"We met at our WW Meeting and fell in love with Jazzercise!"

Mags and Julia started Jazzercise for fun but soon realised it had serious health benefits.

Mags' weight loss story

Name: Mags Redhead
Weight loss: 53.4kg
Was: 120.8kg
Now: 67.4kg
​Height: 167.5cm
Age: 55
How long it took: 2 years and 3 months
How she did it: Group Coaching in North Ryde, NSW, with Coach Margaret Stewart.

"My blood results are the best they’ve been in years and I’m off all medication. I couldn’t be happier!"

Then & NowMags Redhead before and after

Moving from the UK was tough

After my husband and I moved to Australia from the UK in 2007, I felt quite isolated and missed my children back home. I spiralled down into depression and fell into a habit of comfort eating. Eventually, I was put on antidepressants and medication for my blood pressure, which was sky-high. My GP told me I was becoming insulin resistant and needed medication for that, too. I realised I was a ticking time bomb – I needed to do something.

I set smaller goals

I focused on little steps rather than the overall goal. If I’d focused on 50 kg I’d have thought, ‘I can never do that!’ It’s better to set yourself small, achievable goals. We have three hills on our street and for ages I couldn’t walk them all. I was so puffed. So I paced myself, tackling one hill at a time until I worked up to all three.

I'm addicted to Jazzercise

I didn’t really enjoy exercise before because it felt uncomfortable, but as the weight started to come off, I realised that I could do more and push myself further. These days, I love exercise! I go to Jazzercise five or six times a week – I’m addicted! It’s fun and a good aerobic, strength and core workout. Plus, I walk the dog 6km a day, I swim in our pool and on Sundays my husband Steve and I go cycling. We’ve also bought a kayak – so we’re really active.

I went from a size 24 to size 10

I’ve gone from a tight-squeeze size 24 to comfortably fitting into a size 10. My blood results are the best they’ve been in years and I’m off all medication. I couldn’t be happier!


Julia's weight loss story

Name: Julia Reynolds
Weight loss: 18kg 
Was: 89kg 
Now: 71kg
​Height: 168cm
Age: 60
How long it took: 2 years and 4 months
How she did it: Group Coaching in North Ryde, NSW, with Coach Margaret Stewart.

"I wanted to do it for me, not for anyone else."

Then & Now Julia Reynolds before and after

I was inspired by an 80 year old

When I first joined Weight Watchers, there were a couple of older people in my meeting, including a lady in her 80s who’d lost a lot of weight. I was inspired by her and thought, ‘If she can do it, I can do it!’ I’d joined a few years prior, but this time I was in the right headspace. I was more determined and I wanted to do it for me, not for anyone else.

I meet Mags and my meeting

We met at our WW meeting and just clicked. We go to meetings together, walk our dogs together and do Jazzercise classes together. Our husbands get on well too, so we socialise together – which makes ordering healthy options at restaurants easier!

A group of WW members went to Jazzercise

Mags came across a deal for Jazzercise classes and organised for a group of us from WW to go. It started off as a laugh-fest, but we really got into it! It’s a little bit like Zumba, done to music with cardio, weights and floor work. I go twice a week, but Mags goes about six times – she really loves it! I also go to the gym several times a week, and I have a personal trainer.

I challenge myself at the gym

When I first joined the gym, I was a bit hesitant. My youngest daughter worked there and encouraged me to join. In the early days I used to go in baggy tracksuit pants and a big t-shirt to hide my shape. As I started to lose weight, the classes got easier. A few years ago, I started seeing a personal trainer – she’s tough, but good. Every now and then she’ll up the ante, but I’m fine with that. Now I tell her if the weights are too light! I think you’ve got to challenge yourself or there’s no point.

Mags Redhead and Julia Reynolds

Mags and Julia's tip for success

Mags and Julia reveal how they broke out of their comfort zones.

1. Focus on fun
When the girls first started Jazzercise, they didn’t take themselves too seriously. “We stood at the back of the class and laughed, but that was half the fun,” says Julia.

2. Shake off self-doubt
The old Mags never would have tried cycling, kayaking or Jazzercise. “As the weight came off, I got more confident and realised that I shouldn’t be scared of new things,” she says.

3. Have a strategy 
Rather than cutting out treats entirely, find a smarter way to enjoy them. “I used to love snacking on chocolate, so I’d have a small bar as my Saturday-night indulgence,” says Julia. “It got to the point where I didn’t always crave chocolate anymore.”

4. Enlist support
As well as exercising together, Mags, Julia and several other WW members have a weekly coffee catch-up, plus a Facebook chat group. “If anyone is struggling that week, we’ll share tips and suggestions and offers before support,” says Mags.