Sarah lost 15kg without giving up any of her favourite foods

And she’s passionate about showing others how they can, too.
Published 10 December 2019 | Updated 30 November 2022

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Sarah's weight loss journey

Sarah’s mantra has always been ‘don’t cut out any food that you can’t cut out for the rest of your life’. Not only are they wise words, on her way to losing 15kg in 10 months she discovered that you don’t need to ‘ban’ any food to enjoy weight-loss success. You just need to be creative – and if her Facebook page, where she shares her recipes, is anything to go by, 30,000 people agree.

Sarah before and after

Eating normally is the key to success

“I’m a firm believer that people want to eat normally. They want to be able to enjoy their favourite sweet treat occasionally, things like sticky date pudding and apple pie, and resolving to ban them to lose weight just doesn’t work long term. Personally, I couldn’t face a future without my favourite treat, so as a former home economics teacher I set about devising healthier versions and then I started sharing them. People also want recipes that are simple and use everyday ingredients, so that’s what I aim to provide. People often tell me, ‘Because of you, I can have my treats and still lose weight’, but I simply devise the recipes. They do the work.”

Sarah's recipe website

Sarah has her own website full of her delicious recipes. She creates yummy recipes that use simple ingredients, are easy to prepare and that are wholesome for the whole family.

I conquered emotional eating

“I joined WW in January 2011 after seeing a family photo of myself at Christmas. I thought, ‘Gosh, you really need to do something about this’. I’d recently returned to Australia after 16 months living in South America. I’d really struggled there. My daughter, Alyssa, was only two, I missed my family, my then husband was working a lot and I did a lot of emotional eating to cope. Everything seemed to revolve around food and alcohol. Plus, eating healthily was expensive there. As soon as I joined WW, I started tracking what I ate. That helped me start recognising when I was eating because I was hungry and when I was eating for an emotion.”

Regaining some weight isn’t a disaster

“And it’s not a reason to give up, either. The top of my goal-weight range is 71kg and a couple of years ago I reached 73kg. It wasn’t a lot of weight but by then I was a WW Coach and I felt like a fraud in front of my members. It made me take stock and I realised I wasn’t being kind to myself. I’d just been through a divorce, I’d been focused on helping Alyssa with her emotions and I wasn’t talking to myself positively. There are times when life gets difficult – and that’s okay. But if you don’t face your triggers it’s easy to roll back into old habits. I’m now back down to 66kg and I try to stay focused on taking care of me.”

Sarah and Mandi

My ingredients for weight-loss success

“The first is food. I eat fresh, in-season ingredients, because they’re less expensive. And flavour is hugely important. If a dish is boring, no-one wants to eat it. When I’m planning meals, I start with protein and build around that, making sure I always have staples like turkey mince, chicken breast and seafood in the freezer. And I make sure I have Points-friendly snacks on hand, too, to avoid reaching for chips or chocolate.

“The second ingredient is exercise. I love walking and live near the beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Walking on the sand helps me to work on my fitness and my mindset at the same time. I switch off, immerse myself in the surroundings and give myself time to be me.

“And speaking of mindset, that’s the third ingredient. It’s important to be kind to myself, to know that it’s okay to have an ‘off’ week. Now I understand why those weeks happen sometimes and I know what to do about it. Plus, one rogue week doesn’t ruin the year! It’s like that saying: ‘If you have one flat tyre, you don’t slash the other three’. You replace the tyre – or the wobbly week – with a healthier one as soon as you get the chance. And you keep going.”