Feeling tired, uncomfortable and self-conscious, Catherine made small and manageable lifestyle changes to drop 10kg.
When Catherine looked back over photos from the Christmas holidays in January, she “didn’t really like” what she saw.
“I felt that I looked ugly and unhappy,” she says.
“I was the heaviest I’d ever been at 85.4kg, none of my clothes were fitting and I felt tired and uncomfortable, plus the extra weight was putting pressure on my problem knee, making it worse.”
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Her diet at the time was unrestricted. Portion sizes were large, and she snacked on lots of unhealthy things.
An occasional walk was all that Catherine did in the way of exercise and as years of “being lazy with my eating and exercise” had finally caught up with her.
So. while reminiscing about the festive season, the 52-year-old decided it was time to make a change.
“When I looked at the number on the scales, I felt fear because I knew if I did nothing, that number was only going to get bigger,” she says.
“This was the deciding point for me.”
While so many of us begin our weight loss journies with drastic changes that wind up being unsustainable in the long term, Catherine made small and manageable changes to her lifestyle. Smart move.
Portion sizes shrunk, unhealthy snacks were ditched for smaller, healthy meals less often, she reduced her sugar intake, and scaled back alcohol to two to three glasses per week on weekends.
But perhaps the most significant change was opting not to eat after 7pm as a kind of intermittent fast.
It was still challenging to begin with. Catherine found it was hard to find foods she enjoyed eating, but once she began to see results, her frame of mind shifted.
The next lifestyle improvement was exercise. While never a fan of gyms, Catherine found a six-week challenge of three sessions a week at her local Genesis Health and Fitness. She lost 6kg in that time alone.
“I workout harder when I’m taking part in challenges and it makes me commit to those three sessions per week without fail,” she says.
In 10 weeks, Catherine has lost 10kg and says she “couldn’t be happier” with the progress she’s made.
“I fit into more clothes, my energy levels are much higher, I am more confident walking into the gym and trying heavier weights and I like what I see when I look in the mirror now,” she says, adding that the biggest lesson has been prioritising herself.
“We’re all so busy juggling so many aspects of our lives but you have to remind yourself that your health is the most important thing you have – because if you don’t have that, you don’t have anything else.”
Catherine’s day on a plate
A small bowl of cereal with milk and a piece of fruit.
Fruit and I will allow a sweet biscuit but only one/day.
A salad with a small serving of leftovers from the night before.
A small serving of anything that the family is eating with vegetables (try not to eat too many carbs).