Thursday, February 19, 2015


GOAL baby…
I reached my goal weight of 74kg in March 2011 –
exactly 6 years after Logan was born.

A total of almost 40kg gone…

At the beginning of 2011 I set myself 3 goals.
I wrote my goals in a small notebook that I carried in my handbag – I could see it every time I went to get my wallet or my keys from my bag…
Those goals were:
Enter the Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards
Run 5k in less than 30mins
Be a sixties girl (weight less than 70kg)
I qualified to enter the Healthy Life Awards (HLA) when I reached my goal weight on 21st March 2011.
My weight loss journey had changed my life & my hope was to be able to inspire others to join this life changing adventure.
As I sat down to answer the application questions I was faced with the realisation that I had never told this story before & I wasn’t actually sure if I wanted to.

My story was not just about having lost 40 kilos…it wasn’t that simple.
My story was about an overweight five year old girl, an overweight teenager & a woman who had spent her 20s & her 30s battling her weight – a woman who had spent most of her life on a hideous weight loss/weight gain rollercoaster ride.
I was going to have to bare it all, I was going to have to be honest & tell the whole, raw story!
I was going to have to reflect on some very dark times & I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for that!
Yes, I’d lost 40 kilos but hadn’t I lost weight in the past?
Hadn’t I lost 15, 20 & even 25kg before…only to put it all back on again (& some!).
So, why would it be any different this time?
Why would it be any different this time?
Why would it be any different this time?
This question filled my mind & as I began filling in the entry form I still wasn’t certain that it WOULDN’T be different this time...
 …but I did know that I was a hell of a lot closer to being ‘there’ than I had ever been in my life!
I knew with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my being that this HAD to be the last time!
I didn’t think that I could do it again - I just couldn’t…
Until next time,
Toni x

Friday, December 12, 2014

How do you go from being completely inactive to running 5k?

OK, I’d decided that I needed an attitude overall so I started with my activity (or lack of it!)…

I began by changing the way I thought about exercise.
I went from thinking
‘exercise is something I have to do to lose weight’
to thinking
‘exercise makes me feel good & is great for my health’

I found that when I thought about it in terms of health rather than weight loss I was more inclined to do it!
After all my goal was to be healthy right?
So I started setting goals!
My first exercise related goal was to run 5k!

Ambitious I know – I’d never ran 5 metres let alone 5 kilometres…

In fact, I’d only ever considered running something I had to do if there was a fire…


But I set my goal & I set about training for it.
I found an 8-week training program online & I was off…
We lived at Airlie Beach & the foreshore is nothing less than spectacular – I had a stunning backdrop to motivate me.
But living in the tropics had its challenges…when the weather was good it was PERFECT but when the weather was bad it was HORRENDOUS!

In the two years we were in Airlie we lived through an earthquake, numerous floods & 3 cyclones, Ului, Anthony & Yasi - the kids & I evacuated for Yasi. Ben was with the SES so he had to stay - it was a most harrowing time...

But I continued to train - I ran in the sun, I ran in the wind, I even rain in the rain (I figured I was only going to get wet) – I didn’t let anything stop me. And in July 2010 I did my first 5k run. I did it in just over 36mins & I was SO proud of myself!

Never had I felt such elation as I crossed that finish line with my beautiful family & friends waiting for me.


I did it!
It didn’t matter that LOADS of people finished
in front of me, even the winner of the 10k race beat me!
But I wasn’t competing with anyone else that day,
this was about ME & being the best that I could be…

I finished that race & raised almost $400 for The Cancer Council in the process.
I didn’t realise at the time how significant this fund raising was but the following year my dear dad would be diagnosed with lung cancer…


After the race I continued to run & still do today.
I love the way it makes me feel – strong, healthy & free!

By Christmas 2010 I weighed 78kg.
I’d dropped 9 kilos by simply adding exercise to my day!
Those 9 kilos made all the difference to the way I looked & the way I felt, my confidence soared…
I was almost at my goal weight,
but that’s a story for next time…
see you then.

Toni x















Thursday, December 11, 2014

The year that EVERYTHING changed...

2010 was a year of BIG changes for me & my weight loss.
I had been diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid & it was brimming with nodular goitre…
After numerous tests, scans & biopsies it was found to be free of cancer & although it was functioning normally, the specialists recommended its removal.

I actually never noticed the ‘lump in my throat’ when I looked in the mirror but you can clearly see the enlarged gland in these photos.

I was reluctant to have it removed, my thyroid worked perfectly fine. I asked myself why I would undergo surgery if it was merely for cosmetic reasons. Would I want to take thyroid medication for the rest of my life simply to get rid of that lump?
So, I got a second opinion!

This time the recommendation was the same but the specialist was a little more convincing with his arguments for its removal. My thyroid was enlarged & it was GROWING!
OK, I get it now – let’s get this sucker out!

Thyroid removal is a relatively safe procedure – they simply slit your throat, the gland pops out & the surgeon removes it.
One of the risks of this surgery is nerve damage which could result in a permanent hoarse or weak voice.
There is also the risk that the entire thyroid may not be removed during surgery & it may grow back resulting in further surgeries…

I underwent surgery in February 2010.
My surgery was successful, no husky voice & no sign of it growing back.
My thyroid levels continue to be normal (almost 5 years on) thanks to daily medication.

I had thought, pre-surgery, that I was relatively fit & healthy even though I carried some excess weight – I had lost 25kg after all!

So, I was completely SHOCKED that it took my body so long to recover after surgery. I’d thought I would be back on my feet in no time at all – boy was I wrong!


This health scare was the catalyst for a major change in my weight loss plan.
I’d always thought that losing weight was about how I looked.
It suddenly occurred to me that losing weight wasn’t about vanity - it was about having a longer, healthier life!
With two small children, 5 & 3, I realised that I was: 
approaching 44
still overweight (87kg)
& inactive!
Up until this point I had managed to lose over 25kg without doing very much exercise.
My attitude towards exercise was that it was something I HAD to do if I wanted to lose weight.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday, my
It was seriously like a light went on & I could suddenly see things more clearly…
It was the moment I realised that this was the only body I was ever going to have & if I didn’t look after it on-one would!
This body belonged to me & only me.
I was responsible for the condition it was in & it was my sole responsibility to make the changes that needed to be made!
So, it will come as no surprise to you, I’m sure, that the turning point came when my thinking changed.
I realise now that I had been conditioned to think a certain way & that my belief systems were firmly in place.
I had always been overweight – how could I possibly expect to be a healthy weight?
My conditioning was to think that eating healthy & exercise were things I had to do for as long as it took to lose the weight.
So I started THINKING differently…
Toni x
Tune in next time to find out what impact changing my thinking had on my weight loss.




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I was 113.4kg...

I was 113.4kg after Mia was born in November 2006.

Our little family was complete – it was time to finally shed ALL this excess weight & find myself again…

Ben loved to cook & I loved to eat!
He would lovingly prepare a scrumptious meal from one of the lovely cookbooks we had (Jamie Oliver was a favourite!) & we would demolish enough for four people!

So over the next 12 months we reduced the size of our portions & started walking – we both lost 20kg!
Cracking the 100kg mark was a MASSIVE milestone for me.
I am 99kg in this photo with Logan -
riding the dodgems at the Hay Show.
Finally in double digits…

This is our first family photo – it is one of my absolute favourite pictures!
I’d lost 20kg, I felt fantastic & then we moved…
We left Hay & moved to Brisbane - it was January 2008. Mia was just over 12 months old & Logan was almost 3.
was 93kg.
I felt certain that I could continue to lose the weight but once we’d moved I became withdrawn & very, very sad.
Leaving that beautiful little town that had been my home for 4 years was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Our first home together was there, we’d had both our babies there, and I had changed my life there!
Leaving filled me with sadness & a longing for the beautiful life I had had – I felt like I'd lost my safe haven…
I remember sitting in the corner of our new home crying, thinking ‘I just want to go home’
But I was home & I realised that I could continue being sad or I could choose to appreciate all that I had.
I had two beautiful babies & THE most wonderful husband…
For the next year I managed to maintain my weight at 93kg.
This was a HUGE achievement for me,
after all I didn’t have a good track record…
 I was good at losing weight but I was even better at FINDING IT!
It was January 2009 when I decided that I needed help to lose the next 20kilos.
I joined Weight Watchers, for what I was determined would be, the FINAL time!
I needed support, I needed to be accountable & I needed a program that was based on REAL food…
In June 2009 we moved again, this time heading further north to the beautiful Whitsundays.
My Weight Watchers journey certainly wasn’t all smooth sailing!
In fact by the end of my first year with Weight Watchers I had lost 5kg!
Yep, that’s right a whole big, whopping 5kilos!
Whoopty doo!
I took responsibility for it though, I knew I wasn’t committed to making the changes that needed to be made.
I showed up every week but I wasn’t ‘SHOWING UP’.
I made excuses - my heads not in the right place,
I’m tired, I’m too busy…
I discussed with Ben my plan to quit Weight Watchers.
I felt that I was wasting my time & our money – we were a single income family as we had chosen for me to be home with the children while they were young…
The words that came out of Ben’s mouth during that discussion changed my life!
I know that I wouldn’t be sitting here now, at my ideal weight, without him - I owe him so much…
Ben has been one of my greatest motivators on this journey.
He has loved & supported me every step of the way.
I’m sure that if I’d told him I needed to go to the moon, he’d have found a way to get me there!
But that day he said ‘if you hadn’t been going to Weight Watchers you might have gained 5kgs & then you’d be 10kg heavier than you are now. Keep going, I know you can do it.’
He made me realise that 5kgs is 5kgs!
And that progress is progress!
Not fast progress but progress all the same!
This was exactly what I needed to remind me to focus on what I HAD achieved & not what was still to be achieved…
Two things happened in 2010 that changed everything for me!
Tune in next time to find out how I lost the next 20 kilos...



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Next Twenty Years...

Two decades of yo-yo dieting exhausted me…
I was 25 & I had a completely unrealistic image of myself. I weighed 79kg & I thought I was HUGE!
To put it in perspective - I was wearing size 12 clothes…
And so I embarked on my first DIET…
I joined a Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre & lost 16kg.
This put me at the bottom of my healthy weight range at 63kg.
I spent the next 15 years trying (unsuccessfully) to maintain this weight loss.
I hadn’t learned anything, after all I was simply eating the packaged food I was told to eat…
I still had no idea about good nutrition or the benefits of regular activity.
My early weight-loss lessons were that fats & carbs were BAD & should be avoided at all costs!
Every weight-loss marketing message I received had different advise:
§  low-fat
§  no-fat
§  low-carb
§  no-carb
§  combine foods
§  high-protein
§  don’t eat after 7pm!!!!
And so I tried them all…I did EVERY ‘diet’ on the planet!
The Atkins Diet, Tony Ferguson, Lite n’ Easy, Jenny Craig, pills, potions, injections & shakes…
and I joined Weight Watchers MANY, MANY times…
My weight fluctuated between 63 & 94kg from my early 20’s to my late 30’s. I
 went from a size 8 to a size 16 & everywhere in between…
When I met my husband Ben in 2004 I weighed 86kg (I was married previously but that’s another story for another blog…). What can only be described as a whirlwind romance saw us married & pregnant within a year!
I resigned from my corporate position in the city, sold my house & left Sydney!
I was born & bred in Sydney – I was 37 years old & I’d never lived anywhere else.
I moved to Hay (in the Riverena Region of NSW), a town with a population, at the time, of 3,500.
I LOVED my new, simpler, happier life! I was pregnant, I was happy & before I knew it I’d gained 30 kilos!

I tipped the scales at an impressive 117kg full-term!
Our beautiful baby boy, Logan, entered the world to the delight of all in March 2005 & I was so blissfully happy.
I had a beautiful healthy baby, I had a wonderful loving husband & I had a sweet country home – what more could a girl want?
This photo was taken a couple of months after Logan was born – I weighed 107kg & I was wearing size 20 pants…

Seeing this photo now is heart-breaking because at the time I had no idea that I looked like that! I don’t recognise that girl…

There is a trick we play with ourselves – it’s called denial.
I knew that I was heavier than I’d ever been before but I never acknowledged just how much weight I had actually gained.
I was down to 104kg when I discovered I was pregnant with our second baby. I was 40 at the time so we weren’t mucking around with this baby thing…

I was determined not to gain the same amount of weight with my second pregnancy so I started a weight loss support group in our small town.
We would meet once a week, weigh & measure, share recipes & support each other.
I was pleased to have only gained 13kg & delivered a gorgeous baby girl, Mia Rose, in November 2006.
I weighed 113.4kg…