Igluu Ambassador – Hannah from @MrsBavington
Three years and nearly 12 stone down, Hannah Bavington (aka @MrsBavington) has completely transformed her life. Inspired by her two young children, Hannah began her journey in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Balancing an active lifestyle and healthy eating with the occasional treat, she’s created the kind of life that she had always thought impossible. Her story has even featured on the Daily Mail.
We spoke to Hannah to find out more about her new habits, and how meal prep has played a part in her success.
When did you start your journey and what progress have you made along the way?
I joined Slimming World in September 2015, around seven months after my second child was born. I’ve been ‘bigger’ my whole adult life and I gained even more weight during my two pregnancies (my children were born only 11 months apart!). I hit rock bottom and felt like it was time to do something.
To date, I’ve lost 11 stone 9.5lbs, which has halved my weight from my heaviest.
What was your original goal and have you met it/surpassed it?
My original goal was a healthy BMI… which in hindsight was silly because I don’t believe in BMI! On day one I had no idea what I would look or feel like at any particular weight as I’d always been overweight, so it quickly changed to being a comfortable size 16. Starting at size 30, it seemed impossible.
Once I got to size 16, I knew I wanted more and wouldn’t be happy staying as I was – so I kept going. In May 2017 I was a size 12/14 and called target a stone heavier than I am today – after 18 months of being constantly on it, I felt it was the right time for me to be a Slimming World target member. After that, I spent just over a year never once coming out of my target bubble (3lb above to 3lb above target).
It was great being able to have the occasional treat and I enjoyed the target weight life. Then in mid-2018 I decided to push on further and lost another stone! I’ve halved my body weight and now sit at a comfortable size 12.
How has Slimming World helped?
Slimming World has been amazing for me. The support from group each week is unbelievable and I wouldn’t be where I am now without that support. Group really does become a little family.
What or who has been your biggest inspiration?
My children have always been my inspiration. Before I got pregnant I knew the type of mum I wanted to be – the fun one! I dreamt of long afternoon walks, spending time in the park and being out on our bikes but once my son came along – and my daughter shortly after – it became clear to me I wasn’t who I wanted to be.
I relied heavily on my husband and I spent days on end on the sofa. Luckily they were both so young that they won’t remember those days, but it gave me the shove I needed to do something about it! I wanted to be the best mum I could be, and a better wife too.
When did you start meal prepping and what were your initial concerns or assumptions?
I didn’t prep much in the first six months as the children were so young. It was only as time went on and they got older that it became a necessity! I wanted to spend more time with them and less in the kitchen so prepping was needed.
I worried and researched a lot before starting as I genuinely didn’t know what I could cook in bulk to freeze and reheat! There are so many myths out there about what you should and shouldn’t do! I assumed it would be massively time consuming but it really isn’t.
I started out by making extra with each main meal to freeze or pop in the fridge, and then when I had the time I would bulk prep a few meals to stock up the freezer.
What benefits have you seen from meal prepping?
Time! The best thing that you can ever give to a mum is time! Sometimes I look at the clock and think “where has the day gone?!”. I was so dedicated to losing weight that grabbing convenience food was never an option, so having a freezer stocked with some of my favourite healthy meals was a god send when I was still in the early days of my journey.
Buying ready meals can be convenient but it can be expensive over time, so preparing meals yourself that are just as simple takes away stress and saves lots of money.
What challenges have you encountered meal prepping and how did you overcome them?
One major challenge was having the space to store all the meals I was prepping! I ended up buying a big chest freezer to go in the garage but Igluu containers are a good size and stackable, which maximises the space.
Do you have any favourite meal prep recipes or tips?
I do love a batch cooked chilli con carne or curry. I think that meals with spices always taste better on the second day, so being able to quickly grab my favourite meals is great. I prefer to prep the main part of a meal and have microwave rice or steam bag veg to hand as that’s what works for me, but I do sometimes freeze sides too and can have an entire meal ready in under 10 minutes.
I love JD seasoning kits too as they really help with batch cooking – I can create all my favourite family meals with less stress so I’d recommend those to anyone wanting to get into meal prep.
How have Igluu meal prep containers helped you along the way?
Igluu’s containers have made my life so much easier! Being able to grab a container of food out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave and then straight into the dishwasher is a huge bonus! The double compartment containers are handy if you don’t want to mix your food prior to eating and they stack perfectly in my freezer.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out on their health and fitness journey?
Commit to it. Whatever you choose – whether it be Slimming World, Weight Watchers, calorie counting or simply eating healthy… commit! Something that stuck with me from early on in my journey was the idea that if you give up smoking, you don’t reward yourself with a packet at the end of the week, so why have a cheat night after weighing in?
That’s not to say you can’t ever have a treat again, but it’s important to be mindful and ask whether you really need it. Every plan will give you results if you follow it correctly!
Follow Hannah’s journey and find all sorts of inspiration on her Instagram page.