“I found the courage to do what makes me happy”
Dayna's weight loss story
Name: Dayna Lister
Weight loss: 35.2kg
How long it took: 1 year
How she did it: Group Coaching with Andrea Krikke, Tammy Schluter and Anne Winzar in Alice Springs, NT.
Then & Now
Gainning weight in my 20s
Like many women, Dayna Lister first noticed she was gaining weight when she left her active teens behind and started studying full time in her 20s. Her mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis and an unhealthy relationship with her then-partner meant the scales kept moving upwards through her 30s. “Much of my weight gain was caused by sadness,” says the regional manager, who put her life on hold to nurse her mother through her illness.
Focus on me
Following her mother’s death in 2013, Dayna started prioritising herself again. “Losing a parent makes you reassess what’s important in your life,” she says. “I decided to do what made me happy, so I found the courage to leave my bad relationship.”
Success in the past
Having found success with Weight Watchers in the past, Dayna also decided to reclaim her health and body by signing up for group meetings. “The accountability of the weekly weigh-ins is great for me,” she says. “I like that I can talk to a real person about what’s happened in my week and get their advice about how I can do things differently going forward. But even more than that, I get so much out of talking with the other members of my group and hearing their stories. If I can help someone else by sharing my own journey and showing them they’re not the only one facing challenges, that’s amazing.”
One of the biggest changes Dayna has made to her lifestyle is to start working out. “I danced and played basketball when I was a teenager, but hadn’t done much exercise since then,” she says. “When I started Weight Watchers, a foot injury made it difficult to do weight-bearing exercise so I tried swimming. As I got fitter, my foot got better so I began walking. I’ve now built my way up to walking 5km each morning. I often tackle Anzac Hill in Alice Springs. It’s quite steep and a good challenge!
“I used to hate people who talked about not being able to go without exercise – but now I’m one of them!”
For Dayna, finding an exercise buddy has really helped her commit to a daily workout. “My cousin, Regan, has been one of my biggest supporters as I’ve been losing weight,” says Dayna. “She and I walk together every day. With Regan, each walk goes by really quickly and doesn’t feel like an effort at all. Exercise really energises my soul.”
When it comes to eating healthily, Dayna says small changes have made all the difference. “Have breakfast every day,” she advises.
“Make eating well a convenience not a chore. Carry fruit in your bag. Eating more fruit and vegetables has really helped me feel full for longer.
“I travel a lot for work, so being able to make nutritious meals on the road is important. When I’m travelling, I pack a portable grill so I can easily cook lean meat wherever I am. I also bring freezer bags full of chopped, fresh vegies to microwave and add to meals.”
Since joining Weight Watchers, Dayna says she’s grown comfortable in her own skin. “I used to hate joining in social events because I didn’t like how I looked or felt in my clothes,” she says. “But I’m now happier in the way I look and feel about myself, which has grown my confidence.”
She is also now in a new relationship. “The relationship I have now is healthy, positive and loving. I’m so happy with where my life is before now and where it’s going.”
“It’s okay to say no”
Dayna says she used to feel pressured to overload her plate at a work function or a catch-up with friends.
“Through doing Weight Watchers, I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no to eating things you don’t want to eat,” says Dayna. “Only you can decide what’s right for you. And don’t be afraid to bring your own options to things like work morning teas, if you want to. It’s your choice.”
More than a number
“Weight Watchers has taught me that you can control what you eat and the exercise you do – but you can’t control the scales,” Dayna says. “So instead of getting fixated on your weight or the size you’re wearing, think about the journey. For me, losing weight has meant I’m healthier, more energised and my foot injury has improved. That’s so much more important than a number on the scale.”