Sherri's story is not your everyday tale. She travels to remote sites, not only for work but to enormous summits like Everest Base Camp out of a pure passion for the great outdoors.
Throughout her life though, Sherri struggled with her weight. Yo-yo dieting her way through combining large portion sized healthy meals, with both sweet and savoury treats at the end of the evening. Leading to an inevitable weight gain of 20 kg* after taking a six month break from work to write her thesis.
Sherri's first project back on the job saw her flying around the state assessing some of Australia's most beautiful national parks. Feeling humbled and privileged to see things that the average person does not, Sherri was embarrassed by her lack of fitness and shocked at the extra 20 kg's impact on her ability to do activities she once enjoyed and found easy.
"The worst part was my inability to do the things I loved. I was getting the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful spots in Queensland, and my fitness level was so low that carrying an extra 20 kg made it near impossible to enjoy."
*Individual results may vary
It was after that fateful work trip and an excited friends proposal to hike the daring trek up to Everest Base Camp that Sherri decided to stop her weight gain in its tracks.
"I made a commitment to hike to Everest Base Camp and I knew I couldn't do it unless I dropped the weight. My legs and knees are very thankful I'm not carrying an extra 20 kg."
Having been left unsatisfied or disappointed by other diets as well as already tried and loved our recipes, Sherri signed up for CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Program 1. She was so impressed by its flexibility and ease that she even went on to complete Program 2.
"Having a goal that was more than just a 'goal weight' like committing to my hike in Nepal kept me going solid for six months! Having a diet that was easy and flexible as well as understanding that I could still go out and make the right choices whilst still having a wine or two was so important."
"In saying that though, this diet is not really a diet, it's more about changing how we eat at home and after six months this has become our routine and doesn't feel like a diet at all!"
With a love of delicious meals but a full-time job, Sherri was concerned about the practicality of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. However, she quickly discovered that our team of nutrition experts have made it incredibly easy to lose weight, by arranging our recipes into a simple, flexible, easy to follow meal plan.
"I liked the practicality of it. The recipes were so yummy but simple - they used most of the ingredients that I already had in my cupboard. I found if I did have to buy something, it was generally used in other recipes for the week, so it wasn't wasted."
Now that she is 23 kg lighter*, Sherri feels more energetic than ever and dreams of exploring Australia's exquisite natural landscapes. Sherri also hopes the weight loss and new found fitness will keep osteoporosis at bay.
Talking with my personal trainer, I have realised at this age, conditions like Osteoporosis will stop me from doing something I love. Continuing to eat well as I have been these past 6 months, keeping my weight down, and building strength in my bone and muscles will help me continue my passion for longer.
We have already set another hiking goal for September. A number of us from work are hiking the Great Walk at Carnarvon National Park, an 87 km circuit over six days.
*In 6 months. Individual results may vary.
1. For starting your weight loss journey
Set a goal other than just a ‘weight’ – plan something you really want to do and then commit to it, so you have something to work towards!
Do not think of it as a diet. Be prepared that it will take a little while. Set mini weight goals, weights (very excited once I was in the 80’s, then 70’s), and clothing sizes! I loved taking my old clothes to St Vinnies on a regular basis and replacing them with new stuff!
2. On staying motivated
Being prepared, I facilitated many workshops for work (always catered), but I still came along with my salads for lunch and had snacks in my bag!
Find an exercise you like, I’m not a good exerciser but paying for a PT (which makes me laugh so it’s fun) kept me committed, joining the gym close to work (for ease and time) with a work colleague (which we have a standing arrangement every week to go and have it blocked out in my work calendars). I looooove bushwalking, so we do that every weekend, even if it’s a 3-hour hike really early at a very local conservation park with a friend! This is an exercise that we’ll be keeping up for good!
3. If you’re time poor in regard to eating/cooking and/or exercise
Stick to the simple recipes or adapt to make them basic (steak/chicken breast and salad, can spice these up with rubs, etc). Make double recipes, and have them a couple of nights later, or freeze them for those days you are just too busy!
Keep a good stash of suitable snacks and foods on hand or in the cupboard!
Get organised. I did all my shopping on the weekend (I loved the shopping lists and printed these of every week, just adding to them any extra stuff I needed), so I wasn’t stopping by the shops during the week which could have tempted me many times to buy stuff I just didn’t need!