How Fiona Found Fitness, Friendship & Family Fulfilment with a Health App
After moving from Australia to the US with her husband, having two babies followed by 15 months of sedentary living, 36-year old stay-at-home mom Fiona knew she had to take her fitness, health, and life back into her own hands. Cue 8fit!
One day while scrolling through Facebook, Fiona stumbled upon the 8fit healthy living app and decided to take charge of her wellbeing by signing up for our 16-week fitness and nutrition challenge.
Before 8fit, Fiona had gone on a string of diets that proved unsuccessful, leaving her low on hope and motivation. At this point, she just wanted to lose weight and get active for her family. But, unbeknownst to Fiona, what she was about to gain was more than she could have ever wished for.
In taking the step towards self-care and health, Fiona not only transformed herself from the inside out, but she also inspired her family while freeing herself from debilitating pain. As if that wasn’t enough, she went on to create lifelong friendships too, all rooted in accountability and support from the 8fit community.
Are you curious as to how she did it? Watch the video and read on.
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What hurdles did you face before the 8fit challenge?
I had some injuries in my lower back and knee after serving in the military and having kids. My body was just not the same. I was sitting around a lot and in pain due to widened hips from having a baby, and it just got worse and worse. And having been sedentary for such a long time, it affected me because I wasn’t able to get up and do things with my kids. So when I found the 8fit app, it was one of those things where I went, “this is fantastic!”
Did those pains limit you in any way?
Being in pain meant I couldn’t do a lot of things, I couldn’t stand for a long time, I couldn’t sit for a long time, I couldn’t go out and run around with my kids or go to the park — things like that. It’s quite debilitating and limiting, as a result of that, it was like a snowball effect; I didn’t want to do something because it hurt, so it kept getting worse.
Fiona’s lightbulb moment
Why did you decide to make this lifestyle change?
My lightbulb moment was when I saw a photo of myself from Christmas, and it looked horrendous. When you have kids, you lose yourself a bit and don’t get to be you anymore because it’s all about them. So my lightbulb moment was just “Oh, my God! I look so horrible, how can I look like that for my children?” And I didn’t want to go back home to see my family looking the way I did.
That must have been tough?
Yeah, being a stay-at-home mum can be really busy. It can get full on with the kids; you end up so tired looking after them. The feeding, the playing, being around them and teaching them – doing something for yourself often gets pushed to one side. So having the 8fit fitness app and being able to use it at home with my kids, meant I didn’t have to worry about someone looking after them if I wanted to go to the gym.
Journey to improved health and fitness
How did you discover 8fit and the challenge?
I was scrolling through Facebook, and the app popped up, so I thought, “I need to get this done.” I need to be more accountable, and I need to get my body moving to be in a better position for my children. At that point, I knew I had to get off my butt and have the accountability and motivation.
Did anything surprise you when you started following the 8fit program?
I think what surprised me the most was that I was getting results quicker than I thought I would. A friend had told me it would take six weeks before I could see results, and I saw results a lot faster by following meal plans and workouts together.
From the start of the challenge until the end of the 16 weeks I lost 22 pounds. I started with a 57-inch waist and went down to 44-inch waist.
And how do you feel?
I feel healthier, stronger and feel like I can walk around more and without as much pain as I did. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me, because it has, from doing the workouts.
Apart from the weight loss, what else changed?
I do feel like this is a new me — healthy lifestyle, physically, mentally and emotionally healthier. More movement, being more physically present with my children and involving them in what I’m doing. The nutrition part of this experience has made me sleep better, while emotionally I feel like a better person.
Was there any “secret” factor in your weight loss success?
The thing I think contributed the most was probably the meal plan along with the workouts. I’ve tried multiple different diets on their own without an exercise component. I think the meal plan works really well with the exercises. You’ve got all the nutritional information, portion sizes, all that sort of thing.
This healthy style of eating and the nutritional benefits have been eye-opening. Especially realizing how much sugar and fat are in foods.
Getting the family on board
How has your family found your lifestyle shift?
I think it’s been important, especially for my children; if I set the example, then they follow. They understand what’s good and what’s not good to eat, that there are appropriate times for food and that something that is healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. They can see it’s enjoyable to eat and exercise. The person most proud of me is my husband. He’s been a huge supporter right from the start.
What does he think?
He loves the food. He finds the meals are surprisingly tasty, looks at them and goes, “What are you cooking?” “Are you sure you want to eat that?” I’m like, “Yeah, let’s try it. If we don’t like it we can try something else; there are plenty of recipes here that we can enjoy.”
Was it easy to integrate the 8fit fitness and nutrition app into your day-to-day life?
The mobile fitness app is versatile, and it’s easy to use, it’s fun, it’s family-friendly. My toddlers love it. They get involved with the exercises and food preparation. They love the food that we’re eating. I definitely think that 8fit has changed my life for the better. As it’s something that’s so easy to integrate and use, it makes the experience fun.
More than weight loss — standing taller and feeling happier
What’s been the most memorable part of this journey?
It’s been such a wonderful, heartwarming situation to be afforded and share with the whole 8fit community. There are a lot of great community people that keep each other motivated and give their support, as well with the coaches. That one-on-one interaction with them is really paramount to when you need to hear, “Hey, you’ve done a great job, keep going!”
Any parting thoughts?
Physically, obviously, my stomach went down a lot from when I started. I’m standing taller and feel happier — so I can confirm that the 8fit does work (a lot).