Lost 7.2kg and 10.8% of her body weight and kept it off for 2.5 years
I had been a long-time walker and a regular swimmer but injuries to both my shoulders forced me to stop swimming. Although I continued with walking (and walked a lot) my body gradually lost both strength and flexibility. I had no stamina and bit by bit I was also gaining weight. My jeans were getting tighter and more uncomfortable, and I didn’t like how any of my clothes looked on me anymore. As a junior primary teacher, I used to spend a lot of time cross legged on the floor working with students, but I could no longer sit comfortably in any position on the floor. I felt helpless and frustrated with myself every time I looked in the mirror and would vow to eat healthy and exercise more but despite my best efforts my weight just kept creeping up.
I hadn’t ever really been overweight, but I had always been the heaviest in a very petite family, so I was quite self-conscious of my weight gain. I thought my extra kilos were difficult to shift because I had reached my 50’s and had been diagnosed with an under-active thyroid. It was awful feeling so powerless! I’m not really a gym person, they are not spaces I feel comfortable in or feel I belong, and I’ve never been good at team sports, so these were not options for me. That said, I knew nothing about Healthy Inspirations. I’d walked past dozens of times and never looked twice, and to this day I don’t know what made me walk in to find out more, but I’m so glad I did. I liked straight away that the focus wasn’t on losing weight but on developing healthy habits for the mind and body which included food and exercise and resulted in weight loss but had other benefits as well. But the best bit was knowing I had control back over my body and my age and/or health diagnosis had no effect on my ability to maintain a healthy weight.
I’m rarely hungry as three protein meals and morning and afternoon snacks keep me feeling full. I used to have quite a lot of lower back pain. Along with the weight, this has now gone. I’m fitter and my stamina when walking has returned. I’ve since done lots of walks in the Adelaide Hills and within South Australia and love the adventure of getting up a hill. I am stronger and getting more flexible. I can even sit cross legged again for short periods and my shoulders have also recovered and have a greater range. I’ve lost body fat, toned up all over and am continuing to work on building muscle and improving my flexibility. I also like the way my clothes fit now, and I’ve enjoyed buying new clothes in a smaller size that flatter my new shape.
I’ve been a member of Healthies for two and half years now and have maintained my one-on-one weekly check-in, along with my ideal weight range. These check-ins with the Health Coaches are always very relaxed, friendly, supportive and non-judgmental. They also help to set new lifestyle goals, provide practical advice and helpful strategies which have kept me on track even after I lost the excess weight and moved onto the maintenance program.
Part of the reason I was saddened to give up swimming was the loss of camaraderie and friendships I had built up over a period of years but an unexpected bonus of being part of Healthies is the sense of community and connection with other people, many of whom I hadn’t known previously. Healthies is a genuinely caring, inclusive and empathetic group of women. At the centre we can step aside from our jobs, being mothers, being wives and all the other roles, we play in our busy lives and focus on ourselves. There are always common threads that run through our days when talking with other women at the centre and it’s good knowing Healthies is a safe space to be heard and to listen when others are in need. I also enjoy the sense of fun that is always found at Healthies.
I have recommended Healthy Inspirations to a number of my friends after they noticed my weight loss. It has been the catalyst for several of them to join the program. One of them has even become a Health Coaches after first joining as a member and then making a career change! I tell them it’s not just diet and exercise but a lifestyle that leads to so many health benefits including weight loss.
My 3 top tips are:
- Follow the portion sizes in your planner booklet…it works!
- Make a written plan of the meals you will be having each week and use them to make your weekly shopping list. That way you know what you’ll be having each day/night and you’ll have the ingredients on hand ready to go.
- Create a weekly exercise routine that works around your work/family commitments. Before long the routine develops into a habit, it becomes a regular part of your day and it’s easy to stick to.