It was half way through 2016 when Grace applied for a full time law job and realised she would need to start taking better care of her health.
“I was already a fourth year law student at UQ, studying full time,” says Grace. “I knew that I tended to eat when I was stressed or anxious, so if I had to work and study full time then I needed to be emotionally, physically and mentally strong to manage both. I knew it was time to get in control, put my mind to it and do it. I thought I would give it a go, and hoped it could be a big turning point.”
With the support of her family behind her, Grace started a LifeShape 12 program and found amazing support in her mum from the very beginning.
“Mum came with me for my first few consultations,” remembers Grace. “I still live at home, where mum does most of the cooking. Although a challenge at times when she was also trying to also cater for my two younger brothers, the whole family has benefited from cooking healthier. They’ve all come along for the ride!”
Grace is first to admit, there were challenges along the way, however her clinical team were always available to support her.
“The biggest thing when changing your habits is all the little things – it’s not just a switch you can turn off,” explains Grace. “It was a time commitment to go to weekly consultations, but I couldn’t have achieved this without them. Completing a program over 12 months was so important to break and form new habits. It’s taking the time to realise the subconscious things you do. You can’t just tick a box or flip a switch, I have been training and learning for 12 months and so far it’s worked. My Dietitian was always supportive and if I fell over, she helped me with what went wrong and what to do next time. She never pushed me more than I could handle, and helped me recognise each small success rather than hanging up on the shortfalls. With all of the other stress in my life, my Dietitian helped me to create a foundation to support my busy lifestyle, rather than letting my weight loss journey be another added stress.”
With the support she received from her clinical team, Grace has been able to structure a routine that works for her and her lifestyle.
“Routine is the biggest thing for me now,” says Grace. “Best of all, because I have built these healthy habits, I hardly even think about it now. I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal or having extra snacks and I don’t follow a plan 100% of the time either. It’s good to know I don’t have to. I’m comfortable enough to have a glass of wine, a treat or a fun meal with friends because I have solid habits for the majority of the week – and the results come anyway.”
These results come in the form of a 24kg weight loss^, and the gain of a whole new lease on life. One of the things Grace really enjoys now, is coordinating fun, active social events not solely focused around food.
“I have so much more confidence in myself,” says Grace. “I love going to my PT sessions, going to Zumba and getting my family and friends out and about in the sunshine. My brother has always been active, playing soccer and going sailing. Now I love going sailing with him and my dad because, if I capsize I know I have the strength to get up again. I love encouraging my friends to come to Zumba with me. Our culture is so focused on social eating and drinking, but you don’t have to drink wine to be social!”
One of the things that surprised Grace about the program was how easy it was to incorporate physical activity into her day.
“The exercise component was not difficult to do at all,” admits Grace. “Seeing an Exercise Physiologist was great for understanding exercise better. He was able to explain and show me what my heart rate should be to lose weight. It was so reassuring that you didn’t have to punish yourself – I definitely enjoy physical activity so much more now. I am more active on the weekends getting out and about, walking the dog, getting out in the fresh air. When I’ve had a flat day at work, I make an extra effort to go to my PT session instead of going home to watch Netflix because I know now how much better I will feel after exercising. I feel strong, energised, and much more connected with myself. Just a bit of physical activity makes things so much more bearable sometimes. I’m now obsessed with being outdoors!”
That’s only part of what Grace has gained on the program.
“I really feel like I have balance now,” says Grace. “The program has massively impacted my life. I feel emotionally stable and have managed to handle everything. I get a good amount of sleep and make a huge effort to leave work on time to get to my consultations or to do some physical activity. For me, overall I think I’ve focused far more on the emotional side of things than just the physical weight loss. However, it makes me feel so good to shop for new clothes. I went shopping with mum the other day, and I had so much more confidence. At first I was shopping for size 10-12, until I realised I actually needed a size 8. I haven’t been this shape since before high school.”
Post-program, Grace has opted to join a support program to continue her healthier, happier lifestyle.
“I’m really just keeping up my routine now, and it’s great to check in once a month,” says Grace. “Ultimately, I have learned the tips and tricks to manage social situations and work. In the city there are so many options, once upon a time I may have popped out for a treat, but my mind doesn’t even go there now.
“In the beginning, I didn’t think I could get there,” admits Grace. “The idea of losing 20kgs sounded so good, but also impossible. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my team. My check-ins with my Dietitian were so beneficial, she gave me a plan for the week and the motivation to keep going. I feel like I’ve built the habits to help me balance everything in my life. Being confident in myself and my abilities has helped me to embrace the best parts of myself.”
Need Help Finding A Healthy Balance for You?
If you need a little extra help finding a healthy balance for you, consider seeking the help of an Accredited Practising Dietitian for tailored advice. A healthier, happier you starts with just one phone call to 1800 567 348. Alternatively you can register your interest online.
^Your results may vary. To find out what you can achieve on your LifeShape Program book a no obligation initial assessment with one of our Dietitians, call 1800 567 348. Alternatively you can register your interest online.