New mom drops 20 kilos to reclaim her pre-pregnancy body and motivate her clients
As a personal trainer, Jessi-Cairns Asbury’s body should be the embodiment of what she advocates and preaches to her clients. Unfortunately, while weight gain is an unavoidable consequence of pregnancy for everyone, Jessi, who plies her trade at Virgin Active Bryanston, gained more than she initially anticipated. “I gained 10 kilos in the first five months of my pregnancy and couldn’t fit into my clothes – being unable to fit into my fav pair of body-tight Freddy pants was really upsetting,” she recalls. “I really didn’t enjoy being pregnant and I felt revolting due to a major sinus problem. This led to a general lack of motivation for anything and I often turned to food for comfort.”
This constant eating and the accompanying weight gain meant Jessi soon felt out of place in the gym. “I soon lost all my confidence and cut myself off from the world,” she says.
Her lack of motivation to train also meant she lost all her fitness and strength. “That was a big mistake because once I decided that it was time to get my body back it was really difficult to get back into the gym, so difficult in fact, that at first, I started to believe I would never get my body back. This merely demotivated me even further. I felt so frustrated that I had let myself go so much.” It also didn’t help that many people told her that she would never get her body back after she gave birth.
However, with lots of encouragement and support from her fiancé Sean, she started to believe that she would become ‘the old Jess’ again. “I was determined to prove wrong everyone who said it couldn’t be done. More than that, though, I desperately wanted to feel and look healthy again, and to fit into my skinny jeans, of course,” she muses.
After delivering a healthy baby, Jessi says she started to make small changes to her lifestyle. “I cut my portion sizes at first, and then started to focus on eating healthier. I dropped meat from my diet and ate only fish as a primary source of protein. I also started to eat more like a vegetarian, which helped a lot.” She then started a programme of walking and running to get her fitness levels back up, and then started adding in some weight training to regain her strength. With this holistic approach, it wasn’t long before Jessi started to regain her body, and with it some of the confidence she had lost. “I started to feel comfortable in my skin again; to feel sexy again.” Three months later Jessi was back in full swing and by the end of the process, Jessi had lost a staggering 20 kilos.
“I was back to wearing my Freddy jeans with confidence, which is a great feeling. I didn’t feel out of place at work either, which is important for my career success. Also, I’m now better able to help my clients, many of whom find themselves in a similar position to the one I was in – down and depressed, with a lack of self-belief in their abilities. I can now offer them advice from first-hand experience and I know exactly what it takes to make lasting changes. Most importantly, based on my success, they now believe that it is possible, which means I can offer a solution that addresses both the physical and psychological demands of a transformation.”
- Weight before: 86kg
- Weight after: 66kg
- Favourite healthy dish: Fish and Salad
- Favourite exercise: Burpees
- Must-use supplements: Vitamin B or Neurobion
- Top diet tip: Eat half of what your stomach is asking for, and have a glass of water before and after your meals.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.