Vanessa’s weight loss journey with me started one year ago this month. She has achieved an amazing 20kg of weight loss and ……cm’s. It has been a lot of hard work, consistency and dedication but Vanessa is here to prove that you can achieve your goals, you need to be patient. Her journey didn’t start just one year ago, it began one year prior to us meeting and at the time she started training with me she had already lost an amazing 20kg, bringing her total weight loss to an amazing 40kg!!!! Our interview today is here to find out about her journey, how and why she started and hopefully she will inspire others to get started now and achieve the best version of you you can be!
Have you always suffered from weight issues or if not why/how did you put weight on?
Vanessa: “Yes, all my life. I have spent a lot of years yo-yoing up and down with my weight and it’s always being a struggle to lose. I suffer from Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovaries and as of 2014 Type 2 Diabetes. All of these things make it very easy to put weight on and then very difficult to lose it”.
Did you suffer from any health or fitness issues as a result of putting on weight?
Vanessa: “Yes, Blood Pressure used to be an issue, I had Gestational Diabetes whilst pregnant and general tiredness and lack of motivation to do anything. I lacked confidence, felt like I was too big to join in activities with Liv and had little to no patience levels. I know I wasn’t coping as a Mum”.
How did being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes affect your life?
Vanessa: “It was a good kick in the butt to really start looking after myself, to demand some time back just for me to get myself back on track with my health. I lost myself a little when I became a mum and put myself last, including my health. I was never upset with the diagnosis as it goes hand in hand with the Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovaries and being over 40 but it was the motivation I needed”.
Before now have you tried to lose weight? What happened?
Vanessa: “Yes several times. I tried Sure Slim & Jenny Craig. I lost weight but it soon went back on again because I felt I couldn’t maintain consistency with the food, it became boring and I didn’t team diet with exercise. And as we know losing weight and maintaining weight loss is both through diet and exercise”.
Do you believe being a parent influenced your decision to lose weight?
Vanessa: “Very much so! I need to be there for my child. I also want to set a good example for her. I felt if I continued down the road I was going I wouldn’t be there to see her walk down the aisle one day. I wanted to be able to join in all the fun stuff that goes with having a child. I wanted to jump on the trampoline without fear of breaking through it. I was tired of saying “no Mummy can’t” to things she wanted me to do. There are lots of things I have missed out on doing with her because of my weight which is sad”.
What made you finally decide that you wanted to lose weight?
Vanessa: “The diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. That made me realise enough was enough. I was like “right this is it, this is the time to make a change”. I felt physically unwell and wasn’t coping as a mum, I was tired all the time, I wasn’t a fun mum, everything was just difficult even walking up the stairs (which is no longer a problem thanks to all the step up’s Hayley makes me do ☺)”
What was the first thing you did to begin your weight loss journey?
Vanessa: “I cut as much sugar I could out of my diet and started walking every day. It was a start, I knew I needed to do more but starting is always the hardest and that’s what I did”.
Did anyone help you when you started all did you do it alone?
Vanessa: “No I didn’t have any help. I did it all myself up until I plateaued at 20kgs. I got stuck at that weight for several months and got extremely frustrated & started to lose motivation. That’s where I knew I needed help to achieve my goal. I was recommended to join a gym, something I actually hated the thought of. I did a bit of searching and found a gym that did Ladies classes and met my trainer Hayley. It was the best thing I ever did!”
What have been your greatest obstacles?
Vanessa: “Making time and fitting the exercise in with my work and home life. Coming up with appealing and tasty meals. Hitting the plateaus of weight loss along the way. And maybe a little sadness at foods I thought I was missing out on. Frustrations with injuries at times. Staying motivated, especially in winter whilst I was walking as my exercise”.
What have you enjoyed most about this process?
Vanessa: “I have enjoyed seeing my body changing, the change in my mental wellness, trying new things like joining a gym (something I never thought I would do!), pushing my body to do things I didn’t think I could possibly do, meeting new people that I wouldn’t normally have crossed paths with that have now become friends. It’s a real confidence booster having other people notice my hard work and efforts, and also having my husband tell me how beautiful and sexy I look and how proud he is of me”.
What are the best things about losing all the weight?
Vanessa: “Shopping in the normal clothes section and not having to look at plus sizes, feeling sexy, confident and well. I have more patience with my child. I am gamer and more confident to try new physical activities. I no longer look at the weight restrictions on rides and activities! Something that’s really special is that Liv can come up and wrap her arms completely around my waist when she hugs me. She told me the other day that I “look spectacular?” Don’t you just love 8 year old honesty! I can run up the stairs without feeling like I’m going to die and carry ALL the groceries bags from the car in one go! I’m just feeling fabulous!!”
Is there anything you are going to do now that you never would have done before you lost the weight?
Vanessa: “I am going to try Scuba Diving on an upcoming holiday and at Christmas I did nearly every waterslide at Wet’n’Wild and had a blast! I no longer have look at weight restrictions on rides”.
How often do you exercise each week? What do you do?
Vanessa: “I do 3 personal training sessions + 2 bootcamp (Boxing) sessions with Hayley. I must admit that there is a lot of “I can’t”, “no”, “oh Hayley!”, whinging and talking but all in fun….hahaha….. I love having Hayley as my PT. She keeps me motivated which is important. I wouldn’t work as hard without her and would slack off. She pushed me to do heavier weights and extra reps. Exercise feels like less of a chore when you can chat and have fun at the same time”.
Have you been strict on your diet the whole time?
Vanessa: “For the most part yes. To start with the first 20kg I was very strict and never put a foot wrong. I would feel soooo guilty if I had anything bad. Whereas now in my last 20kg weight loss I can go enjoy a meal and know that I’m back on track the next day. I don’t blow out but I can relax a little knowing I have the gym to do to and Hayley to keep me motivated and knowing It’s all right to relax and have some fun”.
What would you say or advise other women who are struggling and want to do what you have done?
Vanessa: “Make a start, even if its small like starting healthy eating and adding simple exercise. Don’t get overwhelmed with the end goal, celebrate the little goals – they will all add up. Change up your exercise so you do different things, especially when the weight loss seems to stop for a while. There will be eating and exercise setbacks but don’t give up. Every day is a new day to get back into it! Don’t be afraid to find support from someone like a PT or even a friend to join you at the gym. It is great to have someone to motivate you to keep going even when it gets hard. Hayley is awesome at telling me to “woman up” and “suck it up princess” Ha ha!!”
Just get started……the rest will follow! =)
THANKS to Isaac Purcell for the great photo’s as ALWAYS ^_^