Karen's new lease on life

Karen's new lease on life

Karen had been slim her whole life, but after the birth of her second child, she noticed the numbers on the scales were increasing.

At first she thought the weight gain would be temporary, as she had never had a problem in the past, but as time went on, Karen struggled to shift the kilos.

“Back then I was quite physically active and busy with my children,” she explained. “But as they grew up, I became much more sedentary. The weight gain continued, and I tried a few diets, but each time I went off the diet my weight gain would take a leap!”

Karen’s weight continued to climb and by 2019 her body and health were suffering.

“I was having aches and pains in the morning and I had a problem with reflux. I had to be really careful what I ate, especially in the evening. I felt generally unwell and would get palpitations.”

“I was constantly worried about my health and whether I would have seriously ill health in old age like my mother and grandmothers did. On top of that, when I saw photographs of myself, I felt completely shocked by how I looked. I didn’t look like myself anymore.”

A new lifestyle

Despite trying multiple diets in the past, Karen had always seen these as a temporary fix rather than a change of lifestyle and because of this, the weight always came back.

This all changed when she joined the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online program.

Thanks to the menu plan, food tracker, online tutorials and community support Karen lost an incredible 13.9 kg* - and she has kept it off. 

*Individual results may vary.

“My success is a combination of personal commitment and having a thorough program that addresses all the aspects of healthy life: healthy eating, exercise, and community connection.”

“It was so mind-blowing to see what normal portions are, after years of overeating. I find the tracker helps me to plan effectively and I can adjust the menu plan with my own recipes or change snacks to stay within my units. This allows me to make the diet fit my personal taste and rhythms, so I never feel deprived of delicious food, or feel out-of-control hungry.”

“The program is very well-organised and that has been huge for me. It’s one thing to have the knowledge of what to do, but the Total Wellbeing Diet makes it very easy to stay on the program. Having that picture and weigh-in each week was great - it showed me I am heading steadily toward my goal.”

Looking forward

Karen has kept up her new lifestyle habits, going for daily walks and sticking to the nutrition principles of the program. She now maintains a healthy weight and makes the most of her newfound energy.

“I enjoy being able to wear the styles of clothes I love! I feel like my old (young!) self again. I get up every day feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep and I have so much energy! I find myself confidently trying new things. Last summer I tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time and I love it!”

“I never thought I would be able to enjoy doing sporty activities like paddle boarding…I would have been too embarrassed and nervous and thought that was for young fit people.”

“I’m hoping to learn scuba diving and go on a trip to explore reefs in Bali. I feel as though my life has opened up, just when it seemed to be closing down. I’m in my fifties but there are so many things I want to learn and do.”

Karen’s Top 7 Tips For Success!

  1. Find your motivation
    Dig deep and find out what your biggest concerns are, and what you would like your future to look like. When you start to struggle in the future you will be able to go back to your motivation and recharge your determination batteries!
  2. Take before photos
    You will get such a kick out of seeing how you have changed later!
  3. Make a commitment 
    Choose a time to begin that is realistic - not when you are moving house! The brain struggles to learn too many new things at once. Tell yourself that you are going to change your life for good rather than a short term plan.
  4. Reward yourself
    Start to reward yourself in other ways than with food. I found it fun to reward my goals with little things like nice soaps, a manicure, a new pair of exercise track pants (I made myself a bright pink pair for fun!) a new pair of walking shoes in a cool colour. Give yourself permission to enjoy the small things. Sit and enjoy that morning latte, really relax and notice what’s great about the day.
  5. Batch cook meals
    Use a slow cooker to make a double-sized family meal, freeze half for later, or freeze half in individual portions for lunches or dinners. Make a large quantity of mixed salad at dinner time so it’s prepped for lunch or dinner the next day. Cook a large quantity of brown rice or beans and freeze in half cup individual portion pods. So quick to add to a lunch salad! Bircher mueslis are great because you can make four at a time and have them for breakfast throughout the week.
  6. Snack healthy
    Keep healthy foods on hand that allow you to make a quick meal if you’re short on time like eggs, Ryvitas, frozen Burgen Bread, low fat cheese, high protein low fat yogurt, lots of salad and vegetables.
  7. Get active
    Walk to the store, to the train station, take the stairs instead of the lift, anything that allows you to work exercise into your daily life rather than it being a separate chore to do. 

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