How I lost weight without losing my mind
If you're determined to make 2014 the year you stick to those get-healthy resolutions, or if you need an extra hit of motivation for your gym visits, these ladies will be your inspiration. All of them are living proof that you can transform the way you look and feel if you have the right kind of commitment and attitude. They tell us exactly how they lost weight — and kept it off.
This South Australian vixen lost a whopping 92 kilograms just in time to feel fit and fabulous on her 40th birthday. With the help of Weight Watchers, she lost weight healthily and steadily over the course of 74 weeks, and overturned her lifestyle along the way.
What prompted you to start losing weight?
It was the year of my 40th birthday and I said to my husband, "I don't want to be fat and 40." My goal was to lose 40 kilograms by my 40th birthday in August and so my challenge began.
How did you go about it?
I decided to join Weight Watchers to help me on my journey. The staff were very supportive and I received lots of guidance along the way. I enjoyed the flexibility of the ProPoints plan — working with a daily points allowance gave me the freedom to have a variety of foods.
I also did plenty of exercise. I began by walking around the block and it would take me 50 minutes. I slowly started to increase the distance I would walk in that time. I also participated in aqua aerobics and rode my bike, again starting with a shorter distance and increasing that as well. I love to exercise and it is now a big part of my social life, too.
What's your typical day on a plate?
- Breakfast — porridge with stewed apples and cinnamon as well as a cup of coffee
- Morning tea — a Weight Watchers bar and fruit
- Lunch — big salad with tuna and a yoghurt
- Afternoon tea — dates, coffee and a banana
- Dinner — chicken and vegetables with gravy
- Dessert — fruit, jelly and yoghurt
After yo-yo dieting for years, Kent was disillusioned with her health. The clincher came when she was told she'd be unable to conceive naturally — that gave her all the motivation she needed to make a drastic lifestyle change. She signed up to the HCG protocol with Changing Habits — which involves lowering your calorie intake then slowly increasing it to figure out what foods are needed for optimum health — and the rest is history. She's 54 kilos lighter, happier and healthier, and oh — she fell pregnant within a year!
Why did you decide to start losing weight?
I didn't want to feel sick and unhealthy anymore. I was always tired and plagued with numerous health issues, and I knew that I wasn't setting the right example for my children. When I reached a size 22 in ladies clothing, I knew enough was enough.
How did you do it?
I lost 40 of the 54 kilograms thanks to the Changing Habits 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol. This consists of taking homeopathic drops three times a day and fuelling your body with real foods — allowing it to shed years worth of inflammation and fat. It's a weight loss method based around using real, whole foods to nourish and repair your body — and it works!
Did you use any unconventional methods?
No — all I did was go right back to basics. Nothing from packets!
What kind of support did you receive from family and friends?
My husband and children were my biggest support during the entire process. My husband would cook dinner for himself and the kids if I was struggling some days, and he encouraged me every step of the way (which soon rubbed off onto the kids as they followed suit and started applauding my healthy food choices). I didn't really tell anyone outside my immediate family that I had started the Protocol at first, because I thought it was going to be another failed diet, but the results started speaking for themselves. My friends have been very proud of my achievements.
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Just a couple of years ago, Boreham was clinically obese and in a cycle of misery. She decided it was time to turn her life around. She walked into a Zumba class and quickly got swept up in the infectious energy and, of course, the results. To date, Boreham has dropped 60 kilograms and finally feels like she's "worth something". She's also a bona fide exercise enthusiast. Didn't you know sweat is sexy?
What was your wake-up call?
My light bulb moment was after work one day — I was walking up a tiny hill, which I had walked up most of my life before, and I couldn't do it. I knew I had to get fit and healthy so I whipped out my phone and rang Jenny Craig there and then. When I had my first weigh-in and looked at the scales tipping at 155 kilograms, I was so embarrassed that I'd let myself get that bad.
Tell us your secrets! How did you lose so much weight?
I tried various gyms and personal trainers, but nothing really kept me motivated. Even though I was learning portion control with Jenny, the exercise was hard to maintain. I remember my first-ever Zumba class. I was sitting on the rowing machine half-heartedly, upset as I had just broken up with my boyfriend at the time. I saw a lot of people milling around the doors to the studio and I got up off the rower to see what all the fuss was about. Someone told me it was Zumba and that I should try it. So I did and the instructor said not to worry about getting the steps right, just let go, have fun and make lots of noise. The steps were a bit confusing but I was soon hooked!
Did you ever indulge?
Yes, after a week of eating Jenny Craig food I would treat myself to cinnamon doughnuts — they have always been my weakness. If you are good 90 per cent of the time, you can be bad for the other 10 per cent. Remember: Right choices = happy waistline!
Smith is one lady who officially has running fever. After struggling with her weight all her life, Smith "really piled it on" following the birth of her two kids. While size 22 clothes were starting to feel a little snug, she was only spurred into action when she saw how large she looked in a work photo. She started running and eating better and lost 53 kilograms. Now, she's gearing up to run her first half-marathon on May 3 — the Great Ocean Road Marathon in Victoria.
How did you lose so much weight?
Initially I started losing weight solely through changing my diet and making some better choices. I always let myself off the exercise hook, saying I was "too busy". I had moderate success with this and lost around 10 kilograms over a period of 12 months. It was then that I made a commitment to get up earlier and make time to move; no excuses! So I began getting up at 5 a.m. every morning and going for a walk. I often crossed paths with runners who always looked so fit and healthy. At the end of the day, what motivated me the most was this thought: You never see a fat runner; if I can run, I will cease to be fat! Simple, really. So in May 2012 I began running. Now I run 8 kilometres three mornings a week! I have also learnt that there are no "bad" foods, just bad choices. So I enjoy my toast with peanut butter on the weekends and the odd piece of chocolate.
What was the most challenging part of your weight loss journey?
Food. I love food; mostly the sort that is not good for you! I have learnt to listen to my body. I started to notice that after munching on lots of sugar I actually felt really crap; but after sitting down to a bowl of rainbow stir fry, I am ready to jump over tall buildings. A thought occurred to me — if something makes me feel like crap, how can I call it a treat? Having said that, if I am going to have a big night or perhaps a big week, I feel that it is important to own your choices and move on. Don't dwell on feeling guilty or allow it to throw you off course. Failure does not happen when you don't succeed; failure only happens when you stop trying.
How is health a part of your current lifestyle?
Eating well and exercising regularly has become part of who I am. People who meet me now can't believe that I was once fat! The benefits from this lifestyle are tenfold; not only am I happy with the way I look for the first time ever, but I feel great. I have boundless energy and I am stronger than I have ever been. Not only physically, but also mentally stronger. I know what I want and I'm not afraid to take risks and just go for it. I mean, for goodness sake, I have entered a half-marathon! Life is for living and that's what I am doing nowadays. The key to results is effort and consistency: When you find what works, keep doing it!