My life before weight loss
I am happily married, have three children and one grandson. I had been obese since having my three children in my late teens - early 20's. I put on at least 20 kg with each pregnancy and never really lost it.
Before I started my weight loss journey, I was very unfit and unhealthy: I weighed 124kg. I couldn't even walk 100 metres without having to stop to catch my breath. I knew that if I kept up with this lifestyle I wouldn't have the chance to watch my first grandson Cooper grow up to be an adult. I could not do that to him.
How I started losing weight
I was inspired to start exercising by my very special friend Danni, who even though she suffers a back problem had started exercising at a boot camp. So on the August 1, 2011, I started going to Intensity Health and Fitness in Emerald, Victoria.
I can still remember the first day I went to training: I was so scared when I walked down those steps.
My palms were sweating and my heart racing and I hadn't even done any exercise yet! At this stage it was fight or flight: I could fight the fear of exercise or run away there and then.
Thank goodness I chose to fight.
I fought off 62 kilograms in 10 months and have loved every bit of the journey so far.
My personal trainer
My trainer Julie Hoffmann ('Hoffy') is my inspiration and mentor and without her I wouldn't be here today. She has helped to transform me both physically and mentally. She believed in me from the start, when I didn't even believe in myself.
She has taken me from merely existing to a life that I can't wait to wake up for in the mornings. I have gone from doing absolutely nothing in my life, to a life that is that full of excitement, friendship and happiness.
Julie taught me that losing weight - and changing my life - wasn't going to be easy, but it would be worth it.
My weight loss journey
I was then introduced to Michelle Bridges' 12 Week Body Transformation program (12WBT) and in round 3, 2011 I lost 24 kgs including pre-season (the warm-up introduction stage of the 12WBT).
In total I completed three rounds of 12WBT. My long term goal was to lose half of my body weight (62 kgs) and I achieved this at the 10 month mark of my journey. My goal was to place in the Top 20 finalists Australia wide. But when I finished my final round in May 2012, I actually won overall, which today is still mind-blowing.
I had never succeeded at a weight loss journey before but it taught me to take control of my health and fitness and to take full responsibility for what I was doing or not doing to my body. It took tremendous courage and strength to re-evaluate my life, to identify where I had been going wrong. With the support of Hoffy, Michelle Bridges, all my wonderful family and team mates at Intensity, I have been able to switch directions and turn my life around.
How weight loss has changed my life
Today my life has changed so much. I eat clean, I don't eat any processed foods and I train daily.
This is not an effort anymore - it's just part of my daily routine like brushing my teeth. I've inspired my daughter to do the same and she has lost over 40kg - I am so proud of her achievements.Heidi's advice