"I lost 25kg after a rough time with Crohn’s disease and thyroid issues"
Katrina Hess’s twenties were plagued with illness and exhaustion, so she vowed to do things differently in her thirties – starting with her weight.
Katrina's weight loss story
Name: Katrina Hess
Weight loss: 25.5kg
Was: 87kg | Now: 61.5kg
Height: 1.58m | Age: 31
How long it took: 8 months
How she did it: Group Coaching at Waterford, Qld with Coach Brian Grainger.
Then & Now
“ One of the first things I learnt was how to say ‘no’. I’d spent my twenties bending over backwards for everybody else, but I realised I was just as important.”
Throughout my twenties I spent so much time feeling sick and scared. I’ve got Crohn’s disease and problems with my thyroid, which caused a lot of pain and sapped me of energy. I was also told by my doctor that I had high cholesterol, so would soon need to start taking medication. As my 30th birthday approached, I realised I’d been letting my size stop me from doing the things I wanted to do. I’d always wanted to go bungee jumping, but was worried the rope would snap due to my weight. I have four children, too, and wasn't keeping up with them. One day my son came home from school and said his friends had been picking on him for having a fat mum – I felt terrible that I wasn’t doing anything to prevent him experiencing that.
The ‘click’ moment
I felt like I’d already reached middle-age, even though I was a good 20 years off that, and I didn’t want my thirties to be as unhealthy as my twenties. I worried I’d die young and not get to watch my kids grow up. In the past I’d managed to lose 20kg on my own, but I put it all back on, so I knew I needed accountability. When I lamented to my husband about my weight, he said, “You chose to eat”, and that fuelled my fire – I knew I had to do something to change, so I joined Weight Watchers. One of the first things I learnt was how to say ‘no’. I’d spent my twenties bending over backwards for everybody else, but I realised I was just as important. The first time I said no was really hard – I had to be firm with friend and insist that I didn’t want any cake. She was persistent and kept trying to make me have some and I ended up throwing it in the bin to make my point!
Slow & steady wins the race
At the start the weight came off fairly easily, but when I got to the halfway mark, it slowed down. Thoughts would go through my head like, “Why am I bothering with this?” but when I looked back at my progress online, I saw how far I’d come and that motivated me to keep going. I knew the graphs at the end of the journey would look even better! Since losing weight, I’ve halved the amount of medication I need to take, been amazed at my energy levels and I’ve even become a Weight Watchers Coach. My husband says I smile a lot more and, I have to admit, I feel much sexier in my thirties than I did in my twenties!
How I stay motivated
1. Forget the finish line. It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. You can have your treats and enjoy them too, just make room for that in your SmartPoints Budget.
2. Recruit a cheer squad. I rang family and friends to tell them what my weight was for the week. Even if it was a small loss, they made me feel like it was big. If I ever felt disappointed, they cheered me up.
3. Remember why you started. If I ever felt like quitting, I reminded myself what it felt like to be sick and on medication.
4. Practice makes perfect. I kept telling myself I was setting up good habits that I could continue each day so the weight loss would last.
5. Look up SmartPoints before eating. On my first day doing Weight Watchers I had two slices of banana bread and a large skim coffee for morning tea. I thought I was being healthy because the banana bread was made with fruit.