Kate shares how a moment of truth changed her life
A SINGLE photograph was all it took for Gympie woman Kate Martin to make a decision that would change her life.
Ms Martin, 29, had just returned from an overseas holiday to Thailand in May last year and was pouring through a handful of photos friends had taken of her visiting an elephant park.
It was a rare photograph of the Gympie woman, who found herself behind the camera lens more than in front during her holiday.
"I looked at the photos and thought, 'Who's that chick?' because I couldn't believe who I was looking at," she said.
Ms Martin was hit with a wake-up call. She was overweight, unhealthy and barely able to recognise herself.
"I had locked myself away and was so busy being a mum I had neglected my health," she said.
"I was making no effort and it was a massive wake-up call."
Those photos were pushed aside and Ms Martin summoned a resolve to change her situation.
The busy mother devised a plan of accountability to keep her lifestyle overhaul on track - she was going to use social media.
She set up a Facebook page in late October last year tracking her journey and Ms Martin hasn't taken a backward step since.
"I started the Facebook page to keep myself accountable," she said.
"At first it was only for family and friends but I guess they started sharing it and it grew from there."
Now the page has more than 1000 likes and the new and improved Ms Martin has a public following.
"People have stopped me in the shopping centre and asked, 'Are you Kate?'
"One time a lady approached me while buying shoes and another time I was approached down in Maroochydore."
Ms Martin said she had lost more than 24kg since her journey began last year but refused to focus on numbers and the scales.
"I want to get the message out there, especially to teenage girls, it's not about a number," she said.
"We have to focus on living healthily because we are all different and there is no magic weight."
Getting her life back on track requires some compromise, however.
"I have what I call the 80-20 rule," Ms Martin said.
"I am good 80% of the time and allow myself to be less healthy 20% of the time. It's all about moderation."
The weight-loss champion is now finding her tastebuds have changed and she rarely craves the sugar-rich foods once a staple in her diet.
Despite all the support and ongoing success of Ms Martin's Facebook page, the Gympie woman has to deflect negativity from what she calls "trolls".
"I have a filter on my page that allows me to remove nasty comments," she said.
"There will always be people who want to knock and I just brush them off."
And Ms Martin has good reason too - the vast majority of people offer words of support and share their own weight-loss journeys.
"If what I am doing helps just one person, then it has all been worth it," she said.