How Sam be­came a mag­a­zine cover girl

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Sam Belsham’s jour­ney from hor­ror to healthy started with a Face­book photo and ended up with a photo shoot in Syd­ney.

‘‘Near the end of 2011 I went to a so­cial gath­er­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘ A few days later I saw some pho­tos of me tagged on Face­book and thought, ‘Wow, I didn’t know I was fat’.

‘‘I thought I’d looked pretty good that night.’’

Ms Belsham, who lives in Aotea, had a 9-month-old son at the time and the ‘‘ new mum’’ ex­cuse came eas­ily to her in ex­plain­ing the ex­tra ki­los. She and her hus­band are into snow­board­ing and wake­board­ing, so she be­lieved it was a mat­ter of time be­fore her 80kg frame be­came slim­mer.

But her con­fi­dence con­tin­ued to slip to the point where she would not take her son to the pool be­cause she did not feel com­fort­able in a swim­ming cos­tume.

Some­thing need to be done and she was not sold on di­ets, or in­ter­ested in go­ing to a gym, even though bet­ter nu­tri­tion was a big goal for her.

‘‘It was more about mak­ing a life­style change.

‘‘ I had heard about Weight Watch­ers, so I did some re­search, went to one of the meet­ings and that was it.’’

The 31-year-old said los­ing 17kg in six months, with­out run­ning marathons or giv­ing up treats, had given her an enor­mous lift in her life.

It came down to per­sonal ac­count­abil­ity and ‘‘ a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship with food’’. She weighs a steady 63kg to­day.

‘‘Weight Watch­ers is all about points – ev­ery item of food has a num­ber of points. You don’t de­prive your­self of cer­tain types of food, like choco­late, but it’s the type of food and how much you’re eat­ing.’’

With the weight loss has come more de­sire to do ex­er­cise and keep fit. The lessons from Weight Watch­ers would re­main with her for­ever, she said.

Her hus­band got in on the act, los­ing 15 ki­los at the same time.

‘‘ I don’t go to the [ Weight Watch­ers] meet­ings any more, but I’m con­stantly keep­ing a tally in my head of the points of all the food we eat. I’m still eat­ing treats, but I un­der­stand nu­tri­tion and find­ing a bal­ance in your life with food.’’

Ms Belsham was over the moon when asked to go to Syd­ney for a Weight Watch­ers pho­to­shoot in May.

She thought she would fea­ture in a fu­ture is­sue, and was told in June she was the cover girl in Au­gust.

‘‘It was a cool ex­pe­ri­ence and I hope it in­spires a few peo­ple. At the end of the day you’re your own worst critic, so it’s up to you if you want to make a change.’’

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