds,’ she said. ‘My heart rate got to 165 while I slept which is the same heart rate I would get in a sprint class. I was shocked but I finally had an answer.’
Now in May 2018, at 86.5 kilos and feeling uncomfortable in her own body after a busy five-week Europe trip, Bianca committed to moving every day and transforming her body. Over the course of a year, she lost 21 kilos and spent the following six months losing the extra three, bringing her down to just below 62 kilos.
‘I had originally hoped to return to 70 kilos because that’s what I was on my wedding day but ultimately I wanted to lose more once I hit that,’ she said. ‘At my most intense I was working out six times a week doing group fitness regimes at the gym and pacing 12,000 steps a day.
‘But now I’m more relaxed and try for four gym sessions a week – including one outdoor one – and average about 8,000 steps.’ She prefers the motivation of group training at the gym rather than at-home workouts, opting for body jump, grit strength, and boxing to get her heart rate pumping. On top of that, she meal preps on a Sunday if her husband is away – usually cooking dinner each night if he’s home – and doubles up on leftovers for lunch.