"My knee issues have resolved"

With his wife’s encouragement, Peter overhauled his lifestyle and found a new passion for travel.
Published 9 March 2017

Peter's weight loss story


Name: Peter Archer
Weight loss: 24kg
Was: 93kg
Now: 69kg
Age: 54
How long it took: 11 months
How he did it:Group Coaching in Mt Annan, NSW, with Marie Elliott and Sharon Zenkis.

Then & Now

Peter before and now

"When I look at old photos of myself, 24kg heavier than I am today, I think, “Wow, what a huge transformation!"

Over the years, the weight crept on

I’ve never been a gym person or one to get up early and do a 5km walk, but I was fairly active when I was younger and even coached my son Nathan’s soccer team. Over the years, though, weight slowly crept on and the heavier I got, the more sedentary I became. Too much movement made me tired and the excess weight I was carrying was affecting my knees. I started snoring badly, tossing and turning throughout the night, then I’d be tired the next day. And my work days as a Baptist minister often involved a lot of sitting around chatting over coffee and cake.


I joined after my wife had success on the program

My wife, Joanne, was my inspiration. She joined WW 18 months before I did, after seeing her friends’ successes on the program. Joanne lost 10kg, reaching her Goal weight, and absolutely loved WW. She kept encouraging me to join, but I felt like it was more for women. I wasn’t sure it was right for me. The impetus for me to join came in January 2015. My daughter, Bethany, now 23, asked me to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb with her. I was a bit daunted – I’d get puffed walking up a slight incline – but was assured it was a ‘gentle climb’ and gave it a go. When we arrived we were given tight-fitting jumpsuits to wear. My stomach was huge in it. When I saw the photo of us afterwards, that was it!


In February that year I joined WW Online

Joanne kept suggesting I go to Group Coaching with her. After a month, I did – and I loved it! Our Coaches Marie and Sharon are brilliant They’re fun, knowledgeable, encouraging and constantly upbeat. From the first meeting I was hooked by their banter and positive attitudes. Every 100g lost is celebrated and there is never any judgment about a gain.


I’ve learned so much about portion control, a balanced diet and exercise

It was hard making healthy food choices at first, but now it’s become habit. I’m never hungry. In fact, I eat heaps! My food choices have changed dramatically Rather than eating processed foods, Joanne and I now choose healthy, fresh wholefoods. We make our own soups and pasta sauces with fresh vegies and I’ve stopped eating cakes and chocolates as a regular morning tea or afternoon snack. However, that’s not to say I deny myself treats from time to time. 

"If I need to travel to the city by train for work, I park my car at the farthest point, then walk the long way around the platform to get more steps in."

I synchronise my WW app with my fitness tracker

It’s so easy to look up foods on the WW app and get a quick SmartPoints value estimate. Sometimes I guess the portion size, but because I’m constantly monitoring my intake, I’m conscious of the foods I’m eating and my overall consumption balances out. I average 7000 steps daily and look for easy ways to incorporate more activity into my routine. I now work as a chaplain in an aged-care facility on large grounds and, rather than sitting around chatting, I visit people by foot. If I need to travel to the city by train for work, I park my car at the farthest point, then walk the long way around the platform to get more steps in. And I happily walk up four flights of stairs rather than taking a lift.

"It felt fantastic travelling light and having the fitness to climb 400 steps to the top of Florence Cathedral without panting or having knee problems."


My health has improved remarkably

I sleep more comfortably, I’m much more active, my knee issues have been resolved and I’m enjoying life more. Joanne and I recently travelled around Italy and Greece with both of our children. We averaged about 16,000 steps daily! Instead of lugging around 20kg suitcases, we pared it back to 7.5kg and carried backpacks. It felt fantastic travelling light and having the fitness to climb 400 steps to the top of Florence Cathedral without panting or having knee problems. There’s no way I would’ve been able to make that journey – or carry a backpack on top of my weight – before starting WW.


My confidence has also changed

Now, when I get dressed up to go out, I feel good. I don’t pretend to be a supermodel, but I don’t have a tummy hanging out anymore, and that feels so good. I’m a reluctant shopper, so throughout my journey, I wore the same trousers and belt but kept making more belt holes. Each time I put the trousers on I looked more and more like a paper-bag man with my belt cinched in around my waist and baggy pants! I lost about 10cm from my waist – it was incredible!

Joanne and I have both reached Goal but we continue our monthly WW meetings and actually look forward to them. It’s great catching up with our Coaches and WW friends. It’s a part of our routine, helps us stay on track and holds us accountable. WW has helped me so much that now I try to encourage other people to get healthy and active, too.

My support system


1. My family’s support and admiration of what Joanne and I have accomplished has been really encouraging. My kids can’t believe how well I kept up with them on our trip overseas!

2. Having great Coaches and regular weigh-ins is important for encouragement and accountability. Marie and Sharon have created an inspiring, supportive atmosphere – I look forward to going to meetings.

3. My WW app help me stay disciplined. They’ve been incredibly helpful in keeping me on track, recording daily progress and helping me to make healthier food choices at the click of a button.