Kerryn Peters, 31, Papamoa
I gaped at the photo of the huge woman scowling back at the camera. Suddenly I realised that it was me! ‘How did I let myself get this way?’ I cried.
I was 25 and at 1.64m tall, weighed in at 122 kg. It wasn’t difficult to know how I’d got so big. As a busy mum of four I often ate the Deluxe KFC Quarter Pack plus a burger and chips in one go. Later, I’d have a big block of chocolate. I’d dieted often over the years but the weight would just creep on again.
‘How did I let myself get this way?’ I cried.
Every time my husband John, 31, tried to take my photo, I’d shy away. If ever I saw a picture of myself I’d rip it up. But this particular pic spoke to me. I decided I’d carry it with me as a reminder of how I really looked.
‘I’ve got to get out there and start exercising and eating better,’ I said to John.
‘You go for it,’ he said. ‘I’ll back you all the way.’
Knowing I had a sugar addiction, I researched online about it. I learnt that when manufacturers removed fat to make a food ‘low fat’, they often added sugar to make it palatable again. After that I spent hours in the supermarket reading labels. There was tons of hidden sugar in the processed food I’d been eating.
At first I found it hard to cut down on sugar so I’d look at my ‘fat photo’ to keep me going. To help ease the pain I had a treat day weekly, when I’d have ice cream or cake. The rest of the time I ate fruit, vegetables and meat. Weight just fell off and my skin improved too. I wasn’t getting stared at in public any more either so I even joined a gym. While running on the treadmill I’d prop my fat photo up so I could see it. It made me work even harder.’
‘You look amazing,’ John remarked one evening. I’d gone down two dress sizes in as many months!
Every day I’d look at the photo and say: That’s not me any more.
Every day I'd look at the photo and say: That's not me any more.
‘You should start a Facebook page where people can follow your weight loss journey,’ said my mate, Deb.
‘I’m not sure – I like to stay out of the limelight,’ I said. But then I decided maybe it would encourage others. I put it up – and it immediately went viral. Pretty soon I had over 13,000 people following me from all over the world. Strangers even began recognising me in the street! I put up photos of dishes I’d made, along with the recipes.
Thanks for sharing your tips! said one follower. I love your recipes! said another.
A year later, I weighed 56 kilos. I’d lost more than half my body weight, going from a size 24 to a size 8!
It’s now five years since I changed my diet and it’s easy to keep the weight off. But I’ve still look at my fat photo if I’m having a bad day. I recommend anyone struggling with their weight try my method. A picture truly is worth a thousand calories!
As told to Jan Morgan
Originally published in that's life! Issue 8, 2016