NAME: Brandy Thele
Weight before: 124kg Weight after: 66 kg
Brandy Thele had always tucked into less-than-healthy foods. Running, basketball and softball kept her weight in check during high school, but graduation put an end to those activities – and her stable weight. By her early 30s, she had added 45kg to her 147cm frame.
Marriage, two kids and a full-time job didn’t leave her much time to cook or exercise, and her energy was shot.
“I hated walking up stairs. I was out of breath after one flight,” says the accountant.
In August 2006, after her GP prescribed her with blood pressure medication, Thele tried fad diets, but when they failed, she gained another 11kg.
THE HEALTH DIAGNOSIS
In February 2009, Thele was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was put on more medication. Having watched her father struggle with the disease, she says: “I was devastated. I didn’t think I’d let my weight get that out of control.”
She knew she had to learn healthy habits – not fall for another fad.
THE LIFESTYLE CHANGE
Thele started small, replacing her three daily soft drinks and bag of M&Ms with fresh fruit and veg and cooking most of her meals at home. To keep cravings in check, she ate six times a day – three mains and three snacks in between.
That April, Thele joined a gym. At first, “it was tough going when I was barely moving on the treadmill and the skinny blonde next to me was running full on. But I knew I was only competing with myself.”
She split hour-long sessions between cardio and strength training, and after seven months of working out three days a week, she was 20kg lighter – and ready for a new challenge. She hit the gym daily, and by the end of 2009, Thele no longer needed blood pressure or diabetes meds.
In July 2010, Thele weighed 68kg – the same as she did while at uni. “I was so proud and excited!”
THE WEIGHT LOSS REWARD
Today Thele, who once feared she’d be on prescription medication for life, has lost another 2kg and feels healthier than ever. And she has no problem keeping up with her two boys.
“I have much more energy,” she says. “I accomplish more in a day now. I think my mind is sharper.”
BRANDY'S WEIGHT LOSS TIPS
> > Text off kilos “Have a friend text you to work out. It’ll help push you out the door.”
> > Bin the junk “If you know you’ll tuck into the leftover birthday cake at midnight, toss it immediately.”
> > Take a break “I went on a holiday and didn’t obsess over what I ate – and I lost 2kg. I learnt to relax my diet a little.”