Andrea's weight loss story
Name: Andrea Salmeron
Weight loss: 12.3kg
How long it took: 7 months
How she did it: Online Coaching
Then & Now
My expert tip: “You don’t have to make dramatic changes. Little adjustments can make a big difference.”
Shredding for the wedding
Andrea Salmeron is getting married in a matter of weeks and, at her latest fitting appointment, her dressmaker wasn’t very happy with her. “She said, ‘Andrea! You really shouldn’t have bought a size 14; a 10 would have been perfect.’ I turned to the mirror and couldn’t believe how beautiful I looked,” she says.
“The dressmaker was pinching the dress in and saying, ‘We’ll have to take it in here, and at the waist, and there’, and I looked at my body and I thought, ‘Wow, this is it. This is what I wanted.’ I know it sounds silly, but I got emotional. It made me cry tears of happiness that I could finally look in the mirror and not be so depressed by the reflection in front of me.”
"I cried tears of happiness that I could finally look in the mirror and not be so depressed by the reflection in front of me.”
From a size 14 to a 10 wedding dress
That happiness and excitement comes in stark contrast to the memory Andrea has of the day she went wedding dress shopping with her mum and sister, Nathalie, late last year and came across the perfect gown. When the 32-year-old bride-to-be came out of the fitting room, her mum and sister told her how beautiful she looked.
“But instead of being excited when I looked in the mirror, all I could think about was how big my arms looked in my dress and how many chins I could see from every angle,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘I can’t feel like this on the most important day of my life.’” She knew she had to do something.
Andrea had lost weight successfully with Weight Watchers back in 2009, after a difficult break-up, but then she met her fiancé, Oscar, four years ago and, she says, “the relationship kilos came”.
Rejoining Weight Watchers for the wedding
She rejoined the Program in January, soon after trying on wedding dresses. “Before that, I had been to see a personal trainer at a gym who wanted to micro-manage everything I ate, and wanted me to be on what I like to call the ‘chicken and broccoli’ diet,” says Andrea. Her sister reminded her how well Weight Watchers had worked for her previously.
“Ever since joining up again, I’ve enjoyed life. I love the Program’s flexibility. I knew that as long as I ate the right amount of SmartPoints a day, I was going to lose weight – no matter what I ate.”
Flexibility with eating and enjoying food was key
Andrea comes from a Latin- American family – both her parents are from El Salvador – who love to celebrate life with regular get-togethers and plenty of food. She’s also a believer in a glass of wine and some cheese on a Friday night at the end of the long working week. She needed an eating plan that would fit in with her life and allow her to continue enjoying the simple pleasures, so the Program was a perfect match.
Little tweaks led to long term success
“I’m also an accountant,” says Andrea, “so I love that I get to count everything. I save most of my SmartPoints for dinner so I can come home and enjoy a nice meal with Oscar. And I’ve found that little tweaks to what I eat have made the biggest difference.”
At work, Andrea often has fruit on the go, and toast with tuna for lunch. “That’s a big change compared with when I’d stop at Macca’s for coffee and hash browns,” she says. “And I love pizza, so I worked out which pizza base at the supermarket has the lowest SmartPoints value and I’ll buy that, with lots of healthy, delicious toppings, on the way home from work.”
Finding time to fit in exercise
In addition to working full time and planning a wedding for 100 guests, Andrea is also in the midst of continuous study for extra qualifications, and also offers out-of-hours work, such as tax returns, on the side. It doesn’t leave much time for exercise, but she still finds ways to squeeze it in.
“I have friends in the bodybuilding industry who say to me, ‘Come on, Andrea, let’s go squat, you’ve got to have a good booty for your wedding,’” she laughs. “I probably should hit the weights to get a bit firmer, but at the moment my routine consists of walks and spring-cleaning – it’s amazing how much you sweat when you’re scrubbing windows and floors. It all counts.”
Bring on the honeymoon shopping spree!
While getting ready for a big night out used to be a cause of stress – and tears – Andrea is now looking forward to going clothes shopping, and is holding out for the couple’s five-week honeymoon in the US and Mexico to reward herself with a spree. “I can’t wait. We’re going to LA, Vegas, New York, Texas and then Cabo, Mexico – I’m going to go nuts shopping.
"I don’t want to be a Victoria’s Secret model; I just want to wear nice jeans and a tight top and feel good and happy in my own skin."
“I used to be really hard on myself – horrible to myself – when getting ready for a night out. I would cry because I felt fat here, and I didn’t like this, and it was depressing,” she says. “Now, I put something on and think, ‘Yep, I can wear that, it looks good.’ It’s the best feeling. I don’t want to be a Victoria’s Secret model or anything; it’s just that I can wear nice jeans and a tight top and feel good and happy in my own skin.”
Feeling empowered and driven in life
Andrea can’t believe how much getting to Goal has improved her confidence, too. “It’s given me this feeling of empowerment and drive to do better in other areas of my life, which I never had before,” she says.
“I’ve never felt better in my life – physically and in my career as well. Everything is on point. I haven’t been this small in my whole adult life. And I’m not super-skinny or anything. I’m quite a curvy girl, but I feel good about myself. And that’s what I wanted.”
Andrea's top weight-loss tips
1 | Do it your way
“When it comes to weight loss, you don’t have to ‘go hard or go home’. I often enjoy a glass of wine or chocolate on the Program, and I still lost weight. Whenever friends or family try an extreme diet where they’re depriving themselves, I think, ‘Why torture yourself? You’re only setting yourself up for failure.’”
2 | Be consistent
“Before Weight Watchers, I always wanted to lose 5kg in a week and keep it off. I now know that even a loss of half a kilo a week is gold if I just keep going.”
3 | Keep your eyes on the prize
“You really can’t achieve anything without a proper plan. Keeping track of your SmartPoints and progress will show you where you went wrong or right, and seeing the results motivates you to continue.”