Warning signs spark incredible weight loss
In just shy of one year, Fiona Cooper, 47, has completely transformed her body after losing an impressive 50kg.
Ms Cooper, of Hampton Victoria, began her incredible weight loss journey at 124.9kg when she joined Jenny Craig.
Now, she's sits at a happy and healthy 75kg with a new size 8 to 10 wardrobe to match.
"I'm at an age where my health could go downhill easily - heart disease and diabetes are so prevalent, so I knew I needed to act pre-emptively to ensure I didn't have a doctor delivering me bad news in a few months' time," Ms Cooper told news.com.au
"I had a few warning signs and things that just didn't add up so one day I just thought, that's enough.
"Everything to that point added up to the fact that I needed to start looking after myself a bit better."
And so she did.
Ms Cooper joined the weight loss program and quickly realised that her mainly coffee, biscuit and ice cream diet was leading her down a dangerous path.
"My metabolism was non-existent due to the low volume of food and no exercise," she said.
Even though she incorporated chicken salads and other proteins like steak, she still wasn't consuming a balanced diet or doing any exercise or movement.
"I proceeded to think that my day-to-day life was normal, as I had accepted that this was me no matter what size," Ms Cooper said.
"To a certain point, I did avoid mirrors and photos - even though I had an amazing wardrobe and I presented myself well. When I look back, I became more of a homebody and focused my attention on family and a tight-knit group of friends, as they were non-judgemental, and I distanced myself away from the ones who were."
Ms Cooper, who is a print management unit manager, said prior to losing the weight, she was a "yes" person.
"I constantly put myself last and was always working late. I really thought I was happy the way I was and I kind of settled on it. Now, my life is so different. I'm active, social and more present.
"Exercising came once I had dropped the initial few kilos and felt comfortable enough to put myself out there in public."
Her weekly training involves attending her local XBarre studio - an intense full body workout inspired by dance.
Ms Cooper said the biggest challenge now is maintaining her new lifestyle.
"Coming off the Jenny Craig food and starting on the maintenance program, now that I'm at my goal weight maintaining it is what will be the challenge for me," she told news.com.au
The 47-year-old has been working closely with a consultant to help with shopping and preparing food.
"It was initially daunting to be in charge of my own destiny and being the one to make smart choices when it comes to food," she said.
"Would I remember how to cook? Would I know what to order when eating out daily on holiday?"
But she soon overcame those fears and conquered her new way of life.
"My two squares of chocolate suddenly seemed minuscule in comparison to the entire block I would have eaten previously. Challenging moments like this have turned out to be blessings because I can really see how far I've come," she said.
At the start of her transformation, Ms Cooper thought it would take two to three years to lose the weight.
"But Renee (her consultant) was so great and in speaking with me, recognised that looking at it in such a macro view was overwhelming me and making it all seem insurmountable."
"Identifying the way I was feeling, she just broke it down in stages - so for example, the first 10 kgs will look like this … the next will look like this and I still can't quite believe it, I lost the weight in 10 months," Ms Cooper said.
Today, Ms Cooper makes a conscious effort to improve her health, wellness and fitness.
"I now have an active social life, I work out, and I'm so much happier. I always say I'm 'training for life'."
"This transformation for me though is more than just skin deep. I'm a different person inside and out. My weight loss journey has been the most amazing experience."
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Originally published as Warning signs spark incredible weight loss