New Idea - - Real Life - By Jas­mine Ka­zlauskas


Just 10 months ago, Elise Dun­stan tipped the scales at 134kg while her wardrobe was filled with un­flat­ter­ing size-24 clothes.

The 23-year-old from Bris­bane was gripped by a dan­ger­ous ad­dic­tion to sugar – con­stantly snack­ing on choco­late, cake and ice-cream, while also down­ing nearly two litres of soft drink a day.

Elise was also plagued with fright­en­ing health is­sues caused by her weight, with doc­tors warn­ing she may never be able to have kids due to dan­ger­ously high choles­terol lev­els.

And with an ex­ten­sive his­tory of di­a­betes in her fam­ily, it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore Elise too would be struck down by the dis­ease.

“I’d al­ways been over­weight as a child and through­out my teens. I man­aged to lose some weight dur­ing high school, but ended up pil­ing it all back on shortly af­ter grad­u­at­ing,” Elise tells New Idea.

“I was a huge emo­tional eater and I al­ways turned to food for com­fort. I had a real weak­ness for any­thing that was loaded with sugar.

“I would snack on choco­late, cake and ice-cream, some­times more than twice a day. I could never eat just a few squares of choco­late ei­ther, it would have to be the en­tire block.

“Then be­cause of the sweet stuff I’d con­sume, I would have no prob­lem eat­ing a whole packet of chips to coun­ter­act that sweet­ness. It was such a vi­cious cy­cle.”

It was not un­til Elise saw an un­flat­ter­ing pho­to­graph of her­self with boyfriend Wil­liam, 25, that she said she truly re­alised the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion. “I couldn’t be­lieve I’d got­ten my­self into such a state of bad health,” she says.

“Af­ter that, I made the com­mit­ment to change my life­style and try to re­gain the happy and healthy life I should have been liv­ing at such a young age.”

Af­ter dis­cussing her on­go­ing weight bat­tle with her doc­tor, Elise was re­ferred to a free health pro­gram that was be­ing run in her lo­cal area, which fo­cused on help­ing peo­ple man­age their di­a­betes. Although Elise did not have the dis­ease, she was deemed at high risk of be­com­ing a di­a­betic if she con­tin­ued her un­healthy eat­ing habits. Elise kick­started her weight loss by go­ing on a rad­i­cal juice cleanse which saw her re­place all meals with juice for 30 days. The con­coc­tions needed to be strictly 80 per cent veg­etable and 20 per cent fruit and Elise was not al­lowed to con­sume any­thing else be­sides wa­ter in or­der to in­sti­gate a proper detox­i­fi­ca­tion. The young woman said this process truly tested her de­ter­mi­na­tion, strength and willpower – with Elise even manag­ing to stick to her juice fast while oth­ers en­joyed cake at her 23rd birth­day party. Fol­low­ing this, Elise trans­formed her diet by elim­i­nat­ing all added sug­ars, salts, preser­va­tives, sta­bilis­ers, flavour­ings, colour­ings and MSG from her meals – in­stead opt­ing for a clean-eat­ing based ap­proach that fo­cuses on com­pletely nat­u­ral whole foods. It paid off – with Elise los­ing 59kg in just 10 months. Now af­ter shed­ding half her body weight, the busi­ness stu­dent feels more con­fi­dent than ever, flaunting her brand-new 75kg fig­ure. And it was only af­ter los­ing 50kg that Elise be­gan to in­cor­po­rate any sort of ex­er­cise into her regime – work­ing out five days week – which helped her shed an ex­tra 9kg.

“I try to keep my meals as clean and nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble,” Elise ex­plains.

“Any­thing that comes in a packet or a can I will thor­oughly scan all the in­gre­di­ents.

“If there is any­thing that is not nat­u­ral in there, I will not con­sume it.

“It’s hard to be­lieve that I’ve been able to lose so much weight just by fo­cus­ing on eat­ing nat­u­ral foods.

“There were no fad di­ets, no shakes, no pills, no po­tions and no surgery. Just a life­style change and food over­haul which hon­estly saved my life.

“I now have this bound­less en­ergy that is just flow­ing through me all the time.

“The power of food is in­cred­i­ble.

“I feel happy, healthy, pos­i­tive and alive. I’ll never look back.”


Elise’s top tips for los­ing weight in­clude avoid­ing pro­cessed foods and us­ing a smaller plate to eat from. BE­FORE

Elise’s cleaneat­ing rou­tine has paid off.

A photo with her boyfriend Wil­liam inspired her to act.

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