06/05/2014 01:07 EDT | Updated 06/05/2014 01:59 EDT

Weight Lost: How This Mom Of Three Dropped 83 Pounds

Becky Payzant

WHO: Becky Payzant, stay-at-home mom of three boys

AGE: 32

CITY: Dartmouth, N.S.

By The Numbers: 235 at my heaviest, and currently 152, total weight loss of 83 pounds

The Weight Gain: As a teenager, my weight fluctuated a lot. I leaned towards the heavy side, but was not overweight. I was a huge couch potato and would try to control my weight by reducing what I ate, which led to an eating disorder.

I got married and a year later I was pregnant. I gained 75 pounds and lost 50 pounds of this weight before I was pregnant again with baby number two. I gained 35 pounds during my second pregnancy and just six weeks after my second son was born, we found out we were pregnant again. I had lost 25 pounds in those six weeks and then gained it all back, plus some more during the last pregnancy. Three babies in about three years had me at my largest weight ever.

The Final Straw: I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I didn't even recognize myself. I never wanted to leave my house because trying to find clothing that felt comfortable was impossible. I knew that life with three little boys was going to be extremely busy and I wanted to be able to keep up with them and be a good role model. My kids deserved a healthy and happy mom and I deserved to feel good about myself.

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The Plan Of Attack: The weight was stubborn and it didn't want to come off easily. I tried LA Weight Loss over four months but then stopped. Eating disgusting food that I had to choke down and weighing in for them every week was emotionally destructive and frustrating. It was then that I met Devin Sherrington of 360fit. He first met me in my own living room to develop a program for me. He also helped me with sensible eating tips. I ate clean – no gimmicks, just no junk. I lost 75 pounds in 11 months.

The Food Element: I gave up all white starches, refined sugar and eating any carbs after 3 p.m. No carbs at supper was the hardest thing I had to change in my diet. I started drinking a protein shake every day. My trainer started me with a program that allowed me to have a cheat day once a week and I still do that today. It helps to keep me on track for the other days. I did not count calories, and was more aware of my portion sizes.

The Exercise Factor: At first, my fitness goal was to drop the pregnancy weight and get my thinner body back. Over time, my desire went beyond simply being “thin” to being fit, healthy and strong. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone time after time, and it was then that my body and my confidence really started to change.

I started to see Devin at his gym once a week. He introduced me to HIIT training (high intensity interval training). As he liked to say, short and intense workouts were the best workouts. I could fit this into my hectic life. Along with my weekly training session with Devin, I would use 30-minute videos at home four days per week. I still find that the 30-minute high intensity workouts are the only kind that fit my schedule, and I still have a weekly training session where my father-in-law and I train with Devin.

The Current Day-To-Day: My days are busy and I’m usually on the go from first thing in the morning until after supper. It is very easy to neglect my workouts and just grab whatever I can to eat. I have to make my workouts a priority and plan when I will be able to fit them into the day. I've been able to make exercising “cool” for my toddler and pre-schooler so they’re very used to playing on the other side of the room while Mommy works out.

I am proud of the fact that I challenged the stereotype that “if you've had three children, your body won’t be the same." I’m also proud that a healthy lifestyle has become normal to me now. Losing weight gave me the confidence to believe in myself and that I could achieve what I set my mind to.

My advice would be to believe in yourself and that you’re worth it, and that you can do it. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who can encourage you at times when you start to doubt yourself. Remember: You didn't put on weight overnight and it won’t come off overnight. If it does not challenge your body, it will not change your body and lastly, don’t think you have to become a fanatic and love the weight loss process at all times. It will be hard, but in the end it will be worth it.

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