“I felt beautiful in my wedding dress."
Victoria's journey to a healthier weight
Name: Victoria Duncan
Weight loss: 10.7kg (5kg from goal)
How long it took: 19 months
How she did it: Group Coaching at various locations in Auckland, NZ.
Then & Now
Victoria’s top tip: “You can’t always be perfect but just try your best and you’ll always be doing better than if you never bothered trying at all.”
A public wedding proposal
In December 2015, Victoria Duncan’s boyfriend, radio producer Chang Hung, proposed to her at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. The engagement was very public; a video was shared on the website of the company where Chang works. “I could see myself from every angle!” says Victoria. “I was wearing a black dress and felt like I was bursting out of it. I thought, ‘I need to get rid of this weight.’”
"My wedding dress was very fitted and I was very happy with how toned my arms and tummy looked."
Rejoining Weight Watchers
Victoria joined Weight Watchers the following month. “I’d done Weight Watchers before and knew that it worked,” she says. But a difficult year of moving cities, from Wellington to Auckland, her mother being diagnosed with cancer, and a trip back to Ireland to see her family in Christmas 2016 took its toll, and though she had managed to lose 6kg she was struggling to reach her Goal.
The wedding count down
“When I got back from holiday I was really focused as I only had three months to go before my wedding day,” she says. Once back in New Zealand, Victoria was 100 per cent committed to tracking every day and she started doing personal training sessions four times a week. “I love exercise but I’ll find any excuse to get out of it,” she says. “I got up at six every morning and, once I was out the door, I was good to go.”
Balancing social events and weight loss
One of the biggest obstacles was attending all the events Chang gets invited to, as they often involve an abundance of food and plenty of alcohol. “Resisting can be tough, but my mantra was, ‘It’s for your wedding, it’s for your wedding’ and having that in mind all the time made it easy,” says Victoria. In the lead-up to the big day, she lost another 6kg. “I would have liked to lose a bit more, but I had gained muscle, too, so I took that into account.”
Live streamed Las Vegas wedding
Victoria and Chang got married in Las Vegas on March 17 this year – St Patrick’s Day – the anniversary of when they officially started dating. “We had 24 guests there from all around the world and more watching via live streaming camera,” says Victoria. “My dress was very fitted and I was very happy with how toned my arms and tummy looked. I had an amazing massage before the wedding and that really helped me to de-stress and stay centred.”
"You don’t want to look back on photos of your big day and feel disappointed."
Life after the wedding and honeymoon
After the honeymoon, Victoria put on a few kilos but is now back on track and is more determined than ever to stick to her healthy plan. “I still do personal training sessions and I’m doing an alcohol-free month,” she says. “I did a half-marathon a few years ago and now that I’m running again I’m hoping to do another this year.”
She also loves going for walks with her husband. As often as they can, they explore the trails around Auckland. “I feel really lucky to have met Chang. He loves me no matter what and supports me through the good, the bad and the crazy times.”
How Victoria got wedding dress-ready...
1. I ditched the booze
“I didn’t drink any alcohol in the six weeks before my wedding. At Weight Watchers we talk about how alcohol is empty kilojoules. And if I don’t drink wine, I don’t eat all those nibbles, either – they tend to go hand in hand. Another bonus is that your skin looks amazing!”
2. I was inspired by WW Connect
“Seeing other members’ stories, experiences and achievements on Connect inspired me to keep going and reminded me that I’m not alone.”
3. I stayed focused on my goal
“You don’t want to look back on photos of your big day and feel disappointed. You can’t always be perfect but just try your best and you’ll always be doing better than if you never bothered trying at all.”