WeightWatchers® Coach and Ambassador Shellie shares weight loss journey during perimenopause
“My Why is to be the healthiest version of me that I can be. To be happy, to have fun and to confidence in my own skin. I want my children to grow up with a Mum who's living life with them, who's active and joins in with their sports or games at the park. I don't want to be sitting on the sidelines of life wishing I could.”
Tell us about your WeightWatchers journey?
“I first joined WeightWatchers at age 23 with a girlfriend in 2001 at Robina, QLD and lost 10kg. We went on an overseas holiday and I felt amazing being able to wear a bikini and not worry about weight restrictions when going on safaris.
Not long after I got a job as a Flight Attendant and I attended Workshops on and off over the years. Ten years later I was getting married and like many brides I wanted to feel and look my best so I rejoined Workshops and lost 10kg for the big day. I settled into married life whilst maintaining my weight.
In 2011 we welcomed our first son but with the pregnancy came complications. I gained over 30kg and was diagnosed with severe pre and post natal depression and gestational diabetes. I was in a dark place after his birth. I was struggling as a new Mum and had no energy. My zest for life was flat and I was finding it hard to walk just one flight of stairs in our home. I lived on the couch and didn’t want to leave the house. I knew I needed to lose weight, and I knew WeightWatchers worked for me.
I rejoined Workshops and was honest with my Coach and family and they supported me through my journey. I started by setting small really achievable goals, and not all were weight related. I wanted to do a fun run, be able to play at the park with my son and to hear myself really laugh again.
In 2012 close to goal weight, I entered the WW Healthy Life Awards - something I never thought I would have the confidence to do! I was selected as the QLD state finalist and loved being a part of the celebrations and meeting so many inspirational members.
Since reaching my goal weight and losing 28kg in 2013 I had two more kids and maintained a healthy weight gain with both pregnancies. I was fortunate that my gestational diabetes did not return. My Dr confirmed that this was due to staying within a healthy weight range throughout both pregnancies. I was able to do this by living the WW lifestyle I had learnt as a member.”
How did perimenopause affect your weight maintenance?
“At the age of 40 my body started changing shape. My weight started to go up and down and my depression and anxiety returned. My moods were all over the place. I was so confused at what was happening to my body. A blood test confirmed that I was going through perimenopause.
Over the next 4 years I lost weight, maintained and sometimes gained weight which brought on a whirlwind of emotions. What I now focus on is how I can best fuel my body, what my body needs to be healthy and strong so I can be the best version of myself.
WW has helped me through this part of my journey. The Points system steers me towards the healthiest options and I don't want to miss out on my family’s favourite meals. Knowing that nothing is off the menu is a great way for my mind to look at food. I'm a foodie, I love food and I love to cook! This approach to food ripples through to my children who love spending time in the kitchen with me to create meals together. It can get a bit messy creating meals with an 11, 8 and 6 year old but knowing I'm being a role model for them and teaching them how to cook and what different ingredients are, I find they automatically go for healthier options without being prompted. We still have ice cream and pancakes, creamy pastas and of course our favourite honey prawns!
Life's too short to miss out!”
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What do you love about being a WeightWatchers Coach?
“In 2015 I decided to become a WW Coach. I love that I get to witness our Member’s transformations. It's not just about the physical weight loss, it's about the confidence that starts to beam, the glowing smiles and hearing the excitement of how they are now living their best lives as well. I love hearing them share how they are doing things for the first time that they were never able to do before, or ever thought were possible!
I can still remember the first time I fit down a slide at the park with my son and the absolute joy and elation I felt, and this resonates so much with me when members share their wins. As Coaches we hear the most amazing stories, “I didn't need a seat belt extender”, “I wore a pair of swimmers to the beach and felt good in my skin”, “I jumped on a trampoline for the first time in 30 years”, “My Dr is so happy with my tests that I no longer need certain medications”.
Being a member first I can really relate to everyone's personal journey, the ups and downs and how sometimes life can be really busy. By taking one small step at a time and setting one small goal each week we can all be successful. The whole WW community inspires me on my own personal journey too.”
How has WW changed your relationship with food?
“Growing up in my teens and twenties, I tried many different diets, shakes and spending hours at the gym, even cutting out major food groups to lose weight. Sure some of these worked in the short term but as soon I felt deprived or starving I'd fall off the wagon, overeat and the emotional side of me would think I was a failure so I would eat more to comfort myself. Then Monday would roll around and I'd start all over again.
WeightWatchers has taught me that all foods can be enjoyed which has taken away the negative thoughts that I used to have by indulging in my favourites like cheese platters or a glass of wine with pizza. Instead I now track these foods and by using ZeroPoint foods I can fit them into my week and enjoy them.”