Woman’s Day (Australia)
‘I weigh less than I did when I was 13!’
Anna Van Dyken was always a big girl. At 13 she was buying clothes in a women’s size 14, and by the time she’d reached her forties she was so overweight she couldn’t walk to her letterbox.
But after shedding 75kg, the Perth mum is enjoying all new experiences. For the first time ever her son Ethan can fit his arms around her for a hug, and Anna has been able to purchase clothing from her favourite boutique – a shop she could only admire in Words: 8kg when I walked into Weightwatchers – now I’m 73kg. It’s so surreal being a normal size and I absolutely love not standing out any more,” Anna, 46, says.
She became “accidentally motivated” to lose weight four years ago. Her husband Rod, who weighed 128kg, had been diagnosed with diabetes, and her then 10-year-old son Ethan weighed 79kg and wasn’t able to keep up with his peers.
“Ethan came last in a cross country run at school and it was excruciating to watch,” recalls Anna, whose heartbreak at seeing her son struggle inspired her to provide healthier meals for her family.
She stopped buying junk food and downsized all of the family’s main course plates to ones that were little bigger than side plates. In addition, she swapped sweetened drinks for water, and takeaways for fresh fruit and vegies. The whole family benefitted – Ethan lost 9kg, Rod dropped 38kg, and Anna halved her size.
They incorporated exercise into their routine too, and Anna runs 10km several times a week. “My days of buying two economy airline seats are behind me,” she laughs.
‘It’s so surreal being a normal size. I love not standing out’