In 2011 I hit the lowest point in my life. I had recently lost my younger brother Rhys and I was going through a divorce. The pain of losing my brother was infinitely more excruciating than you can ever imagine. I had lost my one and only sibling, he was far too young even more painful, his death was avoidable. They say that when you lose a sibling you lose not only part of your past but also part of your future. I felt utterly lost.
I was suffering with grief, depression, loneliness and guilt and I found comfort in food. No wonder I hit 108kg - my highest ever weight. I became reclusive and would turn down social events, as all I could squeeze into were unflattering oversized balloon tops. My good friend made a collage of me using all my fat photos and told me "you were the fattest person I knew." One birthday my kind-hearted friends organized a night out for me with a limo and buffet dinner. I was grateful but I felt so uncomfortable I just wanted to disappear. I just had to grin and bear it and let them take photos of me for the night but I just hated it. I hated every single minute of that night.
I joined Weight Watchers and lost 8 kilos and got down to 100kg. WW's told me I should get some exercise so I joined a large local gym and they said they had a great trainer for me. Excitedly, I met with her and she suggested I should train with her 4 times a week, for $75 a session and I had to pay a month in advance. It seemed a lot but I was so desperate I was willing to sacrifice anything. She told me that in order to lose weight I needed to take a long list of supplements (seriously, I rattled when I walked) and I had to go on the Paleo diet. She only did weights with me and told me "you must do weights to lose weight" - she never recommended any cardio exercise for me. When my weight never changed with our week-to-week weigh-ins she would squeeze my fat with callipers, smile and assure me that I had lost body fat. After 5 months of this I felt defeated, I'd achieved nothing and I had wasted all that money.
I searched for other options in the area and I found Vision. My first consultation was with one of the owners of Vision Personal Training Randwick. We've all been the new person in a fitness facility and felt like we will be judged for letting ourselves go, but Wes made me feel at ease, comfortable and I felt like I was in the right place. My trainer then eased me into my program in a way that was appropriate and didn't shock me. I lost 2.3kgs in my first week. We set a goal of buying a leopard pair of trainers when I hit my first 9-week goal. No more cheat meals for me, it was now cheat-trainers and cheat-tights that I spoiled myself with.
It took me ages before I would do a group session (about 4 months) but I now find that is one of the highlights of my week. The community at Vision is warm and welcoming and the group sessions cater for all fitness levels. Everyone is there to achieve their own goal - whether it is to lose 3kgs, 10kgs or 40kgs. We draw inspiration from each other.
When I got to 75kg I was really proud of my 30kg weight loss but I still wasn't happy with the loose skin around my stomach, so I booked a consultation with a plastic surgeon. I found Dr. Ho to be professional yet nurturing and he suggested that the loose skin could only be removed through surgery. I was super happy with my tummy tuck and I now find it easier to run and I feel more comfortable training. I share this part of my journey quite openly because it is probably one of the less-mentioned consequences that comes with such a big weight loss.
I'm currently doing the 9-week weight loss challenge and my aim was to get under 70kgs. I'm proud to say my current weight is 67.7kg.
My current trainer suits me so well. I see him training other people differently to the way he trains me and that just means that he adapts to suit my style. He understands my extremes and helps me manage this, he identifies my emotions and he doesn't force me on the scales when I don't want to get on. Consistency is the key and also just keeping on track, sometimes you might go up a little but my trainer is always there to help me reel it back in.
I feel like I can never repay Vision Randwick. If I were not with Vision, I would be best mates with Menulog. My life literally changed the moment I walked into the studio. I am now 40 kilos less than I was when I hit rockbottom. I have reclaimed my old personality, I'm outgoing and I love being in photos. I actually did not realise how much living I was missing out on by being overweight. People say to me now when are you going to stop personal training and I answer why would I, it's a part of my life now. I like the routine, accountability and setting mini goals. I love shopping for clothes and I feel so happy that I can now wear nice clothes and exercise tights, a far cry from my balloon tops. I'm dating again and I feel confident to go out and meet new people.
I miss my brother and I grieve for him every day. Nothing or nobody can replace him. He was into fitness and would sometimes try to train me. He would take me to the gym and turn up the treadmill speed while gripping my hands on the bar and yell at me to run, run, run! He would be so pleased that I am now fit and healthy and living a fulfilling life that I am happy with. I smile when I think of how far I have come because I know that out of all the people in the whole wide world, my beloved Rhys would be the proudest of me.