Losing weight saved Fiona’s life

Losing weight saved Fiona’s life

Poor eating habits, too much alcohol and an array of foot injuries led to weight gain in Total Wellbeing Diet member Fiona.

She was battling with multiple stress fractures in her toes, knee pain and plantar fasciitis, which was preventing her from exercising and forced her to give up umpiring netball, a pastime she loved.

Yet none of this was enough to spark a lifestyle change in Fiona, who admitted she didn’t think she had it in her to succeed on a weight loss program.

“I would eat potatoes, pasta, white bread and butter at every meal,” Fiona said. “The only exercise I was doing was walking and I would often take the easy way out – why walk when you can drive, why walk when you can read a good book."

“I was really sad that I had let myself get to this point.”

The turning point

When Fiona was diagnosed with fatty liver disease and borderline diabetes, she knew that it was time to make a change.

After researching different programs, she signed up to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet because there were no gimmicks, and she felt it would educate her on the long-term habits needed to eat well.

She threw herself straight into the program, using the website and tracking tools 3-4 times a day and, by the end of her 12-week program, she had lost an incredible 11.4 kg*.

*Individual results may vary.

“The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet program was a real education on how to get healthy,” Fiona said. “Following the menu plans and the shopping list made it easy to shop and prepare meals so I didn’t risk temptation, especially in those early weeks.”

“I tracked my meals, used the exercise program videos and the recipes regularly. I also weighed in and recorded my weight once a week.”

Saving her life

After the first 12 weeks were up, Fiona moved on to Program 2 to further cement the knowledge she was learning.

She continued dropping the weight and after 7 months of following the program, Fiona had lost 95 cm and 22.5 kg*, which is 23% of her starting body weight.

*Individual results may vary.

Fiona before and after weight

But while Fiona’s weight loss journey yielded amazing results, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

Midway through Program 2, doctors discovered a lump in her neck, which turned out to be thyroid cancer.

Thankfully the lump was removed, and Fiona is now cancer free and healthy.

She attributes the weight loss to saving her life.

“I would never have found the lump in my neck if I hadn’t lost weight – so I am very thankful.”

“My goal is now to stay healthy, walk longer distances, continue to umpire netball and every now and then have a glass of wine or a little bit of cake.”

Looking forward

Fiona is now back to being active, her liver problems have gone, and she is feeling happier and healthier in herself.

“My plantar fasciitis is gone, I’m sleeping better and better yet, my liver has improved, and I am no longer a candidate for diabetes.”

“I am now walking on average 4 to 5 km each weekday before work and when not in lockdown, I walk over 15 km on the weekends. I am back umpiring netball, and I also try to fit in water aerobics once a week.”

“I learnt so many things on the program. Weight loss on the scales isn’t everything – losing inches is the biggest tell. Measuring and weighing your portion is the key, and I still do that now.”

“The knowledge I have gained on this program has set me up for continued success. The program was a lifestyle change and one that has been easy to follow and achieve results.”

Top tips from Fiona

1. Be prepared and start strong

The first few weeks are important to gather momentum and set your routine.

2. Prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time

It’s much easier to grab a ready-made meal out of the fridge then it is to make it up in the morning. Making it on the day can lead to the temptation to buy something from a shop or make unhealthy food choices.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself when you do have a slip up

Recognise it, acknowledge it and move on. Weight loss won’t happen overnight, but it will happen so stick with it!

4. Use the Facebook group for help and support

I found the group supportive and when I needed advice and help, I received it. The group was pivotal to my success.

RELATED: Learn how to start strong and lose more weight

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