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 the last 6 months she has lost an incredible 19.7 kg!*
*Individual results may vary.
“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”.
A challenging decade
Janice wasn’t always overweight, but the past decade has been a challenging time in her personal life.
In the space of a few years she started a new job, lost her father, moved cities, was made redundant from her job and went through menopause. All of these big life changes caused her to find comfort in food and before she knew it she was heavier than she had ever been.
“It really crept on over time. I found myself buying bigger clothes and covering up, but I told myself I still looked okay,” Janice admitted.
“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 was also tired most of the time. I just didn’t feel clear in my head and had mild mood swings where I felt deeply frustrated and annoyed by the littlest things. I was middle aged, and I was frumpy”.
Time to change
When Janice saw the scales creep past 100 kg and a fracture put her in a moon boot for 3 months, she knew something had to change.
“I was a classic couch potato,” said Janice. “I have never been in love with exercise and as for eating habits, we ate a lot. A lot of pasta, a pile of potatoes with a big slab of steak or fatty sausages. And we always had dessert”.
In an effort to change their lifestyle, Janice and her husband signed up to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet together. They gave up alcohol for 16 weeks, started meal prepping, joined the private member support group and followed the menu plans to the letter.
“Hubby and I did this together and without him it would have been a lot harder,” said Janice. “A lot of women I speak to say they couldn’t do it without their partners commitment as prepping two meals is too much temptation and I agree!”
“Every weekend we download the new menu plan and it’s so exciting to see what’s new for the week. I also find that for me, an emotional eater, the eating starts when I print that menu plan and go to the supermarket and buy the food. The preparation is getting my mind involved with the food rather than just opening a packet, heating it in the microwave and eating mindlessly”.
“I can now definitely say 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”.
A new mindset
When COVID and lockdown hit Australia, Janice and her husband were about halfway through the program. As a small business owner, she had to temporarily close down her clothing business, but instead of falling back to her old habits in times of stress she decided to stay focused on her goals.
“Isolation during COVID could have been the greatest emotional trigger ever for me but I thought no, I have achieved so much to date and I wanted to come out of isolation looking my best so people would say ‘wow’. And that’s exactly what happened. I was so happy with myself”.
Now, Janice has a new lease on life and has even inspired friends to join the program.
“I never 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 I have a waist again! I feel 10 years younger and lighter. I am even sleeping better”.
“My stress levels are better and my mood swings are gone and now I am through menopause and on the other side, I look and feel like I did in my 30s”.