A 265-pound chocoholic who polished off a family block every night looks unrecognizable after dropping over 100 pounds and six dress sizes thanks to her budget $40 MEAL PREP.
After reaching her heaviest weight of 265 pounds (120 kg), Victoria Bowen’s self-esteem reached an all-time low—while her wardrobe was full of frumpy size-24 clothes.
The mom-of-two was addicted to chocolate, polishing off a block every evening—while she often opted for the convenience of high-calorie takeaways, instead of healthy home cooked meals.
But Victoria’s turning point came when her obesity made it impossible to run around with her sons Brodie, 9, and Rylan, 8, while at the park—instead needing to sit on the grass while her forklift operator husband Shannon, 34, played with them.
Determined to slim down, the mom from Red Cliffs, Victoria, Australia, ditched her sweet tooth habit in favor of clean meals full of healthy carbs, nutritious protein, and fresh vegetables—all whipped up during her “meal prep Sundays” at home, which cost just $40 each week.
Now, the online health and fitness coach looks unrecognizable after dropping 104 pounds (approx. 47 kg) and six dress sizes—feeling more confident than ever in her 160 pound (approx. 73 kg), size 10 frame.
“My weight began piling on during pregnancy,” she said. “I had stopped working and my mindset changed, I took the ‘eating for two’ quite literally.
“I gained most of the weight during the last ten weeks of my pregnancy and afterwards it just kept piling on.
“When I was at my heaviest, I was eating a block of chocolate each night. We ate a lot of take away, I used the excuses of being tired after looking after the boys all day.”
She knew she was overweight, but didn’t realize just how big she’d gotten.
Victoria’s turning point came when she was with her husband and sons at the park. “Shannon was running around in the playground with them, and I was left sitting on the picnic rug,” she shared.
“I just physically couldn’t play like he was. I remember thinking I am missing out on so much of my life and missing out on enjoying my kids.
Victoria needed her husband’s help to get up off the grass, as her knees couldn’t cope. She started her weight loss journey the next day.
She began by kicking high-calorie takeaways and her daily chocolate habit, along with making small diet swaps, such as adding more vegetables and switching fried food to oven-baked.
But Victoria’s SECRET weapon was her introduction of meal prepping healthy meals every Sunday night, which helped her stay on track all week with her calorie goals.
With nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, all planned and prepped for the week, Victoria said it helped her stay on track and slim down.
“I lost my weight naturally through diet and exercise,” she said. “It wasn’t a quick fix and it didn’t happen overnight.
“In the beginning I made simple changes to my diet, things like swapping deep fried to oven baked, eating lots of salads and vegetables to keep me full.
“Meal prepping has really helped my weight loss, as I was always looking for that quick grab and go option.”
By preparing her meals, Victoria knew what was in them, that it was healthy, and more importantly, would allow her to reach her goals.
“I spend an hour in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon,” she shared. “I usually prepare my meals for breakfast, lunches and part of dinner for the next five days. It saves me so much time.
“I love my meal prep Sundays, and I 100% recommend it. There are many options to doing a meal prep.
“You might do like I do and make complete meals, or you might just cook up your meat and bulk veggies and salad and put your meal together as you need.”
Meanwhile, it’s a “massive time saver” which, quite literally, removes those take away options from the table.
Victoria’s favorite prepared meals are overnight protein oats, which are delicious and can last for a week in the fridge.
“I love anything with taco mince,” she adds. “I am obsessed with either chicken, beef or turkey mince, add some rice and salad, or load the mince up with bulk veg.
“It is super simple, easy but still delicious. I also love pita pockets with salad and mince.”
The mom also starting walking every day with her boys and then joined a gym, but only worked out at 11 p.m. due to being so ashamed of her size.
But as she began building confidence, Victoria started attending fitness classes and worked with a personal trainer to help build strength.
She adds, “Meal prep has saved us so much money too.
“It costs between $50–$75 [AUD] depending on what I choose on my menu.
She says that her life has done a complete “180.” She is no longer embarrassed to leave the house, and loves shopping.
“I’m back to living my best life,” she said.
“Losing weight has given me my confidence back. I love going to the gym, I love lifting weights and feeling strong.”
Follow Victoria on Instagram @tor.gets.fit.
Here are Victoria’s diets before and after her incredible turning point:
Breakfast: Just coffee
Mid-morning Snack: Muesli bar, pack of chips or chocolate
Lunch: Chicken, cheese and bacon wrap, with a soft drink
Afternoon snack: More chocolate and soft drink
Dinner: Usually take away, or something home cooked but would be a huge serving.
Dessert: Block of chocolate
Breakfast: Overnight protein oats, with strawberries.
Mid-morning Snack: Vegetable chips or fruit
Lunch: Taco Chicken mince, rice and salad
Afternoon snack: Protein smoothie- Almond milk, frozen banana, protein powder & ice.
Dinner: Loaded Beef Pita wraps with salad.
Dessert (if applicable):Fun sized chocolate, fruit and an iced chocolate drink.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.