2022 Healthy Life Awards Transformation finalist Maria Welch
Life before WW was hard not only physically but mentally. Physically, the extra weight that I was carrying meant that I was in constant pain due to the additional stress and strain on my joints. I couldn't run around with my kids or keep up with them even though I was desperate to do so.
Mentally, I was depressed and extremely self conscious. I felt really sad when I thought about the person that I had become. I had terrible social anxiety as in my head everyone was looking at me and criticising me for the weight that I was. I would always wear black baggy items as black was meant to be 'slimming' and I couldn't fit into anything else.
I read a quote that said 'Losing weight is hard and being overweight is hard. You just have to choose your hard' and it dawned on me that both paths have their challenges but at least at the end of the weight loss path, I would be happy and confident in who I had become. I realised that I need to take the leap to change my lifestyle.
I felt I needed the support of a Coach to get me on track and WW had a range of Coaches who had all travelled different journeys and could support what I personally wanted to achieve.
I have created many new habits thanks to the WW program and it has also helped to keep me in check. I used to overeat and starting WW was a bit like a reset button, reminding me how much food my body actually required. I learnt to trust the process and I always knew that if I was within my Points Budget, I would be fine.
I now eat a lot more fruit and veggies compared to what I used to and I include protein at most meals to keep me fuller for longer.
I lead a busy and demanding life so planning my meals is crucial and I always look ahead at what my day entails. If I know that I have a function or am going out with friends for dinner then I will ensure my breakfast and lunch are lower in Points or are lighter meals and vice versa. This means that I can keep within my Points Budget and I still get to enjoy the occasion so I don't miss out.
I also keep snacks in my bag, in the car and in my desk drawer at the office so that I'm never caught out and have something healthy to snack on should I need it.
The impact that WW has had on my life has been incredible. I am extremely proud of what I have achieved and the person that I have become as I am so much happier. I am no longer in pain from the additional stress and strain on my joints and I love getting out and exercising with my kids - I can even keep up with them and out run them!
Running has now become a big part of my life. I now feel like I'm flying due to being so much lighter and it is a great way to support my mental health.
I love going out and meeting new people as I am confident and value myself for the truly amazing person that I am. I can now shop at 'normal' clothes shops and love shopping as I can wear cute and colourful outfits.
I feel like the world is my oyster and for once in a very very long time, I am really excited about what the future holds for me and the opportunities that await.
My best advice for others is to trust the WW process and be consistent in what you do. Break your journey up into smaller more manageable goals so that it doesn't feel overwhelming and focus on achieving each small step as it all adds up. Don't cut any foods out, explore the supermarkets and find substitutes which have less Points or limit the quantity that you have. You need to live and enjoy what you eat.
If you feel you need a bit more support, get a WW Coach as it helps you to be more accountable and they will encourage you and guide you every step of the way. I have lost 45.6kgs over the last year with the continual support of my amazing coach Edwina Bailey. She has been beyond amazing!