"I love my new body, life and confidence."
Name: Brian Grainger
Weight loss: 50.9kg
How long it took: 56 weeks
How he did it: Group Coaching with Rachel Willemsen, Mount Gravatt, QLD
I enjoyed dessert every day since joining Weight Watchers
Everyone has a food they can’t live without. For me, it’s dessert. Before I started doing the Weight Watchers Program, I weighed more than 100 kilos and would often indulge in a triple-scoop sundae topped with fudge, nuts and cream without a second thought. These days, the three scoops are gone from my daily intake, but people are shocked to hear I’ve enjoyed dessert every day since joining Weight Watchers – that’s every single day for five years – and have still lost 50 kilos.
My secret? I make space for it in my SmartPoints budget and have learnt to make smarter choices. Dessert is the first meal I plan into my day and, during the week, I allow myself to enjoy different sweets, including Skinny Cow ice-cream, mini choc-chip cookies, Jarrah Chocolatte, low-fat yoghurt and sugar-free jelly.
Nothing is off limits
My number one tip is remembering this healthy new lifestyle is forever. You can’t give up the things you love completely because, if you do, you’ll never stick to it and keep the weight off. If you’re doing Weight Watchers, ask yourself, “Am I living the way I intend to live for the rest of my life?” If the answer is yes, then you’re doing it right. Ideally, nothing should change when you hit Goal and the healthy food choices you’ve been making will eventually become habit.
Everything has changed
It still blows me away how every aspect of my life has changed since I lost weight. I used to hide at parties and decline invitations. At the time, my mindset was, “I don’t like me, so why would anyone else?" I had tried to lose weight in the past with limited success. Usually, I’d lose a few kilos, think, “Yay, now I can go back to my real life,” then start regularly eating pizza and chips again. And, of course, the weight came back – it even brought some friends. I like to say it went recruiting!
I have become a Coach
In the past, I never wanted to chat with anyone because I was shy and so down about myself. These days, I’m Coaching 12 Weight Watchers meetings a week! Talk about going from hiding in the shadows to standing in the spotlight. Socially, things have changed, too. Before, whenever friends and I caught up, we’d eat chips and pizza and never feel fully satisfied. After joining Weight Watchers, I started bringing healthier snacks, like carrot sticks, beans, rice crackers and salsa, to our gatherings. If I went to a party, I’d always bring a fruit platter and it was always the first thing to go.
Brian Coached one of our success stories Paul.
My mum is a Coach now, too
Thanks to these changes, many of my friends have gone on to lose weight themselves. Even my mum lost weight with Weight Watchers and is working as a Coach in northern New South Wales. Each week, we swap advice and ideas and plan our meetings over the phone. I couldn’t be more proud of her achievement. She’s always been my main support and I’ve really enjoyed sharing this with her.
I love this feeling of confidence
One of my top tips is earning FitPoints to spend on alcohol. This certainly helps me control my intake – I do have a 200-bottle wine cellar, after all! When I go to parties, I usually opt for spirits and have half-nips with a diet mixer. Diet lemonade with a wedge of lime in a martini glass is fantastic, too. Everyone just assumes you’re drinking!
I also wear a pedometer every day to see how many FitPoints I’ve earned in a day. Between walking, jogging, swimming and the occasional game of squash, I rack them up quite easily. It’s so strange to think back to how much I dreaded the school athletics carnival as a child. I hated every minute and felt embarrassed, whereas now I love going for a run. I’ve never forgotten what my Coach Rachel said when I started all those years ago: you’ve got to move it to lose it!
It’s taken me a long time to feel so self-assured
These days I love my new body, life and confidence. I was determined to reach my Goal weight and didn’t let being the only guy in the room bother me – in fact, nothing was going to deter me from shedding those excess kilos. Second only to joining Weight Watchers, becoming a Coach is the best decision I’ve ever made. I love helping other members complete their own transformations and always remind them that they can enjoy food and be successful at the same time.
Brian's weight loss tips
1. Attend Group Coaching
Ninety per cent of the weight loss advice I’ve picked up over the years has been from other members, so always listen, offer your opinion and ask questions.
2. Make healthier version of your favourite foods.
Ask yourself, “Is there a healthier way of making this?” For me, greasy fish and chips have turned into baked fish and homemade chips, and pesto linguine is now a roast vegetable and bacon pasta dish.
3. Know why losing weight is important to you.
Never lose sight of it. Write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it.