Lost 45.5kg and 159cm.

I’d always felt pretty self-conscious about my size. When my daughter announced she was getting married, I decided I wanted to lose weight – not just for the wedding, but also to keep up with my six grandkids. Most importantly though I wanted to do it for myself.

I ran into Jo at the supermarket, I knew she’d been big and had lost 58kg. I thought “If Jo can do it, I can do it!”

The first step was extremely hard – it was going to take a big commitment to get to my goal.

From the very first day that I came through the doors at Healthy Inspirations I was made to feel welcome, I felt everyone really wanted to help me.

When I first joined I couldn’t even manage to use some of the equipment. It was a bit hard getting on the bike. Everyone was so encouraging I just decided to persevere. It also helped that there were only women in the centre, so I was more relaxed and confident.

I’d tried heaps of diets and never followed through. I was sure I could stick to Healthy Inspirations program because everyone was so helpful and really pleased for me. The plan isn’t about dieting, I learned all about healthy eating. It helps that there are lots of things my husband can eat, and it was easy for him to make little changes too, like eating yoghurt instead of ice-cream. Having his support makes such a difference.

The Health Coaches are marvellous; they give so much help and encouragement, which you don’t get everywhere. The personal touch really makes a difference – the girls are always there to cheer me up and get the most out of me and so I keep wanting the best results.

I have worked really hard. I cried when my kids gave me a special gift to congratulate me for getting to my goal weight. “Mum, you’ve done all the hard work, you deserve it!” They’re right.

It feels great just to go for a walk now and not puff, and to really enjoy it. My doctor has dropped my blood pressure medication down from 5 tablets to just 1 tablet, and I’ve thrown away of all my big clothes. It’s so nice to go into a shop and hear “That’s too big for you” instead of settling for bigger sizes. My husband even said “Wow, you don’t look too bad in jeans!”

It’s a big commitment, and it’s not just for now, but forever. I feel so strong knowing I can make clear decisions and say no to things I just don’t need. When I see someone in the position I was in, I just want to help them in the way I’ve been helped.

I think back to the lady I was when I first came to Healthy Inspirations and I say “Well done, lady!” It makes me feel special to realise just the sort of woman I really am.