Mandi's journey to a healthier lifestyle
Name: Mandi Adams
Weight loss: 26kg
Was: 87.4kg | Now: 61.4kg
Height: 164cm | Age: 32
How long it took: 16 months
How she did it: Digital
Then & Now
“The number on the scales doesn’t define you as a person.”
Dreaming of bikini confidence
Mandi Adams will never forget her ‘a-ha’ moment. “I was at the beach with my husband Ricky. Under my dress I was wearing the first bikini I had owned since I was 14, but I just couldn’t find the courage to show it off .” She said to Ricky, “Look at that girl. She has cellulite like me but she looks fabulous in her bikini.” He said, “Yes, and so do you.” Then she saw another woman. “Look, she has stretchmarks like mine but how good does she look in that two-piece?” Again Ricky replied, “Yes, and so do you.”
“I used to feel so ashamed about how I looked,” Mandi says. “Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been consumed with self criticism. But, as we sat there, I realised that what I’d been seeing as physical flaws were really just part of who and what I am – a wife and mother in my 30s who is learning to be kind to myself.” Moments later she tore off her dress and sprinted into the sea.
Playing 'life of the party' was hiding the truth
Mandi’s weight problems began when she turned 18. “That’s when I started drinking and partying. Life was about being a social butterfly and the weight crept up. “I was the life of the party – but really, it was a show to cover up how embarrassed I felt about being overweight. I was ashamed about the way I looked, and I let that consume me.”
Mandi, now 32, and her husband Ricky, 38, met in the NSW Southern Highlands, and the couple now have two children, Xavier, 10, and Sunny, 8. “I put on weight during both my pregnancies and had even joined WW and lost 10kg after Xavier was born, but I put it all back on again when I had Sunny. “I stopped going to Wellness Workshop's and my eating got out of control again. I started binge-eating as soon as the kids went to bed and sometimes I’d go to bed feeling so sick and upset with myself.”
"I can’t do a diet, but with WW I’m always in control. I can spend my SmartPoints on anything I like as long as I track it all."
A hypertension health scare
Then, at 29, Mandi was diagnosed with intracranial hypertension – a condition caused by too much pressure on the brain and spinal cord. “I’d get the worst headaches and my eyesight suffered. An eye specialist and a neurologist both suggested I lose weight. Being overweight isn’t linked to intracranial hypertension, but they agreed it would help if I was a healthy weight,” she says.
Changing her mindset and the way she felt about herself
With Mandi’s illness mostly under control, the couple wanted to plan a family holiday. “We decided a cruise was just what we needed. But I didn’t want to go on holiday overweight and miserable. I didn’t want my kids to see me complaining about how uncomfortable I was.” The day she booked the cruise, she joined WW for a second time. “I went back because I knew it worked. I can’t do a diet, but with WW I’m always in control. I can spend my SmartPoints® on anything I like as long as I track it all. It’s when I stop tracking that I can get into trouble.”
Healthier foods, fresh meals at home, watching portion sizes and cutting back on alcohol all helped, but mostly Mandi knew she needed to shift her mindset. “I believe healthy eating is a form of self-care and self respect. When I eat well I feel better about everything else in my life. I used to say, ‘I just need to lose weight’ but it’s become much more than that. Now I say, ‘I’m choosing to do the things that make me feel good about myself,’” she says.
"I love the flexibility of WW. Less weighing, less tracking means more time to enjoy your meals. And hello, eggs, salmon and ZeroPoint™ foods!"
Self love and burpees are now part life
Mandi stopped focusing on what she didn’t like in the mirror and started noticing herself looking healthier and stronger. “I’ve chosen a mindset that helps me eat well and exercise, because it nourishes my whole being, not just my body.”
Finding bootcamp after losing her first 10kg, Mandi found she had energy to burn. “I decided to do a bootcamp session at CFitness in the Southern Highlands. The first time I thought I was actually going to die, but gradually it got easier. “Now I hold weekly bootcamp sessions at home with a few girlfriends. The trainer comes to us. We do everything – weights, sprints, burpees and squats. It’s so much fun and I always feel amazing afterwards,” she says.
“I’ve chosen a mindset that helps me eat well and exercise, because it nourishes my whole being, not just my body.”
The healthiest version of herself
Mandi’s hard work has paid off in more ways than one. Not only does she feel proud of herself when she looks at photos from the family cruise, she’s now medication-free. “I stopped taking medication for intracranial hypertension six months ago. I’m having the best time of my life and I feel it will be for the rest of my life.
3 things Mandi loves about WW
1. It is even easier to fit into my everyday life, and it’s even more about healthy eating for life.
2. Less weighing and less tracking of ZeroPoint foods leaves me more time and Points for foods I wouldn’t normally track, such as sweet potato, rice and condiments.
3. Eggs, salmon and chicken are my favourites and now they’re ZeroPoint foods. Awesome!