By Liana Jacob
MEET the sexy mum whose weight made it difficult for her to get pregnant and spurred her on to shed an incredible five-stone after giving birth.
Business woman, Rafaela Arlotta (32), from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, described herself as always being chubby when she was growing up as she always favoured lounging on the sofa and watching TV as opposed to exercising.
By the time she got married in November 2009, Rafaela’s lifestyle became worse, being unable to cook, she would eat out with her husband often. This ‘lazy’ routine lead her to reach 13st 3Ibs and a UK size 18.
When Rafaela finally fell pregnant after struggling for two years, she decided she needed to change her lifestyle. A few months after giving birth in June 2013, she decided to do more exercise, change her diet altogether and managed to drop down to a toned 8st 3Ibs and a UK size six.
“I always wanted to be a mother and it had to be soon, but when I got married, I was well overweight,” Rafaela said.
“I’ve always been chubby. With some ups and downs, but most of my life I was chubby.
“When I was single I was the laziest person and my favourite place was the sofa; where I watched the world go by through the programs I watched, one after the other. I could lie down all day.
“The beginning of the marriage was mad because I could not cook and my husband arrived late and left early.
“Conclusion; I lost nothing and gained more weight. I decided to put a temporary intragastrical balloon (which can stay up to six months inside you) and lost one-stone twelve-pounds.
“I started to run, but I ran to eat. My face was still chubby, and it was just me twisting my foot, not being able to exercise, I fattened everything up again.
“Work was always an excuse not to have time to exercise. My husband and I had a vision that going out to relax was going out to eat.
“Well, after much gain and little loss of weight, I finally got pregnant, but I was overweight – it took me over two years to get pregnant.
“My weight loss process began in the postpartum period. Even though my pregnancy was great, I got lost.
“It was a state of liberation, because for me, to exercise and eat ‘healthy’ was exclusively to lose weight.
“When Mel was born, I lost only her weight, seven pounds, and then I lost almost nothing. Since I work on my own, I only had forty-five days of maternity leave, so it was just me and my daughter (I did not have a nanny and my husband only arrived at night).
“When she was three-months-old, I decided to challenge myself. At this point I got a nanny twice a week. This gave me time to work and to take care of myself, while being able to do other things.
“I began to organise myself with food. Nothing radical, but cutting the sweets (which I consumed daily until then).
“I took it as a life challenge to be well with myself, because it bothered me a lot to not have a disposition, not to like or take a picture.
“Not to mention the unhealthy habits I had. What would I show my daughter? What would her relationship be with food and exercise and self-esteem?
“I did not want to be bitter, unhealthy, out of order. I did not want my daughter to grow up seeing me eat things that only hurt me.
“One of the greatest motivations of my journey was to be a better and healthier person for my daughter, Mel. She only remembers this new Rafaela.”
Reaching her goal has helped her see that time was a big factor in the weight loss process, but Rafaela says that it’s important for those who want to lose weight to do it gradually.
“For those who start I always say take it easy. It changes gradually, it will let your body and your mind understand every change of habit you are making,” she said.
“Read about the foods you eat, understand their benefits and their harm. Try new flavours, spices, foods, and discover a physical activity that you cannot live without.
“No radical changes and don’t hurry. Your body, and especially your mind, need to understand everything.
“I fell in love with racing. I have become a runner, participated in races, and I have a coach. My training routine is aimed at improving my performance in the race.
“I love to see the good that I do to my body, my life, my daughter and my family. I love seeing that I managed and still managed to motivate everyone around me, it makes me very happy.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/rafaarlotta/