When Woman’s Day gave readers the chance to win $5000
and guidance from Elle Macpherson’s personal trainer, we were flooded
with inspirational weight-loss stories. Meet our three amazing finalists.
Winner: Tanya Phillips, 30 years-old and a mother of three from Shepparton, Victoria, lost a total of 70kg.
“I started with small changes.”
“I began piling on weight in 2006 after my husband left me and I became a single mum to Jordan, 9, Natashja, 7, and Xzavaier, 5.
“The loneliness drove me to eat. My mouth became an endless black hole. I wanted to get fat, as I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone getting close to me again.
“Then Tashj was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Jordan was diagnosed with the same condition in 2009, and Xzavaier was diagnosed this year. Tashj cannot show any affection at all, Jordan can only go to regular school three hours a day and has a special aide, while Xzavaier also needs special attention at school.
“I was so busy with the kids I didn’t even think about exercise but last year, when I saw a full-length photo of myself taken at a birthday party, something tweaked. Was I really the person in this photo? How had I become so big? I was a size 28 and knew I had to change, not just for me, but for my kids.
Runner-up: Amy Waight, 32 years-old from Bathurst, NSW is a Graphic Designer and lost a total of 90kg.
“Food is not the enemy.”
“Growing up, I was always the tubby kid and I am still haunted by the nickname ‘Fat Amy’ from school. I remember going to the school formal in a long-sleeve dress that went up to my neck and down to my ankles – it was the middle of summer and I just wanted to disappear.
“There wasn’t a light bulb moment for me but a gradual series of revelations that made me realise I needed to change.
“I have lost 90kg in three-and-a-half years. I have a Facebook following of 1000 weight-loss friends and my biggest tip to them is not to stop eating. A lot of people see food as the enemy rather than simply restructuring the way they eat.
Runner-up: Lisa Hartley, 43-years-old, from Sydney, NSW is an Eye surgery practice manager and lost a total of 82kg.
"I inspire others to lose weight."
“I think the first emotional trigger for my weight gain was losing my younger brother in a tragic accident when he fell off a balcony playing at a friend’s house.
It was shortly after that I started piling on the pounds.
“I tried everything on and off for 30 years, but my biggest trigger was going shopping with a friend who had lost weight on a program called Be Trim.
As I watched her try on tiny-sized clothes, I thought, if she could do it, perhaps I could too. It cost $50 a week and involved weighing food, strictly limiting carbohydrates and one-on-one sessions with a consultant.
“Exercise was hard – I was utterly exhausted after walking up two flights of stairs. After dropping a few kilograms, though, I started walking a kilometre every day and now I go to the gym four times a week.
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