Ta­nia’s a su­per-slim­mer

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Su­per-slim­mer: Ta­nia Coombes made a last-ditch at­tempt to lose weight and avoid surgery, and suc­ceeded in drop­ping 63.7kg.

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