On the flying cars at the local show, I desperately tried to suck in my stomach.
At 142 kilos though, it was no use.
‘I’m sorry, darl’ – you’ll have to hop off,’ he said.
Face flaring bright red, I wanted the ground to swallow me up.
A stay-at-home mum, my weight had yo-yoed ever since puberty. After having kids, it’d ballooned. And I’d got bigger with each bub.
While I cooked my little ones healthy meat and veg, I’d gorge on greasy takeaways, chips and cakes.
At the Macca’s drive through, I’d order a large double quarter pounder meal, with an extra burger thrown in for good measure.
Then, I’d knock off a chocolate sundae for dessert.
My portions could easily feed a family of three!
Avoiding the scales, sometimes I forgot how big I was. Then, catching my reflection in the mirror, or spotting myself in a photo, I’d be horrified.
A size-26, finding clothes was a nightmare.
The bigger the better, I’d think, choosing whatever frumpy outfit fit.
One day, I found I could no longer squeeze into Kmart’s plus-sized options.
Oh my God! They’re literally running out of clothes in my size! I fretted.
Squeezing into a plane seat another time, I had to ask for a belt extender.
It was mortifying even having to ask – but the judgemental looks I received from my fellow passengers was worse.
Still, I just couldn’t stop eating.
Struggling with depression, food gave me comfort.
Then, when my eldest son Callum was eight, I went with him on a school excursion – a picnic to Mount Wellington.
While I sat with the other parents, Callum was nearby with his mates. Suddenly, a little girl looked at me, then back at my boy.
‘Why is your mum so fat?’ she asked, innocently.
The look of shock and embarrassment on Callum’s face broke my heart.
It was like he was seeing me for the first time.
He’s just realised I don’t look like the other mums, I thought, mortified.
I was by far the biggest mother there. Shame coursed through me.
But something else clicked inside me too.
I need to be a better role model for my children, I decided.
Back home, I jumped online and typed how to lose weight into Google.
Scrolling through the search results, I came across The Healthy Mummy – a community that helped mothers lose weight and keep it off.
As I scrolled through all the incredible before and after photos, I began to feel inspired.
Snapping my own photos in my undies, I vowed it’d be the last time I’d look like that.
Deciding to go cold turkey on trash, I marched to the kitchen and got a bin bag. Grabbing my stash of salty chips, cookies, lollies and chocolate, I threw it all out!
Then, at the grocery shop, I filled my trolley with lean meats such as chicken and turkey and lots of fresh vegetables.
At first, my stomach rumbled – I was used to huge portions – and I was so hungry! I was also plagued with sugar cravings.
But I was determined.
It was now or never. I had to get healthy for my kids.
Incredibly, following The Healthy Mummy recipes, the weight slid off. Losing up to 3 kilos each week was a fantastic motivator.
Negative thoughts sometimes crept in, though.
I’ve got so much to lose! I’d panic.
But then I’d remind myself not to focus on that.
I’d got down to about 100 kilos when I fell pregnant with my fourth bub in late 2016. I hardly put on any weight during my pregnancy as I had such terrible morning sickness!
After my sweet Joshua was born in June 2017, I bought a treadmill and an exercise bike and started working out at home.
Running around after the kids, and lifting baby Josh up and down helped too!
Now, I’ve more than halved my weight, whittling 74 kilos off my frame.
At 68 kilos, I’m a size eight!
I do still grapple with depression, but now I have a level of confidence that I’ve never experienced before.
Best of all, my kids, Callum, 11, Jordan, seven, Amy, four, and Joshua, two, can now look at me and be proud.
‘You look so beautiful Mum!’ sweet little Jordan tells me.
My children aren’t the only ones to notice the change.
‘It’s taken years off you! You look fresher!’ everyone tells me.
I do have a lot of loose skin – but it could be worse. I’ve been really lucky.
My transformation has given me a new lease on life.
And if an everyday single mum like me can do it, anyone can! ●