Carina's Instagram profile radiates with honesty. She speaks frankly about how her weight has fluctuated over the years due to her pregnancy, and we're sure there are countless mothers out there who can identify with her story.
"It's ok for you to prioritise your own health and physical/emotional well being, especially if you are a mum," Carina wrote in an Instagram post. "It doesn't make you selfish and it doesn't mean you are taking away time or energy from your family or children."
It was this exact attitude that helped her lose weight, get fit, and feel better than ever so that she could be a happier, healthier mom. POPSUGAR caught up with Carina to hear about her weight-loss story firsthand. Get ready to feel inspired.
"I put on over 25 kilograms [55 pounds] with my pregnancy in 2013," she told us. "I have lost all of that." She started working out in 2015, and at that time she weighed 71 kilograms (157 pounds). Fast-forward a couple of years later, and today she weighs 64 kilograms, which is about 141 pounds. But the number on the scale barely tells the whole story.
"But I also eat cake and doughnuts and ice cream and burgers."
"My body composition has changed dramatically," she explained. "My body-fat percentage was close to 30 percent, and last time I checked it was 19 percent." That's pretty impressive! "Just goes to show the scales aren't a reliable indicator of progress." Even though she lost 16 pounds, Carina's physical transformation was much greater than that.
The first change she made was doing Kayla Itsines's BBG program regularly — for 71 weeks, to be exact. "But in August of 2016, I changed to training at the gym and lifting weights," she said. "In February of 2017, I got a coach and have been using his programming and dietary guidelines since."
Although she doesn't do BBG anymore, Carina gives a lot of credit to Kayla's program for getting her weight loss on track. "I would say BBG was good for initial fat loss, but the training with my coach is responsible for my current strength and physique," she told POPSUGAR.
She has since fallen in love with strength training, and she attributes her toned physique to weightlifting. "Cardio can be great for fat loss, but doing weights can give you the shape you want and be even better for fat loss," she said.
"Don't be afraid to lift weights!"
The second big change she made in her life was her diet. "I track macros, so I eat what I like as long as it fits into my macro targets," she described. This is what a typical day of meals looks like for Carina:
- Breakfast: protein, banana, and oat smoothie (pre-workout)
- Snack: a bowl of chicken, rice, and vegetables (post-workout)
- Lunch: meat with veggies
- Snack: yogurt, protein bar, boiled eggs, veggie sticks, avocado, and nuts
- Dinner: salmon or red meat with veggies
"Don't be afraid to eat," Carina advised. "Low-calorie diets aren't sustainable. Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle and ensures you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins to support your training and your overall health." Besides, she needs all that nourishment to help her with her strength-training program.
"Low-calorie diets aren't sustainable. Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle."
"But I also eat cake and doughnuts and ice cream and burgers," Carina added. "I just have to make it fit." As long as it works with her macros, she gives herself the chance to indulge every now and then.
Carina passed along some useful advice for many women out there, especially moms, who are looking to make some changes in their health and fitness. "Find a form of exercise that you love doing. Don't force yourself to run if you hate running, because you will probably give it up after a short while," she suggested. "If you do something you love, it's more sustainable and you will be more consistent. Results come from consistency."
"Also, don't be afraid to lift weights!" she said. "They don't make you look manly! They help build lean muscle mass, sculpt your body, and improve your metabolism."
Finally, Carina says that the hardest part of weight loss has nothing to do with working out. "It's the food that's hard!" she shared. "Getting on track with nutrition" has been especially difficult for her, especially after she suffered three miscarriages in 2014. But she picked herself back up and got herself back on her program.
We're so amazed by Carina's success story, and we can't wait to see what else she accomplishes in the future!