Gemma's gone from feeling out of breath after a five minute walk to completing a 5km charity run in memory of her mum.
Height: 1.55 m
Was: 119 kg
Lost: 60 kg
Weight: 59 kg
"I was fed up of feeling frumpy and lethargic. I was nearly 120kg and only 155cm and felt ridiculous. I knew I was overweight but never knew how to do anything about it - until I heard about Weight Watchers."
Gemma had tried a number of other diets before and nothing helped shift the weight so when she heard about Weight Watchers she was a bit sceptical. 'Nothing else had worked, why was this any different?', she thought.
But when she lost her first 6kg in only a few weeks, she realised she could do it and it spurred her on to reach her ultimate Goal weight.
"Joining a weight-loss club had never been high on my list of priorities," she reflects. "Because of my size I was very self conscious about signing up to a Meeting. The thought of going into a class where I would be the biggest one there and standing on the scales in front of someone, really intimidated me. But, when I heard I could sign up with Weight Watchers Online, I was delighted."
Discovering Weight Watchers Online
"I could lose weight in my own time and, because there were people to 'talk' to on the message boards, I didn't feel like I was missing out on the social side of Weight Watchers
But Gemma admits she was completely clueless about portion sizes and it was a real eye opener for her when she read articles on the website, weighed out her foods and realised what a sensible portion was.
"At first it didn't seem enough, as I was used to eating what I wanted, when I wanted. I never really thought about food, I just ate it and as a result got much bigger.
Now I view food very differently and know I wouldn't be able to eat a large plateful of food like I used to."
At the start, all of Gemma's food choices were unhealthy. "I'd have chips, burgers and loads of lollies, all washed down with soft drink".
But once I got into the swing of things, this changed. With every kilogram I lost, the less I wanted to eat unhealthy foods. It was a new revelation and as if a whole new world was opening up for me.
In the office I'd always be tempted with cakes and chocolate and felt rude if I said 'no' but after a few weeks I was able to resist temptation and don't feel like an outsider if I decline."
For Gemma, the Weight Watchers Program worked perfectly as she didn't have to give up any certain foods. She wanted to make different, better choices, which would lead to a healthier her. And, in the process, she even managed to encourage work colleagues to bring in homemade lunches and fruit instead of chocolate!
Exercise was also a complete 'no-no' when she was overweight, but when she made the commitment to Weight Watchers she also vowed she'd get fit in the process.
"I bought a gym membership and got a personal trainer," she says. "At first it was hard and on my gym induction I could barely walk for five minutes without getting out of breath; by the end of the session I was clinging onto the hand rails to stop me falling off!
Now I go to the gym four or five times a week and my personal trainer really keeps me motivated.
If anyone had ever said to me a couple of years ago I'd enjoy working out, I'd have laughed at them and made it very clear that they would never catch me in a gym. It seems absurd now that not only do I love going but I know nearly everyone's name when I'm there as well!"
A whole new world
"My weight loss has given me a new found confidence and drive.
I have now signed up for a university course and just completed a 5km charity run. I used to go to parties and sit in the corner watching everyone else have fun, but now I'm the life and soul of the party and love to get up dancing.
I'm just glad that Weight Watchers Online. was an option. If it hadn't been there I would never have started my journey but now I'm on the road, there's definitely no stopping me now."
Gemma's Top Tips:
- Take some form of exercise – no matter how big you are, you can do it.
- Take inspiration from other people on the website.
- Keep your old clothes as a reminder of the person you used to be.