After quitting sport as an elite athlete, Bec gained a lot of weight eating junk food. After a shoulder reconstruction, Bec joined a gym and focused on her fitness, losing her first 8kg in 6 weeks.
Name Bec Watson, NSW Age 32 Height 171cm
Weight before: 137 kg Weight after: 77 kg
As a teen, Watson was an elite synchronised swimmer, being selected for the Olympic Athlete Program and representing her country in international competition.
“I had people telling me when to train, what to eat, when to sleep.”
When she stopped training, she had a new-found freedom.
“Part of that freedom was eating whatever I wanted and not getting up at 5am to exercise.”
She started using food as a reward and comfort in times of stress, and ate things like chocolate, creamy dips and corn chips “whenever I felt like it. That’s how I gradually put on weight over the next 10 or so years.”
At size 24 and weighing 137kg, she needed a shoulder reconstruction due to a fall a few months earlier.
“I told the surgeon I’d do anything for the best possible recovery. When I looked in the mirror that night, I realised I needed to not just do everything for my shoulder, but for my whole body.”
She joined a gym and hired a personal trainer, losing 8kg in six weeks.
Ten days after the op, instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for herself, she went back to the gym, arm in a sling.
“People at the gym helped me onto the exercise bike, I’d cycle, they’d help me off, then I’d walk home.”
She also started eating four to five small meals daily instead of three big ones plus snacks.
She signed up for our fitness expert Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation – an online program in which Bridges provides workout and nutrition plans.
By now Watson had amped up the exercise – eventually she was doing four to five hours a week of strength training, and four to five hours of cycling, running or – one of her old faves – swimming.
In 2010, Watson won in the Shape category of the Fitness First New You Achievement Awards.
“I saw the ad for the awards and thought, ‘I’ve had an interesting journey losing a significant amount of weight, maybe this is for me’. It was encouraging to be recognised for what I’ve achieved.
Ask for help “When I’m struggling to find motivation to get to the gym, I call one of my friends who’s supported me during this journey and tell them what I’m feeling – that prompts me to get my runners on.”
Consider whether you’re hungry “Now if I have a craving, I’ll ask myself, ‘Am I hungry enough to eat a carrot or apple?’ If I don’t want either, I have to ask, ‘Am I really hungry?’ Probably not!”
Schedule exercise “I map out my exercise for the week in my diary as appointments. I often plan for it to be on the way to or from work, since it’s harder after you’re home for the day.”