"I let go of all or nothing."

After years of yo-yo dieting and an all-or-nothing approach to her weight, busy mum Rachel Lohmann has finally gained control and found a happy balance to life and her health.

Rachel's weight loss story 

Name: Rachel Lohmann
Weight loss: 12kg
Was: 71kg | Now: 59kg
Height: 165cm | Age: 36
How long it took: 4 months
Method: Group Coaching with Kathryn Cross in Mill Park, Vic

Then & Now
Rachel Lohmann before and now

"The biggest change I’ve seen in myself is that I actually like myself again. I’m proud of myself. Now I can walk around with my head held high."

My son was diagnosed with autism last year

I had mixed feelings about his diagnosis. Of course it was devastating to think our little boy was going to have to deal with this his whole life, but at the same time I felt relieved that we finally had answers and that we’d be able to find the tools and support to help him. I’d been blaming myself – he was a fussy eater because I didn’t expose him to enough different foods; he was bad tempered because I have a bad temper; he had issues pronouncing some sounds because I mumble!

The amount of pressure I put on myself was ridiculous. Looking after me and making my health and happiness a priority was impossible because I felt responsible for everything. But following Noah’s diagnosis, the blame gradually slipped away, and I realised how damaging it had been to my self-esteem.

I made gradual changes

I joined WW a few weeks after Noah’s diagnosis. At the same time I went to see a psychologist – it was helpful to talk through how I was feeling and learn some strategies to deal with stress, such as meditation. I have since been diagnosed with depression, which I’m managing with medication, counselling and a healthy lifestyle.

Noah also started school last year and it’s been so good for him. He seems to benefit from the structure, the guidance from his teachers and the friendships with his classmates. His school has been an amazing support for us and his teacher has been so accommodating and helpful. At home my husband, Michael, 42, and I feel like we have a better understanding of Noah’s behaviour and we’re better equipped to deal with situations that arise. Our home is calmer and more harmonious now.

I let go of the "all or nothing" approach

I grew up in a very healthy household and never struggled with my weight as a child or teenager. But I’ve yo-yo dieted for most of my adult life. While I managed to lose the weight I’d put on during both pregnancies, I ended up putting it back on again. I got to Goal in 2014 but stopped following the Program and of course the weight crept up again. This time I’m determined to keep it off: I’m sick of the roller-coaster ride!

In the past, the problem has been my ‘all or nothing’ approach. I would follow a very restricted diet and then go overboard with exercise; or I’d eat whatever I wanted and do absolutely no exercise. There was no in-between for me. I needed a plan that would help me lose weight but also support my love of food. I had to learn the meaning of moderation and I needed to be kinder to myself. I had to stop striving for perfection and just appreciate the progress I was making. So instead of beating myself up when I had a blow-out, I learnt to forgive myself, accept it and get straight back on track.

Smashing out my stress

I’ve always been an emotional eater. When life got tough, I turned to food, so I needed to replace that with a healthy alternative. I started going to a boxing gym near my home. It has a really lovely ‘family feel’ that’s unique. The owners and trainers care about the members and it’s nice to be part of it. I find boxing very therapeutic! Smashing it out at the bag with a group of endorphin-charged people while listening to great music and the trainer pushing us to our limits – it’s the best! The classes are a great variety of cardio and strength and they make me feel energised and powerful!

Michael joined WW after he saw the success I was having. He was a competitive bodybuilder years ago, but his diet always let him down. I’m surprised at how much he has embraced the Program. The recipes are so delicious – he doesn’t even complain when I cook something vegetarian! We motivate each other and stop each other from making bad choices. He’ll often text me when he’s at a business dinner to help him decide the healthiest option on the menu.

Rachel Lohmann

Putting effort into me

The biggest change I’ve seen in myself is that I actually like myself again. I’m proud of myself. Now I can walk around with my head held high. I like how I look in the mirror and I’m trying every day to be less critical of myself. I value myself enough to put effort into my appearance and I love to pamper myself with a trip to the hairdresser or to get my nails done. When I got to Goal my mum and I went on a clothes shopping spree, which was a lot of fun. When I became a Lifetime Member I got eyelash extensions, which I love and they make me feel great.

For me, the best thing about following the WW Program is feeling in control. I felt better very soon after starting – well before I reached Goal. I felt like I had finally taken charge of my life. Instead of putting so much energy into worrying about my weight, I could put all that energy into changing my lifestyle, getting healthy and rediscovering myself.

"When I need a little motivation to stay on track, I log onto connect on the WW app. it’s such a safe and positive environment."

Staying motivated

Like everyone, I have days that are harder than others. When I need a little motivation to stay on track, I log onto Connect on the WW app and read everyone’s stories. It has been a really important tool throughout my weight-loss journey and I’ve connected with so many incredible people. It’s such a safe and positive environment. I’ve even met up with some of the members for a walk and a chat over coffee. I still spend time reading and posting on Connect every day to keep me on track.

Rachel Lohmann

Getting ready for summer

When I knew I would be wearing swimsuits for WW magazine, I wasn’t expecting to wear bikinis! I was a little worried about my ‘mummy’ tummy but I tried the first one on and thought, ‘Hey, I actually look pretty good in this!’ The hard hours I’ve put into the gym are paying off and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. I definitely didn’t think I’d ever wear a bikini again after two caesareans and I certainly didn’t think I’d ever wear one in a magazine! I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. When I’m 80 years old I’m sure I’ll whip out my copy of the magazine and show my grandchildren.