How I Lost 30 Pounds In 3 Months

As I stepped on the scales I was afraid to look.

The numbers kept going up and up.

I closed my eyes and breathed. Behind my closed eyelids the last five years of nomadic travel taunted me. Flashes of delicious desserts, chocolatey cocktails and a fast paced life that consisted of fast food options more often than not.

The scale stopped ticking. I opened my eyes.

January 2017 I arrived in Australia the heaviest I have ever been in my life. It’s shameful to even contemplate putting this out in public but in an effort to be as transparent with you as I am to myself… And in an attempt NEVER to go there again, here it is.

98.8 kg. 218 pounds.

Holy cow! How did that happen? Surely all the walking while travelling the world would stop that?

No. As a matter of fact, I spent most of my days on planes and in cars, with the occasional day clocking up 20k steps at Disney World or in New York.

Between travel days I sat at my computer, barely shifting in an effort to write down everything I had done to catch up before the next adventure.

I knew my clothes were tight. I knew I could only shop at plus size stores. I knew I no longer wanted to be photographed. I knew I couldn’t run with my kids. I knew it was enough.

You may recall I attempted in February 2016 the Personal Trainer Food program. I loved it and it worked fabulously, but with only one month up my sleeve to commit to a change in diet my old habits attacked with a vengeance.

 

The Divorce Diet

Then this.

70 percent of people going through a divorce or breakup find themselves with one tiny bonus. The problem is this kind of diet is really nothing more than stress, anger, sadness, and (for some) a need to control any part of their lives (like diet and exercise) that hasn’t fallen into complete chaos.

Flytographer photo, Mexico 2016

So yeah, in December I fell into this category of weight loss. My appetite dissipated. And with a strong desire to not let the pain inside get the best of me, I joined a gym to feel other pain, to let out frustration and to feel in control.

At first, I was surprised by my lack of appetite. I have never been the type of person that couldn’t eat. But the more research I did the more I realised that this was quite common. According to some research, divorce is the second most stressful life event one can experience (second only to the death of a spouse). And as such divorce typically results in weight loss.

I lost 30 pounds in 3 months. 

For some, the prospect of being “back on the market” spurs weight loss. But for many, including myself, it is simply a reaction to extraordinary stress.

This reaction went on for nearly 3 months. After a 20 year relationship, most people seemed genuinely surprised it was not longer. To me, it felt like an eternity.

I’m an extremely positive person and this quite possible were the darkest days of my life. But, if you know anything about me. I never let negative emotions win.

 

The Erin Diet

Fortunately, as time passed, my appetite returned. While during those first three months food was something I had to choke down to live, I soon found pleasure in food again. Importantly with the return of that desire for food was a reminder. A reminder that there is always a next meal, a next chapter of life, a progression.

So I picked myself up and dusted myself off.

Seeing how the divorce diet was working so well, I decided to accelerate it and in January I started eating much like my Personal Trainer Food diet was the previous year.

Protein and vegetables. Goodbye carbs and sugar. It’s as simple as that.

The more nitty gritty details are unlimited meat, eggs, and vegetables. I have no fruit, except one apple a day. I eat a small amount of cheese. Any sauce, as long as it has under 3 grams of sugar. I pretty much followed the guidelines Personal Trainer Food set out for me.

Courtesy of Personal Trainer Food

 

Give Us An Example

Can’t imagine how that would be enjoyable? Well, here’s an example of what I eat.

Breakfast

Fried Egg, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus.

Omelet with blue cheese, asparagus, spinach, and bacon.

Lunch

Gluten free chicken schnitzel. With raw carrot, capsicum, broccoli with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce or mayonnaise.

Salad with chicken or tuna.

Leftover from dinner.

Dinner

Rib eye steak. Cauliflower with bacon and sprinkled with cheese. Green beans, broccoli.

Lamb cutlets with a side salad or steamed veggies.

Beef burger with cheese, pickles, mushroom, capsicum on a lettuce bun.

Spaghetti bolognese over zucchini spaghetti or just meat and sauce.

Snacks

Pepperoni slices, cube of cheese, almonds, pickle, apple.

Dessert

Some evenings I may be still hungry and craving something sweet. So I stew some apple with cinnamon and a sprinkle of nuts. Like apple pie filling without the pastry.

The food is meant to replicate our diet from 40 years ago, focusing on protein and vegetables – natural foods with no heavily processed ingredients.

Tips & Tricks

In the States, it was easy to buy packets of individual cheeses. It’s harder here in Australia so I buy a block of cheese and once a week, cut it into bite size cubes and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for snacking on.

Similarly, the States sold giant packets of pepperoni I use to snack on. Here in Australia, I can only find small packets that I store in a container in the fridge for snacking on.

If the kids are eating sausages and mash potatoes, I can eat the same just skip the potatoes and do more vegetables.

Steam Fresh bags of frozen vegetables are a quick alternative when I need a 2-minute meal.

Some days I may be tempted to eat carbs so I try to eat them purposefully. I avoid bread and reach for a rice cracker or a Cruskit.

I try to avoid sugar spreads so I might put a slice of ham or liverwurst or vegemite if I have to. But I admit there are days I’ve had a spoonful of peanut butter.

It’s a high-fat diet so I cook with butter.

I have never been a tea or coffee drinker so that was easy to skip. Water is my day drink and some evenings I may take a glass of Coke Zero (yes, I know it’s bad for me!)

At the beginning of the week, I usually cut up carrot sticks and capsicum to keep in the fridge for easy access. The easier food is to grab, the less I will stray.

If I ever feel like I need chocolate (usually at “that time” of the month) I attempt to buy very dark chocolate.

When socialising at the bar I am attempting to avoid my previous love of colourful, fruity cocktails and grab a gin and tonic or wine.

 

Working Out

In January I joined my local gym. The gym had a great Face2Face program that they ran with me for the first 6 weeks, giving me personal training on certain equipment and helping me set goals.

I never thought I would be a gym junkie, but now after a weekend of indulgence, I look forward to Monday at the gym. In fact just last week my gym asked me to feature in a video on their Facebook page to highlight my personal achievement.

I highly recommend grabbing a Fitbit for inspiration and accountability. I attempt to do 10,000 steps a day which I easily do just by walking my kids to and from school each day.

On top of that, I am currently attending the gym 2-3 days per week for 1.5 hours each time.

My current routine involves:

10-minute cycle

Leg press

Weight lifting

Upright row

Weighted squats

Medicine ball crunches

Pushups

20 minutes on the treadmill with a 20-second run and 40-second walk each minute.

It’s here at the gym I weigh myself each week. It’s handy having the same scale and routine for that kind of scary ritual.

Tips and tricks

Grab a Fitbit.

Ask the gym about off peak prices. I got a discount because I go before 3 pm.

Remember to suspend your gym membership when on vacation.

Download My Fitness Pal to keep track of your food and your exercise. I also keep track of my progress on here with photos and weigh ins. You can sync it with your Fitbit so you don’t have to manually add your steps.

 

Progress

Does it work?

I am not a fitness guru, nor do I claim to be a medical professional. My article is not steeped in any scientific research whatsoever and I make no claims that you should do what I do.

My article is my journey and what has clearly worked for me.

Same dress: New Years Eve 2015/2016 versus June 2017. No fancy makeup or hair stylist, just a baggy dress.

As the title suggests: I lost 30 pounds in 3 months.

Or 40 pounds in 4 months as the months keep going.

After 4 months my heart was healing and I was less stressed, so I attempted going out for meals again. These days I am less strict on weekends. When at a restaurant I will still attempt to have a meat and vegetable dish. While I use to dream about pasta, I find I can no longer eat a whole bowl of carbs. I’m better off indulging in a dessert, so I’m also easily convinced to share a Freak Shake with my kids once in awhile or share popcorn at the movies.

I started my new lifestyle third of January 2017. 6 months later I have now lost over 20 kilos. That’s over 45 pounds.

I have set my personal goal to 10 more kilos. A total eventual loss of 66 pounds. While I enjoyed rapid weight loss due to the divorce and stress, my more healthy goal is to achieve those last 10 kilos in the next 3 months. A much slower pace than before, but at least I can enjoy the delectable Melbourne food scene.

 

The Benefits

This kind of eating has moved away from a diet for me, to a way of living. I no longer think about when am I going to stop living like this. Sure, I think about when I might be able to have a dessert or eat a chocolate bar, but it’s more of a “what occasion” now instead of an everyday thought.

I never want to be how I was. I enjoy life so much more now.

I have more energy. I can keep up with my kids and run with them. My son was at his karate grading recently attempting to do squats and burpees. To encourage him I got down and did them right beside him. I could do it and I could keep up.

I am stronger. I can feel it. My thighs are strong. I can lift my suitcases better. Sorry boys, won’t need help with the grocery bags ever again.

I have more confidence. In February I walked into City Chic, (plus size women’s wear) asking to swap over a size small shirt I bought in January and no longer fit. The extra small would not fit. I said goodbye to Plus Size stores that day with the biggest grin.

I can find clothes. Clothes were always so hard to buy and not a joy for me. My saying was stick to shoes, they never change size. Now it’s so different. I’ll never forget in April walking into Jeans West and grabbing a size 16 pair of leather pants. The sales lady laughed at me and told me I was dreaming and to grab a size 12. I tried them on anyway. They were huge. I asked her to please bring a 14. She brought the 14 and the 12. I told her she was dreaming. The 14 were too big. When I slid those tight size 12 pants on I glowed. Wow. I no longer struggle with just choosing what is in my size, I have a choice!

I need new jewelry. My rings no longer fit. I moved one to my middle finger, but that’s slowly becoming loose as well. It’s a small thing, but a massive indicator. It makes getting rid of all the old stuff I use to wear much easier.

I am well. I have struggled with hyperthyroid for a few years now. A visit to a wellness centre in Colorado removed my medication and stirred me up a witches brew of natural medicine. And while I certainly attribute that to my current health, the weight has also certainly improved my well-being and the difference is profound. All results for hyperthyroid have come back normal since March.

I am proud. I feel so accomplished and proud of myself. The smallest success in my personal fitness has let me see that I can take on the world. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. After all shifting weight is one of the hardest things in the world. If I can do that, surely I can do anything. Start a new blog, single parent my kids, run a successful business. Yes!

 

What’s Next

As of the end of June, I am weighing in at 77 kilos. 21 kilos less than I did in January. I haven’t been this weight since pre-kids, possibly over a decade ago. My goal is 67 kilograms. That would be high school weight and pre-wedding weight. I’ll update you when I reach it.

July 2016 versus July 2017

Travel certainly didn’t make weight control easy, but like most things was an excuse that moving forward I will no longer use.

If you are interested in how travel made me gain weight, you can check out that article here. Or what about how travel makes others gain weight, click here.

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who lost weight on travel, well there are a few other crazy people like you here in this article.

I’d love to hear your secrets and wins in the comments below. Has 2017 been a great year in your personal fitness levels or have you been floundering? What works for you?

Look how easy it is to pin this!

How I lost 30 pounds in 3 months Scales

DON'T MISS ANYTHING!

FOMO - do you have it?  Well there is no need to Fear On Missing Out here at Explore With Erin. Sign up to receive updates directly to your in box. I won’t spam you, but I do promise a whole lot of awesomeness. What are you waiting for? Join Me!

PS: We hate spam too, read our Privacy Policy here.

Leave a Comment

Showing 66 comments
  • Rhiannon
    Reply

    Inspiring!! You look amazing!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Thanks so much 😀

  • Reply

    Amazing!! Such an inspiration to all of us still wishing to burn off some of that baby weight. Way to go, Erin!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      You can do anything!

  • Bethaney
    Reply

    Amazing Erin! You look outstanding. Well done. You are so brave to share the actual figures in kgs too and the photos to back it up! You go girl.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Brave or just plain crazy…. Now I’ll never be able to go back.

  • Paula
    Reply

    Great post! So inspiring! You look fabulous!! Congratulations 😍

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      So do you lol. But thank you Paula 😀

  • Vanessa Ortiz
    Reply

    Way to go, Girl!!!! So glad to see your amazing transformation of body and soul 🙂 Can’t wait to see what’s next. Keep it up !!!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Oh, thank you, Vanessa. Determined to continue forward best I can.

  • Clark Vandeventer
    Reply

    Good. For. You. It’s interesting how different our diets are — and how different our go-to foods are. What is the same is commitment. We get whatever we want in life and for some reason you wanted this now. I don’t know why my past attempts to get in shape failed and this time I succeeded, other than to say I finally really wanted it. I’m sorry Divorce Diet had to be a part of the whole thing. Hugs.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      I’d love to hear more about yours. Do you have a blog on it? But you are right it’s all the commitment. And thank you for your kind words. It sux more than anything, the divorce, but hopefully, it means a much better tomorrow.

  • Clark Vandeventer
    Reply

    Also, as someone who does really take pleasure in good food and drink, I think it is hard to stay fit while traveling because food and drink is such a part of the experience. How do I pass up these tacos? I’ll never be in this town again and everyone is raving about these tacos?

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Exactly!!!!

  • Dawn Gravatt
    Reply

    Way to go girl so glad I found your new site. I’m proud of your amazing changes and how you have handled everything love Dawn

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      I’ll never forget you ladies, thanks for showing me a great time in Belize.

  • Emily Crider
    Reply

    You are amazing!!!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      No, you are amazing for leaving such a great comment haha.

  • Margarita Ibbott
    Reply

    Way. To. Go. I would love to lose 30, 40 or 45 lbs. But i would like to avoid the cause 😉

    Congrats. To you. You look fabulous.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Thanks for the compliment. And I know you can do it without divorce, it’s all in the mind.

  • Jenna
    Reply

    You are gorgeous! I also joined a gym recently and love it. It feels good to be taking care of myself and watching myself get stronger. And I agree that traveling can result in weight gain–too much eating out w/ good food and drinks. It’s fun but has its downside, too!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Jenna, you are gorgeous! Let’s be gorgeous together. Travel is certainly fun, but what a train wreck to my body geez.

  • Karen Carstens
    Reply

    Wow well done Erin! Great blog! Covered everything I wanted to know! All the best for keeping it up – you’ve inspired me to hit my treadmill – unfortunately though I’m munching on a bag of lollies as I read this! 😩😆

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Hi Karen, I saw you on Instagram on the treadmill. You go girl. Pass the lollies to the dogs 🙂

  • Ariadne
    Reply

    You look really good. You might look into taking GLA and CLA supplements while you are losing weight. It will help with skin elasticity. I weighed more than you did after the birth of my child and couldn’t get any of it off until he was weaned (stupid hormones). I lost most of it while I was in Thailand and Cambodia and I really think that was because I was not eating pasta or bread very often because I had made zero effort to cut calories while I was there.

    Anyway, best of luck with the new blog.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Oh, thanks for the tips. I’ve been wondering what supplements I should be taking, I will look them up. But thats great about losing it in Thailand. Maybe I should head there? Lol.

  • Julie Cohn
    Reply

    Erin: You have always been beautiful, inside and out, but now you are looking fierce!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Awww what a lovely thing to say and you are right. My personality and charisma haven’t changed, but I just feel my body matches it a little more now lol.

  • Jennifer Coleman
    Reply

    Congratulations Erin! You have been through some very tough times, and you have done some amazing work on yourself from the inside out. Stay strong, stay positive, and keep up the good work. You’re rocking it!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      That’s the key, isn’t it Jennifer? The outside is looking good but got to keep that same progressive attitude inside too. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  • Kristie Wilson
    Reply

    You go girl!! Your hard work shows in these photos. Very inspiring post!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Thanks Kristie. I got to keep going now lol.

  • Gina
    Reply

    Well done Erin, my breakup diet was red wine, nicotine blue cheese and celery …yours in MUCH healthier!!! Still inspiring me ❤

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      OMG blue cheese sounds so good right now, thanks for making my mouth water lol.

  • Meg Cale
    Reply

    Congrats Erin! I’m so happy to hear that you feel as good as you look!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      I have a long way to go. This is just the beginning 🙂

  • Pamela Dunne
    Reply

    You look fabulous! God is good Erin. He will hold your heart in His hands and mend it. Good fir you getting back up, dusting life off and being there fir your kids and yourself. You are important. (My daughter Candace and Rhi went to school together and, my daughter Roxanne went to school with Nathan, just in case you’re wondering, who is this lady!). Take care🙏😊🌻

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      “You are important.” I needed to hear that and so do all the other people on this page.
      Nice to meet you Pamela and thanks for writing. And all those encouraging words.

  • Renee D'Antoni
    Reply

    You look fabulous, Erin! Truly. What a great example you are for your kids, modeling how to deal with adversity and making such positive changes in your life. Onward and upward!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Thank you, Renee, that is so encouraging to me. And that’s exactly who I’m doing this all for – my kids.

  • Theresa
    Reply

    Congratulations! You look great! You inspire me to eat better and join a gym.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      That’s the point! Go for it!

  • Hannah
    Reply

    You look so amazing and I know you’ll reach your goal in no time!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Aww thanks, Hannah. You’re a babe yourself.

  • Valerie
    Reply

    YOU LOOK AMAZING!!! I am so proud of you, you are BEAUTIFUL! <3

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Well coming from someone as hot as you that is a huge compliment, thank you.

  • Megan
    Reply

    Fantastic! So inspiring – as I sit at my desk typing…. I have a pot of soup slow cooking though and have just walked for 20 mins. I admire you girl x

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      OOoooo can I come for dinner?

  • Susan
    Reply

    WOW…….you look absolutely gorgeous. Many of us have been where you are in the divorce area and come out the other side better than ever. You will be too.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Thank you, Susan, what a lovely compliment. And for the hope, I will cling to that.

  • Alyson
    Reply

    Well done! You look AMAZING! I’m one that drops KG the moment we head to the airport. At home I have a fridge and I have to cook. On the road we eat out and portions are limited. It works everywhere.I’m in France now and I’m still losing weight, it’s not just Asia! I’m lying in bed in a hotel it’s 5am and I’m hungry, but with no food here I just have to wait till breakfast, which will be around 9am. That’s several hours of fat burning! Like you,I lost loads when I was getting divorced, a UK size 8, that’s tiny on my solid frame. I swore I wasn’t stressed, I’d met Chef and I was really happy, but months later that stress showed in a stress related autoimmune disease that was with me for 2 years. Not fun. I’m huge now, by my standards. My wedding ring is on a chain around my neck because my fingers have got so fat. It’s menopause plus several months of sitting on my butt working in Romania, 5 weeks in London now, then back on the road, I hope to be able to get my engagement ring off this year, it’s so tight it won’t budge. uggg! I’m going to start running again in London though, so maybe I’ll be able to keep going down not up for the next 5 weeks, I’m not into carbs generally and rarely eat them, my weakness is cheese and olive oil.

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Oh Alyson haha, thank you. I never know you went through a divorce, I am so sorry. And look at you now – loving life. And you look fab so don’t even mention it!

  • Karen
    Reply

    Congrats Erin! You look amazing!

    • Erin Bender
      Reply

      Coming from you that’s something, hot stuff! 🙂

  • Roma Small
    Reply

    The divorce diet really works. I’ve never been lighter than when I was dead inside. Not gonna lie, you look smokin’ hot. The most important thing is being happy, whatever that looks like.

  • Kelly
    Reply

    Erin you look amazing and beautiful, I love that you shine in both your before and after photos, you are always beautiful on the inside 😘 thank you for sharing! You will inspire many.

  • Gaetane Ferland
    Reply

    Congratulations, Erin! Very inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing and have a good day!

    Gaétane

  • Zascha
    Reply

    Amazing!! Well done, Erin! Xx

  • Vicki Winters
    Reply

    I am so impressed! You look SICK…in a fantastic way. I’m not going to say I’m sorry to hear about the divorce because I am going through the exact same thing right now, and I am SOOOOO much happier without that cranky, snarky man in my life.

    I started a new way of eating plan a few day ago (DAY 3) and on my way to feeling better and losing some of the NASTY weight I’ve put on over the past year.

    You are my new role model…..xoxoxox

  • Alana
    Reply

    Im currently in India and on the Dysentry Diet hahahaha argh!!!

    You look wonderful and so healthy!

  • Micki
    Reply

    Erin, you rock! Congratulations!

  • Katie
    Reply

    Amazing Erin!! What an inspiration!

  • Heidi Wagoner
    Reply

    Wow, you are such an inspiration. Yes, I know how those pounds can just creep on over and over! Layer in a non functioning thyroid and it really goes off the charts. You will be my motivation to make some changes!

  • To Travel Too
    Reply

    Well done Erin, you look brilliant!

  • Carrie
    Reply

    Looking fabulous Erin. I love how you have turned sich a heart breaking and stressful drive for weight loss into something positive and a source of joy and pride for urself.

pingbacks / trackbacks

Start typing and press Enter to search