Natasha joined her local gym when she was feeling lethargic, but it was stumbling upon this online program that helped her overhaul her entire lifestyle.
Natasha Bevilacqua was 72.4kgs before she underwent a full lifestyle transformation, and now, just three months and a full 14kgs lighter, she tells myBody+Soul that she’s “never felt better.”
Bevilacqua, at first, signed up to do a weights training program at her local gym, but, like many of us, found that she couldn’t achieve her desired results without a simple guide to creating nutritious wholefoods – that actually taste good, too.
Enter: Jessica Sepel’s book, The Healthy Life.
“Although the gym did give me some dieting tips around macros and calorie intake, Jess’ book [gave me the confidence to create] healthy versions of the foods I already loved,” says Bevilacqua.
“Then, I signed on to do Jess’ signature program, The JSHealth Program, which is Jess’ 8-week plan to quit diets, reach a balanced weight, and includes recipes, how-to cooking videos, meal and exercise lifestyle planners.”
But these results – while welcomed – were far beyond what Bevilacqua expected when deciding to first make some positive lifestyle changes.
“To be honest I wasn’t looking to lose weight or change drastically like I did, because I never saw myself as ‘big’ or as someone who needed to lose weight.
“I only joined the gym and started to focus on my eating because I noticed my clothes started to fit differently, and I had less energy.
“What I realised on the program, though, was that I would eat foods that I was craving or that reflected my emotional state,” says Bevilacqua, who said following this eating plan has taught her about nutrition, yes, but more so about her emotional eating patterns – and how to best break them.
“[Before starting on The JSHealth Program] I had no real knowledge around food and nutrition. All I knew was that green veggies were good for you!
“I didn’t know about sugar contents in anything or how to read food labels, and [to be honest] I had a very bad relationship with food – but didn’t realise,” says Bevilacqua, who admits that her biggest learning since undergoing a food and diet overhaul is that “different foods trigger different emotions.”
And, like many of us, Bevilacqua has found that simple steps like cutting down on hidden sugars and aiming for a balanced diet instead of a restrictive one is the key to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
“Currently, I am sleeping 8-9 hours every night, wake up content and filled with energy. I find that a mix of easy-to-follow recipes, weights training and a weekly Pilates or Yoga class is what works best for me, and that eating the rights foods can drastically improve your emotional state,” says Bevilacqua, which is a simple truth that takes some of us far too long to reach.
“I look back now and could never imagine going back to my old lifestyle, eating high-sugary and salty foods that were emotionally-charged choices, fuelling and unhealthy mind,” says Bevilacqua.