Iraqi fitness coach, Rachael Sacerdoti, shares her inspiring journey of losing 30 KG to become the best version of herself.
This was me in 2017, after four pregnancies and three children. I was broken.
Weighing 85 kgs, my body ached and my legs frequently complained of pain about the weight they had to bear. I lacked energy, I lacked drive and I lacked confidence. Emotionally, I felt defeated; like a lioness trapped in a cage. I knew that things couldn’t continue, something had to change.
After a conversation with my brother, I took a long hard look in the mirror, it was time. No one could do it for me. I had to do it.
Growing up in Singapore came with developing a real love of food. Every corner you turn is met with another delicacy to taste from what has to be the greatest culinary melting pot in the world. Throw into the equation, a family who work in the fashion industry, I was constantly surrounded by images of beautiful bodies. My relationship with food and body image became a battle.
I have tried every fad diet under the sun, exercised with trainers (and cheered when they had to cancel sessions at short notice), tried Pilates, hot yoga, you name it I had tried it.
This time was going to be different, it had to be. I was now a busy wife and mum of three, almost 40 years of age. This did feel like it would be the last chance to conquer my demons.
I knew that the path to my goal would be difficult and I didn’t have a route map to get there, but I started with the famous Chinese proverb in my mind, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”.
I began a gentle exercise regime, all based around HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts, using an app. Whilst I was doing this, I educated myself more on what I was fuelling my body with. I slowly cut out the sugar that I used to run to for comfort and learnt after doing so, that the sugar was responsible for the roller coaster rides of highs and lows. I didn’t want to go on a diet, I needed to find a sustainable, balanced way to eat. A process of re-education. These were the two foundations of my journey- exercise and nutrition.
One of the benefits of being as big as I was at the start of my journey meant that the weight dropped off kilo by kilo each week, strengthening my motivation. Yes, my muscles were sore from this new way of life but each day I could feel myself getting stronger. I could go for longer, lift more, my body was changing and so was my attitude. Inside, I celebrated every success, with my eyes on the road in front of me but the destination painted large in my mind’s eye.
One of the key elements of my success was making the conscious decision to take the time to invest in myself, something that so many women rarely do. I realised that this was not an act of pure selfishness, but the only way I could juggle all that life was throwing at me to be the best version of myself – the best mother, the best wife. I began to wake before the family to exercise and this became my precious, sacred time.
There were good days, bad days – the journey was far from linear, in truth my journey has never ended as I’m always working on new things. But month by month I saw my body being reborn and the greatest part was the liberating of my mind. I felt like I was taking back control and regaining power, and I was doing it on my own.
Three years passed by, life was busy, but my resolve stayed strong, good habits had formed and I was back! I had lost 30kgs to be in the best shape of my life, and my forties – when most say that it’s weight loss is impossible!
When COVID hit and the gyms closed, a few friends from the US and London asked me to help them with their fitness journeys.
I formed a WhatsApp group and worked tirelessly with them for a few weeks. They felt so empowered that they suggested I start considering launching this concept as a business. Initially, I laughed, but after reflecting upon my journey, I thought about how I would have felt less isolated if I had a community to hold me up along the way.
Seven months on, I am delighted to have a thriving community of over 150 women all over the world working with me. It’s SO Simple was born as a result of my journey. As the name suggests I want to demystify the journey for women, helping them with their thinking on nutrition and exercise and supporting them with a third critical pillar, accountability. By being accountable to a team and a coach, their success is even more likely.
Looking back at that broken version of me, at 85 kgs, I have nothing but love and thanks for her. My life is transformed, I am healthier, fitter, more energetic, happier and I have found my life’s mission.
My advice to those of you reading:
It’s so simple, take the first step on the road, no matter how small.
For more information, click HERE
Rachael Sacerdoti is also the founder of It’s SO Simple, a new online programme to help busy women start and sustain a fitness routine that is now available in the UAE. Designed to maximise the potential of a short amount of exercise from the comfort of your pocket, the programme is easy to use whenever and wherever as long as there is WI-FI. It features online exercises, nutritional meal plans, progress tracking, personal consultation, and a WhatsApp group.
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