“25kg I lost & dis­cov­ered my pas­sion”

– WW mem­ber Re­nee Black, Qld

Weight Watchers Magazine (Australia) - - Front Page -

Re­nee Black was chat­ting to her boss when she was asked a ques­tion that threw her. “She asked what I did for fun and I rat­tled off ev­ery­thing I did. She said, ‘What do you do for you? What makes your heart sing?’” Re­nee thought about it and re­alised the an­swer was Latin danc­ing, which she had not done for 10 years be­cause of in­juries, her weight and life get­ting in the way. That week­end she re­solved to make a change. “I looked up salsa classes and found two in my area. I started the next day.” She also saw an ad for Weight Watch­ers on TV and signed up then and there.

MAK­ING A CHANGE

“The weight had been slowly creep­ing up for about seven years,” says Re­nee. “I had a knee op­er­a­tion a year and a half ago so that had also made me more seden­tary. In the last few weeks be­fore I joined WW I had found it difficult to roll over in bed, I was get­ting pins and nee­dles in my arms and was hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing. I knew I had to do some­thing.”

Af­ter her first meet­ing, Re­nee thought WW wasn’t for her. “I thought it was too touchy-feely. But luck­ily I’d signed up for three months. I told my­self I’d give it a good go and af­ter a while I re­alised a lot of my ini­tial mis­giv­ings were to do with fear of be­ing judged by ev­ery­one.”

Re­nee now loves her meet­ings and says they’re one of the main fac­tors be­hind her weight­loss suc­cess. “Hav­ing to be ac­count­able to some­one ev­ery week is re­ally im­por­tant. It’s also great hav­ing peo­ple to share my suc­cesses with – when I lost 20kg I broke down in tears. Ev­ery­one’s re­ally sup­port­ive.”

Re­nee says WW has worked for her be­cause of the flex­i­bil­ity. “There are no re­stric­tions. I can have a cho­co­late brownie and en­joy it. And I’ve learned about por­tion sizes.”

Re­nee has lost 25kg in just seven months. “I couldn’t be­lieve how quickly it hap­pened,” she says. “But once the light went on in my head, ev­ery­thing fell into place eas­ily. I found my pas­sion and my drive.”

DANC­ING QUEEN

Re-ig­nit­ing her pas­sion for danc­ing wasn’t al­ways easy; Re­nee’s first salsa classes were tough. “I was sweat­ing like a pig but I stuck at it,” she says. An an­kle in­jury 10 years ago had stopped her danc­ing in heels. She started belly danc­ing three years ago but then tore the menis­cus in her knee and had to have surgery. Now, thanks to los­ing all the weight, she has no prob­lems with her an­kle. “And when my knee gets ten­der, I’ve learned to push through it. The old Re­nee would have just stopped.”

Re­nee says she loves the way danc­ing makes her feel. “You just let go; you’re in the mo­ment. And I love the con­fi­dence it gives you.”

Re­nee’s new-found con­fi­dence has spread to other ar­eas of her life, too. “I have a new lease on life now,” she says. “I’m al­ways out and about.”

She has also dis­cov­ered a love of hik­ing. “My hus­band and I do a 14km walk ev­ery week­end. We live near a na­tional park and the first time I climbed the stairs into it I had to stop twice. Now I can go up and down them twice be­fore I’m out of breath. Last time I felt like I could fly up the stairs.”

They’re now plan­ning a five-day trek in Noosa and she’s get­ting back into cy­cling. “We live out of town on an acreage and now we cy­cle into town ev­ery week to buy gro­ceries.”

NEW MOVE­MENT

Re­nee’s new lease on life has also in­spired those around her. Her hus­band is also los­ing weight now that he’s eat­ing bet­ter and ex­er­cis­ing with her. Many of the peo­ple in her WW meet­ings are now part of her walk­ing groups and one comes to her dance class too. She has also in­spired seven other women in her of­fice to sign up with WW and many of them have joined her walk­ing groups and dance classes. “It’s turned into a bit of a move­ment,” she says.

“One girl said she was so thank­ful to me. I said, ‘No, it’s your jour­ney.’ She said, ‘But you in­spired me.’ It’s a re­ally good feel­ing.

“I’m walk­ing taller now; I’m not hunched over any­more. It gives me a spring in my step.” It’s not just her pos­ture that’s changed. Re­nee says she now has an hour­glass fig­ure and can wear dresses that ac­cen­tu­ate it in­stead of the shape­less, baggy clothes she used to wear. And best of all, this sum­mer she has gone swim­ming at the beach in just her swim­mers for the first time since she was a teenager. “It felt so good.” #

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