By Liana Jacob
MEET the fitness coach who turned her life around after a bout of post-pregnancy binge eating and amazingly lost a third of her body-weight.
Alyssa Pegios (23), from Vancouver BC, Canada, enthusiastically satisfied her pregnancy cravings, munching on fast food every day after giving birth to her daughter.
She developed severe morning sickness during her pregnancy, which led to binging out when she couldn’t keep her food down, became lethargic, and did not engage in any exercises. Her wake-up call came during Valentine’s Day celebrations, which resulted in Alyssa eating both her chocolates – and those of her boyfriend.
Before she decided to lose the weight, she felt ashamed of herself and could barely pick up her newborn six-pound daughter. Alyssa was 12st 10Ibs and UK dress size 14.
Alyssa soon had enough of her unhealthy lifestyle, became a beach-body coach, and shed 2st 13Ibs in just five months and now weighs a dainty 9st 11Ibs and UK dress size six to eight.
Despite growing up in a sporty environment, Alyssa started to suffer from an eating disorder from the age of 15 and, as a result, her weight had fluctuated until she found out she was pregnant.
“I quite all the sports that I was doing when I was 14, because high school social life took over. I quit football, baseball, dance, field hockey and volleyball,” she said.
“When I was 15 I became depressed and developed an eating disorder. I would binge and purge on food, I would work out twice a day every day.
“I stopped eating altogether at one point. My weight since then has fluctuated a lot over the years. I had put on a lot of weight as I got older and last year in April 2016, I learned I was pregnant.
“I couldn’t keep any food down, so after I had given birth I ate everything in sight. I had horrible food cravings because I was so deprived my entire pregnancy.
“I ate fast food every single day because a new mum barely has any time to cook. I came up with every excuse in the book not to take care of my body.
“The day after Valentine’s Day, I ate all the chocolate my boyfriend bought me and I ate all the chocolate I had bought him.
“After staring at myself in the mirror for a good five minutes, I said enough is enough. I knew if I continued down this path of binge eating, I would become miserable and develop post-partum depression.
“I have a beautiful daughter to take care of and give her the best life possible. I want her to grow up with a mum that loves every bit of herself.
“I want her to have a very healthy balanced lifestyle. I knew that thirty minutes a day of working out and a total change in my diet was a must if I wanted to be the best mum I could be.”
Her diet has changed significantly from fast food seven days a week, burgers, chips, sweets, chocolate, slushies and tacos to a healthy balanced meal with a cheat day once a week. Her exercise regime has changed as well.
While she used to consume well above 2,500 calories, Alyssa’s new diet and exercise routine means she now only consumes 1,300.
Achieving the look she’s always dreamt of was not a smooth journey. Alyssa says that the biggest challenge she faced was to make the decision to lose weight in the first place.
“I did not exercise for years. When I would exercise in the past, I would only do cardio for about an hour. I now do homework outs that are thirty minutes long; perfect for a busy mum,” Alyssa said.
“They involve weight training and working multiple body parts at once, which increase the calories being burned.
“I work out first thing in the morning so I have energy throughout the day, that’s a huge factor because I don’t want to mess up the work I did in the morning by eating bad later in the day.
“The hardest part about losing weight was making the actual decision to commit to this lifestyle change.
“The first few weeks were very hard; I was always sore, I was exhausted and it was incredibly hard not to binge out on junk food at night like I used to do.
“It definitely got easier with time. I don’t eat past 8pm now and I don’t get cravings anymore. After three weeks, it was like a light switch turned on. I had so much energy, I was happy, I was waking up wanting to work out.”
Alyssa says that this life-changing decision reformed her into a new person with more confidence.
“I look in the mirror and smile instead of saying something negative about myself. My relationship is thriving because I’m not having crazy mood swings.
“I am a better mum, because I have the energy to cook, clean and hang out with my daughter. I have built a ton of relationships thanks to my Instagram profile.
“I am an inspiration to many people, which is still crazy to think. I have never been able to say “I love myself” and mean it before. I can say it now and mean it one hundred percent.
“I get a lot of messages on Instagram and Facebook from people telling me how happy I look. That they are proud of my hard work and that I am a big inspiration to them.
“People always ask if I have any tips that I can give them too and I love helping people start a new lifestyle. It’s so rewarding.”
Team Beachbody is an American online network of fitness coaches that aim to help people stay motivated in improving their lifestyles and health. It will be expanding to the UK from October 19, 2017.
Becoming a Beachbody coach has turned Alyssa’s life around that she now sees a future for herself and her family, strengthening the bond between her and her boyfriend.
To get results, Alyssa suggests that people take it slowly and not to expect results immediately.
“My advice would be to just take it day by day. Trust the process and don’t expect to see results right away,” she said.
“Also, take lots of pictures. I always tell the ladies in my challenge groups that the scale is just a number. When you are working out, you are building muscle.
“Muscle weighs more than fat. Take a tape measure and keep track of the inches being lost on your body.
“Also post about it. Sharing my journey on Instagram has held me so accountable, especially when having a bigger following.
“I have a lot of people watching me on this journey. Join a challenge group; get involved with a community that supports you and has the same fitness goals that you do.”
For more information see: https://www.instagram.com/alyssapegios/