Mel's Weight Loss Journey: How she lost 21 kg in 6 Months

Before and after images of Mel and her weight loss.

Before the weight loss, Mel had been living comfortably with careless eating habits and zero exercise. With long hours of work and teenage children to take care of, she had been neglecting her health and was constantly getting sick. Her moment of truth came when she saw an unrecognisable photo of herself - she knew she needed to make a change.

Name: Mel
Starting Weight: 84.9 kg
Current Weight: 63.9 kg
Total Loss: 21 kg*

*In 6 months. Individual results may vary.

Mel's Story  

How did you put on the weight?

Comfort eating, no exercise and generally not putting my health first.

Describe your life before the weight loss, including your eating and exercise habits. Are there any incidents you can recall where your weight was an issue?

I would eat whatever I felt like: junk foods, large portion sizes and lots of take away. I work long hours and study part time with teenage children to take care of too. I had poor sleep habits, poor health and was constantly getting sick.

I remember not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath, couldn’t do simple movements without feeling so out of shape and down on myself. I was having to buy new clothes frequently as I was no longer fitting my clothes, it was very depressing, I hated shopping.

What was ‘your moment of truth’ that made you decide you finally had to lose the weight?

I saw a photo of myself and didn’t recognise the person I saw. I looked old, fat and so unhappy, even though I was smiling in the picture. I knew I needed to make a change.

Have you tried other diets in the past and why did you choose the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?

Not as such, I have tried just eating healthier. A work colleague had been doing TWD, so then I googled diets and it came up, after reading a bit about it I thought why not.

Mel's after photos of her running and hiking

Did you overcome any health ailments after the weight loss?

Yes, I had been having heartburn medication daily, after an exploratory surgery for persistent heartburn. I no longer need medication. I also was having knee pain which has disappeared now.

Describe a typical day now in terms of what you eat (including favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe from the program) as well as exercise?

I get up and go to a 5:30 am strength and conditioning class at a gym, I get home and eat oats or poached eggs and Burgen toast. I go to work and eat yoghurt and strawberries at morning tea and usually a salad with grilled chicken at lunch. For afternoon tea, I have an an apple as I drive home and then dinner is some form of protein and veggies.

I weigh my foods to keep my portion sizes correct and not slip. I still have the odd indulgence or take away but I make sure it's not all the time. Weekends, I run in the morning and I love the protein pancakes with strawberries and vanilla yoghurt, I look forward to these all week!

Describe how your life has changed since losing the weight? Are there any activities that you do now that you never thought you would be able to do before?

I can exercise and lift quite heavy weights daily at the gym. I can run 5 kms in 29 minutes now and do a hard-core conditioning class. I can move freely pain free and run around with my kids.

I sleep better and have no heartburn which has dramatically impacted my life in a positive way. My knees are also pain free now! My skin is clearer, and I have so much more energy.

Mel's before and after photos

Do you have any goals and aspirations for the future?

I want to run 5 kms in 26 minutes, personal best in all my main lifts at the gym and lose another few kilos to get to 60 kg.

What is the biggest lesson/s you have learnt from the whole journey?

Eating is essential and can still be enjoyable if you make good choices. It’s about learning what your body needs to function and giving it what it needs. Movement every day is essential for health, physical and mental. Food is not the enemy!

What advice do you have for others trying to lose the weight?

Just start, time goes by no matter what you do, in 12 months you will still be a year older, why not make some changes to be the best version of yourself. The benefits of starting far outweigh (pun intended) the sacrifices you need to make.

What are your top 3 reasons why the Total Wellbeing Diet worked for you?

  1. I was committed and weighed my foods religiously
  2. I followed the daily units
  3. The tracker helped to keep me accountable for each thing I ate and made choosing meals easier if I was out for dinner or away from home

Mel's day on a plate

Beef and Pearl Barley Salad

Breakfast: Berry baked oats

Lunch: Mediterranean chicken salad

Dinner: Beef and pearl barley salad with fresh chimichurri

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