Janice: "I look and feel like I did in my 30s!"

Janice: "I look and feel like I did in my 30s!"

Making the decision to change your lifestyle takes a lot of commitment. Sticking with the new lifestyle during an unprecedented pandemic and country-wide lockdown takes a whole different level of dedication. But that’s exactly what Newcastle local Janice did and over 6 months she lost an incredible 19.7 kg!*

“I’ve been asked if it was easy and my answer is always this. Changing a habit is never easy, but once in the mindset you can achieve anything.”

Name: Janice
Starting Weight: 101.4 kg
Current Weight: 81.7 kg
Total Loss: 19.7 kg

* In 24 weeks. Individual results may vary

Janice's Story

Describe your life before the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet

I gained weight around the middle during menopause and the weight gain appeared in a different location to previous weight gain over the years. I had two spare tyres and the new one under my bust was most restrictive. It stopped me from bending over to do up my shoes with ease and it made me short of breath at times when trying to do basic housework. I also had severe reflux after most meals.

I was tired most of the time, I just didn’t feel clear in the head and I had mild mood swings where I felt deeply frustrated by the littlest things. I was middle-aged and I was frumpy.

In terms of eating habits, my husband and I ate a lot. I'm a stress eater so having a bad day at work would mean that I would eat a caramel tart from the takeaway shop with my lunch. Then for dinner, I would eat a lot of pasta, a pile of potatoes, with a big slab of steak or fatty sausages. And we always had dessert. Sometimes the two of us would eat a whole packet of Tim Tams at night as dessert! I also drank wine every night.

When I think back now it really is disgraceful what I was doing to my poor body. I was always waking up tired and would press repeat.

Why did you choose the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?

I have tried protein-only diets that starved you along with prescription medication. I also did many months of Lite n' Easy years ago. This worked temporarily but I still went back to my old eating habits and gained the weight again - plus some!

The catalyst for me was hitting 100 kg and hurting my foot. I had an MRI which identified a fracture. I am not an athlete, it just cracked under the pressure. My hips and knee joints were always sore and it was harder and harder to just stand up after sitting for a while. I had to wear a moon boot for the fracture for three months as it just wouldn’t heal. The doctor told me if I lost weight it would help, so when I saw an advertisement for the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet on television, my husband and I signed up.

How has your life changed since losing weight?

I never ever thought I would lose the weight around the middle. All I heard from other women was how hard it is to lose weight during or after menopause, but now I have a waist again! I can wear jeans and tuck tops in, instead of wearing bigger, baggy clothes and hiding. I have come down from a size 18-20 to a size 14-16 and that feels great.  

I have more fitness and I can now walk from A to B quicker and I am not tired all the time. No more ‘nanna naps’ on the weekends which means I can make the most of every day. I feel ready to get out of bed in the mornings and face the day ahead. My blood pressure has also gone from on the high side to normal.

I can definitely say that I have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I did this without exercise because when I was bigger, every time I did exercise I hurt myself, so I followed the program to the letter. My husband and I did this together and without him, it would have been a lot harder. A lot of women I speak to say they couldn’t do it without their partner's commitment too as prepping two meals is too much temptation and I agree! We also gave up alcohol in the first 16 weeks (and didn’t miss it).    

My energy levels have increased and I feel 10 years younger and lighter! My mood swings are gone, I am sleeping better and now that I am through menopause I look and feel like I did in my 30’s.  

What advice do you have for others trying to lose weight and reduce their junk food intake?

  • Just take a leap of faith and do it. Think about how much better you are going to feel and imagine how you will look. Every time I had a weak moment I would remember how awful I felt at 101 kg and visualise how good I would feel if I didn’t eat that Tim Tam

  • Give yourself permission to have the occasional indulgence as it will help you avoid the mental guilt trip which can end up leading to self sabotage

  • If you do slip up, get back to the program and re-focus 

Janice's day on a plate

Breakfast: Sweet spiced oats

Lunch: Deli-style beef sandwich

Dinner: Cajun chicken with salad 

To learn more about our 12-week online program, click here.

Get our latest blog delivered to your inbox

I agree to receive emails from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (we respect your privacy)