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How Caroline lost 35 lbs for her Wedding Day…


Toning Up For The BIG day…

How Caroline lost 35 lbs for her Wedding Day…

Getting married is one of the biggest and best days of your life! It’s super important to look and feel confident for the big day…

After all there’s going to be plenty of people snapping photographs, and the wedding pics will probably be on display, resting above the fire place for the rest of your life (no pressure!).

Getting in shape for your wedding day can be challenging enough, let alone when you’ve just given birth! This was the up hill battle Caroline was up against…

Last February (2016) Caroline gave birth to Toby (aka Tobster!), an adorable, and cute baby boy, who’s a bit of a cheeky monkey and keeps you on your toes! Giving birth to Toby only left Caroline with 7 months to shape up and shift the excess baby fluff!

We started training in April last year. The aim was to loose 39 lbs, although Caroline didn’t quite hit her exact target she still managed to lose 35 lbs (2.5 stone) in total – a great effort!

In this post i’m going to share some of the strategies we used to ensure that she gradually lost weight, but most importantly how she adopted a healthier lifestyle which was sustainable as a full time mum.

The Hardest Job In The World…

how a mum got fit and lost 25 lbs

Being a full time parent and looking after a newly born child has got to be one of the most challenging  jobs in the world (I’ll be finding out shortly when Sally gives birth in May! Yikes!).

It’s a 24 hour, 7 day a week job! You’ve got to change diapers, wash, dress and feed your baby, and all whilst running your household and taking care of the other responsibilities – and that’s just scraping the surface!

That said Caroline managed to make some great improvements, both to her fitness and body shape. Here’s a list of the things we did to help Caroline achieve a steady weight loss…

Main Aim = Create a Calorie Deficit…

In order to lose weight you have to create a calorie deficit, there’s simply no other way. Ditch the fancy diet pills and those snazzy vibrating waistbands that you wrap around your stomach whilst watching TV to give you abs!

The only way to lose weight is to reduce overall calories. You can do this through dieting and exercise (ideally you want to do both). With Caroline we focused on both Training & Nutrition (see below).

Training Strategies…

The aim was to commit to at least 4-6 workouts per week (2 personal training sessions with LEP Fitness, 2 workouts at the gym, and 2 home workouts) and to commit to this for 7 months. We would also supplement the 4-6 workouts with added walking, to increase overall calorie expenditure. Here’s the exact breakdown and strategies that we used…

1) Walking 

walking mum getting fit

When you’ve sang every lullaby in the book and you’re all out of ideas to stop your baby from crying – walking can be a great way to calm your baby down and at the same time it burns a ton of calories! Caroline would go walking most days, pushing a hefty pram (more calories burnt!) and would track her steps using a Fitbit Sports Watch (until she lost it!). The aim was to hit at least 7,500 steps a day (ideally 10,000).

2) Personal Training

personal trainers in sheffield

As well as walking most days Caroline would also do 2 x 45 minutes personal training sessions with me each week, bringing Toby along for some extra support!

In sessions we focused on full body workouts, as they burn more calories than working muscles in isolation. We would alternate between upper and lower body exercises and include compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, dips and lunges to create a high intensity workout with the main aim of burning as many calories as possible.

Caroline would do weights circuits with 4-10 exercises per round, and rest only 30-60s between each circuit. To give you an example a circuit would look like this:

  1. 25 x squats
  2. 15 x DB shoulder presses
  3. 30 x crunches
  4. 20 x lunges
  5. 15 x DB clean and press
  6. 60s x plank
  7. 100 x high knees
  8. 25 x squat jumps
  9. 25 x push ups
  10. 15 x bent over rows

The above 10 exercises would be one round, then Caroline would rest for 30-60s and then complete another 2-3 rounds in total.

3) Virgin Gym Membership

virgin active sheffield

Alongside the walking and our personal training sessions, Caroline would go to Virgin Gym at least 2x per week, completing a combination of spin and body conditioning classes, with some occasional swimming. Virgin has great facilities and caters for child care, making this a perfect option to help Caroline boost her fitness further.

4) Resistance Band Workouts

resistance band workout with LEP Fitness - based in Sheffield

It was super important to think of different options that could work for Caroline’s new life. It wasn’t always possible to go to the gym so therefore we designed a workout which she could do at home.

I decided to design a resistance band workout for her. Resistance bands are a great piece of kit which are easy to store and allow you to train your full body without the need for much space (at home, in a hotel room, etc). The RB workouts were only short (10-20 minutes) and complimented the other strategies we were using.

Nutrition Strategies…

grenade protein bars

Slaving away for hrs and hrs in the kitchen, and prepping meals was not going to be a feasible option! The aim with Caroline’s nutrition was to get her into a better routine of eating healthier, more nutritious foods and foods which would be conducive towards our goal of creating a calorie deficit.

We picked convenience foods during the day, things like: protein shakes, fruit, protein bars, yoghurts and nuts – basically anything which was easy to prepare and could be grabbed at a moments notice! Then in the evening Caroline had the support of her husband, Patrick (who Caroline tells me is a bit of a Gordan Ramsey in the kitchen!) to cook her healthy meals.

Caroline made a conscious effort to pick healthier food alternatives, and foods lower in calories for example: switching normal spaghetti to courgette spaghetti, and switching normal rice to cauliflower rice (again as it’s more calorie friendly). Once a week she would also have a cheat meal of her choice to satisfy any cravings.

The Big Day…

On December the 9th, 2016 Caroline and Patrick made their vows to one other and got happily married! Congratulations…

caroline and pat on their wedding day

What’s your excuse?

It’s easy to uses excuses for why we can’t work out and go to the gym but if a full time mum can make it happen – there’s no excuse! Caroline has been a great example of someone who committed to improving health and fitness and built this into her busy lifestyle.

People will often reel of excuses for why they can’t devote more time to improving their health and fitness…

“I don’t have time”

“Gym’s are too expensive”

“My back hurts!”

The list goes on…

Quit making excuses, create a goal that you want to achieve and commit to taking action. When you commit and consistently work hard…the results will follow.

Thanks for reading,

personal trainer in sheffield - LEP Fitness