Melanie Kenny, with daughter Shylah, has changed her life.
Melanie Kenny, with daughter Shylah, has changed her life.

Here's how we lost weight: three women share journey

IF losing weight and getting fit was one of your New Year resolutions, take inspiration from these incredible weight loss stories from Gladstone women.

Melanie Kenny, 39. Barista at McDonald's McCafe

The old Melanie: 

This time last year I was in the process of breaking up with my husband and my health suffered.

I was over 100kg and had a binge eating disorder which meant I could eat more than 10 packets of chips in one night.

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I'd been to see a psychologist, but I needed to start eating properly.

I was so depressed at the time and because I was fuelling my body with rubbish I just wanted to eat all the time.

It didn't help the fact that for the past 15 years I've worked at McDonald's and am constantly surrounded by fast food.

When I was pregnant with Shylah, now 5, I used to eat a loaf of banana bread before bed, which can't have been good.

HEALTHY: Melanie Kenny is pleased to be half the size she was.
HEALTHY: Melanie Kenny is pleased to be half the size she was. Mike Richards

The new Melanie:

In just eight months I went from a size 20 to 10 which basically means I lost half of myself, but gained so much, like confidence.

What worked?

Jenny Craig. I'm still constantly eating, but just the right foods and sizes and having it already prepared means I don't have to think about it.

What didn't?

Weightwatchers not as much, and with their weekly weigh-in process I felt intimidated stepping on those scales.

Duromine was also a terrible choice and you feel like you're on speed.

Advice to others:

Get someone, whether a friend, family member or a company to support you.

It makes you accountable and will keep you on track.

Jess Vock, 23, full-time mother

Jess Vock’s before picture, weighing in at 115kg.
Jess Vock’s before picture, weighing in at 115kg.

The old Jess:

I'd been bullied my whole life and was in school when I put on all the weight. I eventually left because it got so bad.

Shortly after, I had kids, aged 4, 3, and 1, and my weight fluctuated with each pregnancy. 

NEW LOOK: Jess Vock’s transformation, weighing in at a tiny 58kg.
NEW LOOK: Jess Vock’s transformation, weighing in at a tiny 58kg.

Being overweight gave me really bad health problems with my liver and I'd developed sleep apnoea.

I ended up going to the gym but hated it because people would make fun of me. So I bought my own gym equipment to save money.

The new Jess:

It's taken me more than 18 months, but I'm now at the stage I want to be.

Originally I weighed in at 115kg and now I'm only 58kg, so it's a massive change.

What worked?

Simply clean eating and working out. There are no shortcuts, but I did initially try the 12-week Optifast meal replacement shakes.

It really shrank my stomach but I couldn't have done it without eating salads and vegies.

What didn't?

Although I'm a natural person, I did try Duromine and I ended up in hospital, with heart problems.

Emily-Jo Willis, 27, personal trainer

Emily-Jo Willis’s before picture, this time last year. As she is today (left).
Emily-Jo Willis’s before picture, this time last year. As she is today (left).

The old Emily:

I'd always been fit and healthy, but it wasn't until I had the children that I put it all on and found it hard to shed.

My two kids are now two and a half and one, so I knew it was time to get back into shape.

The new Emily:

Well, I can actually run around with my kids now, and I'm beaming high energy.

I'm down to 68kg from 94kg so I've done quite well.

I just feel heaps different and it's so good to know that whatever outfit I see in the shops I can just pick it up and buy it without having to try it on. I just know it will fit.

What worked?

Being previously active helped. It made my body able to adapt back to training.

Herbalife was another saviour. It's like a shake replacement diet but it works with cellular nutrition and repairs your stomach.

What didn't?

Straight up - calorie counting. It just doesn't give your body enough fuel to last and then your body stores it as fat, especially around your waist as a fat belt.

Emily-Jo Willis' after photo.
Emily-Jo Willis' after photo.

Advice to others:

Just do it. Don't think about it.



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