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"By my wedding day I had lost 21kg."

When Kelly Karlson decided to put her health and happiness first, she not only lost weight – she gained a wonderful new life.

Kelly's weight loss story

Name: Kelly Karlson​
Weight loss: 25.9kg
Was: 95.1kg
Now: 69.2kg
Height: 172cm
Age: 27
How long it took: 2 years 
How she did it: Group Coaching at Belconnen, ACT, with Coaches Simone Riddle and Sarah Keating.
Year reached goal: 2015

Then & Now

"One of the biggest changes I made on my journey was to listen to my body and work out which foods agreed with me – and which didn’t."

I was overeating and being depressed
The first time I tried to lose weight was during my university days which was tough because there’s lots of drinking and socialising. The second time, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but the third time, I knew I wanted to lose weight for good.

My trigger that third time was just feeling really unhappy. I was in a great new relationship and I knew I wanted it to last for a lifetime. I wasn’t helping my relationship or myself by overeating and being depressed. While my partner – now my husband – loved and accepted me just as I was, my size 16-18 clothes weren’t fitting anymore and I thought, “I’m young, I want to wear fashionable clothes, and I’m not going down this road of being heavy for the rest of my life!”

I had to admit I couldn't do it alone
The hardest part for me was admitting I couldn’t do it alone. I wasn’t strong enough to say, “I won’t eat that.” In fact, I was hiding my food, secretly eating in my car when no-one was around. What I’ve found is that I need to keep going to weekly Group Coaching in order to stay on track. I need to hear other people’s stories and be around people who are on the same page – it’s really positive and helpful.

The easiest part of it for me was counting SmartPoints values and portions – it may seem difficult at first but I really like it. It’s a smart system and makes it really easy for me to plan meals.

I learned to listen to my body
One of the biggest changes I made on my journey was to listen to my body and work out which foods agreed with me – and which didn’t. Processed or refined foods, and anything with artificial sweeteners or a long shelf life, made me feel tired and bloated.

Another change I made was to find healthy foods that really excite me. I look forward to my lunch every day because it’s always something I want to eat. I love curried egg on rice crackers with a whole carrot on the side. Fresh dates are also a great treat. I’m always trying new things too. Recently, I’ve been making Date bliss balls from a Weight Watchers recipe and they’re gorgeous! For dinner I love grilled chicken salad. I alson make my own ‘ice-cream’ by blitzing frozen banana, berries, rolled oats and coconut water in the blender until smooth.

I got engaged a few months after I joined Weight Watchers. At that stage I’d only lost 8kg, but by my wedding day I had lost 21kg. I just wanted to be the best person that I could possibly be and on my wedding day, my dress fitted beautifully and I felt fantastic.

I'm nos excited to try new things!
Since reaching Goal my life has changed dramatically. I’m very active and I’m no longer hesitant to try new things.

I’ve done a 5km run, a 10km run, and my next goal is a 14km run – I’ve already signed up. I’m also doing the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge in August with a group of Weight Watchers friends. But my biggest goal is to be a mum – I want to be fit and healthy for my kids.

It’s little things too – I used to hate sitting down in front of other people because I was embarrassed about my tummy hanging over my jeans. Now I don’t have to hide behind a pillow or my handbag. I feel more carefree. I used to avoid mirrors but now when I see my reflection, I say to myself, “Good job, you’ve done well.”

Kelly Karlson

Kelly's top 3 weight-loss tips

Kelly used these smart tools to stick with her weight-loss goals.

  1. Never skip on coaching sessions: 
    Even if you’ve gained weight, resist the urge to skip your session. Go every week and own up to what you’ve done, then move on.
  2. Get in tune with your body: 
    Recognise which foods work for you and which foods don’t. When I reached Goal I bought myself a silver bracelet and had the words, “listen to your body” engraved on it. I wear it on my right wrist so I always see it when I’m eating. It’s a reward and it’s also a reminder to look after my body.
  3. Be selfish:
    If you don’t take the time to look after yourself then you’re no good to anyone else. Put yourself first and everyone around you will reap the rewards.