"I'm loving life 15kg lighter!"
Rosa's weight loss story
Name: Rosa Caruana
Weight loss: 15 kg
Was: 74 kg
Now: 59 kg
Height: 1.64 m
How long it took: 11 months
How she did it: Online
“This is my life now. The changes were never meant to be temporary.”
Before & after
When my husband, Daniel, 35, and I got married in March 2010, we went travelling on our honeymoon and overindulged. We ate, drank piña coladas and led the good life! Not long after we came back, I won a trip to the US. So, a few months later we were travelling again – with more eating and drinking! It was in Las Vegas when we went to see The Rat Pack – a comedy stage show – that I realised how big I was.
We were sitting in the front row and during the show they started making fun of me because of the size of my chest. I laughed, but inside I was mortified. After the show we had a photo taken with the performers and I couldn’t believe how big I was. As soon as we got home I hid the photo so no one could see it; I was so embarrassed.
"I was made fun of at a comedy show which left me mortified, I got a photo with the performers and realised how big I had become."
Making a change
I knew I needed to lose some weight so I joined a gym. After a few weeks I hadn’t lost as much as I wanted so I had a health assessment done. After having my waist measured, they told me I was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
I was horrified when I realised that if I got pregnant I could develop gestational diabetes. I asked my trainer what a healthy waist size was and she said 74cm. When I got home I used my measuring tape to show a 74cm waist and thought, ‘No one has a waist that small!’ That’s what prompted me to look up my BMI and figure out a healthy weight for my height and set a weight-loss goal.
I’d joined WW a few years earlier, but when people found out they said, “Why are you going to Weight Watchers? You don’t need to lose weight!” It made me less committed and eventually I just stopped going.
This time around I joined online and I didn’t tell anyone except my husband. I really wanted to reach my goal without finding an excuse to give up. To reach a healthy BMI I needed to lose 9kg.
Writing about it
When I started WW, I also started a blog on the Weight Watchers website. It really helped me reach Goal. When I made bad choices I’d feel so bad about myself that I’d go online and blog about it. I’d wonder why I couldn’t just eat the right foods, make the right choices and keep within my points. The community was so supportive, though, they’d ask me why I was beating myself up, and it made me realise that I’m only human! We all make mistakes. Reflection is one of the most important things you can do when you slip up and blogging helped me reflect. I’d look at what went wrong and ask myself what I could do to get through it next time.
The thing is, you’re always going to be tempted – it’s about figuring out how to manage the temptation. Blogging helped me realise that there are so many of us in the same boat. It became a daily, cathartic event for me – it was a huge part of my journey.
"I’ve uncovered a passion for inspiring other people to lose weight and I love being a WW Coach."
Reaching my new goal
I didn’t reach Goal until November 2011, which was almost 11 months from when I joined. If you look at my lifestyle then and now, they’re polar opposites. But all the changes were so gradual. This is my life now – it’s how I do things. The changes were never meant to be temporary. I wanted to change for good and be healthier forever, and now I am.
When I reached Goal, I decided to become a Coach. It was only when I was assessing other people’s healthy weight ranges that I realised I could lose another 5kg and still be in the middle of my healthy weight range. So I decided to set a new goal of 59kg, which I reached in just four weeks.
I am now a WW Coach
My whole life has changed since losing weight. I’ve uncovered a passion for inspiring other people to lose weight and I love being a WW Coach. Coaching also helped me realise I wasn’t very happy in my job as a finance manager, so when I was made redundant it was a great opportunity to follow my passion and do even more WW group sessions.
Last year I also went back to university to study a Masters in dietetics and nutrition. It’s a full-time degree, so I work at WW on the weekends now, but it’s such a rewarding job – I love seeing people shrink before my eyes!
Time for me
While studying full-time and working at WW on weekends, I like to find time to do things that are just for me and that feed my soul. Here are some of my favourites:
- Get a massage. I like to create some downtime to help me unwind, de-stress and re-centre. It allows me to give the best of me to everyone else.
- Enjoy the mundane. While I’m out doing the grocery shopping, I’ll stop and grab a coffee to take five minutes to myself.
- Make time for meditation. My new goal is to take up yoga again.
- Start gardening. I’ve just started and not only is it a great workout but it’s also great me time.
- Walk a little more. My husband and I take our fur babies out for a walk every day and use the time to reconnect and catch up on each other’s lives.
It’s so easy to overindulge on a Friday after a long work week. That’s exactly what I used to do before Weight Watchers – I’d get home from work and order takeaway, have a few wines and watch TV. But now, I realise Fridays are just like any other day. There’s no need to give up on healthy habits just because it’s the end of the week. In fact, if you do Friday right, you can set yourself up for a really great weekend ahead.
1. Work out after work: I used to go straight home after work on Fridays, but now I fit in a workout. Friday is no different from any other day and I always feel so much better after exercising.
2. Plan a healthy meal: We used to always order takeaway pizza on a Friday night, but now we make our own using Lebanese bread – it’s quicker than delivery and it tastes delicious.
3. Skip the wine: Although it’s nice to de-stress with a glass of wine on a Friday night, if you make it another alcohol-free night you’re making another healthy choice and you’ll start your Saturday off feeling ready for anything.