How One Busy Woman Got Her Best Butt Ever

You're so going to want to steal her secrets.

Most Popular

Nessa, a 39-year-old from Luxembourg, grew up playing basketball and eating whatever she wanted without gaining any weight. But four years ago, Nessa started a demanding new job in finance, and she started gaining weight.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

"I was focused on my job and not on my body. I was making poor food choices, and I constantly felt stressed and tired," she said. But then she saw an unflattering photo of herself and freaked out. "I didn't realize how much my body changed during the time that I didn't care enough about it," she said, adding that neglecting her body messed with her sleep and made her more stressed at work.

So last March, Nessa decided to do something about it, hoping to surface stronger, healthier, more energetic, and happier with the way her body looked. Because she'd gotten too good at avoiding the gym after work, she started scheduling her workouts before heading into the office.

Most Popular

At the gym, she followed Kayla Itsines's Bikini Body Guides, a series of high-intensity interval training workouts that rely mostly on exercises involving body weight, as opposed to lifting actual iron. Although it took her a few weeks to get used to getting up at 5 a.m. to exercise, it wasn't long before she started to wake up before her alarm went off and feel more energetic after leaving the gym. Even better: She was super happy with the way her body began to change for the first six months.

But then, Nessa plateaued; she stopped seeing changes despite the fact that she was putting in all this work.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Although she thought she'd been eating pretty healthy about 80 percent of the time, it turned out that she wasn't paying much attention to portion sizes, was accidentally skipping meals on super busy days, and was stress-eating crappy processed food, such as doughnuts, to compensate. On some days, she says, she'd eat 1,000 calories, and on others, she'd down 3,000 calories.

That's why she couldn't help but blame her diet for stalling her progress. So, to make more mindful eating choices, Nessa enlisted a coworker with a personal training certification to contrive a meal plan that would deliver enough calories to fuel her workouts and provide ample energy to carry her through the day — all within the confines of her time-consuming job.

She started eating every three hours, consuming a total of five to six balanced meals amounting to 1,900 to 2,000 calories every day. Before weightlifting workouts, she'd have a protein shake, then eat oatmeal with fruit and nuts for breakfast.

And while most people struggle to pack themselves even one lunch, she began packing three pre-portioned homemade meals to eat every day at work, first using a kitchen scale to teach herself how to eyeball proper serving sizes.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Most Popular

Now, every three hours throughout the work day, she polishes off one lunch container, which might involve sweet potatoes, chicken breast, broccoli, and avocado; basmati rice, cod, and green beans dressed with olive oil; or whole wheat pasta with zucchini noodles, shrimp, and homemade pesto. She prepares her meals all at once, a couple times a week.

At home for dinner, she'll scramble up some eggs with spinach and tomato, toast whole-wheat bread and top it with peanut butter and banana, or toss up a green salad with smoked salmon and rice cakes.

And even though she now gives herself a break from this eating plan on weekends, Nessa followed it perfectly for her first 11 weeks without deviating even once. She credits her diligence for her fantastic results.

Because Nessa generally relies on photos, not the scale, to gauge her progress, she couldn't help but notice the way her new lifestyle began to suck the life out of her butt.

It does not matter if the progress is slow as long as you reach your goal 💫🙌🏼 I am asked quite a lot of times lately about the specific exercises which helped me to get rid of fat from my hips and legs. I have to tell you that I didn't do any special moves more often than the others to target the lower body area. I am on Week 70 of @kayla_itsines and @tobi_pearce Bikini Body Guide and I follow only this program. Weekly, there are 3 resistance sessions, each is dedicated to different part: legs, arms and abs and LISS (Kayla recommends power walking which may speed up a little bit your legs results). I think the leg workout is targeting more your hips and legs but I do believe you lose fat from all your body and it's not possible to choose the specific place. I first started to become slim in my upper body and only after I saw changes in my lower parts. But it depends on the type of body. I also think that you need to do resistance trainings and cardio if your main goal is to lose fat. That's why BBG works so good for me and for a lot of women all over the world. But it's rare that you lose fat the same way from all parts of your body. Some places may be really stubborn. I started to see changes in my stomach and arms quickly but the progress in my booty and legs was really slow but now I am happy I have never given up! Even if your results are not as good as someone else's, move on, you will eventually get where you want to be. Be consistent, your dedication and hard work will definitely pay off! ❤️ #bbgprogress #bbgresults #bbgtransformation #kaylaitsines #bbg #bikinibodyguide #sweatwithkayla #bbgcommunity #bbgover30

A post shared by Nessa (@nessasphere) on

Craving a bigger, rounder butt, she did what anyone seeking booty gains would do: She found a random workout plan on the Internet.

Now, Nessa hits the gym five or six times a week for 45 to 55 minutes. She does two days of cardio involving either Kayla Itsines's BBG, incline treadmill power walking, or elliptical; two high-intensity interval-training sessions (30-second intervals of high-knees, jump rope, or rowing for 12 to 15 minutes); and one upper-, one lower-, and one full-body lifting session per week.

On lifting days, she follows her Internet fitness plan, focusing on weighted squats, hip bridges, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings, lifting the heaviest weight she can handle. Already squatting nearly 90 pounds and deadlifting about 120 pounds, she has noticed small muscle gains in her butt, which appears to be rounding out after only four weeks.

Good morning! I am a little bit anxious and also excited today as this is my first video coming to you! 🙈😀 I hope you're gonna like it, so I will share more in the future. Today I wanna show you one of the exercises I do while having my Lower Body session. This is a Romanian Deadlift 😍🏋🏼‍♀️ If you want to develop and strenghten your harmstrings and increase the mobility of your hips, you should definitely include Romanian Deadlifts to your exercise list. This exercise also builds stronger and more stable lower back 👍🏼 The move starts from the straight position (unlike the Conventional Deadlift) and you go down and up and this is one rep. I do advise you to take a video to check your form. My 1st attempt in my video was 50kg and I felt quite good about it 💣 But I see also I should more squeeze my glutes when I finish the move. However my back is straight, I push my butt back and I lower the bar down of my legs as far as I can (here even until the bar hits the floor, a little bit too long I believe) 🤗 And then if you see my next attempt with 60kg, this one is not a proper form. My back is not straight and it could cause an injury. You also see that my posture is not stable, the move is not flawless at all and I do not lift with confidence... But it was just a try and this is only my 4th week of lifting, so I am still working on adding more weights and for now I am comfortable only with 55kg 🔥💦🏋🏼‍♀️ I am not an expert, so I am open to a discussion on my form ☺️👆🏼 And please, let me know if you would like to see more videos 😅🙏🏼 Happy Sunday guys! 😘 #fitness #motivation #lifting #deadlift #romaniandeadlift

A post shared by Nessa (@nessasphere) on

For what it's worth, she's also gained more than 4 pounds since she began her fitness journey, which is ample that body weight isn't always the best way to assess how awesome you look (and feel).

Inspired by her own success (something anyone can achieve with a healthy dose of dedication, really), Nessa plans to get her fitness training certification this year. And lucky for her followers, she has every intention of continuing to document her journey on Instagram so you can steal all her secrets.

From: Cosmopolitan
More from Dr Oz The Good Life: