"I stick up for myself more"

The support of her friends helps Clare Carley stay on track towards her goals.
Published 16 July 2018

Clare's journey to a healthier lifestyle

Name: Clare Carley
Weight loss: 45kg
Was: 135.5kg | Now: 90.5kg
Height: 185cm | Age: 34
How long it took: 10 months
Method: Workshop + Digital with Shellie-Anne Foster and Brian Grainger at Coomera and Waterford, QLD.
Follow Brooke on Connect: clarecarley84

Then and Now

A heartbreaking ah-ha moment

For years, Clare Carley was overweight and struggled to fall pregnant. When she finally did conceive, she tragically had a stillbirth at the six-month mark. “When I went to my hospital appointment after losing the baby, they told me I was lucky I hadn’t died, too, and that I really needed to sort my health out.

Clare’s best friend Heather had been going to WW and encouraged her to come along. “She had just joined but was already doing really well,” Clare says. Clare wasn’t convinced it would work for her, but she initially lost a little weight on her own after the birth of her son, who is now two, then she finally plucked up the courage to go. “Walking through the door was the hardest part,” Clare says.

Now she attends regularly with a group of five friends. “The WW program is the only thing that has really worked for me,” she says. “I love that it’s so flexible with my family. I don’t have to make two meals and it doesn’t feel like a diet because I can eat what I want. My husband has lost 25kg too!”

Being part of a strong support system

While Clare’s husband, Adam, and her children, Addison and Layla, 10 months, have been a huge source of inspiration and support, her friends have been the biggest influence on her new healthy journey. “Growing up in WA, Heather was my best friend at school. When I moved to Queensland 12 years ago, I only saw her once a year, but then she moved here, too, a couple of years ago so we see each other all the time,” Clare says. Heather lives near the ocean so she and Clare often meet up for beach walks. “Before, our ‘time out’ would usually involve sitting on the couch eating junk food, but now we make healthier choices,” Clare says.

Clare, Heather, and their friends Natasha, Jade, Peta and Janelle joined WW together and support each other on a daily basis. “We have a group chat on Messenger and we encourage each other and send photos of dishes we’ve made,” Clare explains. “We also love to meet up for walks and share recipe ideas.” On days when she struggles to feel motivated, Clare knows she can rely on her support team to help her keep going. “Having so many friends who are on the program is amazing,” she says. “There are six of us, so there’s always at least one person struggling on any given day. If I’m having a rotten day, my friends will say, ‘Let’s go for a walk tomorrow,’ or they’ll give me some great new snack ideas.”

“WW doesn't feel like a diet because I can eat what I want. My husband has lost 25kg too!”

Getting active with her family

While lower-back problems have limited Clare somewhat when it comes to exercise, she doesn’t let obstacles get in her way. “I do a lot of low-impact walking with my friends and my little ones often come with me, either in a double pram, or the toddler on a bike and my baby in a little pram.” Clare plans to start swimming and is also keen to try deep-water running. “I would like to give Pilates a go, too, to help with coordination and core strength,” she says.

Apart from losing weight and improving her fitness, Clare has noticed lots of other positive changes in her life – and so have her loved ones. “Recently my husband pointed out that my confidence has really increased. In the past, I would always let people push in front of me in a queue, for instance, but now I stick up for myself more.”

But the biggest change was one that her father saw in her on a visit home to WA. “My Dad is not a very openly emotional person, but when I visited my parents so they could meet my new baby, he said to my Mum, ‘It’s so lovely to see Clare with a real smile again, not a fake smile.’ I feel very teary even thinking about it.”

“It’s vital to keep going even when you’re having a rough trot; it’s not a time to give up. You wouldn’t slash all the tyres on your car because you had one flat.”

What Clare loves about WW

"It is so easy to follow even when you are super busy and there are so many ZeroPoint foods that you can snack on when hungry or build recipes around. The whole program works well for my family because it meals we are all eating more nutritious whole foods and are being more active at every opportunity we can get."

How Clare finds her inner strength

1. Keep pushing on

“It’s vital to keep going even when you’re having a rough trot; it’s not a time to give up. Be kind to yourself but push through. You wouldn’t slash all the tyres on your car because you had one flat.”

2. Build your support network

“I love using Connect because you can post at 3am and no one will judge you. Also try to find friends with a similar mindset for support.”

3. Be honest with your tracking

“Don’t say, ‘Oh, that was half a biscuit, it doesn’t count.’ The program only works if you’re honest with it and yourself.”