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NOW 53kg



he month of November 2002 was probably the worst time in my life. My weight had ballooned after the birth of my daughter, Denise, in May 2001. At 94kg and 163cm tall, I was the biggest I’d ever been. I’d only just recovered from postnatal depression when doctors found a cancerous cyst on one of my ovaries. I had surgery to remove it, but later I was told I had a less than 2 per cent chance of conceiving again. Then, doctors found cancerous cells on my cervix. “Why me?” I wept to my husband, Theo, 32. “We’ll get through this,” he replied. He was right, and in 2007 we tried IVF. BEFORE By some miracle, our 94kg baby boy, PJ, was born in March 2008.

My whole life my weight had yo-yoed and my health had suffered as a result, so I decided to educate myself on health. I did a personal training course and in 2010 started a business, Terrific Fitness. While researching nutrition, I learned fat helps the body absorb the nutrients from food and makes you feel full so you won’t eat as much. So in June last year, I binned all “diet” products. Processed foods and sugar were out, too. I now keep the fridge fuller than the pantry and my family eats as much natural fat as we like. For breakfast I have scrambled eggs made with organic cream every day. We eat loads of fatty protein with plenty of fruit and vegies and have homemade ice-cream for dessert. I came across Christine Cronau’s book, The Fat Revolution, about the diet industry’s vilification of fat, and it verified my own discoveries. I contacted her and she included my story in her next book. Since embracing fat, Theo’s cholesterol levels have dropped and he’s lost 15kg. I now weigh just 53kg and am cancer-free. It sounds weird, but my secret to staying slim is to eat fat! Terri Batsakis, 39, Mill Park, Vic.



hen I had my two kids, Courtney in 1994 and Michael in 1996, I put on weight like a lot of mums do — but I had no willpower either. By the time I turned 30, I was 163cm tall and weighed 104kg. I’ll just have one slice of carrot cake, I’d think, but before I knew it, the whole cake was gone. I’d eat six doughnuts while walking around the shopping centre and still have lunch afterwards. When I broke up with the father of my children, my confidence hit rock bottom. In June 1997, I went to buy a skirt for a wedding. I loved fashion but the only clothes that would fit me were in the “big is beautiful” section. “I shouldn’t be wearing this,” I said to my mum, Dina, 60. “It’s for old people.” I struggled to do up a size-22 skirt. “I’ll get you the next size,” Mum offered. I was mortified and cried for a week. Then I started thinking about what to do. I began by reducing my portion sizes and joining a gym in Earlwood, NSW.


I didn’t lose the weight in one hit. I’d lose some weight, then have a break. That gave my body time to adjust and stabilise. Over two years, I lost 39kg and reached my goal weight of 65kg. “Hello Sportsgirl and goodbye ‘big is beautiful’,” I said as I celebrated by buying a new wardrobe. My gym offered to send me on a fitness instructors’ course and I agreed. By 2004 I had quit my job as an accountant and begun personal training full-time. When people lose a lot of weight they often don’t know what to do next. Many regain the kilos. The trick is to set lots of little goals to keep slim. After losing weight, my BEFORE first goal was to become 104kg a fitness instructor. Next, I aimed to learn about food and exercise to change my body shape. I met my partner, Joe, 43, in 2007. He’d also lost weight by setting achievable goals. I still weigh 65kg and I aim to keep it that way. Luana Bortoli, 44, Roselands, NSW.

NOW 65kg

Then in 2006, while working as a nurse in Sydney, I was flicking through a list of adult education courses when I saw one run by Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, the y mum and author of The Don’t Go Hungry Diet. Her sisters were one-day workshop changed my life. always slim. “When we cut kilojoules and lose weight, “It’s not fair,” I’d moan our body thinks a famine is happening,” to my mum, Moya, 38. Dr Sainsbury-Salis said. “This makes us “You need to learn lethargic, slows down our metabolism and moderation,” she urged. makes us ravenously hungry, so we binge.” But in 1977, at age 14, She advised eating normal, nutritious I had no concept of that. foods, but only when hungry, and to stop Instead I tried every eating when comfortably full. crazy diet going, but This was a revelation to me. I stopped they never worked. listening to diet gurus, counting kilojoules BEFORE When I left home and buying “diet” food and listened to my 90kg at 18, I began fasting body instead. By 2008, I weighed 60kg. between binges. My “Now I know how you do it,” I told Mum. yo-yoing weight made me miserable. “I’ve been telling you about moderation I tried therapy, then joined Overeaters for years,” Mum said. Anonymous in my 30s, but that just made I started exercising for pleasure, too, things worse. Food had a power over me and ran barefoot on the beach. the same way drink has over an alcoholic. That same year, I met my partner, John, By my 40th birthday in 2003 I was 61, who had a healthy relationship with carrying 90kg on my 165cm frame. I’d look food and exercise. at women who had never suffered weight Today I trust myself and my body. issues, including my mum and sisters, and It’s very liberating. wonder how they did it. Paula Campbell, 49, Mildura, Vic.



NOW 60kg

SECRETS 10 tips to

need to encourage people dinner off a smaller plate to eat normally,” Dr than my husband, Joe,” Kausman says. “Take the Luana says. moral judgement out of it. It’s normal to have a piece “Within five minutes of cake, but understand that of eating fats or it’s a ‘sometimes’ food.” proteins, our brain receives a signal Make a fist: that’s the telling it our hunger has size of an empty been satisfied,” Dr Weaver stomach. “If you eat says. But when we eat carbs, more than you need, these same signals take 20 your stomach stretches and minutes to reach the brain. once it’s used to being Include fats and proteins in stretched, it expects it to every meal as this will mean happen every day,” says you’re likely to be satisfied Dr Libby Weaver, author of by eating less. Accidentally Overweight. Reduce your portion size Try not to stress and stop when you feel full. about dieting — or anything else in your You might not need life, if you can help it. as much food as your Stress causes you to partner. If a male produce a hormone called partner’s bigger than cortisol which can slow you, he’ll also have a higher down your metabolism metabolism. “I eat my and make you feel hungry.




Eat slowly. “Research has shown that the faster people eat, the more likely they are to be big,” says Dr Rick Kausman, author of If Not Dieting, Then What? Eating quickly makes it’s easy to consume more than needed.


Instead of labelling foods “good” or “bad”, call them “everyday” or “sometimes” food. “We


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Three everyday women reveal how they ditched their diets and still lost weight


Many of us are emotional eaters. Learn to recognise your triggers and do something else instead of eating. “I used to crave cake in the afternoons when I felt tired. Now I have a rest instead,” Luana says.

8 9 10

Instead of meeting friends for coffee, meet up for a walk or a fun game of tennis.

Keep an accurate food diary. It can often be useful to keep track of exactly what you’re eating. Get a dog. Luana says walking her dog is a great way of getting regular exercise, and they both enjoy it.


Take 5 featuring Christine Cronau  

Take 5 featuring Christine Cronau

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