Anna & Peter's weight loss story
Name: Anna Benbow
Weight loss: 14.1kg
How long it took: 6 months
How she did it: Group Coaching with Carol Fraresso in Essendon, Vic, and then with Arie VanderMerwe in Preston, Vic.
Name: Peter Traianou
Weight loss: 9.4kg
How long it took: 6 months
How he did it: Group Coaching with Carol Fraresso in Essendon, Vic, and then with Arie VanderMerwe in Preston, Vic.
Then & Now
Sleep deprived, overweight and stuck in a rut, Peter Traianou and Anna Benbow needed a change. They’d celebrated the birth of their second son, Miles, in May 2015 and – although they were filled with love and joy for their little family – they were exhausted.
“Miles was a tricky baby,” says Anna, who admits it wasn’t an easy year. “He was colicky and he never slept – we were all physically and emotionally worn out.” Anna gained most of her weight during her pregnancy and although she easily lost 10kg after giving birth – chasing around after their first son, Eddie, 2, helped with that – she still had some weight to lose and joined the Program at 85.1kg.
“WW is something we do together. We track, count SmartPoints and go to meetings together.”
“Pete’s cousin had done WW. She and I had very similar pregnancies and it worked really well for her, so I decided to give it a go,” says Anna. Peter hopped on board, too. “I wanted to support Anna, but I also wanted to lose some weight and feel better about myself,” he says.
For Anna, Peter’s support meant everything. “I probably wouldn’t have lasted if Pete wasn’t doing WW with me – it was just beautiful of him and I was surprised by how dedicated he was,” she says.
Breaking bad habits
The couple bought a house shortly before Miles was born and they loved spending time at home. Like many new parents, their idea of relaxation was watching TV, not to mention mindlessly snacking after the children were in bed.
“We had to change everything – we were eating for the world,” laughs Anna. “I was in the habit of having seconds after every dinner – it was like another meal,” says Peter, who has since realised that slowing down and having a glass of water before deciding if he needs more food helps him cut back. “I understood that I wasn’t hungry for the seconds, I just ate it for no reason,” he says.
Anna says she put most of her weight on when she was pregnant. “Food was my reward for carrying my baby, and I’d just eat.” Even after giving birth, the couple’s habit of night-time snacking continued. “I’d eat quite well during the day but at night it was a case of ‘bring it on’ and I’d eat everything because I’d survived the day with two young kids.”
Anna, who had been on WW years earlier, found this time around much easier. “I had a lot of SmartPoints because I was breastfeeding, so it was a kinder, gentler program for me,” she says. Cooking healthy meals is a big part of Anna and Peter’s life now.
“We get the WW freshbox so we have healthy recipes to follow that make it easy to track our SmartPoints allowances. With new recipes each week it stops us from getting bored and complacent with our meals.”
Doing the Program gave the ‘power couple’, as their Coach nicknamed them, the pick-me-up they needed.
Finding the energy
Looking after two young children – especially one with reflux and colic – is exhausting. Yet Anna still managed to find the willpower she needed to follow the Program.
“I was pretty single-minded about it, actually. I think because I knew it was the only thing I could achieve with two fussy babies. If I lost a kilo in a particularly sleep-challenged week, it would be really motivating! The weight loss became my reward to myself each week. I couldn’t do anything about my fussy baby, but this I could control,” says Anna.
For Peter, WW was something just for him and Anna. “It’s something we do together. We track, count SmartPoints and go to our member meetings together – it’s something outside the kids,” says Peter, who loved celebrating little weight-loss wins with Anna along the way.
Doing the Program gave the ‘power couple’, as their Coach nicknamed them, the pick-me-up they needed. “Before we did WW we were so tired from eating unhealthy foods and not being active enough. And even though we’re still tired, we feel like we’ve got more energy because we’ve started looking after ourselves properly,” says Anna.
“If we’re tired now, I just can’t imagine how hard it would be if we weren’t doing the Program and still carried all that extra weight around,” says Peter.
Enjoying new found confidence
Now that Anna has reached her Goal weight and Peter is well on his way, the couple are much happier within themselves. “I’m really proud of Anna – she looks amazing and she’s done really well. I’m happy that I was able to help her along and do my bit. We helped each other,” he says.
Anna’s equally complimentary of Peter. “Pete looks amazing – he’s always been handsome, but he’s super-hot now!” she says.
Peter, too, has noticed a difference in himself. “I do feel different,” he says. “I’m more comfortable in myself and the way I carry myself. I wasn’t shy before, but I definitely have more confidence in my day-to-day interactions,” he says.
Anna and Peter's weight loss tips
Regardless of your relationship status or how much weight you want to lose, here’s how to use Anna and Peter’s experience as inspo for your own weight-loss journey.
1. Make it easy
Follow Anna and Peter’s lead and make shopping for groceries and planning which recipes to cook, easy. If you can’t get your hands on a WW freshbox, map out your meals for the week and make and take a grocery list, shopping – research proves that planning like that pays off on the scales. Better yet, order your groceries online. That’s a smart weight-loss strategy because it leads to fewer ‘treat’ food purchases.
2. Aim for variety
Take advantage of WW’s ‘bank’ of Plan-friendly recipes. Trying new ones regularly will not only build your cooking skillset and stop you getting bored, food scientists have confirmed that trying new foods can make it easier to lose weight without feeling restricted.
3. Dish out the compliments
To your significant other, and yourself. Not only does research prove that paying yourself a compliment boosts your body image, paying someone else one is a health-kick too, for you and the other person. Love that!