"We made a pact to lose 50kg each."

Friends Leita Biden (right) and Gina Marini shared a mission to lose 50kg each! Thanks to a strong team spirit, they did it together.

Gina's weight loss story

Then& Now       

Gina before and nowName: Gina Marini
Weight loss: 50.1kg
Was: 118.9kg
Now: 68.8kg
Height: 167cm
Age: 43
How long it took: 1 year 9 months
How she did it: Group Coaching with Melanie O’Brien at Alexandra Hills, Qld.




Lifetime friends

I met Leita in 2001 through her husband Mark, who had been my boss. Meeting them was the best thing that ever happened – they’re once-in-a-lifetime friends. Mark’s like a brother, and with Leita I can vent and she never judges me.

Total opposites

Going through this weight-loss journey with Leita has been an amazing ride. I’m the total opposite of her in that I’m really disciplined – some might say I’m retentive! I cut chocolate out entirely, for example, whereas Leita would have a few squares as her daily indulgence. I also weighed every single morsel of food that went into my mouth.

"Having a friend who understood me, to attend meetings with or grab a coffee with afterwards was amazing."

Full time support

We were there for one another the whole way. We went to meetings together and celebrated each other’s milestones. If Leita was having a bad day, I’d pep her up and tell her she couldn’t quit. She may not think she was a big support to me because I didn’t crumble, but she was. Having a friend who understood me, to attend meetings with or grab a coffee with afterwards was amazing.

Finding her confidence

I joined WW for the first time when I was about 26 and I got to about 15kg off Goal, but then stopped and went backwards. The Program worked this time because I was ready to find me and to let the world see the real me. I’m a different person now. While the old me was dowdy and frumpy, now I make an effort to dress up and wear skirts, dresses and heels. I’m more confident with men and I’m more comfortable talking to strangers than I used to be.

It makes me so happy seeing the new Leita, too. She’s done the hard yards and looks stunning. She radiates. I can’t imagine having gone on the journey with anyone else.”


Leita's weight loss story

Then & Now        

Leita before and nowName: Leita Biden
Weight loss: 49kg
Was: 119.2kg
Now: 70.2kg
Height: 165cm
Age: 52
How long it took: 18 months
How she did it: Group Coaching with Melanie O’Brien at Alexandra Hills, Qld.




Reaching goal the same day

Gina and I have one of those great friendships where we’re not in each other’s pockets, but when we see each other, we pick up right where we left off. We were really close in our weight right from the start, and were neck and neck all the way through, reaching our 20kg goal on the same day.

Friendly competition

There was a bit of friendly competition, but only on my side. If Gina had a better loss than me one week, I’d try to get in front of her the following week, which helped spur me along. Meanwhile, she was happy to go at her own pace!

Gina powered through

Personality-wise, Gina was much stronger than me; she had her end goal in mind and she never let go of it. There were a few times where I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I give up!’ But Gina would encourage me to keep going and say, ‘You’re not giving up, we’re going to see this through!’ I would have done the same for her if she’d needed me to, but she powered all the way through. She was amazing.

Life changing experience

Losing the weight has been life-changing for both of us. I can see Gina blossoming and even dating-wise things are changing for her because she’s got the confidence to put herself out there. I feel like a completely different human being. I was 132kg at my heaviest! When you’re that big, everything is an effort. It affected my family life too.

"Being in shape opens up more opportunities for travel and experiences."

Life is for living!

On one trip to New Zealand, I was told I was too heavy to walk on the Fox Glacier, so I had to wait while Mark, 53, and our sons (Trent, 27, Jarad, 23 and Kallyn, 20 ) went without me. Being in shape opens up more opportunities for travel and experiences Mark and I can share together. I was hinting that I’d like to go skydiving, but I don’t think I’m serious about that! One thing’s for sure, for both Gina and I, life’s there to be lived now, not just endured.