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“I weighed more than my boyfriend who was 30cm taller than me”

Cushla lost 38kgs and has kept it off for over one year and shares her secrets to her maintenance success.

Cushla's weight loss story

Name: Cushla Loomans
Weight loss: 38kg
Was: 96kg
Now: 58kg
Height: 1.65m
Age: 26
How long it took: 22 months 
How she did it: Group coaching with Coach Wendy Meredith, at Hamilton, NZ

Before & Now

“ I’ve maintained my weight over a year now. It doesn’t even cross my mind that I have to do it for the rest of my life because this is simply my life now. ”

My story...

Growing up, I was overweight; I lived it every day. At my heaviest I weighed 105kg, so I joined Weight Watchers and got down to 78kg. It wasn’t my Goal weight, but I stopped because I moved to the US for two years. Most of that weight piled back on, until I realised I weighed more than my boyfriend, who’s 30cm taller than me.

Stepping on the scales after him and seeing my numbers flash higher than his was depressing. But, as awful as it was, it was also a blessing because it was exactly what I needed to make a change. Yes, I was unhappy. Yes, my clothes were too tight, but I’d tried to ignore that. I couldn’t ignore the fact that I weighed more than my boyfriend. So I took myself back to Weight Watchers weighing 96kg and after almost two years I hit Goal.

The family bond

Mum and I did Weight Watchers together and she was my biggest support. We’d always have a game plan about trying new recipes or exercises, especially if we had a bad week. She was my go-to person about everything – it strengthened our relationship.

My Maintenance journey

I’ve maintained my weight for a little over a year now and it’s brilliant! Over that time I’ve stayed within a few hundred grams of my Goal weight. I’ve found it quite easy because this is where I want to be. It doesn’t even cross my mind that I have to do it for the rest of my life because this is simply my life now.

My Maintenance journey has taught me that I don’t need to hide anymore. I used to hide in baggy, bulky clothes. I used to not go out and lived in fear that people would look at me and judge me. I also never used to feel comfortable eating in front of others – I’d cover my mouth with my hand if I had to eat in public, or I’d just wait until I could eat in private.

For me, the most challenging aspect of Maintenance is the same as when I was losing. While I was losing weight, people always used to say to me, ‘One bite won’t hurt’, or ‘One day won’t count’. It got so frustrating saying ‘no’ and then having to explain it over and over again.

A year on

People still pressure me to eat. In fact, it happens even more than it did while I was losing: people think because I’m not trying to lose weight I can eat anything. So I still say no and have to explain that I simply don’t want it. While it’s tiring navigating through that, I’m not changing my ways to suit others – I’m going to keep myself happy.

Cushla Loomans

My top 5 keep-it-off tactics

  1. Surround yourself with support: This can include your friends at Weight Watchers meetings. I still go to meetings every week.
  2. Enjoy what you eat: Food excites me – I love discovering a new recipe or cooking a new way. And keep your fridge and pantry stocked with a wide variety of good foods to help you stay motivated.
  3. Mix it up: I never used to try anything new, especially with exercise. These days I’ll give anything a go from Zumba and pole dancing, to boot camp and even a 10km fun run!
  4. Make no excuses: Don’t use bad weather as an excuse not to exercise. I keep a stash of different exercise DVDs on hand for rainy days.
  5. Celebrate yourself: I like buying myself new exercise clothes that make me feel good and that I’m excited and enthusiastic about changing into.