It has been a whirlwind of a year for Lavinia Kava. She started out overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy. But after making some pretty significant changes in her diet, she lost over 55 pounds and landed on the January 2018 cover of Australia's Weight Watchers magazine! POPSUGAR caught up with Lavinia about her incredible weight-loss transformation and how her success extends far beyond the scale.
"I have lost 26 kilograms [57 pounds] to date," Lavinia told us. "I started at 119.9 kilograms [264 pounds] and now weigh 93 kilograms [205 pounds]." She made this happen in the span of a year.
"If it's not sustainable, it won't be successful."
At the end of 2016, Lavinia was ready to change her mindset and get healthy, so the very first thing she did was kiss sugar goodbye. "I was a sugar addict," she admitted. "I lost the weight by initially quitting sugar." The next thing she did was join Weight Watchers.
"I joined Weight Watchers to help myself be accountable and track my weight on the scales, as I was avoiding them," she said. It was more than just counting the points, though; Lavinia changed her entire outlook on food. "I started to follow the JERF — Just Eat Real Food — concept 80 to 90 percent of the time, and I learned how to cook!"
"I lost the weight by initially quitting sugar."
She didn't follow any strict diet, and she didn't completely eliminate any foods from her diet either. She instead opted in for real, wholesome foods that tasted great and gave her a bucketload of needed nutrition.
Here's what a day of meals and snacks looks like for Lavinia:
- Breakfast: chocolate, banana, peanut butter, and almond milk protein shake
- Snack: YoPro vanilla Greek yogurt with coconut macadamia crumble
- Lunch: garden salad with a piece of vegetable quiche
- Snack: fruit, such as a banana
- Dinner: either a piece of fish or steak with a salad
Once Lavinia got her diet in order, she turned her attention to her workouts. "I started with walking every morning," she said. "Once I got a little more confident, I started Kayla Itsines's BBG workouts in my backyard." She started sharing her workouts and progress on her Instagram page, where she motivated herself and other people to make health their top priority.
"Then I moved onto hitting the gym," Lavinia continued. "I joined a F45 Training gym. No class is ever the same; you alternate between cardio and weights. Ever since I started lifting weights at F45 Training, my body has transformed and changed in ways I could never imagine."
"Ever since I started lifting weights, my body has transformed and changed in ways I could never imagine."
Each F45 class is only 45 minutes long, so Lavinia didn't have to spend hours and hours in the gym to get results. Now you can see her doing tough compound movements like deadlifts, chin-ups, and squat presses on her Instagram page.
"I remember trying to do push-ups at 119.9 kilograms," she recalled. "I could hardly move or get my body up, but I was trying and I was consistent. I made the effort to move and decided I WOULD do it." She never stopped or gave up, no matter how hard it got. "Now I am smashing [push-ups] out with perfect form, all with the simple courage to just start!"
Losing all that weight has been a huge accomplishment for Lavinia, and not only because of the number on the scale. She feels healthier and more confident than ever, and she's constantly amazed by what her body can accomplish. "My legs have started to tone & I can see muscle definition in my arms & shoulders I've never had before — I feel so strong, fit & confident!" she wrote in an Instagram post.
Lavinia has some great advice for anyone who is trying to achieve a transformation of their own. "Don't focus on the scales so much, and focus more about creating long-lasting habits that become a lifestyle," she advised. "Eating healthy and exercising aren't just things you do because you ate something bad or you want to look a certain way for an event. It's so important to have a healthy mindset and create a lifestyle you can sustain for the long run."
"If it's not sustainable, it won't be successful" is one of Lavinia's favorite quotes. "If what you're doing today is not something you can do forever, then it most likely is not a lifestyle change and more of a quick fix," she explained.
Rather than follow a fad diet or sign up for a cleanse that makes wild promises, she suggests you start with the small everyday changes and build up from there. Now that's some inspiration we're taking with us into 2018!