A lifetime of bad eating habits and inactivity had this mom of three tipping the scales at 115kg. Sick and tired of feeling, well, sick and tired, Teresa decided enough was enough. She did a complete 360, changing her life for the better – and lost 45kg in the process.
Teresa Kerry-Ann Lantieri
Weight before: 115kg
Weight after: 69kg (she’s still working towards her goal weight)
Time required to reach current weight: 8.5 months
Secret weapon to your weight loss: Calorie counting
From a young age, Teresa struggled with her weight. “A lifetime’s worth of bad habits and inactivity played a role in me being – and staying – overweight,” she admits. Never an active person, besides a stint on the high school swimming team, Teresa wasn’t living the healthiest of lifestyles: zero exercise and not-so-stellar eating habits either. “I overate and ate whatever I felt like,” she says. Read: chips, chocolates and fast food. “I ate loads of calorie-dense, non-nutritious food. I never really worried about what was going into my body, as long as it tasted good,” she admits.
Teresa’s turning point came in July 2017. “I woke up and decided right then and there that I was going to change my lifestyle. I realised that I’d lived half a life for the past 31 years and that I wasn’t as healthy as I could be,” she explains. Teresa knew that this time, if she was going to embark on a weight-loss journey, it would have to be for one person: herself.
“I did a complete 180 on my lifestyle,” she says. The first things to go: sweets, cool drinks and junk food. Teresa also drastically changed the way she ate. “I added fresh veggies and fruit to all my meals.” A typical meal included vegetables and leans meats. Teresa made “protein a priority” and tracked her calorie consumption.
She also needed to up her activity, so she joined the gym and started working out every day, starting with cardio. She’d work out for 45 minutes, six times a week. As she got more comfortable with her exercise routine, she added weight training to accelerate the weight loss. Within a month, she’d lost nine kilograms – and she wasn’t looking back.
Once she’d adopted a healthy lifestyle, the weight melted off. As time went on and Teresa gained more knowledge about food, her diet broadened. “I still eat the same way – the only thing that’s changed is the fact that I now have a lot more variety. I’ve gained the knowledge I needed not to be afraid of food and calories.” And healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring: “Eating chicken and broccoli day in and day out isn’t the only way to lose weight.”
What worked at the beginning of Teresa’s journey still works for her now. She still does cardio and weight training six times a week, and moves as much as possible. The weight-loss process has left her feeling amazing: “I could feel the changes happening in my body. After the first few days I already felt healthier and that resulted in me feeling happier too.”
Nine months later and Teresa’s love of healthy living is going strong. “I can now run five kays without any issues. I’ve even run a 10km!” says Teresa. She’s also gone from a XXXL to a medium. But perhaps one of the primary rewards is being a better mom. “I no longer sit on the sidelines and watch my children play; I take part in what they’re doing.” She also admits that life is way more exciting now that her weight isn’t holding her back. “I take opportunities to do as much as I can, and I’m no longer afraid to try new things for fear that my weight will be an issue. I have a zest for life that I didn’t previously have,” she adds.
Teresa’s journey is far from over and she’s keen to inspire other people. She has a Facebook group and Instagram page where she shares her progress, posts recipes and helps motivate others. One final lesson from Teresa: this journey is all about you. “You are the only one who can do this – no one can do it for you. I found it easier to become my own hero, to become as strong as I need to be as an individual to be able to accomplish this.”
Motivation gets you started, dedication keeps you going: “Create healthy habits that help you achieve your goals even when the motivation is no longer there.”
It’s not “one size fits all”: “You need to do what works for you, and when you find the winning formula, stick to it. Don’t let anyone try to change the way you do things if you’re comfortable and happy with it.”
Trust the process: “Even when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, just keep going. Your body will reward you for your efforts.”