Losing weight and changing your entire lifestyle is no mean feat.
That’s why three women who have lost a combined weight of 12 stone (77 kilograms) took part in a celebratory nude photoshoot.
Each of the women wanted to lose weight to become happier, healthier versions of themselves – overhauling their diets was never about wanting to look slim.
The gorgeous ladies – Kara, Melanie and Fleur – appear in the latest issue of the Australian Weight Watchers magazine.
Read their stories below:
Kara – lost 2 stone 13lbs (19kg)
Kara was lying in bed when she decided she wanted to try and lose some weight.
“I knew I was far too heavy. I was tired and I wasn’t looking after myself – I felt gross. I just didn’t want to be like that anymore,” she told Weight Watchers magazine.
“It was hard at first to overhaul my lifestyle and get used to planning all of my meals, but now it’s second nature.”
After she lost the first 11lbs (5kg), Kara saw an advert on Facebook for tryouts for a roller derby team. She described the sport as “basically rugby on roller stakes, without the ball”.
“I would never have had the confidence to try out before, but just losing those 5kg put me in the right headspace,” she added.
Melanie – lost 4 stone 6lbs (28kg)
Melanie suffers from osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia, but at the age of 42 she didn’t want to have to buy a mobility scooter to take her children to school. Instead, she worked hard to reach a healthy weight that made walking easier.
“It’s so important for my kids to see me lose weight properly, in a healthy and sustainable way,” she said.
“And it’s not about the reflection in the mirror, or even other people’s opinions, it’s about living with the skin you’re in and embracing it.”
Melanie decided to do the shoot as she’s sick and tired of seeing a “one-size-fits-all” idea of beauty portrayed in the media.
“There’s an awful lot of thigh gaps and skeletal frames around these days, and it’s not realistic,” she said. “I was pleased this was going to represent real women who are striving to be healthy and happy.”
Fleur – lost 4 stone 13 lbs (31.4kg)
In 1997 Fleur had a hysterectomy to have a tumour in her stomach removed. It was benign, but doctors believe it may have turned cancerous and spread to her lungs.
In 2007 she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and when chemotherapy didn’t work, she was forced to have more surgery.
As a result her body is now graced with two scars. Unfortunately her hardship wasn’t over there – she was loaded up with steroids to aid her recovery and still has to receive Zoladex injections to decrease her oestrogen level.
“The steroids made me so hungry, I’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches in the hospital at 2am. The Zoladex injections have the same effect on my hunger, so I’ve had to learn to control it,” she said.
Fleur has lost weight slowly and takes time off from Weight Watchers when she is having new treatment. Instead of reaching for unhealthy food after her injections, she now opts for nutritious options, drinks water or has a nap.
“It wasn’t until after the photoshoot that I thought about how I feel about my body, but you know what I realised? I love my body now,” she said.
“I know it is the way it is because of all the hard work I’ve put into it, and the battle scars are from the hell I’ve been through – and I survived.”