Susan's weight loss story
Name: Susan Woolley
Weight loss: 42.3 kg
Was: 116 kg
Now: 73.7 kg
Height: 175 cm
How long it took: 8 years
How she did it: Group Coaching
Before & After
"With a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, I'm hoping my healthy lifestyle will prevent me succumbing to those conditions."
My weight issues started early in life
I played netball and squash in high school, but I had terrible problems with my knees. It was almost as if they’d dislocate and then I’d be unable to walk. I’d be sedentary for two to three months at a time. Of course, when you’re sitting around unable to do anything, you get bored and then you start eating and watching TV and that leads to bad habits. My knees worsened and the more frustrated I became, the more I ate and it kept compounding the problem.
My weight loss epiphany the beach
A few years ago while on holidays with my husband, Neil, at Nambucca Heads on the Mid North Coast of NSW, I had an epiphany that set me on this journey. My knees were in a terrible state, my weight was the worst it had ever been and as I looked at the beach, I felt miserable. I didn’t like the person I’d become. I was too embarrassed to even go onto the sand, let alone go swimming – so I went inside, flipped through a magazine and saw an ad for Weight Watchers. That was the moment I knew I had to turn my life around.
I’ve had two knee replacements
My weight loss has positively impacted my life in so many ways. I ended up having a few arthroscopies and two knee replacements – and as I kept losing weight my surgery recovery times improved each time. I feel better now at 57 than I did in my late 30s and early 40s. I have more energy, a healthier lifestyle and I exercise regularly. Because of my knees, there are certain exercises I can’t do, like running, but I walk all the time and I have a bike and a treadmill. And because I can keep up with her now, I love running around with my granddaughter Piper, 4.
I found other members so inspiring
When I still had 10 kilos to go I was feeling like a bit of a failure due to the time it was taking me to reach my goal weight. It was then I saw a success story in the magazine about someone who'd taken 6 years to reach their goal weight and it inspired me. I realised that everyone's journey is different and that it doesn't matter how long it takes, it's taking the first step that matters.
Now I love the beach
When we used to go on holidays, I’d sit at the bottom of hills and lookouts because I couldn’t get to the top. Now I can whizz up and I never miss out on anything. I have a lot more determination and willpower than I ever thought I would. Walking through the door at WW was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To have been able to stick with it through all the treatments and surgeries (and a wacky eye condition that caused double vision for four months) is amazing. You have to remember that WW isn’t a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle, and you don’t put the weight on overnight so it’s not going to come off overnight. You just have to try to not be too hard on yourself.
Susan's weight loss tips
1) Keep tracking.
Tracking is so important for your weight loss, if you have a good or bad week you can look back to see what worked for you. It also helps you to avoid food amnesia.
2) Set yourself small goals and work toward them.
If I had set myself a goal of 42 kgs it would have seemed so hard. Instead I set 10 kg goals for myself. As you lose weight, pick up an item of similar weight to what you've lost to remind yourself how far you've come.
3) Attending Group Coaching is so important.
Even if you have a bad week. You will receive all the support and motivation you need to get back on track and continue your weight loss.
Winning the Healthies
Our 2016 Healthies winners were treated to a week of pampering in Sydney! After hair makeovers and professional makeup, our winners were styled by Donny Gaella and gave their best poses for WW magazine.
Meeting the other Healthies winners
Weight Watchers has instilled in me a real commitment to healthy living and since winning The Healthies I’ve been walking around with an extra spring in my step. It was so special to be pampered, primped and preened. Meeting the other winners was really lovely - we all clicked and had an absolute ball! They’re such wonderful, inspirational women.
Embracing her new look
The styling session was a highlight because it pushed me out of my comfort zone to wear things I’d never normally have chosen for myself. I’ll never forget the moment when Donny Galella zipped me up and said, “Oh my god – look at your teeny-tiny waist!” No one has ever said that to me in my entire life! For the first time, I’m recognising my achievements, feeling proud of myself and acknowledging that what I’ve done is truly remarkable.
“I’ll never forget the moment when Donny Galella zipped me up and said, “Oh my god – look at your teeny-tiny waist!” No one has ever said that to me in my entire life!
Donny’s fashion tip
“When it comes to choosing a colour that suits you, try matching clothes to your eyes – look at how this navy dress brings out the blue in Sue’s eyes! As for the shape, the dress has clever panelling that’s slimming and ruching in just the right places to hide any tummy troubles.”