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"I’ve learnt how important it is to be happy with me."

When Alicia-Maree couldn’t walk without pain, she knew she had to do something.

Alicia-Maree's weight loss story 

Name: Alicia-Maree Beres
Weight loss: 23.4kg
Was: 89.6kg
Now: 66.5kg
Height: 166cm
Age: 26
How long it took: 9 months
How she did it: Group coaching with Raquel Oloughlin in Maroubra, NSW

Before & Now
Alicia before and after

"It’s important to remember that age is just a number, and getting healthy whether you’re 16 or 60 is a decision you won’t ever regret."

I started going out more and training less

When I was a teenager I worked out most days of the week. But when I turned 18 I started going out more and training less. It wasn’t until my 21st birthday, when I was trying to find something to wear, that I realised I was no longer the fit person I used to be. From the age of 21 to 25 my weight fluctuated drastically between 80kg and 100kg.

Before I fell pregnant in 2014 I weighed 102kg. Pregnancy was horrible for me: I was sick from the get-go right up until the hour I gave birth. I only put on 6kg during pregnancy and more than half of that was my beautiful daughter, Paloma. Everyone said I’d lose weight after I had the baby – but I didn’t! I put on 8kg, hitting 116kg in August 2015.

My posture changed from the extra weight

The more weight I put on over the years, the more my posture started to change – all that extra weight put a lot of pressure on my back. Plus, my knees, hips and ankles were in a lot of pain – I was only in my early 20s! I was an emotional wreck whenever I had to go out in public – my clothes looked horrible on me. I had to do something about it – so I started making changes and I lost 26.1kg on my own. But then I hit a plateau and couldn’t get any lower so I joined WW in November 2015.

I started to avoid social occasions 

Remembering how I felt before I lost weight was what kept me motivated and devoted to the Program regardless of what the scales showed. I used to be tired all the time. I was sore all the time. I avoided social occasions because the anxiety of finding something to wear was too much. There were times when even though I was dressed and my hair and makeup were done, I couldn’t leave the house because of how embarrassed I was. I’d find any excuse to stay home. I used to sleep a lot and order takeaway food – I was very much a homebody. Now, rain, hail or shine, I love being outdoors. I love the sunshine and the fresh air. For the first time since I was in high school I’m actually looking forward to summer.

woman setting up outdoor dining table

"It took a  long time for me to start seeing the positives in life. Being negative was a defence mechanism – nothing could disappoint me further."

I bought myself a pair of goal jeans

When I joined WW I bought a pair of size-14 jeans. They were my goal jeans. By the time I thought I’d lost enough weight to try them on, they were actually too big! I’m so proud of myself and I’ve learnt how important it is to be happy with me. If you speak to the people close to me, they’d probably tell you I’m overly optimistic these days! It actually takes a lot for me to get stressed or upset about something.

My partner Chris is proud of me

My partner, Chris, 26, works six days a week and I have Paloma with me 24/7, so there are plenty of days when the last thing I want to do is cook. But even when we eat out, I love that I can use the WW app to pre-plan what I’ll order. I’ll swap the chips with my pub steak for two servings of salad. Or I’ll budget my SmartPoints® allowance so I can enjoy the chips as a one-off.

Initially, Chris found it hard to take my new eating habits seriously. Now he’s the first person to say how proud he is of me. It took a while, but he’s much more aware of what he eats and what a healthy choice is, too. I’d lost so much weight that all my clothes were too big and I looked scruffy all the time. Chris happily treats me to new clothes so I’m never stuck staring in the mirror crying, ever again.

Weight loss is both physical and mental

So many people have commented on my weight loss, saying how easy it must have been for me because of my age. This used to upset me because I worked my butt off to get where I am today. It’s important to remember that age is just a number, and getting healthy whether you’re 16 or 60 is a decision you won’t ever regret.

When I started WW I realised very quickly that it was a mental battle as much as it was physical. There are times when I’ve been lazy, and weigh-ins where I’ve gained, but I remind myself that not giving up is a step away from the person I was and a step closer to the person I want to become.

I can't wait for Christmas with the family!

My mum was born in Chile and South Americans celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December, so we always have a big family dinner that night. My dad was born in Croatia and we celebrate with a brunch that has enough food to feed 30 people – there’s only 11 of us, and two are babies! I’m not concerned at all about being able to control myself with all that food around as I honestly don’t crave the things I used to. I’m drawn to fresh salads and I don’t like smothering my meat in sauce – I want to taste it.

At the same time, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to splurge occasionally. It’s when you try to be too strict that you end up caving and feeling like you’ve failed. We’re so lucky to live in a country that has amazing summer days over the Christmas period, so if I do find myself eating enough potato salad to feed a whole family, I won’t beat myself up about it. I’ll be sure to get outside and move more.

I plan on spending every moment possible at the pool or beach!

I’m really looking forward to spending time with Chris and my parents these holidays. They’ll take some time off work and we’ll enjoy the warm summer air and spend long days in the sun and water. Last summer I didn’t spend one day at the beach because of the way I looked – this year will be completely different. I love the water and the feeling of the salt water drying on my skin. I plan to spend every moment possible at the beach or pool.

Alicia


Now & Then 

Old habits  New habits 
• I never ate breakfast and often I wouldn’t eat until 1pm or 2pm every day. • Even though I still don’t have much of an appetite in the morning, I make myself eat something healthy. I’ll have an egg and a piece of fruit with a black coffee.
• I drove everywhere and parked as close as possible to the door. • Now I walk everywhere. When I have to drive – like to the shopping centre – instead of waiting for a park near the door, I’ll take the first spot I can find, which is often the furthest away.
• I’d eat when everyone else would eat, regardless of whether I was hungry or not. • If I’m peckish because someone else is eating around me, but I know I’m not hungry, I’ll choose a piece of fruit or something low in SmartPoints value to keep me satisfied.
• I would eat while watching TV. • Now I sit at the table for 99 per cent of my meals. I don’t get the urge to pig out on the couch any more.
• It was hard for me to concentrate and I was easily distracted. • Mentally I’m a much stronger, more focused person than I used to be.
• I drank sugary drinks. • Every drink is sugar-free with the exception of my black coffee, which I have with one sugar for 1 SmartPoints value.