"I have a amazing sense of accomplishment."

WW member Kylie-Maree Moore has faced many challenges but none as tough as Mt Aconcagua.

Kylie-Maree's weight loss story

Name: Kylie-Maree Moore
Weight loss: 12kg
Was: 74kg
Now: 62kg
Height: 167cm
Age: 46
How long it took: 6 months
How she did it: Group Coaching with Ann Armstrong in Chermside, Qld

Then & Now

WW Lifetime Member and mountain climber Kylie-Maree Moore recently climbed to 6400m on Mt Aconcagua in the Argentinian Andes. “It was without a doubt the most challenging and exhausting thing I have done to date,” she says. And she has done some pretty impressive climbs, including Mt Everest Base Camp and the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Not bad for someone who once weighed 82kg and admits, “Physical fitness doesn’t come easily to me.”

Years of weight gain

While Brisbane-based Kylie-Maree says she put on a little weight due to a bout of glandular fever while at uni, it was in her first teaching job that she saw the kilos really creeping up. “We often had music rehearsals through lunchtime so you didn’t get a regular time to eat. Lunch was usually something quick from the tuckshop, which was often deep-fried and fatty,” she says.

“After four years my weight had ballooned to 82kg, so I joined WW and lost 15kg, but I didn’t go through maintenance, as I was travelling to the UK for a one-year working holiday.”

She ended up spending 11 years in the UK and put on about 10kg. “I tried losing weight but I’d always put it back on again,” she says. In 2009 she returned to Australia and in 2011 rejoined WW with her sister, Melissa. “It stuck this time because I realised the changes I made had to be sustainable for life. I got to Goal in six months and became a Lifetime member in October 2011. I had lost 12kg – a total loss of 20kg from my largest at 82kg – I now weigh 62kg.”


Climb every mountain

In 2012, Kylie-Maree set herself a goal to trek the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea for her 40th birthday. “For the training, I did multiple reps of Camp Mountain, the steepest mountain I could find in Brisbane, increasing the weight in my backpack each time. I was rewarded with an amazing trek and a wonderful experience.”

Fitness goals

She decided having fitness goals to work towards inspired her to work harder. So she trained for Tough Mudder in 2013, then set her sights on Mt Kilimanjaro. “I enrolled in one of only three gyms in Brisbane that have altitude rooms, and trained for four months. I also joined a team to complete the run section of the Noosa Triathlon and I ran my first half-marathon.” She climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, which is Africa’s highest, at 5895m, in 2014.

As preparation for Mt Aconcagua, in 2016 she climbed to Everest Base Camp and two other mountains in Nepal. “I also completed the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru, with heights of 4634m, and then climbed El Misti, a Peruvian volcano. This was particularly challenging at 5822m not only because of the altitude – every step is in sand, so you take one step forward and glide two steps back.”

The toughest climb

Kylie-Maree faced her hardest trek on Mt Aconcagua. At 6961m, the mountain is the highest outside Asia. She made it to 6400m but was forced to return to base camp due to altitude sickness. “In our group, only three people actually made the summit; the rest of us turned back because of severe altitude sickness at various stages of the journey,” she says. “Of the three that made it to the top, one had to have oxygen administered on the descent – this is one tough mountain!”

Despite the illness, Kylie-Maree says the climb was an amazing experience. “I have a magnificent sense of accomplishment. It’s the highest altitude I’ve ever achieved! I’m very proud. Five years ago I would never have thought I was capable of this achievement. I’m not going to stop here! Aconcagua, I’ll be back…”

Top of the world

These are just a few of the mountains and treks Kylie-Maree has attempted.

Mt Kilimanjaro
With three volcanic cones, Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the world’s highest freestanding mountain and the highest in Africa.

Mt Aconcagua
This mountain is the­ highest point in both the Western and­ Southern Hemispheres. Only about 60 per cent of climbers who attempt it reach its summit.

Salkantay trek
An alternative to the traditional Inca Trail to­Machu Picchu, it crosses the Salkantay Pass and passes another inca ruin, Llactapata.