Anna Kambranis didn’t realise she had a problem until her friends intervened to help.
The 46-year-old lived what she called a “boring life” where she struggled at 206kg to walk upstairs without losing her breath and knew very little about nutrition and fitness.
But after just over 12 months she’s now lost a staggering 120kg, and stubborn knee and back pains have almost disappeared.
“My life has changed dramatically, from sitting on the sofa, doing nothing and eating to being active constantly every day. It’s a big change,” Anna tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Now I walk everywhere, when I used to take the car everywhere. Now I can walk into a shop and feel comfortable I can try anything on,” she says.
“It’s been a great feeling.”
Anna, from Melbourne, was subconsciously denying how much her health had deteriorated over the years, and in the meantime, lost all memory of how much she used to enjoy getting out.
On the first day of 2018, Anna’s closest friends boarded a plane to initiate a brave conversation that changed her life.
Concerned for Anna’s mental and physical health, her friends took a risk and signed her up for a first appointment at Vision Personal Training, with trainer Kyle, hoping she’d agree to go – but not convinced she would.
“They sat me down and said they had bought me 12 sessions and wanted me to give it a go,” she tells us.
“They said they were really concerned, they had been speaking to my trainer for a month already, they had been speaking to my family.”
Anna admits she was very angry at first.
“I don’t like people pushing me to do stuff. I hate it. I knew I was big and I knew there was a big problem but you just ignore it. You don’t want to think about it or admit it.
“But they pushed me, and they have pushed me for the better.”
For Anna, the biggest priority was nutrition and one of the first steps was to get rid of all the unhealthy food in the house.
She also made the commitment to herself to stay away from junk food for 12 months, having previously loved blocks of chocolate and bags of potato chips. And Friday nights was always takeaway night, but not anymore.
“I know that having a treat in moderation isn’t a bad thing, but I wanted to prove it to myself that I was strong enough to last an entire year forgoing junk food,” she says.
“I’ve learnt a lot about what I can and can’t eat, and what is in food. I now read the nutritional labels which I never used to do.”
And while initially Anna loathed the thought of going into the studio for her sessions, her trainer Kyle showed a commitment to her, not only during her three sessions a week, but with daily support and education, which established a strong sense of trust.
“The time and effort Kyle invested in me was enough to make me realise I was worthy of investing the same amount of time and effort into myself,” she says.
Over the last year, Anna has rekindled her love for walking and running, and has also re-launched her social life, admitting it feels like she has escaped a “black hole” and found “the light”.
“Now when I’m walking, I’m walking with my head held high,” she says.
“My whole mindset has changed completely. You just don’t realise it at first. You feel like you can do anything.
“Obviously I go out a lot more now as well. I feel like I’m part of society again.”
Anna is feeling “happier, healthier and more confident” than she’s ever been thanks to her friends and family for getting her started. She’s now flying towards her goal weight of 70kgs.
“I still have 17kgs to lose, so I’m still being pretty strict on myself, and after that I want to start toning,” she says.
“At first I was doing it for everybody else. But now I’m doing it for myself.”
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