‘It’s been a battle’: WAG’s amazing transformation
AFTER years of defying the stereotype of what society said a WAG should look like, Margaux Parker had never been short on confidence.
But when the mother-of-four hit 95kgs on the scales back in February, the shock of not recognising herself in photographs led the wife of retired Broncos great Corey Parker to overhaul her lifestyle and shed an incredible 15kgs.
The 34-year-old radio host and mum to Memphis, 9, Wylei, 8, Jagger, 5, and River, 3, said the secret to her weight loss success hinged on getting rid of the mother's guilt attached to taking time out for herself to make simple changes to her diet and exercise.
Parker, who hosts 92.5 Gold FM's drive show The Rush Hour alongside Luke Bradnam, told The Sunday Mail she had gone from struggling to squeeze into a size 16 to being comfortable a comfortable size 12.
"I was happy being a little bit chubby because I was like 'eh, I'm chubby but I'm cute and I'm tall'," she said.
"But, the turning point for me was when I would see photos and I started to not recognise myself anymore and I was like 'that's not who I am, that doesn't even look like me'.
"I'm not short on confidence, I never have been, and I started to get to the point where I felt less confident."
Parker said her weight negatively impact her love of fashion and she realised she was buying clothes to cover herself up.
"I was spending more money on clothes I wouldn't normally buy to make me feel better about being a size 16 because I couldn't just buy jeans and a top from Kmart and feel good anymore," she said.
Having started her weight loss journey by doing eight weeks of a calorie restrictive Isagenix program, she said she learnt it wasn't about "killing yourself at the gym".
"To lose weight we don't have to bust our ass at the gym every day, it's about watching what you put in your mouth," she said.
But Parker, who finds deprivation and meal preparation unsustainable, said she went on to make small, manageable changes to her diet such as eating three meals a day, watching her portions, cutting out coffee and unhealthy snacks, replacing soft drink with soda water and stopping her habit of eating the kids' leftovers.
"For me, it was just about eating consistently and finding what worked with my lifestyle because (previously) I would skip breakfast and lunch but have four coffees with sugar a day and maybe something snacky like chippies at work then a massive dinner and a can of Coke," she said.
She said, as mum with a full-time job, it was about "not making excuses" and exercising when she wanted to and when it fit into her schedule.
"You can get up half-an-hour before the kids and do some sit-ups or jump on a bike while you watch some Netflix," she said.
"But it has been a battle - some weeks I exercise and some I don't, it looks different every week."
She said getting back to the gym was her biggest hurdle.
"When I first went back to the gym, I was embarrassed but I realised they were only fitter than me because, at some point, they made the choice that I did and, at one point, they probably felt like me," she said.
The popular media personality said she has never subscribed to society's idea of "what beauty is supposed to be" and believes the unrealistic body image ideals perpetuated by social media push women to put a "crazy" amount of pressure on themselves.
"For me, it's not about being super skinny or fit, it's just about being comfortable and feeling comfortable in my clothes again," she said.
"It's not about what society thinks you should look like because you can't appease everyone, it's trend driven and that's not sustainable.
"It doesn't matter what size you are, if you feel comfortable and confident, it's sexy. For some women, they might feel that in a size eight or 10 and 20."
She said her message to other women, especially mothers, was to be kinder to themselves and others and to stop being judgmental.
"Being in the public eye and being Corey's wife, people were saying 'is she thin enough or is she hot enough to be his wife?', I even had someone say 'she's not as hot as I thought she would be'," she said.
"We've been together for 16 years and have four kids together, I supported him through his career, so it's not based on looks. Yes, there's an initial attraction but it becomes so much more than that, he loves me because of me.
"How about we turn the mirror around and start looking at ourselves be more accepting and more tolerant?"
As a mother of two young girls, she is determined to raise them with "healthy ideas of who they are" and to teach them to not seek validation from others.
"It's hard with the way the world is going with reality TV and social media and bloggers and influencers," she said.
"There's the saying 'comparison is the thief of joy' and we can't compare ourselves to someone else's highlight reel."
Parker believes other mums need to give themselves permission to make themselves a priority and carve out time for themselves when it comes to their physical and mental health as their children will also benefit in the long-term.
"When I'm not exercising and I'm a bit overweight, I'm a crankier mum, I'm yelling more and I'm more flustered and unhappy and that affects my relationship with my children and that's not their fault," she said.
"Now I'm happier and have more energy, the time I spend with them is really present and it's quality."
Parker said she currently feels "amazing" and comfortable in her clothes, with her confidence having shot back up.
"I'm happier and more motivated and I deserve to feel like this - better and happier and more confident and fun and not self-doubting and self-hating," she said.