‘I lost 37kg without cutting out carbs or sugar’
The mother-of-two started feeling pain in her back after having her second child. Many GP visits later she was diagnosed with a disc bulge. She had her first spinal surgery in 2014, but a few years down the track things Angie’s condition worsened.
“I started to get back pain again and was getting weakness in my left leg. I had to give up walking the dogs due to knee and back pain.”
Due to ongoing complications with her spinal injury, she led an inactive lifestyle. “I was on a lot of medication to try to alleviate the pain, but was severely depressed, overweight and still in pain,” she explained to body+soul. “I was not able to do much with my family, and when we went somewhere, I would sit on the sidelines (watching the bags) while my husband had fun with the kids.”
By the time Angie booked to have her second spinal surgery in 2017, her weight jumped up to 121kg.
“My depression was also causing me to eat more food to try to make myself happy. It seemed to be the only thing I could do. Eat and sleep.”
Her previous diet consisted of easy – and not necessarily healthy – options that her children would also enjoy. She found herself consuming full-fat milk at breakfast and opting for calorically dense or nutritionally insufficient meals for dinner. Throughout the day she snacked on chips, Tim Tams and ice-cream.
Things continued to be slow post-surgery, and despite being advised to exercise in the pool everyday as part of her physio treatment, Angie was very self-conscious. “This is very daunting when you are overweight and going to a public pool.”
It was just after Christmas when she decided that she “had enough”. “I was looking through the Christmas photos and getting more upset and depressed over my size,” she explained.
“A Jenny Craig ad came on TV, I picked up the phone and booked an appointment for 29 Dec 2017. I could not wait for New Years resolutions, I had to do something now!”
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Angie’s current diet
With the help of her supportive family and Jenny Craig meal plans, Angie started incorporating healthier habits into her life.
“My husband limited the ‘junk food’ in the house and started buying healthier foods. More salad and vegetables were available for everyone and instead of having chips, the family would eat popcorn when watching movies.”
But this hasn’t meant she’s had to give up her favourite treat foods. “I never sacrificed being on Jenny Craig ever, you get delicious meals, plus you get treats like ice-cream and waffles and pancakes and all this beautiful food that made my family’s mouth drool.”
She has stayed committed to her wellness lifestyle, and even brings her meals with her. “Going back to work, I knew what to pack for lunch as it was on my menu… My co-workers were seeing my lunch and be gobsmacked at how much food I had and what I had. And I was losing weight!” she exclaims.
Angie’s day on plate
Breakfast: Cereal with low-fat milk and coffee.
Lunch: Bread/pasta/rice, baked beans, tuna/ham, salad/veg.
Dinner: Meat, vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, broccoli) or spaghetti bolognese, homemade pizzas, homemade sausage rolls.
Snacks: Rice cakes, salted popcorn, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat custard, milk Arrowroot biscuits.
Angie mixes up her workouts and keeps it simple. “My exercise varies depending on the day.”
She tries to squeeze in a form of exercise whenever there is a window of opportunity. “It’s anywhere from a 15-minute walk at work with co-workers to a 30 minute walk with the dogs on flat ground and yoga,”Angie explains.
Overall, Angie has lost an incredible 37kg in 54 weeks. She now weighs 85kg.
Angie’s advice to others
Angie has faced her fair share of challenges and temptations along the way, but she has been tactical with those issues. “Two days into the weight loss journey, I was at a NYE BBQ. I brought my own food and felt better for not being tempted by any of the food on the table,” she explains. She swears control is key.
“When my family comes home with McDonalds, I go and have a shower and air out the house. If I can’t see it, I can’t eat it!
Angie’s biggest advice to others is to keep going no matter what. “Start now, don’t wait until Monday or New Year’s or post holidays. One bad snack or meal doesn’t mean the end of the diet. Pick yourself back up, drink water and go for a walk. You can do it!”