Tania’s a super-slimmer
Three years ago Tania Coombes had given up all hope of losing weight.
She’d tried every kind of diet without success – even piling on an extra 15kg while giving up smoking to eventually weigh in at 138kg.
When her doctor said surgery was the only hope left, she gave dieting one last try.
“For me this was my last ditch effort, I’d tried everything else,” the Onehunga resident says.
“My doctor’s final comment to me was that surgery was going to be my only option from here. That freaked me out,” she says.
Two years and nine months on, Ms Coombes is a slim and super-fit 74kg.
“Now I love clothes shopping and I love raiding my sister’s wardrobe. We’ve never ever done that before,” she says.
The 37-year-old says the turning point was joining Weight Watchers at the urging of a friend.
“It was going to meetings and having that support, fronting up and hearing other people’s stories.”
She changed her approach to eating, weighing each portion and writing down every meal and snack.
Her gradual progress was rewarded with shopping or manicures at every 5kg milestone.
“When I first started and they said I needed to lose over 60kg, that seemed so much, so I broke it down into smaller chunks.”
Ms Coombes has been overweight since she was a child, despite her mother’s efforts to count calories.
“I was bullied and teased. I hated PE with a vengeance.”
Now the IT programmer, who works from home, exercises every day on her “industrial strength” treadmill.
“When I started on the treadmill I couldn’t even do five minutes,” she says.
“That was a huge challenge for me. Now I can run for an hour and a half.”
Her exercise routine includes daily running and a 45-minute swissball workout, as well as golf three times a week.
Ms Coombes’ advice to other slimmers is to tell family and friends about their weightloss goal.
“Then you get the support from people,” she says.
“The support from family and friends has been really good as I was going through this.”
Ms Coombes has been named one of 12 finalists in the Weight Watchers Slimmer of the Year competition.
National manager Colleen Stairmand says the finalists are role models to others struggling with their weight.
“Each has broken the obesity cycle,” she says.
“By committing to eating wisely, moving more and learning new habits, they have created a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families as well.”
Weight Watchers has donated $1 to the Breast Cancer Foundation for every kilo lost by en- trants in the competition.
This year the 200 entrants have raised $4440 for the cause – by losing an average of 22kg each.
A North Island and South Island winner will be announced on June 30 and flown to Sydney to join Australian state finalists.
The New Zealand winner will be announced on July 21.
Before: Tania Coombes in 2005.
Super-slimmer: Tania Coombes made a last-ditch attempt to lose weight and avoid surgery, and succeeded in dropping 63.7kg.