Rachel said she has had difficulties with her body image since she was just eight years old, but it was only recently that she discovered a way to lose the weight that was making her unhappy. To kick start her weight loss transformation, Rachel said she decided to change the way she spoke to herself and “think my way to a healthier way of life”.
Rachel has lost an impressive seven stone in less than two years, going from 16st 5lbs to 9st 5lbs.
She was at her heaviest at 17st 5lbs in July 2019.
The mum-of-two credited “counting chemicals, not calories” for her weight loss.
Since shedding the pounds, Rachel has trained to become a health and lifestyle coach to help others with their body image struggles.
Rachel explained how she tried every diet under the sun before finding what worked for her. She said: “I started putting weight on from the age of eight years old, and I can remember my mum taking me to Weight Watchers when I was 12 or 13 years old.
“In hindsight, reflecting on my journey now, I can see I was a secret eater, eating sweets, crisps, chocolate. All the comfort foods.
“Later on in life I went through a phase of ballooning and then just stopping eating – that was when I was at university. I dropped weight but not in a healthy way.
“From then on I yo-yo-ed and I have tried every diet in existence I think – from WW, Slimming World, the Dukan Diet, the Maple Syrup diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins, 2:5 – I tried everything.
“The one I had most success with was Slimming World, and that’s the one I’d go back to and felt comfortable with. But then you’d get to target, you’d come off plan, and I’d pile the weight back on and then some.”
When Rachel approached 40, she said she was horrified after seeing pictures of herself, and it led to her never wanting to have her photo taken.
“I thought gosh, I don’t want my picture taken and yet my daughter Sofia was saying ‘come on mummy’,” she explained.
“I thought I need to do something about this, because I’m taking memories away from my children. They’re not going to have pictures with their mummy. Something really cut me up about that.”
Eventually, the mum-of-two started reading personal development books about biohacking – the concept of changing one’s environment to feel more in control of one’s biology.
“They were talking about eating for your biology, not around a diet,” Rachel explained.
“And about addressing how you talk to yourself.”
She continued: “I realised, I’m talking to myself in such a negative way, all I’m focussing on is what I can’t do. I’m not focussing on what I can do. They talked about facing your fears, facing your gremlins. So I started to address the gremlins.
“After addressing my mindset, focussing on what I was actually eating, and how my body was responding versus the calories, all of a sudden the weight started to come off. I was like, what?
“I started to focus on what I could have to eat rather than what I can’t, and the weight started to come off. I continued going to the gym three times a week, drinking water, and really focusing on the quality of food I started to eat – I got rid of all diet food, all processed food.”
By June 2020, Rachel had lost almost seven stone, going from 17st 5lbs to 10st 5lbs in a year.
By December 2020, she was down to 9st 5lbs and hasn’t put a pound back on since.
“For me it’s not about body size, it’s about health,” Rachel said.
“The visceral fat wrapped around your heart, around your liver, it’s not helping you to function.
“I feel more alert now, I have a lot more energy, I’m able to keep up with my children. I run around the park and don’t think twice about it and my skin seems to glow a lot more.
“My thing now is body awareness, listening to your body. It is always communicating to you.”
Rachel now eats plenty of fruit and vegetables, chicken, and fish, as well as good fats such as good quality cheese, full fat cream, and full fat milk.
The 41-year-old added: “I spent many years not believing in myself, not liking myself, comparing myself to other people, looking to other people for validation. When the only person who needs to validate you, is you.
“When you can get to that place to look at yourself in the mirror and high five yourself it’s great. Every morning I get up and high five myself for how far I’ve come.”