Fat mom slim series: Lauren McKay Kelaris

Fat mom slim series Lauren McKay Kelaris

Lauren McKay KelarisHey all, I’m Lauren McKay Kelaris. I’m the ripe, young age of 40. Boy, it’s an age I dreaded turning by hearing from other women, but I beg to differ. It’s what you make of it!!! I was always told your metabolism slows down at 40. Well in my eyes I have changed that rule. With lots of sacrifices, anything is possible.

I’ve been married for 16 years this year, to my amazing husband Vas and we have been together for 22 years in total. Yes School sweethearts. We have been blessed with a pigeon pair of two gorgeous children. Christian, 12 years old and Alexis,  9 years old. We both have hectic schedules. I have my own business Alpha Blinds and Shutters and he has Alpha Home Maintenance and Renovations. We manage to juggle seeing clients, quoting and keeping healthy no problem. Healthy parents = happy parents and then happy kids xxxx

What did you start to change first?

I have dieted most of my life but only after school. I never worried about weight or looks at school. I did every sport I could at junior school. But when I went to a private college, there was no sport. I joined the gym, but never ever stuck to anything at all. I was a medium structured kid. Never skinny nor overweight.

Once at college I picked up 8kgs in the time of meeting my husband and him proposing to me. Which I had a problem with. We all want to be a thin bride and fit into that perfect dress and to top it off our folks gave us a ticket to Greece for our honeymoon.

I made the decision to not mess around with stupid diets before I got married and went onto Reductil (drug for obese people) to lose weight and it was a great drug, but dangerous. I lost 18kgs before I got married, Stopped eating lamb and most red meats.

After I was married I maintained that weight loss for only 2 years and then I went on the honeymoon phase and didn’t look after myself. Got really overweight and then tried every possible yo-yo diet there is. Sure Slim, Weight Watchers, The X diet etc. …..but these were successful for short periods of time, as these were diets and not lifestyle changes.

My biggest eye opener or rude awakening to really change my life, was when my client offered me a chair to sit in as he thought I was heavily pregnant. I was so insulted but brushed it off. Then a week later it happened again; another client asking me why am I still working so pregnant.

Well that was it!! I was weighing 85kgs, with huge 40 DD boobs. I didn’t feel overweight, none of my family or friends had said anything. I hid underneath really nice clothes.. I had to do something. I had heard about the Dukan diet.

So I bought the Dukan Book. After lots of research I started following it 100%. It was all about correct eating. I cut out all carbs and fats. I obeyed the rules 100%. I had a goal to reach 57kgs even after Dr Dukan online assessment said 60kgs is more realistic to maintain. But knowing me I wanted a challenge. It took me 4 months to lose 25kgs. I reached my goal. This was with no exercise at all!

Wow, I was thrilled but it seemed so unreal. I hung onto my fat clothes for months after that, worried I would fall off the wagon. I even took them to the tailor to get adjusted, so I didn’t have to buy thin clothes yet.

What did you start to change first?

Lauren before and afterWhen I started the Dukan Diet I did exactly as the book said. Eat what they said and stuck to it. It was only once I had lost the 25kgs that I realised I was thin, but very unfit. I was only eating 700 calories a day (didn’t realise that), I felt there was no point in being thin and unfit. I wanted to run and play with my kids. So my husband and I joined a CrossFit box. We started with 3 times a week every morning. We loved it. We learnt so much about our bodies and their capabilities.

My weight stayed between 57-60kg for 1 year, I was happy with this because I was building muscles that I had never had before. It wasn’t long before I got too relaxed in my new skin and even though I was eating 80% correct, I was drinking and partying too much. I would rather have had a glass of wine instead of eating. My weight climbed to 68kgs in 2018 and I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I had bulked up on muscle and was carrying weight around my waist and butt.

I had heard about an eating lifestyle which I thought I could try, so I paid for a life coach from the Weight and Lifestyle Company and I have never looked back. I lost 8kgs and 42cm in 8 weeks and it was easy. I eat more than I have ever eaten and it’s easy to follow.

Did you use any apps to help keep track of what you were eating?

I didn’t start off using any apps. It was just an eating plan provided to me according to my weight, height and my lifestyle. Only once I had reached my goal did I play around with My Fitness pal, to see what foods had what calories etc. It was so interesting to see what were healthy or healthier choices to eat to keep calories low. . With this eating lifestyle change, my calories increased to 1200 a day and I was still losing weight in the right areas.

What does a typical day of food look like for you now vs before?

My typical busy crazy day starts with waking up 6am, Drink boiling water with lemon in it. At 6.30ish; I’ll eat 1 x whole egg, some egg whites with a handfull of baby spinach and handful of mushrooms on 2 slices rye bread . If I don’t feel like egg then its either cooked oats or overnight oats mixed with fat free yoghurt, blackberries, strawberries and honey or sweetener.

After our CrossFit training at 10:30, I’ll come home and I’ll have a whey shake (my favourite is chocolate nougat) or plain fat free yoghurt with strawberries. Lunch time will be either tuna, salad with a whole wheat wrap or chicken/ mince/steak. So really any meat with salad or veg with a wrap. As the day goes on, I probably will be on my 4th cup of strong Terbodore coffee (it’s my treat and addiction) also nothing less than 3 litres of water per day.

Round about 4pm I’ll have another whey shake or rice cakes with slice of ham on. Dinner is early 6.30-ish which is just a repeat of lunch …. I used to weigh all my food, but now I know off by heart the portions I am allowed to eat. As a treat I’m allowed 4 blocks of Lindt after dinner.

Tell us about what exercise you do, when, where and how often

I only started proper training 5 years ago, when I had lost most of my weight. . We were influenced by a friend about CrossFit. CrossFit is designed to improve your overall physical abilities, including your endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, balance, and more.

We joined CrossFit False Bay here in Tokai. It is an awesome Box; great vibe, close to home and have amazing coaches. We are like a little community.  I only train 9-10am Monday – Friday, We also did Pilates for a year, which was amazing to see how strong our core and bodies are.

How have you fitted this is with your busy life as a mum?

I’ve always been the type of person to train in the morning, so before I had kids, I was a 5am-er at the normal gyms, but it did nothing for me. Our CrossFit box has a perfect time slot that fits us moms and dads. I drop off kids at school at 7am, go home, get some work done and then I head to training with my husband at CrossFit from 9-10am . This is done Monday – Friday.

It’s great because the kids are already at school. I do not want it to effect or take any time away from my kids. On weekends we used to go walking Sea Point Promenade. Recently we started cycling with the kids and we are all loving it.

Exercise must be enjoyable and focused and I cannot focus on training if the kids are with me. So I keep it separate. I’m a mom when I need to be a mom and a machine when I need to be a machine.

Do you use any shakes or supplements?

I have been using CLA and Garcinia Cambogia for 2 years now. I drink whey shakes when my body wants them or if I’m on the go. It does make life easier having that option.

When do you find it hardest to stay on track?

I’m very good at putting my mind to something and fulfilling it. For example when I go on holiday often I’ll come back having lost weight rather than picking weight on. I never want to be overweight again, so I try my hardest to keep on track.

I stopped drinking alcohol a year and a half ago. Woke up one day and that was it. Just was bored of drinking and it does no good to the body or brain. So that was a massive achievement.

What do you love most about your new lifestyle?

My Family, my energy, my zest for life.

I have lost friends and gained friends, but I think I make the right choices. My 40th was last year and normally I would have thrown a huge party, got drunk and eaten the wrong foods, but instead I wanted something for me, for my soul. So I booked my little family into Kagga Kamma for the long weekend and had the best time ever.

I love having so much energy, feeling healthy and being healthy. It has come with lots of sacrificing but it’s been worth it. No more boobs, no over indulging on junk food, no sluggish feeling, no hangovers or no mojo. I have this new drive about me and life.

When I go clothes shopping now I don’t have to try on. I’m the smallest in cm’s I have ever been and I get to buy clothes in the tween department!

What are your top tips for other moms trying to lose weight & get fitter?

You need to really really want it. There is no point in starting if you are already coming up with excuses. Like how can I cook for kids and have to make different meals for yourself or eating the kids left over lunch boxes. Give the left overs to your staff or vagrants on the street.

You can’t diet or want to change your lifestyle if you aren’t in the head space to do so. It’s not easy, and you have to be your own motivator. Stop making excuses. Start today, do it now… Set yourself goals, my goal that got me started 5 years ago, was we booked a Sun City holiday and I wanted to flaunt my body on the Valley of Waves (stupid , but yes). Well I did, I lost 25kgs before that holiday and it felt good.

Even if you have to get a personal trainer for a short period, to guide you or a lifestyle coach. If it wasn’t for the help from the lifestyle coach I wouldn’t know what I should or shouldn’t eat. What my body wants or is allowed. There has been criticism from family and friends, which I had to take with a pinch of salt. I wanted it badly.

It’s my body, my life. Now that I’m thinner, people speak, but I’m happy. When I was fat, no one spoke, but I was miserable.

Like I said you got to really really want it!!!


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