Three women, three weight loss stories. Their secrets? Determination to change . Here they share their inspirational stories.

Jessica's story

Jessica knew that she was gaining weight but as a new mum she convinced herself there wasn't the time to exercise and was worried that reducing her calorie intake would dry up her milk.

Description: Jessica

Jessica Flynn-Bent, age 27, height 163cm, before 70kg, after 57kg, lost 13kg, home Sunshine coast - QLD

To make matters worse, Jessica found enjoyment in a hobby that even the most ardent dieter would find tempting - cake decorating. "Cake decorating was eating a lot of my work when I finished," she says.

Her clothes got tighter and Jessica found herself needing a size 14 instead of her previous size 8. However, it was photos from a Christmas holiday that prompted her to take action. "After seeing pictures of myself at Christmas and struggling to keep up with my son at the park, I was determined to make my New Year's resolutions stick and make better choices," Jessica explains.

Better choices

"I didn't just want to lose weight, I wanted to be healthier and correct ongoing problems with my digestive system," explains Jessica. She began her transformation by visiting a naturopath who performed acupuncture treatments and encouraged her to cut out gluten and sugar. "I became more aware of my portion sizes which were mostly healthy foods but just too much of them at once," she says.

Jessica didn't want to stop baking and decorating her cakes, but when cutting back her sugar intake

Something had to be done. "Now I just pass it on to friends and neighbours  as gifts for special occasions and have a rule not to eat my own cakes." While cakes are out, Jessica now has healthier recipes that she enjoys making and eating. "With my love of baking I like to make my own protein bars," she explains. Jessica also realised it was time to get moving. "I joined a gym with an awesome creche service and traded my Young & The Restless viewing time for either an RPM, BodyAttack or BodyPump class," she says.

Description: A BodyPump class

A BodyPump class

To keep track of her efforts Jessica wore a heart rate monitor and signed up to www.myfitnesspal.com, an on-line calorie counter and exercise diary.

Up for the challenge

Keen to keep pushing herself Jessica signed up to a six week challenge at her local gym.

"That kept me motivated and I found what I needed to keep on the straight and narrow," she says.

After the gym challenge Jessica committed herself to the `5 weeks to 14km' in the Feb/Mar issue of SHAPE and incorporated gym classes in between the recommended runs.

Jessica is now focused on increasing her distances as she is working towards her first half marathon in August.

Jessica's son is now 20 months old and loves her fitness routine.

"My son is my biggest fan," she says. "I run whilst pushing him in the pram and I'm sure any day now I'm going to get "Faster Mum Faster". He loves the pace."

Her husband is equally encouraging.

"My partner has jumped on board and has lost 14kg," she says. "Having him on the same health track makes life easier and I'm grateful to him for that."

Jessica’s Applekin Protein Bars


·         2 Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped

·         220g of peeled and chopped pumpkin

·         2 tsp of ground cinnamon

·         2 tsp of ground ginger

·         1 ½ tsp of bicarb soda

·         ½ cup of Xylitol sweetener

·         1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

·         4 large egg whites

·         2 cups of oats

·         2 scoops of whey protein

·         ½ cup almond milk

·         ½ cup walnuts

·         Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 180C and grease an average rectangular baking tray.

Put apple and pumkin into a small saucepan and boil in small amount of water until soft. (Try to not use too much water that you have to drain and lose nutrients). Then mash.

Put oats through the food processor to create an oat flour then add walnuts.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and when well combined place mix into baking tray.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden

Allow to cool and cut into 24 bars.

Each bar has approximately 63 calories, contains 8g carbs, 2g fat, 4g protein, 2g fibre,

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