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“I can be slim and not scared of food for the first time in my life.”

Marias story on Losing Weight

I am very fortunate to have had a fit and active childhood. Every day I walked almost 10km up and down the hills and dales of my home town to secondary college. It was never a big deal, it was just part of my everyday life. But I did hate carrying my heavy school bag on my shoulder, there was no such thing as backpacks back then.

As soon as I started work as a young adult, I started to experience problems with my weight. Walking was replaced with car journeys and the only exercise I did was at a local gym, which I joined out of pure frustration with my weight gain. My first diet was a gym diet and I can remember my father stating quite clearly, that this would be the first of many. He was speaking from his own experiences of a lifetime cycle of yo-yo dieting.

30 years of yo-yo dieting

So I began a dieting cycle of my own. Over the next 30 years I tried many diets. You name it, I tried it. I had periods of success, only to gain all of the weight again as soon as I fell off the wagon. Dieting worked for a while, but they were only a temporary answer to why I felt I needed to overeat. Food was either my comfort and friend or my biggest fear. When I was slim, food was my enemy. I was terrified and so scared of gaining it all again. When I was big, I felt defeated and just gave in. It is no wonder that my self esteem and confidence took such a beating. I liked myself when I was slim but I was also incredibly anxious all of the time and terrified to eat, it was this or hating myself for being overweight.

My weight fluctuated according to my relationship with food at the time and what diet I was trying. Because of this, I always saw myself as a thin person so I would get the shock of my life if I happened to see my reflection in a shop window or when I looked at myself in a full length mirror. Who was that fat woman following me around? Cameras never lie, so I made sure I took the photos, and if a camera lens even pointed in my direction, I would move out of the way or hide.

My depression years

My husband John and I have been blessed with four beautiful, healthy and happy children. But in 2003 we lost our nearly full-term baby girl, Teresa Rose. Our world came to a screaming halt. The next five years were to be the hardest I have ever experienced, I call them my depression years. I functioned on a daily basis but I felt completely lost and dead inside. I felt so sad and totally empty, depleted of any sense of joy or happiness. My empty arms, heart, womb, nursery you name it, it was empty.

So I started filling that empty place with food and drink and I descended in to a downward spiral. I was having suicidal thoughts that were only kept at bay through medication, and the only place I felt safe was under my doona. John was worried about my mental state and my health. I started to experience heart palpations, then high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This meant taking more medication. I really resented relying on pills to keep me alive. I wanted to change but I could see no way out. Grief and depression just zapped the life out of me.

An all time low

By 2007, I was a very unhealthy, obese, and depressed. My self esteem and confidence were at an all time low. I still had high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart palpitations which were brought on by stress. I also needed an operation on my left foot. I had a growth on a nerve and I was unable to wear shoes. Poor fat me, if only I could exercise.

A shocking and scary moment

In December 2007, I was rushed to hospital with rapid heart palpitations, and this was not the first time. Previously, I was given two injections to bring my heart rate back to normal but this time, the doctor just stroked my neck and it all came good. Unfortunately as he was manipulating my neck I went into VT. My heart stopped beating for around 6 to 8 beats. I couldn’t feel the difference but the doctor was very alarmed. I went home with a prescription for a beta blocker and a referral to see a cardiologist.

I was finally due to have my foot operation but my blood pressure that very morning was dangerously high and because of my previous turn 10 days earlier, the anaesthetist refused to medicate me without further advice from a cardiologist, delaying my operation. This decision probably saved my life and certainly shook me up. An urgent appointment was made with a cardiologist and I was given medication to stop the heart palpitations until they operated on my heart.

The problems I was having with my health made me realise that I couldn’t go on like this. At my heaviest I weighed 116kgs and I was just looking down the barrel and thinking if I keep going like this, something’s going to give, I have to get healthy.

Four months later, I had my foot operation. I was ecstatic and I brought my first pair of runners in six years. This was the turning point, I was on the mark, I was set and ready to go!

My Bodytrim journey

It was now 2008 and thank God I saw an advertisement for Bodytrim on the back of a magazine. In May I started the programme and throughout the following year, my body and soul slowly began to heal. As the weeks passed I started to change inside and out.

I was still taking medication for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. My cholesterol levels were still in the high range.

Throughout the start of my BT journey I kept thinking that I couldn’t keep this up for life. Walking and eating like this. I knew I was going to Bali at the end of the year, and I was determined to be slimmer for our holiday, Bodytrim was just a means to this end. But around six months later I had my ‘ah ha!’ moment. I realised that I could not go back to where I was. I knew that I could get up and walk every day, and I could have my days when I can still enjoy having a life and not be scared of food. I could be slim and not scared of food for the first time in my life. I then had my big holiday, in Bali and I only put on 2kgs.

Over the Christmas season I put on 6kgs but then nine days later, I lost it all, and more. I really started to wonder why I would want to do anything else. I can have a whole month off; eating, drinking and being silly and then return to the programme and lose it all. There was no going back now; I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

The end of yo-yo dieting

Over the next six months my attitude completely changed. I loved the personal space I felt when I went walking, which so naturally progressed into interval training and then running. I just grew in knowledge and confidence that Bodytrim was the solution to finally end my yo-yo dieting cycle.

I grew to believe in the system and knew this was my new way of life. The truth is, this programme works and the failure factor had been removed from my mind. Bodytrim is so flexible that I found it easy to follow. I could have my time out, living the high life and then jump back in with both feet. I finally had the tools and the knowledge. The proof was in the protein.

Becoming healthy again

In June I had my heart operation to stop the palpitations. I ceased taking all of my medication a week before. I was really nervous and surprisingly, it was not because of the surgery, but the fact that I’d have to come off the programme for five days. I still had a lot to learn and trust about my new lifestyle.

After the operation, John and I decided to have a mini break in Melbourne to help me recoup. While we were there we walked our legs off and I ate and drank whatever I fancied. I came home, and to my surprise and delight I had lost 2.3 kgs. My goodness, you should have seen me doing the happy dance.

While I was in hospital the doctor also checked my cholesterol. And for the first time in years, it measured normal. Within two days of being discharged my doctor gave me a clean bill of health. I had just commenced my seventh week on Bodytrim and in that short period of time I finally said goodbye to all of my heart and blood pressure medication. I was, and still am, completely drug free. I can’t tell you just how good that feels. I also no longer needed sleeping tablets. Waking up at 6.15am to go walking fixed that problem. That in itself is a miracle. I am not a morning person but now I choose to be. It’s great to feel tired again but for the right reasons. I am so proud of my commitment and thinking to get my life back on track.     

From caterpillar to butterfly

The weight loss has been awesome, but the transformation within me and the effect it has had on every area of my life has been unbelievable. A metamorphosis has taken place. I felt like the caterpillar that has transformed into a butterfly. I am a more confident and stronger person. The weight loss has changed me not only physically but emotionally, I have finally begun to heal. A miracle has been performed in front of my family’s eyes. They often comment and affirm the constant and amazing change in me. For many years I had opted out of life. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it was just what I had to do, to cope and get through a painful time. I now have a fire burning within me. A spirit of sheer determination and my can-do attitude is back. I have replaced that feeble wishbone with a back bone. I am learning to be disciplined, self controlled and I refuse to be ruled by my emotions any longer. I’m not there yet, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m on my way and I’m OK! Finally I can see through the fog of my grief, feel again, and I am very grateful to once again enjoy the blessed life I have.

Conquer the world

Bodytrim has given me renewed strength, ability and a belief that I can conquer the world. The battlefield is in my mind but with every passing week I have grown in confidence and determination. I can do anything I set my mind to; where the mind goes, the man follows.

My sense of humour has also returned. I haven’t laughed so much in years. John and my children often comment on how good it is to hear me laughing again.

I am now so much more active, and my children are delighted with my new lease of life. We throw around the ball together and we play a game of cricket most nights. I have the confidence now to take part in family activities. They have their mum back.

My fitness has improved in leaps and bounds. Now I’ve lost the weight, running is something I can actually do.  I started with interval training; running for one minute, and walking for 30 seconds. Slowly, I built up my fitness until one morning I just kept running. I couldn’t believe it. I actually ran the whole 3km block. My daughter is a championship runner for our state, and for the first time, we ran home together. I nearly had tears in my eyes. I still get emotional talking about it now. It was really, really exciting, and we’ve done it since. But of course, my pace is her warm up!

My family are shocked and delighted with my transformation. It was my mum’s 70th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and my family were saying they just couldn’t believe the change in me. Hearing this, just spurs me on.

A can-do attitude

My new can-do attitude has also enabled me to train and become part of the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and Kids organisation as a parent supporter. My role is to help and support families who are suffering from the loss of a child. This has been a big achievement for me. If I had not grown in confidence I could not have done this. I am slowly coming full circle in my grief. It isn’t something you ever get over; I have just learnt to live with the pain.

No going back

My goal hasn’t been reached yet, but I know I will cross the finish line. No ifs or buts about it. I am determined to complete what I have set out to do. I have the self belief and attitude that I will succeed. I know this lifestyle will not fail me. I have the tools to succeed. I am going to conquer and beat this demon of being overweight. I live and breathe this lifestyle now. There is no going back. I used to joke about finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but this time there isn’t a train coming the other way to flatten me. The light is my goal and I am so close I can smell it.

Now I am faced with the normal frustrations of trying on clothes in the varying sizes and shapes. I personally have had to battle with the changing room mirrors. My body image has taken a beating and I have come to realise that once I have lost the extra weight, I will need to start toning and reshaping my body.

Gratitude

I would like to thank and honour the support of my devoted husband John and our children, Ben, Kate, Nathan, and Bethany. They have been my number one supporters and have enjoyed every free day we have shared so far.

John has been wonderful and has stepped up by cooking meals for the kids and my whole family have jumped on board and given up fast food until my free day too. My family also thinks Bodytrim rocks and are very grateful to have a happier and healthier wife and mum back on deck.

Thanks Geoff, you have rocked my world for the better. I now am standing tall and loving life once again.

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