Rachael Heald
Online member

“My son can wrap his arms around me now”

A humiliating wake-up call inspired Rachael to overhaul her health, and her family has come along for the ride.

Rachael's weight loss story 

Name: Rachael Heald
Weight loss: 34.4kg
Was: 117.8kg
Now: 83.4kg
Height: 168cm
Age: 35
How long it took: 18 months
How she did it: Online

Then & Now


“Setting mini goals keeps me motivated. I share my wins with family and friends.”

One year ago, my family and I went on our annual holiday to the Gold Coast. My husband Paul, our sons Ashton, 7, and Ethan, 4, and I love visiting theme parks, but this time the attendant had to push down three times to get my restraint to lock so I could ride the roller-coaster. All I could think was, “Please don’t let this be the time I’m asked to leave the ride due to my size.” Luckily for me and Ashton, who was sitting beside me, I just squeezed in – but I was horrified. It was a huge wake-up call, and I was more determined than ever to improve my health. With 48kg to lose, I signed up for Weight Watchers Online.

I’ve tried everything in the ‘diet’ market to lose weight: low carbs, no carbs, shakes – you name it, I’ve given it a go. I’ve never lost weight with the ‘quick-fix solutions’; I just ended up putting it back on. I’ve joined Weight Watchers in a completely different frame of mind. I want to lose the weight – not just some of it, but all of it – and I’m determined to reach Goal for the first time.

Setting mini goals keeps me motivated and I share my achievements with my family as well as my friends. I find their praise and positive words are great encouragement to keep going. Right now, my next goal is to lose 600g to bring my total weight loss to 35kg.


Last year, Ashton couldn’t touch his hands when wrapping his arms around my waist, but a few weeks after I joined WW,  on the way to goal he was able to wrap his arms around me! Seeing his excitement really motivated me and he checks my progress every second week or so. I’m delighted to report that he can now touch one elbow with his hand!

I’ve regained my confidence, which was lacking when I weighed 117kg. I find life so much more fun and I get excited about going out and socialising. I get a thrill shopping in ‘normal’ sized stores and I’ve started to step out of my comfort zone with the clothes I wear, too. It’s a series of small steps, but I’m getting there – one day at a time.


What I’ve learnt so far

1. I can cook!
I was never very good in the kitchen, so we used to eat lots of frozen meals and takeaway food. Now I find easy recipes on the WW app. The Aussie meat pie recipe has become a firm family favourite.

2. I’m not alone
Paul and our sons are my biggest motivators. We’re going through this journey together. They eat the same Program-friendly meals as me and they help plan our weekly menu. I’m proud to be teaching my boys a healthy way of life.

3. The gym really is optional
I’m busy juggling my boys and a part-time job, so exercise tends to be incidental. I use a pedometer to make sure I get 10,000 steps a day. The family and our dog join me for walks.