"Even though it’s not always a steady path, it’s worth the journey."
Jade's weight loss story
Name: Jade Zuccala
Weight loss: 34.2 kg
Was: 87.2 kg
Now: 53 kg
Height: 1.62 m
How long it took: 18 months
How she did it: 1 on 1 Coaching with Sheryl Enright at the Highpoint Lifestyle Centre, Vic, and Group Coaching with Carol Fraresso at Westmeadows, Victoria.
"There has been no magic bullet to my weight-loss success. Some weeks I’d lose a few hundred grams and some weeks I’d stay the same. But I kept plugging away."
Then & Now
Health and fitness weren’t my priority
Before I lost weight, I used to hate going clothes shopping – it was like the stages of grief. I’d be angry, then sad, and in denial – it was an emotional roller-coaster. Health and fitness weren’t my priority. I was only interested in going out and having fun. Plus, I had got my driver’s licence a few years earlier, so I had started driving everywhere instead of walking. It wasn’t until my new job asked for my uniform size that it hit me. I said I was size 16, but when the pants arrived, they didn’t fit.
Not quite ready
I had joined Weight Watchers four years earlier, when I was 19, but I wasn’t committed. I didn’t follow the Program consistently and just gave up at the end of 13 weeks. The week after I received my work pants, I went to WW again. I walked up to the entrance, but couldn’t go in. I knew I needed support, but I didn’t want to tell everyone in case I failed. So, I confided in one of the ladies I worked with that when I was ready, I’d commit myself one hundred per cent. The next week I was comfortable enough to walk through the door and sign up.
"It wasn’t until my new job asked for my uniform size that it hit me. I said I was size 16, but when the pants arrived, they didn’t fit..."
Learning new habits
My 1 on 1 Coach, Sheryl Enright, was amazing. She was so supportive and she made me accountable – if I didn’t do well, I was only letting myself down. My mum has been one of my biggest supporters, too. I call her after every weigh in and she is always really encouraging, whether I lose, gain or stay the same.
Learning new habits
Before WW my diet was awful! I used to eat fast or convenience food all the time. I would grab McDonald’s on the way home from work or get takeaway. But now I’ve learned how to fuel my body correctly. I eat fresh, wholesome foods and I feel so much better for it. I work odd hours, so I always make sure I have a healthy option available and a quick Weight Watchers frozen meal, so I don’t feel the need to grab takeaway on the way home. I still treat myself, of course! I’ll go out for dinner or have a burger – but it’s a treat now, whereas before it was my usual dinner.
Joining a gym was a big deal for me – I was really nervous about it. For the first month I hung out in the cardio area – on the treadmill or a bike. Eventually I met with a trainer and I got a weight-lifting program in place. The trainers have been so encouraging. I’m a bit of a junkie now and go five days a week – I love it!
I maintained Goal for 11 months
There has been no magic bullet to my weight-loss success. Some weeks I’d lose a few hundred grams and some weeks I’d stay the same. But I kept plugging away. I reached Goal on June 30 2014, when I hit 62kg! It felt terrific, of course, but by then I knew I could do better.
I maintained Goal for 11 months and then I joined up again to reach a new goal of 55kg. A lot of people wondered why I was there, so I took the pants that used to be too small for me and showed them how far I’d come. On July 27 2015, I reached Goal for the second time, weighing 55kg.
How to feel at home at the gym
I know how hard it is to walk through the door of the gym when you’re overweight. I was petrified! Here’s my advice on making the gym your home.
- Do it for you: Join the gym when you feel ready. You can’t do it for anyone else and you have to be committed.
- Get used to it: For the first month I just walked on the treadmill, rode on the bike and tried a class or two. Having this time made me feel more comfortable just being in the gym.
- Talk to the trainers: It can be intimidating, but once I was ready, I met with a trainer to create a workout plan. It really helped me reach my goals.
- Remember, everyone supports you: Despite what you may think, no one is watching you or looking at you or judging you! Everyone is there for the same goal: to be healthy and feel good.
- Keep it up: You’ll reach setbacks and speed bumps with your weight loss and fitness, but keep it up! Even though it’s not always a steady path, it’s worth the journey.