Melissa had been putting on weight gradually over the years, telling herself it was okay because her height made the extra kilos forgivable.
But when she saw a photo of herself taken last June, she made the decision to sign up to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, lost 29 kg* and changed her life.
*In 8 months. Individual results may vary.
“I have always been a reasonably healthy eater, but I have a sweet tooth and love to bake. I always followed meals with dessert, and that would be on daily splurges on chocolate and/or cake. It was getting to the point I would eat a whole packet of bullets on the train on the way home.”
“I decided I had to try something and stick with it this time.”
A few months after she decided she needed to take action, Melissa saw an ad for the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet in her Facebook feed and remembered that she had friends who had successfully lost weight on the program years ago.
She clicked through and the recipes and meal plans appealed to her, as did the science behind the program, so she delved right in.
“I think one of the biggest keys to my success with the Total Wellbeing Diet was the meal plan. The meal plan and shopping list gave me back the joy of cooking for myself. With so many diets it is about denying yourself all the joys of food and though I am not a real foodie, I do enjoy cooking (and eating!)”
“I haven't denied myself either. I have been out to afternoon tea with friends, had the occasional fast-food night and just made the deal with myself that the occasional bad day is nothing to get upset about. This is about healthy eating habits for the rest of my life, not a quick fix.”
These days Melissa’s health and fitness are worlds apart from where she started.
She saw a physio who helped her sort out a chronic back problem, she’s taken up running and she’s found the fun in exercise again.
“With this program there were almost instant weight loss wins. I felt better from the exercise, I am sleeping better and finding life so much easier. Everything was so positive, and the diet was so easy, that there were no excuses not to succeed.”
“I think so much of weight loss is mental. You have to be in the right mind set. People can tell you to lose weight, but if you aren't ready for the journey it won't make any difference. I see it on the Facebook group - people self-sabotaging or saying the diet isn't working for them. It does work, you just need to follow it.”
Try on old clothes
"Seeing the scales drop and finding clothes that fit you again is a huge boost. I had a goal to get into a skirt I bought about a year ago - which didn't fit me then, but I loved it so much I couldn't resist. Sadly, I missed the window of being able to wear it as the day I took it out of the wardrobe and put it on, it was much too big!”
Find an exercise you enjoy doing
“You will get more benefits from something you enjoy. And when you have found that exercise, tweak it to make it more challenging - extend your daily walk each week, up the weights you are lifting or increase the reps. There are dozens of resources at our fingertips these days and a bit of research will help you find the exercise for you. With increased fitness comes increased self-confidence which all helps to give a more positive outlook on life, and then we're less likely to look to food for comfort.”
Don't make excuses, own your weaknesses and lapses
“I found being honest about the chocolate I ate, or the chips I had, was a more positive way to deal with the lapse than pretending it didn't happen. Oddly I didn't have any sweet cravings - and I am a real sweet-tooth - but that didn't stop me buying the odd bar of chocolate or cake. But when I did, I didn't shovel it in guiltily, I relished it and enjoyed every bite. Enjoying the food you eat is so important and sneaking guilty treats just builds up a feeling of shame around eating, when really we should enjoy it. Making an event out of it as well stops you pretending it didn't happen. So plan the occasional treat (I love to bake so will happily volunteer anytime anyone wants something for a morning tea!) and enjoy it. The next 7 days, few weeks, months, years will all balance out.”