‘How I lost 36kg – and there’s more to come!’
The former Idol star is glowing with health and happiness after dropping five dress sizes
Casey Donovan hasn’t felt this good since winning Australian Idol 13 years ago – and she’s almost back to the weight she was as the shy 16-year-old schoolgirl from Sydney’s western suburbs who sang her way into our hearts.
“I can’t remember the last time I bought a size 18 pair of jeans,” smiles Casey.
“It’s been amazing going into shops and grabbing the extra large sizes and finding I can fit into medium and large now. My skin h has started df feeling li and looking better and I’m more alert and I have a lot more energy.
“I’ve even started to jog!”
Casey exclusively reveals to Woman’s Day she has lost another 19kg since winning I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in March after starting a simple Facebook weight-loss program. She’s now lost 36kg since January. Casey admits that after surviving on beans and rice in the jungle, she stacked 7kg back on in just six weeks eating Mcdonald’s and drinking alcohol when she returned home. Casey then decided she couldn’t give up on her vow to get her weight under 100kg after the show. “I could see myself making all the same mistakes and I knew I had to do something,” she says, explaining that she signed up for WLCW (Weight Loss Coaching Works) in June. The online program provided her with diet and exercise advice, a mentor and a dream team made up of two coaches, who provided support and counselling as Casey, 29, embraced some huge lifestyle changes. The singer swapped a diet of fast food and carb-heavy meals for a high-protein diet and started to walk up to 15,000 steps a day – including 5000 steps before breakfast and often also walking up to 90 minutes at night to complete the challenge. “Everyone has noticed the weight loss, and everyone has been really nice about it,” Casey says. “And I’m certainly not finished yet. I realise it’s time to increase my exercise, and I’m about to start boxing and weights. I love swimming and I’m going to start doing laps again. I definitely feel the best I’ve felt in a very long time.”
It isn’t just her body that has changed this year.
“The jungle put me back on the map,” admits Casey, who was flown to London to film a lucrative television commercial for Coles and has released a new EP, Off The Grid & Somewhere In Between, on top of appearances on TV and performing at the Rugby League World Cup.
“I learned a lot about myself in the jungle, including that I couldn’t run from my problems anymore, and my biggest problem was, by far, my weight. It became a form or self-loathing. I was eating my problems.”
Casey says she realised her determination for people to hear her voice rather than judge her body shape as she effectively grew up in the showbiz industry, ultimately only ended up “hurting” her and holding back her career.
Admitting that she’s “scared of the new me” after refusing to deal with her demons for such a long time, Casey says she’s growing in confidence thanks to her recent weight loss and that walking has helped her keep her anxiety at bay.
TIME FOR ROMANCE
“I haven’t been this light since the Idol days,” she says, proudly showing off her new body in everything from figure-hugging frocks to swimwear and exercise gear during a photoshoot to mark her shedding success.
The new-look Casey now even feels confident enough to explore romance, despite giving up on dating sites.
“I’d love to meet someone,” she says.
‘I learned a lot about myself... I was eating my problems’
“I’m almost 30. I’ve never been in a relationship except a fake one for six years [when a female friend conned her into believing she was her boyfriend during an online relationship], so yes, I’d love to meet someone when the time’s right.”
But for now Casey has a different dream to achieve. “I’ve always wanted to go on a ride at Dreamworld,” she says, before admitting she’s always been worried the safety cage attached to the rides wouldn’t fit over her body.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved – I’m getting a collarbone and I’ve never had one, or been able to see it,” she says.
“I know what it’s like to try and give up but I’ve finally found something that works for me, and it’s not even that difficult. I can do this, stick to it and still have fun. I’m not going to give up!”
‘I can do this, stick to it and still have fun. I’m not going to give up!’
“It’s taken me a long time to grow into a confident woman,” says Casey.
The secret behind her weight loss? “It’s about finding balance in day-today life and wanting to do it.”
The Idol winner (pictured in 2007) says the last time she weighed under 100kg was when she was 14.