"I love running around with the kids!"
Lorena's weight loss story
Name: Lorena Antoun
Weight loss: 18 kg
Was: 82.9 kg
Now: 64.9 kg
Height: 174 cm
How long it took: 6 months
How she did it: 1-on-1 coaching at Roselands, NSW, with Coach Helen Mihos Skanavis.
Then & Now
Before I was a mum
Before I had kids, I was always happy with my weight, even though I was probably a little heavy even back then. After I had my first baby, JJ, now 10, the kilos piled on and I couldn’t get rid of them. Years later when my two daughters came back-to-back I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve had more babies, my body’s changed. I’ll never be slim again.’ But I didn’t watch what I ate and I never exercised. It didn’t occur to me that there was a middle ground: I thought the only way was to not enjoy food or to exercise until you dropped.
I tried all the diets
Food was a problem, though. I felt very controlled by it. A few times I tried to lose weight by using meal-replacement shakes or doing detoxes. They worked while I did them but I put the weight back on as soon as I stopped. During those times, when my husband would say to me, ‘Let’s go to the club for dinner,’ I had to say no, every time. I thought there was no way I could eat there as I knew I’d say, ‘Oh well, that’s it. I’m having chips tonight!’ It made me feel really out of control.
My trigger occurred after I had my third kid
My weight was piling on and after my third child I knew I needed to do something. Even my jeans and tracksuit pants – the things that always fit me – didn’t fit anymore. I wasn’t happy. The real wake-up call, though, was going to my doctor and being told, ‘If you don’t lose weight soon, you’ll be diabetic by the time you’re 40.’ I was 31 and it was an awful thing to hear. I’d had gestational diabetes and didn’t want to live like that for the rest of my life.
WW was in my family
When my sister was 18 she’d joined WW and lost 40kg. Accepting that I needed to make a big change – and thinking about her success – I started the Program on the first Monday of 2014. I was really nervous; I knew it was serious. It wasn’t a four-week diet so I could lose weight for a wedding or a holiday, this was committing to a change for life. But I was ready; I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Honestly, it was the easiest change I’ve ever made.
"My coach, Helen, showed me a picture of a balloon: it needs to be inflated enough to be full, but not too full or it’ll pop, and not too empty because then it can’t support itself. That’s what your stomach is like, too. "
I could eat whatever I wanted
On Weight Watchers, I could eat whatever I wanted - no more turning down meals at the club with my husband. I’m a really picky eater and when I considered diets I’d be put off by the food that was recommended. I assumed that foods for weight loss would always be things I didn’t like. WW gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted, within limits, and I was never, ever hungry. My coach, Helen, showed me a picture of a balloon: it needs to be inflated enough to be full, but not too full or it’ll pop, and not too empty because then it can’t support itself. That’s what your stomach is like, too. Keep it full enough, but never too full and never too empty. I had it in my head that you had to be starving on a diet, but Helen showed me that wasn’t true. It’s such a simple idea but it really changed my thinking. Instead of starving myself all afternoon – which meant I’d be ravenous at dinnertime – I’d have a small snack in the afternoon so I wouldn’t gorge myself in the evening.
Exercise wasn't my thing
Before I started WW, I hardly did any exercise because I didn’t enjoy it whatsoever. I used to feel lethargic all the time – even walking up and down the stairs was a huge effort. I’d make up excuses for why I couldn’t throw the ball around or play hide and seek with the kids. Once I got started on my journey, I bought a pedometer and started counting my steps. Soon I was walking 2.5km four times a week - and loving it! I’m not someone who enjoys smashing themselves with exercise, even now, but it’s given me so much more energy. Instead of making up excuses, I’m the one that initiates playing games with the kids – I love that. Before, I’d have left a Zumba class after 15 minutes. Now, I do the whole thing and feel great!
The ripple effect
“Weight Watchers is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m so happy I decided to join. It’s had a ripple effect on the people around me – a good friend has lost more than 30kg. My sister-in-law, who thought she’d be overweight for the rest of her life, has lost more than 40kg and is now a size eight. We’re so proud of her.”
MY “A-HA” moments
1. “My husband is a tiler and a few months after I reached my goal weight I was helping him unload some tiles from his car. I picked up a 20kg bag and said, ‘Oh my God! That’s so heavy!’ He said, ‘That’s how much extra weight you were walking around with.’ Recognising how far I’d come was a big moment for me.”
2. “I had a pair of jeans that I’d worn before I fell pregnant with my second child. I packed them away thinking they weren’t going to it for a while. After my third baby, they wouldn’t go past my knees. When I started WW, I thought, ‘I’ll put these on again in a few months.’ After a few weeks, I couldn’t help myself. I put them on and they were so baggy – they looked terrible! It was such a cool moment to have them slide right on!”
3. “My sister has a two-door car and I used to hate getting in the back because it was a real struggle for me. After a month or so of WW, I got out of her car one day and didn’t even think about it – then I realised, ‘Wow, that wasn’t as hard as it used to be.’”
Lorena's weight-loss tips
Your must-do each day to help you stay on track?
Plan brekkie, healthy snacks, lunch and dinner
First time you realised you were overweight?
When I went shopping for a dress and brought one because it fitted not because I like it
Why you love WW?
The balance and the variety I can enjoy
How did you feel on the day of the photo shoot?
It felt amazing! Everyone made me feel wonderful
What do you love about feeling healthy?
Being strong and fit