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An Aussie mum has revealed how she went on her first diet at just 10 years old before deciding to embrace strength over scales.
Brooke Nelli, 34, told news.com.au she’d always had a toxic relationship with food matched with a larger frame while growing up.
The combination of the two led the Western Australian woman to restricting her food intake when she was just 10 years old.
“You look around at other people and go ‘why don’t I look like that’ and you kind of feel like the answer is just to restrict,” Brooke said.
“That’s what I carried with me until a couple of years ago.”
Brooke had her son in 2020, but it was a decade long journey before she could welcome him into the world due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is associated with irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, reduced fertility and increased risk of diabetes.
Following her pregnancy, she reached 90 kilograms.
Up until that point she would spend most evenings watching Married At First Sight with some chocolate, but she wanted to show her son there was more to life than nights on the couch.
“I needed to fix my relationship with food so that I can become a better role model for my son because I don’t want him growing up thinking that [constantly restricting is] just a normal way to look at food,” she said.
“But at the same time, I also didn’t want him to kind of grow up and think that healthily fuelling his body was bad either.”
Brooke downloaded My Fitness Pal, which she had used before to track calories.
“But then I found a coach and a gym who really helped me understand what I needed to put into my body to feel my weight training, which was something that I really enjoyed,” she said.
“Food became more about fuelling my training rather than getting to look a certain way. But My Fitness Pal – I don’t think I would have been able to do it and make the same sort of progress that I’ve made without using it.”
Brooke said she used features such as the recipes, and appreciated tips and tricks being sent directly to her email inbox.
She said she loved features such as being able to add recipes, rather than single ingredients, and announcements about hitting protein or vitamin goals.
Brooke, who has a self-confessed sweet tooth, said she also liked that the app warned her when she was getting close to her sugar ceiling – which she said was easy to do as she was upping her carbs for longer strength sessions.
She added it was about so much more than simply tracking her calories, and she owed her progress to the app and her coach.
Brooke also said her mentality had a huge shift from other times she had tried to take her health back, and she had a big reason to do it.
Now, Brooke is not fussed about hitting the scales, she is focusing on building her strength, lifting heavy weights and being a positive role model for her son.
Originally published as Mum uses My Fitness Pal to help with her fitness journey