"She’s an amazing mother and I’m proud of everything she’s achieved."

Mother-daughter bonds are strong. Apply that solidarity and support to a healthy lifestyle and you’re set for success.

Melissa & Sonia's weight loss story

Name: Melissa Ruberto
Weight loss: 26.1kg
Was: 92.6kg
Now: 66.5kg | Height: 168cm
Age: 30
How long it took: 3 years
How she did it: Online and Group Coaching at Essendon, Vic, with Coach Carol Fraresso.
Name: Sonia Trainor
Weight loss: 19kg
Was: 78kg
Now: 59kg | Height: 165cm
Age: 59
How long it took: Just above Goal for 12 years. 32 years at goal.
How she did it: Online and Group Coaching at Essendon, Vic, with Coach Carol Fraresso.


Then & Now



As a family we’ve always been health-conscious, but during my first pregnancy, with my daughter Milani that flew out the window. I thought I could eat whatever I wanted. It was ridiculous! I craved and ate sugary, fatty foods and I put on 32kg! I was already short of breath and lethargic because I was pregnant, but the weight gain made it worse. I used to have to hold the rail to get up the stairs to our townhouse because my knees ached so much.


Getting with the program

Mum has always been a WW member for as long as I can recall. So once Milani was born in 2013, I joined to. That was the best decision I've ever made for my health. Food-wise, the program was a no-brainer. I stuck to healthy choices and avoided excessive amounts of  refined carbs, cheese and sugary foods. I used the WW cookbooks, which my husband Chris enjoyed so much he started doing the Program, too . Mum would cook us something from one of the cookbooks one night a week, which was delicious and also a great help. 


Prepared this time around 

When I feel pregnant for the second time more than two years later, things were a lot different.  I put on a little bit of weight, but nothing like my first pregnancy. I was really organised and prepared a six-week menu before Kaiser was born, so I was all set. Preparation is key to eating well. I still prepare fruit salad and cut up veggies so there’s no excuse not to choose a healthy snack.

I recently signed up to the New WW Your Way+ and I'm loving it. It's more flexible and I find it simple to follow. Chris also started the new program with me in February and lost 5kg in the first 4 weeks. He's also finding it much easier to stick to and is motivated to keep going.  Mum still cooks us a healthy meal once a week. With so many zero Points foods, the new program makes catering for everyone less challenging. 


Maintaining movement 

When I started my weight loss journey I  joined a circuit gym and went three times a week, and also started going to a  boot camp. Now that I'm back at work I've had to modify my routine. I've joined a gym around the corner from my office and take a yoga and body balance class two of the three days I'm in the city. I've also started going to boot camp on my day off. Having the option to take Kaiser with me makes it so much easier and gives me no excuse to bail! We also try to do family activities that involve movement. Recently we went ice-skating and Milani has not stopped asking when we can go again. 


Grateful for mum

Mum has been a great support both practically and emotionally. For the majority of my journey we'd attend WW meetings together then go for a long walk afterwards. As the kids got older and more active, Mum would look after them so I could attend meetings, which allowed me to focus on myself for a little while. Now that I'm back at work and in maintenance, I feel I have the knowledge, tools and confidence to manage my program online.

Mum and I are always up for a coffee and a gossip! No matter what’s going on in my life, Mum always reads the situation and is understanding and patient. She’s always been supportive and encouraged me to do whatever I've chosen to do. But until having children of my own, I didn't have a full understanding or appreciation for just how much she has done and continues to do for me. Watching her with my kids and seeing how active she is in their lives makes me proud and grateful to have such an amazing person as my mother. 

Mel and Sonia



"My first recollection of being large was at the age of 7."

As part of a classroom exercise we had to weigh ourselves. I weighed 44kg, which was a lot for my age, and the other kids were giggling. When I was 16 years old I decided to join Weight Watchers. I lost a significant amount of weight in the first year, to the point where people who hadn’t seen me for a few months didn't recognise me. I didn't reach my goal weight of 66kg though. I hovered just above it for a long time, eventually reaching it when I was 28. I’ve now been under Goal for almost three decades – half my life!


A healthy lifestyle is innate in me now

My weight has remained stable for 32 years because it's now just my lifestyle. I've developed this ' lifestyle ethos' over the many years of being a WW lifetime member. The program and coaches have taught me a lot about fod and helped me better understand my relationship with it. The new Your Way+ program is essentially how I choose to eat anyway, but I'm so pleased that it's been introduced because it provides so much flexibility and nothing is not the 'no go' zone! Like everyone, I have moments of weakness but I now know myself well enough to know when to 'apply the brakes' and steer in the right direction.  


Staying active and motivated

Monthly weigh-ins are a huge help in regenerating my motivation, but I also receive inspiration from my beautiful daughters. Each of them has inspired me to be healthy. Their determination and strength of character are huge motivators for me- not only in a health sense, but in all aspects of life. 

I walk as often as I can to keep my steps up. I aim for 10,000 steps a day, although I usually walk closer to 15,000. I like to walk with my daughters whenever possible. Melissa and I used to enjoy a 4km riverside circuit, but unfortunately we don't walk together as often anymore due to her increased work commitments.  Occasionally I walk with my daughter Stephanie, who is a personal trainer. 


Appreciating our close relationship

I’m so proud of Melissa. Seeing her lose weight and get back to how she was before having children makes me so happy for her. She is highly motivated and when she puts her mind to something, nothing stops her. I think as a mother you have to be careful not to intrude and overstep the mark, so I never shouted through a megaphone that she should join Weight Watchers. Making the decision on my own made me stronger in my journey, and I think that’s true for Melissa as well. It was her choice and she has done an amazing job.Melissa is a lot like me, so we’ve always been close.

She’s confided in me when times have been tough, and vice versa. We talk a lot. Our relationship is based on friendship and mutual admiration. I respect how she goes about things in her life. She owned her own home at 21 and every interview she’s been to, she’s got the job! I attended the birth of my granddaughter Milani, and when Melissa and her husband Chris introduced her to me, they’d given her my name as her middle name. I was overcome; it was a beautiful moment. She’s an amazing mother and I’m proud of everything she’s achieved. 

Just like many young mothers today, I really admire Melissa's ability to co-manage a family, work outside the home and still commit time to plan and maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. I'm grateful that my grandchildren have her as a role model. 

Mel and Sonia


Family support wins!

Having a supportive family makes staying on track that much easier. Similarly, if you have a loved one on a weight-loss mission, you can help them with these strategies.

1. Do something practical
Words of encouragement are great, but often practical support is what’s needed most. Cook a healthy meal together, babysit so they can do some physical activity or run an errand so they can focus on doing something for themselves. 

2. Do it together
“The best way to support someone is to go on the journey alongside them,” urges Sonia. “Eat the same healthy food as them and if they’re feeling down or frustrated, suggest going for a walk together.” Walking is a great mood booster, plus it gives you time to chat and connect. 

3. Don't be pushy
“It’s really important not to preach or push people further than they want to be pushed,” says Melissa. “For example, if Mum saw me eating a piece of chocolate, she’d never tell me how many SmartPoints it was worth.”

4. Constructive catch-ups
If coffee and cake at a cafe or Friday night take-out was your old routine together, start new healthier routines. You could spend an afternoon prepping meals for the week, or take a yoga class together.