Brooke's journey to a healthier lifestyle
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Then and Now
"The flexibility and freedom of being able to enjoy eating out has really changed my whole lifestyle."
Her best chapter yet... healthy
A lot has changed for Brooke Town since this time last year. Not only has she welcomed her now nine-month-old son, Carter, into the world with her husband Joshua, she’s lost 22kg after joining WW in late 2017. “I’m so proud of how far my body has come, from growing a little human to losing more than 20kg and gaining muscle,” Brooke says. “It’s been less than a year since I gave birth, but I’m fitter, stronger and more confident than I’ve ever been.”
Brooke, 27, is the first to acknowledge that embarking on her health and wellbeing journey when Carter was just three months old hasn’t been without its challenges. “As a new mum, finding the energy to stay motivated and do something active after a sleepless night isn’t always easy. The fact that the WW program is so simple to follow has really helped. With a little bit of planning, making healthier food and lifestyle choices is not only achievable, it’s enjoyable.”
Falling in love with exercise
One trick Brooke uses to get moving more, even after a night of interrupted sleep, is changing into her workout gear as soon as she gets up. “It really helps shift my mindset – sitting around in my pyjamas is no longer an option. Instead, doing the activity I’ve planned, once my son’s morning routine is complete, becomes the only choice.”
But it also helps that Brooke has genuinely fallen in love with exercising. “That wasn’t always the case! I used to think of activity as a chore and something I ‘had’ to do,” she explains. “But as I started doing more exercise, I began to notice I was becoming fitter and stronger and could achieve more as a result. I found that was really rewarding and it inspired me to keep going.”
Brooke says focusing on the way exercise makes her feel has also helped her stick to her new fitness routine. “I always feel better mentally after I’ve done something active, whether it’s energised, calm or less stressed, depending on the type of activity I do,” she shares. “I really love that.”
Staying motivated to move
To achieve such a variety of mental-health benefits, and to maintain her interest, Brooke mixes up her workout routine each week, alternating between walking with her son and her dog, doing yoga, and sweating it out at boot camp and boxing classes.
Brooke also joined MEGA– Mums Exercise Group Australia – so she can involve Carter in her new active lifestyle. “Meeting a group of like-minded women has been a great source of support, and being able to take Carter makes it easy,” Brooke says. “Some of the classes even involve using our babies as ‘weights’, which is really nice, too.”
Finding her inner strength
When Brooke first began making activity part of her daily lifestyle, she had to learn to negotiate with a powerful critic – herself. “I love boot camp now, but it took me three goes to actually pluck up the courage to attend my first class,” she admits. “I’d get changed, hop in the car, and talk myself out of it before I’d left the driveway. I had zero self-confidence and was nervous about everything, from trying something new to being active in front of people I’d never met before. Finally, on my third attempt, I not only made it to class, but with the trainer’s support, I completed it. It felt incredible.
“But even now, there are some days when I have to draw on every ounce of my inner strength to turn down the volume of that little voice of self-doubt in my head, remind myself that I can do it and get out there.”
For Brooke, a key source of that inner strength comes from remembering why she embarked on this journey in the first place. “Reminding myself that I’m doing this for my son, as well as myself, so I can be around for as long as possible and pass on the gift of healthy living to him, always helps me find the strength to keep going,” she says.
Using food as fuel for her healthy lifestyle
As well as discovering how much enjoyment being active can deliver, Brooke’s attitude to food has changed, too. “I no longer turn to it for comfort, and I appreciate how my food choices fuel my body, so that certain ones can make me stronger and healthier than others,” she says. “I love fish and eggs, so the fact that they’re both ZeroPoint™ foods makes choosing what to eat easier. I use them to build meals every day.”
Just like her workouts, Brooke likes to mix up her menu too. “The WW app is great for inspiration,” she says. “My favourite recipe collections are the ‘no cooking required’ and '0 SmartPoint® ' ones. And I never go grocery shopping without the app. The barcode scanner makes it simple to compare different products.”
Having achieved so much in such a short time, Brooke is excited for the future. “Like every new mum, there are days when I feel tired. But I can’t help thinking how much easier it is for me than it might have been, now that I’m so much fitter and stronger,” she says. “I can’t wait to see where I’ll be this time next year.”
Getting healthier together
Brooke’s incredible success has even inspired her husband, Joshua, 28, to start his own health and fitness journey. He tells us why he decided to give WW a try, too:
“When Brooke started WW, she made some big lifestyle changes and I was really inspired. I especially loved seeing her confidence grow and noticed how much happier she was when she started exercising regularly. It made me want to give it a go too.
“I joined WW in January this year, so now we’re doing the program together, which makes it much easier. The best part is the food that Brooke makes! It’s really tasty, and you can still eat a lot of foods, which surprised me.
“My work as a carpenter is pretty physical, but my body is used to the work, so even though I’m active all day it doesn’t make much difference to my weight. I’ve started working out with Brooke and I’ve found that exercising and healthy eating makes me feel good, so I want to keep it up.”
Brooke's tips for building inner strength
1. Swap criticism for kindness
Be mindful of how you talk to yourself when things don’t work out exactly the way you’d planned. Rather than focusing on the negatives and criticising yourself, look for any positives you can find and treat yourself compassionately.
2. Set realistic goals
Don’t set yourself up for failure – start small and build your way up. When the goals you set are realistic, achieving them is so rewarding and helps build your self-confidence.
3. Give yourself a pep talk
I do it whenever I feel self-doubt creeping in. Think about how you’d talk to a friend who was feeling the same way, remind yourself why you’re on this journey, and use that as inspiration to give yourself a motivational speech.