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Zona Naude found herself always feeling tired and wanting to stay in bed for most of the day.
She said her whole body was “full of inflammation” caused by her unhealthy eating habits.
“I literally ate anything out of a box and packet. All processed food. And I would not stop until the packet was finished,” Ms Naude told news.com.au
While busy eating one thing, the 48-year-old said she was already thinking about her next meal.
“Chips, cookies, blocks of chocolate, lollies. You name it, I ate it. I would be lying down eating it all. If I didn’t eat, I’d just close my eyes and sleep some more.”
When she finally got up, the Queensland mother-of-three said she felt like falling over because she was not used to standing upright.
“The more I ate, the less I could go out into society,” she said, adding, “I felt left out, that life had passed me by and I started not giving a damn about what I put in my mouth.”
But that all changed when the mother-of-three built the courage to make a change and ditch her poor “packet” diet.
She replaced it with fresh, wholesome foods – along with regular exercise.
“I use Lite n’ Easy to keep my weight between 56kg and 58kg. When I feel like I’m losing control of my life and eating habits, I just start it up to ‘focus’ on myself again,” she said.
In nine months, Ms Naude lost 20kg and said part of the trigger was her son’s wedding day.
“I struggled to get something beautiful to wear because of my size. I even bought underwear specifically designed to ‘pull’ your body in. I felt like a stuffed sausage,” she said.
“And that’s when the (switch) switched in my head. I was tired of the way I felt about myself. I had no body image. I was tired of feeling sick and tired.”
Ms Naude had struggled for three years with antidepressants, however, with the help of a doctor she gradually came off the medication, swapping it for “good food and movement”.
“For me, there definitely was a time to be on the meds but there also was a time to get off it,” she told news.com.au
“I had to replace it with something positive and for me that was Lite n’ Easy, exercise and music.”
“Today I eat food that I call ‘alive’ food, such as fresh salads – food that comes from nature and not out of a tin or that’s processed.”
She said by eating healthy, her moods have changed, her skin has improved and she has much more energy.
“My poor sleeping habits changed once I got into a normal routine.”
Ms Naude also hired a personal trainer who “helped keep her accountable”.
“I had to give him updates on my progress. Like going up and down the dreaded stairs. Every week he would up the amount,” she said.
“He actually recommended that I swap my dinner meals and my breakfast meals with each other, so that I could burn the bigger meal longer during the day and have the lightest meal at night.”
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She said while she once never wanted to leave the house, she is now always out and about and loves the way she looks and feels today.
“My advice is to get professional help – use other people’s knowledge to just get you on your path. And then, and this is the secret, trust the system. Do like the little train did, keep going. If you drop the ball, just pick it up and go again.
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Originally published as Sleep habit behind mum’s weight gain