Secrets to lasting weight loss: Busy Aussie mum reveals the simple swaps that helped her lose 39kg after birth of second child

Cradling her three-month-old baby girl, Melissa walked past the floor-length mirror in the hallway and caught a glimpse of her post-partum body.

Stopped in her tracks, she didn’t recognise the woman staring back.

After the birth of her second child — but primarily aided by a poor diet — she weighed 107kg.

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“I just thought: ‘Who is this? Wow, I have let myself go’,” Melissa tells 7Life of the moment she realised she was putting her health last.

“I had let myself go before I even fell pregnant.”

As Melissa stared at the figure in the mirror, she made a promise — she wanted to be the best version of herself that she could be.

And, after just nine months of healthy eating, she has lost a staggering 39kg.

“I am now a single mum of two, with two jobs and a mortgage — I am busier than ever,” Melissa says.

The mum says a few simple ‘swaps’ in the kitchen have given her not just her dream body, but a better life for her kids.

Melissa had lived on a diet of carbohydrates and large meal portions, with takeaway being her go-to.

“I went through a rough patch,” she says.

“I had a relationship breakdown and I had to move.”

Melissa lost 39kg in just nine months. Credit: Supplied

For a typical breakfast, she would tuck into six Weet-Bix or four pieces of toast.

At lunch, she would have a large portion of chips with a chicken wrap drenched in aioli.

For dinner, if it wasn’t Hungry Jacks, it would be two helpings of home-cooked pasta with extra cheese or three pieces of oily homemade schnitzel.

“I didn’t understand proper nutrition,” she says.

“I was making choices I thought were right but it was just all carbs.”

Three months after the birth of her second child, Melissa had had enough of her weight — which had climbed to 107kg.

“I had a lot of mum guilt,” she says.

“I didn’t have the healthiest pregnancy — I didn’t eat as healthy as I was supposed to, and it was playing on my mind.”

The busy mum-of-two says eating healthy has transformed her life. Credit: Supplied

So Melissa started drinking three litres of water a day and signed up for a gym membership — committing to exercising three times a week.

“I set realistic goals for myself,” she explains.

The mum-of-two also came across The Healthy Mummy (HM) — a health and fitness program loved by women around Australia.

Sick of the yo-yo dieting she had tried before, she signed up and joined the HM Facebook group where other busy mums share tips on how to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Weekly weigh in

She began switching out deep fried chips for the air-fried alternative, she swapped her creamy aioli for balsamic vinegar and she stopped free pouring her oil and used a spray nozzle instead.

And she quickly began seeing results.

Every week, she would weigh herself and delight in seeing the numbers on the scales plummet.

But for the mum, it was image comparisons that became her biggest “cheerleader”.

“I would take photos every day or every second day in this massive mirror in the hallway,” she says.

“When I wake up, when I am cleaning or even when I get back from the gym.”

At her heaviest, Melissa weighed 107kg. Credit: Supplied

As Melissa swiped through her camera roll, the before and after shots spurred her on.

For breakfast, she would sit down to two Weetbix topped with fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Lunch would often be a protein wrap with a light dressing and dinner would be another serving of protein with a side of salad or vege.

“My meals were almost the same but I was just swapping things out,” Melissa says, adding her diet comprised a healthy mix of all food groups.

Just nine months later, the mum had hit her goal weight of less than 70kg.

She now finds herself enjoying clothes shopping, knowing she can fit into garments from almost every store.

“It is just about teaching yourself how to switch your habits and the tricks to make a healthy lifestyle work for you,” she says.

The mum now loves shopping for clothes. Credit: Supplied

A new survey from women’s online health platform Moshy found that eight in 10 women concede they are overweight but say they are too busy to prepare healthy meals.

Melissa confesses she was one of these women.

“The truth is, what I am doing now takes no more time than what I was doing before,” she says.

“It is about knowing what changes to make. Like, do you know if you use spray oil for cooking you can save 300 calories?”

Moshy dietitian Kirby Sorenson echoes Melissa’s feelings, saying nutrition education is key.

“You’re likely to have 1095 meals a year, so what matters most is what you are doing the majority of the time,” Kirby says.

“It’s important to enjoy all foods in moderation.”

Now, when Melissa doesn’t have time to sit down to a homecooked meal, she reaches for a healthy sandwich, yoghurt or fruit — and drives straight past the fast-food restaurants she once loved. has not received any monetary benefit from this content.

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