"It’s liberating feeling comfortable in swimmers at the beach"

Samanth used to shy away from the beach but after losing 25kg, she’s there as often as she can.

Samantha's weight loss story

Name: Samantha Pearce
Weight loss: 25.9kg 
Was: 93.7kg
Now: 67.8kg
Height: 166cm
Goal Weight: 67kg
Age: 33
How long it took: 9 months
How she did it: Group Coaching in Cheltenham, SA, with Willma Graham and Sharon Watson.

Then & Now

Samantha Before and now

“Spending time outdoors with the kids and seeing them so happy makes me happy.”

My trigger moment happened in the car

My trigger moment happened one day in the car. We were driving past Hungry Jack’s, when my two-year-old son Coby pointed out the window and said, ‘Look Mum, there’s Hungry Jack’s! Can we get chips?’ I was mortified that he knew the place by name. Up until then, I’d glossed over my fast food habit, telling myself that we didn’t go there that often, but obviously we did!

I wanted to be a good role model for my kids

At that time I was eating takeaway at least twice a week. I really wanted to be a good role model for my children (Seth, 4, Coby, 2, and Zara, 10 months), yet I found myself doing things like hiding in the pantry eating junk food so they couldn’t see me. I’d hide chips, biscuits and lollies on the top shelf of the pantry, then once the kids had gone to bed, my husband Ben and I would watch TV and eat it, then we’d hide the packets at the bottom of the bin, so the kids wouldn’t see them. It was awful. Physically, I felt uncomfortable all the time and my feet ached when I got out of bed in the morning. I was unhappy, lethargic and I never wanted to play with the kids. I knew something had to give, so I joined WW.

My husband joined with me too 

My weight loss was pretty steady throughout my journey. I only had two weeks where I gained; one was Christmas, the other was after an event. I’ve been really determined because I don’t want my kids to pick up my bad habits, then have to break them later on. Having Ben join me on the Program (he’s lost 10kg so far), along with my mum, Christine, has been a great support. Before, Ben and I encouraged each other’s unhealthy habits. Now, instead of sitting on the couch eating lollies, we ask each other, ‘How many SmartPoints®  are in that?’ and ‘Have you tracked that?’

We became vegetarians and local produce lovers

Being on the Program inspired Ben and I to become vegetarian. We started reading food labels, looking at ingredients and trying to work out exactly what we were consuming, and it stemmed from there. I don’t feel deprived at all – there are so many WW vegetarian recipes. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had takeaway, aside from the occasional vegetarian pizza without cheese. We always have plenty of fresh food on hand, and we involve the kids by taking them to the local produce markets on Sunday mornings – they’re up early anyway! One of the stall holders once said to me, ‘You’ve got your whole family with you; this is a great place for kids to be,’ and that struck me as a really nice compliment.

We love spending active time with the kids

I believe that if you don’t enjoy doing something, it’s never going to stick. With three young kids it’s hard for me to exercise early in the morning, so I ramped up my incidental activity with my family instead. We’re really active now – we jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, go for walks, swim, play Frisbee and go canoeing. Spending time outdoors with the kids and seeing them so happy makes me happy.

The beach is my happy place 

We live in a coastal suburb and, for me, enjoying time at the beach is symbolic. I used to avoid it because I didn’t want anyone to see me wearing bathers. Now I love being there – it makes me so happy. I love the smell of the salty air, the sound of the ocean and being close to nature. It’s liberating feeling comfortable in my one-piece. Ben and I are going to Vanuatu for our five-year wedding anniversary in September. Who knows – I may even wear a bikini by then!

My 3 greatest weight-loss lessons

Samantha reveals the key things she’s learned since starting WW.

1. I can do anything I put my mind to.
During my journey, I thought, ‘If I want to do it, and I believe that I can, then I can.’ This has benefited other aspects of my life, too. I’d never ridden a bike but I’d always wanted to, so now I’m taking lessons. Once I’m confident enough on the road, I’m going to treat myself to a vintage bike.

2. Stress is one of my triggers.
When I’m stressed, my response is to reach for food. To cope, I might go outside to take some deep breaths. I think about what will happen if I do reach for those chips and how it’s going to reflect on the scales. A minute is all it takes to stop yourself from making a rash decision.

3. I can make it WW-friendly.
We make our own burgers and air-fried chips. Cake was another weakness, but I found other ways to get my sweet fix. For instance, I’ll bake a whole apple with a WW Rich Toffee Bar in the middle. I also make zoodles or cauliflower rice instead  of pasta or white rice.