Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Real Life -

When Steph Eric­son scrolled through the pho­tos from her hon­ey­moon around Amer­ica with her hus­band Stu­art, she couldn’t believe what she saw.

“I didn’t recog­nise my­self,” Steph, 34, says sadly.

For years, she’d bat­tled the urge to binge. It was while she was wav­ing good­bye to her son on his first day of kinder­garten, she de­cided to over­haul her un­healthy habits.

“I re­mem­ber think­ing to my­self, ‘I’m 120kg and I could eas­ily be dead soon.’ I had too much to live for to throw it all away,” says Steph.

De­ter­mined to be a bet­ter mother for her two chil­dren, Co­han, 10, and Archer, 20 months, Steph signed up for the Michelle Bridges chal­lenge and lost 20kg in 12 weeks.

“I used to eat four or five pieces of white bread for breakfast. Then for lunch, I’d have a huge por­tion of mac­a­roni and cheese, fol­lowed by two sand­wiches, a packet of chips and a soft drink,” she says. By lunchtime, Steph ad­mits she’d of­ten eaten well over 2000 calo­ries. “Then I’d have a Mc­don­ald’s meal with two ex­tra cheese­burg­ers.”

By ex­er­cis­ing and pre­par­ing healthy meals made of leafy greens, boiled eggs, tuna and chicken, Steph lost a to­tal of 37kg and is now a size 12. “I’m no longer the queen of excuses,” says the Syd­neysider. “It’s all about cre­at­ing a healthy rou­tine and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”

NOW “Mum has a lot more en­ergy now, so we go for bike rides and play out­side all the time.” CO­HAN, 10


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