‘You are NOT stuck with your post-baby body’: Single mum who looks better in her 40s than she did in her 20s reveals how she got rid of the weight she piled on after having kids
- Single mum Belinda Norton looks better in her 40s than she did in her 20s
- She said other mums are ‘not stuck with your post-baby body’ and can change
- Belinda herself shed 20kg after giving birth by eating healthily and exercising
- She shared her secrets – and how she stays on track and healthy
A single mother-of-two who looks better in her 40s than she did in her 20s has told other mums to ‘stop making excuses’ about not shifting their baby weight and explained ‘you are not stuck with your post-baby body’.
PE teacher and single mum Belinda Norton, 41, barely recognised her body after piling on 20 kilograms throughout two pregnancies, before she overhauled her diet and exercise regime and got in shape.
While the Gold Coast mum said she was guilty of ‘making excuses’ around food and exercise when she first became a mother, she also said a comment from her then-husband prompted her to get her body back on track.
A single mother-of-two (pictured now age 42) who looks better in her 40s than she did in her 20s has told other mums to ‘stop making excuses’ about not shifting their baby weight
When he showed her a photo of a toned woman, she said she wished she could look like that and he told her no matter what she did, she never could look like that.
What were the four steps Belinda used to get in shape?
Step 1: Set a food regime.
Step 2: Corrected her fitness.
Step 3: Got consistent and goal-focused.
Step 4: Included personal rewards, like facials and massages.
‘That was the sentence that lit a fire in my belly,’ Belinda told FEMAIL.
‘Doubters have always spurred me on.’
And so, the full-time physical education teacher used her knowledge of sports and nutrition to develop a way of eating and exercising that fit into her schedule as a busy mum.
‘The steps I followed were pretty straightforward,’ the author of Fit Mama said.
‘Step 1: I set a food regime. Step 2: I corrected my fitness. Step 3: I was consistent and goal-focused. And Step 4: I included personal rewards, such as a facial or a massage – not chocolate.’
Belinda (pictured now) said a comment from her then-partner that she would never be in incredible shape spurred her on to shake the baby weight
Belinda said that ‘being truthful’ with herself was hard at first, but gradually over the course of a year, her body started changing shape.
What are the foods that keep Belinda in peak shape?
‘Within 20 weeks of eating healthily and exercising three or four times a week, people noticed differences in my skin, energy and mood,’ she said.
‘Then, the body changes came too.’
She slowly and steadily moved from 80 kilos to her current weight of 62 kilos.
The 42-year-old said food is the key to being in good shape in your 30s and 40s.
‘Focus on how often you eat, how much you eat and then simplify the eating and preparation process,’ she said.
‘Processed meats should never pass your lips as they are poison to the body.
‘While they are marketed as high in protein and healthy, I totally disagree and have seen dramatic health changes in myself and other women who avoid them altogether.’
Instead, Belinda focuses on nourishing her body with plenty of lean protein and green leafy vegetables.
‘I live entirely on oats, blueberries, almond milk, coffee, bananas, chicken, salmon, salad, broccoli, eggs, spinach, beetroot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, quinoa and peanut butter,’ she said.
The 42-year-old said food is the key to being in good shape in your 30s and 40s – and she had to quit eating junk food (pictured in her 20s and her 40s)
Belinda (pictured now) follows a very strict approach to eating and drinking, and she totally prohibits processed meats and limits sugar in favour of plenty of vegetables
‘When I took charge of my health, I quit eating the kids’ leftovers, stopped shopping when hungry and swapped bad white carbs out for wholegrains,’ she said (pictured as a new mum)
‘My body thrives on a balanced intake of these clean, healthy foods that provide me with vast amounts of energy.’
‘When I took charge of my health, I also quit eating the kids’ leftovers, stopped shopping when hungry and swapped any bad white carbs out for wholegrains like quinoa.’
Belinda said it’s important to balance ‘quality and quantity’ in the exercise you do and the food you eat.
‘It’s a key formula that worked wonders for my own lost, frumpy and lacklustre physique,’ she said.
Belinda said it’s important to balance ‘quality and quantity’ in the exercise you do and the food you eat (pictured in her 20s and her 40s)
When it comes to exercise, Belinda (pictured with her daughter) said you should put down the phone and get in a brief period of exercise whenever you can
When it comes to exercise, Belinda said there are no hard and fast rules about what you should do, but moving the body as often as possible is paramount.
‘I recommend a morning walk of 30 minutes as fast as your body can go,’ she said.
‘It increases the energy of the body and vastly improves our mood and motivation.’
The mum-of-two also does three or four of her at-home fitness program sessions per week, which include cardio and resistance training.
‘We don’t need hours to go to the gym. Just get off the phone for half an hour and it’s amazing what you can achieve,’ she said.
Speaking about how her new physique has changed her life, Belinda (pictured now) said it has improved her family life – she rotates healthy meals on a two-weekly basis
Belinda said she stays healthy by drinking a glass of water before each meal and breaking each food down into it components so she knows what she’s eating (pictured in her 20s and 40s)
Speaking about how her new physique has changed her life, Belinda said it has improved everything – including her family life.
‘Family life is easier now,’ she said.
‘We all know exactly what we are eating, so there is no guesswork. I set up weekly menus on a two-week rotation and add new recipes every six months.
‘This might sound boring, but it makes life so much easier, and when we are in the mood for something new, we go out to a restaurant or I find new recipes to try out.’
How did Belinda break up with junk food?
Belinda (pictured now) ditched junk food for good by thinking about every single little thing she put in her mouth
In order to shed the mum-bod and rediscover a healthier way of eating and living, you need to restore your love of real food. Remember? The stuff you used to eat before a screaming baby robbed you of all your energy.
Re-educating yourself on what foods to eat is much easier when you focus on the effects they have on your body. Do you want to eat something that makes you feel sluggish and bloated? Or something that makes you feel energised and clear?
It is possible to ditch junk food. Here’s how I did it:
1. I took notice of every single thing I put into my mouth. If you wanted to, you could even write it down and take a look at the end of the day—but if you do this, be real with yourself and record everything, and I mean everything.
2. I visualised every mouthful giving me total body nourishment.
3. I drank a glass of water before every meal.
4. I created a simple, achievable meal plan of easy but healthy dinners that are quick and straightforward to cook.
5. I ate almost exactly the same meals every week. It might sound boring, but it frees you from having to think about food too much and reduces temptation.
6. I broke food down into its components. I still use this trick today to help keep me on track.
Source: Belinda Norton. This is an edited extract from Fit Mama by Belinda Norton, Murdoch Books RRP $29.99.
‘I feel happy with my body and have devised a way to keep my fitness on track,’ she said (pictured with her two kids)
Belinda has recently released a book – Fit Mama – designed to help other mothers take charge of their bodies and get their best body yet.
Belinda Norton is the author of Fit Mama (pictured), which is out now
‘We need to show our kids the right way to food and fitness, it’s not about competition, it’s not about eating from a packet.
‘It’s genuinely knowing how to fuel ourselves to give our bodies the best opportunity at health.’
She said you will not regret changing your eating and exercise habits, and added that ‘the best way to describe my life now is complete’.
‘I feel happy with my body and have devised a way to keep my fitness on track.
‘I don’t fear food, or my choices around food, because I have found a way of eating that works for me.’
Belinda Norton is the author of Fit Mama, published by Murdoch Books and out now. For more information about the book, please click here.
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