Hiking my way
to healthy.

An unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle saw Tahnee Duncan struggle with depression and anxiety. But since turning her life around, she’s hiking her way to Goal!

Tahnee's weight loss story

Name: Tahnee Duncan
Weight loss: 56.3kg
Was: 136.2kg
Now: 79.9kg
​Height: 170cm
Age: 24
How long it took: 2.5 years
How she did it: Online

Then & Now Tahnee Duncan before and after

"I’m not trying to be better than anyone else, I’m just trying to be better than the person I was yesterday."

The tipping point

There’s a saying I once read that goes, ‘I’m not trying to be better than anyone else, I’m just trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.’ It’s a sentiment that’s spurred me on throughout my journey. I relate to it so much. At my heaviest, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I was physically unable to do the things I wanted to do like hike, jog or go shopping for clothes. I was an emotional eater and I had an extremely unhealthy relationship with food. If I was feeling down, I’d sometimes end up eating an entire chocolate pie or family-sized cheesecake. The eating would make me feel guilty, sometimes physically sick, and it was a terrible cycle.

One night, I was lying in bed and realised I was unable to turn over. It took me three goes to heave myself onto my other side. It was a frightening realisation, but it was the trigger for joining Weight Watchers, which set me on a path that has changed my life – and my health – forever.

A new beginning

The first time I set foot in the gym, I was so nervous I thought I was going to be ill. I shouldn’t have been worried though – the owners and personal trainers, Sue and Phil from Casino Health Club, ignited my passion for fitness, and helped me believe that I could achieve my goal.
Sue focused on the positives – like the fact I was at the gym when I could’ve been at home in my comfort zone. She encouraged me to push myself – to run for two more minutes when I thought I couldn’t or do one more rep when I was exhausted and wanted to stop. Once I achieved what seemed unattainable, my whole perception of what I could do changed.

I set a goal to be able to run 5km

Fast-forward to now, and I train at my local gym at least five days a week. My weight training generally consists of one full-on session per week, which I do with my PT Sheree, focusing on technique and heavy lifting. The other four or five days alternate between two or three days of lighter-weight circuits done in a HIIT style, one or two days of cardio consisting of either the elliptical and jogging or, most recently, a spin class and rowing. My mini goal was to be able to run 5km, something I can now do in less than 30 minutes. I also love bush walking and I’ve climbed Mount Warning in Northern NSW and Mount Tibrogargen in Queensland.

Loving my cheer squad

Having people by my side supporting me through the ups and downs has been integral to my success. Sue stood by me every step of the way, offering support even outside of my scheduled training sessions. I was never made to feel bad or embarrassed about my fitness level or capabilities. Sheree has been super-supportive, too – I’ve seen so much improvement in my strength and body shape. My boyfriend, Sam, has also helped build my self-confidence in ways he wouldn’t even know. He was the reason I went on my first hike and rock climb, even though I doubted myself.

Tahnee Duncan

"My healthy diet and regular exercise have made me feel more positive, and more energised than a cheesecake ever did."

My life, reinvented

Since joining WW I’ve found a level of support and community like no other – I love the app and I’ve joined a few Facebook groups. It’s so refreshing to be a part of a community of people who are on the same journey. They understand the crappy days and celebrate successes that other people might not fully understand – one of mine being that what was once only used as a ‘hair towel’ I can now use for its genuine purpose: a ‘real’ body towel.

I love hiking, jogging and clothes shopping

I believe in ‘everything in moderation’ so I love that with SmartPoints®, nothing is off limits. My healthy diet and regular exercise have made me feel more positive, and more energised than a cheesecake ever did. As for my mental health, I no longer struggle with depression and anxiety to the same extent. I love hiking, jogging and clothes shopping. I’m more outgoing and social than I used to be, and feel more comfortable within myself. In the past, I’d have avoided going to the beach at all costs. But last summer I wore my swimmers at the beach – and I loved it.

3 reasons I love hiking

1. It’s a full-body workout.
Because of the surrounds, you don’t realise just how much exercise you’re doing.

2. It’s challenging.
It’s a mood enhancer I work as an early childhood officer, which is mentally consuming work. Hiking gives me the chance to not think about anything else.

3. It’s relaxing.
The tranquility in nature is very calming. I love the fresh air, the sights and the sounds. It gives me the time to just be.

My mini goals

When I started WW, I broke my main goal into smaller amounts so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by having to lose 70-odd kilos. Rewarding myself along the way kept me motivated. When I…

…lost 5-10kg
I’d get my nails done – or buy a new pair of shoes. I love shoes and have quite an extensive collection! 

…reached less than 80kg
I jumped out of a plane at 14,000ft! I remember looking around after the free fall at the beautiful coastline and thinking, ‘I did it!’ I know that must sound so clichéd, but that’s exactly what happened. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

…smash my Goal!
I’ll be going to the Whitsundays for a weekend.  

Tahnee Duncan