Bikini moment sparks mum’s weight loss
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It was as her Christmas Day festivities had come to an end when Micha Hibel felt an "overwhelming sense of disappointment".
The mother-of-three said she clearly remembers the day in 2017 - a moment that would spark the beginning of her lifestyle transformation.
"I was in a bikini as a lot of Australians are come Christmas Day and my self-consciousness and lack of love for my body had taken away from just enjoying the day with my family," she told news.com.au.
The 31-year-old from Brisbane said she gained "a lot of weight" after the birth of her third child and with her husband working two jobs, she felt "stressed and alone".
Ms Hibel struggled to find the time to focus on herself which she said personally impacted her lifestyle.
"It wasn't just my body that was neglected, but my mental health too. I had no self-confidence and terrible anxiety and depression," she said.
That same night on Christmas Day in 2017, Ms Hibel downloaded the Sweat app, an online weight-loss program co-founded by Aussie fitness guru Kayla Itsines.
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After a few weeks, she started the 12-week Bikini Body Guide and she said those three months "sparked a fire in me".
"It was the start of a whole new way of life for me and I've never looked back," she said.
"I found out I was strong and determined. It taught me to move my body for joy and mental wellbeing and not as a punishment.
"It taught me to fuel my body with food instead of 'diet' and to love my body, flaws and all."
Admittedly, Ms Hibel, who is a cafe manager in Brisbane, said her weight-loss journey hasn't been easy with plenty of challenges along the way.
"My entire first year I worked out in my lounge room with a toddler jumping all over me," she said, "with zero equipment and a coffee table as a bench.
"I'm now a working mum and have to juggle work, school, kids and home life but workouts are my time for just me and I do whatever it takes to find the time."
She said it can often mean her workouts look different day-to-day.
"But there's a workout for every situation on the app which is something I absolutely love."
Ms Hibel started on three workouts a week with each circuit in the challenge lasting 28 minutes. Today she trains up to six times a week for about an hour, focusing on weight-based exercises.
She has also changed her eating habits, adding more vegetables and wholegrain meals to her diet, without having to restrict any foods.
"I also drink way more water - in fact I don't ever remember drinking water before which is crazy for me now."
Ms Hibel said her advice for anyone wanting to start on their own fitness journey, is to find the things that make you happy and do them.
"Do the movement that brings you joy. Eat the foods you love that fuel you. Wear the clothes that make you feel badass," she said.
Ms Hibel said she now sees a strong and confident woman looking back at her in the mirror.
"I am happy within myself not wanting to change anything about my body."
"This is a life long journey so you have to do it your way."
If you've got a transformation story you'd like to share, get in touch with email@example.com
Originally published as Bikini moment sparks mum's weight loss