“I thought I was starting a diet… Wrong.”

Finding her work-life balance proved the key to Katie Maxwell’s health and happiness.

Katie's weight loss story

Name: Katie Maxwell
Weight loss: 50 kg
Was: 123 kg
Now: 73 kg
Height: 1.68 m
Age: 31
How long it took: 2 years
How she did it: Group Coaching in Crows Nest, NSW, with Coach Vanessa Samson.

Before & Now

“Since joining WW I have a healthy relationship with my body. I love my new-found confidence.”

A new job put me into a bad cycle

My weight has always been a bit of an issue but it was when I started a new job that I let my health fall by the wayside. I really wanted to impress my bosses, so I’d work late every night and because I was tired, I’d eat whatever was available. It wasn’t that I was having pizzas and soft drink every night, but I’d have lots of carbs and cake with colleagues, then I’d throw pasta and a jar of sauce on for dinner. I’d wind down with wine on the weekend then not bother to plan meals for the next week. It was a bad cycle.

My reality check
It was becoming harder to find clothes that made me feel attractive and after I saw a photo of myself I thought, ‘Ugh, what is going on here?’ I knew I had to do something, but it was still three or four months before I joined Weight Watchers. I wanted to make sure I would be completely focused because I knew I needed to overhaul my life and that there’d be no turning back.

I signed up to Group Coaching

I went to my first Group Coaching session thinking I would just lose 5kg. I hadn’t weighed myself in years so it was a total shock to get onto the scales and see I weighed 123kg! But I stuck to my original plan and just honed in on my 5kg goal and when I realised it was achievable – and enjoyable – to reach, I decided to go for another 5kg. Then, I just kept going and achieved Goal two years later in early 2015.

I learned to create balance
Long hours were the norm for me, but I started to realise I wasn’t doing myself – or my workplace – any favours by slaving around the clock. I tested a new work-life balance, setting my hours and only working back if I really needed to. It gave me time to exercise in the morning and I felt like a better worker. I realised that it wasn’t my bosses who were making me work all the time – it was something I’d brought upon myself in a bid to be a good employee. Yet that lifestyle is unsustainable – if you’re not healthy and active, there’s a good chance one day you won’t be able to work at all.

My healthy weekly ritual
Now I go shopping at the start of every week and fill my fridge and cupboard with healthy food to get me through. It’s amazing how much small changes make a huge difference to my weight. I can still have pasta but instead of using a jar of sauce, I’ll use a can of crushed  tomatoes and fresh herbs, which is much tastier and virtually no SmartPoints®  value.

Socialising without sacrificing
I’ve always been a social butterfly – any healthy living plan had to allow for restaurant dinners and wine! I didn’t want to be one of those people who cut back on everything and couldn’t even enjoy a nice dinner out. I learned that if I wanted to eat out, I had to balance that with a day of fruit and vegies and going for an extra run. 

All of this put me in good stead for relocating from Sydney to Melbourne for work last year. I didn’t know anyone so I took up every social invitation on offer so I could make friends. I’ve become an expert at choosing the healthiest things on a platter – I always go for crackers and hummus instead of chips and cheese – and if I eat out I know what to choose.

My confidence has grown

I used to think I was happy but now that I look back on it, I realise I had hang-ups and I didn’t have a good image of myself. I only have to look at my before and after photographs to see the difference. Two years has made such a huge difference to my confidence and the way I view myself – I am so much happier than I ever was.”

What Katie loves

  1. Exploring: “Being new to Melbourne, I love exploring the city and the outskirts. I’ve found some great hiking tracks – it’s so good to get back to nature and have some chill-out time on weekends.”
  2. Shopping“Buying clothes is a different experience now – I can always find beautiful things to wear!”
  3. Socialising“My friends and colleagues have been the best support. I was always getting text messages on weekends asking if I wanted to go for walks or to the beach – they were with me for the whole journey, which made such a difference. Facing weight loss on your own is daunting.”
  4. Entertaining“I love hosting dinner parties and always use WW recipes. I never say anything until the end and my friends and family are always surprised because the food is so delicious.”
  5. My body: “Since joining WW I have a healthy relationship with my body now and love my new-found confidence.”