1.What’s your story?
As a teenager I was at normal weight, around 65 kg. Living in the UK and not eating the healthiest I could, I started gaining weight and then I found myself being overweight at 18. Very soon I got married and when the first child came, I was already 15 kilos above my normal weight. I did not manage to lose it, I did not even try. Then my second child came and the weight gain was another 15 kilos on top. I continued not doing anything about it. I knew I was obese, I wanted to lose weight but had no support.
2. What made you decide to lose weight?
I spent half of my life feeling like a prisoner trapped in my own body. What made me decide to break free from this extra weight was moving to Cyprus. The mentality here is much more different, everyone is taking care of themselves, they go to the gym and they pay attention to what they eat. Going to the beach, seeing women my age wearing bikinis and so many other people putting an effort in improving the way the look made me feel bad about my body. After years and years of being obese, I was also depressed and that’s when I decided to do something about it. I started this life-changing journey for me and for my two children. I wanted to be healthy for them and be able to see my body toned and healthy now that I’m still young. I knew I had the strength to do it. I needed to prove this to myself.
3. What was the personal target that you had set?
I didn’t have a personal target, I was just going with the flow. All I knew was that I needed to lose weight and at that time I had no one to advise me on how to do it properly or what my ideal weight was.
4.How long did it take you to start to see results?
It took me around 3 months to start losing some weight starting with the gym at first. Personal training really helped because my instructor was so motivating – he heard and understood my story and was very supportive. Regular exercise was not enough though. I did not understand at the time that nutrition was the biggest part of losing weight and keeping it off.
5.What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Only by losing the first few kilos I immediately felt more confident with myself, more confident to continue and lose more weight. I took extra care of what I ate, how often I ate it and the portions I ate. Then I met Anna Cortesi, my dietitian. She inspired me to follow her professional advice on weight loss, follow her weekly nutrition plans and mentally prepare myself for the challenge ahead!
6.How many kilos have you lost overall?
Through the unstoppable support of my gym instructor and my dietitian Anna Cortesi, I have lost a total of 48 kg and I am very grateful I met her.
7.What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The most challenging part of all was living in Cyprus. The food here is delicious and because of the culture it is so easy to lose track of your heathy eating regime and be distracted by sweet and savoury Mediterranean foods. I had to try and resist temptation of many ‘bad’ foods and of course eliminate my alcohol intakes. I cannot say that I was deprived of any of the foods I like. Anna taught me how to eat everything in moderation, all foods being part of a healthy eating plan when eaten at the right portions for my body structure.
8.What kept you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
One of the most important parts was having a great leader such as Anna Cortesi. Anna has been the rock of this whole process, always supportive and very understanding. Her passion for a healthy lifestyle inspired me. My children is another reason for continuing onto this journey and of course the passion that emerged for motivate other people to do the same thing. Above all, I am motivated and inspired by my own story.
9. How has your life changed now that you have lost all the weight?
The attention I started receiving from men for the first time after so many years is unbelievable!
It makes you think of how other people see and think of you in a different body. Moreover, I now feel that my parents are proud of my weight loss success and I no more feel like I leave people I love down. I have become more confident, more outgoing, less stressed and more relaxed. I am more productive with myself, my children, my work and my life. I sleep for 6 hours a day and I feel they’re enough. Having all that excess weight, I felt the need of 9 hours of sleep, therefore wasting a lot of time doing nothing.
10.What advice would you give to others who are trying to lose weight?
Believe in your own power, never be embarrassed. Yes, find your goals in life and chase them. Remain positive and never be ashamed to ask for support. If support is offered to you, take it, it is there for a reason – to guide you and bring the best out of you! Stay strong and above all, BELIEVE in yourself. Anyone can do it. I am living proof.