new lease on life

Ali­cia Hod­son now says yes to any new chal­lenge

Weight Watchers Magazine (Australia) - - Contents -

Stand­ing at the top of a four-storey-high in­flat­able wa­ter slide, hair in pig­tails and her rain­bow tutu soaked in wa­ter from the 5km-long Ridicu­lous Ob­sta­cle Chal­lenge (ROC) Race she’d just com­pleted, Ali­cia Hod­son looked at her two friends, laughed, leaned for­ward and jumped. It was Fe­bru­ary 2017, just over eight months since she’d reached her Goal weight thanks to Weight Watch­ers, and Ali­cia was feel­ing on top of the world and light years away from the per­son she used to be.

Just a lit­tle over two years be­fore that mo­ment, the 34-year-old mum of two was busy clothes shop­ping one fate­ful day. “I grabbed a pair of size 18 pants, thought, ‘Yep, they’ll fit me’ and took them straight to the check­out with­out both­er­ing to try them on.” >

Once home, Ali­cia tried the pants on and re­alised she couldn’t zip them up. “I cried,” she ad­mits. “It was one of the most aw­ful feel­ings. I was to­tally dis­gusted with my­self.”

In that mo­ment, a fright­en­ing thought flashed through Ali­cia’s mind: that one day she’d reach 100kg and not make it past her 50th birthday. “I signed up to Weight Watch­ers that day and have never looked back.”

For some­one who had suf­fered life­long de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, and grew up feel­ing stressed and ner­vous in so­cial sit­u­a­tions, walk­ing into her first Group Coach­ing ses­sion was no small thing, though it was the first of many bold mo­ments to come.

“I quickly made friends with other Weight Watch­ers mem­bers. My meet­ing group is very sup­port­ive and in­spi­ra­tional. We’re al­ways push­ing each other out of our com­fort zones to try new things – that’s how I found my­self sign­ing up for the ROC Race. Go­ing to the meet­ings ev­ery week and chat­ting with like­minded peo­ple who un­der­stand what I’m go­ing through is like a breath of fresh air.”

Ali­cia is the first to ad­mit she’s a per­fec­tion­ist who was de­ter­mined to never see a gain on the scales un­til she reached her Goal weight. “Know­ing some­one was wait­ing to weigh me at the meet­ings each week was mo­ti­va­tion enough to stick to the Pro­gram.”

In the past, her down­falls in­cluded binge­ing and large por­tion sizes, so a mix of track­ing her food and try­ing recipes from WW cook­books were the win­ning for­mula that helped her lose weight ev­ery sin­gle week.

“I love that the recipes are fam­ily-friendly – even my fussy chil­dren have en­joyed a num­ber of meals from the books,” she says.

About six weeks af­ter join­ing, Ali­cia got on the scales and saw she’d lost just 100g. But rather than de­ter her, it made her com­mit to her good habits more than ever. “When my loss was 1.6kg the fol­low­ing week, it was all the mo­ti­va­tion I needed to give this new path I was tak­ing ev­ery­thing I had.”

Never one to push her­self with phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity as a child – “If it was too hard, I wouldn’t try it” – Ali­cia started her fit­ness jour­ney slowly by go­ing for short walks. It caused pain in her legs and an­kles but she pushed through, de­ter­mined to im­prove. She bought a bike and went for a ride – some­thing she hadn’t done since she was a teenager.

“Next came run­ning, which I’d never done in my life, and then Danc­e­fit.” A high-in­ten­sity group car­dio work­out, Danc­e­fit is now Ali­cia’s favourite work­out. “I go to Danc­e­fit twice or three times a week, and I walk, run or ride my bike on the other days. I used to hate get­ting hot and sweaty and would avoid it at all costs. Now, if I’m not hot and sweaty af­ter a work­out, I haven’t tried hard enough!”

Ali­cia doesn’t suf­fer pain in her legs and an­kles since los­ing weight. Her blood pres­sure and choles­terol lev­els were el­e­vated be­fore join­ing Weight Watch­ers, but are now within the nor­mal range. Keep­ing ac­tive has also helped with her de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and stress lev­els. “It al­lows for ‘me’ time and gives me the chance to re­flect on any is­sues that are both­er­ing me,” she says. “I used to con­stantly worry about my health and the way I looked. Now, if I have a stress­ful day, I take time out to go for a walk, run or bike ride to clear my head.

“My life has to­tally changed. I’m a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son: my con­fi­dence has im­proved 100 per cent, I’m hap­pier. I’ve joined a choir and sung a duet at a con­cert in front of a crowd with my par­ents and brother cheer­ing me on. I’ve jumped on stage to per­form a rou­tine with my Danc­e­fit group as part of a 24-hour fundrais­ing event for a can­cer char­ity. I walk into a shop and try on the small­est-size shirt and it’s the right fit for me.

“And I have much more en­ergy. I’m the most ac­tive I’ve ever been in my life, and I’ve re­alised I feel most tired when I don’t ex­er­cise for more than a few days. I no longer look in the mir­ror and hate what I see. I’m so proud of my­self for sign­ing up to Weight Watch­ers and stick­ing to it to reach my Goal weight.” #

“My life has to­tally changed. My con­fi­dence has im­proved 100 per cent.”

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