Here, four women share the light bulb moment that sparked their weight-loss transformation…
Katherine Garcia, 28, Lost 17kg
The moment: While holidaying in April 2016, Katherine saw a photo of herself at the beach at 100 kilos. “I suddenly recognised that my weight was a reflection of me not caring about myself,” she says. “I’d been using food to fill a void.”
How she harnessed it: As soon as she returned home, Katherine hired a nutrition coach, who had her start to practise mindful eating (taking time to chew her food and listen to her body’s fullness cues), consume more veggies and set boundaries with friends who often wanted to eat out or sent her tempting Instagram “food porn” photos (Katherine asked them to support her on her path to better health). She also began doing Zumba three or four times a week. Now, she has kept up her exercise habit and has mostly kicked her sugar addiction.
Tyraia Colbert, 33, Lost 36kg
The moment: In 2014, something clicked for stiletto-enthusiast Tyraia. “I could barely make it from the parking garage to my office because my weight [136 kilograms] made wearing heels so uncomfortable,” she says. “I knew I had to do something.”
How she harnessed it: Tyraia signed up for her job’s wellness programme – she’s an office assistant at a medical centre – and worked with a nutritionist to overcome her stress eating. She also began attending cardio-strength classes, Zumba, Pilates and yoga four or five times a week.
Daniell Nielsen Jenkins, 41, Lost 31kg
The moment: On the morning of 16 August 2012, Daniell received word that her husband, Brandon, a police officer, had been killed on the job. Mired in grief, she experienced a flash of clarity that told her she had to get healthy for their five kids.
How she harnessed it: Daniell had struggled with weight most of her life and had yo-yoed in the past. This time, though, at 97 kilos, she approached things differently: “as something I was doing for myself, not to myself,” she says. Six weeks after Brandon was killed, Daniell joined a gym and got a trainer. She also tracked her food with an app and eliminating added sugar and empty carbs made a difference on the scale. She decided to become a personal trainer to help others get to a healthier place too.
Catherine Anderson, 50, Lost 46kg
The moment: Right before Mother’s Day in 2009, Catherine’s then-husband filed for divorce. At 108 kilos, “I’d been miserable in my body for years,” she says. “The shock of the split inspired me to take back some control of my life.”
How she harnessed it: After the divorce was finalised, Catherine joined Weight Watchers with a friend. After two years of doing cardio on a treadmill, she began exercising with a trainer at a gym, who introduced her to strength workouts and high-intensity interval training. “I embraced the challenge,” she says. Encouraged by visible results, she cut out most processed foods, flour and sugar and developed a love for healthier living: “The more time you put into the things you want to change, the more you’ll change.”